Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Zimbabwe Election Results to Be Announced in Five Hours; Mueller Offers to Reduce Obstruction Questions for Trump; White House Says Trump's Tweet Not an Order but Opinion; Survivors Describe Panic as Aeormexico Flight Crashed; U.S. Officials Reports Iran Starts Major Naval Exercises; Iranian President Under Pressure at Home and Abroad; A Rare Look Inside Yemen; U.S. Hits Turkish Ministers with Sanctions Over Detained Pastor; Gay Pride Parade Draws Tens of Thousands in Jerusalem. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired August 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] ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone, welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Robyn Curnow here at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, in

for Becky Anderson today.

We begin with Zimbabwe's presidential election. We've just learned official results are due to be announced five hours from now. Now the wait

so far has been dangerous and deadly. Three people were killed in confrontations between opposition protesters and security forces on

Wednesday. Right now, the country is locked in a very tense calm with the army patrolling the streets. Monday's vote was first without Robert Mugabe

on the ballot since independence in 1980. Let's go to Harare. CNN's David McKenzie and the team on the ground there right now. Explain to us where

you are and what you've been seeing. Hi, Dave.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn, you know, what a study in contrast. If you walk with me a little bit. This street which is

completely empty right now should be jam packed with commuters heading home. Over there are the police vans where the riot police are staged.

Now cast your mind back, Robyn, to November of last year, there were scenes of celebration here. People were just going mad for the end of the regime

of Robert Mugabe. We were out on the streets talking to you through the historic moment and now here we are in this empty street with everyone

waiting to hear what these much-delayed presidential results are.

We've seen military on the streets today, telling people to go home, get out of the center of town. There's been a standoff at MDC, the opposition

headquarters, where they presented, Robyn, a search warrant saying they wanted to go in there for suspect weapons and computer equipment even

stones. That standoff continues, and the opposition is crying foul. Meanwhile, three at least are dead from those violent clashes yesterday in

Harare. And that amazing democratic moment that we witnessed here on CNN has a different feel now with a lot of pessimism. I caught up with two

people who were trying to get some groceries before one of the last shops closed down for the day. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just want peace. We just want jobs and want people to get what they must have. We just want to be happy. People to go

to work, get paid, get money in the banks, that's all what we want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Normally the streets would be flooded with people. So, this is actually a different scenario.

MCKENZIE: Are you nervous about the results coming out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, I'm sure.

MCKENZIE: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we need to know, need to know where we stand as a nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: Well they need to know what the presidential results are, and they have several days in fact allotted to name the presidential winner of

this race. And they're still well within that time frame. So, they say they need to be meticulous, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. They need

to be careful and they can't give into the pressure of particularly the opposition wanting to get those results out as soon as possible -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Yes, and we just heard in last few moments that these official results are due to be announced five hours from now. I think that's 10:00

p.m. local time. So, how long will that take? Why that time and that gentleman in the street that you are speaking to was saying we need to know

where we stand as a nation. What changes after these election results are announced?

MCKENZIE: Well, it all depends on who is declared the winner. There's a great deal of suspicion amongst the leader of the opposition as we've been

reporting to say that they believe that there's been fraud as they put it going on with the counting and registering of these votes. But we'll have

to see what they say at 10:00 p.m. local time. That is late in the day to announce results, but they said that they are only going to be starting to

announce those results at that time. So, they may not do them all in one go and they've said repeatedly that they have all the way until perhaps

Saturday even to give the final announcement.

What's at stake here? Well, there are still sanctions on individuals here in Zimbabwe, that is still reeling from the long rule of Robert Mugabe and

state of the economy. As you heard from the woman there, some people aren't that interested in politics. They want the lives to go on and

investment to come into the country.

[11:05:00] While others are very much focused on wanting some kind of change, a change that both candidates say they can deliver -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, there on the ground, thanks so much, David McKenzie.

I want to take you now to Washington and the demand that the special counsel put up or shut up. That coming from Donald Trump's personal

attorney to Robert Mueller. And it appears to sum up the U.S. President's own frustration with an investigation he says should be shut down. Today

we're learning some of the back story behind Mr. Trump's tweet calling for an end to the Russia probe.

It came just after his legal team updated him on Mueller's attempts to get him to sit down for an interview. Now sources say Mr. Trump's burst of

anger on Twitter reflects what he has been saying behind closed doors for months now. Aides are actually scheduling more political rallies for him

as well to boost his mood and to provide a distraction. And in fact, he's headlining one in Pennsylvania tonight. So, for all of that, let's bring

in CNN's abbey Phillip for details on the months long effort of special counsel Robert Mueller to talk face to face with President Trump. How is

that going?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, the sticking point that is emerging right now in those negotiations is this issue of

obstruction of justice. Robert Mueller is not taking it off the table. Although he has agreed to potentially limit the questions if President

Trump sits down in a face to face interview. But the President is also tweeting, and he did yesterday in a way that suggested that there is more

evidence being compiled on this obstruction of justice investigation. All of this happening as the President and his allies are increasing their

attacks on special counsel investigations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: I'm not going to give you a lot of hope it's going to happen, but we're still negotiating.

PHILLIP (voice-over): The back and forth over a potential interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller resuming. But

sources telling CNN that Mueller has offered to reduce the number of obstruction related questions but is insisting they are answered in person.

The President's lawyers have previously offered to provide written answers to obstruction questions but aiming to limit a sit-down interview to

questions largely involving Russian interference in the election and potential collusion.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CO-ANCHOR "NEW DAY": You're saying that one of your conditions is that he will not answer about obstruction of justice?

GIULIANI: It is not -- yes, but maybe if they could show us one or two, there we would consider.

CAMEROTA: One or two what?

GIULIANI: One or two questions that they really need.

CAMEROTA: You would consider it?

PHILLIP: Rudy Giuliani telling "NEW DAY" on Monday that the odds are against a sit-down interview despite the President's eagerness to go

through with it.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've always wanted to do an interview because look, there's been no collusion.

GIULIANI: It's us, meaning the team of lawyers including me that have the most reservations about that.

PHILLIP: The "New York Times" reports that in recent days, the President has pushed his lawyers to continue negotiating, because he in fact believes

he can convince the investigators that their own inquiry is a witch hunt.

JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: It's time for this inquiry to come to an end.

PHILLIP: The President's anger over Mueller's probe boiling over on Wednesday after a source says he received updates from his legal team. Mr.

Trump declaring that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop the Mueller investigation right now. Despite the fact that Sessions has recused

himself from the investigation last year.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: When someone tells a suborned officer you should do something, it normally is considered an obstruction. It itself

it's probably more evidence of an ongoing obstruction of justice.

PHILLIP: The tweet putting the White House and Mr. Trump's legal team in cleanup mode.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President is not obstructing, he's fighting back.

GIULIANI: He expresses his opinions on Twitter. He used the word should, he didn't use the word must. And it was no Presidential directive to

follow it.

PHILLIP: That characterization at odds with this explanation of Mr. Trump's tweets last year.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well the President is the President of the United States, so they're considered official statements

by the President of United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIP: So, in addition to the two political rallies in the next coming days that you just mentioned, Robyn, his aides also are expecting that the

President will head to Bedminster, New Jersey, where his golf course is, today for a few days of rest and relaxation for a summer vacation. Perhaps

an opportunity for the President to either relax or maybe think more about the special counsel investigation.

CURNOW: And as he does that, we know that the White House is also saying Mr. Trump has received a letter from the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Do we know what it says, what it's about?

PHILLIP: Well, the only indication about this letter that we've gotten really before that statement from Sarah Sanders a few minutes ago was from

President Trump's late-night tweet around 2 a.m. -- around midnight in the morning here on the east coast saying that he received a very nice letter

from Kim Jong-un. Thanking him for the letter and also for the return of what are believed to be the remains of Korean War dead that were lost

decades ago.

[11:10:03] But the President isn't saying a whole lot more about this letter except that it was received yesterday. Sara Sanders in her

statement indicated that it's part of the ongoing conversation that's happening between the U.S. and North Korea over potential denuclearization.

That's something that really has been in question over the last few days. As there's been more evidence of perhaps North Korea isn't holding up its

end of the bargain -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK. Live from the White House, Abby Phillip. Thanks for that, Abby.

So, we have seen some dramatic developments in the Russia investigation this week and it's not yet over. President Trump and his attorney Rudy

Giuliani have gone beyond saying there was no collusion to now adding collusion is not a crime. And Giuliani now says the upcoming midterm

elections are quote, about impeachment or no impeachment.

Mr. Trump's legal team appears to be anticipating a report from Mueller that could end up in Congress playing out in the political sphere instead

of a court of law. Let's bring in Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Hi, Larry. Happy Thursday to

you. Always good to speak to you. So, in many ways Mr. Giuliani isn't wrong, is he? I mean many ways this upcoming election, midterms, is about

impeachment or no impeachment. All of this legal stuff and politics points to that.

LARRY SABATO, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Certainly, the Republicans want to make it about impeachment. I don't think the Democrats

do. Because even though on the left of the party, the belief is that if the Democrats take control of the House, they'll be pushed hard by their

base to impeach Trump. The leadership in the Democratic Party understands that it's pointless. There is zero chance, less than zero chance that you

could get 67 votes in the Senate to convict Trump. So, this would all drain time and energy from Congress. It would brand the Democrats as a do-

nothing party and all of the rest.

The reason Giuliani and Trump want to put the focus on impeachment is because it stirs up their base. Everything is designed to stir up their

base and get them out to vote in November. Why do you think that Trump almost every day attacks Mueller and attacks the witch hunt? It's to

aggravate and irritate the base. They want them to vote and they have to convince them, and they have convinced them incredibly that this very well-

regarded special prosecutor Bob Mueller is a bad evil man.

CURNOW: Yes, so this is about politics and we spoke to a legal expert earlier, the legal stuff is important but also the fact is this is also

questions around obstruction of justice. That's again being called into question when Mr. Trump tweeted that his Attorney General needs to shut

down the Russia probe. That actually caused quite an outcry. But let's just listen to how the White House responded on that one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: It's not an order. It's the President's opinion. And it's ridiculous that all of the corruption and dishonesty that's gone on with

the launching of the witch hunt the President has watched this process play out. But he also wants to see it come to an end as he stated many times.

And we look forward to that happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: So, is calling a tweet an opinion doing the President any favors? And was this really just a no point tweet because in fact the Attorney

General has recused himself, so he couldn't do anything anyway?

SABATO: Yes, that's true. I'm not sure that Trump fully understands -- understands that or the way the Justice Department works from other

comments that he's made. But the White House explanation is ridiculous. When they want President Trump's statements to be on the record or official

governmental pronouncements they say so. And then when they don't want them to be official or disagree with what he's tweeting, they call them

opinions. How can you tell the difference? How are you to know which tweet is a real Presidential statement and which tweet is simply an

expression of Trump's opinion? They are all Presidential records. That's been well established now. They are Presidential records.

If you got a tweet or a statement or an e-mail from your boss that you should do something, do you think you would do it or try to do it or others

who could do it would try to do it? I think so if you want to hold your job or get a salary increase.

CURNOW: OK, let's talk about immigration, Larry, it has been a big issue for this President. We're now actually hearing from Ivanka Trump, the

President's daughter, speaking pretty personally about these family separations we've been seeing on the U.S./Mexico border. This is what she

had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IVANKA TRUMP, SPECIAL ADVISOR TO U.S. PRESIDENT: That was a low point for me as well. I feel very strongly about that. And I am very vehemently

against family separation and the separation of parents and children.

[11:15:00] So I would agree with that sentiment. I think immigration is incredibly complex as a topic. Illegal immigration is incredibly

complicated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: She's not just the President's daughter, she's also a senior adviser, has access to him in the Oval Office. What do those comments tell

you?

SABATO: Well, they tell me -- first of all the White House trots her out whenever they want to do something that appears to be moderate and she

always makes moderate statements. Judging from what the White House has done on a whole wide range of issues that Ivanka has mentioned, I would say

she apparently has very little influence on her father and what her administration does. You know, the long-term effect of her statements are

zero. There's nothing there. They really have no impact on policy.

But we need to understand, this administration is in an election cycle. It's very important to them and they're doing horribly with women,

horribly. And so that is why Ivanka is trotted out. She's expected to appeal to women in a way that President Trump simply cannot because many

women don't listen to him.

CURNOW: OK, Larry Sabato, thanks so much for that opinion.

SABATO: Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: Still to come tonight, terrifying new video shows the moment a plane in Mexico crashed after takeoff and everyone survived. We have the

latest from Mexico City next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Seeing just some of the terror and panic from inside an Aeromexico flight as it came crashing down after takeoff. Screaming passengers

scrambling to get out. Incredibly everyone on board made it out alive. Well, Leyla Santiago has spoken with survivors. She is live now from

Mexico City with more on all of that. Hi, Leyla.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Robyn. We've actually seen some of those survivors come right through here in Mexico City. You see on

board that plane, 65 U.S. citizens at least 65 U.S. citizens.

[11:20:00] And many are starting to make their way back home asking themselves one key question, how will I get back on a plane?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AL HERRERA, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: That happened yesterday, 24 hours ago. It's still fresh in my mind. I can't close my eyes right now. I still see

the flame, I see everything.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Al Herrera still can't stop thinking about this moment. Seconds after taking off, impact, screams. And panic as

passengers shifted into survival mode to escape the flames and smoke of the fallen plane in Durango, Mexico. All 103 people aboard Aeromexico flight

2431 survived, more than half U.S. citizens.

HERRERA: We're seeing first responders running at you with stretchers and I'm yelling at them to go to the more injured people.

SANTIAGO: Once off the plane, he says he joined a priest who was on board in prayer. CNN talked to Esequiel Sanchez, director of the Shrine of Our

Lady of Guadalupe in Chicago, just hours before surgery for his injured arm. He was still counting blessings and giving thanks. The idea that

nobody died he says.

FR. ESEQUIEL SANCHEZ, DIRECTOR, SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE, CHICAGO: I would consider that a miracle.

SANTIAGO: State officials have pointed at bad weather as a possible factor, strong wind gusts knock the plane down. Hours before its scheduled

depart tour, officials warned of possible storms and hail. Overwhelmed with anxiety, Herrera and several other passengers boarded a flight to

return home, stopping in Mexico City.

HERRERA: Frightening.

SANTIAGO (on camera): Why?

HERRERA: The sentiment got to me. I saw my seat where I was sitting in front of me. I saw the people and like everything flashed back. But when

you're actually sitting there with your seatbelt on, it all came flooding back, like really hard. People die when planes crash. And here I am as a

survivor taking another plane. The lady in front of me held my arm because I was sobbing.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): With bruises on his legs and a passport still filled with the mud from the scene, he hasn't found a way to leave it all

behind.

(on camera): What will you tell people when you get home to Chicago?

HERRERA: That I fell from the sky and survived.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANTIAGO: Robyn, I can't imagine ever saying that. I fell from the sky and survived. But yes, it was a miracle and now a lot of that focus is

turning to the investigation. Mexico has established a commission here that will look into this but even they acknowledge it could take months

before any questions are answered. I should also point out that the NTSB has also sent investigators down here to assist.

CURNOW: And let's talk about the medical condition. I mean, it's amazing and absolutely wonderful that they all survived. How are the survivors

doing? How many of them are still in hospital? What's their condition?

SANTIAGO: Right, there's still several dozen that are still in the hospital this morning. An update on Father Sanchez you saw there in that

story, he did get out of surgery late last night and we understand from one of the other priests that are with him that he did well, and he is now

recovering. And as you might imagine, getting also a bit of rest.

CURNOW: OK, Leyla Santiago there in Mexico City. Thank you.

And the passenger who filmed that incredible video of the crash that we showed you a few moments ago, actually explained to CNN it was the weather

that made her nervous before the takeoff. Take a listen to what she said to us a little bit earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY GARCIA, PASSENGER WHO RECORDED AEROMEXICO PLANE CRASH: Honestly, I had sensed something happening because the winds were so heavy, and the

rain was just -- like I said it was just pouring down. And I was like, how are you about to take off like this? This is exactly why I pulled out my

camera seconds before we started leaving and then now we started going, it wasn't even like five seconds that we were in the air when everything just

started going downhill from there.

CURNOW: And so, you were taping because you thought the plane was going to crash?

GARCIA: I mean, I thought the plane could crash, I just had a weird feeling. Because I had never been in a plane when it was raining or like

taking off in such bad weather. So, it was like I need to record this. I need to see what's going to happen next. Because this isn't right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Wow, well, there's much, much more about this crash, this miracle, at CNN.com. We have the latest on the investigation, details as well on

those who lived through this terrifying experience. The whole video that Ashley there filmed. You can also find out why experts say it's becoming

actually more common for people to survive an air crash. There are reasons for that. Check it all out at CNN.com.

Meanwhile, just ahead here at CNN, why military exercises like these are so concerning to the U.S. right now. That's next.

[11:25:00] Then to another Middle East trouble spot, stunning drone video gives us a rare look at the city under siege in Yemen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: No preconditions, no. They want to meet, I'll meet, any time they want. Anytime they want. It's good for the country, good for them, good

for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I'll meet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Now, just days after Tehran rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump's apparent softening of tone towards it, American officials say that Iran's

Revolutionary Guard has now began major naval exercises. That in itself is nothing new. We have seen these shows of force before. But U.S. officials

think this time it's aimed at showing how Iran could shut down this key trade and energy water way, the Strait of Hormuz. Barbara Starr is at the

Pentagon with more details on all of this for us. Hi, Barbara, what can you tell us?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Robyn, I guess the question is if the U.S. and Iran meet, are they going to meet in the waters of the

Persian Gulf as Iran conducts these exercises? According to a defense official, yes, they we have now begun. The Iranians have put dozens of

small fast boats operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps into those waters. That they are practicing exercising in the Gulf in the

Strait of Hormuz in the Sea of Oman.

[11:30:00] You know, that the Iranians -- there's no indication of specific hostile intent but the worry is they are out there responding to the

rhetoric from the U.S. and trying to potentially demonstrate to the world their capability to shut down that strait. That choke point through which

a significant portion of U.S. -- of the world's petroleum trade travels. So that would be pretty significant. It's a show of force but it's still

sends a message. We've seen the exercises before but the big difference this time, they are happening now. Routinely they happen much more towards

the end of the year. Now they have been moved up and they are large, and it is something that the U.S. military is watching around the clock --

Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, so you say timing is key here. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. Thanks so much for that.

STARR: Sure.

CURNOW: I want to put all of this in context for you. Iran has seen sporadic protests over the last months over the collapse of the country's

currency and the rising cost of living. The frustration over economic problems was fueled by the disappointment many felt when the U.S. pulled

out of the deal. And just this week "Reuters" reported that lawmakers have given President Hassan Rouhani one month to appear before Parliament and

answer questions on his government's handling of the economy.

So, Robin Wright joins me now. She is a senior fellow is at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and contributing writer to the "New Yorker ."

She's written extensively on Saudi Arabia and Iran. Robin, good to speak to you, they say all politics is local. How domestic is all of this? How

much pressure is under Mr. Rouhani under?

ROBIN WRIGHT, FELLOW, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: President Rouhani is under enormous pressure to deliver. Particularly because he had run originally

on a campaign of a deal on a nuclear program with United States and ending Iran's pariah status, so the economy could open up. And so now, everything

has backfired on him. And that's compounded by the fact that Iran has always resented the presence of U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. It

will argue that United States would not like it if Iranian naval ships were down around Cuba. And so, they believe they have a strategic argument as

well as a political and economic argument.

But it comes at a dangerous time of escalating rhetoric by both sides and there are major questions how this plays out. Next week new sanctions or

old sanctions actually are reimposed on Iran. One layer and then a second layer in November that will eliminate its ability to sell oil. This is a

very tough time for Iran and it's trying to show that it's not going to cave.

CURNOW: And Robin, I mean let's take a look at who runs Iran. I want to break it down. And it's pretty complicated and that's what you're getting

at here. There are a lot of powerful groups all with different very ideas of what should happen. These exercises going ahead now as Barbara said,

the timing of it, who -- what does it mean? Does that change your understanding of who's actually calling the shots in Iran? What's the

message here?

WRIGHT: Well, there's always been internal tension inside Iran between hardliners particularly in Iranian Revolutionary Guard versus those in the

political (INAUDIBLE) the President's office and elsewhere. And in the political community and so with the collapse of President Rouhani's nuclear

initiative, there is this sense that the military has a stronger hand.

But I think there's actually quite a united position right now in pushing back against the United States and I suspect President Rouhani fully

supports these military exercises as a way of saying we're still a strong and proud nation and much of the world still recognizes the nuclear deal

and this is our territory. And so, we're going to go ahead and whether it's brings forward our military exercises or do them to a larger scale

than they have in the past.

CURNOW: Also coming into this, one regional leader who is already threatening consequences if Red Sea trade is affected, the Israeli Prime

Minister. This is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): If Iran tries to block Bab El-Mandeb, I'm convinced that it will find itself

chasing a determined international coalition to prevent this. The coalition would include the state of Israel and all its allies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: How might a response look here?

WRIGHT: Well, the Prime Minister of Israel has -- reflects the kind of emerging alliance between Israel and the Gulf states when it comes to

confronting Iran and making sure that it is not a threat to them, whether it's in Syria or on the Strait of Hormuz where a significant percentage of

the world's oil exports flow. It's a very narrow waterway and Iran can block passage if it so wishes. I don't think at this point it wants to,

but it wants to remind the world that it is certainly capable of it.

[11:35:00] CURNOW: How do you see all of this playing out particularly when the new sanctions -- old sanctions are reinstated? We already know

ordinary Iranians are struggling with high food prices, there are some protests. Where is this going? What is your concern here?

WRIGHT: I think we should watch the domestic situation and the global protest which erupted first in December and January over economic issues.

The re-imposition of sanctions will put extraordinary pressure on the regime because of high unemployment, particularly among the young. The

halving of the value of the currency over the last year and the expectation that it will plummet even further. And this is going to create real

tension inside Iran. And the question is how vulnerable is the regime? And is the military exercise in part an expression of listen, we are in

control. This is a strong government. Is it as much to play out domestically as it is to remind the outside world that it's a player in

this very volatile region.

CURNOW: Yes, exactly. And I think that's important, who are they sending a message to, America or ordinary Iranians. Robin Wright, always great to

speak to you. Thanks so much.

WRIGHT: Thank you.

CURNOW: Thanks Robin.

Now the West has long been worried about Iran's proxy war with Saudi Arabia. In Yemen, Houthi rebels backed by Iran are fight being a Saudi led

coalition in a civil war that killed more than 10,000 people. Yemen, as all of you know, is a dangerous place for journalists as well. CNN

international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh gives a rare look at the we sieged capital. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Startlingly beautiful but plagued by silence and suffering, this is a rare

window onto the trauma of besieged Sanaa. Cut off from the outside world increasingly its story is untold. Play time among the trash, homes

stripped of their dignity and shelter.

Life has persisted here up on the plateau of Yemen's capital despite a strangle hold around is tightening. Houthi rebels that overthrew the

government here claim it is their stronghold and together with the Saudi led coalition, besieging the city have restricted media access to it. But

photo journalist Gabriel Chaim was shown around its wreckage. Where Salim says a Saudi missile killed 13, ten from his family three years ago.

SALIM AL-ALAFE, FAMILY KILLED BY SAUDI MISSILE (through translator): Uncle Hathallah used to sit outside. But on that day, they went inside the

house. We weren't sure whether he was inside once the missile hit. We had to wait an hour or two before we entered to get all their bodies outside.

I live meters away. And if the missile hit my house, we would all be martyrs too.

WALSH: Human Rights Watch accused the Saudi led campaign here of 85 instances of unlawful air strikes which the coalition deny. Here a few

months ago air strikes apparently hit a gas station, part of a bids to starve the capital of fuel and everything else transport brings. Leading

to protests outside the United Nations building here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are the world to know what happened in Yemen and now any country. They didn't do anything for Yemen. They didn't do any

helping. What happened in Yemen is evidence that no one cares about us.

WALSH: Here one of the more devastating air strikes in 2016 led to criticism over the U.S. assistance to the coalition. From a grand funeral

hall where 155 were killed, as thousands gathered. Fahad El-Hamate barely survived.

FAHAD EL-HAMATE (through translator): I still have difficulty hearing after the blast. There were bodies all over under this rubble. Some

bodies were completely burned.

The strike affected all of Yemen, its printed in my memory, this scene.

WALSH: Even Kawkaban, one of Yemen's architectural and historical jewels is not spared. Named after two stars that glean from inside the walls, the

pair of palaces, there's little escape here and little desire within the outside world to do more than watch the brutality unfold. Nick Paton

Walsh, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: And still to come, as Iran ramps up its military might, it's calling out the Trump administration on Twitter over what it sees as

another diplomatic fail. We'll explain why Iran is getting in between two NATO allies, that's next.

[11:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: The tug of war between the United States and Turkey over a detained American preacher, Andrew Brunson, continues. The Trump

administration now slapping economic sanctions on two senior members of Turkey's government. A rare escalation against a key NATO ally. Now

Brunson, who's an evangelical preacher, was arrested in Turkey two years ago. He's charged with espionage and accused of links to terrorist

organizations. Turkey's foreign minister is asking for the removal of the sanctions and said they will quote, not go unanswered.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Jomana Karadsheh, who's been following all of this from Istanbul. Hi Jomana, now the U.S. is saying these sanctions

are over the detain of this American preacher. But this is one item in a really growing list of grievances between the two countries, isn't it?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Robyn. And it has been growing over the years. Both countries have serious list of grievances and

issues and U.S. lawmakers in the past several times have threatened to sanction Turkey, especially recently over Turkey's order of a missile

defense system. They asked 400 from Russia. Something they saw as unacceptable by a NATO ally, a NATO country. And for Turkey it's another

long list of issues.

But mainly the biggest issue is the United States support of Kurdish militia, the YPG in Syria. Something that Turkey considers to be a

national security threat, national security issue. But Robyn, in recent weeks, you know, we've seen moves, you've seen talks between the two

countries on ministerial levels. They have really been trying to work out their differences. There have been some agreements. You had the delivery

of F-35 fighter jets by the U.S. to Turkey, despite objections from Congress. They also have that Manbij roadmap. Which was also quite

significant. And then, you know, this left so many people optimistic, including U.S. lawmakers like Lindsey Graham who was here last month. And

said he feels optimistic about the relationship with Turkey right now.

So that led some people to feel that perhaps that would mean Andrew Brunson would walk free on July the 18th when his trial had resumed. That didn't

happen and couple days later he was moved into house arrest. And this seems to have triggered this most recent diplomatic row -- Robyn.

OK, and as both of us know colleague Becky spoke to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May about Andrew Brunson's case and here's what he had to say

about it then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): This individual will keep on hearing, keep on appearing in front of a court.

And should he be released, or should he be acquitted as a result of the hearings, he might as well be. Our own judiciary and are justice

mechanisms will function even more fair than those in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CURNOW: Jomana, so how is this case playing out in Turkey? And also, how has it become the center of the back and forth between these two important

allies?

[11:45:00] KARADSHEH: Well, you know, Robyn, that is the big question. If you talk to some people here in Turkey, some also in the United States, you

know, they are asking and questioning why the case of Andrew Brunson seems to be right now at the heart of this crisis between the United States and

Turkey? When you have several other dual citizens, U.S./Turkish citizens who are behind bars here in Turkey, when you have U.S. mission staff,

Turkish employees of the U.S. mission who are also behind bars who have been detained for as long as Andrew Brunson has been behind bars since

2016.

And the feeling amongst some when you talk to them here, we're seeing U.S. politics possibly play here because he is an evangelical. They say this is

perhaps the U.S. President and Vice President Mike Pence trying to appease a significant part of their own support base. The Evangelical Christians

in the United States, especially with the mid-term elections getting closer. And you know, we've seen this for months now where President Trump

has been calling for his release and other U.S. lawmakers really getting involved in this case. Some of them attending his trial, Robyn, and

calling it -- really calling the accusations against him a nonsensical collection of conspiracy theories. And right now, as you mentioned, this

has really become at the heart of disagreement between the two countries and hard to see where this will end up.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that report live from Istanbul, Jomana Karadsheh. Thanks, Jomana.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, celebrating pride not prejudice. Thousands take to the streets to champion LGBT rights in

Jerusalem. An issue that remains hugely divisive there. You're looking at live pictures. We'll take you straight there after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CURNOW: Jerusalem's gay pride parade started just a short time ago and it may be the biggest ever with a mixture of celebration and anger. Tens of

thousands of people are expected at the parade which comes only days after Israel voted to deny surrogacy for same sex couples. Also hanging over the

parade the memory of a 16-year-old girl stabbed there three years ago. Oren Liebermann is joining us now. He's along the parade route. What have

people been saying to you? What's the mood like?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, thousands of people here have been streaming behind me along this street for the past 20 minutes or

so and that gives you a sense of the size of this parade. Organizers estimate some 25,000 people came out for the pride parade this year. And

there is certainly a festive atmosphere here. But also, a bit of anger as you pointed out. It was just a few days ago perhaps a week and a half ago

or so that Israel voted to deny surrogacy rights to same sex couples, gay couples in particular.

[11:50:07] And that is part of that anger here and that's part of why so many people turned out here. I'm joined now by Eran Globus. You are the

chairman of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. Why have so many come out on this day here?

ERAN GLOBUS, HEAD OF OPEN HOUSE FOR PRIDE AND TOLERANCE: Well I think it's very clear that Jerusalem is where decisions are made. And if you don't

protest in Jerusalem when decisions are discriminatory. Where decisions are against our community, I think the public has made it very clear today

that Israeli public supports the LGBT community's fight for equal rights.

LIEBERMANN: And for you this is just a beginning. This isn't a one-off march. Where does this go from here? Where do you see this going from

here?

GLOBUS: Hopefully to working with our government to make sure equal rights are achieved. But if not, we have a plan B. We are prepared for a summer

of protests. We are prepared to work with our allies and other coalitions abroad to make sure Netanyahu gives us equal rights. Let me say just this.

The huge turnout today shows his political base is -- we have people from left and from the right here -- Israel supports gay rights and supports

equal rights. And this is what the government doesn't understand yet, but we'll make it very clear.

LIEBERMANN: Eran Globus, the chairman for the Jerusalem Open House, thank you for your time.

GLOBUS: Thank you so much.

LIEBERMANN: Security also a big issue here. We've seen police lining the route all along, hundreds if not a thousand police officers securing the

route along the entire area. There was one group protesting the parade at the beginning, the park where they started. Certainly, it wasn't a protest

that came anywhere near the size of the parade here behind me, Robyn. I think you can hear it to some extent and you can see the parade still

marching by here.

CURNOW: How much when you talk about security, how much fear is there of a backlash from the ultra-orthodox community particularly after what happened

three years ago?

LIEBERMANN: And that in and of itself is worth talking about, because that was one of the most sensitive spots of the parade, the spot where 16-year-

old Shira Banki was stabbed and killed as she came here to march with her friends. Is there a sense of fear here? Not really. You don't feel it.

But part of that is the security, knowing that there were planned protests here. There are calls for protests against the parade and because of that

police came out here in force to make sure the parade went off quietly, smoothly and was allowed to march throughout the streets of Jerusalem.

CURNOW: Thanks so much. Oren Lieberman there in Jerusalem. Thanks so much.

Now before we go to Wall Street where history is being made, Apple is now the first U.S. company worth $1 trillion. Apple stock hit the magic

threshold just a moment ago. Alison Kosik will have more on this on "QUEST EXPRESS" which is coming up soon.

And now we turn back to a man who's high on today's news agenda. He portrays himself as a man of the people. But the internet is accusing U.S.

President Donald Trump of being seriously out of touch. That's after he told a rally in Florida that Americans needed a photo I.D. to buy

groceries. Jeanne Moos has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just as reporters were asking, when was the last time President Trump went to a

grocery store, this 2010 reality clip surfaced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, have you ever used a coupon in your life?

TRUMP: Well I've never really gone to a food market with my wife so --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

MOOS: If you listen to the President you'd think instead of just handing over coupons you should be showing I.D.

TRUMP: You know, if you go out and want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need I.D.

MOOS: Says who?

(on camera): Did they ask for picture I.D. when you were paying for groceries?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no way, Jose, this is America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never, ever, ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

MOOS: You go out and buy groceries you need photo I.D.?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you don't. Where is this coming from?

MOOS: Donald Trump?

(voice-over): Twitter rolled its eyes as well. I've got to go grocery shopping today and hope they don't have me for an I.D. before I by Rice a

Roni.

It's sort of like when Ellen asked another rich guy, Bill Gates to guess the price of Rice a Roni.

BILL GATES: $5.

ELLEN DEGENERES, THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW: Oh, it's a $1.

GATES: I'll take five.

DEGENERES: I know.

MOOS: President Trump's flub inspired a mock-up grocery shopping identification card, the "Late Show" Instagram new rules, sir, read the

sign, no license, no cake mix.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a sandwich and coke and a bagel with butter.

MOOS (on camera): And they didn't ask to see a picture I.D.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I think if I would have got chocolate, they might've said, hey buddy, that's a little much. Let's see some I.D. with

that.

MOOS (voice-over): At the White House they tried to clean up the President's spill.

SANDERS: If you go to a grocery store and you buy beer and wine you're certainly going to show your I.D.

MOOS: President Trump's faux pas reminded folks of a time President George H.W. Bush seemed overly impressed with a grocery scanner.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This crosses this open place.

MOOS: This woman recalled the only time she was ever carded for groceries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They asked me for a picture I.D. for a while I was buying pork chops.

MOOS: Now she has a bone to pick. Jeanne moos, CNN.

[11:55:00] (on camera): Next thing you know they will want your birth certificate to get eggs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, this is America.

MOOS (voice-over): New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Lots of eye rolling there from that gentleman.

Before we go I just want to remind you of history being made on Wall Street. Apple is now the first U.S. company worth $1 trillion. Look at

those numbers. Apple stock hit the magic threshold just a few moments ago and Alison Kosik will have much more on all of that on "QUEST EXPRESS."

That is coming up in just a moment.

I'm Robyn Curnow. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for watching. As I said, "QUEST EXPRESS" up next.

It's noon in New York. Europe's trading day is over. The west coast is well underway. And this is Thursday so far. Making history, Apple becomes

the first trillion-dollar U.S. company, but shares have pulled back a bit.

END