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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Refutes Reports On Vulgar Comments In Meeting; President Trump's First Physical Since Taking Office; Trump Waives Sanctions On Iran, But For Last Time; Facebook To Make Major Changes To News Feed; Obama Choked Up Assembling Malia's Dorm Lamp; Source: Trump "Loves" Controversy Over Vile Slur; Outrage Around The World Over Trump's Reported Slur; African Leaders Condemn Trump's Remarks; U.N.: Trump's Reported Comments Are "Racist"; Trump Cancels Visit To Open London Embassy; Official: Pakistan Rapist Likely A Serial Killer. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 12, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Isa Soares sitting in for Hala Gorani.
Tonight, Donald Trump denies using a vulgar slur about foreign nations, the fallout has come thick and fast as multiple countries expressed outraged
over his comments.
Also, ahead, the U.S. president canceled his trip to U.K. as London's mayor suggest he wasn't welcome anyway. I'll speak to a former London mayor
about the controversy.
Plus, scrolling through Facebook is about to get a lot different. The latest on the social media giant's fate up next.
But first, after 15 hours of silence, Donald Trump now denies making a vile slur against immigrants that's triggered outrage right around the world.
But a lawmaker who was in the room with him at that time says not only did he say it, in fact, he said it repeatedly.
Mr. Trump appeared in an event today honoring Martin Luther King Jr. ignoring questions shouted by reporters. He is facing a fierce backlash
after reports emerged that he referred to African nation as "shithole countries" during a meeting on immigration, and asked why the United States
needed more Haitians.
The White House initially put out a statement that did not deny those remarks, but today, Mr. Trump tweeted that the language he used during that
meeting was tough, but quote, "This was not the language used."
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says, well, that's absolutely untrue. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR DICK DURBIN (D), MINORITY WHIP: In the course of his comments, he said things which were hate filled, vile, and racist. He -- use those
words advisingly. I understand how powerful they are. I cannot believe the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever
spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.
DURBIN: You've seen the comments in the press. I have not read one of them that's inaccurate. To no surprise, the president started tweeting
this morning, denying that he used those words. It is not true. He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.
And then he went on and he started to describe the emigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That's when he used
these vile and vulgar comments calling the nations they come from shitholes, the exact word used by the president. Not just once, but
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Of course, you heard there are no (inaudible) but two Republican senators who were also in the room have a very different take. In a
statement, Tom Cotton and David Purdue say, they do not recall, those were their words, do not recall Mr. Trump making those specific remarks.
But they praised him for, quote, "calling out the imbalance in our current immigration system," those were their words. Republican House Speaker Paul
Ryan was asked about the controversy today and this is how he answered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: I read those comments later last night. So, first thing that came into my mind was very
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Unfortunate and unhelpful. While Mr. Trump now denies the slur, two sources tell CNN that he spent the night calling friends as well as
aides to see how they thought the remark was, quote, "playing out." One source even suggested he loves the controversy.
Let's bring in White House reporter, Dan Merica, for more on this. Dan, if what we have heard in the last 24 hours is in fact true then it is quite
extraordinary. The language is glaring as well as offensive. So, what is the official word you are getting from the White House?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: You see there is a bit of a disconnect between what the White House is doing and saying and what President Trump
and sources have told us the way President Trump is acting.
As you know, President Trump is taking some of the victory lap calling aides, advisers, seeing how they think it will play with his base and as
one source said, enjoying the controversy frankly.
Other Republicans here in Washington are trying to spin this saying either it didn't happen. It's not being reported correctly and so on. What do
have is a White House that has caused an international incident because of something the president said in the oval office.
Multiple ambassadors have been called in foreign countries across the globe have been called and asked to explain what the president meant by these
statements. You have Democrats, obviously, who are seizing on this, Hillary Clinton, the latest, calling these views racists.
And it has really dominated the conversation here in Washington. The White House is trying to out of much of it. They have obviously issued a
statement yesterday. They did not deny that President Trump said that, but it took about 15 hours for the president himself to tweet, you know, throw
away some cold water on the reporting that he said that in the oval office.
It is somewhat breaking down party lines. You have Democrats who are in the room saying, yes, he said exactly that as you played from Dick Durbin.
Republicans who are saying they don't remember it.
[15:05:01] What is happening here in Washington is -- are Republicans are responding to it saying that it is vile, saying that it's unhelpful as you
heard from Paul Ryan and this White House is in damage control mode right now trying to spin these stories for sure.
SOARES: Dan Merica there for us at the White House. Thanks very much, Dan.
The United Nations Human Rights Office calls Mr. Trump's reported comments shocking and shameful adding, there's no other word to describe them, and
I'm quoting theme here, "racist."
Governments around the world and ordinary citizens alike are also expressing disgusts as well as disappointments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's not the right thing for him to do. He's the president of the United States of America like we expect more of him.
We expect him to be an example. We are growing democracies and we don't expect such remarks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no shit immigrants and there is no rich immigrants. I mean, there is immigrants all over the world who are
immigrating because they need to find a better future for them and for their (inaudible) in consequence of wars, economical crises or pure
necessity of work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The comments made by President Trump are very demeaning to the African populations especially here in the United States. It
reminds us of our (inaudible) time where we were used to be called savages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Very demeaning as he said there. Well, we have reporters around the world covering this story for you. CNN senior international
correspondent, Nima Elbagir, is in Khartoum, Sudan, CNN's Lagos producer, Stephanie Busari joins us from Nigeria, and journalist, Brunellie Joseph is
live for us in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti.
But I'll start with Nima, if I may. And Nima, were people there shocked by the reporting on how the U.S. president used a slur to describe Africa, all
of Africa. What has been the reaction from where you are?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What's been really interesting is the tenor of the response. If you had spoken to many people
going about their lives in the African street, during the Obama presidency, I think they would have perhaps been touting their responses from the
perspective of seeing America as a place of aspiration, as a place perhaps (inaudible) democracies, where press freedom is respected.
As a place where they felt that the actual humanity of people was given its weight. All that really has changed in terms of the perceptions of
Africans of America, rightly or wrongly during this last year of President Trump's administration.
Many of those that we've been speaking, many of the responses that we've been reading on social media have had a real confidence in their
(inaudible) even the response from the spokesperson for the African Union.
It took the U.S. administration to (inaudible) reminded them that Africans first arrive in America as slaves, and given the history of their country,
perhaps the president of the U.S. should be a little bit more careful about how he refers to the Africans who helped build their country under duress.
And I think that is what now is the bigger picture, Isa. That erosion of America's soft power, the damage being done to brand America, and the
impact that that's going to have when it comes to African consumers making their choices.
Are you as an African consumer waiting to buy a Chevy or a car produced by General Motors or are you happy to be seen even with a bottle of Coca Cola
given what that brand is now associated with?
And these are the questions that President Trump as a businessman is going to have to be answering when he sits down with that broader council of
elder statesmen of U.S. corporations.
SOARES: Absolutely. I mean, it does go beyond the politics and the policy or it goes to (inaudible) the heart of business. Nima, do stay with us. I
want to bring in Stephanie in Lagos.
Stephanie, in the U.S., President Trump is facing accusations of racism. There was a significant number of people in Africa considered Trump a
racist world leader. What have you been hearing?
STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN LAGOS PRODUCER: Well, Isa, there's a mixed bag of reactions here. There are those who simply shrug and roll their eyes, and
say, you know, it's Trump. What do we expect? We are not surprised. That's what they are telling me.
We are not surprised. We know he's outspoken. We know that he's not one to mince his words and he doesn't speak in a measured tones of other world
leaders. But then there is outrage in the same respect. There is outrage because people here looks at America as a place of influence.
They really embrace American culture from Hollywood to the films to, you know, kind of well-known American brands. And they believed that the
leader of America should speak in a much more dignified way about their continent and their country.
And so that there is that anger and the outrage in that respect, Isa, and they believed that, you know, he shouldn't be using such vulgar terms, and
yes, many are saying that it is racist of him to say that, you know, African countries are, you know, whatever the word he used.
[15:10:09] Interestingly, Trump does have a very high approval rating here in Nigeria. Last December, the Pew Research Center did a study that show
that he had very high approval ratings, but it will be interesting to see whether those ratings continue.
Finally, there are those who say, he is actually right, and they are seizing on his comments to express their frustrations to their leaders, to
say, how are you going to change our perception around the world -- Isa.
SOARES: Stephanie, do bear with us. I want to bring in Brunellie, who joins us from Port-Au-Prince. And Brunellie, where you on Port-Au-Prince,
what has been the reaction from the Haitians but also from the Haitian government? Are people there as appalled about those disparaging comments,
there in other parts of Africa?
BRUNELLIE JOSEPH, JOURNALIST: Yes. And the same way we have mixed reactions in terms of people's reaction. Let's not forget that today is
the eighth anniversary of the earthquake. So, people have been warning (inaudible).
So, the timing of everything for us is not exactly perfect, but the Haitian government hasn't (inaudible) because of the anniversary of the earthquake.
Only that (inaudible) U.S. official to discuss further.
In terms of the people, you have people that have mixed reaction yet a lot of anger. You have also people that just saying, hey, it's just Trump who
has been like that since the beginning. They are not too concerned.
Other Haitians and Haitian-Americans are concerned about their future and their state in the United States of America. Some are afraid to speak up
to the press because they are afraid that they will revoke their visas.
I mean, Haiti (inaudible) a long history with the U.S. and Haiti considers U.S. to be their big brother. So, they are a little confused as to how
(inaudible) in terms of traveling to the United States (inaudible) seek a better life.
SOARES: I want to go back to Nima, if I can. Nima, you were talking earlier about what the implication would be in terms of business. But let
me ask you this, how much of this -- what do you think is worth? Is it the policy behind it or is it the language that he used?
ELBAGIR: Well, I think they are pretty intertwined. I don't think (inaudible). It is a combination of the fact that nobody was surprised to
hear this coming from President Trump. And the reality that while the U.S. is cutting -- hacking away at their international aid budget,
representations of America that people here will be seeing.
Whether it's the kind of backing for development projects on a border scale, emergency response, while at the same time, there are alternative
options. The (inaudible) example is President (inaudible), the reality is he is important. Sudan is important in terms of the U.S.' response to the
terror and to the Jihadi issues in the horn of Africa.
And that is why financial sanctions in part were -- their liftin was initiated by President Obama and signed off by President Trump. But once
those financial sanctions were lifted, where did (inaudible) go? He went to Russia. Africa has alternatives, Isa, and they will be seeking them if
America doesn't couch its relationship in better terms.
SOARES: Very, very good point there. Nima Elbagir joining us there from Khartoum, Sudan. Stephanie Busari in Lagos, and we are joined also by
Brunellie Joseph in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Ladies, thank you very much and good evening to you.
Of course, we'll have much more on this story ahead. We'll also be joined by a Democratic lawmaker who says congressional condemnation of racist
bigotry isn't enough. He's planning to take action. We'll tell you about it ahead.
While in the midst of a pretty heavy fallout over those vulgar comments and now that President Trump tweet caused quite a stir across the Atlantic. He
says he won't be making a planned visit to London to open a new U.S. embassy here. The trip has not been officially announced, but it was
expected to take place next month.
The president blamed the Obama White House for selling the old embassy site and he says sold for peanuts, but the call to move the embassy was actually
made a decade ago by the Bush administration.
Well, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a longtime critic of Mr. Trump responded with this, "Many Londoners have made it clear that Donald Trump
is not welcome here while he is pursuing such a divisive agenda. It seems he's finally got the message."
Let's get go live now to that new embassy in London. Erin McLaughlin joins us for more. And Erin, President Trump says he won't be coming because the
embassy as you saw in that tweet was sold for peanuts and it was a bad deal. Was it a bad deal?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, if you listen to the U.S. ambassador to the U.K., Woody Johnson, who as you said was appointed by
President Trump certainly doesn't sound from his description to be a bad deal.
[15:15:07] In this evening's "London Standard," he wrote an op-ed coming to the defense of the new embassy site just behind me. Let me just read you a
bit of what he had to say, saying that "The new embassy is the most secure, high-tech, and environmentally friendly embassy that the United States has
ever built, purchased and built.
From the sale of our London properties, the new embassy did not cost the U.S. taxpayer a cent, yet it is one of the most advanced embassies we have
ever built." And in the last hour or so, the U.S. Embassy has put out a statement of its own essentially saying that the old site located in a
prestigious area of Central London had aged beyond security and life safety.
And that it would require extensive investments and appropriated dollars to bring up to code so to speak. You know, it is worth reminding the viewers
that it was the Bush -- under the Bush administration that the decision to move from Central London here to (inaudible) was taken the sale of the
actual building to the (inaudible) was made under the Obama administration.
The amount of that sale, though, at that time was not disclosed, but whatever it was, it was enough when combined with the sale of other London
properties to buy the embassy, building and the site you see behind me, roughly estimated to be around a billion dollars although there have been
plenty of U.S. lawmakers who are outraged or angry.
Expressed their anger at the fact that the United State is spending a billion dollars on an embassy in London -- Isa.
SOARES: Erin, President Trump says he is not coming. He is not cutting the ribbon. Are Londoners really crying over this canceled or they are
breathing a sigh of relief from those you've been speaking to?
MCLAUGHLIN: I think from what we can tell today, Isa, the Londoners are having a bit fun with this story. Madam (inaudible), had wheeled out their
wax work of President Trump. They positioned it outside of the embassy that people could stop here and take selfies with President Trump or the
wax work of him outside the embassy.
Also, on Twitter as well, the #icanceledmytriptolondon is now trending across the U.K. People joking coming up with various reasons why President
Trump might have canceled his trip.
Let me just read you some of them. One person on Twitter saying #icanceledmytriptolondon because they didn't have any (inaudible)
referencing there a previous late night presidential tweet.
And then another person saying, #icanceledmytriptolondon because if I'm not invited to Harry's wedding then I'm not coming at all. A reference there
to reports that President Trump may not invited to Prince Harry's wedding in May.
But in all seriousness, President Trump and his relationship with the U.K., he's really seen as deeply unpopular here and certainly, this latest late-
night tweet not helping matters -- Isa.
SOARES: Indeed and Londoners taking on the chin and having fun with it. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much. Good to see you.
Well, earlier, I spoke to Ken Livingstone. He is a former mayor of London. I began by asking for his reaction to President Trump's decision not to
travel to the U.K. Take a listen.
KEN LIVINGSTONE, FORMER LONDON MAYOR: (Inaudible) moving the embassy was (inaudible) frankly. That was a really good embassy, very expensive, very
well situated and spend a billion just moving to south river (inaudible). I (inaudible) American embassy in the old days, it was very attractive.
SOARES: President Trump says the reason he is not coming to London is because the embassy is moving. It's moving to a location he doesn't agree
with, and he says it was a bad deal. Do you buy that argument?
LIVINGSTONE: No, I think the real reason is he's had a bit of falling out with Theresa May, our prime minister, over issues like Iran, over his
tweeting that fascist comment by (inaudible) organization, and so slapping her down for questioning that.
And also, there will be a huge demonstration against him. I mean, there will be tens of thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands turning out to
protest about the arrival of Trump, and it's not going to look very good on the media around the world. Basically, no one coming to cheer him on.
It will be huge and perhaps the reason the London mayor has said we don't want him coming. This is going to cost us a lot of money when you have
thousands and thousands of police to manage this. It's just potential disaster.
SOARES: You mentioned Mayor Sadiq Khan saying that President Trump have got the message. Should the mayor be speaking for London or should be
speaking for himself when he says that?
LIVINGSTONE: Well, I can't think I've met anyone in the last year who says they are glad to see Trump as president.
[15:20:04] I mean, I chat to all the people in the streets, (inaudible) come out to me and you know, talk about things. I mean, I can't think of
any president in my lifetime so completely without any support. I don't think in Britain, but across most of Europe.
Most Europeans are looking at this, meaning, this is just unbelievable that someone like this could end up in charge of a huge part of nuclear weapons.
It's very scary.
SOARES: On Theresa May, do you think that should extend her hand too much when it comes to defending President Trump?
LIVINGSTONE: Well, I think it looked really bad that she would dashed over immediately (inaudible) seen holding his hand and so on. And then of
course, you have these unpleasant tweets from Trump slapping her down for criticizing (inaudible) racist tweet about far-right groups.
And then of course, (inaudible) clearly the Trump presidency wants to see the overthrow of the Iranian regime, not Theresa May, but all the European
countries have signed up to that nuclear deal. And it's worked quite well.
I just can't think of any point in my lifetime there has been so little consensus between the European governments and an American president. And
I go back to Truman's time.
SOARES: You've been a Londoner all of your life. I'm a Londoner and we have a sense of what is happening, how Londoners feel. Do you think the
majority of London's would welcome the visit by President Trump?
LIVINGSTONE: (Inaudible) this idea that he's going to have a state visit, drive along the road and troops and a huge crowds, that is just not going
SOARES: Boris Johnson attacked Mayor Sadiq Khan today, but he also said he would not allow Khan to affect the relationship between the U.K. and the
U.S. and he was talking primarily about business. Does he have a point?
LIVINGSTONE: The relationship between business and communities is completely different. I mean, American businesses will invest in
(inaudible). I really am concerned about what people are saying about Donald Trump. I suspect (inaudible) American businesses, running American
business or share a lot of those doubts about the Trump presidency.
SOARES: Former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, speaking to me earlier.
Still to come right here, new clues in the murder and rape of a 7-year-old Pakistani girl that sparked outrage in the country. What police say they
found that could help them track down the killer.
And as Trump insult an entire continent and refuses to visit an ally, he's giving Iran another chance. We'll tell you what he said or he didn't and
why it really matters. We'll bring you both these stories after a short --
SOARES: Authorities in Pakistan are still looking for the suspect or suspects in the brutal rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl. Activists in
Karachi lit candles for Zainab Amin on Friday.
[15:25:02] Her death has sparked deadly protests as locals accused authorities of not protecting their children. Eleven girls in the region
have been killed in addition to Zainab. Four people have been (inaudible) in connection with those cases.
Let's get right to CNN's Alexandra Field who joins us now live from Islamabad. Alexandra, what is the latest on the outrage and indeed
crucially the investigation?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The investigation simply isn't moving fast enough for people in this country. They are
outraged. It is very much palpable, Isa. Those deadly demonstrations have given way to more peaceful protests, but we have seen powerful symbols of
the frustration, the fury, frankly, that has overtaken people here in Pakistan.
There is a powerful symbol when a news presenter in this country called for justice for Zainab with her own small daughter seated in her lap. It was
certainly an image that caught people's attention as they continue to push authorities to find Zainab's killer and bring that person to justice.
This is a 7-year-old girl whose body was found dumped on a pile of trash. Authorities say that she had been raped, sodomized, tortured and other
ways. There have, of course, been these urgent calls to find her killer to bring justice for Zainab and a number of other young girls who have been
similarly attacked in this city in Eastern Pakistan.
Authorities say that they are making headway. You had one official from the Punjab government saying that it appears there could be a serial killer
here that investigators are finding links between a number of these cases specifically, Isa, they say that DNA has linked six of the cases when you
talk about the attacks on 12 of these girls.
They say that they do have a number of people in custody who they are talking to, but authorities continue to say that they are on the hunt for
Zainab's killer -- Isa.
SOARES: Absolutely heartbreaking story. Alexandra Field there for us. Thanks very much, Alexandra.
Now, a marathon all night talking session led to a vital breakthrough for Germany's (inaudible) four months after the election that left Angela
Merkel down but not out. She and the social Democrats reached a preliminary deal to begin coalition talks. It opens the way for a fourth
term for Merkel. She held a deal as a new start for Germany.
Still to come tonight, did he or didn't he? Outrage continues around President Trump denies he made on immigration.
And what will doctors find during the president's annual physical taking place today?
And last chance for the Iran nuclear deal, that's what President Trump has laid out in the past hour. We'll explain what this means for Washington as
well as Tehran.
SOARES: You are watching HALA GORANI TONIGHT.
Let me remind you of our top story this hour. US President Donald Trump is denying that he referred to certain nations in extremely vulgar terms
during a bipartisan meeting on immigration in the Oval Office on Thursday.
A White House statement yesterday did not refute the remark. But, today, Mr. Trump was tweeting his own defense. But Democratic Senator Dick
Durbin, who was in the meeting, told reporters that the president did use the vulgar words repeatedly and they were "hate filled." The comments are
drawing international condemnation, as you can imagine.
Joining me now from Houston, Texas is Democratic Congressman Al Green. Congressman, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here on
First of all, I want to get your reaction to those comments by President Trump.
REP. AL GREEN (D), TEXAS: Thank you for having me on the program. I was shocked, thunderstruck. And I say this notwithstanding the many other
comments that the president has made.
I refused to allow myself to see some degree of normalcy associated with this kind of commentary. I am going to continue to resist the notion that
the president can do this, and that it is acceptable in any quarters.
So, I was very hurt by it. I love my country. I believe that my country is the greatest country in the world. And because I believe this, I don't
want my country to have this type of representation. The bigotry that is emanating from the presidency is unacceptable and we have to do something
SOARES: And congressman, just for international viewers, I know you've been tweeting on the topic as well. If I can just wait out one of your
tweets, "Congressional condemnation of racist bigotry is not enough. In Congress, talk is cheap-it's how we vote that counts. Next week, I will
again bring a resolution to impeach @realDonaldTrump. I will put my vote where my mouth is. #RepealandReplaceTrump"
Is this what you're going to be doing, congressman? Are you going to be calling on others to do the same?
GREEN: I will do exactly what I said. I will put my vote where my mouth is. And I believe that the president has violated Section 2 of the
Constitution. I believe that, in so doing, the president has put himself in a position such that Congress can bring Articles of Impeachment. Any
member of Congress can do this. I will do it. And I will guarantee that I will vote for impeachment.
This is a vote of conscious for members of Congress. We now know that this is a way. The question will be, do we have the will. I can only speak for
myself. I don't lobby members on these types of votes. These are votes of conscious and I want each member to make a decision.
I do want to say this in addition to what I just said. I want people to know that this is not representative of the United States of America. The
president's comments are not representatives of our country.
I have a district that is very diverse. It's international in scope. The ballot in my district is printed in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and
Chinese. So, I represent a diverse constituency. And I don't want the world to believe that this is the kind of president that we want and
I cannot - I cannot - respect what this president is doing. I respect the presidency. I cannot respect this president for what he is doing. And I
believe that impeachment is the only solution to the problem that emanates from this president's commentary.
SOARES: We have heard, of course, other derogatory comments from the president, comments that he has denied throughout his year in office or so.
Would you say, congressman, that this was really the tipping point for you?
GREEN: Well, I reached the tipping point earlier. This is an additional tipping point. But you're right, the president has made some very ugly
Before he became president, to indicate that President Obama was not born in the United States; after becoming president, to indicate that President
Obama tapped his phone lines; since he's become president, to mention that those people who gathered in Charlottesville, those bigots, those members
of the KKK, the white supremacist, that there were some good fine people among them, for him to say these things, coupled with things that he said
about members of Congress, to call a congresswoman whacky, to talk about the mothers of professional athlete saying that they were dogs when he said
they were SOBs, so this is not the first.
But it is his last. I hope that it will be his last if the Congress votes to impeach him. I can't guarantee impeachment. I can guarantee that there
will be a vote and an attempt to allow each member to cast a vote for impeachment.
SOARES: We heard from Speaker Paul Ryan today who, in the last few hours, he said that President Trump's comments, and I'm quoting him here, "were
unfortunate, unhelpful." Do you think he went far enough?
[15:35:06] And my other question to you is, where are the Republicans in this? Why are they staying so silent?
GREEN: Well, we're celebrating Dr. King's birth this week. On the 15th, we celebrate his birthday. And Dr. King talked about people who remain
silent and how their silence creates harm because they are not using time efficaciously. It's what we do with the time that we have that makes a
And I hope that people of goodwill will come forward and will make commentary, make statements that will indicate that what the president is
doing is absolutely unacceptable and that the president must be removed from office. He cannot stay in this office given his behavior, given his
We are the most powerful country in the world. We have the world's greatest and most powerful nuclear arsenal. We can do things to the world
that no one else can do, no other country can do.
So, we must have a president who understands the awesome power of the presidency and who has great respect for the majesty of the presidency, the
majesty associated with it.
SOARES: We saw a tweet today from the former FBI Director James Comey, who, obviously, we knew President Trump fired last year.
And this is what he tweeted. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! This country's greatness and true genius," he says, "lies in
Congressman, what has happened to give me your poor, your huddled masses. What has happened to that spirit of America? How do you think that will
GREEN: What happened is this. We, unfortunately, elected a person to the presidency who is a bigot. That's what's happened. And we have a remedy.
Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that remedy. We have to exercise that remedy.
We have a president who is desirous, it seems, of having persons come from one country that he would juxtapose to those who are from the nations in
Africa, and that country does not have, for the most part, persons of color.
And he seems to be inviting persons of color to stay at home and encouraging persons from other countries to come to the United States.
This country has opened its doors to all. We cannot close them to people of color. This would be akin to some of the things that happened in the
early part of the life of this country when hatred and bigotry was not only codified, it was exercised in all walks of life.
We can't turn back the clock and we need to turn out the president.
SOARES: Congressman, I appreciate you taking the time to speak to us here on the show. Congressman Al Green there.
Well, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has taken to Twitter in response to Trump's remarks on immigration. Mrs. Clinton writes, " The
anniversary of the devastating earthquake 8 years ago is a day to remember the tragedy, honor the resilient people of Haiti, & affirm America's
commitment to helping our neighbors. Instead, we`re subjected to Trump's ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn't look like him."
Well, CNN's Anderson Cooper covered that tragedy eight years ago. He was moved to offer this documentary - this commentary rather on the resilience
as well as the strength of the Haitian people. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, AC360: For days and weeks without help from their own government or police, the people of Haiti dug through rubble with
their bare and bloodied hands to save complete strangers, guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying.
I was there when a young girl named Bee who'd been trapped in rubble for nearly a day was rescued by people who had no heavy equipment. They just
had their God-given strength and their determination and their courage.
I was there when a 5-year-old boy named Monley was rescued after being buried for more than seven days. Do you know what strength it takes to
survive on rainwater buried under concrete, a 5-year-old boy buried for seven days?
Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it. They look you in the eye. They do not blink. They stand tall. They have dignity. A dignity many in
this White House could learn from. It is a dignity the president with all his money and all his power could learn from as well.
On the anniversary of the earthquake, on this day when this president has said what he has about Haitians, we hope the people in Haiti who are
listening tonight in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel and Benait and Miami and elsewhere, we hope they know our thoughts are with them, and our love is
with them as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:40:07] SOARES: We are indeed. Thanks, Anderson.
Well, as for President Trump, he is spending his afternoon getting poked and prodded. The president left a couple of hours ago for his annual
physical at Walter Reed Hospital.
This will be his first-known medical checkup since, I think, taking office. Well, let's get some perspective from CNN's senior political analyst David
Gergen on this. He joins me now from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
David, thanks very much for joining us. Let's start with the medical. What should President Trump be tested for today? What can we expect?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, Isa. It's good to be here.
He will be tested across the board on everything other than his mental health. That will not be included in the examination. It is not routinely
included among other examinations, but everything else.
I think George W. Bush had maybe ten different specialists look at him for his annual physical. So, there is a lot of poking and prodding, as you
SOARES: Of course. You mentioned it's not mental health. But as you well know, there have been lots of questions, David, about his fitness to lead
recently, his mental competence, let's say, whether it's his erratic behavior as per the book "Fire and Fury" or the language we've been hearing
in the last 24 hours.
Will whatever comes out of this medical make any of these concerns go away?
GERGEN: No, they won't. And actually, I think the concern in this country is increasing, not decreasing, on the question of his mental and emotional
fitness for the office.
This last outburst yesterday disgusted a great many people, but it did not surprise a whole lot of people because there have been a string of comments
about countries where black and brown folks are found.
He went after Mexicans early on as rapists and drug addicts and drug dealers coming into the United States. He went after Haitians, said they
all have AIDS. He went after Nigeria and said people don't want to go back and live in those huts. He's now gone after Africa with this comment of
yesterday. He's gone after Asians.
There is a clear sense, I think, around the world and a growing sense in the United States that he's hanging a sign on Lady of Liberty, if you're
not white, you're not welcome.
SOARES: Well, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently called the idea that Trump was mentally unfit for the job as disgraceful
She went on to say that he had been sitting there and wouldn't have defeated - he defeated most of the Republican candidates, if he was - if
that isn't the case. I mean, doesn't she have a point there, David?
GERGEN: I think there's no question that President Trump does have some acute mental qualities and that is he has a sixth sense, if you would, of
the American psyche and how sort of working-class folks live and feel.
And he used that very, very well in the campaign. He's also a very - he's a master salesman. That's what he does. And so, he was able very, very, I
think, adroitly to take out his opponents. He was running against a dozen other people, took them all out and he beat the biggest political machine
in the country, if you want to call it that, the Hillary Clinton's campaign, a formidable force. So, yes, he does have some qualities that
But on the other hand, if you go to the questions of volatility, of temperament, of understanding the world, of ignorance versus smart -
whether he ever reads, he rejects all of that - and in the book that came out, what really captured people's attention were, I think, a couple of
First of all, his own team to a person said that he's not fit for the office. That's his own team who worked with him every day. And that
argument has not been effectively refuted by the White House.
His aides also reported that his attention span has grown shorter and repetition patterns when he speaks - a year ago, when he first took office,
he might tell the same story three times in the course of 30 minutes or so, repeating almost in detail the same language, the story he told.
Now, that's down to about ten minutes. In other words, in over a ten- minute span, he may tell people the same story three times. Now, that, frankly, is very concerning.
So, there has been a - there's not an uproar yet. But there is a very profound concern that goes deep in some circles, professional circles in
this country, including psychiatric circles, about his - whether he's deteriorating in some fashion, whether he suffers from other psychic
Mind you, we have had presidents in the past who have had psychic disorders, but this is at a level that has - for the first time in my life,
is really of serious concern.
[15:45:05] SOARES: And, of course, we haven't had that physical, the results from that physical checkup.
SOARES: But we will be waiting. David Gergen, always great to get your insight. Thank you.
GERGEN: Thank you, Isa.
SOARES: Now, a waiver and a warning. That's what Donald Trump is issuing to Iran, saying he will agree to suspend sanctions, but for the last time,
unless he says things change. The decision of always upending 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, an agreement Mr. Trump has repeatedly, I think it's fair
to say, disparaged.
Elise Labott is in Washington for us. Elise, so he says - the president says he will waive nuclear sanction against Iran for the last time. What's
his strategy? Talk us through the thinking here.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, what he is trying to do is get Congress to fix this legislation that essentially
called on him to certify whether Iran is meeting the nuclear components of the deal, meeting this nuclear deal, and that it's not looking at the
totality of Iranian behavior, whether that be its ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, human rights.
So, he wants the legislation to look at Iran's total activity, not just the nuclear activity. And then, he also wants the Europeans and the groups of
countries, including Russia and China, that reached this nuclear deal with Iran along with the United States to strengthen the provisions of the deal.
So, I think he's hoping that, by the time, he has to waive sanctions the next period - and there's a group of sanctions, so it's anywhere from 120
to 180 days - he said this is the last time. I not going to waive again. I want to see a fix in the legislation. I want to see a stronger nuclear
deal, so we don't have this issue.
The problem is - and you heard from the Iranian foreign minister today on Twitter, saying the deal is not up for negotiation. So, I think what this
administration does has kicked the can down the road. We'll see what happens with Iran between now and then.
SOARES: Yes, of course. And we know what - kind of it's driven really a wedge, isn't it, between Europe and the United States. And Europe, it
seems, is not budging.
Elise Labott, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, changing the face of Facebook. Why element of its news feed are about to become old news. Laurie Segall explains next.
SOARES: Now, when you think of the word social network, one name has long been the leader of the gang, and that is Facebook. But as many of us know,
spending too much time on it can lead to some pretty anti-social habits.
But Facebook says it wants to change that. The company is shaking up the way it displays its newsfeed, a move it hopes will boost users' wellbeing
and promote meaningful interactions.
Well, the vice president of Facebook's newsfeed spoke exclusively to Laurie Segall and she joins us now for more from San Francisco.
So, Laurie, how exactly are things going to change? How does it change the life of consumers?
[15:50:06] LAURIE SEGALL, "CNNMONEY" SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: In short, you're going to see more posts from your friends and family. They're
trying to, as you say, spark those meaningful conversations and then less from publishes and big brands. So, that, obviously, will have some pretty
But I actually had the opportunity, as you said, to sit down with the VP of newsfeed and he explained to me they wanted to focus on quality, and not
quantity. Take a listen.
ADAM MOSSERI, VP PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, FACEBOOK: So, the idea is to try and focus more on bringing people together by trying to put more emphasis on
facilitating more meaningful social interactions between people.
And the way we do that in ranking is to value things like commenting or writing a long comment more and valuing things like how long we might think
you - how long we think you might watch a video for less. And so, as a result, the ecosystem will shift.
SEGALL: Could that lead to less daily active users?
MOSSERI: I think - I mean anything is always possible. In this case, we haven't seen that people come to Facebook less often. We do see that
people spend a little bit less time on Facebook.
But we think that if we are creating an experience that people are finding meaningful, that over the long run, they're going to use the experience of
the platform more, and that will be good both for people and for the business.
SEGALL: You guys have fallen into some uncomfortable editorial questions in the last year, whether it's the weaponization of the platform or just
hate speech and all of these real philosophical, ethical questions that come with becoming a worldwide platform. So, is this trying to take a step
away from, you know, those uncomfortable editorial questions?
MOSSERI: I don't think there's any future in which we are not having difficult conversations about sticky issues. And so, I don't think there's
rankings that -
SEGALL: Increasingly so, right?
MOSSERI: Yes. And that's because we - a lot of people use our platform every single day. And it's an important part of the way people communicate
and consume information. And so, I think along with that comes a lot of attention and scrutiny. And this ranking change isn't going to change
SOARES: Laurie, we know, of course, how the business work. Facebook, as our viewers would know, the product is the users. The more time we stay,
the more money Facebook makes. So, can Facebook ever be meaningful and good for us?
SEGALL: That was the question I also asked Adam. I said, will you, at some point - would you be willing to sacrifice revenue for wellbeing of
your users? And he said, I don't think you have to.
He said this is a long-term investment. He said that - we think that more quality and a better life and wellbeing will mean people will keep coming
to the platform. But they're going to take a hit. He did say that they've seen less people spend more time on Facebook.
And by the way, you've got to look on Wall Street today. Shares down. I think Facebook certainly having its worst day in over a year. So, you're
going to have this constant negotiation.
You hear tech folks here in Silicon Valley and San Francisco talking about really wanting to change the world and do this for the better and also
But then, you've got to negotiate. These are multi-billion-dollar businesses who have built these businesses on getting us to pick our phone,
on getting us to scroll and swipe and click, Isa.
SOARES: Yes. Very, very good point. Laurie Segall there for us in San Francisco. Thanks very much, Laurie. Good to see you.
More to come tonight, including life after the White House. Barack Obama opens up in a special Netflix interview. And did he face a very unusual
foe? We'll explain next.
[15:55:00] SOARES: Welcome back to HALA GORANI TONIGHT.
Now, he is the man who ended the war in Iraq, kickstarted an economic stimulus back home and brought marriage equality to America.
As president, Barack Obama has stared many challenges in the face without blinking. But since then, he's gone head to head with an opponent that
left him a total - and, I mean, a total emotional wreck. A lamp.
Yes, you heard you me correctly. I know this isn't some family guy, salve (ph) kind of gag. A regular desk lamp almost brought America's former
commander-in-chief to tears.
To be fair, the lamp does belong to his eldest child, Malia, who he was seeing off to Harvard University. Now, we could tell you about ended up
assembling the thing, but we thought maybe perhaps you'd like to hear it from the man himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Malia, who is very thoughtful, she says, hey, dad, you know, I've got this lamp in this box,
put the desk lamp together. I said, sure.
So, I grab it. And it should have taken like five minutes or three minutes. I've had one of those little wrenches that are in -
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION WITH DAVID LETTERMAN: It comes with the tool.
OBAMA: That little tool. And it only had like four parts or something. And I'm just sitting there and I'm just toiling away at this thing and it's
taken half an hour. And meanwhile, Michelle has finished scrubbing and she's organizing closets and all this. And I was just pretty pathetic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: His big achievement, it seems. He's lucky he didn't get an IKEA desk. That would've taken him much, much longer.
And that does it for us. Thank you very much for watching.
Do stay right here with CNN. "Quest Means Business" with Richard Quest is coming up right here on CNN.