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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Speaks About Economy After Visiting Plant; U.S. Government Shutdown Looms As Bill Support Erodes; Tillerson Outlines U.S. Goals In Syria. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 18, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
I. TRUMP: --- was very specific about what he wanted to accomplish. It was so core to him to support hard-working middle income families, and the
child tax credit is key to doing that.
So it's going to be a big win for everyone in this room and everyone across this country. And we are very, very excited about that. Doubling the
standard deduction, the child tax credit, all of these elements that make this a very family-friendly plan but also enable great American businesses
like this one to thrive and be competitive in a global landscape.
So we're very proud of it. And America is just starting to realize just how great our tax cut plan is. So more of that to come. But thank you for
having me here. Thanks.
D. TRUMP: Thank you, baby. Thank you very much, Ivanka.
She worked hard. She's a hard worker. All of our kids are hard workers, right? They work. And we love to see it. And they're doing a terrific job
for our country. I've come to the great city of Pittsburgh to stand with people. And those people are incredible workers. And to show the world that
America is back and that we are coming back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we're making our own product again, and we're opening
up our factories again.
I mean, you take a look at what's going on where Toyota is coming in. And the other day you just saw Chrysler announce they're moving from Mexico
back to Michigan, you don't hear that too often, with a big, big monster factory, going to spend a lot of money. At the center of America's
resurgence are the massive tax cuts that I just signed into law. And it is also reform but I usually just say tax cuts because that is what people --
they don't want to hear about the reform.
Believe me, the reform is very important. We don't have to go into it. But the tax cuts are the most significant tax cut, most significant reform in
American history, with tremendous tax relief for working families, for small businesses, for big businesses that produce jobs, for just about
everybody, tremendous numbers. And you're already seeing what is happening.
You're seeing what is going on. The signs of America's comeback can be seen at companies like this one, which just had its most successful year in its
35-year history. Congratulations. Good job.
And I just learned from the powers-that-be that H&K Equipment will soon be making a $2.7 million capital investment thanks to the new tax cut. So I
appreciate that, and the workers appreciate that. It's good. You are doing great. Great job. Great, great equipment.
D. TRUMP: That means more growth and ultimately it means more jobs. So congratulations. We have created nearly 2.2 million jobs since the
The unemployment rate is at now an 18-year low. I was saying 17 years and now it just lifted to 18 years. The number of Americans applying for
unemployment benefits just hit a 45-year low.
Something I'm really proud of, because I've been saying it, "What do you have to lose?" African-American unemployment is at its lowest level ever
Female unemployment is at the lowest level in 17 years.
Hispanic-American unemployment has hit its all-time lows.
TRUMP: Lowest ever.
Pensions and retirement accounts are surging in value as the stock market smashes one record high after another.
How many people have 401(k)s here?
You're brilliant investors. I've had people come up, "Sir, my wife thinks I'm the most brilliant investor, because I made 42 percent in the last 10
months," and that's pretty good. But people are happy.
Anybody unhappy with the 401(k)? I don't think so, right? Wow. If we can keep it like this, we're going to win a lot of elections, that I can tell
you. It's something. No, it's something.
"It's the economy, stupid!" Did you ever hear that one? It's the economy.
It is, indeed. As soon as, really a few weeks from now, millions of American workers will be seeing the signs of America's comeback in their
paychecks in February. Very simply, your paychecks will be much bigger, because under our tax cuts you will be keeping more of your hard-earned
We are doubling the child tax credit, increasing the refundable credit by 40 percent -- 40, not 14, 40. And we are making the child credit available
to more families than ever before. Not even close.
When we began our push for tax cuts, I promised that our bill would result in more jobs, higher wages, and tremendous relief for middle-class
families, and that is exactly what we have delivered. There's only one thing. Even I never knew how big it would be. It's much bigger -- and you
see it -- than anybody anticipated. We kept our promise.
In Pennsylvania alone, families will see a tax cut of about $11 billion just this year alone.
That's pretty good. A typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income-tax cut of more than $2,000 a year. That's like a $2,000 raise --
slashing their income tax bill in half. Many will save much more than that.
Ken Wilson (ph) is a great example, where's Ken? Ken Wilson. (ph) The legendary Ken Wilson (ph).
Hi, Ken (ph). Come on over here where we see you, Ken (ph). You've got to be happy with this.
D. TRUMP: Is Ken (ph) doing a good job?
Ken's (ph) doing a good? Everybody knows Ken (ph). Come on over here, Ken (ph). Come on up here, Ken (ph). Come on, if he can make it. He'll figure
out how to get that thing open. If he can't do it, nobody can, right? It's what he does, he works on machinery all of the time.
Ken (ph) joined H&K 14 years ago as a mechanic and worked his way up to become a project foreman. Because of our tax cuts, Ken will save almost
$2,200 in income taxes, 2,000. So, Ken, you just got a $2,200 raise.
And if I had a head of hair like that, I would -- I really would have been -- I would have been president years ago, Ken (ph). Years ago.
But we've nearly doubled the amount of income taxed at the rate of zero. So, Ken (ph), you've seen a big difference.
D. TRUMP: Come here. Thank you, man. He said just the right thing. You never know.
You want to say -- say something to your workers. Say something to your co- workers.
(UNKNOWN): It's not just the me, it's everybody as a whole. This company is an incredible company. We work with a bunch of great people. Everybody
pulled together this week and pulled this off. It was a sight to see. It's something to always remember here. So thank everybody, obviously. Thank
you, Mr. Trump.
D. TRUMP: Good job.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
D. TRUMP: Thank you, Ken (ph).
He did good. He didn't know about that. He didn't know at all about that, right, Ken? (ph) Good job.
Now because we substantially reduced tax rates on American companies, economists estimate that annual household income will rise by an average of
$4,000. Think of that. More than 2 million American workers have already received a tax cut bonus from their employers, pay raises, more money for
retirement. Checks as high as $2,000 or more all because of our tax cuts. And it hasn't even been a month since I signed the bill.
It has turned out to be much bigger than we all thought. Even the people that did it, right, Gary? And right, all of the congressman that voted for
it and fought so hard? Nobody had any idea. One thing we didn't project in a positive way, nobody thought that the companies were going to step up and
pay all of these great bonuses to people. AT&T started it. But they came up and they paid all of these bonuses.
A Florida software company, Spellex, just announced $1,000 tax cut bonuses for its workforces. Apple just announced they are giving their employees
tax cut bonuses worth $2,500 each. And because of our business tax reforms, Apple has just announced that they are bringing $350 billion and putting it
into investment into our country, 350 billion.
And when I heard the news yesterday -- and Tim Cook is a great guy, the head of Apple, and when I heard the news, I heard 350 billion, I said, you
mean 350 million, that's going to be a beautiful plant, they said, no, it's $350 billion. And I just called Tim Cook and I thanked him. But I don't
imagine there has ever been an investment that big in this country by a company. And just think of what that means. And they're going to build
D. TRUMP: And I think some of you remember I said I will not consider our economic situation complete until we get Apple to start building some of
those massive plants of the United States. They're going to build plants. They're going to build a big campus. They're really going to town. So we
want to thank Apple -- $350 billion.
Here in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, thousands of workers have already received tax-cut bonuses thanks to employers like Comcast, Next
Year Bank, American Airlines, PNC financial, names I'm very familiar with. One of those hard-working Pennsylvanians is Kevin Hostus (ph).
Kevin is a Marine Corps veteran who received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his courageous service during three tours in Iraq, and a great,
Where's Kevin? Where is Kevin? Kevin?
He kept that hand out like he didn't want to come up and speak.
Thank you, Kevin.
He started working for Comcast in 2016, and last week he received a $1,000 bonus check thanks to our tax cuts, right out of Comcast, right into his
bank. Now he has taken his family on a well-deserved vacation, Kevin, to visit his grandparents in Florida, right?
Thank you, Kevin. See you in Florida.
I want to thank you for your service, for your patriotism, and congratulations for the bonus. It's really great.
Millions of people. Not only are we already seeing the benefits of higher wages and bigger salaries, much bigger salaries, but we're also seeing the
creation, very importantly to me, of new jobs.
Pete O'Connor (ph) owns a personnel company called Carol Harris Staffing right here in Pittsburgh.
Pete says that businesses of all kinds are seeing increased demand just recently, and they're hiring more and more workers. But (ph) it's only
really great news, not only for Pete, it's great news for all of the people in Pittsburgh, for the citizens of Pennsylvania, and Americans all across
Where's Pete? Pete? Thank you, Pete. You're seeing a big difference, right?
Big difference? Big difference.
We're putting America back to work and we're insuring the forgotten men and women of our country, on never ever forgotten again. Remember, the
The deplorables. We're all deplorables. Who would have that was going to turn into a landslide, right? Who would have thought that was turn in --
that was not a good phrase that she used. Some things you'd like to have back.
And the good news keeps pouring in. Americans monthly utility bills are also going down because major electric companies have announced they will
pass their savings from taxes on to their customers, tremendous reduction in certain companies' and people's energy costs.
That means were not only seeing higher wages, but lower energy bills. And that's because of the tax cuts, but it's also because of the regulation
When I spoke to the folks in the plant, they said the biggest thing is what's happened is regulations -- cutting of the regulations. And we have
regulations, but they're fair and they're reasonable, and they're actually just as stringent. But you go to one group for a -- for an OK. You don't
have to get it 19 different times or seven times, or go to different agencies.
It's within the realm of reasonable, and that's why people are opening up, they're expanding, and they're hiring more people. Our tax bill also took a
historic step to restore health care freedom. No longer will the federal government punish you for fines if you can't afford an Obamacare-mandated
health plan, because we repealed Obamacare's cruel -- it was cruel -- individual mandate, where you were supposed to go out...
... and you pay, in order not to have to buy health care. Think of it. It should have been rejected a long time ago by a lot of different people,
including the court, surprisingly. But we were able to repeal it. We got rid of the individual mandate, and you will see what that means. It is such
a big factor for so many people. It was so unfair. It's gone.
We've also opened up ANWR in Alaska for energy exploration...
... creating even more jobs, and more and more energy savings, but that's the biggest one. They've been trying to do that since Ronald Reagan. For
over 40 years, they've been trying to open ANWR. We got it open.
There's never been a better time to hire in America, to invest in America, and to believe in the American dream than right now.
There is no limit to what we can achieve when we set free the dreams of our incredible people. You're incredible people. Americans crossed oceans,
tamed the wilderness, dug out the Panama Canal, and launched a man onto the face of the moon. American hands and grit poured the concrete in our
highways, and forged the steel in our skyscrapers. Americans built the Hoover Dam, the magnificent Hoover Dam, if you've ever seen it. The Empire
State Building, they built it in one year. Nobody knows that -- one year. It was actually less than one year, the Empire State Building. We won two
Americans do anything, build anything and create anything, as long as we have pride in our country, confidence in our values and respect for our
great American flag.
Right? Because America doesn't belong to the Washington power brokers. It belongs to you, and I think we've taught them that.
Doesn't mean it's easy. It doesn't mean it's easy. It's nasty in Washington, but step, by step, by step, just keep going, right? Going. It
is a nasty place. Whoo! But we're getting it. Nobody thought we were going to have this kind of success so quickly. Thank you, darling (ph).
It belongs to the American people. With our destiny in your hands, America will once again be a nation that thinks big, dreams bigger, and always
reaches for the stars. Nothing will keep this incredible nation of ours down. Nothing will stop us from reaching the highest peaks, because nothing
is stronger than the strength, and will and spirit of the American people.
You are the ones who will shape America's destiny, especially all of these beautiful young people in the front. You are the ones who will restore our
prosperity, and you are the ones who are making America great again.
So as many of you know, that's what I talked about: make America great again. America first. We put America first now. We're doing trade deals.
We're doing a lot of things that I said we're going to be doing. It's not easy. These other countries have become very, very spoiled with taking
advantage of us, but take advantage of us no longer, because now, we want their country for them; it should be their country first. But for us, it's
America first. That's the way it is.
So I want to thank the people of the great, great, great state of Pennsylvania. You remember that big night in November? I -- Donald Trump
has won the state of Pennsylvania! Right?
And I want to thank the people in this room. You are my friends. You are truly great, great people, and you are making America tick. You are really
very special. Thank you all for being here. God bless you all. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The president of the United States, Donald Trump, visiting a factory outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He
talked, of course, about that fateful night in November 2016 when he carried the state of Pennsylvania. He is there to promote and to tout the
benefits of his economic plan, of the tax cut legislation.
We also saw his daughter, Ivanka Trump, there make a very brief appearance. It is also political, though. There's a special election taking place in
March there. Of course, the Republicans would like to make sure that there are no, as far as they're concerned, nasty surprises like the ones that
took place in Alabama where the Republican candidate, Roy Moore, lost the election to the Democrat Doug Jones.
Our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson joins me now from Washington with more. What is Donald Trump trying to achieve here, clearly a very
sympathetic crowd near Pittsburgh today?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Hala. What Donald Trump was doing was playing his best political card. Although he's
the most unpopular president in terms of polling that we've ever seen at this stage with his administration, the only area where his polling is
above water right now is the economy.
That's one reason why he's stressing the jobs that are coming back to the United States, the strength of the stock market, new investments, because
that's his best bet to try and forestall what many people is Democratic wave in November's elections that could cost the Republican Party the House
and the Senate.
He's also under a lot of pressure to try and sell the tax bill that got passed last December. It's still very unpopular. A lot of people believe
that the most of the benefits of that tax bill are going to the rich. You saw Donald Trump there pulling people up on stage and saying you're going
to get $2,000.
GORANI: Does that all fact check? He's giving some pretty precise numbers, $4,000 additional per household on average. Have those numbers
COLLINSON: Those numbers check out on theory, but everyone's circumstances of course are different. What is not under dispute is that in terms of
dollars the vast amount of money is going to the most wealthy Americans. That's one of the reasons the tax bill is very unpopular.
What the Republicans are hoping is that in February, March, when people start to see a difference in their paycheck, the tax bill will get more and
more popular. There's some sign in polling that it is starting to be a little more unpopular. But still a majority of Americans are against that
bill that passed in December. So, the Republicans have a lot of work to do.
GORANI: The optics were interesting too. It felt like a campaign speech with his base. This was him in his element. He clearly was enjoying it.
COLLINSON: Definitely. You know, you heard him decrying the nastiness of Washington. He's getting out of town in a moment of real political drama,
32 1/2 hours' time the government will shut down unless Republicans and Democrats can come up with some kind of short-term funding agreement.
I think the president was smart to get outside Washington, be among people that like him, tout some achievements because if the government shuts down,
it's going to be shut down on the first anniversary of his inauguration. That's not a very good political look for the president.
GORANI: Right, especially since the Republicans control both houses of Congress. It would be very difficult to pin it entirely on the opposition
in this case. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much.
Mr. Trump may be focused on the economy this hour. It makes sense. But we want to look at U.S. foreign policy now. They say that to carry out war,
you need three things, money, money and money. Which just so happens to be something the U.S. government does not necessarily have a lot of to spend
on that type of effort and the importance of that is not lost on Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[15:25:12] PRESIDENT TRUMP: If the country shuts down, which could very well be, the budget should be handled a lot differently than it's been
handled over the last long period of time, many years. But if for any reason it shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That was President Trump a few hours ago after meeting senior military leaders and there are few places where military strategy is of
such urgent and important as in Syria. We've been giving a look at America's end game there.
Now very interestingly, we've been hearing from the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who says that the U.S. is aiming to crush terrorist groups and
curb Iran's influence. It also wants Bashar al-Assad out. It also wants the safe return of refugees and the elimination of chemical weapons.
This is coming so many, many years after the beginning of this civil war, that it is really worth exploring what the U.S. really wants to do in
Syria. Keeping some sort of military presence? It seems like that idea was out the window years ago. Where are we going with all of this?
Let's speak with Nick Paton Walsh about what we know regarding America's involvement in Syria. Nick, you join us from London. You spent a lot of
time, obviously, reporting from Syria. What are we looking at here? Some sort of, I guess, semi-permanent presence for the U.S. military inside
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look at Secretary Tillerson's list -- there are five key points there that
you outlined. Those things are incredibly hard to satisfy immediately and possible in the longer term.
That is an extraordinarily big ask, as is stamping down on al Qaeda, ISIS and chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction, gone as well. You've
given the question here, well, is this entirely the U.S. government's policy? Does he speak cohesively for the Pentagon as well?
But also, what do they mean by continued engagement? It does appear that much of the focus is about keeping the handful of very potent U.S. forces
that have been training Syrian Kurds in Northern Syria. That's the major gambit the U.S. has to play here.
They recently announced expanded training for a border force. That was rolled back in the last 24 hours or so. The broader issue is, is this
going to go on for years? Is it specifically about circumventing Iran's influence between Iraq and Lebanon?
Many say Iranian backed militia have a lot of freedom to move around as well. Are we also going to see a broader concern about putting the U.S.
into a fight they've spent years under the Obama administration to kind of keep out of.
GORANI: Exactly. Briefly, this is the U.S. years after Russia and Iran have established huge influence in that country. Now all of a sudden
seemingly doing a 180 on their policy and providing long lists of very difficult things to achieve with tens of thousands of troops on the ground,
let alone a few thousand. This is actually quite remarkable to say this at this stage.
WALSH: It is to some degree. I can see kind of the enduring logic here. The Obama administration didn't want to get messed up in backing one
particular side in the Syrian civil war. That has been brutal and bloody. It's no consolation to the Syrian-Sunni rebels who have endured that
battering frankly by the Syrian regime.
They're stepping in because they see a vacuum. They're concerned about ISIS coming back. They're concerned about Iran and Russia taking sway in
that particular area. They don't want to let the Syrian Kurds do the fight against ISIS down necessarily.
So, I think possibly you might argue with a small handful of forces they can insert into Northern Syria and continue to keep there, they potentially
buy a lot of strategic influence and they certainly want to be sure their allies in the region like the Israelis don't see this become a playing
ground for Iranian and Russian influence and that the U.S. keeps some sort of mark.
It may seem like an enormous reversal. But given the tail end of the Syrian war and the defeat of ISIS, it does make some kind of sense -- Hala.
GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh in London, thanks very much for that analysis.
Still to come tonight, new details about the torture and abuse 13 children suffered inside this California home of horrors, police say at the hands of
their own parents. We are live next.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: We're learning more about that horrifying story of neglect and abuse. A California couple will appear in
court today, charged with the torture of their own children.
The district attorney in this case spoke to the media a short time ago and detailed some of the abuse against the 13 kid among them, being tied up
with ropes, eating just once a day and only allowed to shower once a year.
Stephanie Elam was at that news conference and joins us now from Riverside, California. It's actually getting more shocking by the day, this story,
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Completely, Hala. Even when you cover a lot of really sad, difficult stories, there is still some things that's
just shocking, and this is one of those stories.
To hear it, according to the District Attorney's Office, they are saying that if the kids washed their hands about their wrist, they were accused of
playing in the water and then they were punished. And punishment could mean beatings, it could be strangulation, and it could also mean that you
would tied up. And that tied up in ropes.
And so, one of the kids was able to get free and even at one point hogtying the child. And when the children was able to get free, then they resorted
to padlocks and chains. They're saying this abuse was pervasive and it got worse when the family moved to California from Texas in 2010.
But really, the only reason that this came to light at this point is because of the 17-year-old daughter who had the moxie, who had the courage
to run for help. And she actually - if she hadn't done this, we might not have known about this.
In fact, take to listen to what Mike Hestrin, the district attorney's office - the district attorney for Riverside County, what he said he did.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HESTRIN, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: The 17- year-old victim that escaped had been working on a plan with her siblings to escape this abuse for more than two years.
She escaped through a window and took one of her siblings with her. That sibling eventually turned back - became frightened and turned back and went
back into the house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELAM: So, just think about that. She still took that cell phone that was no longer in service, called 911, showed pictures to the police officer, so
that they would believe her.
When the police officers got to the house, when they knocked, the defendant in that time were able to release two of the children from chains, the 11-
year-old and the 14-year-old. But they did not have time, by the time the police actually just went ahead and entered to free the 22-year-old who was
still in chains.
And just to give you an idea how poorly they were doing, they are saying that the 12-year-old weighs that of an average 7-year-old and that the 29-
year-old female weighs just 82 pounds.
They're also saying that the children have some cognitive impairments and also nerve damage from extreme prolonged abuse from what they were dealing
And also, the other thing that is going to be key here, Hala, is the fact that they've recovered journals, the one thing that kids were able to do,
hundreds of journals that the kids were writing in. And so, they've recovered these and, I think, that is going to be key in this case as well.
[15:35:13] When you take a look at the children, the fact that they were not being fed as much as they needed, clearly, the parents, though, would
eat and would often get things like pies and leave them on the counter for the kids to look at, but wouldn't let them eat them.
Just to give you an idea, there's so much that we learn today, but that just gives you an idea of how poorly these children, how much neglect these
children were living with over this period of time, Hala.
GORANI: Honestly, you can hardly wrap your brain around people so sick and so disgusting, they exist in the world unfortunately. And in this case,
thanks goodness for that young courageous girl who managed to escape.
Stephanie Elam, thanks so much for joining us.
Now to Cairo and a CNN exclusive interview with a man who some consider the highest religious authority for Sunni Muslims. My colleague Ben Wedeman
talked with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar who is speaking out about President Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, calling it
rash and uncalculated. That topic and others as well discussed.
Ben Wedeman joins me now live from Cairo with more on this extraordinary interview. Ben, what more did you hear - what more did the imam tell you?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ahmed El- Tayyeb, who is the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, he had organized a two-day conference on Jerusalem that was organized in the aftermath of the decision
last month by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Now, interestingly, about this conference, it was attended not only by the Grand Imam, but also by Pope Tawadros II of the Egyptian Coptic Church as
well as Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.
All three of these men were scheduled originally to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence when he came to the region. And all three of them
declared that they would refuse to meet him as a result of the American decision on Jerusalem.
And when we spoke to the Grand Imam today, he warned that the decision by the United States on Jerusalem could have dire consequences.
SHEIKH AHMED EL-TAYYEB, GRAND IMAM OF AL-AZHAR (through translator): People now have begun to realize the danger of this decision and realize
that decision like this nurture terrorism, created and propelled forward to act and express itself the message that we will all reject.
Unfortunately, this decision will nurture terrorism. And when terrorism rises again, the East and West will drown in seas of blood.
There are other causes that encourage terrorism, stemming from the tyranny of international policies towards people in general. The West could have
benefited from the East and the East from the West. This is what we are looking forward to from advanced Western societies, for the relationship to
be one of love and human exchange. This relationship would cost a fraction of what it costs to create these barriers of hatred and we at Al-Azhar have
tried to demolish the barriers that breed the culture of hatred and violence between the East and the West.
WEDEMAN: On Saturday, the United States Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Cairo. And on his original schedule, he was supposed to meet
with your Excellency, but you declined to meet with him. Why?
EL-TAYYEB: We welcome the visit, but we're surprised by the decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It gives credence to the
claim that Jerusalem is Jewish and justifies the jewification (ph) of Jerusalem. This is contrary to international law.
We think of Jerusalem as an occupied city and not a Jewish city. It is 100 percent Arab under Israeli occupation.
I believe there isn't any religion that would approve of this decision. Religions came to free mankind of tyranny, of capital and power.
I believe that I would be contradictory in front of people if I hosted one of the architects of this decision by the American administration. This
decision falsifies history. I always receive important guests on the basis that we share more on human common ground.
(INAUDIBLE) faith in God, he would've been the first person to reject this decision.
WEDEMAN: Now, Vice President Pence is scheduled to arrive here in Cairo on Saturday, but he has nothing on his schedule except a meeting with Egyptian
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Then he flies to Oman where he has nothing on his schedule, but a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II.
[15:40:00] Then, of course, he goes on to Israel where he has two very busy days. This sort of imbalance in his attention on the region certainly has
been noted here. Hala?
GORANI: Thanks, Ben Wedeman, live in Cairo with that interview, that exclusive interview.
More now on our top story now. Condemnation from Syria after America outlined its goals for the country's future. They include the defeat of
ISIS and Al Qaeda, then seeing the reduction of Iran's influence.
Syria says the mere presence of America's military there is an act of aggression. Of course, the government has no issue with other militaries'
presence in their country such as Russia or Iran.
Let's get more on the significance of this move and speak to two people who know both sides of this story well. Professor and author Fawaz Gerges is
in London. CNN military analyst Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling currently is in Orlando, Florida.
Fawaz, first of all, this is coming a bit late in the game from America, isn't it, outlining priorities and goals and potentially floating the idea
that there could be some sort of semi-permanent military presence by American inside Syria?
FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR: I think it's very late. And I think, also, it's a very tall order.
If you ask me, what are the challenges about this particular announcement, I think there is a huge gap between the wish list announced by the
secretary of state and the means and the tools that the US has at its disposal.
I mean, think about it, Hala, the United States wishes to deliver an enduring defeat for Al Qaeda and ISIS. The US wishes to basically contain
Iranian influence. The US wishes to foresee or oversee a political process that basically gets Assad out of power. And how?
The US has 2,000 soldiers in northeastern Syria, working with the Kurds, sandwiched between the Syrian and the Iranian and the Hezbollah forces and
When Secretary of State Tillerson, a few weeks ago, said that Assad must leave today, not tomorrow, Assad retorted by saying the secretary of state
Hallucination or not, it seems to me that without really investing more strategic assets in Syria, I think the rhetoric itself will not do.
GORANI: Right. And Mark Hertling, that was going to be precisely my next question. I mean, when the US invested hundreds of billions of dollars and
tens of thousands of troops in a country like Iraq, they ended up leaving with Iran essentially dominating the political landscape there.
How do they expect in Syria, with a couple of thousand of troops and certainly a history of disengagement toward that country to achieve
anything on that Tillerson wish list?
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's going to be difficult, Hala.
GORANI: I mean, it's impossible. It's not difficult, it's impossible.
HERTLING: Yes, I would say so. It seems like Secretary Tillerson's strategy that he outlined at Stanford with the five points don't seem to
have the requirements of the strategy, meaning the resources associated with it and the ends to do it.
What he's basically doing is outlining a strategy that should've been outlined probably about two years ago with some significant resources
The defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda is still a critically important goal of the United States. ISIS is bruised and battered and with a military
definition, I would say, from a conventional standpoint, they are defeated in their capitals of Raqqa, but they are not destroyed and they could
quickly arise again.
But some of the other goals that Secretary Tillerson outlined, as Fawaz said, are going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to meet,
especially the UN-brokered restoration with Assad's departure, the curb on Iran which is already prevalent throughout Syria and the safe return of
refugees which are currently in Idlib and the Syrian government continues to bomb them even though they place many of those refugees there with
support by the Russians.
As you said and as Fawaz said, there are a whole lot of other countries involved in this. there is going to be contention with the Turks, with
Iran and with Syria.
GORANI: And, Fawaz, I've got to ask you, just looking at the picture as it stands now in Syria, the Iran-Russia-government axis is in charge now. I
mean, they've basically - and they're continuing to pound Idlib as Mark Hertling is saying, they've, for all intents and purposes, won.
GERGES: Well, for your own viewers, Hala, let's look at the operational map. Syria, Iran and its allies control most of the lands, most of the
urban centers. And you're going to see, unfortunately, Idlib - most of Idlib is going to fall in the next few months and including (INAUDIBLE).
Russia controls the skies. And Turkey, the only strategic ally that the US has, basically views the Kurds and what the US is doing in Syria as
[15:45:11] In fact, as we talk now, you and I and your esteemed guest, guess where is the defense minister of Turkey and the chief of staff? They
are in Moscow coordinating with Russia.
So, the reality is, at the end of the day, look, if you tell me what the United States is trying to do, the US basically is sending a message to
everyone that it's not leaving Syria. It's a balancing act. It wants to put its hat in the ring and say, we're not leaving Syria. It wants a more
balanced political settlement as opposed to leaving Syria to Russia having the upper hand in the country.
GORANI: OK. But as we said, that late in the game with perhaps not the resources required. Either way, thanks to both of you. I hope to have you
on again to talk about this in more detail very soon. Mark Hertling and Fawaz Gerges.
Still to come tonight, the daughter of a Hollywood giant says MeToo. She's been saying for a while now. And says, this time, she hopes people will
listen. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, he's lying and he's been lying for so long. Those are the words of Dylan Farrow speaking about her famous father, actor and film
director Woody Allen.
Farrow opened up in an interview with "CBS" about how Allen allegedly sexually assaulted her when she was 7.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DYLAN FARROW, ADOPTED DAUGHTER OF WOODY ALLEN: Why shouldn't I feel some sort of outrage that after all these years, being ignored and disbelieved
and tossed aside?
GAYLE KING, "CBS" HOST, "CBS THIS MORNING": And after all these years, why should people believe you now?
FARROW: I suppose that's on them. But all I can do is speak my truth and hope - hope - hope that somebody will believe me instead of just hearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Woody Allen has denied the allegations many times in the past. He says, "The Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the
Time's Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation. That doesn't make it any more true today than it was in the past.
Let's talk about the wider MeToo movement and where it's going, where it's headed. Has it gone too far or not far enough. Laura Kipnis, an American
cultural critic and author, joins me now and she is in New York.
So, Laura, you wrote in "The Guardian" newspaper, has the MeToo movement gone too far or not far enough. What answer did you come to?
LAURA KIPNIS, AMERICAN CULTURAL CRITIC: The answer I came to was both. I sort of split it down the middle.
I mean, I think we are hearing all of these allegations that seem like they're of decreasing importance and they're more and more trivial.
[15:50:05] At the same time, I think in these stories that are coming out, you're hearing that women in these - even in dating situations like the
Aziz story, somehow don't feel like they have as much as much sexual agency and volition to get out of situations that make them uncomfortable, and so
that's where I think the not-far-enough thing comes in.
GORANI: And you spoke in this piece - wrote in this piece about that French letter that got Catherine Deneuve cosigned along with 100 other
women and you called it silly and that the women who signed this letter suffer from historical amnesia. Explain why.
KIPNIS: I think they missed the point that the history of the feminist movement has to do with a kind of renegotiation about what happens in the
private sphere and what happens to women's bodies.
And I think what we are seeing now, and I talked about like a sort of incident that happened to me many years ago, the ways that women's bodies
have been treated as public property and women's lives and our sexual pleasure has been treated as far more negligible than such things as, say,
men's careers or men's pleasure.
And I think that's all that's being renegotiated at this point, which I actually think is kind of exciting and politically interesting.
GORANI: Yes. In fact, you've written a book about sometimes the excesses of accusing men of sexual assault or rape when, in fact, in your piece, it
sounded to me, in fact, that you come to the conclusion that this movement needs to go actually further because it's the female body - there are
lines. Where is the line going to be drawn?
And I love how you actually describe a woman's leg, a thigh. We all know where that line end. A pat on the knee is not the same as if you go up a
few centimeters. That becomes an invasion of your private space. We need to know where that line is and men need to know where it is as well.
KIPNIS: Right. But I should make clear that the book that I wrote was about the campus context and it was about what I called witch-hunts and
melodrama surrounding sexuality on campus, and in the United States, what we call, Title IX and these Title IX tribunals.
And that's - what's interesting is now you have all these people calling for more due process. And what actually happened on campus was the
institution of these forms of due process that were equally unfair and equally - as much overreach as the mob mentality on the Internet. So, the
due process call is, I think, those people have to think through what it is they're asking for.
GORANI: But still the - really, the question we, as women, and men need to also be listened to this carefully, where the line is? I mean, is the pat
on the knee that brought down a high-profile UK minister, for instance, crossing the line? How do we have that discussion and how do we decide
where that line is?
KIPNIS: Well, we have to have the discussion. And I talked about in "The Guardian" piece what I called liminal zones, in between zones. And so,
stuff that happens in a bar - well, bars are these socially liminal spaces or the knee is a kind of liminal space because it could be an innocent
thing or it could be the prelude to something else.
So, what I think a lot of women are worried about, including the people in the Deneuve letter and the 100 French women that signed it, is that these
liminal zones like flirting and innuendo and the fun stuff, that that is going to start to be regulated.
And I do think that's a bit of a silly worry because - well, but I also think we do have to have these conversations.
GORANI: But then it becomes - I mean, I understand. You want to keep flirting. Everybody loves flirting when it's healthy, when it's
consensual, when it's reciprocal.
KIPNIS: Or even when it's dirty. Some people like that.
GORANI: You're into that gray - but what I mean is that, then it becomes gray, right, necessarily, because it depends who it is, what culture it is,
whether it's in a bar or in an office. But how do you then determine that?
KIPNIS: Yes. I think that on - the problem is that not all these things are regulatable and the intention or the goal to regulate them always leads
to overregulation as it has done on American campuses.
So, I'm not against this kind of discussing what happens in private, in public because I, actually, think it's educational. I think men have been
probably incredibly educated by this Aziz story and have had to probably look at their own behavior, and that's not a bad thing.
GORANI: All right. Laura Kipnis, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate having you on the program. Hope to speak again.
We are going to take a quick break and we'll be right back.
[15:56:27] GORANI: Pineapples often conjure up thoughts of tropical drinks or Hawaiian beach. But an international drug smuggling operation?
Probably not what comes to mind, but that's exactly where police found more than - listen to this number - 745 kilos of cocaine stashed inside these
The drug was first covered in yellow wax and then hidden inside hollowed out shells of the fruit and shipped from South America. Nine people have
been arrested in connection with the dodgy fruit.
Something a little happier. On most flights, you are lucky to get a magazine or a movie. But how about a marriage. Those traveling with the
Pope plane were delighted when Pope Francis himself married a couple in flight on his way from Santiago to Iquique in Chile.
It was a spur of the moment request from the couple, both flight attendants who met eight years ago. The Pope made the offer when he found out the two
had to be married in a civil ceremony in 2010 because an earthquake destroyed their church.
Impromptu wedding at 36,000 feet included a handwritten marriage license signed by the Pope himself. Not too shabby. Well done to the two love
Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "Quest Means Business" is next.