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Trump Makes First Statement Since Return From Asia. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 15, 2017 - 15:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani.

Tonight, we begin in Zimbabwe where the military has quietly taken power in an apparent coup. Take a look at this new video.


GORANI: It shows heavy armored vehicles moving around the capital of Harare and South Africa's government says defense officials have arrived in

Zimbabwe for talks with authorities to try and figure out just what is going on in Zimbabwe.

It is still not clear at this stage where Robert Mugabe is. What will happen to him? The only ruler the country has known since it declared

independence 37 years ago. The military says a 93-year-old and his family are safe. It denies carrying out a coup, though, the Americans are saying

it was a coup that was bloodless.

David McKenzie joins me from Zimbabwe's capital with more. What do we know? What is the latest? I understand we are meant to hear from Robert

Mugabe. When is that expected to happen?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've been expecting that for some time now, Hala. So, the big question is where

exactly is the 93-year-old leader. The Southern African authorities saying that he is in detention. That he is safe, but being presumably held in a

secure location.

We think here in Harare, and as you saw from those images, heavily armed APCs, armored personnel carriers, in strategic locations throughout the

capital while that U.S. official might have said this was a bloodless coup, this certainly is a sense of tension across this nation hearing sporadic

accounts of ministry officials and troops beating up people and even rounding them up in Bulawayo, a city to the south of here.

Here in Harare, it is generally calm, but you know, everyone is sort of holding their breath with the leader that has been in power for nearly four

decades and the only real leader that most Zimbabweans have known.

This coup that they are calling not a coup is certainly a massive moment for this country, but it is unclear which way it is going to go from here.

Certainly, the powers in the hands all the troops in the military it appears, not in that of Robert Mugabe.

GORANI: All right. So, what comes next then? The military, obviously, has sent out its vehicles. It's heavy armored tanks in the streets. We

are not sure when or if even we will hear from Mugabe. Who is in charge right now?

MCKENZIE: Well, the military is in charge. The force of the gun is in charge. I mean, though, there has not been much active skirmishes, there

were some explosions according to witnesses earlier this morning in Harare.

But you don't see the police anywhere frankly. It's quite astounding here in the capital, you generally see a lot of police, the traffic cops, that

kind of thing, you are not seeing any police.

Everything is being managed by the military, the state broadcaster is being controlled by the military as is, you know, the functions of the state it

seems. They are clearly negotiations underway.

As you said, the South Africa is sending two cabinet level politicians here to have talks. They arrived just within the last few hours. It is unclear

whether Robert Mugabe is -- if they are trying to find an exit for him.

In terms of this region, though, if something is called a coup and deemed a coup, that means that the regional countries particularly South Africa

might be compelled to intervene even militarily.

That is another reason I think that the Zimbabwe military has been walking this tightrope. You basically having a coup but not wanting to call it


GORANI: David McKenzie in Harare. We are going to keep our eye on what is going on there obviously. So, we'll get back to you once we hear from

Robert Mugabe. It will be interesting to see what he has to say during these tensed times.

To the White House now where we expect a big announcement from the president of the United States this hour. Donald Trump is back from a trip

to Asia and he is promising Americans there will be reaping of benefits of his 12-day tour for years to come.

He is expected to talk about that trip and could have some big news on North Korea and trade, perhaps even the controversial Alabama Senate

candidate, Roy Moore, as well.

Let's bring in CNN political director, David Chalian. It was expected at 3 p.m. this address. It's now at 3:30. David, what's the objective here for

the president after this marathon trip to Asia?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I think first and foremost, the objective here is to tout what he will see as the successes of the

trip. You mentioned trade and North Korea. He is going to claim progress on this in a pretty big way. He has already indicated that on Twitter once

he got home last night.

But of course, the big question hanging over this, is he going to weigh in in that Alabama Senate race, which is in complete turmoil after five women

have come forward and made pretty serious allegations against the Republican candidate, Roy Moore.

[15:05:14] Whether or not Donald Trump wants to see him abdicate his candidacy. Whether or not Donald Trump would like to see his Attorney

General Jeff Sessions, who used to hold that seat form a write-in candidacy to try to supplant more.

We wait to hear from any word of the president on this big huge electoral controversy in the United States.

GORANI: So, David, after 12 days in Asia where he was relatively restrained on Twitter, he got back to his old ways, calling CNN losers and

insulting left, right, and center, people he considers to be his target. Also complaining that the UCLA ballplayers, who were detained in China and

freed thanks to U.S. pressure didn't thank him early enough.

So, we are back to sort of the Donald Trump on U.S. soil it seems in terms of his Twitter communication strategy.

CHALIAN: Yes, I guess, Wi-Fi is more readily available. He clearly was more disciplined while he was overseas. You're absolutely right, Hala, and

you know, I think most noteworthy in that, most instructive about Donald Trump's temperament and personality was to tweet about the UCLA basketball


As you know, they have of course since held a news conference and made a statement and each one of the three young men did indeed thanked President

Trump by name and the U.S. government at large for helping them get out of the situation they've got themselves into.

But the fact that Donald Trump, the president of the United States, was seeking that public recognition, I think tells us that this is a person who

is always going to be seeking credit where he thinks credit is due.

GORANI: All right. And then in terms of obviously, you mentioned Roy Moore, and Roy Moore is interesting because this is Republican candidate

but Republican leaders at the very highest levels essentially want him to step aside.

We even heard from Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and others saying they believe the accusers. So, the Republicans have a problem here on

their hands with this man because if he gets into the Senate, is the calculus that they believe it will hurt them politically with someone like

this, with someone like this obtaining a Senate seat in Washington?

CHALIAN: Yes, a hundred percent correct, Hala. That is exactly the fear among Republicans is that he, Roy Moore, if he is to get elected and be a

sitting United States senator is going to be a chain around the neck of Republicans throughout the entire election of 2018.

Because every day on the campaign trail Republican candidates are going to be asked, why are you serving with an alleged child molester, and so the

idea that they can try to solve this before the December 12th special election is most appealing to Republicans.

But it has already been floated the idea that if he does get elected that perhaps the Senate would vote to expel him from the Senate upending the

decision by Alabama voters.

GORANI: Very interesting. Thanks very much, David Chalian.

As I mentioned to our viewers, we are expecting Donald Trump, the president, to address Americans and reporters from the White House after

his 12-day Asia trip. And we are going to get back to that. In fact, we are going to be speaking to Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida of the

Republican Party for more on what to expect and his reaction to that trip.

Now to news from here in the United Kingdom and scrambling to undo the damage, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met the husband of a

British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran since 2016.

You'll remember just days ago, Johnson's words made Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe situation look a whole lot worse when he suggested she has been teaching journalism in Iran before her arrest. They've always said Nazanin

was there on vacation.

So, this complicated the situation for her because Iran used Johnson's comments to further charges against her. At a press conference on

Wednesday, Richard Ratcliffe said he was deeply worried about his wife's health and said his meeting with Johnson was constructive.


RICHARD RATCLIFFE, HUSBAND OF DETAINED WOMAN: We talked about his trip to Iran. As of (inaudible) he said it's not quite confirmed yet when. We

talked about whether I would be able to accompany him. He said that he would take me, but it is a question to resolve first within the advice of a

foreign office and also in (inaudible) Iranians.

So, that's something that we'll keep for and keep taking forwards and I think it's obviously clear to everyone in this that for me it is very

important to be going on that trip and to be standing alongside the foreign secretary, and I understand (inaudible) is reasonably unprecedented, but I

think is important in our circumstances.


GORANI: Richard Ratcliffe. And you remember on this program, we interviewed Richard Ratcliffe and his hope at the time was and this was

before the Boris Johnson comments that he would able to get his wife and his child back home before Christmas. So, hopefully for him that will


[15:10:08] Now staying in the United Kingdom, extending an olive branch is what the British prime minister appears to be doing. Theresa May needs to

win over members of her party in order to head off a rebellion over her Brexit bill.

Today in Parliament, she hinted that she is listening to their concerns.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: -- we are listening carefully to those who wish to improve the bill and I hope that we can all come together

to deliver on the decision that the country took that we should leave the European Union.


GORANI: Well, Prime Minister May talking about coming together there. That maybe easier said than done because take a look at this "Daily

Telegraph" front page labeling conservative lawmakers from Mrs. May's own party as Brexit mutineers, who are threatening to block her Brexit bill.

She's got her work cut out for her. While Brexit talks are already moving in what seems like a glacial pace and now there's talk with the second pace

of negotiations may be pushed back from its December start date.

A top official in Germany says the U.K. is just not prepared to go on to the next stage. I asked German politician, MEP David McAllister, what

message that sends to Britain.


DAVID MCALLISTER, GERMAN MEP: The next E.U. Summit will take place on the 14th and 15th of December, and then the heads of the E.U. 27 governments

will have to decide if they want to state that sufficient progress has been achieved or not.

In the moment, this sufficient progress certainly has not been made yet and it is up to the U.K. government to deliver in the next few days. The

speech of the prime minister in France a few weeks ago was very important in setting the tone.

The prime minister then said that she would honor all the British commitments as an E.U. member, but we now have to see if the prime minister

can translate this important promise into a firm and concrete commitment. If she does not that then the way is --

GORANI: But it's a commitment to settling the so-called divorce bill, but it sounds like you are saying that moving on to the next phase in December

is rather unlikely.

MCALLISTER: But it really depends what happens in London in the next few days. We are very interested in moving forward. We already losing a lot

of time. The clock is ticking. We would like to start the second phase of negotiations in December, but once again, first of all, we have to resolve

all open questions of the first phase of negotiations and that still has not been achieved. I am very sorry.

GORANI: And you need a number on the final settlement bill, right, the divorce bill. You need a specific number before you move on to phase two,

is that right?

MCALLISTER: I want the U.K. to honor all its financial obligations as a member state. Nothing more but also nothing less, and one thing is clear,

you can leave our club if you want to, but one thing is clear. If you want to leave the European Union, you will have to settle all your financial

obligations. That is common sense.

GORANI: And do we have a number for that from the E.U. side?

MCALLISTER: I do not think it makes much sense discussing figures in the moment because the figure will be a result of the commitment what the U.K.

is ready to deliver then we can start getting our calculators out.

GORANI: Well, already Prime Minister May seemed to have suggested something along the lines of 20 billion, but from what you are saying, it

seems like both you and the U.K. are in two very different pages. Is it fair to say that?

MCALLISTER: Well, we are still apart, but once again the prime minister's speech in France was a major step forward. She made an important promise

in the speech, and if she can now deliver, then I think we will be able to state a sufficient progress, which is required. If not, we will have to

postpone our decision, but we are running out of time and this is not certainly not in the British interest.

GORANI: There were reports a few weeks ago that the European Union, many high-level officials, and you would have heard this as well on your end,

were preparing for a post Theresa May government. In other words, that they believe it is quite possible she will not last for the entire duration

of the talks. Is that the case?

MCALLISTER: Well, I would prefer not to comment on these domestic British issues. Theresa May is the prime minister and as long as she is the prime

minister, she will be treated as a prime minister. What we need in the U.K. is a stable and strong government which can deliver in this crucial

phase of negotiations, that's the most important.

GORANI: But they are not just domestic British politics in this case, this is who your interlocutor will be for at least the next year and a half

possibly much longer as you continue to discuss and negotiate Brexit. Is their contingency plan for a post-Theresa May government?

MCALLISTER: We can't decide who will be the British prime minister in the next one and a half years. We will accept any decision of the British

Parliament and British politics take. What we can do is prepare for possible outcomes if that will be a major step forward in December or not.

[15:15:11] Once again we did not ask for this divorce. The British wants to leave the European Union. We have to accept this, but what we want to

do as a European Union is get this done in an orderly manner without punishing the United Kingdom.

But one thing is also clear, if a country leaves the European Union, it can't be in the same position or even better off than being a member of the

European Union, that is obvious.

GORANI: Do you think Brexit is reversible?

MCALLISTER: I believe Brexit is a historic mistake with terrible consequences for the United Kingdom, but I have to accept this British

decision. If Brexit was reversible? Yes, I would very much welcome, but I strongly believe a European Union with 28-member states including the

United Kingdom is better than the European Union, with 27-member states without the U.K.

But this is up to the British to decide. We will just continue on negotiations in a divorce we did not ask for.


GORANI: David McAllister, German member of the European Parliament. A reminder that we are waiting for Donald Trump to speak. We'll bring you

that when it happens in about 15 minutes. That is when it is scheduled to begin.

But after this break, I'll speaking to a congressman from the president's own party and we'll return to the very fluid situation in Zimbabwe as

armored tanks rolled down the streets of the capital.


GORANI: All right. Well, we are expecting as I mentioned the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to make an address from the White House in

about 12, 13 minutes. That's when it's scheduled to begin, and that is after a 12-day tour of Asia in which the president discussed many topics

from North Korea to trade with the leaders of Japan, of China, and other Asian countries as well.

I'll get some perspective now from a Republican lawmaker, Matt Gaetz, was one of the House Judiciary Committee members, who questioned Attorney

General Jeff Sessions yesterday. Representative Gaetz from Florida joins me now live from Washington. Thanks for being with us.

So, we are hearing from Jeff Sessions many sorts of different stories about what he remembers or does not remember about meetings that happened during

the campaign, especially one in the Trump Tower.

At first, he said he did not remember meeting George Papadopoulos and he said he did, then he said he has to concede that he does after having read

press account that he does remember something being mentioned about Russia. You can see at this point that Jeff Sessions testimony is starting to

become a little bit troubling to you?

REPRESENTATIVE MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: Well, let me provide some context, members of Congress meet with foreign officials, engage in roundtables

multiple times every day, and so, I can understand why the Attorney General might not have remembered a specific person at one of probably many

meetings he had over the course of a day.

It also doesn't sound like Mr. Papadopoulos had a very significant role in the campaign. He was sort of there as an unpaid advisor and so I am not

troubled by it. I think that the Attorney General said what he believed to be true at all times.

[15:20:11] And look, I am a lawyer. I am a litigator. Often times, witnesses have to have their recollection refreshed, and I think that

happened with the Attorney General.

GORANI: And what about these communications between Donald Jr., the president's one, and Wikileaks, and we are not exactly quite sure who was

at the other end of the WikiLeaks Twitter handle. What do you make of what was -- is that something that concerns you?

GAETZ: Well, again, we'll have to see what really results from that. It's hard to really draw nexus between communication with WikiLeaks and any type

of improper collusion with Russia as is been alleged. But, you know, we'll see what information comes out.

I do find it very troubling that the head of Fusion GPS, which was a Democratic Party paid for opposition research entity was meeting with this

Russian operative the day before and the day after she met with Donald Trump Jr.

That is very bizarre to have that type of a connection occurring on either side of that meeting with Donald Trump Jr. may very well have been a setup.

GORANI: OK. What -- can you expand on that? What do you mean a setup?

GAETZ: Well, if Fusion GPS was paid for by the Democratic Party and then maybe the FBI, I mean, it's important to note that yesterday we asked the

Attorney General if the FBI paid for the discredited Fusion GPS dossier on President Trump, and he would not answer the question.

So, that in of itself is troubling, but the fact that the person who is charged with digging up dirt and discrediting the president was meeting

with this female Russian lawyer the day before and the day after her much- publicized meeting with Donald Trump Jr., it seems to indicate that maybe there was a coordinated effort on the part of Fusion GPS to have Donald

Trump Jr. in --


GORANI: And also, we don't know that what you are saying happened, but we do know that Donald Trump Jr. exchanged many, many direct messages on

Twitter with someone acting in the name of WikiLeaks. So, this is something we know and has been admitted to.

GAETZ: Well, we know the meetings occurred with Fusion GPS and this Russian agent, this Russian lawyer. We do not know that it was a set up,

but it certainly looks bizarre to have those meetings occur in such close proximity as it relates to the WikiLeaks communications.

As I have said, I have a hard time seeing what connection that leads back to Russia as is been alleged by some of the folks in the opposition party,

but we'll see as more information comes out.

GORANI: Right, sure. And when you -- what is it then about what you are hearing from Jeff Sessions that maybe has you thinking twice about whether

or not you are getting the full account here.

Because we had a lot of "I do not recall" and a lot of instances in which Jeff Sessions has had to yesterday admit to thinking many times the night

before, and over the last several months, we have heard him change his story as well.

First, on never knowing whether or not anyone from the campaign met with the Russian agent and little by little, pieces of the puzzle coming

together to final admissions that looked very different from his initial declarations. Are you at any -- is there anything about what he said that

is making you think that he is not being entirely truthful?

GAETZ: Well, if your question is whether or not Jeff Sessions perjured himself by knowingly making false statements, I do not see any evidence

that that is the case. I do believe that the Attorney General had to have his recollection refreshed when it came to meetings where people may have

been in and out.

If he described certain conversations that were in passing to provide some context to the Judiciary Committee yesterday, so again, that is not that is

not like unusual for a witness to have their recollection refreshed.

And you know Jeff Sessions was a surrogate for the campaign. He was certainly involved in the campaign. But it's not like the guy who is the

campaign manager who knew every single person and what they were doing and who they were talking to. I think to expect that level of detail, you

know, memory on his part would probably be unreasonable.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Matt Gaetz, a Republican representative from Florida. Thanks so much for joining us from


We want to return you to our top story. The military may be denying it, but all signs showed its taken power in a coup in Zimbabwe. Video, take a

look, is showing heavy armored vehicles moving around Harare, the capital.

And South Africa's government says some of their officials are now in Zimbabwe. They are trying to figure out what is going on and talked with

authorities. And by the way, we still do not know where the country's 93- year-old leader, Robert Mugabe is. He is the only ruler the country has known since it declared independence 37 years ago.

I'm joined from New York by the Zimbabwean author and journalist, Peter Goodwin. He wrote the book, "The Fear About Zimbabwe Under Mr. Mugabe"

along with "When A Crocodile Eats The Son, A Memoir of Africa." Thanks for joining us. What do you think is going on right now in Zimbabwe?

PETER GOODWIN, ZIMBABWEAN AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: Well, as they say, I mean, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a coup.

[15:25:06] I mean, it's a coup in all but name. I mean, when you have a man in army uniform, giving broadcast in the state broadcaster at 4 a.m. I

mean, it is clear, it's a coup. What it is not, though, it is not a classic, sort of West African style coup where the general wants to take

over himself.

What it is, is them intervening politically to favor one candidate over another for the Robert Mugabe succession.

GORANI: So, what happens to Zimbabwe now?

GOODWIN: Well, what I am hearing, and you know, in the immediate aftermath of a coup, there are lots of reports back and forth, and it is very

difficult to confirm any of this is that Mr. Mugabe himself and his wife, Grace Mugabe, who triggered this whole thing are under sort of house arrest

in their official residence while they negotiate with the Army about the terms of retirement, of leaving the country, et cetera.

What will -- you know, they obviously want some sort of free passage or guarantees of safety and that there is that what it looks like is going to

happen is there'll be some sort of a transitional government that will not include the Army directly that will pave the way for new elections.

GORANI: Yes. So, what can we expect free and fair elections in a country like Zimbabwe after 37 years of Robert Mugabe rule and stippled opposition

-- everything that goes along with an autocratic government?

GOODWIN: Forgive me for being a little skeptical, but no, I mean, I suspect that initially what you'll probably hear and if it is (inaudible)

who is the cabinet minister who was until recently Robert Mugabe's vice president.

If he does in fact take over, I think that he will certainly say a lot of moderate words that he will certainly, I was going to say pose as a

reformer, but he will present himself as a reformer, as a technocrat, as an economic stabilizer.

But what actually happens then, you know, after that, as you know, watching this party for 40 years. I think it is unlikely that they will suddenly

have a late onset burst of democratic willpower.

This is a party that has always strived to stay in power. This is not the first time the Army has intervened. I mean, it is the most dramatic time,

but in the 2008 elections, when the opposition MDC won the first round.

General (inaudible) who has conducted this recent coup said in public that he would not stand by and let the opposition takeover Zimbabwe. He would

not allow it. So, it is pretty clear to me that (inaudible) for more interested in power than they are in democracy.

GORANI: Peter Goodwin, thanks very much for joining us for the very latest on dramatic developments in Zimbabwe. We appreciate your time this


And Donald Trump, as I mentioned earlier, is expected to take to the podium in the White House any moment. That live event plus much more news is

still ahead. Stay with us. We'll be right back.


HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: All right. President Trump, as I mentioned, is expected to make a statement any time now. He's

expected to talk about his 12-day tour of Asia, possibly make an announcement. He certainly wants to project, as far and wide as possible,

the message that his trip was a roaring success, that he was able to get good trade deals for Americans and that he was able to also act tough on

North Korea.

I'm joined now by CNN political analyst David Drucker. He's a senior political correspondent for "The Washington Examiner". Larry Sabato is

also with us. He's director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

David, first of all, as soon as he touched ground, Donald Trump, after having been rather restrained during his 12-day Asia tour, immediately

started insulting the press and complaining that UCLA basketball players didn't thank him enough for getting them out of prison in China.


president. So, I guess, we should not be surprised now that he's back on US time, with access to his favorite television networks. He's back in


And I don't think we should be surprised. I think the question over time here is whether the president was able to tangibly improve the US position

geopolitically in the Asia region, which is so crucial both economically and from a foreign-policy perspective.

GORANI: And, Larry, did he manage to achieve that in your opinion? Did he improve things in terms of trade and especially, importantly, North Korea?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Not from what we can see. Now, North Korea is a separate case.

But as far as improving relations with the countries in Asia, I'll tell you what he really accomplished because he has been so unwilling to go along

with agreements that have either already been signed or have been accepted almost unanimously outside the United States, he has actually encouraged

other countries to move along without US participation and leadership.

We are the ones who are worse off. Those countries are working together to do the kinds of -

GORANI: And, Larry, I'm going to jump in because Donald Trump has just walked up to the podium. Let's listen in.


Last night I returned from a historic 12-day trip to Asia. This journey took us to five nations, to meet with dozens of foreign leaders,

participate in three formal state visits and attend three key regional summits. It was the longest visit to the region by an American president

in more than a quarter of a century. Everywhere we went, our foreign hosts greeted the American delegation, myself included, with incredible warmth,

hospitality and, most importantly, respect. And this great respect showed very well our country is further evidence that America's renewed confidence

and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now.

When we are confident in ourselves, our strength, our flag, our history, our values, other nations are confident in us. And when we treat our

citizens with the respect they deserve, other countries treat America with the respect that our country so richly deserves. During our travels, this

is exactly what the world saw -- a strong, proud and confident America.

Today I want to update the American people on the tremendous success of this trip, and the progress we've made to advance American security and

prosperity throughout the year.

When I came into office, our country was faced with a series of growing dangers. These threats included rogue regimes pursuing deadly weapons,

foreign powers challenging America's influence, the spread of the murderous terror group ISIS and years of unfair trade practices that had dangerously

depleted our manufacturing base and wiped out millions and millions of middle-class jobs.

The challenges were inherited, and these products really showed what previous mistakes were made over many years and even decades by other

administrations. Some of these mistakes were born of indifference and neglect. Others from naive thinking and misguided judgment. In some

cases, the negative influence of partisan politics and special interests was to blame.

TRUMP: But the one common thread behind all of these problems was a failure to protect and promote the interest of the American people and

American workers. Upon my inauguration, I pledged that we would rebuild America, restore its economic strength and defend its national security.

With this goal in mind, I vowed that we would reaffirm old alliances, and form new friendships in pursuit of shared goals. Above all, I swore that

in every decision, with every action, I would put the best interests of the American people first. Over the past ten months, traveling across the

globe and meeting with world leaders, that is exactly what I have done.

Earlier this year, in Saudi Arabia, I spoke to the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations about our strategy to defeat terrorists by

stripping them of financing, territory, and ideological support. And I urged the leaders to drive out the terrorists and extremists from their

societies. Since that time, we have dealt ISIS one crushing defeat after another.

In Israel, I reaffirmed the unbreakable bond between America and the Jewish state, and I met with leaders of the Palestinian authority, and initiated

an effort to facilitate lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In Brussels, I urged our NATO allies to do more to

strengthen our crucial alliance, and set the stage for significant increases in member contributions.

Billions and billions of dollars are pouring in because of that initiative. NATO, believe me, is very happy with Donald Trump and what I did. In

Warsaw, I declared to the world, America's resolve to preserve and protect Western civilization, and the values we hold so dear. In Rome, Sicily,

Hamburg, and Paris, I strengthened our friendships with key allies to promote our shared interests of security and prosperity. In September, at

the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, I urged that the nations of the world join in confronting rogue regimes that threaten humanity, and

laid out a model for international cooperation, grounded in respect for sovereignty and the responsibilities that come with it.

On each trip, I have worked to advance American interests and leadership in the world. And to each of these places, I have carried our vision for a

better, a vision for something stronger, and sovereign, so important, sovereign, and independent nations rooted in their histories, confident in

their destinies, and cooperating together to advance their security, prosperity, and the noble cause of peace. It was this same vision that I

carried to Asia two weeks ago. And it was this same commitment to you, the American people, that was always at the forefront of my mind and my

thinking. Our trip was defined by three core goals. First, to unite the world against the nuclear menace posed by the North Korean regime. A

threat that has increased steadily, through many administrations, and now requires urgent action.

Second, to strengthen America's alliances and economic partnerships in a free and open Indo-Pacific made up of thriving, independent nations,

respectful of other countries, and their own citizens, and safe from foreign domination and economic servitude.

And third, to finally, after many years, insist on fair and reciprocal trade. Fair and reciprocal trade. So important. These two words,

fairness and reciprocity, are an open invitation to every country that seeks to do business with the United States, and they are a firm warning to

every country that cheats, breaks the rules and engages in economic aggression, like they've been doing in the past, especially in the recent

past. That is why we have almost an $800 billion a year trade deficit with other nations. Unacceptable. We are going to start whittling that down

and as fast as possible.

With these goals, it was my profound honor to travel on this journey as your representative. I explained to all of the world leaders and across

Asia how well the United States is doing.

Economic growth has been over 3 percent the last two quarters, and IS going higher. Unemployment is at the lowest level in 17 years. The stock market

has gained trillions of dollars in value since my election, and has reached record highs. We are massively increasing our military budget to historic

levels. The House has just passed a nearly $700 billion defense package, and it could not come at a better time for our nation.

Once again, our country is optimistic about the future, confident in our values, and proud of our history and a role in the world. I want to thank

every citizen of this country for the part you have played in making this great American comeback possible.

In Asia, our message was clear and well-received: America is here to compete, to do business and to defend our values and our security. We

began our trip in Hawaii to pay our respects to brave American service members at Pearl Harbor and the United States Pacific Command, the guardian

of our freedom across the Indo-Pacific region.

As our country prepared to observe Veterans Day, we remembered the incredible sacrifices and courage of all of the veterans whose service has

preserved our liberty and a way of life that is very special. We also thanked military families for their support for our brave servicemen and


From Hawaii we travelled to Japan, a crucial U.S. ally and partner in the region. Upon landing in Japan, my first act was to thank the American

service members and Japanese Self-Defense Forces that personified the strengths of our enduring alliance. Prime Minister Abe and I agreed on

our absolute determination to remain united to achieve the goal of denuclearized North Korea.

Shortly following our visit, Japan announced additional sanctions on 35 North Korean entities and individuals. Japan also committed to shouldering

more of the burden of our common defense by reimbursing costs borne by American taxpayers, as well as by making deep investments in Japan's own

military. This will include purchases of U.S. advanced capabilities from jet fighters to missile defense, systems worth many, many billions of

dollars, and jobs for the American worker.

Prime minister and I also discussed ways we can deepen our trade relationship based on the core principles of fairness and reciprocity.

I am pleased that since January of this year, Japanese companies have announced investments in the United States worth more than $8 billion,

17,000 jobs. Thank you.

They don't have water? That's OK.

What? No, that's OK.

Japanese manufacturers, Toyota and Mazda, announced that they will be opening a new plant in the United States that will create 4,000 jobs. We

also signed agreements between our nations to enhance infrastructure development, increased access to affordable energy and advance our foreign

policy goals to economic investment.

From Japan we traveled to another key American ally in Asia, the Republic of Korea. My official state visit to South Korea was the first by an

American president in 25 years. Speaking before the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, I spoke the truth about the evil crimes of the North

Korean regime, and I made clear that we will not allow this twisted dictatorship to hold the world hostage to nuclear blackmail.

I called on every nation, including China and Russia, to unite in isolating the North Korean regime, cutting off all ties of trade and commerce until

it stops its dangerous provocations on -- and this is the whole key to what we're doing -- on denuclearization. We have to denuclearize North Korea.

We have ended the failed strategy of strategic patience, and as a result, we have already seen important progress, including tough new sanctions from

the U.N. Council. We have a Security Council that has been with us and just about with us from the beginning. South Korea agreed to harmonize

sanctions and join the United States in sanctioning additional rogue actors whose fund and funds have helped North Korea and North Korea's nuclear and

ballistic missile programs. It's unacceptable to us.

The United States welcomed the decision of President Moon to remove the payload restrictions on missiles to combat the North Korean threat. And

together, we reaffirmed our commitment to a campaign of maximum pressure. Like Japan, South Korea is increasing its defense contributions. During our

meetings, President Moon acknowledged his desire for equitable cost sharing for the United States military forces stationed in South Korea.

And I visited soldiers at Camp Humphries, a brand new joint American-South Korean base paid for almost entirely by the South Korean government. At

that base, I discussed with the United States and South Korean military leaders both military options and readiness to respond to North Korean

provocation or offensive actions.

During our visit, President Moon and I also discussed America's commitment to reducing our trade deficit with South Korea.

At my discretion and direction, we are currently renegotiating the disastrous U.S.-Korea trade agreement signed under the previous

administration. It has been a disaster for the United States.

Last week, 42 South Korean companies announced their intent to invest in projects worth more than $17 billion in the United States, and 24 companies

announced plans to purchase $58 billion in American goods and services.

From South Korea, Melania and I traveled to China, where as in Japan and South Korea, we were greatly honored by the splendor of our reception. Our

trip included the first official dinner held for a foreign leader in the Forbidden City since the founding of the modern China, where we enjoyed a

very productive evening, hosted by President Xi and his wonderful wife, Madam Peng. During our visit, President Xi pledged to faithfully implement

United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea, and to use his great economic influence over the regime to achieve our common goal of a

denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

President Xi recognizes that a nuclear North Korea is a grave threat to China, and we agreed that we would not accept a so-called "freeze for

freeze" agreement, like those that have consistently failed in the past. We made that time is running out, and we made it clear. And all options

remain on the table.

I also had a very candid conversation with President Xi about the need to reduce our staggering trade deficit with China. And for our trading

relationship to be conducted on a truly fair and equitable basis, we can no longer tolerate unfair trading practices that steal American jobs, wealth

and intellectual property.

The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over.

In China, we also announced $250 billion worth of trade investment deals that will create jobs in the United States.

From China, I flew to city of Da Nang in Vietnam to attend the leaders meeting for APEC, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. There, I spoke to a

major gathering of business leaders, where I reminded the world of America's historic role in the Pacific as a force for freedom and for


Standing on this proud history, I offered our vision for robust trading relationships in which Indo-Pacific nations can all prosper and grow

together. I announced that the United States is ready to make bilateral trade deals, with any nation in the region that wants to be our partner in

fair and reciprocal trade.

We will never again turn a blind eye to trading abuses, to cheating, economic aggression, or anything else from countries that profess a belief

in open trade, but do not follow the rules or live by its principles themselves. No international trading organization can function if members

are allowed to exploit the openness of others for unfair economic gain.

Trade abuses harm the United States and its workers, but no more. No more. We will take every trade action necessary to achieve the fair and

reciprocal treatment that the United States has offered to the rest of the world for decades. My message has resonated. The 21 APEC leaders, for the

first time ever, recognize the importance of fair and reciprocal trade. Recognize the need to address unfair trade practices, and acknowledge that

the WTO is in strong need of reform.

These leaders also noted that countries must do a better job following the rules to which they agree. I also made very clear that the United States

will promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, in which nations enjoy the independence and respect they deserve.

In Vietnam, during a state visit in Hanoi, I also met with President Quang, and Prime Minister Phuc, to discuss the growing friendship between our

countries. Our Vietnamese partners are taking new actions to enforce sanctions on North Korea. In addition, we committed to expand trade and

investment between our countries, and we pledge to address the imbalances. I am particularly pleased that the United States and Vietnam recently

announced $12 billion in commercial agreements, which will include $10 billion in U.S. content.

Finally, I visited the Philippine, where I met with numerous world leaders at the U.S. ASEAN and East Asia Summits. At ASEAN, the Association of

South East Asian Nations, we made it clear that no one owns the ocean. Freedom of navigation and overflight are critical to the security and

prosperity of all nations.

I also met with the Prime Ministers of India, Australia, and Japan to discuss our shared commitment to a free and open Indo- Pacific. During our

visit, President Duterte, of the Philippine, thanked the American people and our armed forces, for supporting the recent liberation of Marawi from

ISIS. We pledged to strengthen and deepen our long-standing alliance.

At the East Asia Summit, the United States negotiated and signed four important leader statements on the use of chemical weapons, money

laundering, poverty alleviation and countering terrorist propaganda and financing. And crucially, at both summits and throughout the trip, we

asked all nations to support our campaign of maximum pressure for North Korean denuclearization.

And they are responding by cutting trade with North Korea, restricting financial ties to the regime and expelling North Korean diplomats and

workers. Over the last two weeks, we have made historic strides in reasserting American leadership, restoring American security and

reawakening American confidence.

Everywhere we went, I reaffirmed our vision for cooperation between proud, independent and sovereign countries. And I made clear that the United

States will be a reliable friend, a strong partner and a powerful advocate for its own citizens. The momentum from our trip will launch us on our

continued effort to accomplish the three core objectives I outlined.

To unite the world against North Korean nuclear threat, to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and to advance fair and reciprocal economic

relations with our trading partners and allies in the region. We have established a new framework for trade that will ensure reciprocity through

enforcement actions, reform of international organizations and new fair trade deals that benefit the United States and our partners.

And we have laid out a pathway toward peace and security in our world, where sovereign nations can thrive, flourish and prosper side by side.

This is our beautiful vision for the future. This is a future where this vision, this dream, is only possible if America is strong, proud and free.

As long as we are true to ourselves, faithful to our founding and loyal to our citizens, then there is no task too great, no dream too large, no goal

beyond our reach.

My fellow citizens, America is back. And the future has never looked brighter. Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of

America, thank you very much. Thank you all.

HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: All right. President Trump, as I mentioned, is expected to make a statement any time now. He's

expected to talk about his 12-day tour of Asia, possibly make an announcement. He certainly wants to project, as far and wide as possible,

the message that his trip was a roaring success, that he was able to get good trade deals for Americans and that he was able to also act tough on

North Korea.

I'm joined now by CNN political analyst David Drucker. He's a senior political correspondent for "The Washington Examiner". Larry Sabato is

also with us. He's director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

David, first of all, as soon as he touched ground, Donald Trump, after having been rather restrained during his 12-day Asia tour, immediately

started insulting the press and complaining that UCLA basketball players didn't thank him enough for getting them out of prison in China.


president. So, I guess, we should not be surprised now that he's back on US time, with access to his favorite television networks. He's back in


And I don't think we should be surprised. I think the question over time here is whether the president was able to tangibly improve the US position

geopolitically in the Asia region, which is so crucial both economically and from a foreign-policy perspective.

GORANI: And, Larry, did he manage to achieve that in your opinion? Did he improve things in terms of trade and especially, importantly, North Korea?

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Not from what we can see. Now, North Korea is a separate case.

But as far as improving relations with the countries in Asia, I'll tell you what he really accomplished because he has been so unwilling to go along

with agreements that have either already been signed or have been accepted almost unanimously outside the United States, he has actually encouraged

other countries to move along without US participation and leadership.

We are the ones who are worse off. Those countries are working together to do the kinds of -

GORANI: And, Larry, I'm going to jump in because Donald Trump has just walked up to the podium. Let's listen in.


[15:56:15] GORANI: President Trump Donald Trump there talking about his 12-day tour in Asia. There was a lot there underlining his accomplishments

in negotiating trade deals and defending America.

Those familiar themes of saying that the US is not disrespected anymore, that with President Trump in charge, it is being finally respected again,

that it will not be taken advantage of in terms of trade.

Also mentioning NATO. It was wide-ranging. It was accomplishments in foreign policy, talking about billions pouring into NATO and talking as

well about how the world is united against North Korea, especially China.

Donald Trump said - he also talked about the Middle East and the fight against ISIS and the Philippines President Duterte - I believe he called

him Duerte at one point - praising his fight against ISIS, in particular.

Our political analyst David Drucker is still with me. He didn't take questions about Roy Moore, which were shouted at him, David, the

controversial Alabama Senate candidate.

What do you make of this speech? It was long. It was detailed. Basically, it's almost like he read a statement prepared by the White House

for him.

DRUCKER: It was almost like a primetime level State of the Union speech, touting the results that he got on this trip. And I think that,

stylistically and substantively, I think his voters - his supporters are going to be very satisfied.

And I think from a policy perspective, there are a lot of Americans that, if you separate this out from Donald Trump, might find a lot in there that

they like.

Don't forget there was a bipartisan consensus in this country, for instance, to get out of the Transpacific Partnership. That wasn't just a

Trump thing.

I think the question for Trump, and only time will tell, is whether he actually achieved anything on this trip, such that he just talked about.

Did he really improve the US position geopolitically vis-a-vis a rising China and did he improve the US position economically vis-a-vis China and

other countries that are now negotiating among themselves in trade pacts? Only time will tell.

GORANI: All right. David Drucker, thanks very much. He also said it was historic. A 12-day tour, the longest by a US president in 25 years. We're

going to have a lot more coverage of the president's speech and all the other big news headlines after a quick break.

I'm Hala Gorani. "Quest Means Business" is next.