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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trumps Personal Attorney Embroiled in Legal Battle; Michael Cohen's Mystery Client Revealed to be Sean Hannity; Syrian State Media Says OPCW Entered Douma; Anti-Rape Protests Spreading, Ruling Party Blamed; British Government Deports British Citizens from Jamaica. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired April 17, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Welcome to the show. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi where it is 7:00 in the
Seized records and escalating showdown and a revelation so surprising it drew audible gasps. A stunning legal drama played out Monday in a New York
courtroom. For reality show star turned American commander in chief, President Trump, probably wishing this was a TV show. A face-off between
the U.S. government and Mr. Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen is very real indeed.
One shocking revelation, the U.S. president is not the only famous client. Sean Hannity, one of America's most popular conservative TV personalities
and a staunch Trump supporter to boot, is a client too. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the details.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A federal judge rejecting a motion by President Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen to stop
investigators from reviewing records seized by the FBI last week when they raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room. CNN has learned that federal
agents took ten boxes of documents and as many as a dozen electronic device from Cohen.
Sources tells CNN they could include records related to the hush money payment Cohen made to porn star, Stormy Daniels, to keep quiet about her
alleged affair with President Trump. The judge allowing Cohen's and Trump's legal teams to determine what they believe should be protected
under attorney/client privilege before investigators go through it. The judge indicating, she may be open to allowing an independent lawyer to
review the records.
The legal showdown overshadowed by the bombshell revelation in court. Audible gas when the judge ordering Cohen's attorney to reveal the identity
of his third unnamed client. As one of the President's most ardent supporters, Fox news host, Sean Hannity. Cohen's two other clients?
President Trump and Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy. Who acknowledge paying a playboy model $1.6 million. A deal Cohen arranged. In a response
to the media frenzy, Hannity denies retaining: as an attorney but admits seeking his legal advice about what he says were mostly real estate
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: Michael Cohen never represented me in any legal matter. I never retained his services. I never received an invoice.
I never paid Michael Cohen for legal fees.
GINGRAS: But earlier on his radio show, the Fox News host suggesting those conversations were protected under attorney/client privilege.
HANNITY: I might have handed him ten bucks. I definitely want attorney/client privilege on this -- something like that.
GINGRAS: On a nightly basis Hannity repeatedly blasts the special counsel's investigation.
HANNITY: We have now entered a dangerous new phase and there is no turning back from this. Mueller is out to get the President and it appears at any
This is now officially an all-hands-on-deck effort to totally malign and if possible, impeach the president of the United States.
GINGRAS: But Hannity never disclosed his connection to Cohen. Law professor, Alan Dershowitz, scolded Hannity last night on his show.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: You could have said just that you had asked him for advice or whatever. But I think it
would have been much, much better had you disclosed that relationship.
GINGRAS: The drama did not stop there. Stormy Daniels swarmed by the press as she walked into the courthouse. Daniels telling reporters after -
STORMY DANIELS, ALLEGES AFFAIR WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP: For years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law. That ends now. My attorney and I are
committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and the facts of what happened. And I give my word that we will not rest until that
GINGRAS: Her attorney shocked by the Hannity revelation. Now says it's just a matter of time before Cohen turns on the President.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, STORMY DANIELS' ATTORNEY: If I had to place a bet right now on the sun coming up tomorrow or Michael Cohen alternately flipping on
the president, I would bet on Michael Cohen flipping on the president.
ANDERSON: CNN's Brynn Gingras reporting there for more on what this means then for President Trump going forward. I'm joined by a regular on this
show in the house, our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson. Let's start with Sean Hannity before we move forward to the sort of wider story
Who exactly is he? Well, for our viewers sake, he is a conservative TV and radio show host. Multimillionaire with a massive following and a supporter
of Mr. Trump. Stephen, just how influential is Sean Hannity? And is it a problem for one of Trump's biggest supporters to be connected to the
[11:05:00] STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Hannity is very influential among the grassroots supporters that helped send Trump to
the White House. His show on Fox News gets millions of viewers every night. He's polemicist. He's a huge supporter of Trump. He is one of the
key voices in attacking Robert Mueller, the special counsel, and pretty much anybody that is an enemy of Trump. He is part of the vast media sort
of operation that the White House and Republican Party has assemble to defend the President.
I don't think you can -- outside of the United States, I don't think there is an equivalent. It would be like the most controversial, loud,
aggressive communist and a tabloid newspaper, was on TV every single night. And it's not a new show by any sort of conventional definition of that. It
is an opinion show and it gets right to the bloodstream of the conservative grassroots. And that's why it's influential and he's very, very close to
the President, speaks to him a lot. And it seems there is often a coordination of message between Hannity and the President.
ANDERSON: But is there a conflict of interest?
COLLINSON: Right. I mean, Hannity has been out there castigating Robert Mueller. The legal authorities in New York who carried out this raid on
Michael Cohen, the President's lawyer and all that time, we had no idea that he was supposedly a client of Michael Cohen. Now, Hannity said it's
not really a client relationship even though he seems to want attorney/client privilege. That, of course, raises the question of why
Michael Cohen stood up in court and was forced by the judge to disclose the fact that Hannity was a client. There are all sorts of strange questions
But just by the standards of journalism, you have to ask why Fox News was not told by Hannity. You know, all the time he was out attacking
prosecutors for going after Cohen, in effect he was attacking them for going after someone he had engaged apparently for legal services.
ANDERSON: I guess we should be asking just how damaging have the last hours been for President Donald Trump? In terms of the legal matters we
heard were revealed yesterday. It seems to me that neither side got exactly what they wanted. But the judge did say that Michael Cohen, for
example, could review the documents that had been seized by the FBI raids. They'll be able to review anything that should be covered by
attorney/client privilege. That to a certain extent sounds like a win for Cohen and the President. What's your sense?
COLLINSON: I would say it is a small win, but it's -- basically this is a procedural hearing about how the evidence will be handled. The judge is
going to come back and want to hear arguments from both sides about what is privileged and what isn't and what should be admissible in court. That
doesn't mean she will rule for Michael Cohen at the end of it. It does help the Cohen lawyers know what exactly was seized from Cohen's offices.
We understand there's recordings. He apparently very good records.
But I think the bigger picture of this is that this is a huge threat to the President himself. Michael Cohen, for over a decade was the President's
fixer. He was the one person who knew exactly what was going on inside the Trump organization. The deals, the finances. He is the person who has
been behind these hush agreements which were allegedly paid to a number of women to keep them quiet about Trump alleged affairs. So, this is why is
such a big deal for the President. This gets right inside his business dealings and his personal life.
ANDERSON: And briefly then, will he whistle? I mean, are we looking at a Michael Cohen who may turn on the President at this point?
COLLINSON: A lot of speculation about that. If he's facing serious legal jeopardy and years in jail. We don't even know what charges might be laid.
But if that was the case, obviously it's a possibility, but this is someone who's ultra-loyal to Trump. He may be as close to President as members of
his own family. So, I think there's no guarantee that he would not carry the can for Trump if that was necessary.
ANDERSON: Stephen Collinson, always a pleasure, thank you, sir.
Well, you think that the U.S. President would needs a distraction. Well, he's got one of sorts. U.S. President Donald Trump preparing to welcome
Japan's Prime Minister to his Mar-a-Lago resort this afternoon. Now, Shinzo Abe and his wife are on their way to Florida right now. North Korea
and the American President's upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-un are likely to dominate those talks. Trade, also, likely to be high on the agenda.
[11:10:00] CNN's White House reporter, Kaitlin Collins, is in West Beach in West Palm Beach. What time does he arrive and what can we expect?
KAITLIN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Becky, he is arriving soon. And this two-day summit here in southern Florida is likely going to
be a welcome reprieve for not only Abe but also President Trump. Both of them are facing scandals back at home. So, it will be interesting to see
how things play out here over the next two days. Because this relationship between the two of them has certainly changed since when Trump first took
Of course, these two leaders have been chummy with each other. He was one of the first leader to visit President Trump after he won the election.
They've had dozens of phone calls. But the Trump administration has done a few things to ruffle some feathers back in Japan in those last few months
since the last time that they met. Two things of those being, one being North Korea. Of course, Japan was caught off guard after President Trump
announced that he had accepted the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's invitation to meet. Something that the President said could happen in the
next two months or so. And now they are working -- they being Japan are working overtime to essentially make sure that they have a good standing in
this very changing, rapidly changing environment going on with North Korea trying to establish their meeting as well.
But also, secondly because of trade. Because of course, when the President imposes steel and aluminum tariffs, Japan was the only major U.S. ally that
did not get an exception from those tariffs, of course. A thing that has bothered Abe and Japan. Something that has changed that relationship
really with President Trump. So, those will be the two major things that we are looking for developments as they meet over the next few days.
Whether or not the relationship is still that same chummy relationship that we've seen before. Of course, they were golfing the last time that they
were at Mar-a-Lago. And that's what will be watching to see as soon as Abe arrives here in southern Florida.
ANDERSON: Kaitlan's in West Palm Beach in Florida for you. Thank you.
Still to come, focus strikes and global strive. New developments from the city at the political epicenter of Syria's war right now. That's after
ANDERSON: You are watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. It is 14 minutes past 7:00 in Abu Dhabi. This is our Middle
East broadcasting hub, of course.
[11:15:00] And to Syria which has seen seven years of war, hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of people forced from their homes. You
know that. But right now, the global focus is on just one place and that is Douma. Where in the past couple hours, Syrian state media has reported
that the international chemical weapons inspectors have finally been given access. Just getting the inspectors in has been a source of huge
international tension. Earlier France's foreign minister says, it is quite very likely the evidence from Douma could disappear.
A U.S. official has also said, he's worried that Russia may have tampered with the site. Moscow denies the allegations and said Western strikes
caused any delay. Well, Sam Kiley is in Moscow with his perspective from there. But I want to start with Ben Wedeman who is watching developments
on the ground in Syria from Beirut Tonight. And as we get the news, Ben, that chemical weapons inspectors have been given access to Douma. So, we
hear from the French that it's very likely evidence could disappear. What do you make of that?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's important to keep in mind, Becky, that the inspectors from the OPCW actually arrived in
Damascus Saturday morning and sat for at least 48 hours. They met with Syrian officials. Syrian officials offered to bring them 22 people from
the site of the alleged attack on April 7th. But there was confusion whether it would be United Nations who needed to provide security clearance
to go to Douma where this attack allegedly took place. Today, the Syrian media is reporting that these inspectors have been allowed on the scene.
But the OPCW itself is declining to comment, either confirm or deny that that is the case. So, it's not at all clear how much access, how long
they're going to be there. Now, what's interesting, however, is that yesterday the American network, CBS, sent their correspondent to Douma.
Who went there, spoke to witnesses who did say that they had seen the rocket thaw, smelled chlorine. One of them apparently his brother had died
in the attack. And the reporter from CBS was able to actually see what he was told was a rocket that had contained chlorine.
And so, the fact that Western journalists are being allowed into Douma to look at the scene where allegedly this attack took place. But not the OPCW
which is the international watch dog for the use of chemical weapons. Basically, was treading water in Damascus until we believe, but we don't
know for sure, because we hadn't heard from the OPCW itself that they actually got there. So yes, there is a problem of evidence being tampered
with. Perhaps simply evaporating into air. We don't know for instance is the OPCW is going to go to talk to survivors of the attack. Who are what
Damon was able to talk to, who are now in refugee camps right near the Turkish border in northern Syria. So, there are a lot of questions about
this fact-finding mission. Not many answers -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, all right. While we await those answers, let's take a slightly wider perspective. Reports suggesting that United States now
looking to its Arab allies for troops and funding for Syria. And just in the past few minutes, the Saudi foreign minister suggesting that that is
not a new plan. That they'd offered troops to support the coalition efforts in Syria to the Obama administration in the past. What do you make
of that? How would Saudi boots on the ground affect what is this very complicated messy theater of war?
WEDEMAN: Well, for one thing, Becky, it will become more messy and more complicated. And let's not forget, Saudi Arabia is bogged down in Yemen in
a very messy war they've been caught in since the beginning and 2015 where they've committed a lot of their military. There's also suggestions that
Egypt might be able to provide some forces for this theoretical military presence in northeastern Syria. But Egypt itself is tied down in a fight
against an Islamic insurgency not only in the Sinai Peninsula, but in other parts of Egypt.
So, it's not at all clear whether these potential volunteers for this theoretical force in northern Syria is all really anything that will ever
see the light of day.
[11:20:01] And of course, we do know, however, that President Trump has made it clear as day that he wants to pull out of Syria within the next six
months. So, frankly the head spinning with all of the unanswered questions on this one -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben's in Beirut. Sam's in Moscow. Sam, and before we talk about another specific story about allegations of cyber-attacks from the
U.K. and U.S. on Russia. I just want to get your perspective on one thing. As the world focuses on what these inspectors may or may not find in Douma,
you could argue that the alleged use of chemical weapons is a distraction given hundreds of thousands of victims of -- as I know you have said
yourself -- conventional weapons that are being used over the past seven years in this civil war. So, news that Germany is ready to mediate with
Russia to achieve political solution. It certainly sounds positive, but we've been here before, haven't we?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have in terms of efforts of the diplomatic solution. They're basically, Becky, two parallel
tracks that occasionally both run into the sands. There sort of the Geneva, the Western-backed process, which has really gone nowhere. And
then there is one that is driven by Turkey, Iran and Russia. Iran and Russia. Iran and Russia, of course, critical because they can, if they so
choose, perhaps bring the Assad regime with them. The problem for them, of course, is getting any rebels to turn up at all at talks that they sponsor.
So, the involvement of the Germans would be an extremely positive step if it came to fruition and if the Germans played a key role. Many people
don't realize that the Germans are hugely influential behind the scenes right across the Middle East. They've arguably got, for example, one of
the best intelligence agencies on the Middle East anywhere. So, they're very, very well-connected, plugged in and above all trusted. Seen as
pretty honest brokers in the way that the United States, Britain, even France, simply not, Becky. So, it could be an opportunity there for some
genuine progress amid a very miserable and highly complex battle space -- Becky.
ANDERSON: And briefly of the point that ultimately Douma and the alleged attack with chemical weapons there is simply a distraction.
KILEY: Oh, yes. I mean, from the perspective -- in fact Ben Wedeman reported on this the other day. There was some graffiti in a rebel held
area likening Trump's efforts to the flatulence of a rooster. I think that really the point there is that it was -- has been seen certainly in Moscow
as window dressing, and an opportunity not even to slap wrists, but to show that the United States and their allies have done something, but nothing
that would in any way shift the tactical reality much less the strategic trajectory of what's going on in Syria. Which is that the Syrian
government is winning and right now there are reports that is -- and alongside allies its allies from other militia groups, notably
Palestinians, for example, are pressing on the Yarmouk refugee camp and as Jomana has reporting for CNN too. There's also been an increasing level of
pressure and possibly breaches of cease fire down in Daraa in the South.
So, I think that really whilst the West may feel good about fired some rockets at some chemical weapon sites. From the Arab and Russian
perspective, it's barely worth a shrug -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Sam Kiley is in Moscow, Ben Wedeman is in Beirut. To both of you gentlemen, thank you.
For Britain's part, its fighter jets, of course, that struck Syrian targets were deployed from Cyprus. Here is a look at the jets returning after the
mission over the weekend. Cyprus home to the U.K. air force base in Akrotiri. The island is also a very popular tourist destination. And it's
becoming an investment hub for thousands of Russians looking for a tax breaks and passport that gives them entry into the European Union. Matthew
Chance joining us from Limassol in Cyprus to explain -- Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, thanks very much. Well, you can see Limassol is extraordinary beautiful. And more
than 40,000 people from Russia and other soviet states as well have chosen this city on the southern coast of Cyprus as their home. As you say, they
are attracted by the relatively good environment and the weather, of course. They are attracted by the easy restrictions and banking
regulations in the country and the prospects of an EU citizenship -- through a Cypriot citizenship if they spend enough money. The concern in
Cyprus though is there's so much Russian money now coming in that the Cypriot government is becoming politically dependent on it.
[11:25:07] CHANCE: Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on in.
CHANCE: Wow, this is incredible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
This is the Mediterranean lifestyle.
(voice-over): Welcome to the 16-story Olympic tower in Limassol. Luxury condo in Cyprus where anyone with the few million dollars can own a top of
the range penthouse. Plus, an important extra.
(on camera): And of course, for that money, for that money, you get a lot more than just an apartment. Don't you? In this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course.
CHANCE: You get passport.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A passport is an added bonus, of course.
CHANCE (voice-over): More like the key attraction for the mainly Russian buyers, who are so many, this corner of Cyprus has been nicknamed Limassol
grad. It's also a huge money spinner for the Cypriot government earning billions of dollars in Russian revenue.
CHANCE (on camera): It's like Moscow on the sea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moscow on the sea, exactly.
CHANCE (voice-over): But Russia is buying far more than just the slice of sunny real estate. It's buying influence according to the editor of the
leading Cypriot newspaper.
DIONYSIS DIONYSIOU, EDITOR, POLITIS NEWSPAPER: This great economic influence in Cyprus from the Russians. That's why sometimes the influence
of the political decisions of our government, of the parties. OK.
CHANCE (on camera): Do you think that's why Cyprus was one the minority of European Union countries that for instance, did not expel Russian diplomats
after the Skripal poisoning in Britain? Was that a factor?
DIONYSIOU: Yes. I believe yes.
CHANCE (voice-over): And over the weekend, the use of a British military base here in Akrotiri -- near Limassol -- to launch air strikes on Russian
Syrian ally has perplexed Cypriots. Stoking protests that it fears their country may be dragged into the Syrian conflict. Even face retaliation
strikes from Russian missiles stationed little more than a hundred miles away in Syria.
(on camera): These protesters outside the U.S. embassy here in Nicosia are chanting anti-war slogans. More specifically, anti-NATO slogans. Look at
this sign here. Hands off Syria. They are not talking about the Russians. This is a reference to recent U.S., French and British strikes against
Syrian chemical weapons facilities. Something, of course, that the Russians were vigorously opposed to.
(voice-over): It is just the latest example of how Cyprus, an EU country, seems increasingly torn between Russia and the West.
CHANCE: Well, Becky, it's of course, one of the most consistent themes of Russian foreign policy. That they attempt to sow discord, undermine
Western institutions like NATO and of course, the European Union. There's so much Russian money coming in now from Russia into Cyprus, the concern is
that balance that Cyprus has always had to try and strike is finally tilting towards Russia's favor -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Matthew's in Cyprus for you. And we'll have more on the international fallout from those Syria strikes as I suggested.
Those U.K. strikes starting with forces from Akrotiri in Cyprus. We will do more on this this hour. I'll be speaking a Middle East expert, a
regular guest on the show, Fawaz Gerges, in just a moment.
First though, we are in India where there is more anger over yet another harrowing rape case. That story after this.
[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: It's just after half past seven in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. A very warm
welcome back. And to those who are just joining us. You are very welcome.
India reeling from yet another horrifying child rape case. On Tuesday, the body of a 7-year-old girl was found. She had been strangled and
brutalized. This comes as anti-rape protests are spreading across the country and pressure is mounting on the ruling party and its leaders. This
is the latest from CNN's Ivan Watson.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outrage in India. Protests spread across the country. Demonstrators asking a
chilling question. Can children like this little girl be safe? The protests triggered by two rape cases, each implicating powerful men in
This week in the town of Kathua, in India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state, police brought seven suspects to court. They accused of kidnapping,
raping and killing an 8-year-old Muslim girl at this Hindu temple in January. The defendants which include a retired government official and
three police officers are all pleading not guilty. The victim's father, a nomadic herder, wants them hanged.
The killers should be killed, he says. They should be punished.
That call for the death penalty echoed by this girl in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Last June, she was 16 years old when she says she was first
raped, then kidnapped and raped again several days after the initial assault.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, RAPE VICTIM (through translator): The longer they stay out of prison, the more danger there will be.
WATSON: The chief suspect, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a state lawmaker from India's ruling BJP party. He denies the charges claiming they are
politically motivated. The day before Sengar's arrest last week, a high court condemned the state governments handling of the case. Arguing quote,
law and order machinery and the government officials were directly in league and under the influence Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
[11:35:01] Activist are calling on India's ruling BJP to grapes more seriously.
VRINDA GROVER, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS: There's a sitting legislator who has yet to be removed by the party. There is therefore some kind of word
or cohort political patronage. The signal from the top is that there is impunity for sexual violence.
WATSON: Celebrities from the entertainment industry have helped mobilize public opinion over this growing problem. According to the latest official
statistics, the number of reported rape cases jumped 12 percent in 2016. Last week, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed justice for the victims.
NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We are all ashamed of it. Incidents like these shake human sensitivities. I want to
show the country that no culprit will be spared.
WATSON: but Modi's party is under fire after two of its state ministers were forced from office for publicly defending the alleged rapist of the 8-
year-old Muslim girl. Apparently because they were fellow members of the Indian Hindu religious majority. An attack on an innocent child
disturbingly amplified by the politics of religious identity. Ivan Watson, CNN.
ANDERSON: Well, we have extensive coverage of the protests and political unrest in India. That's at CNN.com. Our story there charts the
development of the grassroots campaign to get justice for the little girl at the center of the case and why her murder has struck such a chord in
India. Please do use the site.
Let's return you then to those Western strikes on Syria. French President, Emmanuel Macron saying the air strikes along with the U.S. and British
forces were a defense of the honor of the international community. Speaking to the European Parliament he said, that the strikes don't resolve
anything, but were nonetheless important. This comes as "The Wall Street Journal" reports that the Trump administration is seeking to assemble an
Arab force to replace the U.S. military contingent in Syria.
And in the past half hour the Saudi foreign minister has said the Kingdom is willing to send troops as part of a wider Coalition If Proposed. Well,
let's bring in Fawaz Gerges. He's the chair of Contemporary Middle East Studies at the London School of Economics. He's also the author of "Making
the Arab World." And he joins me now from London.
Let's start with specifically what we know to date about what happened in Douma, as far as the agencies are concerned. We know that inspectors are
I want to read you part of the statement from the World Health Organization from last week. WHO is deeply alarmed, they said, by reported of the
suspected use of toxic chemical win Douma city, east of Ghouta -- or East Ghouta. According to reports from the Health Cluster partners during the
shelling of Douma. An estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic
Fawaz, we've asked the WHO how they reached that conclusion. They told this by using their standard methodology without detail. There's a lot of
vagueness in general regarding this incident. How confident are you at this point of the OPCW getting any clarity?
FAWAZ GERGES, AUTHOR, MAKING THE ARAB WORLD: Well, you know, Becky, this is not the first time that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, as you
know. More than 50 times chemical weapons have been used in Syria. So, even though we don't really have iron clad evidence about whether chemical
weapons were used and who used them, there is a pattern in Syria in the past seven years. And that's why it seems to me that there is plenty of
evidence showing that chemical weapons, a kind of gas was used in Douma last week.
The question is we want to establish who used the chemical weapons. Russia regardless of what the inspectors will find out in the next 24 hours,
they've just entered Douma. You have a contested narrative. The international community, most of the international community, including the
Western powers say that the Syrian regime is responsible and Syrian regime has used chemical weapons almost 50 times. While Russia and Syria and
their allies basically argue, other rebels used the chemical weapons or Russia says Britain where I am. Which is quite a very farfetched narrative
as you know.
ANDERSON: You're absolutely right to point out that chemical weapons, the allegations are that chemical weapons have been used more than 50 times. I
mean, that is absolutely appalling. I guess the point is here, timing.
[11:40:00] Why would the U.S., U.K. and France decide to respond? Now, sort this out for me. For example, the French President conceding these
strikes in Syria did not achieve anything. He said the action was a defense of the honor of the international community. So, what was the
GERGES: As you know, Becky, last year the United States bombed Syria because the United States accused the Syrian regime of using chemical
weapons in 2017. And obviously, the red line has been established. Both the Trump administration and Britain and France believe that if this
particular red line, if chemical weapons are used in Syria, basically, there will be a response. But beyond that, beyond that -- I mean, remember
more than 300,000 or 400,000 people have been killed in Syria. Not by chemical weapons but by the arsenal of both the regime and the -- yet, I
mean, why now? Why not really basically establish red lines against the spilling of the blood of Syrians, you know, hundreds of thousands of them
who have been killed.
There's a kind of hypocrisy on the part of the Western powers I'm sad to say. They bomb the chemical facilities. They don't really target the
Syrian -- the structure of the Syrian regime. They make it very clear they are not interested in any kind of engagement in the diplomatic process.
There is no alternative to the Assad regime. They are not willing to change the course of the conflict. They are not willing to really maintain
a long-term commitment in Syria. So, what's the purpose here? I mean, beyond of course, the moral outrage?
ANDERSON: And I fundamentally agree with you. And across the region, the Gulf and the Middle East, here where I am, there is almost unanimous
agreement that Assad has won this war. Has he? And if that is the case, what's the point of Arab allies, for example, Saudi saying that they will
be prepared to send in and replace U.S. troops in this fight in Syria.
GERGES: Becky, we must read the Saudi announcement very clearly and very specifically. The Saudis have said they are willing to deploy forces as
part of the broader, larger force in the eastern part of Syria. You have about 2000 American forces. This is just an idea. Who basically
participate in this particular force? The composition of this particular force? But the question here beyond whether the Saudis and other Arab
states would be willing to participate in this particular force.
What does this tell you? It tells you about the incoherence and the contradictions of the Trump administration. On the one hand it wants to
pull out the only 2,000 American special operation forces in Deir ez-Zor. On the other hand, basically it bombs the Assad regime for alleged use of
So, what does the Trump administration want? This is why people don't take the strike against Syria very seriously. And that's why Assad is in a good
mood. Assad is in a good mood because he realizes that now the United States, nor France, nor Britain is very much interested in altering the
course of the war and basically changing the balance of power and undermining his regime. And yes, he has won militarily. I mean, the
opposition is battered. And now, Assad is going on offensive in other parts of Syria.
ANDERSON: Fawaz Gerges is the author of "Making the Arab World. A regular guest on the show, as ever, thank you for joining us.
You are with CONNECT THE WORLD. Up next, imagine someone inviting you to live with them. Then making you remodel their house. Then trying to shove
you out. That happened on an international scale to people like this. Welcome to Britain. We get you the full story after this.
[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER, FROM UNIVERSAL STUDIOS: Equipped with American made tanks and planes, British troops are waging a campaign of annihilation
to wipe out the axis Army.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, it took everything that Britain had and then some. Destroyed and almost bankrupt after the second world war looking to put
itself back together again. It flung opened its doors to just about everyone in its empire. Slowly falling apart as it was. And look, the
invitations flying out far and wide India, Kenya, Pakistan. Mostly though the Caribbean. And boy, did people come by boat load. Many on this one,
the Empire Wind Rush. That's where they're known as -- so, that's why they are known as the Wind Rush Generation. For decades having children,
getting jobs, paying taxes as British as anyone. But recently, some reportedly have been threatened with being sent back. The British Prime
Minister hours ago reversing that in a meeting with Caribbean leaders. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I take this issue very seriously. The home secretary apologized to the House of Commons yesterday for any
anxiety caused and I want to apologize to you today. Because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's get in the middle of the story. CNN's Isa Soares is in London for us. Isa, talk about damage limitation by the British government
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, and for many people -- for many of the Wind Rush generation, Becky, which is too little too late. They are
frustrated. They are seething. They are fearful. I mean, just trying to get some of them to talk to me on camera was so hard because after almost
50 years -- some more than 50 years -- they are now being considered illegal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: The arrival of more than 400 happy Jamaicans.
SOARES (voice-over): They were the first group of immigrants to arrive in the U.K. at the request of the British government. And they came to help
rebuild the country postwar. This was June 22, 1948.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Where do you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jamaica.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Have you brought your children with you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five children.
SOARES: Over the next 20 plus years, half a million commonwealth citizens built British lives, worked British jobs and paid British taxes. Beginning
in the era of multiculturalism in Great Britain. Anthony Bryan was one of them. He came here from Jamaica in 1965 when he was just 8 years of age.
Recently, he has been detained twice in an immigration removal center.
ANTHONY BRYAN, PARENTS MOVED FROM JAMAICA TO THE U.K. IN 1965: Anytime I go in there, is like is there going to hold me today. In my going to be
locked up somewhere? And after formal releases again. This is a nightmare.
SOARES: Like Anthony, many of the Wind Rush generation are now living with the threat of deportation. This after the British government recently
tightened migration rules. Leaving many scrambling for documents and paper work to prove they are here legally.
GUY HEWITT, BARBADOS HIG COMMISSIONER TO THE U.K.: Some have been shut out of the system. Which means they're denied the right to work, access to
government services, including free health care that they have contributed to. Some have been detained and some are still in detention and others
have been departed. The countries that are no longer their home.
[11:50:00] SOARES: It is an injustice that has David Lammy seething. Not just as a British member of Parliament, but also as a proud son of a Wind
DAVID LAMMY, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: We need a proper apology. We need a very, very clear amnesty today for all of those people. People who
paid for lawyers need to be reimbursed and compensated for their loss. We need to understand how many people have been deported? How many detained?
How many people have been denied access to the NHS in the United Kingdom that fall into this category?
SOARES: And Becky, the reality is we still don't know how many people have been deported. Those are questions that David Lammy was asking. But also,
the high commissioner for Barbados was saying that he knows of people who have been deported and also people who have been detained.
And Anthony Bryan, who I interviewed, told me yet again today, when he was detained twice, on one those occasion, one 60-year-old man was actually
sent back. And he himself, Becky, was given a ticket to return to Jamaica. But lawyers were able to stop his deportation. So, the government still
has to answer calls as to exactly how many people have been deported. And if they have, can they return?
ANDERSON: It does seem absolutely remarkable that they simply don't have those statistics. At least not yet. Isa, thank you for that. And just
get this view, four years ago, the British government putting out this guide. Coming home to Jamaica. And it tells people deported back there
how to act. Among the advice, quote, try to be Jamaican. Take on a quote, local accent. You are watching CONNECTED THE WORLD.
Still to come, one of Donald biggest offenders now finds himself on the defensive. Stay with us.
ANDERSON: The legal battle over the FBI raid on Donald Trump's personal attorney took a surprising turn when it was revealed that said lawyer
Michael Cohen also represents a prominent TV and radio host who has been among Donald Trump's most staunch supporters. I'm talking about
conservative media icon Sean Hannity. Let's talk again about that with CNN's senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter. And Brian, some people
would argue that there's absolutely no issue with one of Trump's biggest offenders being connected to Trump's lawyer. So, what, Brian, is all the
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think the issue is about the ethics of Hannity on his program, having a talk show, talking about
Cohen, defending Cohen, attacking Robert Mueller, attacking about prosecutors without any disclosure. That's definitely the issue in
journalistic circles. Even though Hannity says, he's not your traditional journalist. He's more of an opinion guy. That's definitely true but even
with that in mind he still works for a news channel and there are certain new standards that all to apply. So far, Fox News is not commenting.
[11:55:00] But I think the broader story here -- the bigger point -- is that we are seeing how tight knit the pro Trump media world is. Hannity
and Trump, they talk, they advise each other. Trump promotes Hannity show. And then they rely on the same lawyer as well.
Now, Hannity for his part says he has lots of lawyers and he only talked to Cohen informally about things like real estate. But what Hannity really
needs is not a lawyer, he needs a media ethicist.
ANDERSON: Brian Stelter in the house for you out of New York. Thank you, sir. I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for
watching. CNN continues after this short break. "I DESK" with Robyn Curnow. Stay with us.