Return to Transcripts main page
CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump Narrows Supreme Court List to Five Finalists; Markets React as Global Trade Clash Heats Up; Michael Cohen Breaks His Silence; Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Wins Mexico's Presidential Election; EU Summit Reached Deal on Migrant Crisis; Aired 11-12p ET
Aired July 2, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:23] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you in Abu Dhabi
where the time is 7:00 in the evening. It is 11:00 a.m. in Washington.
And we begin with a big week ahead for Donald Trump as he looks to reshape policy on several major fronts and push ahead with his America First
The U.S. president says his main focus will be selecting a new Supreme Court justice. Now that decision has enormous consequences that could last
decades as those justices of course are for life. The White House also working on a bill that would broaden the president's power to increase
trade tariffs without the consent of Congress, and the administration facing nationwide protests over its immigration policy that had separated
thousands of migrant children from their parents. It's facing a court deadline to reunite them.
Well, let's get to all of that this hour. I want to begin with the reshaping of this U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Trump set to announce his pick
exactly a week from today.
CNN's Abby Phillip tells us what exactly is at stake.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump gearing up for a week likely to be dominated by his search for a Supreme
Court justice, after spending the weekend speaking to key allies and advisers, including White House counsel Don McGahn about the crucial
The president telling reporters he narrowed his list of 25 candidates to five main finalists, although he said he expects to interview six or seven
people before announcing his selection next week.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to pick a great one. We have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years.
PHILLIP: "The Washington Post" reports that President Trump has told advisers he's looking for a candidate who is "extraordinarily well-
qualified" and "not weak."
LEONARD LEO, SUPREME COURT ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: It's about having judges on the court who are going to interpret the Constitution the way
PHILLIP: But the key issue for a number of Americans -- whether the president's nominee would vote to overturn abortion rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you looking for somebody who would overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, you know, it's a -- it's a great group of intellectual talent. But we really -- you know, they are generally conservative. I'm
not going to ask them that question, by the way. That's not a question I'll be asking.
PHILLIP: President Trump downplaying the importance of the issue, despite repeatedly citing his opposition to abortion as a main deciding factor
during the election.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: How important is that issue to you now when President Trump picks Supreme Court justices? Would that be a litmus test?
TRUMP: It is, it is.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that's really what's going to be -- that's -- will happen.
PHILLIP: Key Republican Senator Susan Collins telling CNN that a nominee who would vote to overturn the landmark decision would not be acceptable.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I want a judge who will apply the law to the facts of the case with fidelity to the Constitution. Roe v. Wade is a
constitutional right that is well-established.
PHILLIP: Collins and fellow Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski are both being eyed as potential no votes, given their past support for a woman's
right to have an abortion.
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D), WASHINGTON: My colleagues on both sides of the aisle know that this vote could be a -- one of the key votes of their
entire career. If they vote for somebody who's going to change precedent, it could be a career-ending move.
PHILLIP: Both women voted to confirm President Trump's first Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch. The Senate only needs 50 votes to confirm a Supreme
Court nominee, meaning that if all but one Republican vote along party lines, they will not need any Democratic support.
ANDERSON: Abby Phillip reporting there.
I want to bring in the White House reporter and regular guest on this show, Stephen Collinson, for more.
Thanks for joining us, Stephen. There is nothing that divides the political elite more than a battle for a Supreme Court judge in the U.S.
and Senate Democrats must be beside themselves that Donald Trump gets a second dip.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Certainly, and this is -- you know, as you say the Supreme Court selection process is always a huge
political issue that divides American politics. This one especially so because this is somebody that can enshrine a conservative majority on the
Supreme Court not just for the duration of the Trump presidency but potentially for years and even decades to come.
[11:05:02] So this is a huge moment. This is the moment that the conservative movement has been waiting for, for 30 years and has been
building towards. All the judges that are on President Trump's selection list approved by the Federalist Society which was set up to try and
dominate jurisprudence by putting conservative judges on lower courts and ultimately to gain control of the Supreme Court.
So that's why it's such an issue and abortion is the issue that for both parties is the most divisive political clash and that's why this is so
important. And the Democrats really, although they are hoping that several Republican moderates will turn aside, President Trump's nomination have
very, very little leverage to do anything about this and this is what's so frustrating for them as you say.
ANDERSON: Yes. And it may end up being another -- well, let's say another big win for him. And certainly that will be the way that he will describe
He started with NAFTA, then China in the crosshairs, then Europe felt the wrath of Trump's trade policy. Now reports that he doesn't want to -- his
ideas passed Congress and former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci who has, Stephen, been a loyal supporter of Mr. Trump is
now warning him on trade policy. And he's saying, "It's a lot more risk the flash second quarter GDP report which may be a one-time moonshot
followed by the big unwind. Change tactics now," he says.
A lot for the markets to take in on trade. Now I'm just taking a look at what they're up to. Presently Dow Jones off about fifth of 1 percent. And
just how unnerving is this ratcheting up of trade talks from Donald Trump for not just these markets around the world but these politicians who are
having to deal with these phone calls that he is making on a regular basis at this point?
COLLINSON: Right, you know, it seems as though the president is putting himself in the position on trade from where it's going to be very difficult
to back down. He's escalated the rhetoric on China. We expect new U.S. sanctions and tariffs on China to go into force soon. Yesterday Canada
imposed $13 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. goods in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
You've got now a report coming out that the president wants to basically get out of the WTO altogether which would be, you know, part of his clear
distrust of international multi-lateral institutions. So it's getting very hard to see how if this is just a bargaining chip from the president how he
backs down because it doesn't seem like China and the European Union and Canada are going to make it very easy for him.
Remember a few weeks ago the president said it would be easy to win a trade war. Well, what we've seen in the last few weeks is that the other major
trading blocks in the world are prepared to use their power and their leverage against the United States. So you have the president sort of put
into a position by his own rhetoric.
I think we're going to see this unfold in 10 days or so when the president heads to Europe. He's got a huge NATO meeting which is already shaping up
as a repeat of that debacle at the G7 in Canada. And then he goes to the UK and he meets President Putin. So the issue of trade and America's
attitude and whether it wants to be part of the global trading system anymore is going to be a very important one.
ANDERSON: And absolutely, you're right. Meeting Putin of course in Helsinki, certainly not in the UK. I can't imagine the two of them --
ANDERSON: Getting together in the UK next Thursday. But you're right to point out they are meeting in Helsinki after that.
Donald Trump's personal attorney meantime, Stephen, has kept a low profile ever since authorities raided his home, his office and his hotel room. But
now Michael Cohen is speaking out. He's been under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, examining his business practices. Now
Cohen of course made a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of Donald Trump.
Stephen, let's just remind ourselves why Cohen is so fundamental here.
COLLINSON: Right. This is potentially very bad news for the president because Michael Cohen was not just Donald Trump's attorney. He was a key
member of the Trump Organization. He's believed to know exactly what was going on in the Trump administration -- organization in the years before
Donald Trump turned to politics.
There are also some questions whether the activities of the Trump organization, Donald Trump's own financial history has some bearing on the
fact that he has been solicitous towards the Russians.
[11:10:05] There's the issue, you know, of whether the Russians have something on the president and that is shaping his deference to Vladimir
Putin that we'll see play out in that summit in Helsinki. So were Michael Cohen to decide to cooperate with federal prosecutors in return for a more
lenient sentence if he's indeed charged with wrongdoing, they could potentially get a goldmine of information about the inside of the Trump
The personal business dealings of Trump potentially with Russia before he ran for president. And that could be something that intersects with the
Mueller investigation, which is basically trying to find out whether there was any reason why the president wanted to shut down the Russia
investigation, decided to fire former FBI director James Comey. Whether he was trying to cover something up or whether that was a spur-of-the-moment
decision which would not amount to obstruction of justice. So potentially this is a very significant development, if he decides to cooperate with
ANDERSON: And I think that's very important that we point that out, and no smoking gun as of yet.
COLLINSON: That's right.
ANDERSON: This is all ifs and buts, correct?
COLLINSON: Yes. Definitely.
ANDERSON: Stephen Collinson in the house, always a pleasure, sir. Washington a busy city this Monday morning and the U.S. believes there are
about 6.6 million undocumented Mexicans in the country. But the new president-elect of Mexico says people should leave the country only because
they want to, not because they have to.
In his victory speech, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador talks about strengthening the Mexican economy. Also promised friendship and
cooperation with the United States. Mr. Trump responding in kind. He posted a tweet overnight congratulating the leftist on his landslide win
and he said he looks forward to working with him.
Well, now we are hearing that Lopez Obrador hopes to convince the U.S. to stay in the NAFTA trade deals. So is this a fresh start for the two
countries as they grapple with immigration and trade?
CNN's Patrick Oppmann looking at all of this from Mexico City.
You wouldn't put these two men in a room and expect them to get on when it comes to ideology. We certainly wouldn't have put the new president-elect
of Mexico in the same room with Trump in the '80s and '90s and early 2000s. Are they closer these days on things that count?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the similarities and of course the deep differences between these two men are really striking,
Becky. And of course Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, you know, grew up middle class, an outsider, somebody who has fought his whole life to be respected
but has always advocated for the poor. But he is somebody who is flamboyant and sometimes can be authoritarian who can criticize the press.
Does not like opponents coming after him. And in that way he is similar to Donald Trump. He has been a critic of NAFTA up until recently. Now he
says he wants to protect or improve that deal.
But these are men that have pretty thin skin so the idea of them getting together probably has a lot of people on edge but recently we have heard
from Mexico's president-elect and from Donald Trump a change in tone. They said they want to work together but of course AMLO, as Lopez-Obrador is
known here, has also said he won't let Mexico be a pinata, and that's kind of a jab at Mexico's current president Enrique Pena-Nieto who has taken
heaps of abuse from Donald Trump. Sometimes without responding at all.
So how this relationship goes forward is a really interesting question. There's something of a honeymoon period now where both leaders seemed to
realize they need to get along or at least going to try to get along. How long that will last is anyone's guess, Becky.
ANDERSON: We'll have lots more of Mr. Lopez-Obrador's landslide election win ahead.
How will the new president tackle Mexico's deep rooted, corruption and violence?
Later in the program, I'm going to speak to Ana Maria Salazar, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. deputy secretary of
Defense at the Pentagon. She'll be in Mexico City, and I'm going to speak to her a little later this hour.
In Germany right now a meeting could decide the fate of Angela Merkel's fragile German government. And the leader herself. Miss Merkel's
coalition currently held together by a string and now that string is threatening to break. Her Interior minister says he may quit because of
her policy on migrants.
[11:15:02] Horst Seehofer says he may also resign as leader of the conservative Christian Social Union and that move could spell the end for
decades old alliance between the two parties in the current coalition government. Seehofer has agreed to meet with the chancellor one more time
to attend to resolve the row.
Well, the news comes days after a temporary respite for Angela Merkel. The European Union may have reached an agreement on how to handle the snow-
bowling migrant crisis.
I'm joined now by CNN's Atika Shubert. She's live for us in Germany's capital.
Tough times for Angela Merkel. On the migrant crisis first, what news?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean she's come back from the EU summit delivering an agreement that's much tougher on
immigration, on asylum-seekers trying to get to Europe to claim refugee status, and she's come back with a packet of bilateral agreements with
countries like Greece and Spain that allows Germany to return refugee that have already claim asylum in those countries.
And this is exactly what was asked for by the Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. That's why he's threatened to resign in the first place. He
said unless you come back with something I'm going to resign. Well, she came back with it and he's still threatening to resign. Now the question
is whether or not that can actually destabilize her coalition government. If he resigned but he's -- but he doesn't take his party with him, the
Christian Social Union, then her coalition government stays intact.
If, however, you know, they decide to walk out with him that's when she's in trouble. They're in talks at this moment. We don't know exactly when
they will come out to make an announcement. Hopefully it will come out sometime today. It was supposed to come out last night, but talks went way
into the early morning and nothing came out of it, so hopefully we'll get some sort of direction on which way this is going.
ANDERSON: Atika Shubert is in Berlin for you.
Well, there are 22 players on the pitch right now and you know just a few hundred million fans wailing their side to win with every parts of their
being as Brazil play Mexico. These are live pictures of the Mexican fans out of Los Angeles. I'm not going to tell you the score. They know what
the score. I'm going to tell you the score after this.
[11:20:43] ANDERSON: In every way really basking in the spirit. Yes, the largest country on earth going absolutely bananas. After an unpredictable,
unbelievable, unreal but glorious win, Russia sensationally rocking its way into the last eight standing at the World Cup. The players quite frankly
bouncing off the walls after seeing off the mighty Spanish to go further than the team have ever gone on. Certainly since way back into the days of
the Soviet Union.
While Spain joined other footballing dynasties, Argentina, Germany, Portugal in dropping like flies. For now Brazil don't need to book any
tickets back home.
Yes, Brazilians going wild as their team, the legends, go won their lap against the Mexico early in the second half. Their superstar Neymar Junior
just tucking it away for them.
Connecting all of it for us tonight is CNN's very own Alex Thomas in the stadiums on the streets and behind the scenes, writing to all the
exhilaration half way through this cup. Could we call it half full or half empty? I guess it depends on who you support.
How is it looking for Brazil and Mexico right now?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Brazil are justifying the fact that they've been the pre-game favorites and the pre-tournament
favorite, really, Becky. Remember they had disappointment four years ago in home soil losing in that semifinal against Germany who humiliated them,
7-1. This time it's the Germans who've been humiliated, not even getting out of that group. And Brazil already considered a stronger team than they
were four years ago, gained on more experience and better having moved from Barcelona to Paris on demand now. A more complete team not just relying on
that young man's shoulders only. Well, he is the one that scored the goal.
Mexico have gone out in six successive round of 16 games over the last six World Cups, Becky. So -- and it looks horribly like they're going to
suffer the same fate again. Is how expected it to go but based on this World Cup, as you just mentioned, who would bet against another surprise?
ANDERSON: No, absolutely. And just over two hours from now of course Belgium will take on Japan, who have -- well, they've done simply well.
What are your expectations for that game?
THOMAS: Belgium have got a hugely talented squad and unlike, say, Spain, who could be heading home, shocked to beat Russia that you just talked
about or Germany or even France who despite winning their round of 16 games. That's the first FIFA performance they actually put it. Belgium
had assembled this staff that it lined up, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and gotten to play like a team.
In fact performing like more than the sum of their parts. So they've got a really good chance, although if they do beat the Japan later as expected
to, and Brazil hang on to its lead over Mexico, suddenly that's going to be an incredible mouth-watering quarter finals.
So I look forward to all the big names left in this tournament. In one half of the draw or bracket. And there are no players remaining in any
teams in this World Cup who played in a World Cup final let alone won a world title.
ANDERSON: That is amazing. Look, I mean, we were talking here earlier on about what's going on with these European teams. Portugal gone, Spain
gone, Germany gone. It does feel like a real tale of European loss ahead of this Belgium match, doesn't it? I mean, you say that the French, you
know, upped their game against the Argentines, and for seven fantastic goals of course but you're right to point out they looked pretty lackluster
What's going on with these European teams?
THOMAS: Yes, but they still have like 10 or 11 getting through to the knockout rounds as it was. Of course they have so many slots in the World
Cup finals as it is, compared to other rival confederation. Germany has the better players from all around the world playing at the top clubs. So
it is a kind of half glass full, glass half empty situation as well, Becky. Because you've got the likes of Sweden and Switzerland playing on Tuesday
as well as England against Columbia.
[11:25:02] So there is going to be a slightly unfancied European team getting through to the quarterfinals and semifinals or even the final.
That could even be England if you consider them unfancied these days because it's been a long, long time since they've had international
ANDERSON: There won't be any Europe in the next World Cup so we'll be talking about the European teams and then the England team if indeed it
gets through. Right. We're looking forward to that game, of course, tomorrow.
I want to quickly loop back to Russia and doing so, so well. You and I talked, what was it, feels like ages ago. Two weeks ago when I was in
Russia with you and talking -- we were talking about the fact that in the first game, the Russia-Saudi game, the two lowest ranked teams, Russia had
done better than anybody could have hoped for.
You were there as that victory came in. What was the atmosphere like?
THOMAS: Yes. It was astonishing. I've been at the Luzhniki Stadium when Mexico, who are playing Brazil now, beat Germany one-nil, just a sign of
things to come, it turned out. Mexico then kind of going back in their final group game which they lost three-nil. However, Russia as you say,
despise sticking up to Uruguay in their final group game also going from strength to strength, so the atmosphere in the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday
against Spain was even better than that surprise victory for Mexico with their wonderfully loud plans.
And, you know, it was definitely a home game. They had home advantage. It was all red because the Spanish supporters were in red, too, as well as the
Russian fans. But the noise was all -- if only they were felt intimating and nationalistic actually, didn't realize of course, it's a sporting
event, and they're just enjoying their football. It's been a long time since these Russian football fans have been able to cheer their home team.
As you mentioned earlier, Becky, these are the best results in the post- Soviet era. You have to go back to 1970 for the last time this country made the quarterfinals of a World Cup. That was the last of four
successive quarterfinal appearances and in 1966 when it won better, to the semifinals, ended up finishing fourth at that World Cup. They've never won
it. They've never hosted it before. And they're loving it this time around.
ANDERSON: Yes. They're absolutely loving it. The pictures tell the stories, I think.
Alex, thank you for that.
Well, Egypt's time in Russia, as brief as it was disastrous, frankly, not even their goal scoring machine of the strike that Mr. (INAUDIBLE) could
help the fairies touch even a single point but is being such a superstar for Liverpool with a phenomenal first season. They are shaking hands on
sticking together for the next five years. You can see how comfortable we look there when he's giving me a tour around Liverpool's world famous
unfilled stadium just a couple of months ago. Liverpool fans will be absolutely delighted.
Well, just ahead the latest big battle in Syria. The fight for Dara'a is sending hundreds of thousands of Syrians from their homes but no one it
seems wants to let them in.
[11:31:30] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson for you. Welcome back.
Half past 7:00 in the UAE. This is a short broadcast from our Middle Eastern programming.
Have a quick recap of our top story now and a big week ahead for Donald Trump. One troubled spot for the American president, his personal attorney
Michael Cohen kept a low-profile ever since authorities raided his home, his office and his hotel room, but now Michael Cohen is speaking out. He
has been under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York examining his business practices.
Cohen made a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels on behalf of Donald Trump. This is what he said about the FBI, quote, "I don't agree with
those who demonize or vilify the FBI. I respect the FBI as an institution as well as their agents. When they searched my hotel room and my home it
was obviously upsetting to me and my family. Nonetheless the agents where respectful, courteous, and professional."
To Syria now, and the latest flashpoint. The southern province of Daraa where a major battle is playing out. The government trying to retake it
from rebels and Islamist fighters and is believed more than a quarter of a million people have left because of the fighting. They are heading towards
the borders with Jordan, and with Israeli controlled Golan Heights, but neither will let them in.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is in the Golan Heights with the very latest -- Oren.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, we're seeing a consequence of that fighting and the Syrian regime's actions in Daraa right
here behind me. This is right along the border fence separating Syria from the occupied Golan Heights. And we're seeing these tent cities emerge, one
of them right here behind me. In fact a number of them here behind me where Syrian families have come set up tents and tried to find some sort of
safety in the zone.
We were also about 10 to 20 kilometers south of Syria where we saw many more of these types, much bigger cities. Israel estimates there are about
a thousand Syrians here which is but a small fraction of the estimated 200 plus thousand that have fled the fighting in Daraa. So the situation very
much getting worse now, Becky. Now Israel has helped in some ways.
As you pointed out Israel has said it will not let in Syrian refugees for its own security reasons but it has transferred some 60 tons of supplies
that includes food, baby food, clothing, footwear, tents, those sorts of supplies to some of those seeking help here as well as allowing in some
Syrians including some young children for medical aid.
That is where the help stands right now. Jordan facing the same challenges as Syrian -- as displaced Syrians come to the borders seeking help from the
regime offensive in Daraa which is some 50 kilometers or so behind where we're standing right now, Becky.
ANDERSON: I want to show our viewers, Oren, exactly what we are talking about here. Daraa, near the Jordanian border and gateway to opposition-
controlled areas near the borders with Jordan on the occupied Golan Heights.
What's the Syrian regime's strategy here? And what are the options for those who are being pushed out of their villages, towns and cities?
LIEBERMANN: Well, there are very, very few options for those families who are in and around Daraa. There isn't very much anywhere to go which is why
we see them ending up here. As for why Syria might be focused on this particular area, well, this has long been since just after the start of the
Syrian civil war.
[11:35:03] A stronghold for rebels including frankly a pocket of ISIS that was south of here in Syria sometime ago. This was one of the last
strongholds that the Syrian regime had not taken back. And that may be why they're focusing on this area now. It had been quiet here, relatively
quiet for some time, for a number of months if not a couple of years.
That quiet as we're now seeing has ended. We have in fact, Becky, heard some artillery fire, although few and far between echoing across the valley
here throughout the day.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann, there reporting for you.
7:35 in Abu Dhabi. And get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. A Navy SEAL dive-ins in Thailand have set
up underground operations within a cave where 12 boys from their football page are believed to be trapped. Officials say the divers are slowly
pushing through the water, trying to reach the spot where the group may have taken shelter nine days ago.
Well, an eerie orange brown haze saturated the San Francisco sky over the weekend, thousands of firefighters battled two wildfires burning north of
the city. Ash and smoke covering parts of the Bay Area and parts of northern California.
Controversial Philippine mayor was shot dead in broad daylight on Monday. Antonio Halili was shot by a sniper during a ceremony at city hall. He was
an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte and gained notoriety for parading drug suspect. The shooter hasn't been caught.
A North Korea satellite images show the country is expanding a facility that makes parts for ballistic missiles. That is according to analyst from
Sunday. U.S. and North Korean officials met at the demilitarized zone to talk about denuclearization.
Longtime North Korea watchers worry Pyongyang and Washington have very different definitions of what denuclearization actually means. We'll have
more details on that at CNN.com. You know where to find that.
Live from Abu Dhabi you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up, a landslide victory ushers in a new president in Mexico. Next
stop, why his supporters called this the start of a revolution.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. 20 to 8:00 in the evening out of the UAE. Welcome back.
At the beginning of this program we told you about the landslide victory for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. His win in Mexico's presidential election
is being heralded as a new era for the country. He has vowed to restart the economy, make his country safer and stamp out corruption.
[11:40:03] The question now is, how will he turn these campaign promises into reality? And how quickly?
Well, joining me now to discuss all of this is Ana Maria Salazar, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, served as a deputy assistant U.S.
secretary of Defense and as an American policy adviser for President Clinton coming to us live from Mexico City where we have talked I think
over a period of about 12 years through three different presidents.
This is a man who has tried, tried, and in the third time of asking has made it as president-elect as he now is. Who is he?
ANA MARIA SALAZAR, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is clearly a politician on the left side of the political spectrum.
He is an activist. He comes from a type of Mexican politics that believes in, you know, having strong unions and centralizing government, that
government should exercise much more control over the economy and over major industries.
And it's this part of his backgrounds that potentially is creating a lot of question marks not only for countries around the world but the markets.
What type of policies that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is going to try to implement. Is it going to be -- is he going to this old, leftist school
type of president? Or does he have the ability to look towards the future and understand what globalization has meant for Mexico, what North America
means for Mexico, and how does his policies and his ability to move millions and millions of Mexicans out of poverty fit with, you know, world
ANDERSON: It's been interesting to consider just where U.S.-Mexican relations go next. He is a nationalist as I understand it but there's
nothing to suggest the president-elect in ant-American. He says he will have a frank dialogue with the U.S. and seek friendly relations.
ANDERSON: But clearly as you rightly point out trade is likely to be a sticking point. Mexico one of America's largest trading partners, trading
good and services between the two total more than $616 billion last year. But a frequent refrain from the American president is that the trade deal
between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, NAFTA as it's known, is the worst deal ever.
SALAZAR: Right .
ANDERSON: So we've heard the incoming president talk about keeping people in the country because he can -- he wants to provide jobs with them,
creating goods and services.
ANDERSON: In Mexico, and at the same time he has said that he hopes he can keep this NAFTA deal together. How much stock do you put in his
negotiation skills when you consider who is he is negotiating with going forward?
SALAZAR: Well, you know, this is where the era of Trump clashes with the era of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or the AMLO era because I think what it
really is going to come down to, Becky, is what people or advisers around these two presidents do and how they can convince the now new president of
Mexico and President Donald Trump that trade agreements like NAFTA need to survive because both countries need these types of agreements, so the
policy advisers, the economic advisers of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador have been very savvy.
They've already made phone calls this morning to investors in New York. They're talking to bankers. They're trying to quell fears that Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador is a populist like, I don't know Venezuela's populism. They're trying to convince the markets that there shouldn't be a run on the
peso and I think they're very smart, and I think they're going to do a relatively good job.
The issue here is what happens with Donald Trump and what happens with the White House and what Donald Trump says about Mexico. It's very hard to
negotiate even if you have the best interest of the country.
SALAZAR: In your heart when you have a president like Donald Trump talking about Mexicans in Mexico as he has been doing so in many ways I think they
had the ability obviously to negotiate with the United States. Both countries need this trade agreement. It's just really in the hands of
President Donald Trump as to whether he wants to keep this framework in which Canada, the United States and Mexico fit into North America.
ANDERSON: Well, he recently tweeted his congratulations to the president- elect tonight so certainly the starting out in the right way, Listen, violence in Mexico has been -- become more deadly with each passing years.
The numbers are shocking. According to the government's most recent report there have been more than 20,000 homicides so far in 2018.
[11:45:05] And it comes after the country homicide rate last year was the highest today, indicating this year 2018 sadly set to break another
gruesome record. Corruption, violence, much of it associated with the drug lords. The numbers point to the problem only getting worse.
What Mr. Lopez Obrador's plan, and how would you advise him?
SALAZAR: Well, that's the big question mark. The -- you and I have been talking about this for the last 12 years in CNN, the problem has gotten
worse. And we're not only talking about drug organization. We're talking about organized crime that are involved in trafficking people, steeling
gasoline, steeling gas, kidnapping, extortion. And these organizations have strengthened throughout the years maybe because of the lack of rule of
law and the ability of the Mexican government at all levels to confront what are considered one of the most -- among the most dangerous criminal
organizations in the world.
He talks about negotiation, reconciliation, he talks about amnesty. It appears, I would say, there's some confusion in terms of whether you're
dealing with organizations that are armed group social movements or just basic dangerous, extremely violent criminal organizations so I think
they're going to have to find a way to be able to at least quell the low- level violence that is affecting communities and create a structure and apparently they're going to reform once again the criminal justice system.
But create at least in the short term mechanisms, policies with very direct, go against very specific organizations that are just exercising
this tremendous violence and, oh by the way, we haven't spoken, and also are part of this horrendous, horrendous tragedy that Mexico is living with
which is the disappeared Mexico, you know, and some accounts have more than 30,000 people disappeared in the last decade.
So is his biggest challenge, that and trying to keep the markets and investors come and trust him enough that he can start implementing changes
so people will, you know, feel that the changes are coming and that he can in the long term make structural changes that Mexico requires. It is not
an easy challenge.
ANDERSON: And he gets the landslide victory so certainly Mexicans looking for a change. They voted yesterday. I have to suggest that they may be
glued in front of a television as we speak. The hundred and what is it? 130 million Mexicans around you right now watching the game against Brazil.
I've got to tell you that while we've been speaking --
SALAZAR: I cannot be talking to you.
ANDERSON: Yes, and then listen. Listen, listen. I'm going to let you go. They're actually 2-0 down at present, but it was six minutes of injury
time. Tell me in a minute, I'll give you 30 seconds, what the atmosphere like, and then I'll let you go for what will be the last two minutes of the
SALAZAR: If Mexico actually does pass which it seems unlikely, thanks for the good news, Becky, there is a lot of expectation and a lot of hope. If
Mexico would win today I think we would be ecstatic but we wake up with a lot of hope and that the people who surround them, Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador know what they're doing. Mexico requires change and immediately so this may be the right path or we may be going down the path that may take
Mexico back to the '70s. We still don't know yet.
ANDERSON: I'm going to let you go. Couple of minutes to go, as I said, Brazil are actually up 2-0 at present by who knows. Who knows. That's a
decent Mexican tea. You know what they can do in the next couple of minutes.
Ana Maria Salazar, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense --
ANDERSON: For Pentagon. Thank you for joining me. Come on.
ANDERSON: Both teams are great.
SALAZAR: Bye. Have a good morning.
ANDERSON: I've got a soft spot for the Mexicans, I have to say.
All right. Breaking news coming to us from northern Thailand. A rescue official said divers have found a missing youth football team in a complex
cave system. We are going to get you more information on this from Robyn Curnow who I do believe is there standing by.
Robyn, if we got you, what do we know on this present time?
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't -- hi, Becky. Yes. I mean, we also just really need why. There's not lot of information
coming in. And we're seeing the 12 kids, coach found alive in the cave. The rescue teams seeming to have this extremely good news, Becky.
[11:50:02] It's nine days since that team wandered into that cave. They got caught by rising floodwaters and what is absolutely amazing about all
of this is that nobody gave up hope. They've been tied. Navy SEAL trying to find them. They've gone through various avenues. Found a few chimneys
to go in a different route into this cave. They've been pumping out water over the past few days and now we seem to be getting this information
coming from a high-ranking person involved in the search and rescue mission that these boys and a coach having found alive.
ANDERSON: This is absolutely remarkable stuff, as Robyn is so rightly pointing out. We are standing by, see if we can get to Chiang Rai, one of
my colleagues, CNN's Mark Phillips, hoping to get him on the line. But absolutely remarkable the news that this young Thai football team, it is
reported as being found alive in this cave.
Do we have Mark Phillips available to us? This Thailand cave search with monsoon rains which had hampered this rescue mission now for some time.
These were 12 young boys trapped in what was a flooded cave in northern Thailand. Their stuff had been found outside. You're looking at the
pictures now of what we've been bringing to CNN from Thailand. These are the rescue services, the fire services. They've been using the army. You
can see they've been, in those images, pumping water out of these caves. They're being flooded by monsoons.
I'm giving you everything that we get -- that we've got at this stage. The pictures here really shows this story. The belongings, as you can see
found there at the mouth of the cave, the cave engines to the left hand side, the target area is what these rescuers have been trying to achieve,
access to at this stage and clearly families and friends must be absolutely terrified that the news wouldn't be good about these 12 kids. The football
team and its coach.
These are pictures coming to you from Chiang Rai in Thailand just on Saturday. So many people involved in this search. So many families
standing by just waiting for news. These kids have been missing for nine days between 11 and 16 years old. Their coach is with them. And these
monsoon rains, of course, as we've been saying, have hurt the rescue,
Chinese, British and Americans all helping in the search which has been going on around the clock. They've been draining these caves and pumping
out as we understand it 1.6 million liters of water per hour. So an official now telling CNN that the young Thai football team who have been in
this cave now, being rescued and found alive, and if these images are anything to go by you can just see just how many people, just how many
nationalities have been involved in this.
Robyn Curnow is with me and she's just researching more as we try and get our colleagues for you live out of Thailand. What more can you tell us,
CURNOW: And I think you make an excellent point there, Becky, about just how many people have been involved in this search. It's not just the sheer
numbers and the round-the-clock rescue teams that are being at it for the last nine days, I mean, just in addition to the Thai Navy SEALs, you've
got experts from the U.S., from China, from Australia, from the UK. These are all people who are expert along with their equipment to have been
flooding away at this, trying to find any route, any different route to try and find these boys and this coach.
And what is also interesting is the equipment, We know that as they've gone in to this cave complex and they've tried to find their way through
it, trying to a lay little pit stops underground. And we know that I think about 600 oxygen tanks have been left. One part of this cave positioning
underground so almost oxygen tanks. There are a number of messages that have been written. I want to read some of them to you.
"Please find them soon," on another oxidant tank in red tape, the words "bring the wild boar football team home soon." So there has been an
extraordinary outpouring of both equipment, men and women trying to help them and let's also not forget how this has absolutely captivated Thailand
the last nine of 10 days or so. People have been watching television for 24 hours.
[11:55:04] You know, they've absolutely back-to-back coverage of this event, The whole nation has been invested in trying to find these boys.
We know that Anna Coren a little bit earlier have filed a piece where a lot of the school kids who went to school with a lot of these boys have been
praying. There've been deeply spiritual responses well. Everybody remaining optimistic and I think what is the again, what is so unbelievable
and so fantastic to hear is that they have been found alive. We do know that their medical situation is being checked.
We're not sure what kind of state they're in. But the mere fact that they have been found I think they're now going to get them out. And as know
they've planned the exit strategy so hopefully we're going to be seeing some fantastic pictures of these boys and their coach coming out from under
this case, underground complex. And I mean just imagine what the parents are thinking,
ANDERSON: Let's recap what we know. We got Robyn Curnow with me on the story, the breaking news this hour to recap. Missing for nine days in the
pitch dark the 12 boys between 11 and 16 years old and their 25-year-old coach who have been caught in these caves it appears have been found alive.
Of course when these monsoon rains had to hamper the rescue. Chinese, British, Americans all helping in this search which has been going on
around the clock, day and night. These are live pictures now coming to us from Thailand. Nobody giving up hope and what's been going on over these
time is that they've been draining these caves, pumping out 1.6 million liters of water. But these now the pictures coming to us live from the
scene. It was the provincial Thai, provincial governor who first reported this. He says that rescue teams in Thailand have found 12 boys and their
football coach after they went missing in a cave and says there are signs of life.
Some other local government announcing that the boys have been found safe. It is absolutely remarkable story which is Robyn rightly points out has
been absolutely captivating not just people in Thailand who've been watching this. You can see the relief and these are reporters who would
have been covering this story now for nine days and you can see the relief on their faces. It is what, just before 11:00 at night, local time in
Thailand. It's 8:00 where we are here in the UAE. Three hours ahead there.
And looks of complete relief. I mean, I haven't seen any images of the rescue is coming out of those caves quite yet, but this is clearly the
scene at the front of the mouth of what is this rescue effort. As I say with so many people involved, fire services, the emergency services, the
army, all absolutely intent on finding these 12 boys and their coach cage who now have been missing for nine days. And they would've been in the
Mark Phillips, my colleague at CNN, I believe is now available to us. He is there on the scene.
Mark, if you can hear me, what can you tell us at this point?
MARK PHILLIPS, REPORTER: At the moment all we can tell you is that the boys have been found alive, all 12 boys, and the coach but at the moment
they're too weak to move. So they're getting -- receive medical treatment before being pulled out of the caves hopefully over the next couple hours.
ANDERSON: What is the atmosphere like? The emergency services must be so relieved.
PHILLIPS: Yes. This a long time coming because as time went by, you know, the longer it goes on the more worried that these boy were going to come
out alive. But the Thai authorities never gave up hope.
PHILLIPS: They always knew that they would find these boys or if they were led to believe that they would find these boys. So a major relief for him
and for their families.
ANDERSON: And for their families and friends of course. These are 12 boys and their football coach have been missing for more than a week and
Mark as I understand it, divers from a Thai Navy SEAL units had been for a period of time now within some distance, some 500 meters, all where they
believed these kids and their coach would be.
Remind our viewers why the kids were in the cave in the first place.