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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
U.N.: Palestinian Refugees At Risk As U.S. Cuts Funding; UNRWA Commissioner General Responds To U.S. Funding Cut; Debate Over Immigration Reform Holding Up Spending Bill; Congress Must Pass Bill By Friday To Avoid Shutdown; Trump Still Under Fire For Immigration Comments; Calcium In President`s Blood Vessels Is Sign Of Heart Disease. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 17, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, everyone. Live from CNN`s World Headquarters in Atlanta, I`m Hala Gorani.
Tonight, we are keeping an eye on Capitol Hill where the American president, Donald Trump, has just arrived. He`s attending an event. We`ll
have more on that later this hour.
But first, over the past year, the world has watched as one man has changed America`s very relationship with it. Over and over I have reported on the
ways Donald Trump has ripped up rule books and has often defied conventional wisdom.
Whatever you think of him, that is fascinating, especially when you`re in a warm and comfortable tv studio in America, but not everyone has the luxury
of simply finding Mr. Trump`s policies fascinating.
Now, for instance, the people you`re looking at now are Palestinian refugees. They`ve just been told America will hold back more than half the
money it gives to a U.N. agency that supports them, $65 million, to be exact.
Now that money is used for things like healthcare and education. In other words, the building blocks of their future. But they didn`t have much of a
say in that decision or any say at all. In fact, these people sometimes say they don`t have a voice.
That`s why you can hear here from the comfort of the United States we want to ask why this is happening and why now. One man with some answers is Ian
Lee, who is in Jerusalem. First of all, tell us exactly what kind of impact this will have on Palestinian refugees living in some of these
camps. You visited one today -- Ian.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris Gunes, the UNRWA spokesman said this is the most severe financial crisis the agency has ever faced. That`s
because over 5 million Palestinians rely on this aid. We`re looking at over half a million children who are educated, over 3 million people get
their healthcare from UNRWA and there`s another 300,000 people who get other types of services like food aid and work.
And so, this really could hurt all these different programs that they have for these Palestinian refugees. And Hala, one place in particular -- two
places, rather, you look at Lebanon and Jordan.
They have a large number of Palestinian refugees, but they also have a large number of refugees from Syria, and they say that this crisis could
lead to instability if they just don`t have the funds to take care of these people.
GORANI: Did you get any reaction from some of the camps you visited today to this?
LEE: There`s a lot of anger. You know, the one thing when you talk about -- people say we are not going to be blackmailed. We aren`t a bargaining
chip for U.S. foreign policy. We heard from President Trump in a tweet that said that the United States gives so much money to the Palestinians
and they don`t get anything in return.
And a lot of Palestinians are looking at that, and they`re very angry. They say we`re human beings. We`re not to be bargained with in political
games. So, there`s a lot of fear there also about what could happen to their services.
Now, (inaudible) has said that they`ll keep those schools open, keep the clinics open to help people and they`re going to try to keep the 30,000
employees paid, but it`s going to be difficult and they`re looking for other sources of funding right now.
GORANI: We hope to be speaking to the head of UNRWA in just a moment. We`re getting that interview set up. So, you are hearing anger from the
Palestinians, what about the Israelis you`ve been speaking with? What do they say?
LEE: Well, we heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and this is something he`s been calling for, for a while now, and a number of
Israeli politicians. They say UNRWA has outlived its purpose, that it`s no longer relevant. That other U.N. agencies should take its place.
But UNRWA is special, it is a U.N. agency that`s looking after these Palestinian refugees, and again over 5 million of them. A large number of
refugees that need these services and Israeli officials, though, say that the slack could be picked up from other U.N. agencies -- Hala.
GORANI: Thanks very much, Ian Lee live in Jerusalem. Speaking of UNRWA, the commissioner general of that body that is designed to help protect
Palestinian refugees says his team will, quote, "face this crisis with resolve and creativity. Raise funds elsewhere."
His name is Pierre Krahenbuhl and we are very fortunate to speak to him now from Amman in Jordan. Mr. Krahenbuhl, first of all, you are saying that
you will raise funds to make up for that shortfall that the United States will not be contributing some other way. How will you do that?
PIERRE KRAHENBUHL, COMMISSIONER GENERAL. UNRWA: Well, first of all, it stems from the responsibility that we have as an organization. We were not
self-declared one morning in 1949.
[15:05:11] We were tasked by the General Assembly of the United Nations. So, my first objective is, of course, to go back to member states of the
United Nations, present them with the impact of this dramatic reduction in funding from the United States, and say we need new alliances, new forms of
But we will also be launching a global campaign to engage the world on the basis of solidarity that exists in the world for Palestine refugees and say
it is really very important to recognize that the lives and the future and the rights of Palestine refugees matter and matter here in the region but
GORANI: So, Israeli leaders, as you may have heard from our Ian Lee, are saying UNRWA has outlived its purpose. It doesn`t need to exist in its
current form anymore. How do you respond to that?
KRAHENBUHL: Well, two things come to my mind. The first thing is let`s just take for one second the idea that UNRWA would no longer exist, does
anybody in the world seriously think that individuals, Palestine refugees in Syria, Aleppo, or in Rafah in the Gaza Strip would simply give up their
quest for dignity and for a just and lasting solution? I think that`s a great illusion.
And in the meantime, UNRWA is actually one of the key contributors to one of the probably most successful endeavors of human development notably
through our education work, 700 schools, 500,000 students, boys and girls, you know, like my own sons and many people`s children around the world, who
are just very determined and committed to find their place and to be respected, and it is this quest for humanity and the recognition of their
humanity that lies at the core of UNRWA`s work.
GORANI: And how did you hear of this news, that the U.S. would be withholding about half of what it usually contributes to this program, to
this agency? Were you given a call? Did you receive an e-mail? How did you hear of it?
KRAHENBUHL: Well, of course, for a few days now there`s been a very public debate in the U.S. and also inside the U.S. government about what to do
with the funding in general to Palestinians and then also to UNRWA.
Now, the first thing to say is that, of course, the United States has been an extraordinarily generous contributor to this organization over decades,
something, you know, we are immensely grateful to the people of the United States but also to many officials, presidents and others, who have served
and supported this organization.
The impact, however, of this change and of this reduction is very significant for an organization that has the responsibilities that we have.
So yes, I received a call, and I was notified of the decision approximately 24 hours ago. And in the meantime, we are very determined, as I said, to
find other ways to live up to the commitment and the responsibilities that we have.
GORANI: Have you received any pledges from any other countries or any other organizations to date?
KRAHENBUHL: Well, at this very moment, the key thing is to contact them. We have been contacting a number of countries to try and advance their
contributions, so their regular contributions, so that we can fill the immediate shortfall for January and the beginning of February.
Then, of course, we will be taking a series of initiatives and I`ll be working with the secretary-general of the United Nations. I have been in
touch with many foreign ministers around the world to seek new support, additional support, new ways of engaging.
And you know, I want to tell you in just a word why it`s so important. I was just a few weeks ago on the outskirts of Damascus and in one of the
camps, which is just on the outside of the capital of Damascus, which we have thousands of Palestine refugees in a camp that was very embattled in
I visited the clinic that we have there in the middle of a camp that has been very much damaged by the conflict, and there everything was in place.
All the material was there in the lab and everything.
And I was going to thank the staff when I was introduced to one of the guards and one of our sanitation laborers, who throughout the conflict had
taken all of our lab material to protect them in our homes to make sure it wouldn`t be looted.
I knew at that moment that if people are as dedicated as those to be able to hold and keep these operations going under those circumstances, I have
to put every energy that I have into this.
The same is true for the thousands of students in our schools who say to the world that they don`t want to be seen only as refugees and victims,
they want to be recognized for their passion, their contribution, their motivation and skills and I think we owe them that. They are citizens of
the world for the moment of a fully independent state of their own.
GORANI: Pierre Krahenbuhl, the head of UNRWA, thanks very much for joining us there on this day as we continue to cover the news that the United
States has decided to withhold about half of its normal funding to that U.N. agency that deals with Palestinian refugees.
Back home, Washington is, like many times in the last year, facing a number of vexing problems. Right now, the president is on Capitol Hill as we
speak. He is attending a medal ceremony to honor former Senator Bob Dole.
But all around him Congress is desperately trying to find solutions to two pretty huge problems. Number one, avoid a government shutdown. Congress
has two days to come up with a deal or the government runs out of money.
Number two, sort out an immigration policy and get a deal on the more than 700,000 DREAMers. That was thought to be intertwined with any funding
bill. Now there`s just a whole lot of confusion.
Let`s go live to the White House. Jeremy Diamond is there with more. So, for our viewers internationally, obviously without getting into the nitty-
gritty detail of a potential government shutdown, we are talking here about an immigration deal that is getting nowhere, and the clock is ticking.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That`s right. The clock is absolutely ticking and Democrats as well as some Republican supporters of
these proposals to find some kind of a solution for these undocumented immigrants are arguing that unless they can find that solution, that they
are not trying to support any kind of government funding that runs out in just a few days here.
You know, the White House has made clear that it is prepared to support a short-term funding bill that would keep the government open for just an
additional week or two, but there is still a lot of discussion on Capitol Hill today about finding this immigration solution.
The White House chief of staff, John Kelly, was on Capitol Hill this morning having not one, not two but four separate meetings about this
immigration solution. He has been leading the White House effort on this front.
And the bipartisan agreement that the president shut down last week in that meeting in which he also uttered those vulgar remarks, that deal is
expected to be introduced with an additional three Republican sponsors.
So, there is some movement here even if an agreement does not immediately appear in sight. You mention, of course, that the president is on Capitol
Hill at this moment. He`s not there to deal with This immigration debate right now, at least that`s not the planned purpose of the visit.
Instead he`ll be there for a congressional gold medal ceremony for the former Republican nominee, Bob Dole, who is now, I believe, 94 years old.
He`ll be honoring him at that ceremony and, who know, perhaps few side conversations about immigration might also take place.
GORANI: All right. We`ll be going to that event. He`s scheduled only to speak for a couple of minutes and award that medal to Bob Dole who was, by
the way, a supporter of Donald Trump. He actually appeared at the convention in the summer of 2016 to support him. Thanks very much, Jeremy
Let`s talk about all these issues, let`s speak now to Paris Dennard, a CNN political commentator and a member of the Trump Advisory Board, and he is
in Washington. Why aren`t we getting anywhere on this immigration deal?
Why tie wall funding to a deal on DACA, these DREAMers, when really this should be a priority, to do this independently of any wall funding deal
should -- I mean, isn`t this just a humanitarian imperative at this point?
PARIS DENNARD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, you`ve asked several good questions. I think that the bigger deal is why are we trying
to fund the government and then add on all of these additional policy and political issues and bills to it?
It would be better if the Congress would put forth a clean bill that says let`s just focus on funding the government, let`s focus on supporting our
troops and supporting our military and pass that through.
GORANI: Well, I mean, you could also argue why tie the construction of a wall to finding a solution for these DREAMers who came to the U.S., as you
know, as kids, have nothing to do with the decision to be brought to America, why do they have to be turned into political bargaining chips?
It`s not their fault.
DENNARD: It`s no one`s fault but the United States Congress because the Congress should have acted on this a long time ago. We saw President Obama
do something with an executive action and President Trump said, look, no more. It`s time for these people to stop living with uncertainty. We need
to have a firm policy that Congress needs to decide on what that is going to be.
GORANI: But the Republicans can simply say let`s provide certainty to these people, find a deal on DACA without funding a wall, which by the way,
voters were promised would be paid for by Mexico. That obviously wasn`t true, isn`t true anymore at this stage?
DENNARD: So, you can`t say that`s true when the wall has not been built and no funding source has come through from it. So, if after the wall is
built and if no revenue comes from Mexico at all through any type of form to go back to pay for this or used to pay for it, then you can make that
statement, but to say that now is inaccurate. But I think the Republicans have a right --
[15:15:03] GORANI: Well, Mexico has been very clear it`s not paying for any wall so --
DENNARD: The Republicans in the House and the Senate have a right to say if we`re going to look at the immigration issue, the crumbling horrible
immigration issue that we have, in terms of illegal immigration, it is fair to say, let`s look at the southern border certifying that gateway to chain
migration and this visa issue as well as DACA because it all plays into the issue of immigration and illegal immigration.
So, it is a reasonable thing to do. What is unreasonable is to tie all these things to the CR, the continuing resolution, to fund the government.
When they play politics like this, which we see the Democrats are doing, unfortunately, it makes it very --
GORANI: But Paris, you know as well as I do that everyone plays politics in Washington. It`s not one side over the other side. Everybody has their
political interests and their constituents, and they`re going to be, of course, speaking to those powers as well.
But internationally what has played extremely poorly, and I`m sure you`re aware of this, is the fact that the president was reported to have used
vulgarity to describe a huge portion of the world. Many of them are our viewers on CNN International, calling African countries s-hole and the rest
Whether it was exactly that word or another, those are the president`s feelings about people who come from black and brown countries, it seems.
That`s how it`s perceived outside the U.S. and inside the U.S. by many as well.
DENNARD: Yes, that has nothing to do with DACA. That should have nothing to do with the continuing resolution.
GORANI: It has to do with immigration. It`s directly related.
DENNARD: Well, I will say that no one knows the exact things that were said. I could promise you that it was not the president`s sentiment or
statement to actually talk about the people from these countries. That`s not what he was saying at all, if that`s what he said. But I think it`s
interesting that we didn`t miss the outcry when President Obama referred to Libya as an s-show. So, we can play politics --
GORANI: That is absolutely not the same thing. This is talking about a situation where the politics is, was and still is in total chaos. Here
this is a value judgment on the merit of the immigrants from those countries. We`d rather have Norwegians and not have Africans. There`s no
doubt that`s factually how it`s being read and interpreted abroad.
DENNARD: That`s how it`s been portrayed in the media and that`s how you and others try to put it out there. But I think it is fair to a
correlation between what President Obama said about the political conditions of Libya and what President Trump`s sentiments are about certain
countries and having a merit-based system rather than the other types of visa systems and diversity programs that we have. He believes that we
should go to a merit-based system. So, we get the very best --
GORANI: But that`s not the very same thing. You have people who are incredibly talented, well-educated who come from Africa and possibly
immigrants from White majority countries like Norway who would not necessarily pass any merit-based test. But that`s not what he said. He
didn`t say I want more engineers, he said, I want more Norwegians.
DENNARD: That`s not exactly what he said. So, if we`re going to quote the president, let`s quote him correctly and nobody was in the room that`s
where on the camera right now so let`s put this out as fact.
I think what we have to focus on today is moving forward. We need to get a plan in place. The Congress must act, so that we can, once and for all,
stop playing politics with illegal immigration.
We have an illegal immigration problem unique to our country. Other countries around the world, your viewers very well know this, do not have
the same issues with illegal immigration because they have strict rules when it comes to immigration.
And so, this country has got to get it together and President Trump is the leader who wants to get it done. I hope the Congress has the will to
actually act on it because the American people want something to be done.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Paris Dennard, for joining us. We appreciate really your time on CNN this evening.
And some news just into CNN, the U.K.`s Brexit bill has cleared another hurdle. The bill officially known as the E.U. withdrawal bill was approved
by the House of Commons just a few minutes ago, which means that the next step is that the legislation now goes to the House of Lords.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said he was pleased that the bill has passed. Still to come tonight, the president`s doctor says he`s healthy, but our
chief medical correspondent says that may not be entirely true. We`ll look at the reason why when we come back. Stay with us.
GORANI: The White House is standing by a doctor`s assessment that the president is in excellent health. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the
White House doctor knows Mr. Trump`s health better than anyone.
But some of the data released about Mr. Trump paints a different picture. A measurement of calcium in his arteries was elevated, which is considered
a sign of heart disease potentially.
Our chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta was the first person to notice those elevated levels of calcium. He joins me now live from
Washington. In layman`s terms, can you explain what you noticed when those results were announced?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I asked the doctor specifically about a type of test, which he hadn`t talked about originally
that measures the amount of plaque that -- these are things that causes blockages in blood vessels, the amount of plaque in blood vessels that
specifically lead to the heart, those are called the coronary blood vessels.
A lot of people may have heard that term. This test gives you an idea of how much plaque there is and how much blockage is potentially being caused
by that. That`s the concern. This is called a coronary calcium test.
In simple terms, Hala, you`d love for that score to be zero, that you have no calcium in the plaque of those vessels. Anything above a hundred is
considered moderate heart disease. His score is 133.
So, he has evidence of this plaque, that plaque has calcium that can be measured. It does not appear to be causing him problems now, but it`s
definitely an indication of heart disease and something that doctors, you know, need to address so it doesn`t become a problem later on down the
GORANI: I want our viewers to listen to some of the exchange that you had with the doctor, in fact, at yesterday`s briefing in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: Just to be fair, though, Dr. Jackson, he is taking cholesterol medication, he has evidence of heart disease and he`s borderline obese.
Can you characterize that as excellent health?
DR. RONNY JACKSON, PRESIDENTIAL PHYSICIAN: I think based on his current cardiac -- you know, study, his heart is very healthy. Those are all
things that we`re looking at with regards -- you`re a neurosurgeon. There`s stroke issues there, too, but we`re focused on his cardiac, you
know, health, you know, as an indicator of what the rest of his vascular health might be like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, what did you make of that reply?
GUPTA: Well, it`s interesting because I sort of mentioned that the president in this case does have heart disease and high cholesterol and
borderline obesity, and Dr. Jackson agreed with all those things.
I think the point that Dr. Jackson is trying to make, and I think he did a very diligent job of assessing the president, but the point he is taking a
picture in time looking at his heart with an ultrasound, as they did.
Looking at his heart as it is being stressed, called a stress test, his heart seemed to function normally. Those tests were normal. But the
concern still going forward is if those plaques become worse, if that blockage becomes worse, that`s when you start to worry about heart
No one is saying that has happened, no one is saying that`s currently happening, but in order to prevent it from happening down the future, this
is a clue. This is why you order these tests to basically, you know, arrive at this diagnosis to try to prevent some sort of bigger problem
later on down the road.
[15:25:09] So, you know, it maybe seems a little nuanced (inaudible) inside baseball, but the president has heart disease that`s not caused him
symptoms as of yet. It can stay that way if certain things happen, lifestyle changes and medication alterations which the doctor is doing.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much for those clarifications, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Appreciate having you on the program.
GUPTA: Yes. Thank you, Hala.
GORANI: One by one, women who were victimized by an American gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, are confronting him very bravely and courageously.
Ninety eight women in all are expected to face their abuser this week during his sentencing hearing and testify about what he did to them. He`ll
have to listen to every word. The former U.S. gymnastics team member, Janet Antolin, told Nassar was a monster who preyed on innocents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANETTE ANTOLIN, FORMER U.S. GYMNASTICS TEAM MEMBER: Larry, you made me believe that you were my friend. You deceived me, you manipulated me, and
you abused me. I truly believe that you are the spawn of Satan. Those little girls that you took advantage of so easily have now come back to
haunt you all of the days of your life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let`s get to CNN legal analyst, Areva Martin, who is joining me from Los Angeles. I guess, my question is for a team doctor to have done
this for years to dozens and dozens of girls, legally speaking, are other people going to be held responsible because they were the adults who were
tasked with taking care of these athletes? Can other adults be held responsible for not having spotted this or intervened?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That`s an excellent question, and that`s one of the questions that will be definitely answered in the civil lawsuits
that we`ve seen filed. There are over a hundred of the young women who filed civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and sexual inappropriate
conduct with respect to the doctor.
Now, the question is, are law enforcement agencies, are those that have the power to criminally prosecute, are they also investigating whether
individuals that the Michigan State University or that were affiliated with U.S. gymnastics, were they knowledgeable?
Did they have information? Should they have known that this kind of conduct was taking place, and did they turn a blind eye? That`s one of the
big questions to be answered in this case. Because you`re right, how could this happen for so long, involve so many young girls and no one else in
authority not be aware of the conduct?
GORANI: Obviously, there`s the distinction between the civil lawsuits being brought forward and whether or not law enforcement decides to bring
charges against other people involved in the U.S. gymnastics team.
MARTIN: Yes. There are two parallel cases that are happening, civil lawsuits that have named Michigan State University and the U.S. Gymnastics
Association. So, there will be discovery with respect to those civil lawsuits, depositions, and questions asked and an investigation to
determine what those individuals knew and when they knew it.
Now, what we don`t know is if a parallel investigation is happening with respect to law enforcement into the university and into U.S. gymnastics to
determine if there will be other criminal charges filed against any of those individuals that might have had knowledge, might have had information
but yet failed to act on it.
GORANI: And this must be a harder case, right, to prove, to say, well, there were rumors, people were whispering, you must have known, there`s
something that you must have known that you didn`t act on. It must be harder, right, to be able to prove that someone in authority had knowledge
but didn`t act.
MARTIN: Absolutely, Hala. It`s a higher standard particularly on the criminal side to try to prosecute or bring charges against some of those
individuals that weren`t directly involved in the sexual assault or misconduct, but on the civil side, the standard is a lot lower.
And we have seen reports where parents have said they went to the university. They went to the U.S. Gymnastics Association and they did make
reports. So, the question remains are they verifiable? Will there be evidence that those reports were made? And will those plaintiffs be able
to prove that reports were made but not acted upon?
GORANI: All right. Thanks so much, Areva Martin, for joining us. We appreciate it.
Still to come tonight, a Republican senator says President Trump`s cries of fake news have very real consequences, destroying democracy and inspiring
dictators around the world. More on what Jeff Flake had to say, next.
And as the fight over U.S. immigration law rages on, real lives hang in the balance. We`ll talk to one young man brought to the U.S. as a baby. How
his life will be changed if Congress doesn`t come up with a DACA deal? We`ll be right back.
GORANI: Now to a stinging rebuke of President Trump by a member of his own Republican Party, the senator Jeff Flake. He is a frequent Trump critic.
Well, he took on Mr. Trump`s rhetoric against the media and had words for his fellow lawmakers as well. Listen to Flake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: No longer can we compound attacks - the attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. No longer can we turn a
blind eye or a deaf ear to those assaults on our institutions.
And Mr. President, an American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone
else to blame is charting a very dangerous path.
And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the president adds to that danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let`s go live to New York. Brian Stelter is there. It`s not the first time we`ve heard Jeff Flake criticize the president. But
here he`s being quite specific about his attacks on the press and the media.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And trying to send a message to his colleagues, to GOP senators that they need to speak up, that
they can`t stay silent about this.
Flake, of course, not running for reelection. So, he`s in the Senate for a final year. I think, very much, he is trying to rally his colleagues to
pick up this torch and run with it I when he`s no longer in the Senate.
He is clearly concerned by the president`s falsehoods, by his attacks against the media, the president`s use of the term fake news to deride real
And we saw Flake make a link between behavior here in the United States and actions in other countries. This is what the Committee to Protect
Journalists and other press freedom groups have also pointed out.
We`re seeing a rise in imprisonment and other actions against journalists in other countries. And, of course, typically, we`ve seen the United
States support press freedoms. We`ve not seen that from this White House in the past year.
And interestingly, this term fake news, which was the term of the year for some dictionaries last year, has been picked up by other world leaders, and
not necessarily in thriving democracies either. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGO DUTERTE, PRESIDENT OF PHILIPPINES (through translator): I am not surprised that your article is also fake.
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA (through translator): Venezuela is now a target of a witch-hunt, a global media persecution, to spread lies
and deception about us. This is the real fake news, the post-truth era.
BASHAR AL-ASSAD, PRESIDENT OF SYRIA: We can forge anything these days. And we`re living in a fake news era, as you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:35:05] GORANI: So, there you have a sampling of world leaders, in some cases, dictators using the term.
STELTER: It`s an echo of President Trump because this term, this fake news term really wasn`t around much before the 2016 election.
People like myself, researchers, journalists, sometimes use the term to describe totally made-up stories, hoaxes that were spread virally on
Facebook because that was a problem in the US election.
But then, in December of 2016, President Trump started using the term to attack real news reporting. I counted it up. He`s use the word fake more
than 400 times in his first year in office via Twitter, speeches, interviews et cetera.
Fake, fake, fake - oftentimes, attacking real journalism as fake. So, President Trump has given a new definition of this idea fake news and other
leaders in other countries have taken it and exploited it as well.
That was one of Flake`s main messages on the Senate floor. And I think what Flake was doing was quite valuable. His critics are saying, he`s just
trying to get a job in TV when he leaves the Senate. They`re deriding him.
But the point Flake was trying to make, taking a big picture view, is that the country is divided. The country doesn`t know who or what to trust.
And President Trump has been making that worse by promoting falsehoods and conspiracy theories, by deriding real news as fake, by having his
spokespeople come out and say things that are flatly untrue on a regular basis, that President Trump is making this confusing world of fact and
fiction even more and more confusing.
That was the overarching message from Flake today. And it`s notable that we don`t hear a lot of other Republican leaders talking that way. Flake is
kind of alone on this subject right now. The other, you would say - he`ll be joining with John McCain. McCain has an op-ed in today`s "Washington
Post" along the same lines.
But for the most part, we`re seeing this very partisan reaction to what Flake said, even though he was talking about some pretty basic democratic
Brian Stelter, thanks so much for joining us.
GORANI: Now, to that major immigration fight facing American lawmakers. The White House says it very much wants to get a deal done on DACA, the
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, as lawmakers argue about whether it should be tacked on to legislation to avoid a government
Meantime, a reminder that, obviously, real families are at the heart of this immigration debate. Jorge Garcia was brought to the US as a child,
but was too old to seek protection under DACA. Well, he was deported to Mexico Monday without his family.
Jorge and his wife Cindy told CNN the situation has been understandably painful. Listen.
JORGE GARCIA, UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT DEPORTED TO MEXICO: I didn`t go into the country by my choice. I was a kid. So, I mean, I know there`s laws,
but I don`t know.
I think there - I think they should have some consideration to individual cases just like mine.
CINDY GARCIA, WIFE OF JOSE GARCIA: It`s said, it`s devastating, it`s a nightmare. The kids cry. It`s rough. We`re just trying to live day-by-
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Jorge Garcia was in the United States for decades, but he didn`t qualify for that DACA program. So, he was deported.
Joining me now is another person whose life will be affected by Congress` ability to pass DACA legislation. Jaime Rangel is a DREAMer who came to
the US as a tiny baby and Jaime is here in the studio.
JAIME RANGEL, DREAMER: Well, thank you for having me.
GORANI: Thanks for being with us. Talk to us about your story. What`s your back story?
RANGEL: Well, I was brought to this country when I was only three months old. I was brought here and I was raised in the Northwest Georgia where I
grew up learning the values there. I even have an accent, as you can see.
GORANI: Yes. You have a southern accent.
RANGEL: I`m proud of my southern accent. I grew up eating tortillas and grits at the same time. To me, Georgia is my home.
To me, I feel I am an American. I`ve lived here all my life. But not just me, but 800,000 individuals across the country call this country home. We
have built our lives here. We have (INAUDIBLE) we have children now. We are professionals now. We are lawyers. We`re teachers, engineers. We are
contributing to this country and helping this country prosper and be great.
GORANI: So, what happens if there is no deal?
RANGEL: Well, the craziness happens. I mean, we`re talking about every single day, 1,500 DACA recipients losing their work status. On a day,
that`s 1,500. On average, 30,000 people will lose their work permit. That`s going to hurt our economy. That`s going to hurt my is in state -
here in Georgia -
GORANI: Do you worry about deportation?
RANGEL: Well, listen -
GORANI: I mean, this is not a - I mean, Mexico - have you ever even been to Mexico?
RANGEL: Never been to Mexico now. Well, I`m optimistic. I like to keep my head up because my father told me, growing up, it`s hard to see where
you`re going with your head down.
Right now, Congress has the opportunity to pass a bipartisan solution. We have a bill that was recently introduced. It has strong Republican
support, strong Democratic support.
[15:40:03] And let`s act now, let`s pass a bipartisan solution, let`s send it to the president`s desk and protect these young Americans because we are
Americans and let us continue on with our lives and help our country grow.
GORANI: So, as I mentioned, you came to the US with your parents who were undocumented as a baby. You celebrated your first birthday, therefore, in
America. You know no other country.
But the DACA program - this is a picture of you, this cutie-pie, celebrating your first birthday - the DACA program allows you to get a
drivers` license, it allows you to get a work permit, and to feel and live as an American.
RANGEL: Not only that, but we`re paying taxes. OK, we are paying taxes, we`re contributing to society. And those who have DACA, let`s keep in
mind, are not convicted felons. You have to have a clean record.
OK, so we`re not only good people in our societies, but, as I say, we`re teachers, we`re lawyers -
GORANI: What is your status now? I mean, what is your - what do you do now and what`s your ambition for later in life?
RANGEL: Well, I have DACA right now currently. I work in governmental affairs and public policy. I am working to help promote good laws that
will help our state grow. I want to help my state be prosperous. I want to help my state be the number one state in which to do business. Find
different ways to give healthcare to those who need it. So, that`s what I do.
I want to continue working with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to help my state grow and prosper.
GORANI: Who do you think is responsible because this program was active, it was a program that covered, as you mentioned, almost 800,000 people. Do
you point fingers at anyone in Washington for having turned this into somewhat of a crisis with a sort of clock ticking down?
RANGEL: Well, let`s say this. This is a result of both sides not coming together through years - I mean, we`re talking about decades - of not
coming together and finding a solution, finding a bipartisan solution.
Right now, we had that opportunity. There is legislation that if it`s brought onto the floor, it will pass. So, we`ve got to come together as a
Let`s keep in mind, 80 percent of Americans believe - 80 percent of Republicans believe that DACA recipients should deserve a passage to legal
status, OK? The vast majority of Americans are behind this.
So, let`s get together. Let`s put our differences aside and do this right.
GORANI: But it`s possible that won`t happen.
RANGEL: I`m highly optimistic. Because how are we going to see ourselves in the future? Are we going to deport 800,000 individuals who built their
lives here? Or are we going to do what Ronald Reagan said? Act worthy of ourselves and protect and (INAUDIBLE) the shining city on a hill.
GORANI: Sure. And it`s not just 800,000 - I know we`re talking about DACA. But we just covered the story of a man who had spent 30 years in
America and who was just deported to Mexico, a country he had visited since he was a child.
RANGEL: Yes. Unfortunately, we have those stories. Unfortunately, we`re seeing -
GORANI: How will you feel when you see those stories?
RANGEL: It hurts. I mean, you honestly cannot have a heart - like, if you have a heart, you`ve got to feel for that person, feel for that family.
But, right now, we have to act. Congress has to act. They have to send a bill to the president and we have the opportunity to do that. There is
bipartisan solution on the table, right? Let`s get them on the floor. Let`s pass them out to the chambers and send it to President Trump.
GORANI: Your parents worry for you?
RANGEL: My parents do worry. And not just me. The parents of hundreds of thousands of DACA -
GORANI: I get that, but specifically your parents. What are your conversations with them?
RANGEL: Well, we pray a lot. I`m a man of faith. I am where I am at today, I`m sitting here right now with you because I`ve always kept my head
up and I pray and I ask God to give me guidance. That`s why I`m optimistic. I believe the Lord is always going to guide me in the right
direction and I`m going to keep on moving forward.
GORANI: Jaime Rangel, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate your time on CNN.
RANGEL: Thank you. And as we`ve been mentioning and covering this week, we`re just days away from the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump`s
Ohio is one of the states that pushed him to victory, fueled in part by Democrats who crossed party lines. Would they do it again a year on?
CNN`s Martin Savidge went to Ohio to find out.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anywhere you look in Youngstown, a reminder of what`s been lost. Factories, jobs, the city`s
population is down by almost two-thirds from the 1950s. The economy wasn`t just disappearing here. So was a way of life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I realized that the core foundation of our country is slipping away.
ANNA PARA, RETIRED, MOTHER OF FOUR: I mean, it got to a point where I did not like the direction that my country was going.
SAVIDGE: The answer for many was Donald Trump. In 2016, according to the Mahoning County Board of Elections, approximately 7,000 registered
Democrats switched parties to become Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he`s going to make America first and he`s going to bring jobs back.
GENO DI FABIO, MACHINE SHOP WORKER: Donald Trump says we`re in lousy trade deals. We fix that, and jobs can come back.
JUSTIS HARRISON, STUDENT: Something that he said that really sticks with me is that he wants to give the power back to the American people and
that`s something I can certainly get behind.
SAVIDGE: I`m with a pastor, a stay-at-home mom, a student, a machine shop worker and a union member. Democrats who were raised in Democrat families
who crossed over to vote Trump.
[15:45:04] SAVIDGE (on camera): We`re one year - one year in. How`s he doing?
DI FABIO: Fantastic.
PARA: Great. Better than I ever would have dreamt. I mean that sincerely.
PARA: Oh, yes.
ANDERSON: Yes, I agree. He`s doing wonderful. He`s staying on task.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): We start with a hot button topic of the moment.
(on camera): How big an issue to all of you is immigration?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Huge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
SAVIDGE: In Youngstown, Ohio?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I`m concerned, they`re stealing jobs of rightful citizens.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): It`s also about something else Trump voters say is important. Rules and respect.
HARRISON: I feel like when people come here illegally, that`s just very disrespectful. You don`t respect our laws and you shouldn`t be able to
come freewheeling like that.
SAVIDGE: A year later, they all still want the wall. And as for the president`s inflammatory tweets and speech, Geno says he used to cringe,
SAVIDGE (on camera): So, you don`t cringe anymore because you`ve grown numb to it, or -?
DI FABIO: No, not numb at all. But I know what he`s done. And I`m starting to get an inkling why he uses Twitter in the way he does. Because
if all he had to rely on is what people say about him, oh my God. I might not like the guy. And I love the guy. I love the job he`s doing.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Justice met Trump at a rally and says he`s not a racist.
HARRISON: He was just the nicest person and honestly, if he was a racist, as everyone paints him out to be, he could have just walked right past me
and not even said a word.
SAVIDGE: What about the lies?
(on camera): Well, let me ask you this. Do you think he`s a liar?
DI FABIO: Do I think he`s lied? No. Do I think he`s fallen short on some of his goals? We all do.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Economically, they say things are getting better. The stock market and their home values are up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Industries are booming. Everywhere I`ve seen.
SAVIDGE (on camera): I look around here, I don`t see a boom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this area, no, but I feel like there`s small businesses that are starting to pick up.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Derek says Trump`s tax reform will fuel the recovery.
ANDERSON: If you expand your business in the inner city, so that my community will benefit from those tax cuts.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Do you think the media gives the president a fair shake?
HARRISON: I don`t think so at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): One year later, these voters couldn`t be happier. They see achievement, but most of all, they see a president like them.
ANNA PARA, RETIRED, MOTHER OF FOUR: He`s like tenacious sometimes and says stuff off the cuff like we do, like real Americans do. You know, were not
perfect. I`m tired of suave. I`m tired of polished. I`m tired of the teleprompter. I am. I want my country back.
SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Youngstown, Ohio.
GORANI: Now, to an update on a horrific story we brought yesterday. That California couple accused of holding their own children captive, they`re
going to appear in court tomorrow.
David and Anna Turpin are seen here with their 13 children. They were arrested after one of their daughters managed to escape and told police her
siblings were being held against their will.
Today, the children`s aunt gave an emotional interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH FLORES, AUNT OF THE 13 CHILDREN: I want to reach out to the kids. I want them to know that for year, we begged to Skype them, we
begged to see them. The whole family have asked for 20 years to be able to Skype them.
And I want them to know they do have family that they love, whether they know us or not.
I love them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Still to come tonight, a crucial lifeline or a piece of political capital? America`s decision to hold back millions in aid to a UN body for
Palestinian refugees have shocked people around the world. We`ll explore some of the political jockeying around the issue in just a moment.
[15:50:47] GORANI: Let`s return to our top story. Belgium says it will pay more than a third of the $65 million of aid which the US will withhold
from a UN body that helps Palestinian refugees. This was our top story this hour.
The figure is more than half of what America usually gives. And while there`s been some global backlash, one of CNN`s political analysts has this
take, writing in "The Washington Post".
Josh Rogin says, "The Trump administration has decided not to cut all US funding for Palestinian refugees and that is a clear victory for Secretary
of State Rex Tillerson over American Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
Haley wanted to eliminate all of the funding as punishment for Palestinian opposition to Trump`s policies. The decision shows that Tillerson still
has Trump`s ear despite their past troubles.
Josh Rogin joins me now live from Washington. So, there could have been a scenario in which or under which the US, if Nikki Haley had her way,
would`ve cut all funding for UNRWA.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That`s right. Nikki Haley announced after the president decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel`s capital that
anyone who didn`t support that move - the administration will be taking names and that they will receive punishment.
And she sought to impose that punishment on the Palestinian Authority indirectly by proposing to cutting all the aid for the Palestinian
refugees. And after pitched internal battle, the State Department position, which was to only cut half the aid, which is still a drastic cut,
but not as drastically as Haley wanted, that`s what prevails.
GORANI: What I find interesting is that - OK, now you have Belgium saying, we`ll commit - because $65 million in the grand scheme of things, when you
consider within the scale of a national budget is nothing, so you`ll just have countries now coming in and filling that vacuum and, therefore, having
more say and more influence in that part of the world as the US continues to retreat.
ROGIN: Well, that`s right. I mean, it depends which Trump administration official you listen to. Some say that this is exactly the point that we
want other countries to step up and do more burden sharing. And if that`s your view, then Belgium picking up the bill is not a bad outcome.
Others say that they want to force the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. If that`s your view, then there is no pressure because they haven`t
lost any money.
And some say, they want UNRWA to reform. And if that`s your view, that`s also not likely to be accomplished.
The problem here is that we have a Trump administration policy that`s ill- conceived, ill-explained and even confusing to those who are making it. So, if you don`t know where you`re going, any road will take you there.
GORANI: Right. But, I mean, essentially, this is not being seen as kind of tough love. It`s being seen as punishment for not supporting the Trump
administration`s declarations and views on the region and, specifically, on the announcement that Jerusalem should be considered the capital of Israel.
ROGIN: Right. I mean, it`s being presented as both actually. So, in the sense that it`s punishment, OK, the message has been sent. It`s a warning
to other countries not to go against the United States at the United Nations. Now, that sort of warning isn`t really likely to work, but,
nevertheless, that`s what Nikki Haley believes in.
When it comes to tough love, the fact is that the US relationship with the Palestinian authority is broken and it`s not getting better anytime soon.
And the peace process is now essentially dead. All sorts of other bilateral interactions are frozen.
So, it seems that the Trump administration is determined to change the relationship between itself and the Palestinian Authority. And that`s what
What effects that`s really going to have, nobody really knows.
GORANI: It just seems like a retreat again, a retreat - when you sort of cut funding, you lessen your influence.
ROGIN: Personally, I happen to agree with you. I`m just telling you that`s not how the Trump administration sees it. They see America as
footing the bill for overseas obligations that we shouldn`t be footing. And they see that as an overextension of US taxpayer contributions and they
are intentionally trying to take America out of that role.
Now, you and I can definitely agree that that represents a loss of power and influence for the United States. But for the Trump administration,
that represents a recalculation -
[15:55:00] GORANI: But if you compare it to contributions to, for instance, other budgets of other countries, to Egyptian financial aid, the
rest of it, $65 million is nothing.
ROGIN: But it`s part of it because the Trump administration is also threatening aid to Egypt and aid to Pakistan and lots of other countries,
right? They want to use foreign aid as a weapon. They want to use it to reward countries that do what they want and to punish countries that don`t
do what the US wants.
Again, that doesn`t really work. Countries don`t make their national decisions based on a few million here or there. But this is the Trump
theory of the case. And the Palestinian part is just one part of a much larger picture.
GORANI: Thanks, Josh Rogin. We`ll be right back.
GORANI: Finally, we take you to the Korean Peninsula, which has, for decades, been divided by a line, a line that has been the source of ongoing
military tensions and has torn apart families, in some cases, for generations.
So, take a moment to imagine how some of those families might feel at the Winter Olympics when they see North and South Korean athletes marching
together under a unified flag.
The incredible breakthrough follows days of talks between the two countries.
But Japan`s foreign minister is still urging caution, saying he believes Pyongyang is using the talks to buy time for their nuclear and missile
Thanks for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I`m Hala Gorani. I`ll see you same time, same place tomorrow.
"Quest Means Business" is up next.