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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Departs Washington Amid Fury Over Book; Trump Slams Tell-All Book As Phony And Full Of Lies; Tillerson: "Never Questioned" Trump's Mental Fitness; Trump Had White House Lawyer Urge Sessions Not To Recuse Himself; "Meltdown" And "Spectre" Affect Different Types Of Chips. Aired 3- 4p ET
Aired January 5, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:18] ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Very good evening to you live from CNN London. I'm Isa Soares sitting in for
Tonight, as the author of a bombshell book says Donald Trump has lost it, his secretary of state is defending his boss in a rare interview right here
Also, ahead, Apple users haven't been spared in the great computer chip debacle. We will tell what you can do to protect your device from prying
Plus, a pretty penny for your cup of coffee. U.S. lawmakers propose a new chart to help cut down on waste.
But first, Donald Trump has left Washington, appearing as if it's business as usual as he heads for a weekend retreat. There's no escaping the
firestorm over a new bombshell book any time soon.
"Fire and Fury" came out today portraying a scathing picture of the Trump administration as well as the president himself. Mr. Trump didn't mention
the book when he talked to reporters on the White House lawn a short time ago as you can see there.
But earlier, he called it phony as well as full of lies. We would should note that some of the author's reporting has been corroborated while some
errors have been identified. We should say that Michael Wolff describes some scenes without directly quoting anyone. His sourcing at times is
rather vague. He is standing by every word. Wolff spoke today with NBC. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the overarching themes is that according to your reporting everyone around the president, senior advisers, family
members, every single one questions his intelligence and fitness for office.
MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR OF "FIRE AND FURY": Let me put a marker in the sand here, 100 percent of the people around him. I will tell you the one
description that everyone gave -- everyone has in common, they all say he is like a child. What they mean by that is he has a need for immediate
gratification. It's all about him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, one thing's for sure, Mr. Trump's effort to stop the publication with a cease and desist letter clearly just didn't work. The
book is flying off the shelves. Not just in the United States. Here's what one buyer said today right here in London.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was delighted when it came out. It seems to be the final -- hopefully the final nail in the coffin. I don't know how many
nails you need. I'm not sure what the inaccuracies are that are going to be entertaining and disturbing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Entertaining and disturbing. There's definitely intense interest in this book, but will there be any significant fallout? Let's bring in
CNN White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, and CNN contributor, Salena Zito. She's a national political reporter for the "Washington Examiner."
Thank you very much for taking time to be here on the show.
Stephen, if I may start with you, President Trump trying very hard in the last 48 hours to discredit and block this book with very little success.
How has this all being received by the White House?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think the White House had a bit of a slow start on Wednesday when the revelations about this book first
started to come out. They seemed they were quite shocked. The book was originally supposed to come out next week.
They got their act together a little bit better now. You have seen allies and friends of Trump fanning out across the television to try and counter
some of the very unflattering pictures of the president, from the podium in the White House, Sarah Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, has been
flailing away at the book.
Basically, trying to pick up on any errors that have been proven to try and discredit the contention of Michael Wolff as a whole. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson in an interview with CNN today, he said that he had not seen any evidence that the president was mentally unfit and wasn't up to the
job, which is the central thrust that's coming out of the Michael Wolff book.
So, I think we don't yet know how deep the political fallout from this will be. It clearly cannot help the president. It's a political disaster in
many ways, but the perceptions of Trump are so set that I'm not sure it's going to budge people who like him and who don't like him. It's very set
in stone in that way.
SOARES: We will have much more on the Rex Tillerson interview you were mentioning. Salena, you know, Donald Trump supporters have seen many media
storm, and their man always seems to come out of this rather unscathed. How is this drama do you think being received by his base really?
SALENA ZITO, CNN COMMENTATOR: You know what, I think Stephen is absolutely correct.
[15:05:02] If you like Donald Trump, this is not going to move you at all. If you didn't like him and it confirms your biases, then you are going to
love it and sort of soak it up with a glass of wine tonight when you are -- after dinner with your friends.
I mean, one of the things that really sort of defined how I think people will see this -- I have talked to a lot of the Trump supporters that I've
interviewed over the past couple of years.
Last night, there were all of these photos of people lined up in Washington to buy the book, right? It's probably not a stretch to say that people in
Washington, D.C. more than likely did not like Donald Trump. I think he lost by 80 points to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
You know, you see them lined up. Now, I would be concerned if I saw people lined up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, or Wisconsin or Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania, those key electoral areas that placed him in office.
You know, I reached out to a lot of Trump supporters before I came on air tonight. Some of them who are mildly supportive of him, some of them who
were very robustly supportive of him. None of them thought that this book would have any sort of impact on how they see him as president and how they
see his successes, which have helped them in their lives currently.
SOARES: You are basically saying this basically does nothing? It changes nothing?
ZITO: Yes. I mean, I would argue -- even before this book came out and even today after the book came out, not much has changed in this country
since November 8, 2016. If you liked him, you are still optimistic and hopeful. If you didn't like him, you still think he is sort of unfit for
the office and does not deserve to be there.
SOARES: Stephen, we heard from the president outside the south lawn about 45 minutes ago. Let's take a listen to what he said and we will talk
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hi, everybody. I'm going over with the senators, we're going to Camp David. We have a lot
of things to work on, a lot of things to accomplish. The stock market is up very, very big today. We have set new records. I think they will be
continued to set.
The tax cuts are really kicking in far beyond what anyone thought. Numerous companies have today come out and announced that they're going to
make big payments to their employees, something that nobody really had in mind.
We're very honored by it, but the market is good. The jobs reports were very good. We think they are going to get really good over the next couple
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: The president speaking earlier, talking about the stock market, hitting 25,000 or so yesterday. Stephen, in terms of long term, let's look
ahead. What does this mean, if anything at all, for the midterms and for the president's political standing?
COLLINSON: That was an interesting encounter on the south lawn of the White House there because it was unusually disciplined by the president.
He basically did what a normal politician would do when there's a storm raging around him. He tried to stick to talking points and stress the more
favorable parts of his political program.
That's unusual. Often you see the president out there and he will start talking with reporters and he will go off on all sorts of tangents and he
will give us enough news to talk about all weekend.
Perhaps that's an indication that the president knows that he has to be disciplined, that he needs to get back to talking about his agenda, the tax
cuts that just passed, some of the issues the Republicans want to tackle in the coming year, welfare reform, for example, reform of social programs.
The problem is we know from experience that this doesn't necessarily last very long. What the book does and the president's reaction to the book and
his explosions on Twitter over this week, it shows how difficult it's going to be for the Republicans in the midterm elections in November to keep the
focus on what they want to keep it on when they have this sort of loose cannon president rolling around the decks creating huge distractions. I
mean, this week the first week of 2018, has been even wilder in many respects than the weeks during his presidency last year.
SOARES: Yes. We are only in week one, aren't we? Salena, what about the Republican Party? I mean, is this creating -- do you think this book can
create a major shift? How bloody do you think it can get?
ZITO: I don't think this book impacts the Republican Party. I mean, the Republican Party is a mess all by itself. This book is not going to change
that so is the Democratic Party.
[15:10:03] Both of these parties are sort of, you know, fractured in all kinds of different ways, little ways that we don't often see in terms of --
if you are talking about Steve Bannon and if there's -- if he had enough sway within the party to take people to his side. I have always believed
that Steve Bannon was overinflated, largely by my profession.
I don't think that he had the sway over the voters that people believed that he did. Then part of thinking that that is what happened, that he had
that was because it was really sort of difficult to understand how Trump won.
I would argue that Trump had -- already had this in the bag. I wrote that in July of 2016 long before Bannon joined the party. Now the Republican
Party does face some challenges going ahead. I can see a scenario where they could lose 40 House seats. I could see a scenario where it remains
I think it's too early to sort of make those kinds of calculations and predictions. But I think that the party needs to sort of, you know, try to
stay on message and work on holding suburban women. That's where Trump's tweets cause him problems.
So that's, I think, who they need to sort of get back on solid ground within the party or within the districts that could be vulnerable in 2018.
SOARES: Well, we definitely saw him slightly more restrained in the south lawn. Let's see whether it applies to Twitter as well. Salena Zito and
Stephen Collinson, thank you to you both. Have a wonderful weekend.
Now, as Stephen was mentioning there, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is opening up about his relationship with President Trump and speaking
directly to CNN's Elise Labott about Michael Wolff's explosive new book.
Elise joins me now live from Washington. With all (inaudible) interview America's top diplomat. Elise, great to see you. In this new book that we
have been talking at great length about, President Trump has been described as child-like, aloof, a man who needs immediate gratification with many
questioning his mental fitness.
What does the secretary of state have to say about the way the president is being described in this book?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, you got to remember, Rex Tillerson is really the cabinet secretary or at least one of
them along with Defense Secretary Mattis, who has spent the most time with President Trump. He is there two to three times a week. He speaks to him
He said the person that was described in Wolff's book is not the person that he knows at all. Take a listen to our conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: Everybody in this book, questions his mental fitness. Have you ever questioned his mental fitness? Describe your relationship with him
because some people would think, through his tweets, it's not a very good relationship.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I've never questioned his mental fitness. I have no reason to question his mental fitness. My relationship
with him -- it's a developing one. I remind people and I think it's well- known, that he and I did not know each other before he asked me to serve as secretary of state. So, we don't have a lot of history. So, part of this
is us knowing -- coming to learn and understand one another.
LABOTT: Reflecting back, what have you learned about yourself and what might you do differently next year?
TILLERSON: You never stop growing as an individual. In terms of what I would do different, I'm going to build on my ability to communicate with
the president better. My ability to communicate with others better. As I said, it's something I had to learn is, what is effective with this
president? He is not a typical as presidents of the past. I think that's well recognized. That's also why the American people chose him. They were
tired of what was being done in the past. They wanted something to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: Secretary Tillerson said that the president he speaks to on a daily basis is engaged. He said it's not always I tell the president what
I think, and he accepts it. It's not always I tell the president what I think, and he bats it down. He said it's a debate, a back and forth which
he says that's the way that it should be.
But certainly, said he found that the president was very engaged and didn't at all see a president that was bored. He said he never walked away from
any meetings with world leaders as claimed in that book.
SOARES: Our viewers will know this, they're very different people, Rex Tillerson and the president of the United States, very different, let's
say, management styles. Has the secretary of state ever doubted his judgment especially when it comes to policy?
LABOTT: Well, look, I think that this is a man who did not live in Washington. He is not a creature of Washington. He was a CEO. He's from
Texas. He is not used to that kind of interagency debate.
[15:15:08] Look, as the top dog -- you know, the CEO of ExxonMobil, he was really the person who had the final word. Here, he admitted, the president
has the final word here and I want to give him my advice. He is learning how to communicate with the president.
I think he realized that he was very reflective in this interview, that he had a little bit of a rocky start getting his footing with the president.
But now, I think he is looking ahead towards 2018. He said reports of his demise in the newspapers are unfounded.
He said the president has never given him any indication that he will be relieved of his duties and that he intends to stay through the year.
SOARES: Fascinating interview. Let me ask you, though, because I know you also spoke to the secretary of state about North Korea and South Korea and
their opening of communications. How does he see this development?
LABOTT: He said it's a little bit too soon to tell. He said, these conversations are mostly about how to navigate the Olympics and how maybe
North Korea could take part in the Olympics and try to have a framework for the months ahead.
But he said it could be an opening with North Korea. He doesn't really know. What I asked him is, was this the product of this pressure campaign?
Is it because Secretary Tillerson has been asking for talks? Is it that the president is talking about his hand on the nuclear button? Is there a
good cop-bad cop situation? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TILLERSON: I think the rhetoric that North Korea understands is, while it's our objective and the president's been very clear, to achieve a
denuclearization through diplomatic efforts, those diplomatic efforts are backed by a strong military option if necessary. That's not the first
The president has been clear that's not his first choice. But it's important that North Korea as well as other regional players understand how
high the stakes are in an effort to ensure our diplomatic efforts are fully supported.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: Now, look, he has a much more moderate view, I think, than someone like Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, who is saying that these talks, we
don't take them seriously between North Korea and South Korea. We don't want to see a pretty picture. We want North Korea to give up its nuclear
weapons before it comes to the table.
Secretary Tillerson is saying, look, that's not realistic. They're not going to give up their whole nuclear program before they sit down. But he
does say that North Korea has to agree that that's the end goal.
So, the mechanics of how that happens and what is negotiated on how it takes place will be decided at actual talks. He said he needs to see a
signal from the North Koreans that they're willing to go down this road. Otherwise, there's no use in talking he said.
SOARES: A softening of sorts there. Elise Labott, great to see you. Thanks very much.
Now to a saga that's just as compelling at any page turner and that is the Russia investigation. CNN has confirmed that Donald Trump asked the top
lawyer in the White House -- you can see there on the left -- to try to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the
For those of you watching outside the U.S., this might seem a bit complex. Here is why it's important. It's a possible example of Mr. Trump seeking
to influence the Justice Department and could open him up to potential obstruction of justice claims.
Our justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider is in Washington with more. Jessica, Jeff Sessions had been on the cross hairs as we know of President
Trump repeatedly. Do bring us up to date with the latest details on whether this helps rebuild a case for obstruction of justice.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa. This is definitely another layer in Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice case.
The first layer was the firing of FBI Director James Comey and whether or not the president was trying to interfere that way.
Now this other layer is the fact that "The New York Times" is reporting that the president did direct Don McGahn to tell Sessions not to recuse
himself from the Russia investigation. Here is how "The New York Times" puts it.
They say the president apparently erupted in anger in front of several White House officials when Sessions did, in fact, recuse himself, since
White House Counsel Don McGahn was unsuccessful in lobbying the attorney general to stay on in overseeing the Russia probe.
So, "The New York Times" does report that the president repeatedly voiced his belief the role of Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, is to protect
the president and that Jeff Sessions, in turn, should be protecting him. Of course, this is a theme that we have seen throughout this Trump
This idea of loyalty and this idea that he expressed recently, just last week in the interview with the "New York Times," that the attorney
general's job is to protect the president. When, of course, many law enforcement officials, we haven't heard directly from Jeff Sessions, but
others, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, also the FBI director, saying that their job is to really protect the Constitution and the
[15:20:03] So, we have seen this time and time again. The president saying that he believes he should be protected. That all of the other executive
agencies, it's their job to protect him. So, really, Isa, this is a very important point for the Mueller probe.
Because not only have they been looking at whether or not the firing of FBI Director James Comey back in May, may have been part of an obstruction of
justice case against the president. But now we know that Mueller has this information, that President Trump specifically directed his White House
counsel, who by the way is really in charge of protecting the office of the presidency, not necessarily the president himself.
The fact that he went to Jeff Sessions and said, don't recuse yourself. This is from direct orders from the president. So, Mueller definitely has
all of this information. This is playing into the investigation, his investigation about whether or not President Trump may have obstructed
justice when he interfered, perhaps, in this Russia probe -- Isa.
SOARES: Of course, Jessica, you know, potentially it's not the crime. It really is the coverup, let's say. For those viewers who have been
following this, it was no secret that the president was livid that Jeff Sessions recused himself. How damaging in this case then, Jessica, is this
for the president? Does this make him vulnerable?
SCHNEIDER: Well, a lot of things the president has done seems to have made him vulnerable, but it really hasn't gotten to the president yet. He
continues to rail on Twitter. He has called Jeff Sessions repeatedly beleaguered. This has been over several months now.
It is true that this new bit of information about the president specifically directing Jeff Sessions through his White House counsel not to
recuse himself, that probably does add another layer of obstruction here.
What's interesting to note, Isa, is that when one of the legal deputies in the White House Counsel's Office, when they were looking into this, into
whether or not the president could sort of play a role in this, whether or not the president could fire the FBI director, they came to the conclusion,
they didn't tell the president this.
But they came to the conclusion that, yes, the president does have the authority to fire the FBI director. They don't -- the president doesn't
necessarily need good cause. It's all kind of uncertain territory here because the president under the Constitution has wide latitude. It's
unclear whether or not Special Counsel Mueller would have a solid concrete case for obstruction of justice. Of course, all of this plays into it --
SOARES: Of course, plenty to watch. Jessica Schneider, thanks very much.
Now, meanwhile, federal authorities are actively investigating allegations of corruption related to the Clinton Foundation, that is the charity of
Bill as well as Hillary Clinton. Prosecutors are looking into whether people who donated to the charity were promised political favors or special
access to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. We will keep on top of that story for you.
Still to come, how a tiny chip inside your smartphone or computer could put your personal information at risk even on an Apple device. What tech
companies are doing about it next. Erin McLaughlin joins me next.
And to the coffee drinkers out there, would you be willing to pay more for your drink if it helped the environment? That's what British lawmakers
want to happen. I will speak to one later in the show.
SOARES: Welcome back. You're watching HALA GORANI TONIGHT with me Isa Soares. Now, Apple says it has started to release software updates to deal
with flaws in computer chips that affect iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. They make the devices vulnerable to hackers. The threats are called
meltdown as well as specter.
Until replacement chips are available, Apple says it's critical for users to update their software to keep their personal information secure. The
problem also impacts Microsoft and Google devices. You can see, it's not a small problem.
Erin McLaughlin joins me now to explain. Break it down if you have an Apple, Mac, Microsoft chips all over our computers. What does this mean?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This potentially impacts devices worldwide. Essentially, there's two categories of flaws here. What's
called the meltdown flaw. That specifically impacts Intel chips. That's what analysts, security experts, they're most concerned about the meltdown
flaw because it's the easiest to exploit.
One researchers telling me all it would take is a hacker to get four lines of code on your device to exploit this flaw and have access to your
personal data. The good news with the meltdown flaw is that the fix is easy. It's as easy as exploiting the flaw and that means a patch.
Microsoft as well as Apple have both released fixes for this that you can download on your phone, computer systems now. That's the meltdown flaw.
The other flaw that has been identified is more complicated, the specter flaw. That has to relate to devices really around the world.
It's complicated because essentially it would be very costly, very time consuming for a hacker to exploit the specter flaw. It's very difficult to
exploit. It's also very difficult to fix. There's no comprehensive pat in place for that specter flaw.
If a hacker wants to exploit it, it would need to target your device specifically. Analysts telling me, researchers telling me that less
concerned about specter. More concerned about meltdown, but there are patches in place for meltdown.
SOARES: For all of us who have -- we all have phones. A lot of us have Apple phones. What do we have to do?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, essentially, I was speaking to one researcher who told me, first of all, don't panic. Second of all, do things that would you
normally do to keep your devices, your computers safe. First and foremost, download the fixes from Microsoft, Apple that are already in place to
address that meltdown flaw.
SOARES: So, you go to their website, find the fixes, download it?
MCLAUGHLIN: Exactly. Like you would an IOS update. The other thing you can do is avoid weird websites. Don't click on strange attachments.
SOARES: The usual?
MCLAUGHLIN: The usual things. Download apps that you know the sources of say from Apple. Use safe and secure applications on your devices so normal
things because in order to exploit these flaws, the hackers need to get the code on your phone.
SOARES: They found these flaws very early on last year. Why is it taking this long?
MCLAUGHLIN: That is a question that really hasn't been sufficiently answered yet. They have been working on these fixes for some time. It was
discovered months ago. They say they were going to announce the fact that they found the flaws in the coming days. It leaked to the press. So, they
announced it days earlier. Researchers telling me, don't panic. There are fixes in place especially for that critical meltdown flaw.
SOARES: Do we know, Erin, whether these vulnerabilities have been exposed already by hackers? I mean, how are we going -- we don't know that.
MCLAUGHLIN: That's an interesting question because so far, what companies are saying, what researchers are saying is that this has not been exploited
to their knowledge. But if a hacker has exploited some of the flaws, they wouldn't know about it either. It's possible it has happened. We just
don't know about it.
SOARES: Erin McLaughlin, thank you very much. I will try not to panic.
Still to come right here, more on the bombshell book full of stunning claims about what's happening inside the White House. Will it tarnish
something very important for the U.S. president, his image?
Plus, this is what parts of the U.S. east coast have looked like over the past 24 hours. Forecasters say more extreme weather is on the way. We
will bring you both of those stories right here on HALA GORANI TONIGHT.
[15:30:00] SOARES: A very warm welcome back. Now, while the furor over Michael Wolff's book swirls around the White House, it is certainly not all
bad news for President Trump, especially when it comes to the economy.
Twenty-four hours after Dow hit 25,000 new job numbers show the US added 2 million jobs in 2017; 148,000 came in December. That is actually below
what economists were expecting, but it's still the 87th straight month of gains.
Unemployment stays at 4.1 percent, matching the lowest level in 17 years. Hence why heard the president earlier at the South Lawn really talking
about those numbers and focusing on the economy instead on the book that is behind me.
Well, President Trump clearly wants the economy to dominate the headlines, but this bombshell book is overshadowing, let's say, almost everything else
Some of the allegations are a very personal affront to Mr. Trump, making a mockery of his intelligence, motivations, even his eating habits.
For a man who is very concerned about his image, that surely has to hurt. But do average Americans really care about these salacious claims, as we
know Mr. Trump has weathered so many storms before and emerged virtually unscathed.
Let's ask a former senior adviser to Trump campaign, Jack Kingston was also a Republican member of Congress. Jack, thank you so much for taking the
time to speak to us here on the show.
I want to start off with this book because this is a damning book, a bombshell, if you can call it that. So, how damaging is this to the
president, to a president, let's say, who cares immensely about his image?
JACK KINGSTON, FORMER REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well, I think certainly the president and the White House team, including
people like me who have been part of the campaign, I think we care, but we also realize that these sort of things do happen in Washington DC.
It's not literally a 48-hour story, but it's really not a long-lasting story. Certainly, not as much as the economy and the numbers that you just
all recited in terms of the growth of the stock market and low unemployment rates.
But I think that anytime somebody on the inside does a kiss and tell, it's curious and is certainly all presidents are subject to this sort of thing.
There was "Primary Colors." There was "Blood Sport". There was "Clinton Cash", all about the Clinton team.
And those things, the Republicans love. In this case, the Democrats are going to love it and make a lot out of it, but they do come and go. And I
think that's the good news. And, unfortunately, I think Steve Bannon ends up looking worse than the president does.
SOARES: Well, let's focus on the president for the time being. We'll get to Steve Bannon in a minute because I know you're saying this is short soap
opera in many ways, but the premise of the book is a White House in crisis, driven by a man who is mental stability is in question according to this
Isn't the president, you think, drawing more attention to the book by tweeting nonstop about it? Isn't this what you can call PR malpractice if
you've ever seen it?
[15:35:08] KINGSTON: I think he is. There's no question about it. He's helping Mr. Wolff sell books. But, unfortunately, the president does that.
He does engage in these sideshows, and that's been the habit of his. He doesn't abandon the bigger picture of dealing with terrorism and the
economy and, in this case, the pending budget question, but he doesn't mind getting involved in some of these food fights.
But I think, in this case, it's so personal, coming from Steve Bannon as probably the main source. I actually did talk to the former communications
spokesman Sean Spicer last night. And he said, Mr. Wolff did not have the access that he claims he has.
And, in fact, in the beginning of the book, he has this very long convoluted statement about who his sources are and a lot of it is second
and third hand.
But the way it's written, you would think he was right there 24 hours a day in the West Wing. And so, it's a good read, but I don't think it's an
SOARES: How does Sean Spicer describe it from your conversation with him, Jack?
KINGSTON: He said everybody comes in and they want to write a book about the White House. I think, in this case, it was supposed to be about the
first 100 days and then it changed to something completely different.
But you don't say, heck, no, we don't want anybody writing books. You have to deal with them. But, in this case, Sarah Huckabee actually pointed out
yesterday, there was something like 20 to 30 declinations in terms of his request to interview key people, including the president himself. The
president never talked to Mr. Wolff.
Sean was saying, this guy really - he says he talked to 200 people. Well, he can talk to 200 people, but not necessarily inside the White House. But
no author is going to admit that he wasn't quite there.
I know as somebody who campaigned for the president, it was often easy for people like me to claim we were closer to the epicenter than we actually
were because we did know certain things and there were those times when we were, but I don't believe on a day-to-day basis Mr. Wolff had merely the
access that he's claiming he had.
SOARES: And then, also many people who Mr. Wolff spoke to who said he quoted them exactly spot on, word for word. So many people taking
You're mentioning Steve Bannon there. And what we have seen in many ways is the immediate fallout, is his isolation. What do you think this means
KINGSTON: I think it hurts him because he's coming off that Alabama race. He took great pride in claiming that he was the key to Roy Moore's victory
in the primary. And Roy Moore turned out to be a disastrous candidate in the general election.
And so, Steve Bannon owns the Roy Moore election, or lack of election, therefore, the defeat in Alabama. And so, he really needed something to
kind of rebuild his credibility with the Republican base and the Republican activists.
And by attacking the commander-in-chief, you don't accomplish that. Trump remains enormously popular with the Republican base.
But also, another value of all bases, Democrat or Republican, is loyalty. And when you do something like this to the man who actually put you on the
map and made you famous, it shows what's wrong with your own character.
SOARES: Well, we heard so much about loyalty throughout this book. And, Jack, I want to change tack somewhat because we know that federal
authorities are now investigating allegations of corruption related to the Clinton Foundation.
I want to play out what one CNN legal analyst had to say about the White House's motives and how they could become a problem. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think from a law standpoint, that which is most troublesome for me is it appears that the White House is
directing the Justice Department to investigate a specific individual or organization and that is problematic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't just appear. The president is doing it on Twitter. He's saying it explicitly.
ZELDIN: Well, he can say all he wants on Twitter. But if the Justice Department is, in fact, acting on those Twitter rants, that's problematic
because you're not supposed to do that.
There are clear boundaries between what the White House should do, what the Justice Department should do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Jack, what is your take from that analysis?
KINGSTON: Well, I think the worries about the Clinton operation and the pay for play allegations are not unique to Donald Trump. I don't even
think they are unique to the Republican Party.
If you look at the polling during the election, one of the big detriments to Hillary's success - Hillary Clinton's success - I don't want to be
disrespectful - was the fact that people did not trust her and they did not trust her because of the Clinton allegations of pay for play and the
correlations between donors and subsequent action at the State Department. So, I just think it's convenient to say, well, this is because of the
president's tweets, but he was not the only one saying that.
[15:40:00] I'd also want to say this that as somebody in Washington DC, we're always concerned about double standards. When you're Republican, you
think that the deck is stacked against you for the Democrats. If you're Democrat, you think it's stacked against you for the Republicans.
And that may be a good thing, but I don't think we should have any double standard of anybody. Pay for play is illegal.
SOARES: Jack Kingston, appreciate taking your time to speak to us here on the show. Have a very good -
KINGSTON: Well, thanks a lot.
Now, the United Nations Security Council is holding a meeting on Iran right now after the US requested an emergency session, if you remember.
Now, you are watching live pictures there from the UN, a meeting which follows the largest anti-government protests to shake Iran since 2009 we've
been seeing this week.
Well, US President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the demonstrators, leading Iran to accuse US of exciting unrest as well as
meddling in its affairs.
Our senior United Nations correspondent Richard Roth joins me now live. Richard, what have you been hearing? Have we already heard from the United
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A very strong speech from Ambassador Nikki Haley, not surprising when it comes to Iran or
any other issue the Trump administration is very fervent about.
The United States ambassador saying the Iranian people, their cries are being heard, that the Iranian government has to know that the world is
watching. And here is more of what she said as she wrapped up her remarks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN: The United States stands unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves,
prosperity for their families and dignity for their nation.
We will not be quiet. No dishonest attempt to call the protesters puppets of foreign powers will change that.
The Iranian people know the truth and we know the truth. They are acting of their own will, on their own behalf, for their own future. Nothing will
stop Americans from standing in solidarity with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: Now, the issue of the Iran situation being discussed here at the Security Council or any potential action is not a slam-dunk for those who
believe the UN should come to the rescue of demonstrators in Iran.
There are many countries that really oppose even having this meeting. The US felt that it had and did get, if a vote had been held, the nine nations
required to approve even just holding the session.
Russia has already called, before this meeting, any UN session that Ambassador Haley was eager in conducting harmful and destructive.
Countries like Russia and China are always opposed to, they feel, UN involvement in internal affairs of a sovereign state.
And even France, and as we heard from CNN reporting in Washington, European nations are not exactly always lining up on this issue with Washington.
The French ambassador said it's nice to talk about it in effect, but we shouldn't use the Security Council as an instrument in this story to get
further involvement by the UN.
Back to you.
SOARES: Richard, very briefly, should we expect to hear from Iran?
ROTH: And the Iranian representative is at the table. We will expect to hear from him within the next hour.
SOARES: Richard Roth for us there at the UN. Thanks, Richard.
Now, parts of the United States East Coast could be about to experience some of the lowest temperatures ever recorded. More extreme weather is
forecast for this weekend, coming straight after the so-called bomb cyclone plunged eight states into icy conditions.
Our Alison Kosik has more now from Boston.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Isa. The storm has moved off, but it's left behind more than a foot of snow to contend with here in Boston.
But it's also left behind some very strong howling winds as well. Winds that are pushing the snow back on to the roadways that have been ploughed
and also reducing visibility.
In southern New England, there is a wind advisory in effect from this afternoon into this evening because strong wind gusts of 40 to 50 mile an
hour winds are expected to happen in southern New England.
And the concern is that that can cause power outages. You don't want that because the temperatures, as cold as they are now at 12 degrees, are
expected to dip even further to minus 7 by Saturday. So, there is concern there.
But what a difference a day makes. It is sunny out today. We're seeing signs of life today. But, yesterday - very good story because we had
flooding to contend with as well. Yesterday, around high tide, the first ever recorded record high tide of 15 feet was recorded. And a lot of that
water spilled over the sea wall, into the streets surrounding Boston Harbor, catching a number of motorists off-guard, who literally got stuck
in the freezing water.
These streets turned into rivers of ice that motorists had to be helped out of, at least 50 motorists had to be towed. Two motorists had to be
rescued. And it also made a challenge to continue to plow these roads and get that water off of the roads because now, of course, got the freezing.
[15:45:01] All right. So, what can we expect for New England and for Boston now. This weekend, expect temperatures to dip even further. Expect
the winds to continue moving strongly. But then, by Monday, we could see some relief. Temperatures - balmy temperatures, what people may think of
Isa, back to you.
SOARES: Thanks very much, Alison. Now, the extreme weather isn't just affecting people. It's also putting unique wildlife at risk.
These sea turtles may be cute. But what they've been is not so appealing. Their bodies were literally stunned by the cold and they had to be brought
to a marine institute to warm up.
Manatees are another species at risk and the cold is even causing frozen iguanas to fall out of the trees.
More to come, including a levy on your latte. That could be happening for coffee drinkers right here in UK. I'll speak with one of the lawmakers
making that very proposal. That's next.
SOARES: Let's be honest here. Millions of us do it each day. Pop down the street for a cup of coffee or maybe two or three. But would you be
willing to do that if that cup of coffee had a levy.
That's what a group of British lawmakers want to happen. They want to charge an extra 25 pence - that's around $0.34 - out disposable coffee cups
to force consumers to use recycle cups and reduce waste. That would increase the price of a cup of coffee here in the UK by 10 percent.
Let's speak to Geraint Davies. He is a Labour MP and joins me now from Swansea. Well, before we have a chat, I want to - our viewers just to
listen to what some of the consumers, coffee consumers down the street, what they think about this levy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried to recycle them, but I found out that they are not actually recyclable, which is a bit of a shock because I thought
that they all were. So, I'm a bit disappointed that it's not actually recyclable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They feel completely recyclable because they feel like carboards. And anyone that's doing what I'm doing would stop now and
- if you have a coffee and love coffee, get a cup that you can recycle. And if not, stop drinking coffee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't know that they were not recyclable at all now. And that seems bonkers. Absolutely mad. But no point in penalizing the
people who sell a coffee. They need to penalize the people who make the coffee cups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: So, Geraint, my first question is really what that last customer said. I know you're calling for this levy, but aren't you penalizing the
consumer, not the coffee shops.
GERAINT DAVIES, LABOUR MP: Well, the idea is to incentivize both the consumer and the coffee shop. This is a huge problem. There is something
like 2.5 billion coffee cups thrown away and not recycled each year and Britain. And the number is nearly 50 billion in America.
So, in Britain, there is enough cups to go around the world 5.5 times. In the United States, enough to go back and forth to the moon five times.
[15:50:02] And the trouble is that these cups are both plastic and paper, so it can't be recycled. So, we want to put pressure on the manufacturers
to produce disposable, recyclable cups and consumers to reuse the usable cups.
There are incentives, of course, to go to coffee outlets, but only 1 percent of people do so, (INAUDIBLE) that's having to pay nor would bring
their own cups.
SOARES: The coffees, of course, are already pretty expensive. In my opinion, your increasing roughly by 10 percent. Do you think this stick,
rather than carrot, approach will work? I mean, there are already people fearful that really coffee prices will just increase even more.
DAVIES: Yes. There is something like only 1 in 400 of these cups are recycled and only 1 percent of people have used the incentives - it's 25p
here, about 15 percent even get use your own cup. And so, of course, we do need to use these mechanisms.
With plastic bags, we charge 5p, on a plastic bag. And millions of people use millions less bags. I mean, this is a catastrophic problem for the
environment and we need to sort it out.
SOARES: Yes. With the plastic bags, Geraint, I mean, I'm all for this. I've got a reusable cup and I'm also all for it. But with the plastic
bags, when you go shopping, you know when you go shopping, you carry your bags with you. You don't always know when you're going out for coffee.
It's rather spontaneous. And I know this is about changing habits. How well do you think this is going to be received?
DAVIES: Well, people aren't going to be overjoyed. But I think, generally, people acknowledge this is a massive problem with unrecycled
Obviously, plastics like oil are massively subsidized as a fossil fuel. That's a separate issue. But we are destroying our planet and our
environment. These plastics end up littering our streets in our countryside and in the ocean.
And people need to pay the price of the environmental cost to induce them to change their behavior. I mean, after all, people can choose to drink
coffee in coffee houses. They can choose to have thermal cups or other cups they can bring. And if they want to pay the extra price, which is the
environmental cost all taxpayers are paying, (INAUDIBLE) the cost of recycling or processing and landfilling these cups, basically, paid by the
taxpayer anyway. So, we should target the people who are causing the problem, namely the people who consume the coffee.
SOARES: Small steps will make a big difference. Geraint Davies, thank you very much, sir.
Still ahead right here on the show, it's normally a time of glitz as well as glamour, but this year one of Hollywood's biggest nights could be
overshadowed by lingering abuse allegations. We'll look ahead to Sunday's Golden Globes, which is going to be black.
SOARES: Now, stars of both the big screen and the small screen will be out in force this Sunday at the Golden Globes kick off Hollywood's awards
The event is typically a celebration of film and TV, but expect a different tone from this year's festivities as Stephanie Elam now explains.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's that time of the year - awards season in Hollywood. The Golden Globes kick off the festivities honoring
the best in film and television from the last year.
"The Shape of Water" leads the movie categories with seven nominations including best picture, drama.
[15:55:00] ALISON BROWER, DEPUTY EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": It's a very artful, fantastic, visually striking film. Also,
with an actress, Sally Hawkins, who you may like very much.
ELAM: The unusual romance faces off against "Call Me by Your Name", "Dunkirk", "The Post" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".
The inclusion of "Get Out" for best picture in the comedy or musical category stirred up some controversy. But the racially tense thriller was
a fan favorite in thrillers.
The box office hit is up against "The Disaster Artist", "The Greatest Showmen", "I, Tonya" and "Ladybird".
For television, it's all about the ladies of "Big Little Lies". The HBO series is up for six awards, the most of any television program, including
best TV movies or limited series.
BROWER: In addition to being a great show, it's also really on point with the conversation in Hollywood right now.
ELAM: In fact, expect sexual harassment and sexual assault in the entertainment industry to be addressed during the show.
Nominees like Meryl Streep are planning to wear all black in support of the MeToo movement.
SETH MEYERS, GOLDEN GLOBES EMCEE: I'm very excited because everyone is going to be there.
What's that? Oh, he's not going to be there. Well, that's good. Nobody wants him there.
ELAM: Seth Meyers, who is hosting the show, is known for his politically charged comedy. His promo posters which tell, "Hollywood, we have a lot to
talk about," make it clear the late night host won't back down at the Globes.
BROWER: I think it will be difficult to avoid having some national and presidential politics creep into what Seth Meyers has to say for the stage.
ELAM: A lot to expect from Hollywood's biggest party.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.
SOARES: Let's get excited when the awards season kicks off. And that does it for me tonight. Thank you everyone for keeping company. Do stay with
CNN. "Quest Means Business" with Richard Quest is coming up next. Do have a wonderful week.