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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump Hosting French President at the White House; After 7 Years of War Millions of Syrians are Starving; Trump Said We Talked About Iran, Syria, a Lot of Subjects; French President Says No Plan B if Iran Nuclear Deal Fails. Aired 11a-12n ET
Aired April 24, 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: Hello, we are connecting your world and connecting you to it. Welcome to our show. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu
Dhabi. It's 7 p.m. here, 5 p.m. in Paris. It is 11 a.m. in Washington D.C. Where right now the French President visiting Donald Trump for the
first ever state visit that he is hosting.
Many are asking, are they friends or frenemy's? Let's look.
ANDERSON: Emmanuel Macron arriving in grand style, flags, band, troops, crowds, podiums, anthems, soldiers and speeches. A supernova of French and
American sights and sounds for what is this extraordinary welcome to the White House.
Let's pause for a second and put the look of getting along against the actual nuts and bolts of it. They see the world in very different ways.
Mr. Macron often talked after the so-called Trump whisper. Not able to bring the American president around on any big issues, on the Iran deal at
on. The Paris Climate deal, at on, on Syria, at on.
We're covering this visit to you on CNN and everywhere that mater. Cyril Vanier is in Washington, Melissa Bell is in Paris, and Amir Daftari is in
Tehran, and Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem for you. First up, let's get right to the American capital. And Cyril, what are we seeing here so far
on this trip?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Look, there is style and there is substance, Becky. First of all, on the style, which may or may not translate into
substance later on today. I mean, the relationship and the personal chemistry, the much-wanted personal chemistry between Mr. Macron and Mr.
Trump seems to be at an all-time high. I first want you to look at this -- Becky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President they were all saying what a great relationship we have and they're actually correct.
It's not fake news. Finally, it's not fake news. So, it's a great honor, great honor to be here. But we do have a very special relationship. In
fact, I'll get that little piece of dandruff off. A little piece. We have to make them perfect. He is perfect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So, look, Becky, there is quite some entertainment value to this personal relationship. And starting from the very first time they met. If
you remember that nine second awkward handshake between Mr. Macron and Mr. Trump where they were both asserting themselves in their alpha male style.
Over to the 20 second handshake when they discovered they were actually friends in the actually really liked each other. This was last summer in
Paris. And now today to the really unprecedented, I think, amount of touching. We may have to do some historical research on that amount of
touching between the two presidents.
They're both saying how great their relationship is. And Mr. Trump in true Donald Trump form is saying perhaps it's never been better. So, Becky,
that is all style. The interesting thing about these two men is that they also have an uncanny ability to be super close and yet to super disagree on
so many things. And you laid out all their policy differences. They're going to be talking about Iran. And you know, one thing that could be said
about Mr. Trump, you know what he's thinking. He doesn't hold back. He says the deal is insane. It's one of the worst deals ever made. It should
never have been made.
So, whether Mr. Macron can put forward any arguments that would convince Mr. Trump, he should actually stay in the deal after statements like that.
I don't know.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Standby, Cyril. Melissa, you're in Paris and from where you are, I guess, from where many of our viewers are watching.
Things look pretty good between them. We have seen in the past, of course, images like this. The two sharing dinner at the very top of the Eiffel
Tower, or like this planting a new tree together at the White House just yesterday. Even there are tug-of-war like handshakes have been given a
happy feel, just module style male bonding. Look at them in Paris, Brussels, now Washington. They are, Melissa, often painted as friends.
But as we've mentioned it's hardly like Macron really has the ear of the president yet. Are they more frenemy's than friends?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Becky, I think it's been a really interesting relationship to watch evolve from Paris, because they do seem
to get along.
[11:05:00] But as you say, Emmanuel Macron, although he's been very careful of criticizing Donald Trump in order to keep establishing and nourishing
that relationship. He's always been very firm. But look, he has his view on things like climate change, on things like Iran. I have my view. And
more profoundly I represent a totally different vision of the world then does Donald Trump.
He is a unilateralist who wants to fight for American interests and throw deals that were struck by the previous administrations out of the window.
Emmanuel Macron is trying to say to him look, we need to stay in this multilateralist relationship. We need to keep having conversations. And
these two very different visions -- remember they were starkly laid out at the UN last September. Emmanuel Macron spoke, Donald Trump spoke, they
couldn't have been more different in their outlooks. And in a sense, they've been able to cultivate this relationship to have it grow without
ever really having to directly confront those two different views.
What you just saw in the Oval Office was perhaps for the first time a real confrontation of it. Donald Trump was asked, he began very touchy feely
with Emmanuel Macron, saying, yes, we will look at this deal again. And when the journalists sort of pounced, and said, what, you might be wanting
to reconsider what was in fact a campaign pledge to withdraw? The language, the rhetoric, the fiery unilateralism of Donald Trump came back.
It's a terrible deal. And it all ended with a great deal of noise and commotion. And what is going to be so interesting later today is getting
to the bottom of whether Emmanuel Macron has in fact been able to get him to budge. Has he got the unilateralist to adopt a multilateralist approach
to consider some kind of negotiation, some kind of compromise, on something that Donald Trump has always been absolutely clear about.
ANDERSON: Melissa is in Paris, Cyril, of course, in Washington. A mere you're in Tehran. The American President -- and we know he loves
television. His favorite thing to watch apparently Fox News. So, no surprise that's where Mr. Macron popped up on Sunday ahead of his trip.
Let's just get a clip of that for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . is there a staying in the Iran deal?
TRUMP: We're going to be talking about it, we'll see. I mean, people know my views on the Iran deal. It was a terrible deal. Should have never ever
been made. We could have made a good deal or a reasonable deal. The Iran deal was a terrible deal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Iranian say they will restart their nuclear program.
TRUMP: Well, we'll find out. You'll find out about that. It won't be so easy for them to restart. They're not going to be restarting anything.
They restart it, they're going to have big problems, bigger than they've ever had before. And you can mark it down. They restart their nuclear
program they will have bigger problems than they have ever had before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Right. That wasn't exactly what I was hoping to see, but in fact, that is absolutely pertinent and incredibly important that we show
that to our viewers. He is talking the Iran deal in inverted comments. Some don't call it a deal at all. So far President Trump doesn't seem too
bothered by any if their butts when it comes to this Iran agreement. You can just scrap it and just wait till it runs out, in fact, May 12th.
What's the view where you are?
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, over here, Becky, it's just a ramping up of harsh rhetoric. Tehran is taking nothing to lose, all-or-
nothing approach. In fact, that's what foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said earlier. And that comment from President Trump comes after Zarif said
that, yes, if the U.S. does in fact walk away, we will ramp up and speed up our nuclear activity. President Hassan Rouhani also speaking in front of a
large crowd in the northern city of Calus and had a message for the Trump administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the
Iranian government will firmly react. If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAFTARI: Now, what the severe consequences will be, the President didn't go into much detail. But as I said earlier, ramping up nuclear activity
could be one of them. And another top-ranking official, somebody who was part of the security apparatus here and a former defense minister talked
about Iran pulling out of another international deal, the NPT, the Nonproliferation Nuclear Treaty. And Iran has -- you know, that treaty is
there to stop the build-up of nuclear weapons. Iran has always maintained, it's never seeking nuclear weapons. It has been part of that deal.
However, if that does happen, and that is a big if, then that could drastically change the dynamic, not only regionally but internationally as
well -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Oren, President Trump and Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, not sharing a position, vis-a-vis Syria at present. In fact, it's
very unclear what the U.S. position is full stop. But that battlefield there is nothing short of plain three-dimensional chess blindfolded it
seems. I want our viewers to have a look at this map of the country. The large patch of deep red falling back under Damascus' control. That has
only been growing for months now. And no doubt pushed along handedly by Iran. And that itself becoming a major subplot, isn't it, in Syria. Iran
versus Israel. And given you've got these two leaders together. And both of those countries are on the agenda, Iran with the Iran deal and Syria.
How did Mr. Trump and Mr. Macron line up on that? And what is really going on there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as opposed to the French President and so many other world
leaders, including the Chinese and Russians, is very much pushing President Donald Trump to -- as Netanyahu has said, fix it or nix again. A message
he delivered once again.
[11:11:10] We saw him, or we heard him go quiet on the Iran deal for quite some time now. But every time he sees an opportunity, that is every time
Netanyahu sees an opportunity to try to push Trump to back out of the deal or fundamentally change it in some way, even if all the world powers that
are a party to it oppose. Netanyahu takes that opportunity and did so a couple days ago. It's part of what we're seeing here as a much broader,
wider strategy of Israel trying to push back against Iran, whether it is on the nuclear deal or Syria.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Seven years into Syria's civil war, one subplot is emerging. When an Iranian drone entered Israeli air space in February,
it marked the beginning of a new phase between Israel and Iran. To rivals vying for regional positioning. Israel shot down the drone and struck the
controlling base, losing an F-16 fighter to Syrian air defenses in the process. The exchange made one thing clear, Israel and Iran are drawn
A battle that used to be carried out through proxies. Israel fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon has been replaced by near direct confrontation. A
recent air strike on the Syrian T-4 military base, a strike pinned on Israel, killed seven Iranian nationals. Iran has vowed to respond.
HOSSEIN SALAMI, REVOLUTIONARY GUARD COMMANDER (through translator): Listen and be aware. Any war that might happen, rest assured will bring about
your disappearance. The smallest goal is your existence. And there's no smaller objective than that. You can't handle the domino effect of
occupation when your citizens and soldiers escape. You have no escape route apart from falling into the sea.
LIEBERMANN: The U.S.-led air strikes a few days later made a statement. The West wouldn't stand for Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.
Despite Israeli leaders hailing the strikes, security expert, Amiram Levin, says that's not how President Donald Trump's message was received.
AMIRAM LEVIN, FORMER HEAD, IDF NORTHERN COMMAND: The attacks, the airstrikes were to weak. And the effect was almost nothing. In other
words, it told Russia, it told Assad, it told the Iranians, you can continue with your policy in Syria. You can continue to kill children, to
kill innocent people, as long as you don't do it with a chemical weapon.
LIEBERMANN: Israel views with calling alarm, Iran's presence in Syria. The country's leaders reiterating Israel's position, it will not allow Iran
to establish a military presence to Israel's north. In Syria's fog of war, Israel see a chance to act.
AVIGDOR LIBERMAN, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): I know one thing for certain, we will not allow the Iranians to base themselves in
Syria. And there will be a price for that. We have no other choice. You agree to an Iranian presence in Syria, it's agreeing to the fact that the
Iranians will put a noose around our necks.
LIEBERMANN: Syria is a fractured country with even in its shifting sands Iran and Israel have drawn their red lines.
LIEBERMANN: And analysts say the two long-time rivals are entering a new phase, drawing closer to each other and drawing closer to perhaps direct
confrontation. Becky, when talking about Israel and Iran, whether it is the nuclear deal or what happens in Syria, it's all part of the same
conversation about how the dynamic plays out between the two countries. We've seen it deescalate before, a few years ago. Will it do so once
again? That's part of the question of what happens with the nuclear deal and how everything else plays out in the skies over Syria.
ANDERSON: Connecting the world for you from Jerusalem. Oren Liebermann, Amir Daftari in Tehran, Melissa is in Paris and Cyril Vernier, of course,
in Washington. To all of you, thank you.
[11:15:05] Still to come tonight -- amid the shifting battle lines in Syria, it's civilians who are impacted most. Next, I'll speak to the
executive director of the World Food Program about what can be done to alleviate the suffering. Stay tuned.
ANDERSON: Well if you're just joining us, welcome. You're watching CNN. This CONNECT THE WORLD with is me, Becky Anderson.
Well, fresh hot bread a piece of sustenance from a bakery almost in a bunker. This is Syria. This is Douma. In these bakers are underground.
A makeshift subterranean operation to shield one of life's basic necessities from shelling. That flour sliding into storage all provided by
the World Food Programme. This is the reality of life as territory changes hands in a country that has seen seven years of war. And with these
shifts, more challenges and complications for the people who are there to help.
Those providing lifesaving aid are gathering in Brussels for a funding conference. And that is where we find David Beasley. He is the executive
director of the World Food Programme. And as you gather to once again raise funds for people affected by the war in Syria, and one assumes to
help bolster the peace process there. What is your message, David?
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: It is very subtle Becky. And I would like to say one day, Becky, you and I will be doing a
positive story. But right now, it's a deplorable situation. We have 6.5 million people inside Syria that are severely hungry. I mean, in a bad
situation. 10 million people are hungry, but 6.5 severely. So, we're doing everything we can to convince the powers that be that this war needs
to end so that people can go on with their lives. And is not just about people now in Syria, we already now know that 5.6 million have fled Syria.
And we're supporting people, Syrians, outside of Syria, whether it is Turkey, or whether it's Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and of course, where
I'm standing here in Europe, there are Syrians in Europe.
[11:20:00] And the difference of the cost, Becky, when you feed a Syrian inside Syria or in that region, it is about 50 cents per day. But it's 100
times that, the humanitarian cost, if they are in Berlin, or Paris or London. And plus, the Syrian, the refugee doesn't want to leave their
home. They want to be at home. So, we need to end this war. And we need more money. We need about $2.2 billion per year to fund just the food
needs. And we need about $650 million more. And if we don't get the food we need, then of course, it strikes back at the original problem of
migration. And now you have it infiltrated with groups like ISIS, and Boko Haram, and al Qaeda. That's were concerned about now in the Sahel region.
ANDERSON: I'm going to talk to you about policy. And I want to concentrate on Syria specifically, which is where that conference is that
you are attending. Despite the fact that you're absolutely right to point out there are other very pressing issues that we should be dealing with as
well. Just saw a sign there, Deir Ezzor or Deir Ezzor welcomes you marks the limits of the city. The WFP not just in Eastern Ghouta, not just in
Deir Ezzor, you're in Raqqah. And the WFP reach in Syria is far the most. David, what challenges are you facing as these regions shift from control
of one group to the other?
BEASLEY: It's a challenge, as you can imagine. And we are dealing with all sides of this war. All sides of this conflict, whether it's in
government-control areas or government-controlled areas whereby ISIS or a rebel groups that are controlled by the government or vice versa. And so,
we have to deal with all parties concerned because we're neutral. We want to make certain that innocent families and victims of this conflict don't
suffer unnecessarily, at least in terms of starvation. And so, if we can get the food in and we need access, we need monitoring, and that's
critical. If we don't have that, all types of complications result. So, we call on all parties to give us the access we need, regardless of which
side of the war you're on.
ANDERSON: David, you recently testified in front of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reminding lawmakers that the WFP, the World
Food Programme, doesn't take sides in conflicts. You feed the hungry and the vulnerable wherever they are. But we are, you said, on the side of
security and stability. Problem is, David, the conditions that make it possible for people to feel safe in Syria don't exist. You are a former
Republican governor and Trump supporter. How damaging is a complete lack of clarity on U.S. policy in Syria to those families who just want peace?
BEASLEY: Well, one of the things that I've been making clear to leaders around the world, including the United States, that if you don't have food
security regardless of policy, you're going to have chaos, you're going to have conflict. And we know that for every 1 percent increase in hunger,
there's a 2 percent increase in migration. And of course, the difference now when you have migration, you have infiltrated by extremist groups, but
the United States, Russia, Syria and other leaders in the region have got to come together with a policy that will end this war, and this conflict.
It's critical. And the major players, this is what we're asking them to do, to end this conflict, because it's going to continue, is going to get
worse. The problems are getting worse. We're seeing the severe hunger rate go up around the world for the first time in a long, long time. And
it's all driven by man-made conflict. So, we asked the leaders, whether it's President Trump, or whether it's Assad, or whether it's Putin or
whoever it may be in any country. Let's please come together with policy and programs that will end these wars, and these conflicts.
ANDERSON: With the greatest respect, and you make total sense. I was specifically asking about the vacuum of U.S. policy, David, in Syria at
present. Your thoughts?
BEASLEY: Well, Becky, I'm a humanitarian now in that role. And it is not my position to make policy for the United States, but as a humanitarian of
the United Nations World Food Programme, but we are calling upon all actors in to bring about the necessary result to end this war. And it's needed.
And if we don't end it, the consequences are severe.
But Becky, let me say, you are talking about Syria as a nation of 18 to 20 million people. And we saw what happened when we didn't get ahead of the
curve on the Syrian war. That's 20 million people. Now, ISIS and other extremist groups are moving into the greater Sahel region and that's 500
[11:25:00] And their desire, their goal is to infiltrate, destabilize so that they'll be mass migration into Europe, so they can destabilize the
European economy. And we've got to get ahead of this curve. This is why policy is so critical to bring about sustainable development and food
security in all regions. And this is not just Syria, but it is also in the Sahel region, the greater Sahel region.
ANDERSON: And I've heard you talk about this in the past. And it is clearly incredibly important. And you have reached out to all stake
holders, including lawmakers across the world, through other agencies, and you said let's get together and work this out. Nearly a year ago, you told
"the Guardian" that you are hopeful that Ivanka Trump could change her father's mind over proposed cuts to aid. You said, quote, I think we've
got another advocate on our side. Ivanka, she's savvy. I have two daughters and know that when a daughter comes to me, dad, you can't turn
your daughter down.
Are you still hopeful? Because we have seen no sign, certainly, of an increased spend on aid to these areas that you see as absolutely crucial.
And we are looking at significant reductions. So, are you still hopeful?
BEASLEY: Yes, actually, let me give you some good news in that bleak picture, Becky. And that is when I took this job a year ago, the United
States was providing $1.9 billion. Last year, based on the case and the arguments that we made to the White House, including the Senate and the
House in the United States, our funding went up from 1.9 billion to 2.5 billion. This year, fiscal year 2018, we absolutely were able to convince
the leadership in Washington from President Trump to the Senate and the House, to increase funding to over $3 billion for the World Food Programme.
And it was really interesting the message that was given to me from the White House and the Senate and the House, was now go tell our colleagues
and our friends in Europe that we're not backing down, that we're sporting the World Food Programme in international aid. It must be strategic. It
must be effective. And that's why we are designing programs that put people to work, that sustain areas, and we are hopeful that Europeans are
stepping up. We're seeing that in the EU. We're seeing it with the Germans, with the Brits, as well as the Nordic countries, the Swiss, and so
there's a lot of good news taking place in spite of all the conflict.
But I'll come back to what you were saying earlier, Becky, we need comprehensive policy from all nations working together holistically to
address these major concerns in places like Syria, in places like the greater Sahel region, because the lack of effective comprehensive policy is
going to continue to give us what we have. And if we do it right, hopefully we won't be having conferences on the Sahel next year and the
year after. But I'm afraid we are going to if we don't get our act together.
ANDERSON: I hear you, David. I hear you. And we continually bang on this show and others about effective policy. We're hoping one day we'll get it
in Syria. David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme. Thanks for joining me, sir.
Still ahead, we are just minutes away from a highly-anticipated news conference at the White House. Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel
Macron are about to address reporters. We are live in Washington to talk about what is at stake.
[11:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Half past seven in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson from our Middle East broadcasting
The man the police say turned a Toronto Street into a scene of carnage less than 24 hours ago has just appeared in court. 25-year-old Alek Minassian
was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. Police say that's how many people were killed when this rented van rammed down a sidewalk crowded
with workers grabbing lunch or just enjoying in early spring day. Authorities say the attack stretch block after block. Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians not to fear even as police continue to investigate.
Our Alex Marquardt reports from the very street where the van jumped the curb.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we just heard from a court here in Toronto that the suspect, Alek Minassian, 25 years
old, has been charged with 10 counts of premeditated murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. The death toll does stand at 10. The big question
now is what was his motive? The authorities are seeing less about what they believe the motive to be then what they don't believe the motive to
be, and that is terrorism.
[11:35:00] They say that terror does not appear to be the driving force behind this attack. They said it had nothing to do with national security.
They don't believe that there are any other terror attacks out there in the works. And they said that they were not changing their terror level. Now,
we do know more about Minassian. As I mentioned, he is 25 years old. He is from Richmond Hill, which is a nice suburb about half an hour away from
where I'm standing right here in Toronto.
And one thing investigators are also looking into is an alleged Facebook post that he wrote yesterday morning before the attack in which he said,
all hail the supreme gentlemen Elliott Roger.
Now, for the viewers who are not familiar with that name, that was someone else who carried out an attack in the U.S. in 2014 near the University UC
Santa Barbara. It was both a car ramming attack as well as a shooting attack that left six people dead. So, investigators are looking into that.
Now, there was an extraordinarily dramatic moment as Minassian was taken into custody. He had a standoff with the police in which he was pointing
an object at the police. Claiming to have a gun. The police telling him to get down on the ground. Threatening to shoot him and you can hear
clearly in the tape that Minassian is asking to be shot. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Come on get down. Get down.
ALEK MINASSIAN: Kill me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: No, get down, get down.
MINASSIAN: I've got a gun in my pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE OFFICER: Get down. Get down.
MARQUARDT: So, that could be what is known as suicide by cop. A course, it doesn't really explain further what the motive might be. But again,
Canadian authorities both local and federal say it does not appear that terror is the main motive. But that's all you can really think of when you
see the style of this attack in light of all the similar car ramming terror attacks we seen all across Europe over the past few years as well as in New
York City on Halloween last year -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Right, thank you.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been meeting moments ago with French President Emmanuel Macron in the cabinet room at the White House. Let's
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: PRESIDENT TRUMP: . just the two of us, I think, as understanding. We talked about Iran. We talked
about Syria. We talked about a lot of subjects that really are big, big, hard situations. And we think we have solutions to a number of them.
So, we're going to continue that now, and then Emmanuel and myself will meet again, I think, after this meeting. But we wanted to get the opinion
of some of the experts in the room. We have great experts on both sides, so we wanted to get the opinion of some of the experts.
Very good numbers are coming out on our businesses. You're seeing the numbers that are getting released on our companies and our businesses.
They're very strong. The economy has been really incredible. Unemployment, now, is at the lowest point ever in history in many, many
states. The states were enumerated last night. Late last night the numbers came out. And we've hit the lowest unemployment numbers in many
decades, in some cases. And in some cases, the lowest numbers, period.
It was just reiterated that unemployment for African American families -- it's been the best in history. For Hispanic families, the best in history.
For women, the best in 18 years. And that's very close to going much higher than that. So, it's really something very special. So, we're very
happy about that.
The President and I are working on trade. The trade with France is complicated because we have the European Union. I would rather deal just
with France. The Union is very tough for us. They have trade barriers that are unacceptable. Our farmers can't send their product into the
European Union easily as they should. And we accept their products. So, we have to make a change, and they understand that.
And we're negotiating -- Wilbur and Steve and everybody -- we're negotiating with the European Union. But it's been very unfair for a long
time. We had a trade deficit with the European Union of $151 billion last year. That's unacceptable. This has been going on for many years, and
The Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, will be going to China in a few days to negotiate on trade. I think China is very serious. We're very serious.
And we have no choice but to be very serious. You know we've put on very substantial tariffs, and that will continue unless we make a trade deal. I
think we've got a very good chance of making a deal.
As you know, they've just stated -- President Xi, a terrific guy and a friend of mine, but he's representing China, and I'm representing the
United States. President Xi made a speech four days ago where he said that China is going to be opened up. Because it's not opened up right now.
They trade with us. We can't trade with them. They did $504 billion last year, and we did $120 billion. That's a tremendous imbalance, and we can't
have that. So, we're going to have a delegation, at their request, go to China. They came here recently, and we're going there. And that'll be
European Union, by the way, we are going back to that. We're negotiating with the European Union. They had their representatives come here. And I
think we're negotiating very, very seriously.
NAFTA, as you know, is moving along. They have an election coming up very soon, and it'll be interesting to see what happens with that election. But
we're doing very nicely with NAFTA. I can make a deal very quickly, but I'm not sure that that's in the best interest of the United States. We'll
see what happens. But we're doing very well.
In South Korea, on our trade deal, we're doing very well. And as far as North Korea is concerned, we are going to be having a meeting with Kim
Jong-un, and that will be very soon. We have been told directly that they would like to have the meeting as soon as possible. And we think that's a
great thing for the world. That's a great thing for North Korea and South Korea and Japan and France and everybody.
[11:40:00] So, we're having very -- very good discussions. Kim Jong-un, he really has been very open, and I think very honorable from everything we're
Now, a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years, but they've never been in this position.
We have been very, very tough on maximum pressure. We have been very tough on, as you know, trade. We've been very, very tough at the border.
Sanctions have been the toughest we've ever imposed on any country. And we think it will be a great thing for North Korea and it will be a great thing
for the world. So, we'll see where that all goes. Maybe it will be wonderful and maybe it won't. And if it's not going to be fair and
reasonable and good, I will -- unlike past administrations, I will leave the table.
But I think we have a chance of doing something very special with respect to North Korea. Good for them, good for us, good for everybody.
And with that, thank you all very much. Mr. President, would you like to say something?
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President, for these words. We will have this large meeting was meeting for wanting to gather
again before the press conference, just to say, we have had very good discussion, indeed, on Syria, on Iran, the overall region, and some other
very important topics regarding our security.
And I think we have to work together because we've always worked together on these issues, and it's very important to preserve the stability of this
region. And I think what we want to do in the interest of our people is precisely to preserve stability of sovereign states, without any hegemon.
As for the trade issue, you presented your perception of the situation and you were fair to remind everybody that bilateral relationship is balanced
between France and the U.S. And I think it's very important to bear in mind that, between allies -- I mean, regarding so important security issues,
it's impossible to make any trade war.
We have to deal with common global challenges regarding our trade. One of these global challenges is definitely over-capacities in steel and
aluminum. And we have to fix the situation. I think we have now to work fairly on that. We need several discussions and serious discussions, as
you mentioned. But I think our willingness is precisely to preserve this multilateral framework, and to work very closely together in the middle
interest to deal with this current destabilization of trade situations.
As for the other aspects, we discussed, as well, about the Paris Agreement and our outcome and challenges regarding climate. And I have to say that
our business people, our scientists, work very closely together, and we want to increase this cooperation. We know everything about the treaties
and the international agreements, but I think beyond that, we have a lot in common to work on and we will follow up this discussion in the coming weeks
and months. And now we will have the opportunity to go into details on a lot of these issues.
But thanks very much, again, Mr. President, for the very direct and fruitful discussion we have, you and me, and for the opportunity to discuss
with your Vice President and your Secretaries on these issues. Thanks very much.
TRUMP: Well, we have had a great relationship on just about everything. And too bad it's not just us doing the negotiating for the rest of the
world. But we have had a great relationship.
And our trade situation with France by itself has been very good. The trade product and the trade deals that we do with France -- unfortunately,
the European Union represents, to a large extent, France -- and we've had a pretty unfair situation with the European Union, but a very fair one with
France. So that will continue. That will always continue.
We will always be very close to, really, our oldest ally, when you think of it. France is our oldest ally. And we will -- we are going out of our way
to do that.
I think we've really had some substantive talks on Iran, maybe more than anything else, and we're looking forward to doing something. But it has to
be done, and it has to be done strongly. And they've very much been butchers and we can't allow that to happen.
So, we understand each other, and we'll see how that comes out. And we could have at least an agreement among ourselves fairly quickly. I think
we're fairly close to understanding each other.
[11:45:00] And I think our meeting, our one-on-one, went very, very well. I hope you feel the same way.
TRUMP: Thank you very much, Emmanuel.
MACRON: Thank you
TRUMP: Thank you everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you committed to staying in Syria, Mr. President?
TRUMP: You'll find out.
ANDERSON: Right, you've been listening to the U.S. president. That is the cabinet room. And that is where a meeting took place just moments ago when
both Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron, the French President, addressed some of what they have been discussing. What is this first state visit to be
hosted by Donald Trump.
A couple hours ago, Stephen, we saw a show of togetherness at the start of this, lots of positive body energy between the two leaders of France and
the U.S. hugging and touching, hands touching, President Trump declaring the friendship between the two nations as, quote, unbreakable. But he said
it was always going to be behind closed doors. I think all of us know where this touted special relationship will be tested. It seems to me, at
least, signs are that that is the case.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Certainly. I think these two press availabilities we've had in the last couple of hours have shown that
for all the good feeling and the bonding between Macron and Trump, there are still some pretty big disagreements on the Iran deal and on trade.
On the Iran deal, that was a very interesting sort of rant by the President in the Oval Office. He said the deal was insane and ridiculous. Earlier,
before they met, Macron gave an interview to Fox News this weekend and he said, you can say what you like about the Iran deal, but what is plan B.
And he doesn't see one.
The president seemed to indicate the plan B. If the deal was to founder and Iran decided to go back to nuclear activity, I mean, he seemed to hint
pretty clearly that he was prepared to take military action against Iran. That seems to be the president's plan B.
It's often difficult to know exactly what the president is saying because he speaks in generalities and not detailed. But in that last session there
in the cabinet room, he seemed to indicate, he said, that if he and Macron seem to be, I think he said, could come to an agreement on Iran fairly
quickly. Now, is the president saying that he's willing to sign on to European efforts to address issues, such as a sunset provision of the Iran
deal, the missile deal? I don't think we can really say from what the President said, but it did seem to at least have the possibility that
that's the case.
ANDERSON: I was wondering how you were going to weave your way through what we have just heard from the U.S. President. Because I was also
struggling to sort of work out whether he was talking specifically to the Iran deal, talking about sort of wider basis about where he and the French
President had got to in what was sort of half hour one-on-one that he said went very, very well in the oval office just before this meeting that we
are just looking at video from now, which happened just moments ago in the cabinet office.
Look, I want to take a very short break. Let s -- let's just pause for a moment, Stephen. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Abu Dhabi
viewers. A big day for what the U.S. calls its oldest alliance. Still ahead, I'm going to get you to a live press conference from President Trump
and French President Emmanuel Macron, which is here, ready to welcome the two leaders. And we will discuss what we've heard and what we expect to
hear going forward after this. Stay with us viewers.
[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Welcome back. A very flexible hour here as we bounce in and out of events at the White House, which are extremely important. There's just
so much thundering out of it as Mr. Trump hosts his first state visit with the French President, talking Iran, Syria and trade. We are expecting to
hear from both again any moment now. We are just keeping an eye on where they will be addressing the press from the White House. And we will get to
that as and when that happens.
Meantime, CNN's Cyril Vanier, is right outside the White House for us. Stephen Collinson's who I was just discussing this trip -- up is in
Washington as well. Both are back with us now. And Cyril, I want to put this to you. It appears -- and we've certainly been led to believe that
Emmanuel Macron wants to walk away from this state visit, with at least in -- one assumes in principle -- some sense of a concession from the U.S.,
from President Trump, to effectively stay in what is known as the Iran nuclear deal. This is the point, isn't it? It's not for him to fix, is
it? This is not a bilateral deal between the U.S. and France. There are many other stakeholders. So, what is he up to here?
VANIER: You're absolutely right, Becky. I'm glad you mention that because that's a huge part of was going on today. In the limits really of what Mr.
Macron really can do. And that deal was agreed to by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. You've got the U.K., you got the U.S.,
you've got France, you've got China, you've got Russia. Germany is also on board. And of course, it was negotiated with Iran as well. So, you can't
touch the deals in any kind of significant way if all of those countries are not on board. And the U.S. wants the deal renegotiated, but none of
the other countries are willing to have it renegotiated in any significant way, especially Russia, China and Iran. The European countries are a bit
in the middle here and would like the deal to survive but would like to assuage the concerns of the U.S. president. So that's the context here.
ANDERSON: And our apologies for the audio issues that we just had. But we hear you loud and clear, Cybil. So standby. Stephen, you eluded earlier
to the French president's appearance on Fox News. And for the sake of our viewer who didn't see that, let's just have a quick listen to that. This
was over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: What is a "what if" scenario or your plan B? I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran. So, that's a
question we will discuss, but that's why I just want to say, on nuclear, let's present the framework because a sort of North Korean type of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Many experts will tell you that, Cyril, the French President's appearance on Fox News was for one viewer and one viewer only, Donald Trump
who is a keen watcher of that network. So, what we have there was the French President saying that he has no plan B when it comes to Iran.
Already we have just discussed, and I'll put this to you, Stephen, because you're still up with me I know. I have just been discussing this with
Cyril, the fact that this is not for the French President to fix whether the U.S. and French leaders like it or not -- Stephen.
COLLINSON: Right. What the Europeans are trying to do is to come up with a sort of side framework.
[11:55:00] An agreement between themselves and the U.S. that they will address the issue of what happens in the decade or so to come when the deal
runs out on the issue of Iran's missiles, on the issue of Iran's behavior. So, that's something separate. Which they're hoping will assuage Trump's
suspicion in the deal. You heard him in the oval office keep saying, well, you know, the nuclear deal doesn't deal with missiles. It doesn't deal
with Iran's behavior in Yemen.
The deal was never supposed to do that. It was -- the contention of the Obama administration that you can do a deal on nuclear and you took away
the most dangerous aspect of Iran's perceived threat to the United States and Europe. And the idea was you couldn't do a deal with missiles and
The Europeans are now trying to sort of address that and hope that that, in itself, will convince Trump to stay in. But when Macron talks about there
being no plan B, the Trump administration for all of its railings against the Iran deal has never said what it thinks would happen afterwards. How
Iran would therefore not go back -- would not pull out of the deal itself and go back to enriching uranium.
So, I think it is a very fair question and it's one the administration has not given the satisfactory answer to.
ANDERSON: Yes, you are absolutely right. Today Iran's president himself warning that his government will firmly react if the U.S. withdrawals from
the international agreement. Hassan Rouhani saying, and I quote, if anyone betrays the deal, they should know that that they would face severe
Well, we are likely to hear, I would expect, also assume and likely to hear from President Trump, who is scheduled to speak with the French President
at this press conference that we are waiting in the East Room. Live pictures for you coming from the White House in the moments to come. Cyril
Vanier is in Washington and so is Stephen Collinson. A regular on the show. Thank you both for joining us.
I'm Becky Anderson. That was ''CONNECT THE WORLD.'' Thank you for watching. That press conference, the news conference up when it happens.
If it doesn't happen in this next couple of minute break, will have "QUEST EXPRESS" and you'll see it there. Good night.