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HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Stoltenberg: NATO Reducing Size Of Russia`s Mission; More Western Nations Expel Russian Diplomats; Facebook CEO Agrees To Testify To U.S. Congress; Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Speak To U.K. MPs; Did Kim Jong-un Make Secret Trip To China?; Hundreds Call For Full Investigation; Anti-Semitic Attacks On The Rise In France In Recent Years. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 27, 2018 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:00:08]

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I`m Hala Gorani.

Tonight, Vladimir Putin is promising a tough response after the unprecedented expulsion of Russian diplomats from western countries.

Also, ahead, sources are telling us Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress in the coming weeks. What will he say?

And an appalling crime in Paris, an 85-year-old holocaust survivor is stabbed to death by police believed it was anti-Semitic attack.

Piling the pressure on Moscow, more nations announcing they are expelling Russian diplomats even NATO got in on the action today. Take a listen to

its chief, Jens Stoltenberg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: I have today withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff at the Russian mission to NATO. I`ll also

deny the pending accreditation request for three others and the North Atlantic Council has reduced the maximum size of the Russian mission to

NATO by 10 people in line with my decision. This will bring the maximum size down to 20.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: This is all part of a global response from western countries to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter here in the

U.K. in Salisbury back in March. Since this time yesterday, countries like Belgium, Ireland, and Australia join this coordinated push.

Now more than a hundred Russian diplomats are being thrown out of their host countries. The U.K. prime minister, Theresa May, today thanked

British allies for standing her nation. Here`s what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Obviously, I welcome the international support that we have gotten and as I`ve said in the House

yesterday, this isn`t just a matter of the U.K.`s position in working the U.K. I think in the national security interests of the individual

countries concerned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Russia for its part is saying that it will strike back against this worldwide push. It hasn`t said how yet. Western nations are bracing

for retaliation.

Let`s get to Phil Black live in Moscow. So, we are expecting something like similar types of expulsions of western diplomats from Russia?

PHIL BLACK, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It seems at the very least, Hala, yes, that will be the case. But little indication we`ve had

on specifics has been a statement from President Putin`s spokesman talking about the principle of reciprocity.

So, in theory, tit-for-tat, one for one, Russia does not always play it quite so precisely sometime known -- some substantive action when describes

as asymmetrical going a little bit further and more unexpected direction.

How strongly it reacts will ultimately determine just how and where this crisis could escalate further.

And the big question, of course, is will there be more sanctions from Western countries. In other words, not just throwing out a couple

diplomats here, three there, one there, but some economic sanctions, and this is something presumably that the Kremlin really does not want to see.

BLACK: Indeed. And all of these other countries, these critics of Russia have reserved the right to take further action and in some ways that will

ultimately be determined by the strength of just how Russia responds now, but this will be the balance that Russia will be trying to strike as it

moves forward from this point.

It will be trying to make a statement respond in kind to some degree a show of strength standing up for what it has persistently said is its innocence

in this regard. It is against the injustice, which it has claimed in being unfairly accused it says without proof of using a chemical weapon.

But at the same time, it will not want to see a dramatic further deterioration beyond the parameters that it is prepared to accept. So,

these are the delicate things that will have to be gauge as Russia considers just how to respond. We are told that this is -- these options

are being put together by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But ultimately, it will be President Putin that decides.

GORANI: Phil Black, thanks very much, reporting live from Moscow this evening.

I want to get perspective on this with Heather Conley, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state from the Bureau of European Affairs. She`s

now a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and she joins me now live from Washington.

What do you make, first of all, of the Trump administration`s decision to throw out basically 60 diplomats and close the consulate in Seattle, a

decision we are told was made by the president himself?

HEATHER CONLEY, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, BUREAU OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: It was a very bold decision to take. This is one of the

largest expulsions in U.S. history. So, I think it needs to be seen as a bold step but in coordination, and that`s the power of this move. The fact

that it`s worked with 20 other countries to send the Kremlin a very clear signal that you cannot release a nerve agent on NATO territory.

[15:05:13] GORANI: Will it change Russia`s behavior do you believe?

CONLEY: So, expulsions as an ax, not a policy, and I think this is where we really need a broader Transatlantic strategic framework for where this

relationship is heading clearly where in an escalatory pattern and that`s when we are at most dangerous moment.

I think President Putin did not perceive this concerted effort of the international community and we aren`t quite sure how he is going to respond

to this. He may take some very bold asymmetrical steps that we are not anticipating.

GORANI: Sergey Lavrov basically said that another word that some of these European countries, especially the Eastern European countries were

whispering, we are sorry, as they were throwing out one or two. It was basically a tokenistic move on their part. And Sergey Lavrov also said

that the U.S. was using colossal blackmail to force the hand of some of its European allies. Why would Russia say this now do you think?

CONLEY: Well, I think Minister Lavrov is extremely skilled in explaining the Kremlin`s viewpoint, but look, yes, that some countries only expelled

one diplomat. Some of the Russian Embassy is actually quite small in many of these countries.

It is symbolic though that so many took part in this that the joint efforts to say this is unacceptable. This goes against international norms, so,

you know, they need to step forward and accept that this is not responsible behavior.

We`ll see if they take that sign. I doubt it, but that is really the message that the international community was sending.

GORANI: But as far as Russia`s concern, Vladimir Putin, who is just a reelected without much opposition in his own country. I mean, the

expulsion of diplomats is not hurting the country economically. It`s diplomatic as you said it`s an action, it is not a policy. It would have

to go further than that, wouldn`t it?

CONLEY: Right, exactly. I think this is where the policy discussion needs to go and many in Washington have been surprise that the Trump

administration has not used more effectively the sanctions legislation that Congress passed last year to focus on the Kremlin`s inner circle to focus

on their bank accounts.

This is not to punish the Russian people. This is to punish the action of a few surrounding President Putin that are implementing these acts. So,

there are stronger measures. It`s going to take more political will to use them, but this is not about harming the Russian people.

And our condolences are with this tragic fire in Siberia, which I think they are continuing ramifications for President Putin for that tragedy, but

this is about those few that are executing these types of behaviors that we have seen in Salisbury. That we are sending a strong message that this is

just an unacceptable.

GORANI: And you mentioned that mall fire in Siberia, we are going to have a report on that a little bit later in the program. But up until now,

Donald Trump was seen as a president who was unwilling, very much unwilling to be critical of the Kremlin or Vladimir Putin when even some members of

his administration.

Where Rex Tillerson a day before he resigned pointed the finger of blame after the Salisbury attack to Russia. That is not something necessarily

that we are hearing at the very highest levels of the White House, including from the president himself. So, this move, therefore, is how do

you explain this move now?

CONLEY: What`s been so challenging about the following and watching U.S. government policy towards Russia is that a variety of agencies and

departments, the Department of Defense, the Treasury Department, State Department, have been very, very tough on Russia.

Yet President Trump`s verbal messages have been exactly the opposite and certainly his congratulatory message to President Putin last week was just

another sort of a very strange, a very soft message encouraging working together with Russia in light of several days later we took this very bold

step of expelling 60 Russian diplomats.

So, it is very difficult to square those two, but I think what`s important is President Trump has legislation that requires him to impose sanctions.

He has a very unified interagency around him from the Defense Department, State Department, Treasury Department, that is focusing on top of the nose

policies.

But President Trump always surprises us and we never are sure exactly what he will say on any given topic, and he has been unusually soft in his words

towards President Putin, but the actions of this administration have been quite tough.

GORANI: Heather Conley, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate your analysis this evening.

Now to a CNN exclusive, sources say Facebook`s billionaire CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has agreed to testify to U.S. lawmakers, meaning that he is

likely to appear before the American Congress within the next few weeks.

[15:10:07] It comes just one day after he refused the request to talk to British lawmakers and unlike their American counterparts, they want answers

about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But Facebook says two senior executives will testify instead of Zuckerberg.

All this sparked by reports that Cambridge Analytica, the U.K. data from that work with U.S. President Donald Trump`s 2016 campaign accessed

information of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Let`s get to the bottom of today`s developments with CNN`s Samuel Burke. You`ve been covering -- and we`ll get to that in a moment -- the Cambridge

Analytica whistleblower was testifying at the U.K. parliament today. But first Zuckerberg, what is he expected to say? Why did he agreed to

testify?

SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the stock is down 5 percent right now, Facebook stock, so, clearly investors are nervous

about him testifying and why would not they be. This is incredibly uncomfortable position for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to be in because,

of course, they make money by having your data.

Though they do not make money by giving your data away, no one is alleging that they profited by selling this data to the professor, who gave it to

Cambridge Analytica. So, why is he testifying? Because the pressure from the media, from the public, from politicians.

He realized that he would have to testify, but it is not just the questions he`s going to be answering from politicians about how they handled data.

He is really going to have to send a message to 2 billion people around the world, all these users about why they should regain trust in his platform.

It is going to be incredibly difficult and as he told our colleague, Laurie Segall`s interview, he doesn`t like being in front of the camera.

GORANI: Yes. And -- so his mission here is restore trust.

BURKE: Exactly, not just with the politicians, but with us as well and that is very difficult because Facebook found out about this whole

situation with Cambridge Analytica in 2015. That is three years ago, people. They change their policy then, so you are having to retroactively

defend yourself about something that you obviously knew was not kosher by any stretch of the imagination.

GORANI: And didn`t make public even though you knew was an issue until a whistleblower spilled the beans.

BURKE: Exactly. Did not notify any authorities as far as we know and certainly it did not notify the press or you, the user.

GORANI: By the way, I am hearing anecdotally, that people are deleting their Facebook and that people are reconsidering whether they want to spend

as much time as they have in the past on Facebook. Do we have any "data," quote/unquote, on what`s going on there?

BURKE: Have we shared any data yet? We know that a few months ago when they had their first quarterly reports that they had already been losing

users in the United States and Canada for the first time. So, already, there was something afoot, maybe people taking a second look at their

Facebook accounts and wondering what it was doing to them socially as you and I have talked about so often on your show.

We`ve seen the #leavefacebook, but we will not really know until the next quarterly report, but as we saw yesterday, a lot of Android users realizing

that Facebook was keeping track of all of their phone calls and text messages.

That`s because so many people are going through this file that you can look through any user, we`ll post it on our Twitter account, so people can do

this, you can go through the everything that Facebook knows about you. So yes, people are taking a second look/

That tells me that if people are really thinking, what does Facebook know about me, some people may not like what they see.

GORANI: And that`s for people who have the app on their phone.

BURKE: Exactly. If you have -- no, no, not just if you have the app on your -- well, anybody can look at that information. Yes, it was just

Android users, those people with that phone who were able to see that they were keeping logs of their phone calls and text messages.

GORANI: Chris Wiley and we have interviewed him on this program was testifying at the Westminster today.

BURKE: For four hours, I thought, he`s been on Hala Gorani`s show --

GORANI: He wore a suit. You know he`s serious.

BURKE: But he still had the pink hair, of course, but I thought does he really have that much more to say, and boy, did he have more to say. For

four hours he testified. He was confident the whole time. He had a lot to say.

Most interesting to me was the fact that he talked about how Cambridge Analytica was able to operate in various countries, which wouldn`t allow a

British company to have a role in the local elections.

So, he said they were able to avoid those laws by just setting up other companies with different names but sharing that data. Cambridge Analytica

says we always operate within the bounds of the laws in those countries.

And the other thing I found very interesting is he said that he is pro- Brexit or Euroskeptic were his words, but he says based on what he saw how data was used by different data companies during the Brexit referendum, the

way that various Brexit groups are working together.

he way U.K. law would not permit, he believes that Brexit may have had a different outcome if these companies had followed the rules. That`s his

observation.

GORANI: It`s almost impossible to gauge how much influence the fake news have, how much influence --

BURKE: But he was somebody at the center of data being used saying that even though he is a Euroskeptic he really believes that people should have

followed the laws, but if they had not, we could be living in a very different situation.

[15:15:12] GORANI: I wouldn`t have thought he was a Euroskeptic, by the way, you do not get my birth. I was also surprised what he said that he

said, look, I am a progressive. There aren`t many people like me who also Euroskeptics but indicated he is.

GORANI: Right. And Cambridge Analytics, just so we get there point of view on here, they said that Wiley misrepresented the facts.

BURKE: And they said that he stopped working for them in 2014 so he would not know what has happened with the company in the past few years since he

left.

GORANI: All right. Samuel Burke, thanks very much.

Still to come tonight, a mystery train on the move in China. Where did it come from? Where was it going? And most intriguing who was on board?

Also, tears and intense anger, people in Russia are demanding answers after dozens died in a shopping mall fire. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Well, I want to bring you the latest on that mystery train that turned up in China Monday. The train has now left the station departing

Beijing several hours ago. There is a video of it. There is a lot of speculation that it carried a high-level delegation from North Korea.

Perhaps even the leader, Kim Jong-un.

In fact, a South Korean source tells us that is highly likely. How a train from North Korea would get to China. Pyongyang and Beijing are not

confirming anything for now, but this was by the way the train that was used by the father of Kim Jong with bulletproof coaches and carriages.

So, the train if that is indeed the train that could withstand an assault of some sort if someone had decided to do that.

In Central Russia now, people are demanding answers. The country is mourning for dozens of people killed in a mall fire Sunday and this is

what`s so heartbreaking, an entire class of schoolchildren is feared to be among the dead, the whole class.

Some children posted goodbye messages on Russian social media before their accounts went silent. Investigators say the alarm system in the mall was

turned off and that emergency exit infuriatingly were blocked. On Tuesday, hundreds of people to the streets calling for a full investigation.

CNN`s Melissa Bell has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After the grief, the anger, on Tuesday, several hundred of people gathered in

Kemerovo to demand answers after the deadly fire that tore through a shopping mall on Sunday. Russian authorities say dozens were killed, most

of them children.

(Inaudible) the real figure was much higher. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin meeting with a civic group assuring it that those responsible would be

punished. Earlier, he visited the scene of the fire laying flowers at a makeshift memorial to the victims.

[15:20:09] VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): What is happening here, this was not a combat situation, not an unexpected methane

outburst in a mine. People came to rest, children. We talk about demographics and lost so many people because of what, because of criminal

negligence and carelessness.

BELL: The fire one of Russia`s deadliest in recent years broke out on Sunday afternoon when the Winter Cherry Shopping Mall was packed with

shoppers and cinema goers and many, many children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I would like to note that most of the personnel just ran away and abandoned children and their parents.

Those people who were supposed to be responsible for safety, for organization of evacuation, they left first. Almost nobody from the

shopping mall staff died.

BELL: With the fire exits blocked and the fire alarm turned off, according to the investigative committee that is looking into the tragedy, witnesses

say the scenes inside were of sheer panic.

Among those at Tuesday`s protest, parents of the victims sharing their anger and their grief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I was talking to my daughter on the phone. I asked her where she was. She cried, I`m here dad. I told

her to lie down on the floor and breathe, breathe and don`t die, I told her. I ran there, but they grabbed me by my feet and dragged me back. I

cried, you bastards. I was crying to my daughter. She said, Dad, I love you. I`m suffocating. I`m fainting. Excuse me.

BELL: On Wednesday, Russia will hold a day of mourning, but with so many casting doubts on the official death toll, there are for those gathered in

Kemerovo many more questions than answers. Melissa Bell, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: New just coming into CNN, Reuters is reporting that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been taken to hospital this evening

where he is reportedly undergoing test after suffering a high fever and a cough. Of course, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing questioning and many

corruption probes.

He was questioned under caution yesterday and they mentioned there the issue seems to be a fever and a cough. We`ll keep monitoring the story and

bring you any developments if there are newsworthy ones coming to us.

Now to a heartbreaking story in France, a woman survived the Holocaust only to be killed in her own apartment in what authorities say was a crime

motivated by hate. CNN`s Jim Bittermann is following this for us in Paris. So, what happened, Jim?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a particularly tragic story, Hala, when you know the details of Nori Knowles

life, 85 years old. She was just 10 when she escaped the Holocaust. She just missed getting picked up with the great roundup of Jews that took

place.

The most infamous event during the collaboration in Paris when they rounded up Jews and shipped them off to concentration camps. She and her mother

fled town just ahead of that and were able to survive.

She survived 75 years since then just the other night she was stabbed to death multiple times in her apartment apparently by her next-door neighbor.

At least he`s the one that`s been charged with an anti-Semitic hate crime according to the prosecutor.

A 27-year-old who has served time in jail for having sexually assaulted the daughter of Mrs. Knowles caregiver. In any case, she apparently knew her

attacker. There may have been theft involved as well and then the attacker and another young man apparently who set fire to the apartment trying to

cover their tracks or something.

This, of course, has outrage the Jewish community here as well as many in the political view. The president himself spoke about this and the

interior minister called it an act of barbarism, and both said they were going to work against anti-Semitism in France.

The Jewish community most upset and are going to be holding a march tomorrow night to her house and hopefully to draw attention to anti-

Semitism and work against it -- Hala.

GORANI: And I want to remind our viewers that there has been an increase in these types of attacks. The Interior Ministry says violent anti-Semitic

incidents were up 26 percent from 2016 to 2017. There was a 65-year-old woman killed by her neighbor in April. Her death is being investigated

also as an anti-Semitic attack.

And in 2015, it was this Kosher Supermarket attack in Paris. In 2012, four people were killed including three children outside a Jewish school in

Toulouse. What is going on here do you think, Jim?

[15:25:00] BITTERMANN: Well, I think, you know, there has always been I think -- and you know this well because you were educated here that there

is always been kind of a background of anti-Semitism in France, in some quarters and it gets worse periodically and I think, you know, especially

as tensions in the Middle East get worse, it sometimes things up more.

But it has been there for sure in the last few years and every single time it has happened, we see members of the Jewish community here take

(inaudible) to Israel where they can have sanctuary and abandoning France.

So, I think we`ll probably see that again this time around and as you mentioned, yes, it was almost a year ago exactly that we had another

horrific attack (inaudible) Jewish woman and you know, again, anti-Semitism was at the heart of it.

So, it is something that goes on here and in some quarters -- the Jewish community say that in some of quarters of the city and in the suburbs

particularly, they can`t go out with a cap on the head, (inaudible) because they`ll be taunted or picked on in some way -- Hala.

GORANI: Jim Bittermann, thanks very much reporting live from Paris.

The west is waiting for Russia to retaliate after a mass expulsion of diplomats. We speak to the Dutch foreign minister about that later in the

show. Also this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can throw all that stuff up in our face as many times as you want, but that means that we will work harder for Trump, is

not (inaudible)?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Are scandalous allegations of affairs with a porn star and a former playmate are hurting Donald Trump`s popularity with women? Think

again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Porn star, Stormy Daniels, is escalating her legal fight as she presses ahead with allegations of an affair with Donald Trump. Just hours

after the White House spokesperson said President Trump continues to deny Daniel`s claim. She filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump`s attorney in

the case, Michael Cohen.

For his part, President Trump has remained uncharacteristically quiet about Daniels, no tweeting and her blunt warning that she is not going anywhere.

Of course, Mr. Trump is facing legal action from two other women as well. One who accuses him of sexual harassment and another who says they had a

10-month affair.

Now, you might think of his allegations are hurting Mr. Trump among Christian conservatives, a big part of his base, among even Christian

conservative women, right? Well, just watch this conversation between CNN`s Randy Kaye and some Trump supporters in Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Palm Sunday, these conservative Christian women gathered in Dallas to watch Stormy Daniels

interview on "60 MINUTES."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was shopping her story for money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just like all the other people will try to make money off the Trump name.

KAYE: What was you first impression of Stormy Daniels?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel sorry for her, my heart hurts for her. This so poor, so far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are we giving it any credibility?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the fact that she now wants to come out with the story, because she`s afraid of her children? My goodness, would you tell

the kiddos about your full-time job?

KAYE: These women all voted for Donald Trump and despite Stormy Daniels` claims, they still don`t buy her story.

KAYE: Why would she come out and give this interview, if she wasn`t telling the truth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Money.

KAYE: Do any -- base on this interview, do any of you believe that Stormy Daniels did have sex with Donald Trump?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t believe it, because I haven`t seen any hard proof.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does it really need -- the president of the United States or a stripper porn star, I go with the president of the United

States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

KAYE: Most in this group believe God ordained Donald Trump to be president and stand by him, despite his imperfections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that when I voted for him. I was in voting for a quiet aboard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had to change as a person, in order to become a president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stormy Daniels if you -- the lifestyle that she`s leading right now, I mean, I wish you would turn her life over the way hat

Trump have.

KAYE: This group suggest the women coming forward with tales of having had an affair with Trump are being targeted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone is looking and shopping for these people to come out of the woodwork, because it is demeaning to our president.

KAYE: And there are some strongly suggested all part of a media plot to bring down Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can throw all that stuff up in our face as many times as you want, but that means that we will work harder for Trump. Is

it not true, ladies?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the media defining the narrative. The people, we the people are ready to define the narrative and it`s not about tawdry,

sexual, and peccadilloes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In order for somebody to come forward, you could be pushed by somebody else, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so I think the scene is, you are looking for a way to impeach my president that I worked very hard for.

KAYE: I`m asking you about a Stormy Daniels interview on "60 MINUTES." Period. That`s it.

And about that so-called hush money. These women don`t see Trump`s fingerprints on it, only his lawyer, Michael Cohen`s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe he thought he was just doing a favor to try to quash some negativity, even though it didn`t even happen. Just to get rid

of the story that`s not even true.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It could also, file a suit that that nondisclosure was unsigned, because Trump may have not known about it at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Worst-case scenario if he slept with her, whatever, that`s between him, the lord and his family. That is not about the job

he`s doing and running our country in which he`s doing an amazing job.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Some eyebrow-raising remarks there, right? Because you would think Christian conservatives in the United States who embrace things like

family values and monogamy and marriage. The thing we think maybe that this isn`t behavior that they would support. But there`s a level of

forgiving the president for having done things, perhaps in the past. They believe that this is really predestined, that Donald Trump represent some

sort of movement that they are behind.

Let`s bring in veteran political watcher, Larry Sabato to help us understand why all of these allegations don`t seem to be fazing many Trump

supporters.

So, Larry, what do you make of it here? Because no matter what accusations are thrown at Donald Trump, his die hard supporters believe it`s a plot

against him and that even that he did these things, he`s a changed man now.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF CENTER FOR POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: That is absolutely correct. And a large percentage, despite the

mounting of evidence that these allegations are true, as were the allegations made against Donald Trump during the campaign of 2016 for all

that sexual harassment, despite - they believe it isn`t true at all. Some of them do, at least, and others, as you note, simply don`t matter.

Look, 82 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump, holds that consistently shows since Trump has become president, that he is

lost virtually no support at all, he`s still of that 80 percent level.

GORANI: But why is that? But why is that? Because people have said the U.S. don`t get it. They say, if it were Mike Pence, we get it, because

Mike Pence has no scandals surrounding him and he`s someone who says that his values are aligned with the Christian conservatives in America. But

Donald Trump is the exact opposite of that, especially before he became president in some of those stories surrounding him. In his own boasting on

that Access Hollywood tape.

[15:35:13] SABATO: That is correct. And just to add to it, many of the people that you`re interviewing were probably among those howling about

Bill Clinton during the 1990s for doing some of the same things. So where you stand depends on where you sit. And in today`s America, if you`re

sitting in a red Republican chair, you cheer on Republicans and make excuses for them and there`s no better example than Donald Trump.

I don`t think it`s going to -- But, Hala, remember one thing, I don`t want your audience to think America is composed of a bunch of ignoramuses.

Sixty-three percent of Americans in your most recent CNN poll, believe the women. They know the women are telling the truth.

GORANI: I`m glad you brought up the poll.

SABATO: Yes, go ahead. It`s your poll.

GORANI: Because the poll also indicates that Donald Trump is its highest approval rating in 11 months. Forty-two percent.

SABATO: Forty-percent. And he is the lowest rated president consistently in this early part of a term. No president in modern times has ever been

this low, this early. And, yes, he`s up a little bit, but he was simply in the upper 30s before. This is all pretty much within the margin of error.

He`s nowhere near 50. And I`ll tell you frankly, Hala, I`ll be shocked if he ever gets to 50.

GORANI: And you`ve been an observer of American politics and you`re an esteemed historian. Is America more partisan, more divided now than it was

in the past where it become, "tribal" where your clan is -- that`s where your allegiance lies, nothing your leader does or says will influence you

one way or the -- will prompt you to withdraw your allegiance to that clan? Is it worse than it was before in terms of -- in terms of the segmentation?

SABATO: Yes, it is. By a number of objective measures, the United States is more partisanly polarized than at any time since the civil war. That

was in, of course, the early 1860s. So we`ve had other polarized periods, but nothing like this where people are in their foxholes and they`re never

going to cross the DMZ.

GORANI: It`s interesting because in some ways, it reminds me of the Middle East where depending on what group you`re part of, you will never see

anything wrong with your own group and will only, only see evil intentions and ill will from every other group. And I wonder how did America get

here?

SABATO: It got here in part because of those divisive social issues that we`ve been debating since 1970s, abortion, gay rights, guns, and the second

amendment, whole long list of them. And increasingly, our parties have a 100 percent or nearly 100 percent rule. They`re all in one camp, on all

those social issues, the other parties in the other camp. So people don`t agree on very much anymore, and they disagree through their political

parties. And I don`t think that`s going to change. At least not in a foreseeable future and certainly not while Donald Trump is president.

GORANI: Larry Sabato, as always, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate your time.

SABATO: Thank you.

GORANI: Quick update on the news that we brought you earlier. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has been taken to hospital.

Nic Robertson is in Jerusalem. Why has been admitted to hospital, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. We`re just getting a statement from the prime minister`s office. He`s been admitted to hospital

because he has quite a high fever and a bad cough. He`s been taken today University Medical Center. The reason for that, his doctor says is because

of these symptoms that they`ve run some tests on him there. We`re not told what the outcome of those tests are. But the doctor, his physician, Mr.

Netanyahu`s physician says that this is -- he believes that the symptoms have arisen because the prime minister had the flu two weeks ago, didn`t

give himself adequate rest from the flu and that`s why -- that his physician is now saying the symptoms persist.

However, based on that flu two weeks ago, these persistent symptoms, high fever, bad cough, has been brought to this medical center to test. What

happens next is unclear at the moment. What we do know is yesterday, for example, the prime minister had a full day by the measure of any

politician. He met with the German foreign minister, the French minister of these questions by investigators and the corruption case, as you know

case 4,000. So he`s had a lot on his plate, even as recently as yesterday.

[15:40:11] GORANI: Nic Robertson, thanks very much for the update.

Up next, 25 western nations kicked out Russian diplomats. Is this a new Cold War? I`ll ask a former aide in Margaret Thatcher. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: More than 100 Russian diplomats being kicked out of 25 countries over two days in one united prime. Today, the British prime minister

thanked those western nations who announced they were taking diplomatic actions against Moscow. This s response to the nerve agent attack in

Salisbury which the British government blames Russia for.

Well, if you`re too young to remember the original, many think we might be living now through the early days of a new Cold War, and others say it`s

worse than that, potentially, Nile Gardiner with Heritage Foundation. And he joins me from Washington.

So, is this a new Cold War?

NILE GARDINER, DIRECTOR OF THE MARGARET THATCHER CENTER FOR FREEDOM, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, I think certainly we`re in a huge fight against

a very dangerous adversary. I think Soviet (INAUDIBLE) whether we`re engage in another Cold War. But in some respect, I think the enemy that we

face today in the form of Vladimir Putin and his regime is in some aspects more dangerous than the old communist regime. I do think that Vladimir

Putin is an extremely dangerous adversary for the United States, for Great Britain and for their allies across the world. So, yes, we are engaged in

another global conflicts against regime that is absolutely brutal, that is capable of using chemical weapons on the European soil that is no respect

whatsoever for human rights or for human life. And so we must be on our guard and be vigilant.

GORANI: But you won`t go as far as to use that term?

GARDINER: I think it`s different in some respects, because -- but not necessarily faced with something on the scale of the old Soviet Union, an

ideological adversary. We`re dealing with something more it can perhaps to late 19th century imperial Russia. And I think that Vladimir Putin is a

sort of traditional Russian imperialist. And I think he is someone who is willing to project and use deadly force against his enemies.

But I would say, we are engaged, once again, in a global conflict against an enemy that certainly is happy to use lethal force and certainly would

like to see the demise of the western world.

GORANI: And they have, if you believe, those who have study the digital meddling and on Facebook, the spread of fake news, the attempt to influence

the U.S. election, even some say the Brexit referendum, the Catalan referendum. They have used non-military force to have a big impact for

very little initial investment, if you think about it. Do you think this western response is enough to change the behavior of the country, of

Vladimir Putin?

[15:45:23] GARDINER: I think we have to approach the Russian first in many different ways. Of course, we have to counter the cyber threat posed by

Moscow. Also of course so Russia`s desire to intervene in western elections. But at the same time, we must build our military might in

Eastern Europe, especially in the Baltic States as a message to Putin that if he does make a move from one of the Baltics, he`ll be met with the

entire military response of the whole NATO alliance. And we must also, of course, stand with those in Russia who are fighting against the Russian

dictatorship. We must stand up for those dissidence who put their lives on the line every day. This is exactly what Margaret Thatcher and Ronald

Reagan did during the Cold War. And we must back those allies in what Russia calls its nearer board who are in the direct line of fire of Putin`s

Russia. Of course including Ukraine. We have seen now the United States arming Ukrainian government to the face of that threat.

GORANI: You were an aide to Margaret Thatcher. If you were advising Theresa May, over this, what would your -- what would your recommendation

be?

GARDINER: I think firstly, certainly, Theresa May`s leadership, so far, has been very strong on this Russia question. And the British government

said it implemented some very robust measures, but more needs to be done. I think we need to see a significant increase in British defense spending.

It should be increased at least three percent of GDP, more British forces deployed in Eastern Europe, particularly to the Baltic States. We`ve also

got act against the Russian oligarchs. Several hundred of whom have investments in the United Kingdom. We need to act against the assets. We

need to certainly hook Putin economically. And we must do more --

GORANI: But this is what`s not being done, Nile Gardiner. This is really where we`re not seeing very robust measures being taken, right? Because I

mean, if you have -- you have all this Russian money in London, property and elsewhere and oligarchs as well. I mean, spending money in this

economy, and not just in London and other parts of the western world. So if you really wanted to take action, that you could, but it`s not being

done.

GARDINER: I think it`s being contemplated. And I think the British government is actively discussing these measures. There are also

discussions here in Washington with regard to potentially the freezing of assets of Russian oligarchs, visa bans, et cetera. So these measures are

al being discussed. They do need to be implanted.

We also must see as well the leader of the free world, President Trump directly confronting Vladimir Putin on a personal level. We need to see

that kind of leadership, the approach of the Trump administration so far in terms of policies has been very strong. We do need to see the U.S.

president himself aggressively confronting Vladimir Putin, calling him to account just Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan held Soviet leaders to

account.

GORANI: Well, we haven`t seen that yet. Nile Gardiner, thank so much for joining us. We really appreciate your time this evening.

GARDINER: My pleasure. Thank you very much.

GORANI: And don`t forget you can check us out on Facebook, facebook.com/halagoranitonight. Check me out on Twitter, @HalaGorani.

We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: A former American national security staffer says the Obama administration dropped the ball on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

He says he warned the state department, that he warned them about potential interference two years earlier. CNN`s Drew Griffin has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[15:50:06] DREW GRIFFIN, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Russia still denies it but the Twitter war, the fake news, the social media attacks.

Putin`s new weapon of war, as some call it, was launched against Ukraine in 2014 during its election. And just like a Cold War battle a

counteroffensive set up by the U.S. State Department pushed back, the Russians backed off, but they didn`t go away. They just got better. And

one former U.S. official said he tried to sound the alarm that the Russians would try the same tactics in the U.S.

BRETT BRUEN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT: During the 2016 elections, they came at us with exactly the same kinds of techniques

that they were using back in Ukraine.

GRIFFIN: According to Brett Bruen, then director of global engagement on the U.S. National Security Council, it was a sign of what was to come, the

Russians new weapon of war. And he says in 2014, two years before the U.S. election, he urged the State Department to keep the task force up and

running and build on.

BRUEN: When I was sitting at the White House telling the State Department for the love of God, keep this up. We have a threat, a new threat that we

have recognized that we have been successful in many respects in pushing back against. This is not the moment for us to stand down.

GRIFFIN: Bruen pitch the command center that would track and counter Russian misinformation but he says the State Department dismissed the idea

precisely why isn`t clear.

CNN spoke to a half a dozen former State Department and National Security Council officials. Some of whom tell us the State Department was focused

on diplomacy with Russia. Others blame bureaucracy for getting in the way. Still others say no one including Brett Bruen. Accurately assessed the

damage, the potential damage to a U.S. election.

Victoria Nuland, then head of the State Department`s Bureau of Europe and Eurasian affairs told CNN by phone there was just no money for what Bruen

was proposing. We were operating on a shoestring budget as it was, she said. Whatever the reason, the warning of the looming Russian threat was

not shared across the Obama administration. By the time of the Republican and Democratic conventions in July 2016 more than 80 people at the Kremlin

back internet research agency were already assigned to meddling in American life. Yet, in the U.S. multiple sources who dealt with national security

at the time tell CNN they had no idea the extent of the Russian`s activities. In other words, they missed it.

On October 7th a joint statement from Department of Homeland Security and the office of the director of national intelligence warned of Russians

attempting to interfere with the U.S. election process but mentioned nothing of fake news social media or infiltrating American social groups.

Bruen says they all should have known it because he and others warns us.

GRIFFIN: You knew enough that you would`ve been able to foresee the whole fake news, fake grassroots support, fake Twitters coming in the election.

BRUEN: Not only did I feel like I knew enough at that moment, I was sitting in the situation room saying this is something that is going to

march across Western Europe. It`s something that`s going to march over to our shores and we need to be ready.

GRIFFIN: Bruen says his biggest concern now is what Russia is going to do next. His warning was ignored by the Obama administration, but he`s

puzzled now that his warnings prove true by the Trump administration appears to continue to ignore the Russian threat. He says if anything

Putin`s newest weapons of this cyber style war have only improved and he doesn`t believe the Trump administration is doing much to counter that

attack.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: For the next few weeks, CNN is telling the stories of young scientists and inventors in a special series. Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces

us to one of tomorrow`s heroes, as we`re calling them and who is making his mission to improve the air quality of the developing world.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Air quality is a major problem in big cities all over the world. Millions of people put their

health at risk simply by walking out their front door and going about their everyday lives. Tomorrow`s hero, Angad Daryani (ph) has come up with an

ingenious invention to cut air pollution and help people particularly in developing world breath cleaner, healthier air.

[15:55:55] ANGAD DARYANI, INVENTOR: During asthma and I was -- I used to have a lot of breathing problems. In India, I`ve seen there`s -- this is

one of the fastest growing economies in the world, which means there`s thousands of cars added to the street every single day. And with increase

in cars, there`s high level of air pollution in the city.

Hi. My name is Angad Daryani, I am 19 years old. My invention is a large- scale air purification system for developing countries like India and China. I wanted to build something that could actually impact thousands of

people in the city who are facing these breathing problems. One of actually have been working on is a 20-foot tower and it captures all the

solid dust particle that`s rising because of the construction and the economic growth in the city. And also the solid carbon particles that

human breathes every single day which are emitted from trucks and car exhaust pipes.

There`s two things that we want to separate. One is dust and other heavy solid particles in the air, and second is microscopic carbon particles. So

if there was surge, it again automatically starts stabilizing.

There`s five phases in the tower that all do different specific tasks, and it`s very highly controlled each space that it`s automatically adopting to

its surroundings and the temperature in the air. And accounting for the external details, while carrying out the cleansing process internally. If

there`s something that`s very special about this project is that there`s no solid replaceable filter used anywhere in the entire project. At the

bottom of the tower, you have dust and carbon separate in two separate times that can be cleaned every week or every two weeks based on how much

dust and carbon enraptures every single day. If this tower performs the way that we wanted to perform, we will see an overall improvement in the

quality of air in the city and also the quality of health of people suffering from breathing problems or other respiratory diseases.

My dream is to build companies that solve problems like this and cleaning the planet of the waste that we humans have caused for hundreds of years.

As all ambitious as it sounds, that`s a dream and that`s what I`m working towards every single day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, thanks for watching tonight. I`m Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.

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END