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Pro and Anti-Trump World Leaders Meets in Davos; Trump to Push America First Agenda in WEF; New Immigration Plan and Border Wall on the way to Congress; Fire in South Korea Killed 37 People; Senior Saudi Minister Speaks To CNN; Saudi Arabia Reforms Economy Under Vision 2030; Turkish Incursion Marks New Front In Syrian War. Aired 3- 4a ET
Aired January 26, 2018 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST, CNN: Good morning from Davos in Switzerland. The America first president is set to make his speech before the globalist here in Davos.
I'm Becky Anderson.
GEORGE HOWELL, HOST, CNN: And I'm George Howell with CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom.
And ahead the controversy overshadowing the president's trip the new bombshell report, the U.S. president tried to fire the special prosecutor who is investigating the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Plus, we'll take you to South Korea were officials there are investigating cause of a deadly hospital fire.
ANDERSON: Well, it could be the most anticipated speech here at World Economic Forum. About five hours from now U.S. President Donald Trump will address political and economic leaders in Davos. They will be closely watching how Mr. Trump's squares his America first rhetoric to this worldwide audience, and whether he will talk about walls or bridges.
We also heard that some people are planning to walk out in protest, but Mr. Trump said his trip so far has great.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to say that there's been a lot more of warmth a lot of respect for a country, a lot of money. Billions and billions of dollars that's coming into the U.S. and people are very happy with what we've done, not only on the tax bills but also cutting of regulations.
And I think also being a cheerleader for our. You know, if you're not a cheerleader for your company or for your country no matter what happens it's not going to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON: Well, in about an hour, President Trump will sit down with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. It will be interesting to see how they get along especially after Mr. Trump's infamous vulgar slur about African countries.
Kagame is the incoming chairman of the African Union which condemns Mr. Trump's remarks. Well, the White House said the two will, quote, "reaffirm the U.S.-Africa relationship and discuss shared priorities."
Kagame and Trump do share one thing, both are known for journalism political opponents.
Well, before we talk that, let's bring in our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. We will discuss all of this. But let's start off with the speech some five hours from now. Some are calling it possibly the biggest speech of the U.S. president's -- Korea as president to date.
NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR, CNN: But I think it's already been well-crafted and well-scripted in people's minds here. We've heard many of the leaders here set out their stalls. The expectation for President Trump to meet their desires the ball on that for expectation is very low. Mnuchin and others within the administration have been here laying the groundwork for President Trump.
So I think it's clear that we can expect them to sell that message America first, but also that doesn't mean America alone, that means America working with others. But I think when we look at President Trump may say today, knowing that he's got this cloud from Washington trailing him about the -- about the Mueller investigation and that's raised.
It's very ugly head for him overnight, so he'll be waking up to will he tweet his script this afternoon to address that issues. But I think it was when he arrived yesterday when he was speaking more off the cuff, which is when generally President Trump tends to straight from the narrative his official block in the state that's when we hear what makes the headlines. And this is how it went yesterday morning.
ROBERTSON: He may be a polarizing figure but the U.S. President Donald Trump still commands everybody's attention when he walks into a room. His message on arrival.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what's your message for everyone here, sir?
TRUMP: Peace and prosperity.
ROBERTSON: But minutes later the message of goodwill was apparently gone, and it was back to more familiar territory ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister. President Trump threatened to cut off more aid to the Palestinians.
TRUMP: That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace. We took Jerusalem off the table.
ROBERTSON: Explosive remarks that will reverberate across the Arab world. Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas' office has already issued a defiant response.
"If Jerusalem is off the table then America is off the table well." President Abbas' official spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a phone call with CNN.
[03:05:00] The president has been causing waves elsewhere too. His visit to Davos overshadowed by controversy around his alleged description of African countries as shithole nations in a meeting with U.S. lawmakers.
Trump may experience a frosty reception meeting some African leaders for the first time since the comments. South Africa's ANC leader had this to say.
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN LEADER, ANC: President Trump as a leader of an important country like the United States it is important for you not to disrespect or show any disrespect to any country in the world.
ROBERTSON: But not everyone is outraged by President Trump's remarks. Ugandan President Museveni saying he loved Trump's honesty.
YOWERI MUSEVENI, PRESIDENT OF UGANDA: Mr. Trump, I love Trump. I love Trump because he tells Africans frankly.
ROBERTSON: While Trump later denied making the comments he set off a diplomatic uproar from African and global leaders, Rwanda's foreign ministry, describing them at the time as "demeaning and unnecessary."
Now as Trump comes face-to-face with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, the head of the African Union the world will be watching and listening closely.
ROBERTSON: I'll have to say, Becky, I know what you're finding especially you hears so much of this. You talk to different delegations and there are those who do say yes, we like President Trump straight talking you know where you stand with this American president. Less clear under others.
ANDERSON: Yes. And it's interesting because there are politicians those who write policy, those who will, you know, be looking to their own national interest as it were and there are global CEOs here.
And Donald Trump's policies back at home that of tax reform and deregulation. They say not only helps the U.S. economy helps but helps the global economy. And you see a lot of enthusiasm from many of the CEOs here to get involved in making America great again.
ROBERTSON: They really do. That is the narrative. And I think they feel that a lot of people are missing that narrative. Christine Lagarde the IMF chief who spoke at the beginning of the week in Davos was quite clear that she believes that what President Trump is doing in the United States does have a knock-on benefit.
But I think the feeling here is, you know, it's beyond the economy. It's will you engage in some of the bigger issues. As President Trump said this morning we listen to his words, you know, if you don't champion your company, if you don't champion your country how can you succeed.
The message here is, Mr. President, we need the planet to succeed. You need to champion the planet. That means climate change, that means globalization, that means a host of issues and that's where they like to see him to look at.
ANDERSON: To which we might say that the U.S. narrative as it stands under this administration in the country of America is America, Inc. it is to a certain extent one and the same.
All right. Thank you, Nic. Always a pleasure to have you on this great reporting. President Trump's visit to Davos has been overshadowed by his reportedly use of vulgar word to describe African nations. His alleged comments set off a diplomatic fires from all around the world.
Earlier, South Africa's Deputy president weighed in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAMAPHOSA: President Trump, as a leader of an important country like the United States it is important for you not to disrespect or show any disrespect to any country in the world.
We want the United States to engage with the world with other countries with due regard with respect, particularly Africa. Africa is the origins of humanity. And you must therefore respect the origins. President Trump's origins and his roots are in Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Cyril Ramaphosa, well, some are even going further. South African business leader Bonang Mohale published these remarks in an open letter to President Trump. Quote, "Many of us will be boycotting your address to delegates at Davos in protest against your divisive comments and continued failure to unequivocally apologize. We encourage like-minded peers to do the same."
Well, the author of that letter Bonang Mohale joins me now. Sir, fascinating. Do you have support?
BONANG MOHALE, CHAIRMAN, SHELL SA ENERGY LIMITED: Thank you. First of all, we wrote the letter on behalf of 81 CEOs of those major companies and multinationals listed on that join we had securities exchange.
We felt absolutely personally hurt because South Africa we've gone through the past of 350 years of colonialism, 48 years of apartheid.
[03:10:04] So to us, this is personal, it's bone deep. It goes to the core of who we are. And we felt revolt that we could be lammed altogether as developing countries with El Salvador, the people of Haiti and the people of Africa.
Then if you think about it the United States of America have gotten more than most countries in contributing to the freedom, the liberation, the democracy that is now taking root in Africa. We credit the USA for that (Inaudible) for having introduced things like equal employment opportunities and we are who we are today because of the thoughtfulness, deliberateness, truthfulness and consciousness of the utterances of leaders of the greatest economy in the world.
ANDERSON: So, you want other CEOs to follow your lead and what go into the speech but make a dignified exit before he start, or just not bother to turn up at all?
MOHALE: My letter on behalf of the CEOs was quite expressive. We are saying we're hoping that this will start a debate about the significance, the respect, about how we treat issues of gender, equality because we know that when we put smart ones in the ends of women not only just nutrition, health, education, and schooling in general but entire communities get uplifted.
This particular president has been Islamophobe, has been against women, has been against immigrants. The only thing that he seems to be supporting is white males who are probably politically much more far- right. So we were saying we are educating and orchestrating for a boycott of like-minded people so that we are not disowned by own children.
ANDERSON: What's been the response, briefly.
MOHALE: Truly an absolutely overwhelming. We've been absolutely received by people of El Salvador, people of Haiti, but also other business people. We are absolutely embolden to that African-Americans who claim to the USA their blood, sweat, and tears build this biggest economy that not by choice.
We're part of this atrocity, this genocide that is called slavery, that they also oppose it. The people in the Republican Party of the president himself have distance themselves from these remarks.
So we are hoping that this president is going to join the world in helping us to create a shared future in the fractured world.
ANDERSON: Thank you for joining us.
MOHALE It's an absolute privilege. Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: You heard it here. President Trump has been making nice with some of the world leaders in Davos, of course, he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got so long famously. There's no surprise to it. Mr. Trump said that he and British Prime Minister Theresa May are, quote, "on the same wavelength."
Some may dispute that after all there is that feisty issue of Mr. Trump's upcoming trip to the United Kingdom. Still, the prime minister did have kind diplomatic words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We continue to have a (Inaudible) relationship between the U.K. and the United States. It's not (Inaudible) to show that because we are facing the same challenges across the world. And as you say, and as you say, we're working together to defeat those challenges and to meet them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And earlier, I sat down with Iraq's prime minister to get his take on President Trump.
HAIDER AL-ABADI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: It's really hard for me to judge a U.S. president. I have my own observation.
ANDERSON: Which are which?
AL-ABADI: But I think every president he looks as the interest of the U.S. as he sees it. I think of the moment of during this time there was our interest have met to fight terrorism and that was very good. I like that.
ANDERSON: So when he talks about America first you think or say what.
AL-ABADI: Well, when he was talking about America first it means American security, it means Iraqi security because terrorists threaten Americans, threaten Iraq and that why we have received a lot of support in this period to fight terrorism.
This is good for Iraq, good for the rest of the world I think.
ANDERSON: The Iraqi prime minister speaking to me earlier.
Well, Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. He joins me here in Davos. And I know that you had supper with President Trump and the delegation last night. You are amongst a number of European executives. What was the mood?
FREDERICK KEMPE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Well, I didn't join there but I can give you a download from the reception he had with a 100 handpicked people. And Trump was in his element.
[03:14:57] First of all, it was all about America is back and he gave you a bit of a feeling of what the speech was going to have in here. It's going to be about the subliminal is things have turned out a lot better than a lot of people here in Davos thought they were into now.
Look at our growth, they're going to big growth figures today just short of 3 percent he indicate about 2.9 percent. He says that's going to be even better. It could be 4 percent, it could be 5 percent, no reason why America can't be in either one of those places.
He introduced every one of his cabinet members, every one of members of Congress who was there by name. And he said you're going to like what you hear in my speech tomorrow. So you see, a Trump's that's very happy to be here. He's the ultimate gatecrasher, the White House was pretty good gate to crash but this isn't the bad one.
ANDERSON: My apologies because there were sort of events yesterday. I know you want to be handpicked 100. He also had a supper and event with the European executives.
ANDERSON: And we've been discussing that this morning. And we're hearing is sort of similar vein as to what we might expect from the speech. We are also hearing from sources who are at that supper that this was a President Trump who felt at home with those CEOs. He was amongst friends as it were.
And they said that was an interesting one because there been lots of talk about the anxiety of the U.S. president arriving here, how would he act or what his tone be with the global elite. You are saying that we are seeing a very engaged President Trump.
KEMPE: People are still nervous on the trade front. He's going to say in his speech is going to speak about fair trade in that event and not unfair trade. He talked yesterday about the TPP 11...
ANDERSON: Is that a pivot?
KEMPE: Yes. I think there is a pivot in Trump toward the Trans- Pacific Partnership. They've gone ahead as 11. I talked to a Japanese official yesterday and he said they frozen 20 parts of this agreement, which were 20 things the U.S. wanted. And they know that what President Trump likes is a win, so they have 20 wins to give him so they set the table.
But with these 100 he also said something that frighten then a little bit where he said he didn't know whether NAFTA could go ahead and be renegotiated without breaking it up. So there is also some room for some concern.
ANDERSON: So, perhaps we should be -- look, people here might be less concerned about a full on protectionist approach by this U.S. administration and more of this sort of tit for tat potentially -- potential trade wars which can be fixed...
ANDERSON: ... if you see at the table with him, right and have him renegotiate a better deal.
KEMPE: Well, I think what we've seen all along is surrounding of the edges of America first and now with Steve Bannon out of the White House. If we see Bannon in the White House I'm not sure President Trump comes here at all.
And now you have 100 people in this delegation. You had cabinet members participating all over Davos yesterday. He has stage-managed this. It's like the Rolling Stones are going to be on today and you've seen this warm attacks some pretty good ones, Macron, Merkel, you know, Modi, Trudeau, those are pretty...
ANDERSON: You heard some of the rationality from the best is what Donald Trump is likely to be thinking I guess.
KEMPE: Well, I think -- I think that's right. But the thing is, none of them have made the kind of remarks that President Xi Jinping made last year. So the stage is open to him to kind of set the agenda for this Davos.
ANDERSON: It's going to be a fascinating day.
KEMPE: It will be.
ANDERSON: Fred, thank you.
CNN special coverage of President Trump's speech at the World Economic Forum begin at 12.30 p.m. in London, 1.30 p.m. here in Davos. So, stick with us throughout the day. I'll be back in a few minutes' time.
Let's give it back to George, though, at CNN center for the other headlines.
HOWELL: Becky looking ahead of that speech. And of course, our team there the best to keep in touch with. Thank you, Becky. We'll stay in touch of course.
Still ahead here on Newsroom, the Trump White House has long said that it never considered firing the special counsel Robert Moeller. Now numerous sources dispute that. And they say the president nearly fired Mueller seven months ago.
That story ahead as Newsroom continues. Plus, South Korean officials investigating that country's deadliest fire in nearly a decade. We have the very latest from the scene straight ahead.
[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm George Howell.
And we are following the Russia investigation here in the United States. There are new and major developments to tell you about. A source confirms to CNN the U.S. President Donald Trump tried to fire the special counsel Robert Mueller last June but never followed through with it.
And that story was first reported by the New York Times, which cited four sources with knowledge of the matter. The White House declined to comment on it. At the time Mueller had been special counsel for just a few weeks.
One legal analyst says that President Trump could be on thin ice with this news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ZELDIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Even if the order to McGahn to order Rosenstein to fire the special counsel on improper reasons is not in and of itself obstruction of justice. Two things come from that. One is it gives the special prosecutor of view into the intent of the president with respect to that in all their actions relevant to his inquiry.
And it's that intent that informs whether or not a combination of factors equals obstruction of justice. Secondly, however, this type of behavior is exactly what gave rise in the Nixon case in article 2 and in the Clinton case in article 3 for their articles of impeachment. Article 2 for Nixon, impeachment article 3 for Clinton for abuse of office.
And so, it can be that this conduct even if it doesn't rise to the level of obstruction of justice, statutory obstruction of justice can rise to the high crimes of misdemeanors, Federalist paper, 65, Hamilton explains the abuse of office and this is what this could rise too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: A source tells CNN that Mr. Trump back down from firing Mueller only when his White House counsel Don McGahn threaten to quit.
Some other news coming out of the White House, Mr. Trump is offering a surprise on immigration as Washington grapples with the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children.
The White House say Mr. Trump will put forth a comprehensive immigration plan in the coming days that will offer those DREAMers and others a path to U.S. citizen -- citizenship. It would apply to 1.8 million people.
The president also wants $25 billion for the border wall that he's promised to build that wall again that he insisted Mexico would pay for back when he was campaigning as president as president. Instead, the American people will put that bill and other beefed-up border security measures. Also an end to family-based immigration and the visa lottery.
Now to South Korea that nation's president urging officials there to find out what caused the deadly hospital fire that happened on Friday morning. You see the images here. The hope to prevent anything like this from happening again.
At least 37 people died from flames swept through the first two floors of that building. CNN's Will Ripley is live at the scene in Miryang, South Korea. And Will, we understand that people have been showing up there to learn whether their love ones were killed, and now there's an understanding that there may be a final accounting of the number of killed.
WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: There was some fluctuation with the numbers, George. At one point they thought 41 dead and 39 other saying 37. Thankfully they were double counting some of the victims who were taken to different hospitals in this area.
[03:24:55] But I want to show the scene here. It's really you can still smell the fire and everybody's hearts are hanging heavy at this moment. This is the neighborhood hospital. You can see here small building five stories firefighters were on the scene there who had actually smashed the window when fire broke out on the first floor of the emergency room entrance waiting area.
So a lot of the people who were killed had actually just checked into the hospital and many of them were senior citizens because adjacent to this hospital is a senior center. The flames shot out to the second story here and that's where the intensive care unit was.
That's where a lot of other people who were killed were simply unable to actually get out of their beds.
We spoke with a man who actually work at this store right across the street here. He knows the hospital. He knows the doctor, the nurse and the nurse's aide who were killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sad. How can I not be sad, I knew those people that work in the hospital. They're really nice people. They help in the neighborhood. They're hard-working staff. It's really sad that this happened to them. It's really sad. It hurts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: And George, I just want to take you over here because we mentioned that the family members have been coming to this area. I just want to show you this. It really does hit home when you see (AUDIO GAP) these are the names all 37 people who were killed, many of them in their 50's, their 60's, their 70's and so you see family members coming here looking on the list for the names of their loved ones.
And then if they didn't see the name there then they came over here. These are the people who were in the hospital that they were injured and they were transported to other medical centers in the area.
This is -- this is a building that did not have sprinklers we're told. They said that it was too small the building to have a proper sprinkler system installed. But this is a country that's been wracked by deadly fires. There is one actually just last month, George, where 29 people died in
the sports center, and now this fire once again renewing calls for perhaps greater protections, greater fire safety codes in this country, because obviously you see how quickly the fire was able to spread in just a small hospital building like that and so many people lost their lives.
HOWELL: Just to think of the people who traveled there, Will, to read those names on those sheet that showed us. Thank you for your reporting, Will.
This is CNN Newsroom. And still ahead, more from the World Economic Forum in Davos. And America's influence there. What it means to other nations as Newsroom pushes on.
ANDERSON: If you are just joining us, you are very welcome. We are here in Davos. And the anticipation is growing.
[03:29:59] In less than five hours from now U.S. President Donald Trump will address the rich and powerful gather here at the World Economic Forum. He will share the room with leaders from countries he has criticized and disparaged oftentimes worse. The audience will be watching out Mr. Trump squares his American first rhetoric and policy to this worldwide audience. Here is a quick look at Mr. Trump's first stay in Davos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, EDITOR AT LARGE: What is your message for everyone here sir?
We always said he is going to do a victory lap. This is his victorious as it gets and enjoying every moment. First Theresa May now it is Benjamin Netanyahu.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We develop a great relationship both our countries has never been stronger.
QUEST: I had been doing Davos (inaudible) 15, 16 years, I had never seen a reaction quite like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is the leader of the free world and we need Donald Trump leadership in many international issues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very concerned that the United States undermine the much left of the WTO.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growth in the U.S. economy, productivity in the U.S. economy, openness, trade, open mind, innovations, that is the solution for growth and the U.S. needs to be the leader of the free world.
TRUMP: Productivity we had and the United States had being here has been incredible. Probably I can think of no other place or time you have executives that stature.
It has been a very exciting day, a very great day, wait for our country, thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well that was day one, this is day two, let us bring in CNN Molly Ball national political correspondent time magazine and the cover of the new issue of trade and America that seems to be going it alone your article for the issue reflects on your time here and you write I quote, the global order is a self-sustaining organism and in the era of Trump. It has found a way to adapt rather than take on the populist enemy. As such, the devils, cloth, has sorted cobalt and analyze it to surrounded well-meaning concern to engage in a productive discussion say things here. Do you think as we await this speech and let than five hours. Frightened with rather than fear a Trump administration.
MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: That is right. I think is remarkably (inaudible) especially considering that year ago (inaudible) was about Trump. He seems to be the avatar of this populist way that was consuming Europe as well. It really threatens the class of people who comes to Davos threatens international collaboration which he had set himself up against in his rhetoric, but there's now a sense that his bark works than his bite and people here are doing well.
ANDERSON: Do you see that was more reflective of a Steve Bannon his former chief strategist who quite friendly has set out loud that the devils man is even much is and actually we shouldn't be surprised that Donald Trump is happy and she feels very home with many of at least the business allegiance who are gathered here.
BALL: He would like to feel at home with them. I think it was quite perplexing to American political observers when he decided to come here, because it doesn't seem like helpful to him politically to be seen rubbing shoulders with the elites of the world when as you say his political narrative was supposed to be about the forgotten Man and the little guy and that's why no American president has been here since Bill Clinton in the very last year of his presidency. It is not necessarily a good look who wants to be among the world elites.
ANDERSON: The question is this, are we seeing a pivot by President Donald Trump and if so how will that go down with his base at home.
BALL: No Donald Trump does not pivot. He continues to be Donald Trump no matter what. However, he is quite unpredictable, even erratic, so he made two different things at different time but it does signal, I think what we've learned from watching him. He never signaled a permanent change in direction it's just a momentary mood, his base of supporters are very loyal to him he can't lose him no matter what he does, but I don't think it earned him any points with them. Except so far as he comes here to sort of rub America's greatness in the faces of Davos.
ANDERSON: One senior banker told my colleague John Defterios this morning, he would do well to engage in narrative around or revert to a narrative around the make America great again and you can have all a part in that as opposed to feel like a more isolationist position which is American first, I am going to rub you face in it.
[03:35:15] BALL: Well I think, you know having talk to people here all week, they are more interested in what Trump does and then what he says. Yes, they don't like the rhetoric America first is not appealing to a gathering that is all about international cooperation and borderless and working together, but what they seen is , you know in practice Trump is not so much of a threat to them. In fact been very good for their bottom line. So as long as the profits continue to come in and there's no trade war and there's no nuclear war, either pretty happy.
ANDERSON: As long as.
BALL: As long as.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
BALL: Thank you.
ANDERSON: President Trump threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in the USA to the Palestinians if their leaders don't agree to peace talks with Israel, a spokesman for the Palestinian president Abbas quickly push back say the U.S. has abandoned its role as an honest broker, after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital they say, they won't negotiate until the Trump administration abides by international law and agrees to work towards a two state solution. CNN Ian Lee joins us now from Jerusalem and as far from what we heard from President Trump here yesterday in a press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister, this sense at least appeared to be one not interested in negotiating with the Palestinian anyway at this point, Ian?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Becky, when you look at what has transpired over the past few months you've seen the United States declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel there to move their embassy. That infuriated the Palestinians and then there are some talks about what this peace process could look like. So far we've seen the United States demand concessions from the Palestinians of but we haven't seen what if any concessions are going to make the Israelis make and you know there's also been hearing contradictions coming from the White House. You know yesterday we heard President Trump say that Jerusalem is off the table. The United States took care of it, it was an issued that all was a thorn in the side the peace process of United States took it off the table and then we had the ambassador to the United Nations. Nikki Haley say this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We had done nothing to prejudge the final borders of Jerusalem. We had done nothing to alter the status of the holy sites. We remain committed to the possibility and potential of two states if agreed to by the parties. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: So Becky, right there, you know when you hear two different messages coming from the White House. Obviously, the president prompts be any sort of ambassador but it is made this very difficult situation here or not. I just want to take us back to the president's first trips -- trip to the region when he was speaking with the posting president Abbas at the time at the end of their comments together, the Palestinian president said with you Mr. President, we have hope and we've got a long way since then. Now that the Palestinians won't even talk to United States.
ANDERSON: Ian Lee reporting from Jerusalem for you, Ian appreciated it. Thank you. Coming up more coverage from here in Davos. We will speak with the Saudi as Saudi Arabia's new economy and planning anything here what he has to say up next.
[03:41:03] ANDERSON: Welcome back I am Becky Anderson Davos in Switzerland. In just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump will wrap up with these two day visits here to the world economic forum with a speech expected to promote his vision of American first. Some world leaders have already taken preemptive swipes at the Trump doctrine if he call it that, that they argue it contains protectionist and isolationist concepts not normally associated with the United States. CNN Money emerging market editor john Defterios joining me now with a special guest for you today as Saudi Arabia minister for planning and economy, Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, we welcome you here. You always a big as Saudi Arabia delegation and which is a fantastic dome. I was I believe in the UAE's is great to see some golf friends with us before we talk about what is going on in your country, I know you got some insight into what we might expect from what is this much anticipated speech by this Presidents today.
MOHAMMED AL-TUWAIJRI, MINISTER FOR PLANNING AND ECONOMY, SAUDI ARABIA: I think it is going to be hopefully more relax. (Inaudible) So, a balance to you and a balance to the speeches.
ANDERSON: All right we know that President Trump of course made his first international visit was to Saudi Arabia on a trip back in May and during that these times. The U.S. will call traditional ties, older ties had been renewed. A new front and center at that, tell us 2030 vision much discuss. The Americans certainly invested how?
AL-TUWAIJRI: So 2030 (inaudible) the government has been designed automatic by the Saudi nationals and I think it is all around solutions not only for Saudi Arabia but also for the whole Middle East. The stability of Saudi Arabia is definitely stability for the rest of the region we sit on large reserve (inaudible) for many years to come and the political interest to Saudi Arabia is significant so I think beyond the commercial aspects of 2030 that U.S. companies can have major role in privatization, initiatives around reform but also politically is very important role of the U.S.
DEFTERIOS: The administer is a very interesting period Becky and I were talking the other day about 2018 being the year of clarity. We saw the vision 2030 plan on the table investigations against corruption using the Ritz Carlton Hotel, everybody wants to know when that is going to be wrap up, give us a sense of the next few days as a speaker, toss about $100 billion as secured as a conservative estimate, is it a pie in the sky number give us a sense really is a reality on the ground.
AL-TUWAIJRI: Before the anti-corruption campaign was part of the plan -- on the surprise and who watch and monitor the bogus being said by the king the first week he took office and companies follow that twice accuse that nobody is above the law, you know it is a little playfield for everybody, so that is the objective and it is part of a bigger plan. To my knowledge, I think we are in the very final stage situation, hopefully it is going to be days before the hotel opens up. The amount of admission is actually realistic, I don't think it's not realistic, but most of this assets as you can imagine will be in some form of liquid asset, real estate structured, instruments and so on.
[03:45:15] DEFTERIOS: You're talking about grand scale in terms of real estate which has a huge value, a lot of people in the world don't know that real estate in Saudi Arabia has such a high price. That's part of what you're talking about here that makes a $100 billion dollar looks conservative in your view to stretch it out over time.
AL-TUWAIJRI: Definitely again, you know Saudi Arabia has 2 million assets real estate so this are the classes in the country. We are opening up in the future but you expect that many of this asset take over will be in real estate.
DEFTERIOS: One quick final question this issue Becky is in the news this morning and that is the asset of NBC the media group which is very well-known in the region, do we see a settlement when the government takes over in NBC at this stage as part of the corruption investigations is that something you see happening?
AL-TUWAIJRI: There is dedicated comment as we look at all this asset, their nature I have no specific comment to any of those for myself.
ANDERSON: We are talking about clarity here, John and I were in Riyadh back in November just before the announcement of the anti- corruption commission the meeting was held at the Rich Carlton Hotel which then became pretty much prison for those wo are being held on this charges. There are lots of international investors who showed awful lot of interest in the potential for the Saudi Arabian economy and vision 2030 going for the palpable sense of fear once this corruption commission itself was very, very visible, what is your message to the international community that may still have concerns going forward?
AL-TUWAIJRI: So one I can announce that we are in the process of planning an outreach to the international committee, we will be talking to investors and whoever is interested in our plan. So basically it's more clarity around the process, the government surrounded, why it is being done, how it is being done so and so forth. I think the market deserves some of those clarity that is going to be targeted and focus. The second point, whatever we hear in Davos the last four days is we are actually suggesting this is putting thing in the right side, it is a living playing field. We are open for business. Then we don't need anybody to help to access this Saudi market and opportunity for everybody in a very open and prosper trade.
DEFTERIOS: There some concerned that the Crown prince handling too many friends very confrontational Tehran, we know it is happening in Yemen overhauling the economy in a very large way. We talked about the corruption investigation, some from the outside think its impulsive trying to handle too many issues all at once. Your former private-sector banker for 25 years, gives us an insight, this is to play two fold, you had it under control, international investors are going to be welcome, and we are trying to get a sense of what
AL-TUWAIJRI: Again this is the first fair of vision 2030 and we are half way through so, 15 years to go and we can definitely say that there has been some challenges in the first couple of years. In terms of cost this is an expensive transformation, so we established the cost rationalization bureau anti-corruption money is going to help, but again saving a lot of money and projects in Saudi Arabia is going to help get management office. Managing our reserves, all oil is going to help the third one is communication. The average citizen would say what is in it for me? We need to be out teaching with this messages until there will be opportunities in Saudi.
ANDERSON: We appreciate your time. Questions from people around the world about opportunities anywhere in the world. Thank you.
[03:51:00] HOWELL: Welcome back to newsroom I am George Howell in Atlanta, the rift between Turkey and the United States is growing deeper specifically over the incursion of Turkish forces into northern Syria, Turkey is denying the White House account of a recent phone call between the country's president Turkish officials describe it as just the exchange of views say that Mr. Trump did not ask Turkey to dial back its offensive, but the White House as the president urged the president of Turkey Erdogan to limit military actions, warning of a possible conflict between Turkish and American forces. US troops are operating in Monday Syria as part of an international coalition against ISIS. They've been arming Kurdish Syrian fighters infuriating Ankara. Which views their push for a Kurdish homeland is a threat. This dispute puts the two NATO allies on opposite sides of a major battle inside Syria along the Turkish border. Our Arwa Damon shows us what's at stake in this exclusive report.
ARWA DAMON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It is raining out here as you can see is quite rural now this is one of the outermost perimeters of territory controlled by the Turkish back free Syrian army rubble. They do control this town, but then if you look up to the hell you can see, what we're told are the YPG fighting positions where they do have snipers in place that had been taking shot into this area. There also was a few hours before we arrived. The mortar that landed we were told inside that small village that we have been hearing on how the course of our time here. The sound of artillery being fired. That of course originating from Turkey.
The actual on the ground advance itself is happening in other direction. What you see right there that is the Turkish city of Kenneth is also a refugee camp and one of the things that the Turkish government is helping to accomplish is to push the YPG back further enough so that there is no longer a threat posed directly to Turkey from artillery or mortars that they have been firing. The other thing that the government hopes to accomplish is expanding this buffer zone expanding this safe zone so that at least half of portion of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees are currently inside Turkey can begin thinking about coming home. Arwa Damon CNN, Syria.
HOWELL: Arwa thank you. The U.S. diplomat Bill Richardson has resigned from a Myanmar advisory board saying that he can no longer serve in good conscience. He calls the panel cheerleading squad for government policy that's failing to address the Rohingya crisis, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya had been forced to flee their homes and kind states amid widespread reports of military backed mass rape, murder, and the destruction of entire villages. In an interview with CNN Richardson said he's disappointed in his longtime ally, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi were he accuses of whacking moral leadership in her dealings with this crisis.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He want permission to be basically a whitewash or validation of her policies and their enormous crisis with the Rohingya bear with citizenship in which human rights violations. I raised the usual two journalists being unfairly detained and she was very upset and she's changed, she becomes unfortunately, a politician afraid of the military and afraid to make the tough decisions resolve one of the worst humanitarian crises in history and that's the plight of the Rohingya.
[03:55:08] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aung San Suu Kyi is now complicit in what is happening to the Rohingya?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well she bears responsibility. I'm not advocating sanctions or stripping her of the Nobel Prize, I am not there yet. I think she has the kind of intellect and moral stature that will hopefully return, but right now with all the people around her to tell her how great things are in this power bubble that has been created around her, she needs to start listening to her friends. People like me that are giving her frank advice that things are not going well. She doesn't seem to want to hear this.
HOWELL: Lawyer supports the Aung San Suu Kyi office said that it was clear Richardson's intent was to pursue his own agenda on that board and not to provide advice. Myanmar's government spokesman told CNN they were sorry about Mr. Richardson's resignation. Let us get back live to Switzerland my colleague Becky Anderson in Davos with a look at some of the highlights of our coverage ahead in the coming hours, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, George, plenty from Davos are still to come. Special coverage of President Trump speech in my colleague's Richard Quest will be speaking with Christina (inaudible) the managing director of the international monetary fund. He also speaks to the deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, (inaudible) the CEO advertising and P.R. Firm WPP and a Nobel and economist Joseph (inaudible). That is it for this hour. I am Becky Anderson in Davos Switzerland.
HOWELL: Becky, pleasure to be with you, I am George Howell live at the CNN enter in Atlanta. The news continues here on CNN right after the break.