Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Signs Action On New Trade Tariffs; America First Versus Globalization At Davos; Britain's Trade Secretary Talks Brexit At WEF; U.S. Government Reopens After Bipartisan Deal; Democrats Disagreed About Shutdown Deal; German Nurse Charged With 97 Murders; U.K. Government To Set Up New Unit To Fight Fake News. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired January 23, 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, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, Trump brings his America first vision to
life, slapping big tariffs on China. But will this move further isolate the U.S. or bring back more business to America, we'll explore that
Also, ahead, the politics of the government shutdown, the White House says the Democrats lost and that they caved. We'll speak to a House Democrat
about why she voted no despite her party making a deal.
And he is accused of killing out of boredom. German authorities charge this nurse with the murders of nearly a hundred of his patients.
And we start with this, in a small town, high up in the Swiss alps, a battle of ideas affecting the whole world is playing out. Leaders of
government and industry from all corners of the globe are in Davos.
The World Economic Forum is kicking off today with this central question, whether to keep the global economy connected, open, and free, or to put up
barriers. Hear the president of the United States Donald Trump signed off today on new trade tariffs that will be slapped on two types of goods
imported into the U.S. He says this lives up to his America first promise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: For both solar and washing machines these executive actions uphold the principle of fair
trade and demonstrate to the world that the United States will not be taken advantage of anymore. Our companies will not be taken advantage of anymore
and our workers are going to have lots of really great jobs with products that are going to be made in the good old USA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, there you have a defense of protectionism of putting up tariffs. Back in Davos, we got a defense of globalization. The Canadian
prime minister followed his Indian counterpart in expressing a more open view. Justin Trudeau says the global trade deal that President Trump quit
is back on and that it was a good day for progressive trade.
Let's take a look at the politics and the economics of this story. Richard Quest joins me now live from Davos, Switzerland. Dan Merica is covering
development at the White House.
Richard, any reaction to the president signing these tough new tariffs on the import of things like washing machines and solar panels clearly
targeted at countries like China and South Korea that are big producers of those consumer goods.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": A sort of rolling of the eyes and what do you expect, and this is what we expected and what
comes next. The interesting thing will be what Donald Trump says when he comes here and sits on that same stage that you saw Trudeau sitting on.
Will he use those same words that America will no longer be pushed around, that American first means good American jobs or is he going to sanitize
that message in some shape or form?
It will be very difficult, Hala, for him to do that, having just signed these tariffs in the same week that he comes here. But make no bones about
it, what we have seen today is a very clear line in the sand. On the one side, the U.S and America first, on the other side those who believe that
globalization must be the way forward.
GORANI: Is there a big level of support for these increase in tariffs on these consumer goods because obviously it will make them more expensive?
The American economy runs tremendously on consumer spending. When you impose tariffs, consumer goods become more expensive, and then you have
tariffs imposed potentially on American products. What is the reaction in the U.S.?
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I apologize. The reaction here at the White House has been fully supportive. I think Richard's exactly right.
It's going to depend on what President Trump says when he actually goes to Davos.
Whether he continues this message in Davos would tell you a lot. Plenty of people here are telling us that he is going to do exactly that. They see
this as victory lap. They see this as a way for the president to stump his chest in a way when he goes to Davos with that global elite audience and
say that he's going to put America first.
But as we heard after this event here at the White House, this is not the Republican orthodoxy on trade. John McCain, for example, tweeting he does
not support something like this because exactly what you said, this is a kind of a charge on consumers that the consumers are going to be passed the
buck on this.
So, while many in the White House are saying that President Trump is going to continue this message in Davos, they're also saying that Republicans may
not agree with him on this, but this is what he ran on. This is something that he supports.
This is something that we know he's been frustrated with here at the White House, the pace in which much of this has been done. He thought trade
deals and he could rip up trade deals on day one, for example.
It's taken a lot longer than he is expected, but I think it's going to be very difficult as Richard said for President Trump to go to Davos and
sanitize his message, especially after taking a move like this mere hours, days even before he goes to Switzerland.
GORANI: What do economists largely say about the potential impact of increasing tariffs on these types of goods, Richard?
QUEST: This is dangerous territory, is what they say, because you're not talking about in this case, Hala, a few washing machines or solar panels.
What you're talking about is the future of NAFTA. What you're talking about is one of the largest regional trade agreements that was the first
action that Donald Trump did was to abandon it the TPP and the 11 other countries have now put it back together with the CPTPPP.
So, we are entering very dangerous areas. Serious economists will look at you and will sagely talk about (inaudible) the 1920s. Now we are a long
way Off anything like that, but they point out that that is the snowball effect of what happens once you start down the protectionist road.
GORANI: Dan, I was asking you for the overall popular level of support for something like this. We know that Donald Trump's base loves the idea of
putting up barriers, whether it's a physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico or tariffs on trade. But overall do Americans support this type of
MERICA: Americans support actions that they think are going to help America. It really depends on how something like this is sold. There are
polls in each direction really that will say that they support taking action that help American businesses and workers.
That really is what motivated President Trump's campaign in certain parts of this country especially. There are plenty of people who will tell you
also that they don't want to see consumers be hit with charges like this. That's exactly what many Republicans think is going to happen.
If you raise tariffs on, for example, washing machines, the mom and pop who are going to go to Home Depot or some other shop to buy a washing machine
are going to see the prices go up when they have to replace that machine. It really depends on how you sell it.
That's why I think it's important to know that what President Trump says when he goes to Davos, how he says it, how he says it to other world
leaders is going to be critical not only on the world stage, but here in America as well on the political stage.
So, that's what the White House will be watching. That's certainly what Republicans here in Washington, D.C. will be watching as well.
GORANI: All right. Thanks so much, Dan Merica and Richard Quest. It's all going to be a question also on how it impacts the consumer in the end.
Extremely important for the U.S. economy. Richard Quest, we will see you at the top of the hour with special guests live from Davos on "QUEST MEANS
Now let's not forget, it is not just the U.S. that's pulling from global pacts. In Davos, another big topic is Brexit. Britain's international
trade secretary, Liam Fox, is at that summit. I asked him if Brexit was an unpopular idea at a very globally focused forum.
LIAM FOX, BRITISH INTERNATIONAL TRADE SECRETARY: Well, I don't know because as soon as you're beyond Europe, Brexit matters a lot less.
Countries are looking to the United Kingdom to see exactly the sign posts that we send, and we are optimistic about our post Brexit future.
We've seen employment records at a level in the United Kingdom. We've seen our exports up 14 percent in the past year. Our order books in
manufacturing the best since 1988 and last year, we saw the highest (inaudible) investment into the U.K. in our history. So, the fundamentals
are strong and the votes of confidence from the external investors are very positive.
GORANI: Well, I can also give you a set of numbers that indicate perhaps that things aren't going so well. Exports are up because the pound is
down. Inflation is high. Hundreds of banking jobs are leaving. London has lost the medicines agency. The European Banking Authority and Brexit
hasn't even happened yet.
FOX: Well, we're seeing record investment into the U.K. That suggests that there's a great confidence about the U.K. economy post Brexit. When
you talk about jobs leaving in the banking sector, I saw that the chairman of Deutsche Bank said afar from hundreds of jobs leaving, you might see 73
jobs he said leaving london.
We've had 58,000 texts (inaudible) in the U.K. in the past year and we're seeing a very strong interest in Fin Tech. So, I think that London will
remain the global financial center because that where innovation is actually happening.
[15:10:00] GORANI: Deutsche Bank numbers were possibly lower than expected, but UBS announced contingency plans for earlier this year. But
either way, you're looking at a situation here where in order to continue to maintain your access to the European Union banking system, you're in or
out, aren't you? How will you continue to do business at the same levels?
FOX: It's about mutual advantage because there are more European companies that passport into the city of London than vice versa. It's about whether
we get a mutually advantageous trade deal and that's what we want to see an open comprehensive deal with our European partners. But London will remain
the place where people go to for capital. It will remain the insurance capital --
GORANI: But what makes you so sure of that? Frankfurt is a huge financial powerhouse. It's going to take advantage of this, isn't it?
FOX: Because the United Kingdom has a depth of financial service infrastructure that's actually unparalleled in any other European country.
You can't invent that overnight. You can't invent the regulatory framework and confidence of that or indeed the reputation of the Bank of England.
So, I'm very happy that we will stand on our own reputation and our own record. I think that there's every indication from the fact that we've got
European banks buying space in the city of London at the present time that far from divesting the city of London as the center of European finance for
some time to come.
GORANI: But if exports are doing so well and that it's not necessarily a result of the lower and weaker pound. Why then does the U.K. need to spend
$20 million of public money on just simply an ad campaign to encourage companies to export more? I mean, it seems like you would need to do that.
FOX: Because our exporting isn't as strong as it should be in the United Kingdom historically. We were exporting about 20 percent of our GDP, which
if you compare it to Germany's 47. It has been historically relatively (inaudible) effort.
We need to get British exporters to improve and that's would have happened whether or not we had stayed in the European Union. We had to get that
trading performance up. I think what you've seen in Britain is that Brexit has concentrated the minds of U.K. business on that, the future markets.
The IMF says 90 percent of global growth will come outside the European continent in the next 10-15 years. China by 2030 will have 220 cities of a
million people or more. The whole of Europe will have 35. We need to understand where global growth will come and where those opportunities will
GORANI: But in a fractured world and we saw today as you are the international trade secretary, Donald Trump is increasing tariffs on things
like solar panels and washing machines, this additional protectionism coming from countries like the United States. And by the way, this would
be really targeting countries like China and South Korea. Do you think that's a good thing?
FOX: In terms of global trade, of course, any changes that are made and any safeguarding tariffs that are introduced have to be compatible with
WTO. Now the countries to whom they apply in this case South Korea and China, will want to look at those and see whether they are compliant and
whether they want to take a dispute at WTO. That is up to them.
But we all have to ensure that we maintain an open global trading system. Let's remember the open global trade has been how they have taken a billion
people out of abject poverty in the last generation. And those of us who benefited from that, I think, have a duty to ensure that open system is
available to future generations as well.
GORANI: You don't think it's a good idea to raise tariffs on things like solar panels and washing machines, do you then if you embrace the open
global trading system that you say is pulling people out of poverty?
FOX: An open system also has to have rules and we have to operate within those rules. Of course, we'll determine over time whether the actions
being taken by the United States are compliant with those rules. That's what we do inside a rules-based system.
I think the rules-based system is advantageous because the alternative is a deals-based system and I think that if we didn't have the WTO at the
present time, we'd have to invent it to ensure that we have those rules by which everyone has to operate.
GORANI: All right. Liam Fox is the international trade secretary with what to expect from Brexit. We really don't know what deal we'll end up
getting in the end. Negotiations ongoing.
So, the U.S. government shutdown is over for the time being. Now both Republicans and Democrats are trying to work out what to do next with the
prospect of a similar situation just three weeks away. We're going to do this all over again, guys.
Both parties are also working out just what they gained and lost. In president Trump's eyes, it's crystal clear, tweeting, "Big win for
Republicans as Democrats cave on shutdown."
But as the president ran a victory lap on Twitter, another big development in the Russia investigation. Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump's attorney general,
has been questioned by Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling quite extensively according to a source close to Sessions.
We're also hearing that Mueller's team interviewed former FBI Director James Comey last year. Let's go back to that shutdown fallout and get the
Democratic perspective. Karen Bass is a Democratic congresswoman from California. She's a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary
[15:15:10] Representative Bass, thanks for being with us. So, you voted against the funding bill to reopen the U.S. government, why?
REPRESENTATIVE KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, for several reasons. First of all, what was not in the bill which means it's essentially a cut
was community health clinics. So, it is wonderful that the Children's Health Insurance Program was funded, but where are the children going to
In my district, for example, six to seven clinics will have to shut down because of the lack of funding, and of course, because there was no deal
for the DREAMers, that is certainly a huge issue in California.
So, there were many reasons why many of us were dissatisfied. I do hope it can get worked out in these next few days, but we'll see.
GORANI: Do you think your party caved too soon in which case you would be agreeing with President Trump?
BASS: Well, I don't think the Democrats caved, no. I think the Democrats acted responsibly. I do think it's very important to note that the
Republicans control the three branches of government, the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
It is really their responsibility to not do a continuing resolution, but to do a comprehensive budget proposal, which we've not had for a number of
years. So, this creates tremendous difficulties in a lot of different areas of the government when they have to lurch from continuing resolution
to continuing resolution never having any stability in their funding.
GORANI: But why use the government shutdown as a strategy in the first place? It's terribly unpopular with American. You have important midterms
coming up and the party appears divided. You voted against the funding bill. Others who perhaps are running for reelection in red states voted in
favor of it. It seems like there is no -- not everyone's on the same page at a critical moment.
BASS: Well, I think it is true that not everyone is on the same page. But please understand, the Democrats do not have the power to shut down the
government. Even in the Senate, not all of voted for the bill to begin with, and in the House of Representatives, they do not need our votes at
all. So, the responsibility has to be with the majority party, not with the Democrats.
GORANI: Well, they can withhold their support for a funding bill that needs more than 50 votes.
BASS: Right. Exactly.
GORANI: So did you have some level of power?
BASS: Right. The minority does have some level of authority in the Senate. That is not true in the House, which is where I am a member.
GORANI: Now, let me ask you a little bit about how your party has been described in various publications. One column in particular caught my
attention. David Brooks in the "New York Times" criticizing the Democrats in this case.
He is saying the Democrats are the party that believes in government. It doesn't do them any good to make the federal government look dysfunctional.
The Democrats are trying to defend a bunch of seats in red states. This immigration uber (inaudible) strategy was never going to play well there.
Democrats, when you lose a negotiation to a president who doesn't know his own position, you're really impressed me. How do you respond to criticism
like that, Representative Bass?
BASS: Well, you know, I do have to say that amongst the Democratic base, the Democratic base was very, very strong in feeling as though we needed to
come up with a solution for the DREAMers.
We also needed to fund the community health clinics and the hospitals that serve the poor population. And unfortunately, the Republicans cast this as
though we were protecting illegal aliens.
What the truth of the matter is that the DREAMers did have legal status. It was Trump who removed that legal status when he chose to discontinue the
program. So, I think that the Democrats will continue to fight for a solution for the DREAMers and for funding for the clinics.
GORANI: This is the hand you're playing now. Donald Trump made the announcement that he did. There's a golden opportunity, isn't there, for
the Democratic Party. Despite the fact that the economy is booming in the united states, the president is still unpopular.
GORANI: But the party doesn't seem to have either a strategy or a figurehead or some message that goes beyond at least we're not the other
BASS: No, no. I would disagree. What I will tell you in my state in California we have a number of seats where I believe that the Democrats
will win during the midterm elections because we have historically never had a president who had ratings this low and also the Republican Party in
And so, I do believe that the Democrats have an alternative vision, alternative programs and strategies. And I believe through our organizing
and activism that has been generated in a way that we have not seen in decades because of Trump, I believe we'll be victorious in the midterms.
GORANI: All right. Certainly, there's a record number of women running as well, which will makes it a very interesting election.
BASS: That's right.
GORANI: Representative Karen Bass of California, thank you so much for joining us on CNN. We appreciate you time this evening.
[15:20:09] BASS: Thanks for having me.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, police in Germany say they may never know all the victims of this nurse who is now accused of being one of country's
deadliest serial killers.
Plus, Britain is cracking down on fake news or trying to. It's putting together a new security unit. How will it work? Does this matter anymore?
We'll be right back.
GORANI: A nurse in Berlin is charged with 97 murders, killing his patients, prosecutors say, pertinently out of, get this, boredom. He was
already serving a life sentence for killing or trying to kill several other patients. That prompted authorities to investigate more deaths in the
clinics where he worked.
Atika Shubert joins us now from Berlin with more. Talk to us about what authorities suspect this man might have done, which has a lot more
expensive and shocking than previously thought.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is actually a case that goes all the way back to 2005. This is somebody who
is a nurse working in at least two different clinics and he was killing for years before he was caught.
In 2005, a fellow nurse actually saw him injecting a patient and became suspicious. But it took ten more years to actually gather enough evidence
and bring him to trial and get him convicted for the homicide and attempted homicide of six different patients.
It was actually in the course of that trial that one of the women watching said, you know, my mother died under his care, I want her remains exhumed,
and toxicology test conducted. That kicked off years of tests.
It's only now that prosecutors have said they have enough evidence to prove that -- to charge him with 97 different counts of murder. It's a
GORANI: What has he said?
SHUBERT: Well, you know, during his first trial in which he was convicted, he described this as a very twisted game where he tried to paint himself as
a hero. He would inject the patients, induce a heart attack, and then attempt to resuscitate the patients.
When it succeeded, when he was able to revive the patient, he had this feeling of elation and euphoria. When he would fail, he would fall into
despair. He would be despondent. He would promise himself never to do this again.
But he would always fall into this cycle of sort of bringing a patient to the door of death and then trying to save them, but of course, he failed so
GORANI: And who were the victims, by and large?
SHUBERT: You know, the victims were basically anybody who was brought into the intensive care unit while he was there. They could be young, they
could be old, men or women. It doesn't seem like he selected any of his victims on any basis except that they were brought into the ICU and it was
easy for him to sort of sneak these drugs in without anybody noticing.
[15:25:09] Of course, these are drugs you might use on a number of different patients. So, it took a long time for the investigators to
actually gather the evidence on this. In fact, they exhumed bodies not only here but in Poland and Turkey. It was a very wide-ranging
GORANI: Unbelievable, 97 murder charges for a single man. Thanks very much, Atika Shubert.
In the U.K., the British government says it's getting tough on fake news. Downing Street is fed up with disinformation by foreign governments and
others. It's setting up a National Security Communications Unit to combat what it calls competing narratives.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May has previously accused Russia of meddling in elections. Moscow also has been accused of planting fake
stories on social media to try to undermine western elections and institutions. There's also reports that potentially Russia was trying to
meddle in the Brexit referendum.
Samuel Burke is here. He's been looking into this story extensively. So, what will this achieve and how will it work?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what's important to note here is that there's been so much focus on Donald Trump
and potential Russian meddling. So, when you have a president who takes up really all the oxygen in the media, even national media like here in the
U.K., there's been very little focus on the fact.
I'm not saying allegations, I'm saying the fact that we have seen -- CNN did an investigation and we saw that the very same accounts that Twitter
has identified as being connected to Kremlin, those same accounts were also tweeting pro-Brexit content on the day of the referendum.
So, we know this is out there. So, a lot of attention is on the U.S. looking at Russia and the U.S. So hopefully a group like this will bring
attention to what we've already seen as fact.
GORANI: I mean, isn't the cat out of the bag? How do you police the internet? I mean, that's one of the biggest issues here. How would you do
BURKE: The thing is what we have in the United States is you have Facebook and Twitter finally coming forward and saying, yes, it's true, we see the
numbers. But in the U.K., we haven't quite had that.
You've had these reports and investigations, but you haven't had something crystal clear to show exactly what happened. The problem is it needs to be
clear to the public. First these companies say, don't worry, there's nothing to see here.
So, take a look at these numbers from Twitter. At first, Twitter said there weren't that many Kremlin linked accounts, just 200 accounts. Flash
forward to October, well, more like 3,000 accounts. Just last week they updated us to say it was more like 4,000 Kremlin linked accounts.
So, my point is we've got to stay on top of these social networks. The governments do because they say there's no problem here and looking at
those numbers, there's clearly a problem.
GORANI: But then my question is, even if Twitter identifies 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 accounts linked to Russian activists or pressure groups or the
Kremlin, so what? What do you do? You close one, 10 more open. I mean, that's how it works.
BURKE: Here's the thing. Since all this has come to light in the United States and why I think it's so important that we get to the bottom of it
here in Europe and other places is because they are shutting down these accounts. They're looking and seeing these are linked to the Kremlin.
Of course, they don't want them on Facebook and Twitter because that could affect people joining the platform and their profits. So, they have a
major incentive to make sure that people linked to the Kremlin are not on there.
GORANI: Facebook did announce they were going to prioritize friends and family post.
BURKE: In part, they're doing that because --
GORANI: That's what Facebook was initially created for, not to get bombarded with fake news.
BURKE: Yes. But if you work at CNN Digital, for example, you're not thinking that's so good or if you're on Facebook for news consumption,
you're of course thinking, but I like getting my news that way. It's a positive maybe if you're a Facebook investor because you think there will
be less fake news, but if you think that news is a core part of social media --
GORANI: Maybe it would direct people to websites rather than to the social media companies that are getting the clicks on their revenue, aren't they
BURKE: Well, which is part of what these fake news websites did and profiting from this as well.
GORANI: It's a great conversation to continue to have. There's going to be so much to talk about. Samuel Burke, thanks so much.
Still to come tonight, we are keeping an eye on the White House. The press briefing is expected to begin there in the next few minutes.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Another big name close to the president, another interview with the Mueller investigation.
According to CNN research, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now the 15th member of the Trump administration, past or present, to be questioned by
the special counsel and arguably one of the most important.
This picture was him leaving the White House Monday. In the last hour, we've also heard that Mueller's team interviewed former FBI Director James
Comey and that that happened last year.
Let's get the significance on both of these developments. Live in Washington, Stephen Collinson is there. First of all, it was several hours
that Mueller's team spoke to Sessions, right? What do we think was discussed?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Well, Sessions - and the reason this is significant is that the attorney general is a
former Trump campaign official and the attorney general is key to the two strands of the Mueller investigation.
First of all, he would want to talk to him about whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia back in the 2016 election.
You'll remember, of course, that Sessions had a number of meetings with Russian officials that he didn't initially disclose and he also is a key
witness in the question. And it seems that Mueller is getting closer and closer to answering, altering is whether there was obstruction of justice
in the firing of FBI chief James Comey by the president on the grounds - and his request that was reported by Comey that he go easy on the former
national security advisor Michael Flynn.
So, this is clearly Mueller getting closer and closer to the big fish in this investigation and it's raising questions now about when he will ask to
speak to the president himself, Hala.
GORANI: Right. And that was going to be my next question. What does this tell us about the timeline that he's reached Jeff Sessions, the attorney
general, who under oath wasn't necessarily forthright about some of his contacts with Russians.
COLLINSON: Well, that's right. The way this investigation is working, and these investigations usually work, is you speak to the smaller players and
you work your way up.
It's very interesting, of course, that Michael Flynn is now a corroborating witness with the government in this investigation. So, that means Mueller
can go to Flynn and ask him questions about his contacts with the president and Jeff Sessions and then put those questions himself to Sessions and
presumably the president.
There's a debate right now that's going on in the White House among the president's advisors about whether it will be a good idea for the president
to talk to Mueller, whether he should resist -
GORANI: Can he refuse?
COLLINSON: He could refuse to have a voluntary interview. And then, the question would be if Mueller decides to subpoena the president to testify
under oath, potentially before a grand jury. That would be a much more severe and potentially dangerous legally for the president to go down that
So, we could end up having a showdown about whether the president could be forced to testify to this inquiry. I think it's very unlikely that Mueller
would close out his inquiry, given the subject matter, without trying to speak to the president.
[15:35:00] GORANI: Now, let me give you a hypothetical. He wraps up, Mueller, this investigation. There is some finding that there was perhaps
improper contact with Russian operatives during the campaign. Then what? I mean, what happens? Could it lead to nothing in the end?
COLLINSON: What we think would happen is that Mueller will put this information on all these counts down in a report. If he decides that there
is a criminal case to answer, he could go down that road, though the question of whether a president can be tried in office is a difficult one
He could also choose to refer this to Congress and say that the president has, in his view, committed impeachable offenses and that would be when the
big question would arise, is whether the Republican Party, which is in control of the House, where impeachment proceedings would start, and the
Senate would actually hold the president to account.
That is going to be a very, very interesting moment because, as far as we've seen so far, many members of the Republican Party, especially in the
House of Representatives, have been trying to discredit the Mueller investigation and the idea that there was either any collusion or any
obstruction of justice by the president or anyone else in the White House or his campaign.
So, it does raise serious questions about whether Republicans would hold him to account if Mueller found wrongdoing. And then, we would be in the
sort of area of a very serious constitutional crisis.
GORANI: Right. OK. Well, that's all going to - I'm sure we will be talking about this again tomorrow. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much.
Appreciate it. Live in Washington.
The UN Security Council is meeting this hour to discuss the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And it comes just after more than 20 people were alleged
to have been suffocated during a suspected gas attack near Damascus.
Remember, the red line?
In Paris, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denounced Russia for its failure to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for using
chemical weapons against his people, according to Tillerson. The Syrian government has denied using those weapons in the war.
Out of Syria and Iraq, we are hearing heartbreaking stories of civilians caught up in battles, in recruitment and brainwashing by ISIS. Senior
international correspondent Arwa Damon spoke to one little boy who was raised within the terrorist group.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In another lifetime, this would have been a moment as pure and simple as it
looks. Two playing together, looking out for each other.
But Ayham barely remembers his real family. This propaganda video shows how he spent most of his childhood. Raised in the so-called caliphate by
an American ISIS woman and her jihadi Moroccan husband.
(on-camera): Were they nice to you?
AYHAM AZAD, KIDNAPPED BY ISIS: Yes.
DAMON: Did you love them?
DAMON: But they were also the ones holding him captive.
(voice-over): Ayham was kidnapped when he was just four years old. Separated from operator from his real. Sold and traded until he ended up
AZAD: She's really good to me.
DAMON (on-camera): Um Yousuf?
AZAD: Yes. Um Yousuf, her real name, it's Sam.
DAMON (voice-over): His ISIS family took everything from him - his childhood, his identity as a Yazidi, but most of all, his innocence.
AZAD: They said you have to kill - if you be back, you have to kill every Yazidi.
DAMON (on-camera): Do you feel like you want to kill all the Yazidis?
(voice-over): Ayham learned English quickly and became best friends with Sam's oldest son Yousuf.
(on-camera): Who's this?
AZAD: That's Yousuf.
DAMON (voice-over): Ayham says Sam was forced to let the boys make the propaganda video.
AZAD: They put a gun on her head.
DAMON: Ayham's story of Sam portrays a woman conflicted, caught between her indoctrination and her humanity.
AZAD: She tell me don't forget name of your family.
DAMON: She regularly had Ayham recite his real names, so he would be able to find his way back home one day
And that day came a couple of months ago. As the caliphate crumbled, the ISIS family tried to make their escape, but they were caught.
AZAD: They said you have to go to your family and she has to go to her family.
DAMON: Sam and her children are believed to be detained by Syrian Kurdish forces.
Ayham returned to a broken family. His uncle, who was looking after him, pays him to see a counselor twice a week.
Ayham's mother is still missing. She too was kidnapped by ISIS and no one has heard from her in years. His father remarried and moved on.
[15:40:00] Ayham is rejecting his native language, Kurdish, and struggles to communicate with his family. The counselor is trying to do, through the
song that teaches colors and numbers, help him accept his origins again.
Ayham knows he's with this real family, but Mrs. Sam and Yousuf is the only family he really knows. He's confused. But in his mind, he's certain
of one thing.
AZAD: Hello. How are you? My name is Ayham. I want to get out from here.
DAMON: Arwa Damon, CNN, Dohuk, Iraq.
GORANI: It was a scary few hours for resident of Alaska and the US and Canadian West Coast. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Kodiak,
Alaska triggered tsunami warnings.
Many in Kodiak evacuated as warning sirens sounded. And as a precaution, San Francisco officials warned residents to stay away from the coastline
for 12 hours.
Authorities eventually canceled tsunami warnings and only small waves of less than 30 centimeters were reported in Alaska. So, that is a relief
More women and girls who accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse are recounting their horrific memories in court. The former doctor of the USA
gymnastics team has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and admitted to sexually abusing young girls.
In the past week, more than 100 victims have made statements at Nassar's sentencing. He's had to listen to every single one of them.
Several victims also accused USA gymnastics and Michigan State University, two organizations that employed him, of ignoring their reports of abuse
while it was going on.
USAG has announced that its top executives have resigned. Some of Tuesday's most emotional testimony came from the mother of one victim,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE SWINEHART, MOTHER OF JILLIAN SWINEHART: I cannot speak for what my daughter is going through. I can only speak for what I am experiencing as
I willingly took my most precious gift in this world to you and you hurt her physically, mentally and emotionally, and she was only eight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Eight. It's just unbelievable when you listen to the age. Eight years old.
Nassar faces up to 125 years in prison when he's sentenced this week. CNN's Jean Casarez is at the courthouse in Lansing, Michigan.
We've been listening to all these impact statements and some of them have been so terribly upsetting. What does it legally change in a courtroom
when you hear this type of testimony?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What is the - can you repeat that for a minute, Hala? Sorry.
GORANI: What does it change legally in the sentencing process when this testimony is heard by the judge in the court?
CASAREZ: Well, the judge takes it into consideration because it is an aggravating factor, in a sense, you could say, to get him a harsher
sentence because the impact on the victims. And at this point, 158 victim impact statements - I can't even think of a case that had that many victim
And as you listen to them all, I mean, they are just heart-wrenching. And you see how lives have been destroyed along the way.
Now, we've got a little bit of a timeline now. We have just learned from the court that the actual sentencing of Larry Nassar should be tomorrow
afternoon at approximately 1 o'clock.
The court day has just about finished right now. And tomorrow, they'll have three more victim impact statements. But Larry Nassar will be able to
speak before the court if he so chooses before he's sentenced.
Now, he can plead for mercy or he can apologize. So, we'll see if he does either one of those things tomorrow.
GORANI: And do we know if he'll speak?
CASAREZ: We don't. And many times, you don't until the very moment the judge asks him, would you like to speak, allocate before the court is the
And that's inside the courtroom. So much is happening in this country outside of the courtroom. For instance, a student body president, right
here in Lansing of Michigan State University, is mounting a demonstration on Friday on campus for the president of MSU to resign.
She has been the president for many years. She's been a part of the University the entire time that Larry Nassar was the athletic physician for
And also USAG today, a very - John Geddert, a renowned Olympic coach, has been suspended. So, it's just sort of the domino effect and it's after
these young women have said, number one, I reported it to MSU in 1997 what was happening to me. That's 20 years ago.
GORANI: I mean, you have 158 victim impact statements. This man worked in a university and then with USA gymnastics. I mean, any reasonable person
would assume that someone in authority must have been told, must've known. It's impossible for someone to get away with this for so long without an
authority figure turning a blind eye to some of this stuff.
[15:45:10] CASAREZ: And what will come from this - because we also learned another victim said that she went to the police in 2004, that's 14 years
ago. So we're hearing these things from the victims and it makes you wonder exactly what you're saying, Hala, who knew what and when.
And from my understanding, at this point, there is not a criminal investigation that is public, at least, going on in regard to these other
entities of what they knew and what they may have covered up.
GORANI: Jean Casarez, thanks so much, with the very latest on the trial of Larry Nassar.
Check out our Facebook page, Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN and also check us out on Twitter.
We will be right back.
GORANI: On a lighter note, well, it depends what your opinion is of the Oscar ceremony this year. But on a lighter note, the nominations are in
for this year's Academy Awards. And there are some new names being honored.
You'll remember the awards show faced heavy criticism in recent years for its lack of diversity. It sparked the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
But as Hollywood pushes for change, the Academy seems to be making strides when it comes to diversity. Take, for example, Jordan Peele. He was
nominated for best director for his social justice thriller, "Get Out." He becomes only the fifth African-American director nominated in that
Greta Gerwig, she wrote and directed the coming-of-age story "Lady Bird". She is just the fifth woman ever to be nominated for a best director Oscar.
CNN's Lisa Respers joins us now - Lisa Respers France joins us now for more.
So, Lisa, first let's talk a little bit about the fact that finally - and when you think of it, the number of women and African-Americans and
minorities nominated in some of these major categories are so embarrassingly small that they still make news when they get a nod. It's
LISA RESPERS FRANCE, CNN SENIOR WRITER: Absolutely. And more people are talking about Jordan Peele being only the fifth African-American nominated
for best director than they are talking about the fact that he's only the third person who's ever been nominated for writing, directing and having
their film nominated when they're a first-time filmmaker.
I interviewed Jordan Peele when the film first came out and he said the movie wasn't even supposed to be made. He wrote the script as a writing
exercise. And Hollywood got super excited about him when he was in a meeting with some executives. And they said we should make that movie.
So, lucky for us that movie was made.
GORANI: Yes. Did you like it? I thought it was - I liked it.
FRANCE: I loved it.
GORANI: I don't know that I loved it. I liked it, though.
FRANCE: I loved it. I love the concept of having a social thriller where racism is the boogie man.
But Jordan isn't the only one that made some news. Octavia Spencer became the first African-American actress to ever be nominated and have multiple
nominations after a win. She won a couple of years ago for "The Help". She was nominated last year for "Hidden Figures". And this year, she was
nominated for "The Shape of Water", all in the best supporting actress category. So, that's exciting too.
GORANI: What's your favorite movie?
FRANCE: Oh, don't make me say it.
GORANI: I don't know. Just give me a couple then. "The Shape of Water" is leading in the nominations, right?
FRANCE: "The Shape of Water" has 13 nominations. But I've got to tell you, it's going to be difficult this year. I mean, it's not like last year
where everybody thought "La Land" has to win. And, of course, we know about that big snafu where "La Land" didn't win best picture, but it had so
I mean, "Shape of Water" is up against "Get Out". It's up "The Post." It's up against so many good films. I just feel like this is a rich year for
movies and they're going to a really difficult time selecting a best picture winner this year, I do believe. There's a little something for
GORANI: OK. OK. You got out of answering that one.
FRANCE: I did.
GORANI: The Harvey Weinstein - it is going to be the first Oscars without Harvey Weinstein after he was disgraced. For the Golden Globes, the
actresses wore black. Some saw that as a bit gimmicky that they were still supporting, in some cases, actors who had been accused - male actors who
had been accused of improprieties. How will the Oscars unfold without the legendary powerful Weinstein?
FRANCE: That's a huge question. And a lot of people were saying that the Harvey Weinstein scandal was the reason why James Franco wasn't nominated
this year for "The Disaster Artist". He had been critically acclaimed in that role. He had already won a Golden Globe. He had already won a
Critics' Choice Award and he is nowhere to be found.
And, of course, Mr. Weinstein was stripped of his membership from the Academy because of the sexual misconduct accusations. So, the Oscars is
absolutely going to have to address it.
I think we can expect to see it being spoken about in acceptance speeches. People are going to definitely be talking about it in the red carpet. This
is a watershed pivotal moment for Hollywood.
GORANI: But it's a man hosting, Jimmy Kimmel.
FRANCE: It is. And I'm sure he's going to make lots of jokes. So, be prepared.
GORANI: All right. Lisa Respers France, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate it. We'll, hopefully, speak again soon.
FRANCE: Thank you.
GORANI: The legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela has died, 78 years old. He was a trumpet master. He was diagnosed with prostate
cancer ten years ago. In a statement, his family said, he died peacefully in Johannesburg.
His "Bring Him Back Home" song, written for Nelson Mandela, became an anthem for the anti-apartheid movement in the 1990s, and that's how you
would know him. And also this -
GORANI: Obviously, one of Neil Diamond's many hits. The singer turned 77 on Wednesday. And we're mentioning him because it's a bittersweet occasion
to say the least. Diamond has announced he is retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Famer
says he will continue to write and record, though.
We will be right back.
GORANI: Tokyo is a city that never gets old no matter how many times you've been there. It's hard to see it all.
And, right now, we're going to show you the Japanese capital from the point of view of an insider. It's always the best way to do it and he takes us
to a world of virtual reality.
DANNY CHOO, CREATOR, SMART DOLLS: I'm Danny Choo. I reside in Tokyo and I create a line of fashion dolls called Smart Dolls.
We are in Shinjuku VR Zone. This is a place where you can experience latest technologies and they call it virtual reality.
So, all our senses are fed electrical impulses through, like, goggles and, like, sensors on your hands. And some of the rides have, like, fans and
really makes you feel like you are in this different world.
So, this is my first time giving this VR stuff (INAUDIBLE).
OK, this is really interesting.
OK, this is quite fun. This is fun.
OK, I admit it. I wouldn't mind having one of these at home now.
So, I've played Mario Cars many, many moons ago (INAUDIBLE 1:30) on this, like, a pixel screen. And then, I've played it on the Nintendo Switch.
But playing it right here is a completely different game.
Virtual reality has been around for quite a bit. And most of it has been for consumer at home. But I think where the technology really shines is in
facilities like this.
GORANI: There you have it. Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. A lot more ahead.
"Quest Means Business" comes to you from the World Economic Forum in Davos.