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CONNECT THE WORLD
Social Media Storm; Blame Game; Return To Gaza; NBC, Reason To Believe This Is Not An Isolated Incident; Military Officials Calls Launch A Special Gift For Trump; Trump Jr. To Meet With House Intel Next Week; CNN Team Reflects On Exclusive Story; CNN Returns To Gaza To Report On Border Crossing Opening; Trump Administration Making Cuts To U.S. State Department; Son Of Late Saudi King Released From Detention. Aired at 10:30-11a ET
Aired November 29, 2017 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:15] BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: Shock and dismay as the U.S. President share anti-Muslim videos from a far right British site. We
are in London for the very latest reaction just hours after North Korea launched a missile it says can reach the U.S. Donald Trump is also
continued his attacks on, the media. We look at what leadership in this social media age looks like this hour. Also, modern day slavery in Libya,
but what role and responsibility the west have? And we get back to Italy ambassador in Tripoli just ahead. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is more than a simple gate. It is freedom, opportunity the passage to a better life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Return to Gaza after two years. CNN is at the territory, looking how Palestinian unity will work in practice.
Just after 7:00 in the UAE. Hello and welcome this is "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson for you in Abu Dhabi. We begin this hour with the U.S.
President plunging into a brand new controversy where else but on twitter? Just hours ago Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a leader of
the far right British nationalist group. First. The posts are to put it mildly highly inflammatory. They show Muslims assaulting people and
smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary. Mr. Trump known for retweeting messages he finds favorable to his agenda but ready something as explosive
as he tweets he shed today. CNN Phil Black joins me now from London, Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, Britain first will tell you that they are patriots and Christians, they believe that they love this country
that they love its traditions and values or as they see them, but they believe that these things are under threat notably in their view by
immigration but especially the Islamic faith. They fear, they say the Islamification of Britain. And so that is why they contest elections not
successfully. But it is also why they star themselves as a resistance group, they go on to the streets of Britain and confront Muslims and with
cameras rolling creating aggressive moment indeed its leaders have been charge and being prosecuted for hate speech.
So for all of these reasons, for Donald Trump to promote these videos by retweeting them to his tens millions of followers, it's a pretty
controversial deal. The leader of the -- the deputy leader of this Party who been retweeted in this way, she is has responded by saying God bless
you Trump, God bless you America, but among main street British politicians it is being widely condemned. There are strong calls for the British Prime
Minister Theresa May and her government to condemn Donald Trump for supporting, endorsing these views, this video, this material in this way.
Notably there has been an interesting condemnation from the husband of (inaudible), remember Cox was a labor politician, Member of Parliament who
was murdered, stab and shot multiple times by a far right wing terrorist on the streets of her constituency.
A man who shouted Britain first among other things as he was killing her. Today her husband has tweeted, responded to this saying via twitter to the
President of the United States, Trump has legitimatized the far-right in his own country. Now he is trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has
consequences and the president should be ashamed of himself. Prime Minister May's close constructive relationship with the American President
has always been strongly criticized here, because of his policies and comments something's like immigration and Islam. Of course she has invited
him here for a state visit. That means staying in Buckingham Palace, all the bells and whistles, pumpkin ceremony. There are lot of people who
today, calling again, not the first time but again for that invitation to be rescinded, Becky.
ANDERSON: Phil Black on the story and as that develops, of course we will get you more. Some serious condemnation of this tweets in the states
specifically and we will get to that later in the show, apparently those offensive retweets just weren't enough to satisfy the president's twitter
[10:05:05] He also lashed out again at the media after it was announced, that NBC the network had fired long-time host Matt Lauer for inappropriate
sexual behavior. A veteran journalist has been in the cornerstone of NBC's "Today show." Since being named Kalangka, 20 years ago. CNN media
correspondent Brian Stelter joins us now from New York. And so they fall. What do we know about, what happen by the scenes at NBC?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: The network did this within 24 hours. We know that there was a complaint filed on Monday night and by
Tuesday night Lauer was told he was out. And they announce on the "Today's Show" Wednesday morning, literally invented the idea of morning TV years
ago. And in the last 20 years, Lauer has been the leader of the program, a man beloved by millions and millions of Americans. They turn on their TV
and start their day with him. There has always been in his past, rumors about his relationships with people other than his wife. Is typically
tabloid stuff. Never any allegations of harassment or assault, but that may be changing now. We know that for several weeks the New York Times and
Variety Magazine has been looking in to Lauer's past that prompted by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and then other allegations of powerful men in the
media business and other industries.
When this complain was made HR on Monday night, NBC investigated it, apparently, believe it is accurate and took action against Lauer. The
backdrop is more than one complaint. Backdrop is there have been other women speaking on news outlet about Lauer's alleged misconduct. The
typical part of the situation is that we don't know the details of the allegations. The story against Lauer has not been published yet and Lauer
has not commented yet either. The one thing we do for sure is that NBC is trying to get ahead of this in some way by firing him overnight.
ANDERSON: Reporters you just mentioned there have of course been some strong reactions today to this retweets by Mr. Trump with regard, to anti-
Muslimism group in U.K. Some others, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.'s opposition calling Trump's action a dangerous and a threat to our society.
Former CNN host Pierce Morgan asking the president why he is retweeting videos by a bunch of disgustingly racist, far-right extremists and calling
on Trump to please stop this madness and undo your retweets. Essentially shared by Brexit coordinator. Guy vest of south who also weigh in at
writing deeply wrong of Donald Trump to promote a hate filled messages of British first far right ultranationalist group that threatens violence
against elected. We've been talking about this for weeks. Is there no one close to Donald Trump who can stop him from doing this?
STELTER: I've sometimes joked with my friends that I would be happy to personally proof read his tweets ahead of time. I'll do it for free. On a
serious note, it is shocking that there is no one in the White House that is able to review his messages before they go out, able to literally proof
read them, fact checked them or advise him not to post them. The U.S. President, his behavior on twitter is shows how he really feels. It shows
who he really is. And whether it is tweets of his anti-Muslim video, whether it's tweets about NBC. This morning he is tweeting nasty messages
about executives at NBC the Matt Lauer story it all goes to uncomfortable question that is being said out loud which is the President actually fit
for office? Is the U.S. President healthy enough to be in this office, to be the leader of the free world? I am sitting here saying it to you.
You're sitting over there. It's uncomfortable. It is not something we normally has. It's not something we normally talk about. When you look at
his twitter stream and his stream of consciousness that he is sharing with the world, it's an obvious question. That is why Bob Corker and Jeff Flake
to name two Republican senators have actually brought this up. They brought up his untruthfulness, his dishonesty and whether he is fit for
office. Something that are Democrats are concern about but even some members of his own party, look at the president's tweets and say this is
not a man who is fit to be U.S. President.
ANDERSON: It's shocking.
STELTER: Really is.
ANDERSON: Brian in New York for you. We will move on, because there are stories that clearly the U.S. president should be front and center on his
mind, not least North Korea which is so shattering its silence in a major way. Tuesday the north launched what it called a special gift President
Donald just beneath time to the holidays.
[10:10:02]The north claims the Intercontinental ballistic missile test fires and reach the quote, the whole U.S. mainland. This is the most
advanced missile that it's launched to date. Meanwhile, the U.S. defense secretary acknowledges the North Western program in rapidly becoming more
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY GENERAL: It went higher frankly than obvious shot they've taken in the research and developments. Effort on
their part to continue building ballistic missile that could threaten everywhere in the world basically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: That is pretty frightening stuff. So how did it go? This latest launch had an altitude of at least 4,000 kilometers, according to
Japan, worth noting Pyongyang says it went up nearly 4500 kilometers that went through multiple layers of the earth's atmosphere and soared well
beyond the common line. That represents the boundary between earth and outer space. A man who is a frequent visitor to North Korea, joins me now.
CNN Will Ripley is live from Seoul with more details on this launch. You have been in and out of the country on numerous occasions. You've spoken
to many officials. To a certain extent you had some more than anyone. What is going on here? Just how significant this latest launch?
WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: If you look at what they've accomplished Becky despite unprecedented sanctions they have now launched a
missile 10 times the altitude of the international space station and a brought down in a controlled manner and they're saying that dismissal also
would be kind of missile that could protect a nuclear warhead upon reentry into the Earth's atmosphere which is a critical step in North Korea's
nuclear development and in fact North Korea media put out a statement saying they have accomplished their goal that they have achieved their goal
of becoming a nuclear power, the question now the big question is whether they feel this is enough to prove to the United States and the world they
have this nuclear deterrent or if they're going to take it one step further as they have been saying they are going to do since September when North
Korea's foreign minister talk about the possibility of North Korea detonating a nuclear device over the Pacific Ocean and keep in mind the
contacts us was just days after president from spoke with United Nations General assembly and threatened to totally destroy North Korea. He called
their leader Kim Jong-un rocket man and the response of the North Koreans was predictably furious. However when I spoke with a senior diplomat in
Pyongyang just within the last month Becky, he reiterated that the world should take that threat of an aboveground nuclear detonation the first of
the world to see nearly 40 years he says the world should take that seriously.
ANDERSON: Will Ripley is in South Korea on the story for you. Will, thank you. Some breaking news from the Russia investigation in the U.S. multiple
sources tell CNN Donald Trump Junior has agreed to meet with the House Intelligence community next week now this will give lawmakers their first
chance to ask the president eldest son about his contact with Russia during last year's presidential campaign. Sources say the testimony is scheduled
for a week from today that in December 6. More on that of course and throughout the hours here on CNN next up this hour we are going to show you
the real, real life fall out of US present Donald Trump's tweets. Libyan news outlet, fake news comment. CNN to trade doubt. On CNN's reporting on
slave auction in Libya that is after this.
[10:16:36] ANDERSON: Welcome back. You are watching "Connect the World" just after quarter past 7:00 here from your Middle East programming hub.
I'm Becky Anderson for you every day. Journalist run head first into scenes of despair. We hope our reporting wild make a difference. One
recent CNN report has done just that. Lifting the veil on the underground sale of people, men dehumanized in Libya, reduced only to the price someone
is willing to pay for them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A man addressing an unseen crowd. Big strong voice he said 400, 700, 800 the numbers roll in. This men are sold for 1200
Libyan pounds, $200 apiece. And you are watching an auction of human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, CNN is reporting has prompted calls for change, for legal action, the sanction and for help for people being sold into slavery.
Since we broke the story, people had taken to the streets of Paris, demanding action and the Libyan government has launched an investigation.
Well, that investigation behind that exclusive report started over three years ago. Despite years of working in the field covering countless
humanitarian disasters, my colleague, senior international correspondent was lost for words after she watched men sold for less than the price of a
car. With Max Foster on CNN talk. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just how does somebody do that? I think the one thing that we have all learned in our careers as journalist, people can
talk themselves into doing anything. It is extraordinary the cognitive that the people has somebody use rape is a weapon of war. To dehumanize
someone so these people think strong voice, you dehumanized him, and he is like a horse pulling a cart for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think when you were approaching the auction, they were talking of these people as merchandise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't know what to expect to meet. Do you understand why they would put themselves up as slaves now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- I felt very uncomfortable in the detention center. I felt embarrassed and it became obvious to me that the only
difference me and them is an accident of birth. I was very conscious that hey, they might feel the same thing about me. I can't understand what
motivates people but everyone that I talked - not everyone in the detention center had been through the slave system, they all had this dream coming to
Europe. And for whatever reason.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we first start looking into this for years ago as we were heading this for migrants on arrival in the detention center,
and you know let us face it would like to think where competent in our jobs, you know this was not difficult to hear from people they were scared
to tell the story. So this was a three year process of trying to get people to tell their stories and to trust us. And over the last year when
we really Roger was really kind getting out on the ground we were pushing is full with the migration came and said migrants are telling us that they
were auctioned off from buses and the southern Libyan desert.
[10:20:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like a really basic question, but why aren't they telling the police who would then just go into the market and
close it down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because there is no system at place, I mean right now we got Libya as teenager government is still a country that's recovering
from the events of the past so there is a system in place and when they do round them up, they're still saying that we were talking to them they were
over 200 Libyan death in the illegal immigration and so they were doing all that we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON: In light of the team's piece, has reached the United Nations
following the report from French President Emmanuel Macron requested a meeting of the Security Council to discuss what he calls a crime against
humanity. And U.N. Secretary-General Antonio spoke last week calling for an investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am horrified of news reports and video footage showing African migrants in Libya reportedly being sold as slaves I behold
this acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Slavery
is no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity.
ANDERSON: So Libyan authorities under pressure, how much responsibility do Europeans state have in this matter. This is all essentially a failed
state on the blocks doorstep and the block it seems to rather keep those migrants there than have them travel to Europe. For more let get over to
the Italian ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Perrone he joins is now on Skype from Tripoli. Firstly sir, your response to CNN's reporting on the slave
GIUSEPPE PERRONE, AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA: Becky it's a very appalling scenes that we have seen and they are disturbing to everyone's conscience
absolutely crazy that these things can happen these days. But I have to say I don't know where exactly this footage had been shot. It appears to
in a center that is being held by human smugglers. I think that what this shows what type of sub human phenomenon that human smuggling is. And the
type of abuse that this men perpetrates to this victims, so it really is - we should not forget that the Libya is the victim of this kind of
ANDERSON: The question tonight is how complicit European countries and particularly perhaps Italy is in this systematic abuse that we are seeing.
Listen, multiple source tell me that they are not surprised or not surprised to see this reporting. Donald Trump, of course, has called it
fake news, which is absolute rubbish. Libya is a country with multiple, power base. The Libyan national army now speaking out about this crisis in
a statement to CNN it accuse local gangs who withdrew their legitimacy from the Presidential council in west Libya and other international gangs who
gain humanity by assaulting migrants and violating their safety and health. Italy has been accused of smuggling gangs. Is that true?
PERRONE: Look, we work with the Libyan government, with the government that is legitimate and recognized by the United Nations forces that are
working under its authority. Actually, like you said, in the story, this traffic in the story had been shot within the period of three years, so
this is not new news. This is a piece of news that base back to all dates. This traffic has been going on for some time. I actually would like to
point to the important results that had been achieve to the fact that the Libyan government has committed to the fight against this traffickers.
[10:25:06] ANDERSON: I ask you, it is untrue despite numerous reports that Italy has been cutting clandestine deals with smuggling gangs in
(inaudible) an area for the West of Tripoli is a small patch, I ask you again is that true?
PERRONE: I'm answering you. We are not working with smugglers. We are working with a legitimate (inaudible). The import things we are ones who
not only work with the Libyans, but work to improve the situation of the victims. We are the only ones that allowed yesterday to reach a deal with
the Libyan government to allow UNHR to work in Libya. So that migrants can have the opportunity of actually being assisted and be registered to be
relocated overseas. The Libyan government is a partner in this and we are the only one whose are working I the centers held by the government with
six million euros that have been earmarked in order to improve the situation of migrants and we are the only ones who are working --
ANDERSON: That I understand. Let me ask you this. Would you agree that cutting clandestine deals with smuggling groups who rape and torture men
and women detained in centers who may be part of these -- the running of these slavery markets would be wrong on every level?
PERRONE: Absolutely. We should fight against all smuggling groups. We should fight against them because they are the serial abusers who make
these victims -- these horrified scenes that you showed us. So under any account, Italy is fighting against the smugglers, is working with the
Libyan government to advance this fight, because we should not forget that the main objective of the fight should be the smugglers. We're working
with the Libyan Coast Guard, Libyan Navy with all Libyan authorities that have the opportunity to exercise their authority to on the ground to fight
against these network of smugglers. That is the main concern. The second concern is to work for the improvement of the migrants, of these victims.
And we had seen the results. Lower numbers of people who are caught in this network and you have a better capacity of the government, of the
Libyan government to fight against these groups. Let us not forget that these groups take advantage of the situation of instability. That is why
our main objective is to fight.
ANDERSON: We understand that.
PERRONE: the Libyan government is the victim.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. As are the Libyans in all of this. Sir, can I just put this to you? the E.U. has been lambasted by the U.N. for the suffering
of migrants detained in Libya which human rights chief calls an outrage to the conscience of humanity and he went on to say the increasing
interventions of the E.U. and its member states and many people tell me they are talking Italy there have done nothing so far to reduce the level
of abuses suffered by migrants. He says that according to their monitoring the situation is quickly deteriorating. Isn't it the case that the
international strategy largely led by Italy isn't working and in fact exacerbating the situation?
PERRONE: It's just the opposite. I mean we are not after words or after statements. We're after work. I am telling you what we did. We allow
UNHR to work in Libya. We are working in the migrant centers to improve the situation of migrants. We're partnering with the Libyans to an
investigation and actually repressing these horrific things. And let's not forget one thing that Italy is the only country that receives these
migrants. We are the only ones who save them. Obviously the Libyan coast guard should not be forgotten. In one year this year 2017, 15000 people.
This is a statistic that gets to the news.
ANDERSON: OK. Fantastic. The situation on the ground is a complete mess. Let us have this conversation again.
[10:30:00] Thank you. Still to come tonight for the first time in years, CNN is back in Gaza. And there are fine positive change may finally be on
the way for Palestinians.
ANDERSON: It's after half past 7:00 here in the UAE. If you're just joining us, you are more than welcome. To those of you have been with us,
you know you're watching Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
To a major story now that we are covering this hour. Signs that Gaza's long period of painful isolation may finally be coming to and end.
CNN is back in the Palestinians territory for the first time. And it comes at a critical time. This month a militant group returned control of Gaza's
border crossings with Israel and Egypt to the Palestinian authority.
Now it was a key step in what is this reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah ran because the borders are frequently closed preventing
Palestinians from traveling freely only increasingly difficult conditions they enjoy. Ian Lee joining us now from Gaza City. Good to have you
there, Ian, how is this reconciliation looking?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I have been speaking with both Fatah and Hamas officials and they've express some doubt.
[10:35:00] That will make this December 1st deadline to hand over full civilian control of Gaza from Hamas to the Palestinian authority. Now this
isn't a hard deadline. It was more of an optimistic deadline and they reassure me that there will continue discussing this.
You know, handing over control of the border crossings from Hamas to Fatah, that has proven to be the easy part. Hamas still provide security outside
the gates of those border terminals. The hard part though is handing over full civilian control of this coastal strip from Hamas to the Palestinian
LEE: This is more than a simple gate. It's freedom, opportunity, the passage to a better life. But for many Palestinians, it's still a barrier.
The rough of border crossing with Egypt is Gaza's only gateway to the outside world that avoids Israel. When we visited, it was open for the
first time in months, a sign of success for the reconciliation effort.
An indication of how things have changed here in Gaza, behind me, you have a picture of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Things so haven't
changed too much as below him are Hamas security forces.
Another sign that things are changing only slowly -- tell president there are bribes being paid, this lady shouts. I'm a cancer patient whose been
waiting for more than a year to leave. Where should I bring $3000?
For nearly 30,000 Gazans looking to leave, this sports hall is where to come. Six hundred of them will find out if they're lucky enough to travel
today. Everyone has a story here, a reason to leave Gaza. (Inaudible) has already missed out on two foreign scholarships.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): There is no future in Gaza after university. I want to continue my studies abroad but it never happened
because the border was always closed.
LEE: Five-year-old Yusuf (ph) is an urgent need of life-saving surgery his father tells me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through a translator): I need to go to Egypt to get a liver transplant for son. When he bleeds in front of my eyes, he looks at
me as if I'm God. But he doesn't realize I'm helpless. Emotionally I'm going faster than he is.
LEE: It's not just an open border crossing that Gazans wait for. Government workers want their salaries paid and everyone wants more than
four hours of electricity per day. But Palestinian President Abbas shows no sign of lifting his sanctions. This party Fatah says priority is
forming a new government.
FAYEZ ABU EITA, FATAH SPOKESMAN (through a translator): Everything is going in the right direction and in a positive way but we're seeking to
empower the civilian government first, so that it controls the border, collects taxes and combats crime.
LEE: Hamas militant group that has ruled Gaza for 10 years, says people are getting frustrated.
GHAZI HAMAD, HAMAS DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: They promised, if Hamas dissolve the administrative committee and if the government is importing
Gaza, if the questions are under control, the Palestinian authority, they will start now to life the punishments and to open of course, in normal.
But until now, nothing has done.
LEE: And then there is the issue of Hamas disarmament. The message is one of the fights.
HAMAD: Now I think that the Army -- sorry, the weapons and the resistance is our right as a Palestinian people but now, because we are also under the
occupation, respect is not to free -- Gaza is not free. So I think we have to defend ourselves.
LEE: For Israel watching on, that's a problem. Minister Yuval Steinitz tells me what Israel wants to see.
YUVAL STEINITZ, ISRAEL MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE: First, to condemned the authorization of the Gaza Strip. You know, if not immediately, if it will
take few months or one year to achieve, OK.
But that should be the Palestinians commitment. These are concrete program to dismantle all the rockets and missiles and secondly, Hamas of course
have to recognize this well rightly exists.
LEE: Back at the Rafah Border Crossing, we meet two Gazans lucky enough to leave. Hanan (ph) and her sister are traveling to Egypt to meet their
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a very nice feeling that it's opened and I hope that it is always going to be open, so the Palestinian people can have a
LEE: A better life for Palestinians depends on whether Palestinian factions varied hatchet and if neighboring countries feel inclined to get
LEE: Becky, we're being told that the Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is meeting with other factions right now here in Gaza to discuss moving this
reconciliation process forward.
[10:40:07] We are also told that Egyptian officials are also in Gaza to help out. Egypt has been very instrumental as you know in trying to move
this reconciliation process forward. Becky.
ANDERSON: Ian Lee reporting for you. Thank you, Ian. Live from Abu Dhabi, you are watching Connect the World. Excuse me, I'm Becky Anderson.
Coming up, the top U.S. diplomat defending budget cuts to his own department but Rex Tillerson faces mounting criticism that the State
Department is under attack from within. We speak to former ambassador Ryan Crocker, up next.
ANDERSON: Quarter to 8:00 in the UAE, welcome back. Right now it seems as if so many global conflicts and crises are going nowhere false fast or are
in fact getting worst. Just this hour, we've talked in depth about the increasing concerns around North Korea.
In this region the crisis that is Libya is front and center. You can argue diplomacy is needed more than ever. But in the U.S., there is growing
concern in diplomatic arm of its government is under attack.
And this man is being singled out as part of the problem because of cuts to the U.S. State Department's budget. The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
defends him and said the reasons are because the U.S. is optimistic about conflict being resolved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Part of this bringing the budget numbers back down is reflected over an expectation, and we're going to have
success that some of this conflict varies -- varies. Getting these conflicts resolved and moving to a different place in terms of the counter
support there, we have to get them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Is he serious, you might say. Well, let's bring in Ryan Crocker. He served as the United States ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq,
Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon who recently wrote in the New York Times.
President Trump's draconian budget cuts for the State Department and his dismissive attitude towards our diplomat and diplomacy itself threatened to
dismantle a great foreign service, just when we need it most.
And, Ryan Crocker, joins us from Princeton University in New Jersey. Sir, is America first really American absence at this point?
RYAN CROCKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: Becky, that's exactly what it is. We are crawling back into our shells saying the world's problems are not
ours. We've done that once before after World War I. It didn't work so well. We've got to be encased globally and it is your foreign service who
does that engagement.
[10:45:00] ANDERSON: So you're saying Secretary Tillerson says the reform underwent the State Department is because he expects to have major
successes and several conflict areas.
I wanted to take a look at place in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. currently does not have an ambassador. And the list is quite long.
Saudi Arabia which demonstrated aggressive support to the U.S. president during his visit there earlier this year, Turkey major U.S. NATO ally,
Jordan not to mention Qatar which holds the largest U.S. military base, Egypt's President Sisi who Trump said he is quote, very much behind. Can
you have success without people on the ground?
CROCKER: Well, Becky, absolutely not if -- if these issues are going to be resolved, I would hope the secretary is right about that. It is going to
take a major diplomatic push and we don't have those pushers in senior positions who mentioned Korea.
There is no assistant secretary for East Asia. There is no American ambassador in Seoul. Take Libya there is again, no assistant secretary for
Near Eastern Affairs.
To give this another dimension, it would be kind of like saying well our army really should win this next battle, so what we'll do is we will go
ahead and reduce our force before we attack. It makes absolutely no sense.
ANDERSON: Ryan, do you consider it was a bloated foreign service?
CROCKER: Sorry. Say it again.
ANDERSON: Do you consider that when Rex Tillerson came in, it was a bloated foreign service.
CROCKER: No, I absolutely would not agree with that. Again a military comparison when -- when a change of command occurs, the incoming commander
is there and the outgoing commander is there, there's no gap, and the foreign service routinely gaps positions including ambassadors because we
frankly don't have enough people.
ANDERSON: You have served, as I said earlier as Washington's man on the ground in numerous capital may in his region. Put for yourself in the
shoes, they are not your former colleagues who are still serving. How do you or how do they present America's role in the world when they look like
they are part of a diminishing service?
CROCKER: It's -- it's a great point, Becky, it does not help for the world to perceive that to the U.S. is degrading its foreign service and
disengaging from the international community. Nothing good will become of it.
I'll give you one concrete example of what senior diplomats do you. You and I first met in Pakistan in 2005 right after the Kashmir earthquake.
ANDERSON: All right.
CROCKER: I remember you interviewed me at the -- at the airport there. What I was doing that day was coordinating efforts by our Air Force, our
Army, our Marines, the Pakistanis, other NATO allies, it was the longest and largest airborne relief effort since the Berlin airlift.
We had over 1,000 military personnel in there at the height of it. I was the choirmaster. I -- I was the one who could reach out coordinate work
with every U.S. entity on the ground and also interface with the Pakistani government. We saved thousands of lives but you've got to have senior
diplomats out there who can do that.
ANDERSON: Yes, it was a remarkably effort, I have to say. I remember it well handled airport on the tarmac, remarkable stuff and a great example of
why those on the ground are important. Thank you, sir.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching Connect the World. Coming up, sometimes you can get a get out of jail free card provided of course if you
pay a print breaks free from its gilded cage. How he did it, up next.
[10:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Right. Just before we close out this show tonight, a story for you. One of five star hotel turns into a prison. You might wonder, well,
what is the price of freedom? Well, it seems like Saudi Prince Miteb bin Abdullah was the first to find out.
The prince, son of the late king Abdullah has been freed after agreeing to pay an undisclosed financial settlement reported to be around about $1
billion, to settle corruptions allegations against him.
He is the first among dozens of high-profiled detainees to be released. Well this news go inside this OPEC meeting in Vienna with my colleague John
Defterios is live for us from the scene.
John, a high profile release of Prince Miteb in Riyadh once a contender of course for the throne. Given Saudi's influence at OPEC, if course this
must have been a talk. Does it have any influence on what is taking place?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact, Becky, Prince Miteb is now widely known amongst the 24 members of OPEC and non-OPEC players here
in Vienna this time around. But I think it gives an indication perhaps -- perhaps there's light at the end of the tunnel and it kind of lifts this
cloud that's been hanging over Saudi Arabia.
He almost had like a deer in the head lights impact potentially on investment not only in 2017 but '18, projections of lower growth because of
the crack down on corruption.
And of course, as you suggested here in the lead-in to me, Saudi Arabia and its minister Al-Waleed (ph) had a major players here in Vienna and led this
joint agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
He has a wide port folio of energy industry and mining, a key lieutenant for the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. So this clearly helps give an
indication that Saudi Arabia perhaps is going to close the door with the 200 people in custody right now and able to pay the way out, it does raise
the question of course about due process.
I think we should bring up here, we have very strained relations if well you know between Saudi Arabia and Iran. We have the economic embargo
against Qatar which is better than six month old. This was led by Saudi Arabia.
What's fascinating about OPEC, put those two issues in a different silo if you will, they don't want business to be mixed up of geopolitics,
particularly, regional politics. So far those issues have not spilled into this OPEC -- non-OPEC agreement.
Because they're making a lot of money because of the joint agreement that as some of the ministers come out of this preliminary meeting here in
Vienna right now, Becky.
ANDERSON: So, a year into this Saudi Arabian-Russian let effort then to shore up the market, what is the view on the ground if that continues?
DEFTERIOS: Well, you know, this really boils down to the two major players within OPEC and non-OPEC and that's Saudi Arabia and Russia. Both produce
about 10 million barrels a day.
They have represent 20 percent of global output on the daily basis. But it's the bond between those allies of Saudi Arabia and those (Inaudible) of
Russia here because there is some trepidations.
We've been speaking to a number of different ministers on the ground and the CEO of an energy company as we see some of the ministers coming out and
in fact that's Minister Novak of Russia coming out right now.
Russia is getting a little bit concerned, Becky, that the price has gone above $60 a barrel and with that price rise, we could see demands start to
So we see Russia is showing some trepidation although President Putin suggests that he wants to stay with the agreement. So the status quo would
be nine months until the end of 2018, the price above $60 a barrel which helps the Saudi Aramco IPO.
[10:50:00] And the Omani ministers are part of this meeting behind closed doors. He told me directly, he said look, Russia has to look at the big
picture themselves. In early 2016, we had a price of $26 a barrel.
Six months ago, it was $44 a barrel. Now we're looking at $64 a barrel for the greater good, Russia and Saudi Arabia should stay together so all 24
players stay together here in Vienna for this crucial meeting.
ANDERSON: And, John Defterios, on the ground for you in Vienna. You can always follow the stories as that the team is working on throughout the day
from Saudi's prince is seemingly buying their freedom to the horrific slave auctions happening inside Libya.
That is all on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/cnnconnect. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. From the team here with me in Abu
Dhabi, in Atlanta and in London, thank you for watching. iDesk is up next...