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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Venezuela Crisis Deepens with Default; Trump Says Global Trade Rules Have Changed; Exclusive on Migrant Slave Trade; Investigation Uncovers Sexual Harassment on Capitol Hill. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 14, 2017 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[16:00:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: OK, it was a good day to slightly miss the bell. I mean, let's face it, the stocks were in the red as that

trading day ends. So, people taking some profits off the table. It Tuesday, November the 14th. Tonight, Venezuela's crisis plums desperate

new depths. Now it's officially lurched right into default.

Donald Trump waves bye-bye to Asia. And says the rules on trade have now changed. And human lives sold on the auction block for just a few hundred

dollars. This is a horrifying exclusive on the modern-day slave trade.

I'm Paula Newton and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

Good evening. Tonight, Venezuela's humanitarian crisis is heading for new levels of despair. As the socialist regime is accused of defaulting on its

a debt which could amount to nearly $200 billion. Now what started as clearly a political issue has spiraled into a full-blown economic

catastrophe. And make no mistake, it's the people in Venezuela suffering through this. For years, the government has failed to import enough food

and medicine. And now Caracas has reportedly missed a 30 day grace period for a payment that was due in October. Investors out of pocket could

conceivably now grab the countries only remaining lifeline, the oil that they're exporting. S&P global ratings is the agency that sounded the alarm

on Venezuela's default. I'm joined by Joydeep Mykherji. He's the managing director and specialist of Latin America at the ratings agency. Some

people would say this default was long overdue. I mean, the question to you, what now?

JOYDEEP MYKHERJI, LATIN AMERICA, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS: Well, that's a very good question. Because this is a very unusual default because the

government has various types of claims, not just the bonds that we rate. And we don't really know the full extent of their liabilities. On top of

that, you've got U.S. sanctions on entities inside Venezuela, which make it very difficult if not impossible, for certain bond-holders to exchange

their bond for new bonds to come out of default.

And then you've got a larger issue off the whole political crisis in the country. This regime came to power in 1999. So, it's been 18 years now,

and the crisis in the country is enormous. There's a question as to whether or not the regime will survive, or how it mutates or potentially

collapses into something else. So, unlike most bond defaults, you've got much more moving parts than ever before.

NEWTON: You know, at one-time Venezuela was a pivotal player, on the oil market. Arguably now because its production is at, you know, lows, not

even conceivable for a country that has some of the highest-proven reserves in the world. What is the worst-case scenario here? Because many fear

that what the financial default means is chaos, quite frankly. Even more chaos for the people of Venezuela.

MYKHERJI: I think you said it correctly. Even more chaos. Because the suffering has been going on for a long, long time. Beyond just the

shortages of essential medicines and food. We have a refugee crisis as well. Colombia and other countries in Latin America have taken in huge

numbers of Venezuelans. And we don't really know the full numbers. Many in the United States, as well or countries like Panama. And so, the

repercussions of this are going to be enormous. Because not only do you have a productive capacity of the country in a state of disrepair, to put

it mildly, you've got social polarization that is extremely difficult, probably worse than any country in Latin America. And then you do have in

opposition to the government, which hasn't been able to so far effectively change policies. But then the government, which doesn't have a lot of

support, but a lot of power in terms of controlling the streets. So, there are unfortunately too many potential scenario a some of them could be very

bad for the people.

NEWTON: Yes. And that's what the fear is here. Many people are saying to creditors, look, please show a little bit of patience here. What is the

problem, though? Explain that if the government doesn't come to the table in good faith, that there's really nothing to do. And I want to say at the

outset, some people have mused that, look, the IMF could get involved here. Venezuela is, on paper, a rich country, in terms of the energy, resources

they have. But what would be the stumbling block at this point?

MYKHERJI: I think it comes down to politics, because this is not an ordinary case of a government that can't pay its debt, therefore sits down

with the IMF comes to an agreement. And then based on that agreement sits down with bond-holders and says, OK, let's do a deal and lets me sure that

we all get paid at the end. This is a government that has tremendous political problems with not just the IMF, but with the United States as

well. And basically, the financial markets will be influenced by that, because the U.S. has put sanctions on individuals in Venezuela, as well as

limited the ability of Americans to deal with certain types of financial transactions.

[16:05:00] Then you have the issue of other countries that are also involved. Russia and China have both provided official assistance to

Venezuela. Not through bonds or commercial bank loans, but through other types of lending or grants perhaps that we don't know about. We don't know

the details of all of that. And then there's the issue of the oil assets. Because the oil might be fine under the ground, but it's going to take

years and lots of money to recuperate that productive capacity.

Venezuela has a large asset called Citgo, owned by it national oil company PDVSA that's based in the United States. And a lot of creditors have lent

money to Venezuela based on the hope that that asset could pay them back. Well, let's see how many people are going to be filing for the same asset

in court., because there's a lot of complications there. What we found out in these kinds of cases is that when things get bad, all sorts of bad news

falls out of the closet. So, there's going to be more revelations that we don't know about, to which we will find out in the next couple of weeks.

NEWTON: Yes, and we will continue to obviously watch the situation closely, especially now since the government seems to be slightly more

forthcoming about what's going on with their own financial situation. Thank you so much for the update. We will continue to check in.

Venezuela's default, as we've outlined on the show, have been suffering the humanitarian crisis and this will only make things worse, I assure you.

And we have to warn you now, the footage you are about to see from my report a few months ago from a Caracas hospital is disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Davis is in renal failure and needs dialysis to survive. Dialysis that in this hospital that is now compromised by old filters and

contaminated water. He is now suffering from a bacterial infection that his mother Sandra says has spread. There is no replacement catheter or

even a surgical theater to do the procedure. This is Davis as a healthy teenager, now barely recognizable, and clearly in pain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: You know, tragically I have to tell you just a few weeks after we visited that hospital, Davis past away. At the bedside there was Patrick

Gillespie. He was with me, he also continues to follow this story from a financial point of view. And your reporting on this has been brilliant.

In some way, shape or form, you have been preparing for that default for a long time, wondering when it was going to happen.

I think we're all concerned about the shortages you and I saw. What does it mean for things like that? For the fact that when we looked at Sandra,

Davis' mother, she was talking to us about the fact there was no operating theater that was scrubbed and clean, and no catheter.

PATRICK GILLESPIE, CNNMONEY REPORTER: You know, it gives you chills to think that how could this -- how could these shortages get worse, Paula?

The food and medicine that we saw people cueing up for hours outside for just -- to get two bags of corn flour. So, I think a default -- you know,

it goes from an extremely narrow path of food and medicine going into the country to really clamping down and, you know, strangling whatever imports

are going into the country. Because, as you mentioned, investors would have the ability to seize Venezuelan oil, that's the only revenue the

government is making. And then it makes it very difficult for the government to import food and medicine. And really, you know, as one

analyst put it to me, pandemonium breaks out.

NEWTON: Is that a real risk now in Venezuela? I mean, we've often argued that opening the border to Colombia -- it was close and then opened. But

that's been a bit of a lifeline right now. How bad could things get?

GILLESPIE: Well, the U.N. has told Colombia, you should be expecting or you're already getting, and he quote, avalanche of refugees. So, I think

what we're seeing is has been a longstanding kind of slow exodus and that could be exacerbated significantly. But, you know, the question is, how

can these defaults be remedied? Because the U.S. actually made a little more challenging and conflicting. How can these bond-holders negotiate

with government leaders who are sanctioned? It's illegal. So this looks like a very messy path forward, if defaults continue to happen. And at the

end of the line, unfortunately, will be folks like Sandra and other Venezuelans who are suffering in the worst of sense.

NEWTON: Yes, it is unspeakable everything that you and I have seen, especially coming out of a country that has already suffered through so

much. Patrick Gillespie, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Coming up, CNN uncovers the systemic auctioning off of people. Yes, human beings. We have an exclusive report from Libya on the migrants who risked

everything for a better life, now being sold as slaves. That's next.

[16:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: You know, for years migrants crossing the Mediterranean have brought with them stories of absolute horror. Beatings, kidnappings, even

enslavement. Now many of them made those harrowing journeys from west African countries. Those migrants who do make it to Europe are often too

terrified to go on the record about their ordeal. For the last year, CNN has been working to bring some of these stories two light. A CNN team,

correspondent, Nima Elbagir, producer, Raja Razek, and photojournalist Alex Platt, went to Libya to witness the inhumanity, I have to tell you, and

they witnessed it for themselves. There they gained access to a migrant slave auction. Yes, an auction, for human beings, where men were sold like

commodities. I want you now to have a look at their exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A man addressing an unseen crowd. Big strong boys four farm work, he says. 400. 700. 700? 800. The numbers

roll in. These men are sold for 1200 Libyan pounds. $400 apiece. And you are watching an auction of human beings. Another man claiming to be a

buyer. Off-camera someone asks, what happened to the ones from Niger? Sold off, he's told.

CNN was sent this footage by a contact. After months of working, we were able to verify the authenticity of what you see here. We decided to travel

to Libya to try and see for ourselves.

ELBAGIR (on camera): We're now in Tripoli, and we're starting to get a little bit more of a sense of how this all works. Our contacts are telling

us there are 1 to 2 of these auctions every month, and that there is one happening in the next few hours. So, we're going to head out of town and

see if we can get some sort of access to it.

(voice-over): So, safety of our contacts, we have agreed not to divulge the location of this auction. But the town we're driving to isn't the only

one. Night falls. We travel through nondescript suburban neighborhoods, pretending to look for a missing person. Eventually we stop outside a

house like any other. Adjust our secret cameras and wait. Finally, it's time to move. We're ushered into one of two auctions happening on this

same night.

[16:15:00] Crouched at the back of the yard, a floodlight obscuring much of the scene. One by one men are brought out as the bidding begins. 400.

500. 550. 600. 650. 700. Very quickly, it's over. We ask if we can speak to the man, the auctioneer, seen here, refuses. We ask again if we

can speak to them. We can help them. No, he says. The auctions over with we're told. And we're asked to leave.

(on camera): That was over very quickly. We walked in, and as soon as we walked in, the men started covering their faces. But they clearly wanted

to finish what they were doing. And they kept bringing out what they kept referring to in Arabic as the merchandise. All in all, they admitted to us

there were 12 Nigerians that were sold in front of us. I honestly don't know what to say. That was probably one of the most unbelievable things

I've ever seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us take us to our various countries.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): These men are migrants with dreams of being smuggled to Europe by sea. They come in their thousands from Niger, Mali, Nigeria,

Ghana. It's hard to believe that these are the lucky ones, rescued from, warehouses like the one in which we witnessed at the auction. They're sold

if those warehouses become overcrowded or if they run out of money to pay their smugglers. Of these rescued men, so many here say they were held

against their will. It doesn't take us long to find Victor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No food, no water, nothing.

ELBAGIR: Victory was a slave.

ELBAGIR (on camera): We know that some people are being sold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ELBAGIR: Some people are being sold. Is this something you've heard about? Can you tell us about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure. I was sold.

ELBAGIR: Tell us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sold.

ELBAGIR: What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On my way here I was sold. If you look at most of the people here, if you check our bodies you see the marks. They are beaten.

Mutilated. Even their buttonholes they shot up a sharp object. You understand? Most of them lost their lives there. I was there, the person

who came to by me gave them the money. Then they took me home. So, the money isn't even that much.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): Other migrants now start to come forward with their stories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They took people to work by force. Even where we were at the seaside port.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are working. When you're doing their work. They will be beating you. They'll be male treating us.

But I promise you, I will take of your husband.

ELBAGIR: Anas Alazabi is a supervisor here. With no international support, it's his job to look after the captured migrants until they can be

deported. He says every day brings fresh heartbreak.

ANAS ALAZABI, ANTI-ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AGENCY: I'm suffering for them. What I have seen here daily, believe me, it makes me really feel pain for

them. They come on and every story is a special case. Here they were abusing them, they stole their money.

ELBAGIR (on camera): Have you heard about people being auctioned off, about migrants being sold?

ALAZABI: Honestly, we hear the rumors, but there is nothing that is obvious in front of us. We don't have evidence.

ALAZABI (voice-over): But we now do. CNN has delivered this evidence to the Libyan authorities, who have promised to launch an investigation so

that scenes like this are returned to the past. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Libya.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

We thank Nima and Roger and Alex for that very powerful, reporting. As you heard Nima say there, we now have evidence. In addition to alerting the

Libyan authorities, CNN has also passed our evidence on to the office of the prosecutor at the international criminal court.

[16:20:05] Now, as you have heard, tens of thousands of people cross Libya's borders each and every year, and they are risking their lives for

nothing more than the simple concept -- in some cases safety, in others a better life. Now, recently, a crackdown by the Libyan Coast Guard means

fewer boats make it to the water leaving smugglers with a backlog of people on their hands. I'm joined now by the European Commissioner for migration.

Dimitris Avramapoulos, he is in Strasburg. I want to thank you for joining us, especially after having seen that very disturbing report from Nima. I

just want to get your reaction to that.

DIMITRIS AVRAMAPOULOS, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER OF MIGRATION: It is not only disturbing, it is really shocking. The images are appalling. And believe

me, the reality is even worse. Unfortunately, we are all aware of some of these inhumane conditions in Libya and how criminal groups are exploiting

vulnerable people. This cannot continue. And this is, Paula, precisely why the European Union, the international community and countries in the

neighborhood our engaged to solve the situation. Yesterday I was in Bern, where I attended third contact group on the settlement, together with the

ministers of seven African countries of the region and the European countries concerned. As well as our partners from the UNACR, IOM, and the

Red Cross.

So, I can tell you the European Union is working in full cooperation with international partners on the ground, in Libya, exactly because our

priority has always been and will continue to improve the situation and protection of migrants, fight traffickers and smugglers, save lives and

create legal pathways to Europe for those who are in genuine need of international protection. I also met with the Libyan minister of the

interior, who also attended the meeting. And we directed him the need to urgently improve the conditions there and to meet international

humanitarian standards.

NEWTON: You know, I'm glad that you mentioned the smugglers there. And let's face the facts, unfortunately this is a business. And in some cases,

we've heard Nima say that, look, it's easier than smuggling drugs or arms, and in some cases much more profitable. What can the European Union do to

really stop that equation? Because it's the money equation right now that is having so many people suffer through this in Libya and elsewhere.

AVRAMAPOULOS: You're absolutely right. And it's not only the responsibility of the European Union, but the responsibility of the whole

world. What we see on the ground there is affecting directly the whole world. Because the situation in Libya, Paula, let me tell you, is still

chaotic. Unfortunately, the government -- the recognized government does not have full control of the situation there. On the other hand, we have a

number of militia operating totally uncontrolled in this country. So what I told before, we have engaged neighboring countries. We cooperated with

Mali, with Chad and all other countries in the region in order, first of all, to stem the flows, and believe me, all these operations have already,

given concrete examples. We can save more than 315,000 lives, thanks to EU operations sporting the Italian Coast Guard.

On smuggling and trafficking, we see the very ugly reality in your video, and the tackling of this is a priority for us, I can assure you. We have

clear results through our cooperation with Niger, and its government, and police to fight traffickers. I can tell you over 100 suspected traffickers

and smugglers have been arrested so far. The model we expand into other countries is called for by the European Council in October 2017. But lots

of work on many fronts so that people do not fall in the hands of traffickers in the first place. It's a legal way for the one who want to

come to Europe.

NEWTON: It's -- sorry, but is absolutely chilling to hear use say.

AVRAMAPOULOS: I will continue, if I am allowed?

NEWTON: Go ahead.

AVRAMAPOULOS: Yes, thank you. You know what is a settlement. I called for another 50,000 to be placed in the European Union with focus on Africa.

And we have already received more than 34,000 pledges and expect more. Also, this weekend, the first group of 25 of the most vulnerable persons

needing protection were evacuated from Libya to Niger, awaiting their further resettlement. So, the European Union, I want to be very clear on

that, is not fault that as Europe. We are open and hostable. But I have once again to be blunt and clear. The ones that are in need of

international protection will have it. The others have to be returned. And this is one of the major tasks of the European borders and coast guard.

We cooperate with the International Organization for Migration and UNACR.

[16:25:07] This very important international organizations who have a task as an objective to save lives and protect these desperate people. And we

have adopted a policy that it is fully aligned to the best principles and values of the international agreements in the United Nations.

NEWTON: OK. I take you at your word there. I know Europe is doing it best. It's just a highlight. It's an incredible situation that people are

actually spending so much money, because they want to so desperately get to Europe. And we will continue to follow the story in terms of exactly what

you said, ways they can get -- that they think still Ensure a livelihood for their families back home and their safety. I want to thank you for

your comments this evening, appreciate it.

Now, you can read so much more about Nima and her team's exclusive investigation on the modern day slave trade in Libya. I want to assure

you, this is a very complicated issue. You've just seen the tip of the iceberg and heard it for yourself. Go onto the website, go to

CNN.com/Africa.

Coming up, a dramatic day on Capitol Hill. U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is grilled on his knowledge of Russian contacts. Yes, he denies

he lied to Congress while simultaneously backtracking on one key meeting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:30:00] NEWTON: Hello, I Paula Newton. Coming up on the next half hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Donald Trump gives himself a rave review on trade

after his Asia trip. I'll speak to the former Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd.

And a sex trade on Capitol Hill. A CNN investigation uncovers harassment in Washington's quarters of power. First though this a look at the top

news headlines we're following this hour.

U.S. lawmakers held a hearing Tuesday to express concern about President Donald Trump's ability to use nuclear weapons. Now, it's the first

congressional hearing on nuclear authorization in decades. While some Democratic lawmakers question the president's stability, Republicans where

less blunt, but said they were still concerned. The panel warned against any legislative changes.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani visited some of the areas hardest hit by Sunday's earthquake. At least 452 people have been killed and thousands

more injured. Some resident who survived the quake say they're now struggling and are lacking basic necessities like food and water.

Armored vehicles and tanks are reportedly on the streets near Zimbabwe's capital, Harare. Now, this is puzzling. The military says it's a routine

exercise. Zimbabwe's ruling party has accused army chief, you see him there, Constantino Chiwenga, of treasonable conduct. He threatened

military intervention if what he called political shenanigans continued. It came after the president Robert Mugabe fired his deputy last week.

The Spanish Prime Minister says there was an organized effort to spread fake news around the October independence referendum in Catalonia. Now,

Mariano Rajoy says the social media campaign was always against Madrid. And he says 55 percent of the false profiles used to influence voters were

devised in Russia.

And the three U.S. college basketball players arrested in China are expected to return to Los Angeles in just a few hours. They were released

shortly after, the U.S. president asked China's president to help in the case. The trio are accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton

store near their hotel. They are expected to speak to reporters at UCLA on Wednesday.

It was another dramatic day of testimony from U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Now, a House committee has been grilling him now for hours, on

how Russia and WikiLeaks interacted with the Trump campaign. Now, of particular interest though was a key meeting where campaign adviser, George

Papadopoulos, offered to connect then candidate Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin. Now, Sessions now says, oh, yes, he does remember that meeting,

despite previously saying -- under oath, I remind you -- that he had no recollection of that meeting. Now, at the same time, Sessions defended his

previous testimony. Yep, stay with me. Insisting he did not lied to Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I stand by this testimony at the intelligence committee. I have never met with or had any conversation with

any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with the campaign or election in the United States. Further, I have no

knowledge of any such conversations. By anyone connected to the Trump campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: We are covering multiple angles of this story for you. Jessica Schneider is in Washington, and Samuel Burke is in London. Where on

Monday, the British Prime minister also turned her focus to Russia, directly accusing Moscow of peddling their brand of fake news in European

elections. Jessica, first to you. I mean, quite a day. The hearing went on and on and on. But help me out here. Did we really get a better

understanding of what Jeff Sessions knew and how he knew it?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I think we did get a better understanding, Paula. But the problem is that lawmakers, especially

Democrats, are very frustrated and concerned about the fact that we got a clearer picture. So, let me break it down for you. The big laser focus in

this hearing was what Jeff Sessions knew about campaign contacts with Russian officials and when he knew it.

So today, finally, really, for the first time, Jeff Sessions saying in a public forum that, yes, he was aware of that March 2016 meeting that he was

in, where George Papadopoulos pitched that meeting between President Putin and then candidate Donald Trump. Now Jeff Sessions today saying that, yes,

after reading the news reports late last month that George Papadopoulos had pitched this meeting, Jeff Sessions saying, yes, I do remember the fact

that George Petropoulos said this. However, Jeff Sessions saying, I also pushed back on it, telling him not to arrange this meeting. Not to

represent the campaign when it me to discussions with Russian officials.

Now, of course, lawmakers today said, wait up. Hold on a second, attorney general. You said just a month ago that you didn't -- you were not aware

of any contacts between the campaign and Russian officials. That was at a hearing on October 18th, where he said he didn't know of any connections or

any communications. And now, of course, he is saying he do. He does remember that discussion with George Papadopoulos.

Jeff sessions defending it really two ways. He says that he only remembered it, after the news coverage late last month when George

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty. And then Jeff Sessions also saying, I don't really remember the specifics of it. I don't remember exactly what he

said. I don't remember how people reacted. You know, lawmakers, though, not taking kindly on this. But Paula, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he

repeatedly said that he did not lie under oath, and he's calling any criticism or anyone saying he lied -- he's calling them liars. He's

saying, no, I did not lie. So really both sides are pushing on this. But we are getting somewhat of a different story today from Attorney General,

Jeff Sessions -- Paula?

[16:35:00] NEWTON: Jessica, this is what we see in public. Are getting a better understanding on Capitol Hill about what's motivating all of this?

What kind of information are they getting behind closed doors that might bring us closer to some kind of evidence in all of this Russia, whether or

not there was any impropriety between Russia and the Trump campaign?

SCHNEIDER: You've got it exactly right. There are these congressional probes happening on many different fronts here. We've got at least three

different committees who have gone behind closed doors with some of these key players. And, of course, what we just discovered yesterday, that

Donald Trump Jr. had interacted via direct okay message on Twitter with WikiLeaks starting in October -- let's see, during the campaign itself, and

then extending for at least a month or so into the campaign just before the election. So, we know that congressional investigators at least had that

information before it was made public just yesterday.

But there is some question. What exactly do these congressional officials, what do they know, what aren't they telling us? We're getting drips and

drabs of information, Paula. And, of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions today not really helping the case when he does seem to repeatedly

say, I can't recall, and then, of course, later on today, in fact, he says, yes, I do somewhat remember what George Papadopoulos said. But, again, not

giving many details. So, really, a lot of confusion, perhaps, Paula, emerging from Capitol Hill.

NEWTON: Right. Jessica, an ocean away from you is Samuel Burke, who might as well be a planet away right now. We've got Washington denying, or the

Trump -- you know, the Trump affiliates saying look, there is absolutely no Russia meddling here with the campaign. And yet you have Theresa May in

the U.K. calling out Russia and saying you interfered in our electoral process in Brexit. Cut it out.

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, we're at a real turning point on this side of the pond. Not only is it Theresa May saying, Russia, we know

what you're after and you are not going to succeed, also the Spanish government, the defense minister coming out, the prime minister, as you

mentioned, coming out and saying that we believe that there were Russian forces behind some social media activity in Catalonia.

I think what's really interesting here, though, is the fact that some of the evidence we're seeing is now definitive on social media. CNN analysis

found that Twitter accounts, the same accounts that have been linked to Russia that were meddling in the U.S. election via the social networks,

were also meddling, or attempting to meddle here in the U.K.

Let me just show you one example that CNN Money uncovered. We looked at an analysis of these tweets and found that one of the accounts that was

tweeting in the U.S. also put up this -- meaning pro Brexit, they wanted the U.K. to leave the EU. Pro Brexit hash tags, going after the remainers

and going after David Cameron with memes like this.

This one saying, that's hilarious. They actually believe the scaremongering we've been putting out if we leave the EU, the North Sea

will freeze over. It might look like it comes from a native English speaker. But, Paula, these accounts were being pushed by the IRA, the

Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg.

NEWTON: Yes, extraordinary. And if you want to see more of it, go on CNN Money, because you will see for yourself what Samuel has uncovered, which

is the fact these were real ads that people saw. Real things on social media that people could have been persuaded in one way or ether and that's

exactly what Theresa May is calling out for. Samuel in London, Jessica in Washington, thank you both. Really appreciate it.

Coming up on the show, as President Trump returns to the United States, we will speak to Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, about the future

of trade with the United States.

[16:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: U.S. President Donald Trump is returning to the U.S. after a five- country tour of Asia. Now, before leaving the Philippines, the president says the rules on trade have changed. Joining us now from Oxford, Kevin

Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister and President of the Asia Society. In case you didn't know it a big proponent of trade.

Mr. Rudd please tell us, Donald Trump says that now everyone knows these are new rules of the game. Rules that will be more favorable to the United

States. Is he right?

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, the president of the United States has made that statement, I think everyone in the region will

be having their ears tuned to know exactly what that means. In terms of any of the future trade agreements which the United States may wish to sign

with countries bilaterally in the region.

The administration's killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership as far as American participation is concerned. The Japanese have sought to save the

day there by keeping it alive with the other 11 countries which sign an agreement. But I think the real danger for the United States and the rest

of the region is that if America abandons free trade leadership in the region, then other countries will step in including China and Japan as

America steps back.

NEWTON: You know what the criticism, look, America has suffered in certain key manufacturing and export markets. And it is time to take that ground

back, does he have given too much ground. You kind of look at that argument and say, politically, the White House his right. That they can't

have that happen.

RUDD: Well, the key question here is what actually causes the shift in jobs. Most analyses that I have read about the U.S. economy, economies

such as my own in Australia and in Europe, is job changes, job losses, in the creation of new jobs elsewhere in the economy, come about as a result

of changes in technology.

The old days, the old, old days of jobs moving from one part of the world to the other, purely on the basis of cheap labor are rapidly coming to a

close. The other thing I would say, the United States has been huge beneficiary of open markets around the world, as well. And I think it is

very wrong that we sell a message, the American domestic body politic, which says trade equals job loss equals bad, when America has become the

great global economy it has over the last 100 years on the back of trade.

NEWTON: And I want to get to another topic with you, but quickly, TPP minus U.S. why is that significant and can it still happen?

RUDD: It's significant for two reasons. The grouping of the other economies led by Japan is significant itself. And that is, all the work

having gone into this over the last six, seven years of negotiating this free trade agreement amongst a dozen countries

across the region should not be lost. Secondly, if there is a future change in the administration, and there is, an incoming Republican and

Democrat administration, which wants to resume the position it historically had in free trade leadership in Asia, and for that matter in the world,

then it can step back into this agreement. That, I think, is the strategy underling Prime Minister Abe of Japan strong leadership on this question.

NEWTON: OK. Just want to get to what's going on in Australia right now. There is a vote we should know the results -- it is not a plebiscite is

actually a survey. They're garnering opinion on gay marriage in Australia.

We should know the results really in few hours. Could you explain to people -- some people will look at Australia and say, this is a country, a

democracy that has guaranteed inalienable rights for so many decades and has a fine history. Why is this such a contentious issue in your country,

and do have a prediction how it will go?

[16:45:00] RUDD: Well, firstly, it shouldn't be that way. The last election in Australia at the end of 2013, I campaigned then on a proposal

that if my government was returned, we would immediately put legislation into the parliament in order to see the passage of marriage equality

legislation. The conservatives present under Mr. Abbott, campaigned vigorously against it. They won that election.

And so, it's gone on to the back burner now for four years. I think the problem is Mr. Abbott's successor, Mr. Turnbull, also a conservative, has

simply found it too difficult politically within his own party to simply legislate on this question. And

therefore, he needed to go out and as it were consult the people in this large exercise.

What's my prediction in the outcome? I think Australians take these matters pretty seriously. This is a free vote, but based on the data

released nationally, we've had an 86 percent voter turnout in what is a free election. That is, people don't need to vote.

Secondly, in terms of the best analyses from the opinion poll companies asking people how they voted once, they voted, I think we're likely to come

through with a 2-1 turnout in favor of marriage equality. In that last, Australia joins the rest of the Western world.

NEWTON: Thank you so much for putting that in perspective. And, yes, that is a significant turnout at 86 percent. Because unlike your other

elections, you didn't have to go vote this time around. Mr. Rudd, always so good to see you. Appreciate it.

RUDD: Always good to be on the program.

NEWTON: Now, Israel's former foreign minister is calling on the Trump administration to build on progress made under President Obama when it

comes to negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. President Trump says he has maybe the best shot, he figures, to solve the world's

most intractable problem.

Tzipi Livni told me, the United States needs to be more and lawmakers on both sides of the conflict need the courage to negotiate. I asked her if

she's more optimistic now than she was a year ago.

TZIPI LIVNI, FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER, ISRAEL: It depends on the day that you asked me frankly. I am pessimistic because I think for many people, it

is less important in both sides. In politics it is not the major issue anymore. Even though I believe this should be the major issue

And the leaders who make agreements are those believing and understanding that they're going to pay a political price. But the price of not having

an agreement is higher to the wrong people than the political price that they would pay. And frankly, I'm sure that we would find these leaders

now.

NEWTON: Do you see any optimism, though, in terms of what's changed on the Palestinian side, especially with Hamas now finally agreeing that they will

perhaps speak with one voice at the table?

LIVNI: Well, the question is not they will speak in one voice. What would they say in this voice? Because there is a huge difference between the

Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And the right strategy is to make a distinction between them.

Because Hamas represents the religious side of the conflict, there is no hope for peace with them. Because they would never accept the right of

Israel to exist. The real question now when we have this unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah, whether Hamas will take over the Palestinian

Authority or moderates on the Palestinian Authority would take over Hamas and in the voice to be the voice of the Palestinian.

NEWTON: So, you're saying it is not clear yet, because Hamas is making it seem

as if they are capitulating to Fatah in some way.

LIVNI: Yes, but they are not, they are trying to avoid accepting the parameters of the international community. And I believe this is the role

of the international community of the U.S., of Egypt, Jordan, other states that would like to see a more positive peace process and also less

extremism on the Palestinian side.

And Hamas is being supported by Iran we should say. And therefore, I believe that now everything is on the table. It's not clear where this is

going. But as long as the international would say, if the new government wants to get legitimacy of the Palestinians' address and accept the

parameters of the international community as a Government. So, there is an opportunity here, but it is too early to know.

NEWTON: We had eight years of the Obama, we have had nearly one year of the Trump administration. How can they be effective, do you have hope that

they will be, and why?

LIVNI: OK. At first, they said this is a one-track mind about the peace process. And this is something that I hope that Trump would continue. And

do something., because I believe that this represents the interest of Israel. The region.

[16:50:00] And hope in this process we will have also other Arab states supporting the Palestinian making decisions and also creating hope for

Israel is that while making peace, it's a change not only between us and the Palestinians, but it's a strategic change to the region.

Secondly, and you rightly ask because in a way the United States -- I don't want to say left the region, but were less involved in the region. And I

believe the role United States is very important, also now in the region. Don't let each state meet these challenges alone. We can create a camp of

pragmatics against all these terrorists and extremism, and I believe that the United States should be involved more than the U.S. is doing now,

frankly.

NEWTON: You can't say it enough. A tumultuous time in the Middle East. And guess what, Richard Quest has impeccable timing. Because later this

week, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS will be live from Saudi Arabia as the region, as we where is Angus going to a major upheaval.

Richard will be live from Riyadh on Thursday, and Friday at the usual time, right here on CNN. I'll be watching.

Bob Dudley says he isn't expecting a major spike in oil prices any time soon. The CEO of BP, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: The International Energy Agency is warning of a massive sea change, to use the term, in the oil markets. He predicts the U.S. will

shift from an energy importer, this is key, to become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. Now oil was trading around 1.5 percent

lower with Brent crude around $62 a barrel. We have to remind you, that hasn't been seen in quite a while. Bob Dudley says he is expecting oil to

hold steady in the near future. Barring a major geopolitical event. He spoke to are John Defterios about the market.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN MONEY EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Are you thinking we can hold 60 here in 2018 with the conditions you're looking at?

BOB DUDLEY, CEO, BP: I don't know. We'll probably prudently plan 50 to 60. Probably around the 55 mark. We want to keep our discipline, costs,

we've still got to reduce it, we are going to keep the capital discipline and not get exuberant here. Because the price is over 60.

DEFTERIOS: We've seen an eight-dollar spike over the last month or so. How much is this a risk premium? Because of what's happening in Saudi

Arabia, tensions with Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, a very long list here in the Middle East.

DUDLEY: There is a long list that suddenly popped up again, the short- sellers have left the market, I am guessing there is five dollars a barrel in it, for some a sense of the risk premium. I think again get up high

here. The funding will go. The hedging will go on in the shales.

We will see this moderated, So I don't expect this to be a real spike. In the markets itself. Barring some geopolitical event.

[16:55:00] But actually, I've always said were probably in the 50 to 60 rage to the end of the decade. We'll see

DEFTERIOS: One element of that is the OPEC, non-OPEC agreement. Most didn't think it would hold and work, do they need to keep that through

2018, in the big question mark, whether Russia goes in with Saudi Arabia for the longer haul.

DUDLEY: Well, I've been fascinated for the last couple years, reading editorials and, you know, quite serious articles to say OPEC is irrelevant.

I never felt that way, OPEC has done something so unprecedented by not only just working with their own countries. Now they're 24 countries. It does

seem there is cohesion though around this.

When the oil prices are in the 20 and 30s, it creates such economic stress for producing nations, great for consuming nations. Then you can really

get into geopolitical things. Healthy price above 50 is probably good for the world. And I think that's what it looks like they're going to do.

Extend to next year. Although I have no special insight.

DEFTERIOS: It's amazing. You have had a 14 percent surge in last year in production -- 3.6 million barrels day. It's higher than a Kuwait, for

example. And you came back from the dead almost, because of all of the lawsuits and the rest. Can you get up to 4 million barrels, where you were

before the gulf crisis, in your view?

DUDLEY: Well, John, I've always had this phrase, value over volume. So, it's got to be value, not volume. We're not shooting for a production

target. I think we will continue to grow, though. Because we will still have four or five major projects coming on next year, and into the rest of

the -- towards the decade. It just depends on portfolio management, so there will be some things that we may sell, but we will have some growth in

new projects as well. I'm very optimistic about BP towards the end of the decade.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS this evening. I'm Paula Newton in New York. We will be you right back here again tomorrow.

END