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Mike Pompeo Sworn in as U.S. Secretary of State; Trump Makes First Visit to State Department; Pompeo Says State Department Will Get Its "Swagger" Back; Trump Slams Mueller Probe Amid Subpoena Reports; Watch the Man Handling Mo Salah's Image. Aired 11-12n ET
Aired May 2, 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] HANNAH VAUGHN JONES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones sitting in for Becky
Anderson this hour.
Now all eyes are on U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. The ceremonial swearing-in of Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo will begin any
minute now. These are live pictures from the Ben Franklin room. We will bring you that ceremony as soon as it gets underway. It is a big moment
not only for Pompeo but also for his boss, President Donald Trump. This is remarkably the first time he is stepping foot in the hub of American
diplomacy. CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is at the State Department right now and joins me live from there. Elise, this is a big
day, a big moment for both men really, for Pompeo and for Trump especially given the challenges on the global stage for American diplomacy right now.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hannah. And because, you know, the State Department didn't really have a good
relationship with this White House or the secretary -- before Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Tillerson. I think the morale here at the State
Department has been very low. And the fact that President Trump has appointed someone that he trusts, a very close advisor, I think is going to
do -- go a long way to improving the morale at the State Department.
Secretary Pompeo in fact, said that in his address to the State Department yesterday. He wants to make sure that the State Department gets their
swagger back. And I think that the fact the President is here today to officially swear in the secretary I think will show that the President will
now have a commitment and dedication to the diplomatic core.
JONES: All right, Elise Labott thanks very much, indeed. We will speak to you perhaps after the ceremony has taken place. Mr. Trump had a rocky
relationship with his first Secretary of State, you may remember, Rex Tillerson. But he and his new top diplomat do seem to be in lockstep.
Pompeo takes the helm as America faces critical questions overseas.
What is the future of the Iranian nuclear deal, and what of President Trump's upcoming potential meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-
un. We're still looking at those live pictures at the moment. Awaiting to see Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Mike Pence as well, the American Vice
President as well. I will stay on these live pictures and hope to bring you that full ceremony as it begins. In the meantime, our Stephen
Collinson, CNN's White House reporter standing by for us. Stephen, at least they're saying that Mike Pompeo wants to give swagger back to the
State Department. How is he going to do that?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, I think the first thing is that it's important -- this ceremony -- for Pompeo that the President is
there. Because it makes a statement to people in Washington and overseas that he is talking for the President when he travels, and he has a close
connection to the President and is a conduit for him. Tillerson never had that. So, when you talk to diplomats overseas, they say they weren't
really sure how to reach Trump. Because when they spoke to Tillerson -- although they were philosophically in line with him, they were never really
sure that he had a good relationship with the President himself. So, I think that is important, there's a comfort there. The one worry for the
rest of the world I think in Pompeo's ascension is that what he has done to get that close relationship with the President.
JONES: Yes. Stephen, we're going to listen now to listen to Mike Pompeo. I think he's just taken -- no, apologies. We're still waiting for the
ceremony. My apologies to you, Stephen, you were in the middle of explaining the significance of today for Mike Pompeo.
COLLINSON: Right, and I think for countries, although there is some value in having a Secretary of State that is seen as very close to the President,
there is also concern that Pompeo is somebody who has forged that relationship by aligning himself very closely with the President's
unpredictable and some cases hawkish foreign policy, particularly on Iran. And I think that is the one down side for the rest of the world. They have
the -- now they have the conduit to the President, but this is somebody along with national security adviser, John Bolton, who appears to be much
less likely to try and restrain this president and to bring him into line with the policies of America's allies, especially in Europe.
JONES: Yes, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo both been described as hawks especially when it comes to the Iranian nuclear deal. Of course, the
deadline on that and Trump's decision is looming. Just 11 days or so until we expect to hear from the president about that. Why might this Secretary
of State be so different from the last one, to Rex Tillerson, as far as the rest of the world is concerned?
[11:05:00] COLLINSON: First of all, I think Mike Pompeo is a politician. He was a member of the House of Representatives. He's much more sort of
connected to public relations, how to put across his position. He took reporters on his plane, on his first trip to Europe and the Middle East at
the weekend. So, he certainly going to be a much more visible Secretary of State.
And I think he's very keen to try and at least get the State Department back in the game. The reason for that is he understands that Washington is
a town of power bases. Rex Tillerson came from the business world. He had very little experience in Washington. He actually made himself less
effective by not having a good relationship with the President and by sidelining his own State Department in this massive reorganization plan.
So, he in fact muted his own power. Tillerson -- Pompeo realizes unlike Tillerson, he does need that power base behind him. He does needs to get
U.S. diplomats out in the world advancing his agenda, even as he sort of sticks close to the President. So, you're going to see a very different
style as Secretary of State.
And Pompeo is somebody I think that still has political aspirations. There's been a lot of talk in Washington that he might be a potential
future Republican presidential candidate, potentially in 2024 if Trump has two terms. He has arrival there, Nikki Haley the UN envoy for the United
States is also a politician who is seen to have presidential aspirations. So, there's a real incentive for Pompeo to advance himself in this
administration not just because just pushing the administration's policy but enhancing his own image in Washington and around the world as well.
JONES: Stephen, thanks very much indeed. We are looking at live pictures from the Ben Franklin room at the State Department expecting to see and
then hear from the U.S. President, Trump himself. Also, Mike Pompeo, who will be sworn in at this ceremony as the new Secretary of State. He
already started that job, of course, he's been traveling to the Middle East. He's been meeting Kim Jong-un in Korea as well -- on the Korean
Peninsula. And of course, he's been very involved in what might happen with this Iranian nuclear deal as that deadline looms as well. These are
the live pictures. We are expecting to hear from all the top flights at the U.S. administration in the next half hour or so. But in the meantime,
we'll take a quick break and come back to this after the break.
[11:10:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JONES: Welcome back to CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones.
We are showing you live pictures right now from the Ben Franklin room at the U.S. State Department. Any minute now the U.S. President, Donald
Trump, is expected to make his way into that room for the official swearing in ceremony for his new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Significant
because this is the first time that Donald Trump has been to the State Department through his administration. It's just over a mile away from the
White House, but it's certainly a stamp of approval for him for his new appointee as Secretary of State.
You can see there is standing room only in that particular facility, and we will of course get to it as soon as we see any of the main players. That
would be Donald Trump himself, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence as well, the U.S. Vice President also expected to conduct this particular ceremony. Michelle
Kosinski is CNN senior diplomatic correspondent. She is standing by at the State Department for us. Stephen Collinson is also standing by for us, as
we spoke to Stephen a little bit earlier. Michelle let's come to you then. What do you think that the tone and perhaps the content might be in Mike
Pompeo's address to his colleagues in the State Department today?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Hannah. Well, he is saying all the right things, we know that. He heard him come in here
yesterday for his first day at the State Department, technically on the job to address people here at the State Department. He got a huge ovation.
There were hundreds of people waiting in this room for him.
So, he's saying things like, I am humbled to be here, and used the word humbled multiple times. Thank that the U.S. can't achieve its objectives
without you. I have a lot to learn from you. I'm not going to spend all my time locked away in an executive suite. I'm going to be visiting every
corner of this building. So, there's other things he's been saying.
We also know behind the scenes he has been doing a lot of the right things to help people feel better and help to build morale. One example is he
wanted to have individual meetings, lengthy in-depth meetings with the heads of the regional bureaus here at the State Department. Instead of
filtering all that information through essentially one person or a very tight inner circle, which is what Rex Tillerson did.
That made people feel like, OK, he's listening, he wants to hear people who aren't just right next to him all the time. And he's going to be getting
input from other parts of the building, too. So, I think he's going to pay heed to the fact that he knows the State Department needs energy, it needs
a boost of confidence and that he really cares about diplomacy.
I think that President Trump also wants to convey that today. This is his first visit to the State Department. I mean, he's heard all of the stories
that have been out there about how many people have left because they didn't feel like anybody cares about their job anymore. So, I think the
President wants to kind of give that injection of energy and even basic notice to the importance of diplomacy and the people who have been doing it
JONES: Yes, and not just the people who've left, Michelle, we're also talking about so many roles and positions that are still unfilled at the
State Department as well. This is a department very much under the crosshairs at a critical time for American diplomacy.
KOSINSKI: Yes, it's been worrisome to so many outside observers, especially former State Department people. I mean, Madeleine Albright
described the situation in the State Department as like a crisis and dangerous to national security. The White House knows this. They've
blamed Congress for not approving people quick enough. That's not really true because of the rate of nomination has also been behind past
So, there's been this back and forth of people that the White House have wanted in, there's been push back from the State Department under Secretary
of State Tillerson. We think now with President Trump and Mike Pompeo being supposedly on the same page for most things. I mean, you would
assume that's why Trump wanted him in this position that more things are going to get done. There's going to be more agreement and it's going to be
Many people here at the State Department welcome that. They feel a relief that Pompeo will likely communicate clear goals and directives. Which
sounds pretty basic, but they did not feel they were getting under Secretary of State Tillerson. So, they feel like, you know, they've been
at the State Department doing their jobs through multiple administrations, both Democratic and Republican. They want to do their jobs and they feel
like now with Pompeo it will likely be easier to do so. If only because they'll know what the goal is.
[11:15:00] But, I should say that there are also plenty of people here who worry that Pompeo is so much a political appointment. That he could just
be a yes man for Trump's policies. That he has no foreign policy experience. They are also worried about surprising things that he said in
the past about Muslims, about gay people, things he did not back away from when he was questioned about that during his confirmation hearings.
JONES: Stephen is still standing by for us as well in D.C. We're just seeing some attendees going up onto the platform there, but we'll just
continue until we actually hear from either Mike Pompeo himself or indeed the President. Something of a grueling approval process that Mike Pompeo
had to go through in the Senate before getting to the ceremonial side of things.
COLLINSON: Yes, Secretaries of State have to be confirmed by the Senate, it's a process that really brought up some of the issues that Michelle was
talking about. I think one of the things that we are seeing here with the President standing side by side with the new Secretary of State on the
stage is there's a chance that this changes the foreign policy process in this administration, which has been ad hoc often at the whim of the
President himself. If you have a strong Secretary of State that has the air of the President, you have a much better chance of having a functioning
foreign policy process and policies thought out before they even reach the President's desk.
We didn't see that under Tillerson. Potentially we can see that under Pompeo just because of his closeness to the President. And the fact that
John Bolton, although he has a lot of critics, he's renowned as somebody that knows how to run the Washington policy process from his new position
as national security advisor. So, that's going to be I think very interesting to watch. But as we always are. Donald Trump often has his
favorites. When they start to get publicity, when their profile starts to rise that's when you see the gaps between them emerge. And I think a lot
of people in Washington there going to be looking to see whether this partnership between Trump and Pompeo stands the test of months, potential
pressure on the diplomatic front of an international crisis potentially. That's going to be very, very interesting to watch how his stature is
maintained in the months to come from this high point that we're seeing now.
JONES: Yes, certainly standing by his man at the moment. Mike Pompeo there to the left of our screen, Donald Trump in the middle, Mike Pence as
well, the vice president has stood to the right of the screen right now. We're waiting to hear from the President himself. Here he is right now.
Let's listen in.
[SWEARING IN OF MIKE POMPEO]
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. I must say, that's more spirit that I've heard from the State Department in a long time
-- many years. We can say many years, and maybe many decades. It's going to be a fantastic start, a fantastic day. And that spirit will only be
magnified, will only -- with this man right here. I know that for a fact.
So, thank you all for being here. It's great to be with you, the extraordinary men and women of the State Department. We are profoundly
grateful for everything you do for our country. And you'll be doing things that you don't even know about. Right now, they're not even a glimmer in
your eye. And we have a couple going, Mike, right now, that a lot of people don't know about that are very, very encouraging.
I also want to thank Vice President Pence and the many members of my cabinet for joining us this morning.
We're here to celebrate the swearing-in of America's new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. Mike.
This day is a testament to your exceptional skill, Mike -- a skill and service that's been honed over a lifetime, no matter where you went.
We're joined by Mike's wife, Susan, and his son, Nick. And I want to thank you both for sharing this wonderful moment with us all. Thank you very
much. Thank you.
Mike is a true American patriot. He has devoted many years of his life to defending America, beginning when he entered West Point. And as you all
heard, he entered at 18 and he ended up graduating first in his class.
[11:20:00] You know, I heard that rumor a long time ago. I thought it was a rumor of -- I don't know. You know, you hear "first." And I've heard it
so many times. I've also heard I was first in my class at the Wharton School of Finance. And sometimes when you hear it, you don't say anything.
You just let it go. But I heard it with him. And being first in your class at West Point -- because I know, that's a big deal. So, I said, is
that true? Yes. I asked a few other people, is that true? Yes." So, I started bringing it up. I brought it up about four weeks ago, right David?
And after that, everybody brings it up. So, I don't have to say it anymore. He was actually first in his class at West Point.
And soon he was deployed to Germany, where he served a cavalry officer prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. After leaving active duty service,
Mike graduated from Harvard Law School with high honors. Great student.
Mike was elected to Congress in 2010 by the people of the 4th District of a great state, Kansas. Right? It is. In the House, he distinguished
himself as a member of the Intelligence Committee.
For the last 15 months, Mike served as our nation -- and served our nation as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, where, I can tell you,
they have such respect for him. It's unbelievable. They may be the only people that are not very happy right now. But they'll be happy. They'll
be happy with our Gina, who's here today. And his exceptional leadership of the CIA earned the admiration of his colleagues in the Cabinet, the
Congress, the intelligence community, as well as our foreign allies and partners.
Mike has also earned my deepest respect and admiration and trust. And you'll see why over the coming years. Probably, over the coming months. I
have absolute confidence that he will do an incredible job as the nation's 70th Secretary of State.
As Mike travels the world, he will carry out the greatest mission and highest duty of the State Department, to represent the interests of the
This mission includes overseeing more than 13,000 foreign service officers, who act as our representatives to the world, 12,000 consular officers and
an administrator of just an incredible immigration system. A system that we're going to be changing and fixing and making better. A system that's
under siege right now. But a system that will in fact, hopefully, be the talk of the world by the time we finish.
We have 3,500 security personnel, and thousands more diplomats, embassy staff, civil servants, and administrative personnel, all of whom
collectively play a vital role in advancing the safety, liberty, prosperity, and all good things of the United States. Very important
people. Great people.
As President Eisenhower said in 1953, make no mistake, the reason we have representatives around the world is to protect American interests.
For nearly 230 years, the men and women of the United States State Department have skillfully and proudly answered this call. And now, at
this moment in time, I can think of no better person to lead these dedicated public servants than our new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
Secretary Pompeo, congratulations again. I have no doubt that you will make America proud as our nation's chief diplomat. You're an exceptional
guy, a great friend, and somebody that truly loves our country. We are really, really proud of you. I speak on behalf of everybody in this room,
and also on behalf of your family.
Thank you very much, Mike. And congratulations.
And now I'd now like to ask Vice President Pence to administer the oath of office. Thank you.
[11:25:00] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Raise your right hand and repeat after me.
I Michael Pompeo do solemnly swear.
MICHAEL POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I Michael Pompeo do solemnly swear.
PENCE: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
POMPEO: That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
PENCE: Against all enemies foreign and domestic.
POMPEO: Against all enemies foreign and domestic.
PENCE: That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
POMPEO: That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.
PENCE: That I take this obligation freely.
POMPEO: That I take this obligation freely.
PENCE: any mental reservations --
POMPEO: Without any mental reservations --
PENCE: -- or purpose of evasion.
POMPEO: -- or purpose of evasion.
PENCE: And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties --
POMPEO: That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties --
PENCE: -- of the office upon which I'm about to enter.
POMPEO: -- Of the office upon which I'm about to enter.
PENCE: So help me God.
POMPEO: So help me God.
POMPEO: This is truly humbling. Thank you very much, Mr. President, for those kind words. Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for being here today to
honor me by swearing me in. Thank you, Ambassador Lawler. Ambassador Glendon, thank you so much for that invocation. I used to work for her for
$7.50 an hour.
It is a great honor to have so many distinguished guests here, including many of my fellow Cabinet Secretaries and former colleagues in Congress.
Thank you for coming today. I was also glad to see USAID Administrator Mark Green. I look forward to working with you.
I want to first thank God for this opportunity, and for the many blessings he has granted to me in my life. My wife Susan and my son Nick are two of
the greatest of these. They are my number one fans most days. And they have shown unyielding support to me throughout my confirmation process, and
in every other stage in my public service career. I love you both very, very much.
I want to thank John Sullivan -- Deputy Secretary Sullivan. Where's John? There. John, thank you. Thank you for your service in this interim
Mr. President, I also want to say thank you to you. You have entrusted me with a weighty and awesome responsibility to serve the American people,
first as the Director of the CIA, and now as the Secretary of State. This responsibility becomes more sobering when we consider the many threats to
American security and prosperity, and our liberty.
Mr. President, I promise you, my team and I will be unrelenting in confronting those threats. We will employ tough diplomacy when necessary
to put the interests of the American people first. I will work to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and defend their values. And I
will make sure America is always a respected and principled leader on the world stage.
We are but 15 months into this administration, and we've already made outstanding progress by speaking the truth about the challenges we face.
By confronting them head on. By partnering with strong, sovereign, independent nations to make America and the world more prosperous and
secure. We've put a hurt on the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria. We've done so by great diplomatic work.
We're confronting all types of Iranian hostility and are deciding on the next steps for the flawed JCPOA. We've imposed real consequences on Russia
for its acts of aggression. And we will soon move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, years ahead of schedule.
We are bringing fairness and reciprocity to our economic relationship with China and protecting our intellectual property from them as well.
And we saw, in your meetings last week with President Macron and Chancellor Merkel, we continue to uphold strength in our time-honored alliances.
But there's one more thing. Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to change the course of history on the Korean Peninsula. I
underscore the word "opportunity." We're in the beginning stages of the work, and the outcome is certainly yet unknown.
[11:30:01] But one thing is certain, this administration will not repeat the mistakes of the past. Our eyes are wide open. It's time to solve this
once and for all. A bad deal is not an option. The American people are counting on us to get this right. We are committed to the permanent,
verifiable, irreversible dismantling of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction program, and to do so without delay.
To my colleagues here, when I say we're going to do this, I mean "we." This is a team effort at the State Department and the whole of the United
Mr. President, when you offered me the job to be the Director of CIA, I was honored to lead the world's finest intelligence corps, and I am incredibly
honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead the world's finest diplomatic corps now.
Mr. President, you read one of -- a great quote from the greatest President ever from Kansas. It was a historic quote, but frankly, things haven't
changed much since then. I've been an Army officer, a congressman, the Director of the CIA, now here at State. We have much to do. But in every
position, I've had, I've witnessed the skills, expertise, and patriotism of our foreign affairs professionals, whether they are civil servants or
Foreign Service Officers, political appointees or locally employed staff, you all lay it on the line to make sure that America is safe and prosperous
and free. Thank you for that.
As I've said, and I'll elaborate more, I want the State Department to get its swagger back. We need our men and women out at the frontlines,
executing American diplomacy with great vigor and energy, and to represent the finest nation in the history of civilization. We should be proud of
that, and I'm counting on you all to help communicate in every corner of the world.
Mr. President, I have full confidence that my team here in Washington and around the world under your leadership can and will execute that mission
for the benefit of the American people. And I'm eager to work with you all to get that job done.
You all know this is essential work. That's why you're here. It's why I'm here. I look forward to doing this together. Thank you all so much for
the warm welcome I have received in these first days. I can't wait to get after this with you. Thank you again, Mr. President, for your trust and
your leadership and your faith in me. Thank you.
[END OF SWEARING IN CEREMONY]
JONES: New U.S. secretary state of state Mike Pompeo officially sworn to the job, sworn in by the Vice President Mike Pence. But also, there you
can see the President himself making his first trip to the State Department since he took over as commander-in-chief, 13 or 15 months ago now. Donald
Trump there just shaking hands with some of the staffers. It's a packed room, the Ben Franklin room, making his way now out after that ceremonial
display. And we also heard from the President just a few short minutes ago before Pompeo took the stage to say his thanks and for the swearing in
Let's bring back Michelle Kosinski. Michelle's our senior diplomatic correspondent who is at the State Department no doubt listening intently to
what was said there. Let's talk first about what Mike Pompeo said, Michelle, talking about there being much work to do but much has been
achieved and once again reiterating his comments from the other day when he said, he wants this department to get its swagger back.
KOSINSKI: Right. He elaborated on that. On reaching the U.S.'s goals with a vigor and energy. He talked about how much confidence he has in his
team here at state. Again, he used the word humbling. I think that's the word we've heard most from him in the two times we've heard him speak to
State Department employees over the last two days.
So, he wants to show up without too much swagger, but he wants to talk about injecting that energy back into the State Department. Which it has
lost with not having clear goals which so many people leaving and with morale hitting a real low. So, I think what a contrast to what we heard
President Trump say in a room just hearing people clapping. I mean, he was saying that he hasn't heard such spirit at the State Department in many,
many years, maybe decades. But I think Pompeo was the one who was acknowledging that there had been problems in the past, we don't want to
make the mistakes of the past. We really want to move forward here and reach those goals.
[11:35:00] I also thought it was good that he mentioned Russia specifically, and mentioned Russian aggression. The action that the U.S.
had already taken. I think that will please people who had been worried that this administration in particular would not punish Russia for what it
has done. Lately we have seen the White House and State Department get tougher on Russia for certain behaviors. But him mentioning that really at
his ceremonial swearing in, I think that means lot to people watching.
JONES: Yes, James Rubin is also joining us. James is a former U.S. assistant Secretary of State. Great to see you Jamie. Let's talk about
what Trump, the President, had to say then. He started off by heaping a lot of praise on Pompeo, as you would expect. And then he said -- while he
promised very, very encouraging diplomatic moves, actually turning around to staffers there gathered saying, you'll be doing things you don't even
know about yet. Care to have it a guess?
JAMES RUBIN, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well obviously, nobody has ever set up and managed the North Korean summit, so I think he's
partially referring to the arrangements that are going to have to be made for the site for that summit. And then this is a typical Donald Trump way
of suggesting that everything he does is different than anybody else and there's a magic sauce that he's going to apply to American diplomacy.
And when he listed all of the activities and the work that needs to be done, I think it's worth remembering that the last year and a half the
State Department has been undermined by both the former Secretary of State who didn't seem to pay much attention to the people working there and by
the President himself. And so, it's kind of hard to, you know, put together the comments today and the comments that have been made over the
But I think certainly, if you are at the State Department you've been looking forward to having for the first time in a long time a Secretary of
State who has the full support and backing of the President, and that's the first requirement of a good Secretary of State, the world has to know the
secretary is speaking for the President. They haven't known that for the last year and a half, and now Mike Pompeo will deliver that crucial
JONES: Yes, I mean both men there came to show that this is a very smooth transition. Certainly, smooth as far as they are concerned, Jamie. But
I'm wondering how unprecedented it really is to have so much vital diplomacy going on on the global stage right now, whilst there is also so
much turmoil in the administration, in the cabinet itself and the comings and goings?
RUBIN: Well, there's nothing precedented about any day in the Trump administration to be frank. But I think if you were just to focus on the
foreign policy side which I know best, I think you're pointing out something that is a real problem. Which is that for the last year and a
half all of the major positions in the State Department have been gutted, all the assistant secretaries of state from each of the regions. And for
those who don't know the department, well they are the heart and soul of the State Department.
When you have a new administration, you have to have somebody from that administration layout for each region what it is the United States is going
to focus on. What are the new policies, what will we do differently. We haven't had that in Africa. We haven't had that in Asia. We haven't had
that in Europe. In South America it's been a long time since the President has had the people that he is going to trust running our diplomacy.
The active duty daily figure is the assistant Secretary of State for the particular region. So, you take Africa, for example, there has not been
one. There isn't one and there's no name even being floated. So, that means all those countries in Africa which have daily crucial activities
taking place, they have no idea what the new administration's policy is because there's nobody from the Trump team who has even signaled what they
care about, and so they are operating on autopilot.
And that's been a problem across the board, and yes, the new White House has focused on a couple of things, and the secretary can focus on that with
the help from the White House. But United States has global interests. We have important activities on five continents. There's no person who has
the bandwidth to operate across those continents. You have to have a team. We haven't had a team.
JONES: Yes, Mike Pompeo is saying that he wants America to be the respected leader on the world stage and believes that is still is. But as
you mentioned, the world stage is quite large, it's not just about Iran, Syria, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, for example. With that in
mind do you expect that this Trump administration will fully fund this State Department?
RUBIN: Well, if there is a silver lining to the event today, and the naming of Mike Pompeo, I would put it this way, for most Republican times
in the last couple of years, the State Department and foreign affairs funding has been, you know, the lowest priority list. The State Department
diplomats, the foreign aid budget, all of those things have been kicked around by the Trump administration.
[11:40:00] Having somebody who the President has such high regard for, Mike Pompeo, and having him committed to returning the State Department to his
proper role, that is a good indicator that there will be funds, there will be appointments made. It will be a lot easier to get an ambassador named
and consented to by the Senate. It will be easier to get these assistant secretaries I mentioned selected, and thus it will be easier to return to a
couple of years ago when the State Department was operating with all cylinders. It has been operating on one or two out of eight, perhaps, and
now with Pompeo and the support he brings, I think it really will have a chance to get the money and get the funding and get the priority and
attention of the administration.
JONES: Jamie so good to get your analysis. Thank you so much. Let's go back to Michelle Kosinski. For one last question, Michelle, the mood in
the State Department now. Now that they heard from their new boss and the top boss as well, does everybody have a spring in their step?
KOSINSKI: We will see. It's early to tell. But they've been anticipating this for some time. Since we knew that Pompeo was the nominee. I mean,
his confirmation was extremely rocky. He just barely made it out of committee with approval. We knew that he would be confirmed in the full
Senate. But with the debate that had been going on, the things that had been said, it wasn't the usual kind of backing of U.S. Congress and
acceptance that you would expect for a Secretary of State.
I mean, there was some big issues there that people had problems with. So, I think within the State Department as well, they know that those issues
are there. They're clearly aware of them, and they feel them, but I would say that the mood here is really one of optimism. That at the very least
this will be a functioning machine even if they don't agree fully with whatever we'll see, Trump will come up with in foreign policy next.
Michelle Kosinski live for us at the State Department. We appreciate it, thanks so much.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLD today, if he won't talk voluntarily, he could be forced -- forced to tell what he knows under oath. An
extraordinary legal showdown could be shaping up between the President and the special counsel in the Russia probe.
JONES: You are watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live in London. Welcome back.
After weeks and weeks of waiting for U.S. President Donald Trump to respond to requests for an interview, the patience of Robert Mueller may be coming
to an end. We're now learning that the special counsel in the Russia investigation has considered forcing Mr. Trump to testify by issuing a
subpoena. If the President's legal team fights back that could set off a historic confrontation that ultimately ends up before the U.S. Supreme
[11:45:00] Well, this news comes just after we learned dozens of questions Mueller wants to ask Mr. Trump. Many focusing on collusion and obstruction
of justice. Well President Trump is making the case on Twitter. Citing a Fox News legal pungent that the obstruction questions are an intrusion into
his constitutional powers to fire virtually anybody he wants. Well, let's bring in our legal analyst Michael Zeldin. Who's a former assistant to the
special counsel, Robert Mueller. Michael great to have you on. Thanks very much indeed. Let's talk about this subpoena to start off with. Is it
possible to subpoena a president and has it been done before?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (via Skype): Yes, and yes. It was done in the case of Bill Clinton. Ken Starr issued a subpoena for him to
testify before the grand jury. But before the issue got, you know, sort of litigated Clinton decided to agree to the interview and they withdrew the
subpoena. So, clearly, Ken Starr felt that they had the constitutional authority to subpoena the president and they did. And in this case, I
think Robert Mueller believes the same thing, and he has told the counsel for the President, the former counsel for the President, John Dowd, that if
the President and he cannot reach mutually agreed upon terms for a voluntary interview then he is going to issue a subpoena.
JONES: OK, so if that's subpoena does go ahead or if any interview under any terms does go ahead, we now know the questions that we think that
Robert Mueller wants to ask the President of the United States. Now those questions were leaked, and Donald Trump at least on Twitter said it was a
disgrace they have been leaked. You believe they were leaked by the Trump team why?
ZELDIN: Two things. First is I think these are broad topics for conversation. As I understand the timeline, back in the time when Dowd was
representing the President they were discussing this interview that we just talked about. Mueller in an effort to convince the President this was not
a trap of any sort gave the President's team a group of 17 or so topics to be covered. Those were then turned into questions by the counsels for the
President's team, and those of that which were leaked.
So, I think these questions are the questions that Jay Sekulow wrote out after hearing what topics Mueller had in mind. Now how they got leaked is
unknown. The "New York Times" said it came from somebody associated from the White House but not the legal team per se. And what my observation is
that these are not questions that a lawyer would write to a perspective witness, and that leads me to believe these were written within the White
House counsel's office and that they were emanated from there and that's my belief.
JONES: OK, now that we have you on, Michael, we need to also talk to you about the other legal woe that's haunting Donald Trump at the moment.
Michael Cohen, his personal attorney, what was their relationship? What is it now? Who is flipping on who? And why should it matter?
ZELDIN: Well, so Cohen's offices and home were raided by the FBI and all sorts of documents were seized. Now it was long thought Cohen acted as the
lawyer for the President, and that therefore there may be attorney-client privilege protected information there. Donald Trump gave an interview on
Fox News where he said that Cohen did very little work, tiny, tiny, little fractions -- I think was the President's exact words -- legal work for the
President. That he was mostly a businessman with whom the President had an association. Which undermines any notion that there's an attorney/client
privilege protected documents there.
And so, the thought here is that perhaps Cohen and Trump have business dealings that may be of interest to federal prosecutors, and that's why the
President is upset about it.
JONES: All right. OK, thanks for explaining that so concisely for us. Michael, we appreciate it. Thank you so much, indeed.
ZELDIN: My pleasure.
JONES: Now kickoff isn't as far away, but as some fans are about Roma playing Liverpool others are scared about being caught up in scenes like
this. We'll take you on and off the pitch next.
[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
JONES: You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live in London. Welcome back.
You can have it all, glory, fortune, a place in history. All you need to do when you are European footballs most spectacular tournament, of course,
the Champions League. In three hours from now Liverpool will take on Roma in the second leg of their semifinal showdown.
Let's take a closer look at Roma in training. It's unusual. Why? Well, they have the name of a Liverpool fan on their shirts, Forza Sean, it says,
supporting Sean Cox. He is still in a critical condition after this violence before the team's played the first leg of their semifinal clash.
You can't mention Liverpool without mentioning this guy, Mr. Mo Salah. He has been racking up the goals, the records and awards this season. So,
prizes for guessing this. Other clubs they want him badly. But his lawyer and his agents telling Becky Anderson he is not going anywhere.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: Talk to me about managing the image of Mo Salah.
RAMY ABBAS ISSA, MO SALAH'S AGENT AND LAWYER: Everyone wants to be associated with a player that is performing on that level. And when he has
the charisma that he has when he so likable and what you've noticed about him that he so down-to-earth. He so accessible. And that's also noticed
in the image rights market and in those industries. They know that he is not a diva, zero diva behavior, very simple, very practical, and this is, I
would say, at this level of football that's rather scarce.
ANDERSON: I asked him whether he would see out his contract at Liverpool. It's clearly a question that everybody wants to ask. You are his lawyer,
what's the answer to that question?
ISSA: I can tell you now is that Mohamed is very happy at Liverpool. He's very happy. He feels that he has had his best time at the club, so for the
time being he's focused 100 percent on Liverpool and on winning the title for Liverpool.
ANDERSON: Do you expect to be taking calls about him from other clubs? Do you take those calls?
ISSA: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it's something that is -- I mean, I get asked that question, and my answer to that is wouldn't it be weird if that
wasn't happening. Because if you have top clubs, and you have hiring, Mohamed is clearly the best player in England at the moment. So, wouldn't
it be weird if those huge clubs weren't calling, asking. Of course, they are. My answer to that is, yes, absolutely they are. Mohamed is
definitely the hottest asset in the market today.
ANDERSON: I know he took your advice a couple years ago and got involved in anti-drug initiative. Why?
ISSA: When a young man sees a role-model associated with an initiative for anti-drug addiction, I think he might think twice before going down that
path. And at the same time if you already are in trouble, if you're already an addict, and you see that there is someone on the level of
Mohamed was asking, look, call this number. They're going to help you. That's pretty effective.
[11:55:00] ANDERSON: It has been effective.
ISSA: Absolutely. And the last one he did basically the ad was released on one day and the next day the calls to the help line increased by 400
JONES: Now if you are a Mo Salah's super fan then you are in the right place. In just a few days' time on CNN will be airing Becky Anderson's
full documentary with the superstar. That is a very special edition of "INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST" this Saturday, at the times up on your screen
And that is it for the program today. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones. That was CONNECT THE WORLD from the team here in London with me, in Atlanta, and
also in Abu Dhabi. Thank you so much for watching. "QUEST EXPRESS" is up next.