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Tillerson: There Are No Preconditions For Talks; E.U. Leaders Agree To Move To Stage Two Brexit Talks; Church Pushes Back On Proposed Celibacy Confession Reforms; New Protests Against Trump's Decision On Jerusalem; Trump: It's A Shame What's Happened With The FBI; Trump Congratulates Murdoch On Fox-Disney Deal; Tech Giants Blast Vote To Roll Back Net Regulations; Mario Batali Fired From "ABC" Amid Sexual Allegations; Michigan Voters Still Hopeful After Flipping State For Trump; Royal Wedding Set For May 19, 2018. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 15, 2017 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.

Tonight, the blame game continues. The U.S. and North Korea accuse each other of escalating tensions and historic meeting at the United Nations.

We get reaction from New York and Seoul.

Also, this hour, days after a defeat in parliament, the E.U. congratulates Theresa May on her Brexit breakthrough, but will she will be successful in

round two?

And Donald Trump vows to rebuild the FBI? He says the bureau's reputation is in tatters. We're live in Washington for the latest.

Our top story this hour, a dramatic day at the U.N. Security Council with both the U.S. and North Korea very much on the defensive. Diplomats from

both countries in the same room at the very same time.

All week, we have been getting mixed messages from the Trump administration on the nuclear crisis. But today, the American secretary of state, Rex

Tillerson said there was no daylight between him and the White House. Tillerson repeated the U.S. was open to talking to the North and suggested

the ball was now in Pyongyang's court.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: With respect to the talks, we are not going to accept preconditions. You heard others have called for freeze for

freeze. We do not accept a freeze for freeze as a precondition to talks. We do not accept any relaxing of the sanctions as a precondition.

We do not accept the resumption of the humanitarian assistance as a precondition to talks. So, we are not going to accept preconditions for

these talks. But as I indicated in my remarks, our communication channels remain open.

North Korea knows they're open. They know where the door is. They know where to walk through that door when they want to talk.


GORANI: Well, our senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski joins me now live from New York. Do the fact that there was a rare face to face

meeting change anything at all?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In the end, no, I mean, there was so much anticipation. The strangeness, first of all, of seeing

Secretary of State Tillerson there. This is the U.N. Security Council. Having a representative from North Korea be there when the subject is all

the problems that North Korea is causing.

So, the big questions we had going in were first of all, what is Rex Tillerson talking about? Does he see there being no preconditions to

sitting down with North Korea or not? We did kind of get an answer to that. That sound that you just played there came from a direct question on


But he was talking about preconditions on the United States that North Korea might demand. He said that the U.S. wouldn't accept any

preconditions, but he didn't really answer the question. He pretty much answered it during his address though.

[15:05:01] Originally, when the State Department released his prepared remarks, he reiterated the confusing language he used only days ago saying

that there were no preconditions, that the U.S. was just ready to talk to North Korea whenever they wanted to.

Now in the same breath as that, both times, he also mentioned things that sounded or amounted to reconditions, but today when he was sitting there,

he took that language entirely out. He did not use the word preconditions at all.

In fact, he said that there would have to be a sustained cessation of North Korea's behavior before the U.S. would talk to North Korea. So, this is

much different in emphasis than we have heard from him over last couple of days.

Of course, the other big question we had was, is there any common ground here? Is North Korea finally seeing some of the same reality the U.S. is?

The answer to that is no. North Korea blamed the U.S. for its continued nuclear activity -- Hala.

GORANI: But what does the U.S. want to get out of this? A freeze of test? Does it want complete denuclearization? What would it consider a success?

KOSINSKI: Ultimately, denuclearization and that was part of the usefulness of this today. I think Secretary of State Tillerson did add some clarity.

I mean, his language is still strangely confusing. It was a little more solid today than some of the back and forth we have heard.

But he did state unequivocally that denuclearization is the only acceptable outcome. So, having that stance, could that ever bring North Korea to the

table? That is what remains to be seen here.

GORANI: All right. That's certainly is the stumbling block out of the gate I think for the North Koreans on this one. Thanks so much for joining

us, Michelle Kosinski in New York.

What about south Korea? CNN's Paula Hancocks has more on what the North Korean ambassador had to say during his rare appearance today at the U.N.

and how others in the Korean peninsula are reacting. She's in Seoul.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, you could say that this is the closest that the U.S. and the Trump administration has got

so far to actually talking to North Korea. You had U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the North Korean ambassador to the U.N., Ja Song Nam,

sitting in the same room.

You had them sitting at the same table. They both listened to the other one as the other one spoke. Neither one walked out in disgust or protest

at what they were saying. That in itself could be seen as progress. They fundamentally disagreed with each other and what they were saying is

nothing new.

You had the North Korean ambassador saying that the reason the North Koreans have this nuclear missile program is because of the United States.

They say it's because they see a hostile policy. They need it for self- defense against the United States.

They also criticized the United Nations Security Council for what they say is playing to the tune of the U.S. by holding this meeting, blaming Japan

as well for holding this meeting. Also saying that they want to discuss what they see as aggressive military drills between the U.S. and South


U.N. Security Council has not taken that on yet and discussed that. Now we did hear the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responding to the North

Korean position. He made a statement earlier in the session, but then responded saying that it's not the U.S. that is to blame.

The only person that is to blame is the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his regime, saying they have to be held accountable. He also had some

criticism for China and Russia and what he sees as not implementing fully those sanctions both China and Russia rejected what he said.

But it potentially could be seen as progress. It's certainly significant, Hala, that the two sat in the same room and listened to each other.

GORANI: Thanks very much, Paula Hancocks is in Seoul.

Twenty seven E.U. leaders have agreed to move to stage two of Brexit talks at a summit in Brussels. It's been -- it has to be said a successful trip

for the U.K. prime minister. The European Council president, Donald Tusk, tweeted his congratulations to Theresa May, but the German Chancellor

Angela Merkel poured bit of cold water on all of that saying that tough talks still lie ahead.


ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We have made quite significant progress. Phase two may now be ushered in, but obviously,

that's an even tougher (inaudible)negotiations than we had up to now. The good news is that all 27-member states so far have put in tremendous

effort, have stood together.


GORANI: For more reaction on the ground, Erin McLaughlin is in Brussels. So, stage two is really trade talks at this point. What is the hope going

forward? I mean, what time line are we looking at now?

[15:10:07] ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, once again, Hala, the E.U. seems to be setting the sequencing and the timing for this Brexit

negotiation with the United Kingdom. The focus of phase two will actually not be trade but rather transition or implementation as the U.K. calls it.

A period of time requested by the U.K. in which essentially the status quo will remain the same. Today, in their guidelines, E.U. 27 leaders really

setting out the terms for that implementation phase aimed at helping businesses acclimate to Brexit, essentially those terms that the U.K. would

have to continue to follow E.U. laws, remain under the jurisdiction of the European courts, pay into the budget but critically lose their seat at the


So suddenly, Brexiteers who have been about taking back control for the U.K. in this process for a finite period of time will have to become rule

takers and rule makers. That will be the predominant focus of phase two. Transition -- excuse me, the future trade relationship, trade will be the

focus of phase three. That's expected to begin in March.

GORANI: OK. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much.

In Australia, shocking report that tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused for decades. Investigators condemned the serious failure

of Australia's institutions to protect its most vulnerable citizens.

Survivors report widespread abuse in churches, schools, orphanages, sports clubs. More than half of those institutions were in Catholic

organizations. Some of the recommendations to identify and punish pedophiles would challenge centuries of church doctrine.

The Catholic church is pushing back on some of the 20 recommendations aimed specifically at the clergy.

Father Edward Beck is a CNN religion commentator. He joins me from New York. So, Father Beck, what are you -- what are some of the

recommendations you think are off the mark?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Well, Hala, two in particular. One is that if something is heard in confession, a pedophile

comes to you and confesses pedophilia, that you have an obligation then to report it to the legal authorities. Of course, that would break the

tradition seal of confession.

A priest is not able to talk about anything under the sacramental seal of confession. You can encourage someone who comes to you to turn themselves

into the authorities. You can talk about what they need to do for repentance.

But the qualifications in a confessional are that somebody come, they are repentant for what they have done for their sin and vowing to try to change

their lives not commit the same sin. Those are the only prerequisites for absolving someone.

You cannot say to them I'm going to call the authorities if you don't go or put those kinds of conditions on confessions. That's first of all.


BECK: Secondly --

GORANI: Can I just ask a question on that particular point? I guess those who will push back against what you said would argue, this is decades of

sexual abuse, that was hidden precisely because there's a system that allows people to remain in the shadows and continue to commit absolutely

horrible crimes against children.

That perhaps this is something we need to look at. That certain crimes are so grave that there at least has be an effort to make sure that they are

stopped. In other words, if someone confesses to a crime like that, there should be some sort of mechanism to make sure that the children are

protected. How do you get there then?

BECK: Well, I would say to you the confessional is not a legal operation. In other words, if a murderer comes to me, Hala -- I have had this actually

and confesses murder, I still can't do anything as far as the legal authorities. I can encourage them to turn themselves in.

I can say, you need to do this for your own health and well-being for those of others, but I cannot force them or I cannot call legal authorities on

them. Now, I can also say the church does not administer about solution forgiveness for you if you are not repentant and not willing to change the


One might make an argument that means addressing this issue in your life in a legal fashion, but that's that person's choice to do that. I cannot be

the one who calls the authorities on it.

GORANI: So, how do you then confront this problem? It's not just in Australia. It's in other countries. These very, very respected

institutions that then emerges down the line that they have had in their midst people who have committed terrible crimes against children and the

people have been protected, have been sent to other places in order to cover up their crimes. How do you address in properly then?

[15:15:10] BECK: Well, you definitely have to have reporting. Reporting is mandatory. We are talking about a confessional. I know of somebody who

is abusing someone or someone comes to me and say they are being abused, I have a legal obligation to report that.

It's rare in a confessional that this is an issue. I have never had this as an in addition my 30-something years of priesthood. You have to

confront it with the obligation to report to legal authorities. Outside of sacramental confession, you do that, not within the sacrament.

GORANI: OK, and then how do you then kind of reform the system, the way that in certain institutions those who are suspected perhaps of acting

inappropriately are managed and dealt with? What is the number one priority there?

BECK: Well, they need to be removed from ministry. They can have no contact children at all. All of their faculties are taken away. Those are

the stipulations that are in progress in effect right now. So, you can't have any access to children. You can't be transferred to another parish.

All of those things structurally have been addressed. Are they always perfectly followed through? Obviously, we have seen no. The

responsibility of bishops to local authorities is to make sure that that happens.

But again, the other thing in the report about celibacy, that Roman Catholic priesthood celibacy is the cause for pedophilia, that's just

nonsensical. We are seeing in this country right now issues of pedophilia especially with bold name faces like celebrities, who are married, who are

certainly not celibate, and they are pedophiles.

So, celibacy does not cause pedophilia. Most pedophilia occurs in families, with brothers, fathers. These are not celibate people. This is

a disease. Now, certainly, you have instances of it with people who are celibate. But there's not a cause and affect there. To say if we get away

from celibacy, we will no longer have pedophilia, that doesn't follow.

GORANI: Father Beck, thanks so much for your time this evening. Appreciate you being on the program.

Still to come tonight, the U.S. president says he wants to rebuild the FBI. We will look at why America's top law enforcement agency is suddenly such a

partisan political issue.

Plus, the backlash from U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Jerusalem. We will bring you up to speed next.


GORANI: Thousands of protesters on the streets in the Middle East. Anger is building up, it seems quite noticeably, over the last few days over

Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Rioters threw rocks. They burned tires. It happened both in the West Bank and in Gaza. Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets, live

ammunition in some cases. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says at least four people were killed and more than 360 others were injured today.

[15:20:11] Thousands of people across Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem protested. Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon,

joins me live from Jerusalem. Are we noticing an escalation in these demonstrations?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly feels that way, Hala, especially if we compare them to what we saw happening last

Friday, for example. There are more people out on the streets. The groups of youth are growing in numbers. The intensity of the clashes is also


But of course, with that, as you were mentioning, we have an increase in those who are being wounded and killed across the Palestinian territories.

Two of those people who were killed, that was in Gaza. One of them was actually a 29-year-old man who was shot in the head. He was disabled. He

had lost both of his legs.

In another incident that took place in the West Bank, it happened in Elvira (ph) and there a young 19-year-old university student went and stabbed in

the shoulder an Israeli border security policeman, and then he was shot, and he later died of his wounds.

The concern, of course, is not just that this kind of violence is going to increase, but where does it all go from here. How do Palestinians on the

street and within the leadership try to capitalize on what they perceive as being this momentum given that no one else has really jumped on this

bandwagon of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Given that they have all of this support coming from various different other Muslim nations who did just a few days ago put out a statement saying

they were going to be recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine.

But there's a sense of uncertainty. There's a sense of trepidation. There's, also, as you can imagine, a lot of anger and confusion. A certain

level of despair as well. People are exhausted here. They're tired of this ongoing cycle.

GORANI: So, I guess the question is, you know, obviously, we're seeing the anger rising. We're seeing more mobilization, more demonstrations. I

remember after that initial declaration by Donald Trump that some people were talking about are there fears of the third intifada, et cetera?

And immediately people pointed at the numbers and said, no, what do you mean? This has nothing to do with what happened twice before in the past.

Is there the possibility that this could really sort of escalate into something that would resemble that type of movement do you think?

DAMON: You know, observers of what's happening here, those who follow this story very closely, will say, look, don't be so quick to judge the numbers

at the very beginning. There has been more than one case in the past where the numbers initially have been slow and then it has grown into something


As recently as last July when there were those protests over the Israeli government's putting of metal detectors at the entrances of the (inaudible)

mosque because of pressure caused by the demonstrations, the clashes that took place, they eventually ended up removing them.

There's also a sense that on a global level, perhaps, the Palestinians are in a position that is more to their advantage than they have been in the

past because there is, they feel a consensus that this decision by the United States was unfair.

There are a number of leaders that are calling it illegal, that it goes against all of the U.N. resolutions that have been put through in the past.

So, they feel as if they can capitalize on a global momentum as well.

The hope, of course, because all they can do at this stage is really hope is that if they are able to mobilize the street in a way that they can

control, in a way to try to keep the violence down, if they're able to mobilize this global support that they have, then maybe they will be able

to end up in a better position at a future negotiating table.

But again, who is going to be mediating those talks? We heard from Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying they would be going to the

United Nations to try to find a mediator or nations that could mediate that are going to be impartial to all of this. But that's also going to be

incredibly tricky to say the least -- Hala.

GORANI: Arwa Damon, thanks very much coming to us live from Jerusalem.

Speaking of Donald Trump, the president appeared at the FBI National Academy this morning. He spoke at a graduation ceremony for law

enforcement trainees. Now when he was at the FBI, he praised the FBI, but he wasn't dishing out praise for the agency earlier in the day. Listen.


[15:25:02] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What we have found and what they have found after looking at this really scam is

they found tremendous -- whatever you want to call it. You will have to make your own determination, but they found tremendous things on the other

side. When you look at the Hillary Clinton investigation, it was -- you know, I've been saying it for a long time. That was a rigged system,



GORANI: Donald Trump. Mr. Trump seems to be echoing a message we are hearing over and over again on conservative media in America right now.

White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, joins me with the very latest. What is behind the strategy coming from the White House, from conservative

media as well to question the integrity and the effectiveness of the FBI in America?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: You are right, Hala. There is a concerted campaign. It's now being led by the president of the United

States, who is building a campaign of pressure against the FBI. This is something that's really quite unusual.

The reason, of course, is that the FBI is part of the investigation under Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the alleged links and collusion between

the Trump campaign and Russia, which has already raised charges against four members of Trump's political team. So, that's the reason this is


It started off about ten days ago in a congressional hearing when Republican congressmen were raising questions about the integrity of the

FBI and the Justice Department investigations. It was taken up by the president at a political rally last week.

It's a constant drum beat on conservative media among pro-Trump conservative hosts. Today, the president took it to another level. He is

really -- it seems trying to discredit the FBI. Sort of shatter the bonds of trust between the FBI and the American people.

Perhaps in the expectation that if Mueller's probe eventually produces results and findings that are detrimental to him, he will be able to

discredit those findings.

GORANI: But it is unusual, I mean, in any sort of more or less open democracy around the world to have the head of state discredit and

criticize his own intelligence agencies. I do wonder if this is having an impact on public opinion. Is it sticking? I mean, are Americans, when

asked, more of them now saying, I don't trust my own law enforcement agencies?

COLLINSON: I think for President Trump, it's a case once again of something we have seen consistently through his administration, which is to

make sure that his base of support is absolutely solid. If he starts to lose his most loyal supporters, if they start having doubts about this

whole Russia issue, then he is in real political trouble.

The more Republicans he can sort of cast or get to cast doubt on the findings, the better for him. I think this is a long game that is going on

in the White House. If Robert Mueller next year comes back and delivers findings to the House of Representatives that said that the president of

the United States should be investigated for possible impeachment.

The president is doing now is building pressure on Republican congressmen so when they have to make that decision about whether they should open

impeachment proceedings against the president, they are hearing from their constituents that this FBI probe and the Mueller probe is not on the level.

Whether it's affecting Americans more generally, I think it's more doubtful given the fact that Robert Mueller is one of the most respected law

enforcement professionals that we have seen in recent years. He was there right after 9/11. He was there for 12 years, an unprecedented length of

time in modern times at least.

So, I don't think it's affecting the wider public opinion. That's not its purpose, if you like, the thing is to sort of raise doubts among the

Republicans and in the grass-roots for an eventual political impact.

GORANI: Stephen Collinson, thanks very much.

Still to come tonight, is it a fairy tale ending for Disney? We discuss the fallout. Mickey Mouse buys the lion's share of 21st Century Fox, big

changes in the entertainment world. We will be right back.


GORANI: The American President Donald Trump is applauding Disney's $52 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox. The White House says the

president congratulated Fox cochairman Rupert Murdoch on the sale.

But big questions remain about the deal such as what role Murdoch's son, James, would play. He's currently after all the CEO of 21st Century Fox.

"CNNMoney" correspondent Hadas Gold joins me now from Washington. I want to ask you just one question about whether or not the Justice Department or

competition authorities or regulatory authorities would have an issue with this deal because this is a horizontal deal, content plus content. It's

not vertical like AT&T and Time Warner. Yet, we're already hearing that the president is congratulating Rupert Murdoch.

What are industry experts making of that?

HADAS GOLD, "CNNMONEY" CORRESPONDENT: So, this would traditionally be, because, as you said, it's a horizontal merger, be something that the

Justice Department would want to take a really close look at how it affects consumers because now Disney will be likely the largest entertainment media

company in the entire world, definitely in the United States. And they're going to control a huge chunk of what we want.

They're going to have a lot of control over certain things, like they could decide that they're going to charge more ESPN or FX. And if Comcast

doesn't agree or a cable company doesn't agree to that, then they just pull it off the air. And what does that do to consumers. So, we will

definitely be keeping an eye on how the Justice Department reacts to it.

But you're right that the president has had a much different reaction to this deal than he did to the AT&T-Time Warner deal.

And this is interesting. Because the president, during the campaign, was very open about how he wanted to bust up all of these what he sort of

called the media monopoly. He said he wanted to make it better for consumers.

But he's reacting differently. And perhaps, it has to do with his friendship with the Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

GORANI: Yes. And James Murdoch, the son, who is the head of 21st Century Fox, if that's being sold and that deal goes ahead, what happens to him

because, for decades, this was a family business. This was a Murdoch family business. He spent his entire life building this empire.

GOLD: Exactly. There was the understanding that eventually Rupert would pass along the company to hi sons, especially James and Lachlan, and that

they would take over the business and keep it going.

But now that seems to be changing. James Murdoch has been talked about potentially getting a senior role at Disney. But when the deal was

announced, Bob Iger said that while James will help them integrate the two companies, a possible decision about a new role had not yet been reached

and that they would be discussing it as time goes by.

Translation, they're going to date for a while and then they're going to see whether they can get married. But right now, there's no official role

for James Murdoch at Disney. And it's not clear whether he would go to Disney, whether he would stay with the new Fox or maybe even venture out on

his own media company.

GORANI: All right. We'll see. Hadas Gold, thanks very much.

Tech giants are vowing to fight a decision to roll back net neutrality rules. The US Federal Communications Commission voted this week to repeal

regulations, which will open the door to Internet service providers to determine pricing and prioritize different types of Internet traffic.

Essentially, that means that an Internet service provider can put a competitor in a slow lane, can charge a lot of money to someone to make

sure they're in the fast lane.

[15:35:10] Firms like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix say it could threaten a fair and open Internet. Independent senator, Bernie Sanders, echoed that



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: A disastrous decision that will impact every American, that will give huge advantages to big corporations over

small businesses, the big media companies over smaller media outlets. And we've got to do everything we can to defeat this thing in the courts and to

beat it legislatively.


GORANI: After the vote, late-night comics explain in their own way what this all means for us, the Internet users.


TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Big news from the FCC. Net neutrality is no more. No? I never know which way you guys are going to


SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": The FCC today voted 3 to 2 along party lines to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. And if

you're not sure what that means, better Google it while you can.

NOAH: If you're watching this show right now online right now, I just want to remind you that that -


NOAH: Pig man.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I just want to say thank you President Trump. Thanks to you and this jackal you appointed to run the

FCC. Big corporations are about to take full control of the Internet. So, Merry Christmas, everybody.


GORANI: All right. We'll have a lot more of the show online,, and check us out on Twitter as well at


Now, the wait is over for all of you "Star Wars" fans. The eighth installment in the main saga is out now. "The Last Jedi" gives us a new

venture in that galaxy far, far away and it's stormed to second highest preview of all time.

By the way, worldwide, the film has already raked in about hundred mil. For more, let's go to CNN's entertainment and media reporter Frank Pallotta

joining me now from New York.

Frank, so have you seen it, first of all?

FRANK PALLOTTA, CNN ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA REPORTER: I did. I saw it on Monday night. It's a really fun movie. It's not like the other films.

You don't have to know necessarily what went on in the films before to really enjoy it. It, obviously, helps. But it's a really fun movie.

There's a lot of laughter. There's a lot of emotion. It's a great chapter in the space saga.

GORANI: OK. And there have been some reviews that have been less charitable than that.

PALLOTTA: Right. Where is the franchise going now based on this?

GORANI: Well, what's really interesting about this is that this is Disney's biggest brand. So, for example, you said that last night was a

huge - was the second biggest, about $45 million domestically for an opening night. That's the second biggest since "Star Wars".

And then, yesterday, it was that huge Fox-Disney deal. And what Star Wars is really a great example of is content that becomes an event.

So, people feel like they have to really go see this movie and be a part of it. And now, we have a prequel coming up in May called "Solo", which is a

Han Solo prequel movie. And then, then we're going to have in 2019, in December, episode nine, the sequel to "The Last Jedi", which kind of is

going to be a bit different with everything that this movie kind of set up or it might actually be very kind of a start of a new trilogy, which

they've also announced.

GORANI: Do they even come up with original stories anymore in Hollywood? It's the sequel and the prequel and any - you know? It's just like - but

it just seems to me like this is becoming - and plus with the new revenue model, a lot of streaming revenue is going to come from this.

It's just become this big Hollywood production model, it seems like. Does it leave any room for the more creative independent voices here?

PALLOTTA: I mean, I think it does. I mean, let's not forget that the original "Star Wars" based in 1977 was based on "Flash Gordon" and a

Kurosawa samurai films. Like, nothing is ever really original. I mean, that's one of the things that makes "Star Wars" really endearing to so many

people, is that it's completely different, but incredibly familiar.

So, I'm not saying that we are going to - that we need "Star Wars 12", as much as I'm a fan, I think that a story should have a beginning, middle and

end. But I think it's a little harsh to kind of go that Hollywood's not making creative films anymore or new films anymore.

This year has shown that with other films like "Get Out" and "Little Bird" who have been very popular movies that were completely original.

And then, you have movies like "Star Wars" that tell a story that have been going on for 40 years.

GORANI: Well, you know - but, Frank, you know what I love to? I love - I think where so much of the creativity is going today is television. I

mean, it's as simple as that.

I have to say the series that we're seeing come out, original series produced by, it has to be said, big names, big organizations like Netflix

and Amazon and the rest of it is where you're seeing a lot of the writing creativity, of new stars, discovering kind of new approaches to

storytelling, which I love. And in my opinion, a lot more than in traditional sort of movie theaters.

[15:40:20] PALLOTTA: Well, this way - you mentioned Netflix. Netflix's two biggest shows, its first biggest show was "House of Cards", which was a

remake of an English TV series. So, that was a complete remake.

And then, "Stranger Things" is just chock-full of nostalgia from the 80s, including Spielberg and Stephen King and "Star Wars."

And so, I mean, everything kind of like -

GORANI: I know. Everything old is new again. I know. And by the way, I would recommend watching "Dark", which is kind of the stranger -

PALLOTTA: I know. That's very good.

GORANI: In German. Watch it. I like "Stranger Things". I'm loving "Dark". I recommend it wholeheartedly. Frank, we'll talk about that

hopefully soon. Thanks for joining us.

Still to come tonight. They flipped Michigan from blue to red. Now, a year later, we find out how Trump voters in that state rate the US

president. Do Trump voters still support Trump? We'll be right back.


GORANI: The chef Mario Batali has been fired from the "ABC" TV show, "The Chew" amid sexual assault allegations, according to a statement posted on

the show's Facebook page.

And "ABC" spokesman said the company takes matters like this seriously and they are committed to a safe work environment.

And back to US politics, President Trump could be days away from signing historic tax reform into law if he can get the votes. CNN's Poppy Harlow

spoke to voters a year after the election about that - about Mr. Trump other campaign promises and whether they still support their candidate.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In a stunning election upset, President Trump did what no Republican candidate has done for decades, he

flipped Michigan from blue to red, helping him synch the 2016 election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think President Trump has done a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has done a very good job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the face of tremendous opposition.

HARLOW: These are the voters who helped President Trump flip Michigan. We met them here just days after President Trump took office.

We came back, nearly a year later, to find out how they think he's done.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An "A" for effort.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A "B" for accomplishment.



HARLOW (on camera): An "A"?


HARLOW (voice-over): Bill Decker owns Lily Ann Cabinets, a sprawling factory in Adrian, Michigan, about an hour-and-a-half drive southwest of

Detroit. Decker is very happy with what he says the president has done for his business.

DECKER: We're growing 25 to 30 percent. So, everything here is well.

HARLOW (on camera): So, you say President Trump gets the bulk of the credit?

DECKER: I would - personally, I would say 99 percent. We doubled down.

HARLOW (voice-over): Doubled down despite major concerns about Trump's threat at the time of tariffs on Chinese goods. Decker imports all of

these cabinets from China.

HARLOW (on camera): You're saying a big reason you can't make these cabinets here, start to finish, is because of all the regulations?

DECKER: Yes, the regulations are both federal and state regulations.

HARLOW: And so, when the president talks about less regulation, less regulation, less regulation, you're sitting over here saying, I want that,

but you don't have that yet in your business?

DECKER: No, we don't. And I think it's going to take time.

HARLOW: You are concerned, is it fair to say, about the president's stance on immigration for your business?



DECKER: A third of the population in Adrian is of Mexican/Hispanic workforces.

HARLOW: You mean fewer immigrants in this country, worse for your business?

DECKER: Worse. Far worse.

HARLOW (voice-over): Decker, like everyone we met here, recognizes the president hasn't achieved many of his major legislative promises yet. No

wall, no Obamacare repeal or infrastructure plan yet. But most don't blame him.

(on camera): Is there anything the president could do that would lose your support?

DECKER: Strange as this is going to sound, I don't think that's possible.

HARLOW: Since NAFTA was signed in the early 90s, Michigan alone has lost more than a quarter of its manufacturing jobs. And the promise you heard

from the president so much on the campaign trail was that he would bring those jobs back. So far, in the last year, though, manufacturing jobs in

this state have barely budged.

(voice-over): But across the country, a different story. More than 170,000 manufacturing jobs have been added so far this year compared with a

loss of 34,000 over the same period last year.

(on camera): You called NAFTA a shakedown.


HARLOW: Of America.

MOCERI: It was.

(voice-over): But for Sal Moceri, a nearly lifelong autoworker at Ford and an immigrant from Sicily, some of the president's promises have come up


(on camera): What grade do you give the president?

MOCERI: Well, right now, I would just give him a "C."

HARLOW: What do you think the president could do to get a higher grade in your book?

MOCERI: Everybody's waiting on the taxes.

HARLOW: It is tax reform for you number one now?

MOCERI: Numero uno.

HARLOW: If tax reform does not happen, does he get your vote in 2020?

MOCERI: No. Simple as that.

HARLOW (voice-over): Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate Sal has voted for, after casting his ballot twice for President Obama.

Now, it's the division he's seeing that brings him to tears.

(on camera): This is really personal for you. I mean you bring up your kids?

MOCERI: I'm afraid. OK? They're not going to have a pension. They're not - they're going to be depending on a government for assistance for

medical, OK? You want your child to be dependent on that? No. You want them to be free and have a future.

It's called the human race, not the Republican or Democrat. It's called HR.

R. EDWARDS: I think President Trump has done a very good job considering the fact that he's had very little, if no, cooperation from Congress.

D. EDWARDS: I think he's done well considering the level of pressure to literally have half of a country so against you.

HARLOW: But didn't President Obama face that same challenge?

D. EDWARDS: No, I don't - I think - you're going to always have those sections that were not going to support Obama no matter what.

HARLOW: Mitch McConnell said, you know, we're going to make him a one-term president.

D. EDWARDS: Well, Mitch needs to retire.

HARLOW: Not a Mitch McConnell fan?


D. EDWARDS: I think that he - Mitch McConnell serves a different agenda. I don't think he serves an agenda that's for America.

HARLOW: Where's the wall?

R. EDWARDS: Well, the wall is going to come. We cannot blame Trump if the wall does not get built because you do have the globalists, like a Mitch

McConnell and many others -

D. EDWARDS: And John McCain.

R. EDWARDS: And McCain and many others who do not like Trump and are willing to put our nation at risk, our sovereignty, and not have the wall

just because they have a personal vendetta against Trump?

HARLOW: You really think that?

R. EDWARDS: Oh, I know that.

HARLOW: Despite the praise we're hearing for the president from these Michigan voters, there's almost universal disappointment about healthcare

reform. Repealing and replacing Obamacare was a signature promise of this president.

HARLOW (voice-over): Ricky Quinn says his healthcare costs are too high.

RICKY QUINN, SECURITY GUARD: About $600 a month. That's what they take out of my pension check.

HARLOW (on camera): For you and your wife?

QUINN: Yes. The healthcare is actually a lot more than that because we pay a ton of stuff out of pocket.

HARLOW (voice-over): He's gone from making $40 an hour as an autoworker just a few years ago to $14 an hour now working as a security guard. It's

the best job he can find at this point, he says.

(on camera): You are counting on the president to get healthcare reform through?

QUINN: Yes, I believe that it should have gotten through. I know it's going to sound like I'm just a 100 percent Trump guy, but that's not the

case. I really don't think it was his fault.

HARLOW: He said, Ricky, day one -

QUINN: He did. That's absolutely right.

HARLOW: It will be so easy. And?

[15:50:02] QUINN: I think he's tried as hard as he can, but when you've got people fighting you like that, I really don't feel like he felt it was

going to be that hard to do and I still think he's going to get it done.

HARLOW: So, does a fix to healthcare mean throw out Obamacare or work to fix some parts of it?

QUINN: It depends. I think you pretty much have to throw almost all of it out. Some of the big things like preexisting conditions need to stay. But

as far as forcing people to buy insurance, I think that's where you're off.

HARLOW (voice-over): Peggy and Jim Stewart have been married for 12 years, but they don't share the same politics. Peggy voted for President Trump.

Jim did not. Both have been hoping for higher wages.

PEGGY STEWART, SECURITY GUARD: I still think he's staying with the agenda and the promises that he gave to us during the campaign, but the fight

against him is just unsurmountable. I never seen any president be so disrespected and fought against as hard as he is.

HARLOW: So, what did Peggy and Jim get? So far, their salary hasn't increased. Their healthcare hasn't changed.

STEWART: They got a man with a spine. That's what I wanted. A man that can think on his own two feet. That's what I like and that's what we're


HARLOW (on camera): Do you not blame President Trump at all for not being able to get any major legislation passed yet?

STEWART: Well, I think his way of speaking to people could have a big difference on it. And his way of saying, well, you're going to do this,

you're going to do that, this is it.

HARLOW: He could do it better?

STEWART: Maybe a little bit more diplomatic in his conversations and his presentations.

HARLOW (voice-over): After voting for President Obama twice, Peggy saw hope in President Trump, but she doesn't want all that he's selling.

HARLOW (on camera): Do you want President Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare?

STEWART: Maybe parts of it.

HARLOW: Not all of it?

STEWART: I do believe there should be a universal medical.

HARLOW: You want universal healthcare?

STEWART: Healthcare.

HARLOW: That's a very liberal position.

STEWART: Well, there's other country doing it and successfully.

HARLOW: Is there anything the president could do to lose your vote?

STEWART: Have bona fide proof that he has allowed Russia to come in and interfere with the election so that he would win against Hillary. That

would very well upset me. I'd feel really stupid after that.

HARLOW (voice-over): One thing just about all of these voters would like to see is the president breakup with Twitter.

MOCERI: He's - please stop tweeting. Please.

HARLOW (on camera): Do his tweets hurt him?

DECKER: I believe they do.

STEWART: And he's tweeting about it. I'm like, why did you even answer that. Come on, Mr. President, I know your mind is busier than that. But

he's himself. And he's different. And I kind of like it that he's different. But I wish he would just not do the playground stuff.

HARLOW (voice-over): They may not like those tweets, but they haven't cost the president the support of many of his voters here who feel like he's

trying for them, if not succeeding for them yet.



GORANI: Well, Britain's Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle have set their wedding day. Joining me now is Kate Williams. She's CNN's

royal historian.

So, announce the date for us please.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: The date is May 19. So, it's a Saturday. That really reflects how Prince Harry is such a royal rebel

because normally royals get married on weekdays.

But this is a Saturday. To account for the fact there is no bank holiday, no national holiday and it means there's going to be the biggest amount of

well-wishers and tourists can go down to be there to try and catch a glimpse of the happy couple.

GORANI: So, this is going to be also a tourist attraction. It will be a moneymaking business. I mean, part of the reason the royal family is so

popular is also because it does attract a lot of attention and money and traffic to this country.

[15:55:07] WILLIAMS: Yes. You're right, Hala. I mean, even though this is supposed to be more low-key than William and Kate, it's going to be just

as much of a media extravaganza. It's going to be in the front of every newspaper and magazine across the world.

Meghan's dress is immediately going to be out there on the - you'll be able to buy it about an hour or two on sort of the Internet. And this is going

to really bring in a huge amount of money to the United Kingdom.

But the problem is, this is Windsor. Windsor is not a huge place. It's not like London. It's actually quite a small town. So, there really are

some big concerns about crowd control, about security, about really how they are going to fit in all these people who want to come down the sunny

May afternoon and watch -

GORANI: So, why did they choose Windsor then?

WILLIAMS: They chose Windsor because, essentially, I think they felt that Prince Harry is not a major royal. He's not the heir to the throne and he

shouldn't have a huge wedding Westminster Abbey.

And it simply also reflects the fact that they want something more low-key.

But the thing is that she's a movie star. He's one of the most popular members of the royal family. And indeed, he's the most popular member of

the royal family after the Queen. Their wedding is gaining this huge amount of attention.

So, the fact is that it's going to be almost impossible to dull the media interest.

GORANI: And it won't compare then in scale to, obviously, the Prince William-Kate wedding?

WILLIAMS: No. I mean, that was - about 30 million pounds was spent on security for that wedding. So, that's a lot.

I mean, we might say, in the different straits that we are now in austerity in Britain, it might be too much.

And the question is whether or not we're going to have cameras inside St. George's Chapel. It's a smaller venue. Seats about 800. Very suitable

for (INAUDIBLE). Are we going to have cameras in there? Because it's not really set up for it. And to be disappointing, I think, if we just get a

glimpse of Meghan and Harry going in and don't see the ceremony.

GORANI: That would be tragic. Thank you, Kate Williams, for joining us.

And thanks to all of you for watching tonight. If it's your weekend, have a great weekend.

I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "Quest Means Business" is up next.