Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

U.S. Senators Reviewing New FBI Report on Brett Kavanaugh; Senator Dianne Feinstein Says What's Most Notable Is What's Not in FBI Report; Senator Mitch McConnell Says Kavanaugh Accusations Not Cooperated by FBI Report; Vice President Pence Delivering Harsh Speech on China; How Japan Is Helping to Transform a Biblical City. Aired 11-12p ET

Aired October 4, 2018 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Very warm welcome. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi.

Right now, an extraordinary back and forth taking place in the U.S. Senate as Republicans and Democrats take turns reading what is a high-stakes

report that will determine the fate of Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Now the FBI took less than a week to complete its investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. A top Republican who's

reviewed the report just said it, quote, found no hint of misconduct. But Democrats furious that only nine witnesses were interviewed, not even

including the alleged victim herself. Some call it a whitewash to ensure that Kavanaugh is confirmed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It's obviously a cover-up. The Trump White House working with the Republican leadership in the Senate, have

deliberately circumscribed this investigation so that only a small handful of people will be questioned and if any leads are, in fact, developed that

the FBI is not allowed to follow them in order to determine the truth of what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well the White House says it did not micro manage the FBI investigation and says it's feeling good about Kavanaugh's chances.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: There was an initial list of four provided to us by the Senate. They were interviewed

and then leads were followed up on. We feel very confident -- without getting into the details. We feel very confident that when the senators

have an opportunity to review this material as they've already -- they're just beginning to right now, that they are going to be comfortable voting

to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: The vast majority of senators had already made up their minds about Kavanaugh so his just fate lies with a handful of senators who have

been waiting to see this report. Let's bring in White House reporter Stephen Collinson. And we are down to the wire at this point. We are

waiting on a press conference from the Democrats. Just explain where we are at, at this point, and who these four lawmakers are who will ultimately

make or break this nomination.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right. Becky, I think today really is the day when Brett Kavanaugh's fate will be decided. There are

votes already scheduled by the Republicans on Friday and Saturday, which could see him confirmed or his nomination fall. But when the senators get

into that secure vault in the capitol as they are now, read the report, that's when they're going to make their decision.

The Democrats are clearly going to come out of this and say the White House circumscribed the terms of this investigation and it's not fair. The

Republicans are going to say there's no corroborating evidence to Kavanaugh's -- the allegations against Kavanaugh.

The key people here are three Republican senators, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine. They have the power

to send Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court or they have the power to end this nomination. I think the question is, is there something in this report

that either gives them enough to get over the line to back Kavanaugh, to stick with their party, or is there something in there, some new

information that gives them the political cover to come out and say they're not going to vote with Kavanaugh and vote with -- vote against their own

party.

ANDERSON: As we say down to the wire, likely we will get a result on this if not today, as you rightly point out, over the weekend. We'll have

likely more of a sense where those four individuals stand, though, in the next 24 hours or so.

When Christine Blasey Ford, Stephen, testified about your alleged sexual assault, she was widely praised for having the courage to come forward.

"Time" magazine has devoted its new cover to the impact of the words she used to tell her story, a powerful image indeed.

[11:05:00] It seems months ago, but it was only a week ago that we first met Dr. Ford at those hearings. Take us back to take us forward. Just

what role, what impact has she and through her the sort of #metoo movement, the voice of women who have alleged sexual assault in the past, how is this

all sort of come to the front? What impact has it had?

COLLINSON: Well assuming that Kavanaugh gets confirmed, and that seems like the most likely outcome of all this, some people are likely to argue

that her testimony -- although it was very powerful in the moment -- ultimately did not have what was apparently intended effect with which was

to stall or doom his nomination.

I think there are a couple of ways to look at this, though. There's the sort of political impact of all this and there's the cultural impact on the

longer-term political impact. Clearly, she has become a powerful emblem for the shifting politics on this issue in the United States. She is -- I

think her testimony is going to ripple through the midterm elections and beyond where the Republicans are very unpopular with women voters.

So, although it looks like Kavanaugh's nomination will go forward, I don't think you can argue that she had no impact. The reason Kavanaugh's

nomination will go forward, if it does, is because Republicans control the Senate. They have the power to make him a Supreme Court nominee and the

motivation to do so. Because their supporters are very much in favor of that and this is something getting a majority on the Supreme Court is

something conservatives have been striving after forever. So, I think it's too early to say exactly what --

ANDERSON: Dianne Feinstein now speaking. Apologies, Stephen. Let's listen in to Diane Feinstein.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: My staff and I reviewed the FBI's report into sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Let me be

clear, I can't talk about the detail because this remains a confidential part of the background report. I hope that changes are made and we'll be

able to talk more about what the FBI did later. But what I can say is that the most notable part of this report is what's not in it.

As we noted by the White House, the FBI did not interview Brett Kavanaugh, nor did the FBI interview Dr. Blasey Ford. What we've heard from numerous

people over the last few days seeking to provide information to the FBI, we have seen even more press reports of witnesses who wanted to speak with the

FBI but were not interviewed.

Deborah Ramirez's lawyer said he was unaware of any corroborating witnesses who were interviewed. Candidly, what we reviewed today in a very limited

time I was there, I had to leave the report is in part, and I had the opportunity to read some, but not all of it. It looks to be a product of

an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the White House, I don't know. But the White House certainly blocked access to millions of

documents from Judge Kavanaugh's record. I know that. And insured that 90 percent of his e-mails and memos weren't available for the Senate or the

public in the hearings. It now appears that they also blocked the FBI from doing its job.

Democrats agreed that the investigation's scope should be limited. We did not agree that the White House should tie the FBI's hands. It's simply not

credible to say that public testimony in last week's hearing is a substitute for interviews by FBI agents. Not only do senators lack the

expertise of FBI agents, we were only given five minutes to question Judge Kavanaugh.

So, in my view from what I saw, the investigation was very limited and it will be interesting after all of the members have an opportunity to read

the documents and we have an opportunity in public to discuss our conclusions, what the findings are.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Senator Feinstein. I just have three points to make. One, we had many fears that this was a very

limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all the facts. Having received a thorough briefing on the documents, those fears have been

realized.

[11:05:00] Second, I disagree, having received this -- the briefing on all of the documents, I disagree with Senator Grassley's statement that there

was no hint of misconduct.

And third, we are reiterating our call, given how limited this -- these documents were and how limited the scope of this investigation was, we are

reiterating our call that the documents with proper redaction be made public. Why shouldn't all of America see the facts?

And second, we are reiterating our call to make the directive that the White House and counsel McGahn sent to the FBI public because we believe it

greatly constrained the investigation from the get-go. The fact that there's only one document in there for 100 senators is another example of

constraining the ability of all senators and the American public to see the whole truth and nothing but. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, what do you mean you disagree with Senator Grassley's statement, no hint of misconduct? Senator?

ANDERSON: Well, we've been listening to Dianne Feinstein and to Chuck Schumer there, both Democrats, of course. Let me just go over what -- just

a little of what they said. Stephen, Dianne Feinstein said, and I quote, the most notable parts of the report -- which she has just read -- there is

one copy, let's remind people, and Chuck Schumer complaining about the fact that there is just this one copy that 100 senators are -- after having a

look at they have, therefore, limited time to read this. She said the report is not what -- what is interesting about the report is what's not in

it.

The FBI did not interview Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford and she said candidly, the report I read today, looks to be the product of an incomplete investigation

that was limited possibly by the White House. It now appears she said they blocked the FBI from doing its job. While I have to say acknowledging that

the Democrats did agree to a limited investigation and Chuck Schumer we heard his three or four points as well. Your thoughts on what we've just

heard?

COLLINSON: I think it was quite predictable that would be the outcome of this process. Clearly the White House has kept quite a tight rein on this.

But equally, reading between the lines, it doesn't seem as though there is anything from the interviews that the FBI carried out that provides any

more corroboration of the allegations that Christine Blasey Ford made against Brett Kavanaugh or any of the other allegations that were made

against him in the last week or so.

I think that is sort of you tells you in a way the weakness of the Democratic strategy. If you make your opposition to Kavanaugh contingent

on having this FBI investigation and then it doesn't throw up new things, then your political position is weakened even if -- and I think it's quite

credible that they say the White House constrained the scope of this. I think it tells us a lot about where the Democrats are.

ANDERSON: Standby, Stephen, Let's have a listen to Mitch McConnell now.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Judge Kavanaugh passed that with flying colors.

Judge Kavanaugh passed with flying colors. I just want to be clear, this seal of approval comes from the ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal

Judiciary -- an independent entity within the organization. Even after the ABA's president tried to play politics with the nomination last week, the

Standing Committee reaffirmed its rating yet again. Unanimously well- qualified. That's Brett Kavanaugh.

So, Mr. President how did we end up where we are today? How did we get here? How did we get from a chorus of expert praise and professional

respect to wild tales of violent gangs, sexual assault rings, fistfights on boats in Rhode Island harbors, and the possibility of -- get this -- of an

argument in a college bar? An argument in a college bar.

[11:15:00] Several weeks ago, a confidential allegation of misconduct from nearly 40 years ago was leaked to the press. Since then, other allegations

have poured forth. Many were just patently ridiculous. A feeding frenzy of ridiculous accusations.

Well, while some cheered on the feeding frenzy for political purposes, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and his staff rolled up their

sleeves and went to work. They promptly investigated the varied allegations that materialized at the last minute. Chairman Grassley re-

opened the public hearing so Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh could speak directly to those claims under oath.

That was after, by the way, he offered Dr. Ford the option to tell her story at any place of her choosing, either here or in California. Either

in public or in private. Either with staff or with Members. An offer that, according to Dr. Ford's testimony, was seemingly never actually

communicated to her by her lawyers, despite a professional requirement to do so. And now, of course, the FBI has completed a supplemental background

investigation and delivered its results to us here in the Senate.

Mr. President, this is now the seventh time the FBI has thoroughly reviewed Judge Kavanaugh's background. Seven FBI investigations. So, what have we

learned? What do the facts and the evidence tell us after seven FBI investigations? The fact is that these allegations have not been

corroborated. None of the allegations have been corroborated by the seventh FBI investigation. Not in the new FBI investigation, not anywhere.

None of these last-minute allegations have been corroborated, as is confirmed by the seventh and latest FBI investigation.

As Chairman Grassley stated this morning, neither the Judiciary Committee nor the FBI could locate any third parties who can attest to any of the

allegations. No backup from any witnesses -- including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the people who brought these allegations in the

first place. Let me say that again. No backup from any witnesses -- including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the people who

brought these allegations.

In addition, one person has completely recanted their whole wild story. Another accuser went on television and backpedaled from many of their own

ridiculous charges. So, the facts do not support the allegations levied at Judge Kavanaugh's character. Instead, many of the facts actually support

Judge Kavanaugh's strong, unequivocal denial, which he repeatedly stated to committee investigators under penalty of felony. Which he firmly restated

under oath last Thursday before the full Committee and the American people. Which aligns with the testimony of hundreds -- literally hundreds -- of

character witnesses who have known him over the years.

For goodness sake, this is the United States of America. Nobody is supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in this country. Nobody is

supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in the United States of America. The Senate should not set a fundamentally un-American precedent

here. Judge Kavanaugh's right to basic fairness does not disappear just because some disagree with his judicial philosophy.

[11:20:04] Our society is not a place where uncorroborated allegations of misconduct from nearly 40 years ago -- allegations which are vigorously

disputed -- can nullify someone's career or destroy their reputation. Is that what the Senate's going to be known for? Your nomination comes up

here and we destroy your reputation. Is that what the Senate is going to participate in?

So, above the partisan noise, beyond this shameful spectacle which is an embarrassment to the Senate, what will endure are the actual facts before

us. The actual facts. Upon reviewing them, only one question is left for us to answer. Is Judge Brett Kavanaugh qualified to serve on the Supreme

Court?

Well, Mr. President, there is a good reason the political opponents of this nomination have never wanted to litigate that issue. Oh no, they didn't

want to talk about that. There's a good reason why they let the politics of personal destruction run away ahead of the facts, in an effort to dodge

that very good question. Because Judge Brett Kavanaugh is stunningly and totally qualified for this job.

We already know this, but for starters, his academic and legal credentials are second to none. From Yale with honors. Then on to Yale Law School.

Then came not one, not two, but three clerkships in our nation's federal courts. Ending up with Justice Anthony Kennedy. His career continued with

work in the Office of the Independent Counsel and the Office of White House Counsel. And that was only the beginning.

For the last twelve years, Brett Kavanaugh has served on what is widely considered the second highest court in our land, the D.C. Circuit Court of

Appeals. Written more than three hundred judicial opinions. Several have formed the basis of later rulings by the Supreme Court, itself. This

litany of accomplishments is a fact. A fact. It's a matter of public record. But just as telling are all the accounts of Judge Brett Kavanaugh,

the person, that have been volunteered by those who've known him every step of the way over the years.

We've heard from hundreds of character witnesses who have heaped praise on the Brett Kavanaugh they know. The loyal friend and teammate, the standout

student, the talented, hardworking colleague. The brilliant legal writer, the respectful role model and mentor, particularly to women. The devoted

husband, father, and coach. These letters and recorded testimony were offered by men and women with nothing to gain for themselves. They were

just glad to tell the truth about a nominee who they know possesses the character, temperament, and qualifications for this important job.

Judge Kavanaugh's professors and others who knew him at Yale describe a true intellectual, a leading thinker, a wonderful mentor and leader. One

goes so far as saying, it is hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of Judge Kavanaugh.

His former law clerks, in full-throated support, say that Judge Kavanaugh's work ethic flows from a fundamental humility. They say he gives

unflinchingly honest advice and listens carefully to the views of his colleagues and clerks, even when they differ from his own.

His legal peers here in Washington -- of all political persuasions -- haven't minced words either. They deem him, quote, unquestionably

qualified by his extraordinary intellect, experience, and temperament, and warn the Senate not to miss this opportunity to quote, put such a strong

advocate for decency and civility on our Nation's highest court.

[11:25:12] So, Mr. President, let us not lose sight of the opportunity before us. This process has been ruled by fear, and anger, and underhanded

gamesmanship for too long. It's time for us to stand up to this kind of thing. We owe it to the American people not to be intimidated by these

tactics. We owe it to the American people to underscore that you are innocent until proven guilty. It's the Senate that's on trial here, Mr.

President. What kind of image will we convey to the public? Can we be scared by all of these people rampaging through the halls, accosting

members at airports, coming to their homes? They're trying to intimidate the Senate into defeating a good man. Are we going to allow this to happen

in this country?

So, we will not pretend that partisan histrionics take away the basic fairness that every American deserves. We will not be hoodwinked by those

who have tried hard to smear this good man, that drag him through the mud. And then, when that didn't work, they turned on a dime and started claiming

his real sin was that he spoke up too forcefully in defense of his good name and his family. They decided he didn't have judicial temperament.

Because he aggressively defended his good name against this outrageous smear conducted in conjunction with Senate Democrats.

Who among us would not have been outraged by having a lifetime record dragged through the mud with accusations that cannot be proven. And a

blatant attempt to decide - on the part of at least some Senate Democrats - - that the presumption of innocence no longer applies in this country. What kind of person couldn't have been upset about that? They claim he

spoke too forcefully in defense of himself? After being accused of such outrageous behavior that cannot be proven? I admire him for standing up

for himself. For standing up for his family. I'd be shocked if it were not done in an aggressive fashion, for goodness sake.

So, let's reclaim this moment for what it should be -- a chance to elevate a stunningly talented and impressive jurist to an important office for

which he is so well-qualified. So completely and totally qualified. A golden opportunity to give our great nation precisely the kind of

brilliant, fair-minded, and collegial Supreme Court justice that the Court deserves.

This, Mr. President, is the good that Senators will have the opportunity to do. We have a chance to do good here and underscore the basic tenant of

fairness in our country. So, I filed cloture on the nomination yesterday evening. And I'll be proud to vote to advance this nomination tomorrow.

ANDERSON: What you've been listening to, Mitch McConnell, who said that the FBI report into Judge Kavanaugh was reassuringly good.

[11:30:05] He said this is the seventh time the FBI thoroughly reviewed Kavanaugh's background. The fact is that these allegations have not been

corroborated. He went on to pretty much reiterate Judge Kavanaugh's CV.

Chuck Schumer early on, the minority leader, said, and I quote, we feared this was a limited process that would constrain the FBI from getting all

the facts. He said that he feels that he was right in that. I disagree, he said, with Senator Grassley's statement that there was no hint of

misconduct. We are reiterating the call, he said, that being the Democrats, that the document be made public and we are reiterating the

call, said Chuck Schumer, that the directive the White House sent to -- directive that the White House sent to the FBI is as the Democrats

expected. Stephen, what do you make of all of this?

COLLINSON: I think, Becky, that if you look at the difference in the demeanor between Mitch McConnell the Senate Republican leader and the

Democrats that reviewed that report, it's clear where this thing is going. While McConnell was speaking Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who was

perhaps the Democrats best hope of getting a Republican to defect and put this nomination in danger, said it appeared to be a very thorough report.

I think that is very significant.

What McConnell was doing there was coming out all guns blazing in a way that will sort of establish the narrative that the Kavanaugh nomination is

back on track and make it even more difficult for those three Republicans we were talking about now to come out and say well, this is not a fair

process, I still have doubts, and I'm going to vote against Kavanaugh. So, I think it's a good morning for Kavanaugh and the Republicans.

That doesn't mean that the, you know, deep political polarization that has been whipped up by this contentious nomination is going to go away. It's

going to have very long-lasting political effects. But right now, it looks far more favorable that if you're a Republican, that you can get Brett

Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and get this generational conservative majority on the court which will be so significant for many years to come.

ANDERSON: We are looking at these five key undecided senators as you speak. One of whom Senator Collins, has just been stopped by one of our

colleagues, Jeremy, who caught up with her, a crucial swing vote, of course. She'd just seen the briefing of the FBI report. She didn't

indicate how she would vote, but she did say of the FBI report, Stephen, and I quote, it appears to be a very thorough investigation. She added she

would read the report in full later today. As things stand, your best guess at this point is that Judge Kavanaugh, his nomination for Supreme

Court Judge, will be pushed through at this point, correct?

COLLINSON: Yes. I think so. Given what Collins said, I think you can read between the lines that she perhaps is looking now for a way to vote

for this and that could give her cover. This FBI report to do so. I think we still need to hear from Jeff Flake whose last-minute reservations were

what precipitated this new FBI supplemental inquiry into Kavanaugh's background. But he also did seem even at that point to be someone who

hoped that this investigation would give him the ammunition he needs to vote for Kavanaugh.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, can only afford to lose one Republican Senator and still confirm Kavanaugh. But if Flake and Collins

decided to vote for him, that will be enough. You saw those two Democratic Senators on your graphic there, had Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe

Manchin of West Virginia. These are senators who are running for re- election in states that Donald Trump won very easily and they're under great pressure to support the Kavanaugh nomination. If they get the sense

that the Republicans have enough votes to get him confirmed, I think it's very likely that they will jump on the Republican side of this just to

protect themselves politically.

Had it -- if it goes the other way, if there aren't enough votes, then they will face a much bigger choice, but all the momentum in Washington this

morning appears to be trending in Kavanaugh's favor.

ANDERSON: At a rally in Mississippi just the other night, President Trump said that the people, the people he said are furious about the way that

Judge Kavanaugh has been treated. That, of course, is the people that he is speaking to, the audiences that he's getting reception from. That

isn't, of course, reflected across America.

[11:35:00] Protesters, for example, from across the country have been making their way to Washington all morning. Some getting up before the

crack of dawn to board bosses. They are expected to march on the Supreme Court and capitol building a few hours from now to protest Kavanaugh's

nomination. Stephen, I think it's fair to say this issue has really polarized the nation. In the end, do you think anybody's come out of this

looking entirely professional?

COLLINSON: No. And I think rather than sort of -- I mean I think it's true to say it's deepened the divisions but perhaps it's more accurate to

say it's laid bare the complete cavern that runs down the middle of American politics between Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats find

it impossible not to believe Christine Blasey Ford's powerful testimony and they believe that they are on the right side of history here.

What's fascinating is that the President has calculated that it is in his political advantage to come out and attack publicly an alleged victim of

sexual assault. I think for many of Trump's supporters, some of whom were demoralized, this episode has reminded them why they voted for the

President in the first place. They see an alliance of elites in politics, liberals, the media, trying to bring down Kavanaugh. Sort of political

correctness running riot and that is what helped Trump get elected in the first place. In the President has harnessed that during this Kavanaugh

nomination. And that was one of the reasons I think you saw that vehement performance by Kavanaugh in the hearing a week ago where he politicized his

own nomination.

So, you know, I think there's political advances for both sides. The big question is, have Republicans by taking this strategy have damaged

themselves even more deeply with women voters, you know, in a way that's going to reverberate for many years. Some Republicans would say if that's

the case the prize is so great by getting this conservative majority on the Supreme Court that it's worth it.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. You've been terrific with your analysis throughout this, well throughout this entire process. Always a joy as ever. If

you're just joining us, thank you, Stephen.

Our top story this hour, U.S. senators beginning to speak out after reading what was a highly anticipated FBI report on Donald Trump's Supreme Court

nominee. Now, Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, just addressed the Senate just moments ago saying many of the facts support Brett

Kavanaugh's strong denial of sexual assault allegations against him.

Democrats say the investigation was incomplete. Some call it a white wash to get Kavanaugh confirmed. Key Republican Senator Susan Collins, who is

one of the swing votes on the confirmation, says the FBI probe and I quote, appears very thorough.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is accusing China, meantime of taking election meddling to a whole new level. He is speaking in Washington right

now and says Russian interference two years ago pales in comparison to what China is now doing. Among other the things he said, Beijing is trying to

drive a wedge among Americans on issues like trade, ahead of the upcoming midterms. Pence says the Chinese effort is extensive and sophisticated.

Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we speak, Beijing is employing a whole of government approach using political, economic, and

military tools as well as propaganda to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States. China is also applying this power in

more proactive ways than ever before, to exert influence and interfere in the domestic policy and politics of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Will Ripley joining us live from Hong Kong to talk more about this. And those were strong words from the Vice President -- Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Becky. I mean, to hear him criticize China on three fronts -- military, trade, and U.S. domestic

politics -- it is extraordinary. You know, it is noteworthy though that it is Vice President Pence who is delivering this speech and not President

Trump himself. And, in fact, the Vice President even mentioned President Trump's supposed friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It seems as if he's having the Vice President play bad cop, President Trump could still swoop in and play good cop if the U.S. and China can come

together on trade. And what this smells like is a real push by the U.S. to try to tell China that they are expecting a trade deal or else they're

going to go hard on multiple fronts. And one peg for this speech was that incident over the weekend and we might have the photos cued up of the close

call between the USS Decatur and a Chinese warship on the South China Sea near the disputed Spratly Islands.

[11:40:00] The Vice President kind of opened his speech talking about the fact that the Chinese ship came within 41 meters of the U.S. ship and he

called that reckless harassment. Saying the U.S. will not be intimidated. He didn't talk about this, but what CNN is reporting there might be a

global show of force that the Pentagon is considering a number of freedom of navigation patrols through waters that China claims as its own

territories. The U.S. rejects those claim.

But the main crux of this speech was China's economic practices and the loans that they give other countries that the U.S. says are bad loans that

favor Beijing. And also, a detailed account of what the Trump administration feels is a Chinese attempt to influence the U.S. midterm

elections by sowing division within the United States. Whether it be between local officials and the federal government, encouraging U.S.

companies to talk badly about Trump administration policies. By threatening, you know, licenses to operate and that sort of thing and then

even the imposition of tariffs in retaliation for U.S. tariffs. They say that China is taxing products that come from red states with conservative

voters that would tend to favor Trump because, as the Vice President put it, China wants someone else in office other than President Trump.

It's remarkable, Becky, how much they seem to care now about election meddling when they say that China is the culprit and yet you really would

never hear them talk at this length about what Russia is believed to be doing by U.S. intelligence.

ANDERSON: Yes. And those pictures that you were just calling for now up on the screen, that's the USS Decatur, of course, in what was such a close

call with that Chinese military vessel.

How are the Chinese likely to react to all of this? And will there be a sense in Beijing -- as you have just described -- the possibility of this

good cop/bad cop being played by the U.S. President. And if that is the case, how does Beijing react to that sort of positioning when it comes to

negotiation?

RIPLEY: Well, you know, I can tell you from my experience, working in China, the Chinese don't like to be pushed around. And they certainly take

umbrage with anyone they feel is trying to subvert China. You hear time and time again from the Chinese, this is our time. It's time for China to

rise, rise to power. And they feel, you know, there is a growing feeling within Xi Jinping's leadership circles that Trump administration is using

the trade war and these other issues, including the South China Sea, to try to contain the rise of China and they will not stand for that. And that is

going to make China, frankly, much less willing to work with the United States on important issues, trade, North Korea, you know, anything else

that requires Chinese cooperation, the list goes on.

You know, bigger picture, long term, Xi Jinping is likely going be to the dictator, President, whatever you want to call him of China for life.

They've changed the law allowing Xi Jinping to stay in power for the foreseeable future. They know that President Trump has one four-year term,

possibly two four-year terms and so they're playing the long game. And they're going to try to navigate through the Trump administration, handle

the current situation as best they can, but, you know, influencing the outcome of a U.S. election it's not that far out of the realm of

possibility to think that China's trying to be strategic to get people to vote for someone else.

I mean they put an insert into the "Des Moines Register" which is, obviously, a very influential newspaper in a key U.S. state that is very

important to conservative voters, and it almost looked like news articles explaining why the trade practices of the Trump administration are hurting

the economy there in the state of Iowa where the "Des Moines Register" is published. And Vice President Pence mentioned that in his speech saying

that the U.S. ambassador tried to place a similar type of insert into a Chinese newspaper, and none of the state media publications would publish

it.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you, Will. Will is in Hong Kong for you. I am in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, we head to one of the world's oldest cities which is undergoing an industrial transformation thanks in part to Japan. Stay with us for our

final "MIDDLE EAST LOOKS EAST" segment this week.

[11:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're watching CNN. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. It is about to 7:45 in the evening had in Abu Dhabi. All this

week we've been taking a look at the growing influence of Japan across this the Middle East region. Where in recent years it's been taking on an

increasing role in the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. So, in our final "MIDDLE EAST LOOKS EAST" this week, CNN's Oren Liebermann explores how

Japanese investment and innovation could create a vibrant private sector in the West Bank. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deep in the heart of the Jordan Valley, there is an abundance of sunshine and history. Nearly a

thousand feet below sea level, Jericho is one of the world's oldest cities. Hisham's Palace sits near the city, its mosaics still stunning centuries

after an earthquake destroyed the palace.

The biblical baptism site of Jesus only a few miles away where Christian pilgrims come to bathe in the holy waters. The tourism from these sites

and others have driven Jericho's economy. But that's changing with help from Tokyo.

Japan seems a world away from Jericho, the country's high-tech economy is the world's third largest. As part of its efforts to increase its role in

the Middle East, Japan has made Jericho a focus of investment and innovation. All around that other thing Jericho has an abundance, the

sunshine. Welcome to the Jericho Agro industrial Park.

(on camera): Is there anything like this, this industrial park in the Palestinian economy today?

NASR ATYANI, JAIPCO GENERAL MANAGER: In Palestine this is the -- this kind of industrial park in Palestine, this is the first one in the Middle East.

Why? Because this is Agro industrial. There is no one in Palestine or in Middle East or in Arab countries like this project.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The park, also known as JAIP, is a joint Japanese/Palestinian project. The businesses here are mostly Palestinian.

Japan built the infrastructure.

ATYANI: This is the water founded by Japan. The electricity station is funded by Japan. It is the road funded by Japan. So, Japan is the main

road here in JAIP project.

LIEBERMANN: The first company to come to the industrial park.

(on camera): This is the raw product.

HAITHAM KAYALI, FOUNDER, PALOLEA: Yes.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Palolea, the company purchases olive trees and branches from local farmers giving them extra income and makes olive oil

extracts to pharmaceutical standards.

(on camera): Was the whole idea behind this industrial park revolutionary? Was it a game changer?

KAYALI: Absolutely. Without a doubt. I mean we did try to establish a factory elsewhere along the West Bank, yes. None of what we found would be

up to the standard that we need to have such industry and such a factory.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Japan's role in the Middle East has gone beyond economics. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the region in early May

meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Japan has even volunteered to host a meeting

between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. All a part of Japan's growing presence and influence in the Middle East. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jericho.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Abu Dhabi. Much more ahead. Stay with us.

[11:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: A couple minutes left of this show. Thanks for joining us. This is CONNECT THE WORLD, of course, with me, Becky Anderson.

For many artists performing on stage is a highlight of their career. Making it big means international recognition, right. Well on this month's

"INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST" we go behind the bright lights of center stage and meet Middle Eastern singers, actors and comedians bringing their heritage

to the world. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NANO RAIES, SINGER, SONGWRITER: My name is Nano Raies. I am a singer, songwriter and composer. I'm from Homs, Syria.

ANDERSON: Since coming to the United States, Raies sung at the World Bank's first ever music performance. She shared the stage with the band

Pink Martini.

And a huge moment for her was rewriting and performing a cover of the Beatles song "Drive My Car".

RAIES: This cover song came to celebrate Saudi women being able to drive for the first time in Saudi Arabia. So, that was amazing.

The Beatles' song meaning is like a woman is looking for a driver to drive her future car because she will be famous and will buy a car. But that's

not the same case in the Arabic cover because women have had drivers for ages, but now they want to drive themselves.

It's kind of fun and funny, it's not too serious. People love it so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well "INSIDE THE MIDDLE EAST", "The Stage" airs this Saturday. You can catch it 7:30 a.m. eastern time, that is 3:30 p.m. here in Abu

Dhabi.

Well, in our parting shots tonight, giving back to others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to this special unified Bochy tournament. On behalf of everyone at the Special Olympic World Games it is our great

pleasure to host you here today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, yesterday my colleagues and I had an unusually early start and it was all in the name of volunteering with the incredible team behind

the Special Olympics World Games which take place exactly 161 days from right now here in Abu Dhabi.

[11:55:00] Then more than 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries will be here in the UAE in Abu Dhabi to take part. This is the first time in

the game's 50-year history that the event will be hosted in the Middle East and North Africa.

Certainly, great timing now that the UAE calls those with intellectual disabilities, people of determination, a huge step in a region where this

often remains a taboo issue. It's all part of the UAE's mission to create a more inclusive society which could inspire other countries in the region

to follow suit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER WHEELER, CEO, SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES ABU DHABI 2019: The future is bright, but it's only bright because of leadership like the UAE

to really take the Special Olympics and use it as a catalyst to drive things forward in this country, but also to be a beacon of light for the

rest of the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: We spent a couple of hours with super talented special athletes and if you are interested in being one of what the organizers hope will be

20,000 volunteers for the world games in March next year, do check out our Facebook site for details how you might do that.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching from the team working with me and those working with me around the world,

from those here and those working with us around the world, it's a very good evening.

END