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CONNECT THE WORLD

Trump's Aides And Allies Rally Around President; Bombshell Book Questions President's Mental State; North and South Korea To Meet; Oprah's Golden Globes Speech; Saudi Arrests; Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired January 8, 2018 - 10:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:00:23] BECKY ANDERSON, CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN: Hello and welcome to "Connect the World". I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. It is hard to

believe that we are only eight days into the new year. What a year it has been already. We begin this hour with the extraordinary developments in

and around a White House not known for being boring. And that is to say the least Donald Trump's aides and allies closing ranks around him today

defending him against almost unthinkable allegations about a sitting U.S. President. They are in full damage control mode trying to contain the

fallout from "Fire and Fury" a new book that openly questions Mr. Trump's mental capacity and ability to serve. As Joe Johns reports, the

President's former chief strategist Steve Bannon is also now walking back some highly inflammatory remarks. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: No one questions the stability of the President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is completely capable.

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: The reality is the President is a political genius.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Members of President Trump's administration coming to his defense insisting that Mr. Trump is fit to serve despite

questions about his mental stability raised in the new tell-all book "Fire and Fury."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never questioned his mental fitness. I have no reason to question his mental fitness.

JOHNS: The President himself sending a flurry of extraordinary tweets declaring throughout my life my two greatest asset have been mental

stability and being like really smart. Before asserting that he is a very stable genius. Mr. Trump saying this when asked by CNN why he felt

compelled to weigh in.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I went to the best colleges or college. I went to -- I had a situation where I was a very excellent

student. Came out and made billions and billions of dollars. Ran for President one time and won. Then I hear this guy that does not know me,

doesn't know me at all, by the way, he did not interview me. Said he interviewed me for three hours in the White House. It didn't exist. It's

in his imagination.

JOHNS: President Trump continuing to attack "Fire and Fury" author Michael Wolff.

TRUMP: I consider it a work of fiction and I think it's a disgrace if somebody was able to, to have something, do something like to libel laws

are very weak in this country. If it was strong you wouldn't have things like that happen.

JOHNS: Wolff standing by his reporting consisting that the president mental fitness is regularly discussed by Mr. Trump's aide along with the

25th amendment which spells out the removal of the President.

MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, FIRE AND FURY: The 25th amendment is a concept that is alive every day in the White House.

JOHNS: Mr. Trump's senior adviser Stephen Miller also taking aim at the president former chief of strategist Steve Bannon who was quoted in the

book calling the 2016 Trump tower meeting between Trump campaign staffers and Russians treasonous.

MILLER: It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive. And the

whole White House staff is deeply disappointed.

JOHNS: Bannon responding to the backlash releasing a rare statement insisting that his remarks were aimed at then campaign manager Paul

Manafort, not Don Jr. and praising the President's son as both a patriot and a good man.

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Joe Johns reporting for you. Let's get more from our White House reporter and regular on the show, Stephen Collinson. Steven, happy

new year to you. Tell us more about Steve Bannon's walk back. Is he hoping for a reconciliation at this point? Is that even possible?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I don't think a reconciliation is possible in the short term. What we've seen over the

last few days is President Trump basically setting out to destroy Bannon as a political and public force in Washington. And there's been a very savage

counter attack as you might expect given the sort of tenor of the allegations in the comments he made against the President in the White

House that this is a massive betrayal. Bannon is not the kind of guy who normally says sorry, who walks back anything.

So I think it's a symbol -- a signal of the pressure he is under. Bannon of course was expected to play a big role in the midterm elections in

November. He was building up a corpse of insurgent Trump-like candidates to challenge establishment Republicans in primaries to get nominations in

the various states, so that looks like it's now sort of on ice.

[10:05:11] And Bannon of course is the head of Breitbart which is a very powerful conservative news organization. He seems to be preserving that

piece of leverage, but this is Donald Trump. He has a history down the tracks of making up with people who fall out with him, but this is a

particularly intense disagreement.

ANDERSON: Preserving that Breitbart at least. Look, talk that the President's day is getting shorter by the day as it were. What's that all

about?

COLLINSON: So this is a report by Axios the online news organization that is basically saying that Donald Trump isn't basically showing up into the

oval office until about 11:00 every day. He is staying in the residence, watching TV and tweeting. This plays into this whole argument we're having

in public right now about whether the President is up to the job, whether he is mentally fit and whether he is qualified to be President or whether

he even wants to be president one of Michael Wolff's in the Fire and Fury book contentions as the President didn't want to be President in the first

place and didn't think he would win.

So most Presidents, for example George W. Bush used to get to the oval office about 7:30 in the morning. President Obama got there about 9:00.

They have very programmed days. I've seen the sort of secret schedules they have every minute of every day down to the minute is programmed. That

doesn't seem to be the case with Donald Trump. I think he can say that this because over the last few weeks between the hours of 9:00 and 11:00

we've seen the President tweeting and his tweets seem to relate to items that are on Fox News that he appears to watch many hours of the day.

ANDERSON: Yes. This book now certainly much of it has been in the public domain leaked through newspapers for a week or so, Michael Wolff's book,

Fire and Fury, and actually out for consumption by the regular public now as well. Much talk by some that this could be a defining moment in this

presidency, if not U.S. Presidency history is it were. While you hear Trump's surrogates and supporters trashing not only what's in the book but

Wolff himself. What's your sense of how Washington and beyond, and I'm talking about beyond into Trump's base? What's the real sense of how

people feel about what's in this book?

COLLINSON: Well, the reason it's so powerful in Washington and among Trump's critics is that it appears to confirm a lot of the reporting and

the impressions that we've got of Donald Trump so far, that here's this volatile thin-skinned impulsive character who's completely different than

any other President we've seen and doesn't appear to be up to many of the aspects of the job. But I think we have to wait a long-term political

impact from this. Donald Trump's voters liked him, because he was taking shots like is right now on twitter. He is standing up to the sort of

elites in Washington and the east coast. They elected somebody that was going to be completely beyond the pale and that is why they liked him. So

I don't think this going to potentially damage him that much with the people.

ANDERSON: Yes. Fascinating, isn't it? All right. Well, we will continue to analyze the fallout and we will continue to discuss that with you in the

days and weeks to come. Stephen, always a pleasure. Thanks mate.

When it comes to questioning Mr. Trump's fitness for office, many critics point to his social media taunting of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who's

got a nuclear arsenal of course. Instead the conflicts any fear now, the north and south are set to sit down face-to-face for the first time in two

years. These high level talks will be held Tuesday at what's known as the peace house at the building situated in the demilitarize, or DMZ on the

border between the two countries. The meetings will focus on the upcoming Winter Olympics in Seoul, but will likely touch on broader issues as well.

CNN Ivan Watson joining me from Seoul in South Korea. Just how significant are these talks at this point?

IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Becky, this is the first time that officials from the two countries will sit down for

talks in some two years. That is notable. It's also important, because we're coming after months of real tension here on the Korean peninsula.

You'll recall late last November that North Korea fired its most recent missile and also conducted a nuclear weapons test just last September along

with many other missiles salvos this year in the preceding year.

[10:10:18] Also, a large joint military exercise by the U.S.-South Korea, also Japan. So a lot of tension here. This is perhaps the first sign in

years of at least some kind of thaw between Seoul and Pyongyang. There's symbolism here as well, because it's coming quite quickly now in

anticipation of the upcoming Winter Olympics here. There is hope, clear hope on the part of the south and now the north that some North Korean

athletes will be able to participate in those winter Olympics that will begin here in South Korea in a month's time, Becky.

ANDERSON: The American President seeming to take credit for these talks. Last Thursday insisting that if it wasn't for him, from Donald J. Trump

standing firm and committing, they simply would never have been. We also reported yesterday that the U.S. has beefed up its baby aircraft carrier in

the Pacific so it now launch stealth jets that North Korean radar can't detect. Ivan, does Mr. Trump have something in one else does in making

this stuff happen?

WATSON: I think that is debatable. You'd really have to ask the North Koreans and hope to get some kind of an honest answer. For me to honestly

answer your question. The fact is that on New Year's the North Korean leader opened the door to these discussions in his annual address to his

own country. He is the one who essentially opened the way. What prompted him to do that is hard to tell, especially with a regime like the North

Korean one which has so little transparency. The fact is that since he made it clear that he'd like to talk to the South Koreans, things moved

very, very quickly and in a little bit more than a week's time both parties have been able to put together these high level discussions where you'll

have five officials from each country sitting down at that so-called peace house for these discussions.

The South Koreans have made clear that not only would like to discuss North Korea's participation at the upcoming Olympics here, but that they'd also

like to lay the groundwork for more of these so-called reunification meetings between separated families, some of the tens of thousands of South

Koreans separated from relatives in the north since the war of the 1950s and they'd also like to set the groundwork for more de-escalation on the

military front and the Korean peninsula certainly could use that. Becky.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Ivan Watson is in Seoul for you this evening.

Now, guess who this is? An American billionaire, maverick TV celebrity bursting with catch phrases so famous they're known by just one name. And

there is plenty of talk about them living in the White House. It must be, drum roll, please, Trump, right? Not by a long shot. It is legendary talk

show host and American icon Oprah. At last night's Golden Globes in an incredibly passionate speech, Oprah Winfrey brought the house down and the

audience up to a standing ovation. So much so that some viewers were hoping they were listening to the next leader of the free world. CNN's

Brian Stelter shows us why.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

OPRAH WINFREY, OPRAH SHOW HOST: I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Oprah Winfrey, bringing the Golden Globes audience to its feet with an inspiring call to action.

WINFREY: When that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight and

some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say me-too again.

STELTER: The television and movie icon honoring those who have spoken out about sexual harassment and discussing in personal terms the women's whose

stories will go untold.

WINFREY: I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had

children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.

[10:15:14] For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS)

STELTER: Oprah also emphasizing the power of the free press to expose justice.

WINFREY: We all know that the press is under siege these days. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before.

STELTER: Oprah's speech fueling speculation on social media about a potential 2020 presidential bid. Despite Oprah's past comments, her long-

time partner Stedman Graham, telling the L.A. Times overnight it is up to the people. She would absolutely do it. During her opening monologue host

Seth Myers encouraging Oprah to run and his jabs about President Trump not being qualified at the 2011 correspondent's dinner.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS: Some have said that night convinced him to run, so if that is true, I just want to say Oprah, you

will never be President. You do not have what it takes.

STELTER: Oprah's speech was the combination of a focus on combatting sexual harassment. Actors and actresses appearing on the red carpet

wearing black in solidarity, many making a statement with pins reading "time's up".

(END VIDEO)

ANDERSON: Time is up. We are hearing from sources that Oprah may really be considering this. Brian Stelter plugged in to every angle in the house.

Brian, Oprah is as well-loved a TV personality as you are. The fact is she is never held public office. Are we seeing the Trump effect on politics,

celebrity Trump's policies, so to speak here?

STELTER: Yes, we are. In fact, Oprah Winfrey said she is never talked about public office until Trump won. Trump had her thinking what about

that. That is as far as she is gone publicly in terms of TV and the idea of running for president. But her speech at the Golden Globes certainly

sounded like something you would hear on the campaign trail.

I've been checking in with her friends and business associates and I'm told by two of her close friends that is she actively considering running for

President. That the quote is, actively speaking about it. That means she has not made up her mind and it would be premature to make up her mind at

this point since we haven't even gone through the midterm elections in the United States. According to her friends, she is being urged to take this

seriously and she is thinking about it at least. This would be a huge development for the Democratic primary in the United States. There are

lots of politicians who would like to be able to run for President. Someone like Oprah Winfrey has so much star power, so much fame and fortune

that she could reshape the race.

ANDERSON: Oprah aside, this was highly political charge -- let put it aside for one moment. This is a highly politically charged event last

night, right?

STELTER: Yes. It was. Even though President Trump's name almost never came up, what did keep coming up over and over again is the me-too

movement. Workplace equality has not yet been achieved and it must be achieved by stamping out sexual harassment and abuse. There's an

undercurrent that involves President Trump given the allegations against him. What we see from these Hollywood celebrity, is the idea to be on the

right side of history. There have been questions about who knew about what Harvey Weinstein, were people complicit with Kevin Spacey. That is what

Hollywood hope system now history. They want to move forward. They want to talk about how to make change in the future. At least we saw that to

some degree on the red carpet where there was a sea of black outfits. We saw the buttons and the pins that said "time's up." and she said their time

is up. Powerful men abusing their power, their time is up. I hear a little bit of President Trump there in Oprah's comments even though she was

careful not to mention him by name.

ANDERSON: Brian Stelter out of New York for you. Brian, much appreciated. Just before we move on folks, a reminder of the very bizarre world we seem

to find ourselves in sometimes where politics and TV collide. Check out this clip that we dug up from the archives of Oprah asking Trump about him

becoming President almost 30 years ago. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[10:20:00] WINFREY: This sounds like political Presidential talk to me. I know people have talked to you about whether or not you want to run. Would

you ever?

TRUMP: Probably not. But I do get tired of seeing the country ripped open.

WINFREY: Why would you not?

TRUMP: I just don't think I really very the inclination to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: He said that 30 years ago. Still to come tonight a royal roundup nobody is above the law. Find out why nearly a dozen prince's had

been detained in Riyadh.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You are watching CNN and this is "Connect the World." If you are just joining us you are more than welcome, I'm Becky Anderson here in

Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia attempting to modernize the kingdom's economy. It is causing plenty of friction in the oil rich country. The latest dustup

is over water and electricity bills. The government announced it will no longer be footing the bill for members of the royal family's utilities.

While 11 princes were arrested on Thursday after staging a sit-in over what is this belt tightening measure. This all comes after a recent state of

high profile arrests of royal and prominent businessmen. Saudi Arabia says the arrests were part of a corruption crackdown led by the young crown

prince, it has been a busy start of the year. What can I say, our very own John Defterios back in the house with here in Abu Dhabi. He joins me now,

what's going on?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: It is fascinating Becky, because if you had thought about it, we had this conversation three years

ago. You would never had the case where 11 princes hold a sit-in in a palace and say look what happened to my subsidies for my utilities. The

narratives have changed and one man in control Mohamed bin Salman. He wanted to make a statement. Nobody's above the law. If you protest, we'll

crack down. He targeted his spending to those in government, those in the military and even students. We have a couple examples. The first one, a

government handout to workers of about 260 per month. The other big number that came out was military personnel that are working in Yemen. This was a

very controversial subject to put those soldiers in harm's way. They're going to get $1,300 a month.

[10:25:05] ANDERSON: Extra.

DEFTERIOS: Extra to their salaries. The students are going to get some subsidies as well. I think it is worth noting here, is unemployment and

most people overlook it, because of the wealthy Arabs, its unemployment is about 30 percent per capita income. It's $20,000 versus $40,000 in the UAE

and at least $60,000 in Qatar. The other thing I found fascinating. They think it is revenue neutral. $13 billion being handled out of the budget.

Some say even provides stimulus to be hired in 2018, 1.4 percent was the low ball estimate. 2.5 percent was the highball. That is something that

is need because it contracted in 2017. It does provide targeted spending as opposed to saying we will let the world be, go back to normal.

ANDERSON: Yes. You need immediate and expansionary a budget. It was interesting to see how this is being set out. Now, Saudi Arabia regional

rival Iran forces is having economic issues of its own. The biggest anti- government protest there since 2009 have led to another death. 22-year-old (inaudible) arrested during the protests has now died in police custody.

These protests have turned the spotlight on President Rouhani's economic record. The economy has been picking up there in recent years. Due to the

nuclear deal. Not quickly enough so far as many are concerned. Today we heard from President Rouhani himself. What did he say?

DEFTERIOS: Well, I thought this again was very interesting. If you look at the narrative, he was quick and also have the deputies there, saying

that none of us is above criticism going forward. So very sensitive to more than 20 deaths and hundreds that have been arrested and they're even

promising over the weekend that they'll have the parliamentary committee go back and investigate what was really the spark for the protests right now.

I think President Rouhani in particular is in a very difficult position in the sense promising peace from the P5+1 agreement. If you say growth it

looks decent. 2017 somewhere estimates 6 percent growth. Don't tell that on the average Iranian. Household incomes have dropped get this, over the

last decade by 15 percent. You have banks closing down because they need a massive restructuring and the banking sector and people saying what's

happened to my savings. The other big tough reality here is that revolutionary guard controls upwards of about 40 percent of the economy.

So the peace dividend hasn't happened. They haven't unlocked the control of the revolutionary guard. President Rouhani has promised a great deal.

The one good news here for both Saudi Arabia and to Iran, $65 oil serves both these economies quite well. Breakeven price for Iran is about 40 a

barrel. They've had to learn how to live with lower oil prices because of the sanctions. It cushions the blow but it's not helping the average

Iranian.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, John always a pleasure.

DEFTERIOS: Thanks.

ANDERSON: Still ahead the author of "Fire and Fury" says discussions are happening, quote, all the time at the White House about a little known

amendment that could be used to remove a U.S. President. We'll see what that is all about after this.

[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: A very warm welcome back. This is CNN and you are watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.

We are following a fast-moving political situation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, of course. Right now German Chancellor Angela Merkel is

launching talks to for a new government in her country and to pull Germany out of its worst political crisis in years.

Her reputation and perhaps her political future on the line as talks begin in Berlin between her conservative block and the social Democrats. Let's

bring in Atika Shubert in Berlin, the German capital of course. How could Mrs. Merkel come out of this, Atika?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, her first attempt at building a coalition failed late last year so this is her second attempt. Over six

days of talks in which there's sort of a news blackout.

No interviews being given by the parties, just statements by party leaders. And she's hoping that that will allow for the two parties to hammer out

what's called here a grand coalition -- a coalition between the two largest parties in parliament.

But there is a problem with that. And the problem with that is that it's not really what voters wanted. In the election last year in September,

voters clearly wanted change. The Christian Democrats, Angela Merkel and the social Democrats -- justice social Democrats under Martin Schulz lost

big.

In fact, the Christian Democrats lost more than 1 million votes to the far right anti-immigration party, the alternative for Germany party.

And in a recent poll by state broadcaster ARD, more than 50 percent of respondents said they did not want to see another grand coalition.

However, Merkel really remains the only politician with the mandate to form a coalition government and a grand coalition is the only option she is left

with. So voters may have voted for change in September but they may get more of the same this year.

And Merkel's challenge is to try to find a way to marry the views for much more conservative critics who blame her for losing votes to the social

Democrats who now want to attack even further to the left.

And even after this week of talks, these are just exploratory talks. There could be months more of negotiations if this goes ahead. And finally, the

social Democrats themselves have to vote on approving this coalition that a vote won't happen until January 21st. So talks are ongoing but it's still

a ways to go, Becky.

ANDERSON: Atika, one assumes the fact that the economy is doing relatively well should help Merkel in all of this, correct?

SHUBERT: It does help. And for that reason, she probably came out better than some voters may have expected in the September election. She lost a

lot of votes but she still came out on top as having the biggest party in parliament and the only one with this mandate to govern.

So it seems that voters are happy with the economy but they're not happy with other issues, particularly on the issue of immigration.

[10:35:00] And this is the big sticking point in negotiations. The Christian Democrats under Merkel want a much more conservative. They want

to cap immigration. They want to suspend family reunification for refugees for example.

The social Democrats are saying, we need immigrants to fill labor shortages and so now it's Merkel's job to try and nip these two very opposing views

together.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert in Berlin for you viewers, thank you. Back to our top story now -- U.S. President Donald Trump furious with the explosive new

book that questions his mental capacity. Not only are the allegations extraordinary but so is president's response defending himself on Twitter

as a very stable genius.

Well the author is not only standing by his claim that White House aides believe the president is unfit. Michael Wolff is also going to great

lengths to underscore how widespread that belief is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-ANCHOR, THE TODAY SHOW: You're reporting everyone around the president, senior advisers, family members, every single one of

them questions his intelligence and fitness for office.

MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, FIRE AND FURY: Let me put a marker in the sand here -- 100 percent of the people around him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: So if you are unclear, Mr. Wolff has put you right on that. We're joined by Caitlin Huey-Burns, a political reporter for

RealClearPolitics. We have an open discussion in Washington then about the president's mental capacity and fitness to lead. Just sketch out for us

how unusual or unique this is. Are there any precedents?

CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: This is a unique situation because you had over the weekend the White House sending

out top surrogates to defend the stability of the White House, to defend the mental health of the president, and in terms of surrogates I'm talking

about the CIA director, the U.N. ambassador, the secretary of state.

All of whom would much rather be talking about the issues at hand that relate to their various departments, North Korea of course, being of mine

for many of them.

What's interesting here is that, you have this kind of unfolding in the political sense. You have Democrats in Congress raising lots of questions

about the stability of the president and mental health of the president particularly in line of this.

But also after that tweet last week about North Korea and the nuclear button, and then you have Republicans who are kind of weary about engaging

in this topic. And then of course you have the president himself engaging in this.

And a lot of people are talking now about the 25th Amendment of the constitution, something that was proposed that came to be after the Kennedy

assassination. It sets a very high bar for invoking that kind of thing.

ANDERSON: Right.

HUEY-BURNS: It would require majorities in Congress to sign off and the vice president, of course. And so, it's very unlikely.

ANDERSON: Well let's talk a little bit more on this because it's fascinating. And I'm sure it is for our viewers who are not living in the

states that we all understand a little bit more about this 25th Amendment. So what does it actually say?

If the vice president and the majority of the 50-member U.S. cabinet or of the United States, 535 member Congress gives Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

and second -- and second most senior member of the U.S. Senate Orrin Hatch following a written declaration that the president is unable to discharge

the powers and duties of his office, the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president.

HUEY-BURNS: That's right.

ANDERSON: Dangerous territory here.

HUEY-BURNS: Well, it is interesting because the bar, that high bar to sign off on this kind of thing was established for a reason, right?

You don't want political opponents of the president to be able to invoke this kind of thing just because they don't like the president or disagree

with him, or are kind of speculating about his mental stability and state of mind.

And so we are entering into a little bit of a dangerous territory because you know, you have a lot of people kind of offering speculations about

something that would be very serious.

So as reporters and as political observers, we don't want to offer any diagnoses on this issue, of course, but there is the question of the

broader picture here which is a White House kind of operating in chaos and kind of used to operating in chaos.

We saw a chaotic campaign when Donald Trump ran for president and we've seen a chaotic White House, although his allies are saying today and over

the past few days that even among -- amidst all of that, they were still able to pass a tax reform bill.

[10:40:00] They were still able to unravel a lot of the regulations put forward under the Obama administration. So, this is creating a bit of the

destruction for the White House, but it's important to know that the president is engaging in this discussion himself.

ANDERSON: Now, the Trump campaign, Caitlin, says these are all essentially politically motivated slurs. The book very gossipy, salacious, juicy, but

overall, is there anything -- actually anything of political substance in it?

HUEY-BURNS: I think it is important to note that this is -- this author, you know, doesn't subscribe to a lot of the journalistic standards that

many of us would.

And so there are a lot of salacious details in here. There are a lot of things that have been disapprove in, a lot of easily fact check things like

the president not knowing who John Boehner, the former House speaker is for example.

I do think though that the White House's response to this book kind of shows the way in which there is a lot of drama in this White House.

The Steve Bannon element, the former White House adviser Steve Bannon of course on the record in this book not only criticizing the Trump children

and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law who's also a senior adviser, but also raising questions about the involvement in the Russian investigation.

So opening a whole new can of worms here and creating a lot of political controversy because Bannon and Trump are now at odds with one another, the

president really lashing out at his former adviser, raises all sorts of political issues for this White House going forward.

ANDERSON: Fascinating times as somebody once said. Thank you, Caitlin.

HUEY-BURNS: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Michael Wolff will be right here on CNN in just a few hours time. He'll be interviewed by my colleague Christiane Amanpour. You can

see that interview, 7:00 p.m. London and 11:00 p.m. if you are watching here in the UAE.

Meanwhile news just in within the last few hours -- authorities say two people were injured after a fire broke out on top of New York City's Trump

Tower.

New York fire department says the fire was in a heating an air unit and is being brought under control. Officials say there was no smoke or fire

inside the building. They are still assessing whether there is any damage.

You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. Coming up, a top BBC journalist quits her post in China over a

major discrepancy in pay with her male colleagues. What she says about the news organization's wage gap is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CNN.

[10:45:00] This is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson for you. The Time Is Up Movement or Time's Up Movement dominated the Golden Globe Awards

Sunday night.

It was a chance to showcase the women pushing ahead to be heard issues that affect all of us professionally. Well several actresses made the point

that harassment is costing both job opportunities and earnings.

Across the Atlantic at the BBC, more than 200 women reportedly have complained about discrimination when it comes to pay. One of the network's

most senior journalists, China editor Carrie Gracie just resigned her post in Beijing over inequality with her male colleagues.

Well, Isa, is joining me now from London. Tell us more about this journalist. She's one of the BBC's most prominent international editors,

isn't she?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. Good morning to you, Becky. Carrie Gracie -- she is well known journalist here, very respected,

prominent journalist. And one of the BBC's four international editors, one in North America, one in Middle East.

And she was based in Beijing for the BBC and her reason for quitting is because if you remember back in July of last year, the BBC disclosed the

salary of some of its tops on-air talent and those earning more than $150,000 U.S. -- British pounds, she didn't make the cut, Becky because she

earned $135,000.

But her two colleagues doing exactly the same job, Becky, in just different work and basically different continents were earning 50 percent more than

she -- than she was making.

She made a complaint to the then director general and their response was basically we're going to give you 40,000 pound salary increase and she said

look, it's not about a salary increase. It's about pay parity, equal pay for equal work.

And that is why she has resigned within that job. And that is why she's written a letter to BBC audiences in which she talks about a crisis of

trust at the BBC, Becky.

She says there is a secretive and illegal pay structure at the BBC. And to the first, one of those key lines from her statement, she says, on pay --

she writes, the BBC is not living up to its state of values of trust, honesty and accountability. Becky.

ANDERSON: There has been an outpouring of reaction, that was unsurprisingly given the timeliness of this stand. What can you tell us?

SOARES: Well, exactly the point you were making. She said, you came to me at the Time's Up Movement as the MeToo Movement. It's not just about --

you know, harassment isn't just about criminal. It's about taking away women's opportunities.

And this plays into a question again of women's position when it comes to power and their role in the power structure. And this is exactly that gets

to reach the heart of what she's saying.

We do not want more money. We want to be recognized. We want to be equal with other colleagues. And that is why we have seen reaction resounding

not just in a Twitter stay with a hashtag I stand with Carrie, but also, in the red carpet. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMA WATSON, ACTRESS: What has happened tonight, that resignation is a really good example, you know, you've got to follow through. You' got to

back up what you're saying. It's important and we will hold you accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: It is holding women -- holding those at the very top accountable and making sure that you do not lose out on opportunities and you do not

fear holding those accountable, and speaking truth.

And that is what we heard there from Emma Watson. But you know, she -- Carrie was speaking today hosting BBC Today program, one of the most

recognizable radio shows within the BBC and she spoke about this, Becky.

And she was presenting it with her anchor colleague who earns four times more than she does. Take a listen to what she had to say about the support

she's been getting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE GRACIE, FORMER CHINA EDITOR, BBC: It's been very moving actually and the two things that have struck me most about it and moved me most, and

one is I think the scale of feeling, not just among BBC women.

But also just more widely across the country and also internationally the support that I've had in the last -- in the last few hours over this. I

think it does speak to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair, and transparent pay system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SOARES: Well, the BBC for its part, Becky, denies systemic discrimination against women over pay that says it is doing fairly considerably better

with the words when it comes to pay than most organizations. Becky.

ANDERSON: Isa Soares, outside BBC television center. Thank you. Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up,

living the America's dream in Trump's America.

[10:50:00] A young woman uses her voice to make a political point.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL BROSNAHAN, AMERICAN ACTRESS: We are here and this isn't just about us on this carpet in this moment. We are here standing in solidarity with

women everywhere saying time's up, enough is enough on sexual harassment, assault, abuse of power. We are here standing with everyone.

DANIEL KALUUYA, ACTOR: It is for me to take -- to give, and use my platform to help people take the floor, to take the floor and tell you, I'm

standing with you and draw more attention to what happens because it needs to stop and our culture needs to change.

CLAIRE FOY, ACTRESS: I didn't want to wear a dress. I feel like these sort of events a lot of the time as a woman you're put in a position where

what you're wearing is more important than what you do for a living especially. And this is like a real opportunity to let it all go and just

not bother with that, and not engage in that sort of way anymore.

TARANA BURKE, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: It's humbling but it's also empowering, right? I just think that this is such a bold statement for

women who work in Hollywood to make in solidarity with women across the world.

SUSAN SARANDON, AMERICAN ACTRESS: I wanted to make sure that this action had substance to it and had some kind of follow through.

And by interconnecting to all of this, the balance to power in every industry, and our vulnerability, and our power that we share, it seemed

like the perfect idea. I was very happy to have that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, from Oprah's inspiring speech in the Golden Globe, some women speaking out against harassment calls for equality are becoming

impossible to ignore.

Our Parting Shots tonight, a singer celebrating the immigrant experience, a hot button issue under President Trump. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOMI, AMERICAN SINGER AND SONGWRITER: My latest album is called Petite Afrique. It is about the dignity of African immigrants in the United

States.

So some of the things that I wanted to really capture was the working class sort of spirit of most of the African community. I spent a lot of time

just interviewing taxi cab drivers.

I learned about their experiences, their struggles. It's predominantly Frankston (ph) Community, predominantly Muslim, Ivorian, some from Gambia,

and there are few Axon (ph), as well as Ghana and Nigeria.

[10:55:00] One of the songs I'm performing is called Alien and it's really a cover of same song, Englishman in New York. His song is more about a

western moving through the streets of New York and obviously, the privilege of (Inaudible).

This is just a little darker, more brooding and thinking about how Africans move through the city of New York or anywhere in the western world.

Music and art opens hearts and I think that's one thing I've really been appreciating about being on the road with this music. Not only acknowledge

the dignity of other people, but just to acknowledge themselves in those other stories and to really see ourselves in other people.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: What a voice. I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. From the team working with me here and around the

world, it was a very good evening.

END