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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Theresa May Appoints New Brexit Secretary; 600 Plus Missing in Northern California Fire; U.S. Prosecutors Accidentally Reveal Possible Charges Against Julian Assange; Source Says Israel To Set Date for Early Elections; May Makes New Cabinet Appointments, Defends Draft Deal; Judges Sides With CNN, Orders WH To Return Acosta's Pass; Trump: I Wrote Answers To Mueller's Questions, Not Lawyers; N. Korean State Media: Kim Inspects "Ultra-Modern" Weapon; U.S. Couple, Homeless Man Charged In Scam. Aired 2- 3p ET
Aired November 16, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight. Theresa May is pushing forward after a week of
turmoil and she has received the backing of some key cabinet members so that should be a relief for her. We have the very latest.
Also, tonight, a shocking number coming out of California. More than 600 people are missing after the worst fire in the state's history.
And a win for CNN's Jim Acosta. A court ruling forces the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass and he headed straight back to
the White House.
Hanging in and battling on. That's what the British prime minister spent the day doing today, Theresa May is continuing to fight for her Brexit deal
despite a growing number of her own members of the parliament trying the oust her. She was thrown somewhat of a lifeline. Earlier, two white high-
profile cabinet secretaries said they're sticking by her. On Thursday, May was hit by several resignations and this is probably a relief. Today she
filled the post of Brexit Secretary, among others she appointed a man of Stephen Barclay to this position. A junior health minister, never served
in the cabinet before, meanwhile Prime Minister May doubled down on her Brexit deal today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: We are going to be locked into ever to something that we don't want. What we are doing is
negotiating a deal that means that we can take back control of our borders, free movement will end once and for all. That we take back control of her
money, we will be sending vast sums of money to the EU every year.
We take back the laws and we won't be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and we come out of the things people have been
really concerned about for years. Common agricultural policy, common fisheries policy, we are out of the customs union, we are out of the single
market. I think that is what people voted for and that is what I am delivering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Theresa May, she is plowing ahead. Let's get the very latest. Bianca Nobilo is outside parliament for us. A new Brexit secretary and a
name no one outside the U.K. has ever heard of. What difference will this make for the prime minister?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the prime minister will be hoping, Hala, very little. I think that's part of the reason behind this
choice. I have been asking around and speaking to MPs who know Stephen Barclay well and almost
unanimously they think he's a good man and he is only been a junior minister and not a heavy weight and he's a Brexiteer but if others aren't
able to reshape the Brexit strategy with much more experience in parliament, and much more widely known views on Brexit, I highly doubt that
Barclay would be able to do that and, Hala, it is relevant. This is a man never voted against the government. So, he has a record for being a
loyalist and she needs that at this time. I think in terms of the content of her Brexit deal, this man will have very little influence on that.
Downing street is in control of the negotiations for quite sometime. It really hasn't been the purview of the department and looking at no-deal
planning but in terms of political stability, she will be hoping this buys breathing space and in the cabinet to watch out for that might change the
course of the Brexit strategy are Michael Gove and the group meeting on the weekend, as well and she needs to keep a eye on, not so much the new Brexit
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much. Nic Robertson is here, our international diplomatic editor with more. So, outside the U.K. the
question is, there are two questions, big ones. Can she survive? Will Brexit happen? Take them one by one. Can she survive?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: She is surviving right now. Created a forward momentum. Ahead of the horrible day that she had
yesterday and repeated the message of the deal to deliver on what the British people asked for. She hasn't backed away from that and now she's
got the replacements in those cabinet positions for the people that resigned, so yes right now she is surviving
GORANI: Two pretty high-profile cabinet secretaries are backing her, two leading Brexit proponents.
ROBERTSON: Yes. Everyone was looking at Michael Gove, somewhat of a political chameleon and certainly been a hardline Brexiteer. Pushed for
Brexit and was against Theresa May in that from the beginning. Critical of May all the way along and seems to have sort of slipped into her wake at
the moment and his support for her is important for her at this time. If he's gone --
[14:05:00] GORANI: That would have been the end of her politically, right?
ROBERTSON: No, no.
GORANI: Three high profile resignations?
ROBERTSON: I suspect this is part of the calculation, as well. He would have been replaced. This is a position she is taking. It is down to a
challenger vote of no confidence to push her off the track. She is making that very clear. Having him, having Liam Fox, the international trade
secretary back her, as well, again, one of her early choices for a key Brexit position in the cabinet, is important. She's staunched the wound of
yesterday and she's got the momentum now, the recovery. How long it will last we don't know. Next few days at least.
GORANI: We saw her smiling through the pain in the news conference. You were there, as well. Second question. Brexit. Even the Sun Newspaper
Murdoch owned. Her Brexit newspaper. Had an article today quoting the deputy Labour leader saying a second referendum is now more likely. Is
that idea catching on?
ROBERTSON: Not with Theresa May. Not at all? She puts it down at every opportunity. You know, it has caught on and it is there. Perhaps it is a
political possibility. But again, she's not opting for that. She is trying to sort of go full steam ahead. She gets knocked -- she goes to
Brussels next weekend, gets the deal agreed and brings it back to parliament. Maybe it takes more than one vote in parliament. There may
not be an opportunity to sort of get this second referendum to a position political position where there's an opportunity for it to happen and I
think at the moment that's the reality.
GORANI: You just need the time to organize this type of thing. There's did vote of no confidence. I mean, you have some MPs plotting in the
background. Hoping to oust her. But isn't it a case of be careful what you wish if you are a Conservative politician in this country and oust your
prime minister? You could be really weakening your party at this point.
ROBERTSON: You could be. And also, an individual level. It's proven that trying to deliver Brexit is a poisoned chalice. You won't be able to
please the whole of parliament and won't please all the voters in Britain. So, if you manage to unseat her, who will you put in her stead and what
will the political shelf life be? If they bring her down, there's the opportunity that we could enter a situation where we could get to a general
election and the conservatives out of power. All of these things are things may will try to use to convince MPs to have in parliament with that
Brexit bill parliament vote on it, it is the threat of what happens if you don't do this, what the threat of what happens if you do, what happens if
you don't vote for this. Of course, as she keeps saying, you know, MPs will have to vote in the way that their constituents feel.
GORANI: They're going back this weekend.
ROBERTSON: They are.
GORANI: Taking the temperature and then come back.
ROBERTSON: So many are saying look at Theresa May this week. We may not like her and what she has done and find how she handled herself to be
admirable. That's not bad for a prime minister.
GORANI: I heard that quite a bit over the last several days. Even from her political opponents. They have said, you know what? I don't agree
with the politics but, you know, the lady is not for resigning.
GORANI: Just made that one up. Could apply to her.
ROBERTSON: May get it in her name just yet.
GORANI: Thank you. Thank you for joining us. Appreciate it.
Now to the California town of Paradise that looks like a war zone after a wildfire raced through burning Paradise to the ground. A haze now hangs
over the charred remains of this town. Unbelievable footage. Authorities made an alarming revelation. The number of people missing in northern
California has skyrocketed to more than 600 people. They say calls have been pouring in from people who have been unable to get in touch with
And just look at the pictures. The destruction mind blowing. Close to 10,000 homes have been destroyed. So far, 63 people have been confirmed
dead. As rescue workers continue to comb through the ash. Our Scott McClean is on the scene for us in Paradise.
[14:10:00] SCOTT MCCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death toll from the Camp Fire continues to rise and perhaps equally concerning the number of people
listed as missing, more than doubled since yesterday. The local sheriff says authorities are going back on 911 call logs and missing persons
reports to make sure that anyone reported missing was added to their list. Good news is he says many people don't realize that they were ever reported
missing and are safe and sound.
The concern for most people who live in this area is simply finding a roof over their heads. Hotel rooms are few and far between. Shelters are jam
packed. We know that four are also dealing with a norovirus outbreak and not an appealing place to stay and some people opted instead to go to the
Walmart parking lot and nearby Chico, California, sleep if their cars or outdoors and it gets quite cold here at night into the low 40s and not just
adults but families there.
I met a woman there sleeping in her car with her 7-year-old daughter. Another grandmother in a tent with her 9-year-old grandson and said that
you just could not put enough blankets on to stay warm. People are hoping that they can get the help that they need quite soon. One person they
might look to is the President of the United States. He will be in this area surveying the damage for himself tomorrow. And it won't be hard for
the President to find people who are displaced and struggling. Scott McLean, CNN, Paradise, California.
GORANI: Let's get an update on the relief efforts on ground in California where thousands are homeless. I want to show you these pictures. See the
shelters that the American Red Cross set up and people sleeping after they were forced to three their homes and also are hanging missing person
notices. For family members and also for lost pets. Lori Arnold from the American Red Cross joins me from near the Camp Fire in northern California.
Talk to us a little bit about all of these displaced people that you're helping feed and clothe and shelter. Tell me what their state of mind is
and how the operation is running where you are.
LORI ARNOLD, SPOKESWOMAN, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Well, we have been here for quite sometime. You know, the fires have been burning for over a week now
and the Red Cross is here on the ground. We have a number of shelters open and providing shelter, food, comfort for some of these people. Speaking of
the people who are missing and looking for others, we have a lot of people who are relying on the Red Cross reunification services, we have a safe and
well.org website and we have had over 1,200 matches and still a lot of matches left to be done and we're taking a huge part of our time to try to
get some of these families reunified and find people and help people who are here in the shelter.
GORANI: There was this number, over 600 people missing. A lot of that could be due to the fact that people have been reported missing several
times and different places or haven't been able to simply get in touch with a loved one because the phone isn't working or out of battery. Talk to us
about how you are connecting loved ones together who have lost track of each other during these fires.
ARNOLD: We have got people coming into shelters and leaving notices. We have our safe and well website and recommend people go to search for people
and to mark themselves as safe. It's a very easy, simple process and makes it easy to find each other.
GORANI: I wonder, I mean, so many people, thousands of people are now homeless because of these fires. At the Red Cross, will you eventually
need more shelter space? How's that going?
ARNOLD: So, we work closely with the local officials to determine to open new shelters. Right now, we have a lot of people staying at a good number
of shelters and opening a couple more here in the next few days and we really rely on the emergency services and city and government partners to
help us decide where and when to open the shelters.
GORANI: This could be long term. Are you prepared for that? It might take quite a long time to rebuild and find permanent housing again.
ARNOLD: So, the Red Cross will be here as long as we're need. This is what we are set up to do, what our volunteers are trained to do and we have
a -- thousands of volunteers across the country to help and be here for as long as we're need.
GORANI: What about the kids and families coming with pets and things like that. Just the more vulnerable family members.
[14:15:00] ARNOLD: We've got a number of families and children and pets here at the shelter here today and speaking with a family just this morning
and, you know, the children are amazingly resilient. That's the thing I find absolutely phenomenal is children are so resilient and people who are
able to keep their pets with them, we find that helps them to be resilient, as well. We are doing our best to make sure that they feel comfortable and
safe. We have toys and games for them. They're with the families and that really helps.
GORANI: Have you ever seen anything this bad?
ARNOLD: So, I have responded to a number of floods and hurricanes. This is the first time I've been out to respond during a wildfire and I will say
this is a very somber situation. Every disaster is. But it's been very heartbreaking speaking to the people here and just seeing the devastation
that we are experiencing here in California.
GORANI: They are lucky to have you to help. Lori Arnold, we appreciate it. Working hard to reunite families that have been separated. Thank you
for your time.
One final note on the California fires. There is a stunning way to show you the scope of the destruction. These are before and after images of
what Paradise used to be and what it's become. Houses churches, car washes, people used to work, to pray, to live their every day lives. A
church. All of them turned to nothing but stone and ash. There's a car wash and what's left of it.
Still to come tonight, an accidental leak may have revealed big trouble for the founder of WikiLeaks. We'll tell you which country may be after Julian
Plus, a rough week for the Israeli prime minister. Just got a whole lot worse. Why the country looks like it could be headed for some early
GORANI: A filing in a U.S. federal court appears to have accidentally revealed a secret indictment, probably would delight a champion of open
secrets such as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. However, this time the disclosure reveals that the person who may face charges is Assange himself.
The filing comes from U.S. federal court where there has been talk of charges against Assange for more than a year. Let's get details from CNN's
Laura Jarrett at the Justice Department and CNN's Hadas Gold outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Julian Assange is holed up for more than
six years now. This was accidentally revealed because the indictment against Assange was copied and pasted into the wrong file and someone just
found it? It was publicly out there?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we don't know exactly how this error happened but it was certainly not on purpose. It was certainly an
embarrassing blunder for the U.S. Attorney's office here in the United States. So just a little bit of background about how this happened. It
was in a court filing completely unrelated to the Assange case. Very different case of exploitation of a minor.
[14:20:00] And as a result, the prosecutors in that case were trying to seal it and then they discovered just yesterday on Twitter actually a
fellow at George Washington University discovered two very clear explicit references to charges against Assange and I want to read one of them to you
because it's just stunning in what it lays out here. The complaint supporting affidavit and the arrest warrant and a motion and proposed order
to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal charges against Assange and I want to read one of them to
you because it's just stunning in what it lays out here. The complaint supporting affidavit and the arrest warrant and a motion and proposed order
to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and
extradition in this matter and clearly referencing a criminal case against Assange. But we don't know exactly what charges he could be facing. We
have asked the U.S. Attorney's office in Virginia about this. All they have said is this is a court filing that was made in error. It was
inadvertent and nothing to do -- the two cases have nothing to do with one another and clearly facing something here. We don't know exactly what yet.
GORANI: All right. You're at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Any reaction from him?
HADAS GOLD, CNN MONEY EUROPEAN POLITICS, MEDIA AND GLOBAL BUSINESS: We haven't seen Julian Assange come to the window and normally appears on the
balcony. But the attorneys said that the news potentially troubling and they said it's a dangerous path to democracy and actually questioned what
these charges would mean for the freedom of the press and first amendment because that's what WikiLeaks argued is what they're doing, publishing
truthful information, whether or not governments might like it. As Laura said, we don't know what the charges entail but even if he is charged and
even Julian Assange leave it is embassy and it seems as though the welcome is wearing thin with the officials here, the ambassador called him a stone
in the shoe and there's a fight of when and where he will be extradited to the United States to face possible charges.
GORANI: we know how this blunder happened, Laura?
JARRETT: We still don't know exactly what happened. We don't know exactly whether it was a cut and paste. You know, federal prosecutors here in the
United States regularly reuse, like, what we would call template motions and the motion to seal in a criminal case is so routine, something that's
to used all the time and could be they had a draft of the Assange case ready and then merely used that copy in this completely separate case and
forgot to remove those two mentions to Assange. As clearly something that's possible, obviously still a very significant thing here that it
wasn't caught for days sitting on a public docket, only recently just uncovered last night.
GORANI: And Hadas, you mentioned that the welcome might be wearing thin at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Do the Ecuadorians want him out? Can they force
GOLD: Well, so there was actually a court case last month. Julian Assange filed a case that the saying that the embassy violating his human rights
restricting the internet access and the embassy had been instituting rules to clean up after himself and the cat in the embassy and a judge ruled that
Assange did have to follow the rules. Assange himself said he feels he will be forced out soon and officials did say last month they weren't
trying to force him out and reports that officials have been in discussion with British officials here in London about his fate. So, it's clear
there's some sort of movement now with news of these possible charges revealed. We might be seeing some action on this coming in the next
perhaps few weeks, months. We don't know exactly what may happen and even if he has to leave the embassy it is not like he will get on a plane and
get to the United States and face the charges.
GORANI: so much to both of you for joining us. We'll keep our eye on this story and see if there's Assange reaction online or in person.
Israel looks to be headed for early elections after a turbulent week for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An official says that a date will be
set Sunday. He holds the key to keeping the prime minister's coalition intact. Let's get the latest from Jerusalem. Oren Liebermann joins me
now. If we have early elections, what happens then? Does the Israeli government shift further to the right? What happens?
[14:25:00] OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, first, if there are early elections they have to be within roughly three to five months of when
they're called. If they're called on Sunday, it's the march to may time frame. So likely march and see how Sunday goes. That's a couple of days
away. All of the polling until now, not just the last couple of days but for weeks and months shows prime minister Netanyahu's party winning the
next elections and that sets up a case where first likely to have the exact same government or very similar government in the next elections and all it
really is an arguing about where everybody sits in the new government and then second a situation of where you have the parties in the coalition
fighting for the same voter base. Fighting for the same right-wing voter base. Yes, you are likely to see the same parties fighting for this same
voter base over the course of the next few months because of disagreements of the cease-fire of this week.
GORANI: What about, this is obviously according to polling, the party projected to win and what about the opposition party in Israel? Has it --
you barely hear from those politicians anymore.
LIEBERMANN: So there are a few wild cards here that could shift the balance of power here. But as all the polling is because the party the
hold on to the seats but likely to grow, he calls all the shots which largely means the current coalition parties vying for spots and the
opposition parties will be largely irrelevant as they are now. What are the wild cards to shift the balance of power? An indictment against prime
minister Netanyahu. Some of the current parties in the current coalition may say, look, we are not supporting you. It is the end. There are also a
couple of new party that is will enter it looks like and expected to pas what's known as the cut-off point and they have some power according to
polling, of course, to decide what happens here. It depends on how big the parties are, of course. And the final results. It would take something
like a wild card, an x-factor to shift the balance of power from this coalition to something else in the next election.
GORANI: Oren Lieberman, thanks very much for that live report from Jerusalem.
Turning now to a farewell by the family and friends of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They gathered in Istanbul and Saudi Arabia for absentee
funeral prayers recognizing that his remains may never be found or recovered. The ceremony comes after the U.S. announced sanctions on 17
Saudis over the killing. Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in Istanbul more that a month ago. Saudi Arabia insists it was a rogue operation. And
has issued a prosecutor's report stating that the individuals who murdered Khashoggi in that consulate and then cut him up into pieces did it without
the knowledge of any superiors in Saudi Arabia.
Still to come tonight, new cabinet members. And another familiar face returning to the cabinet. Heading back to the White House, a judge sides
with CNN ordering a reporter's press pass be reinstated. Hear what President Trump had to say about Jim Acosta returning to the briefing room.
We'll be right back.
[14:30:10] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Britain's prime minister has a third Brexit secretary as she's trying to rebuild her cabinet
following some very bruising resignations. Junior health minister, Stephen Barclay, will fill the role held until yesterday by Dominic Raab.
May is trying to fend off a whole bunch of challenges to her leadership. Top Brexiteer, Michael Gove says he'll stay in the government. That's good
and so will trade secretary, Liam Fox. That's also good for her. But then in the background, there are others, especially backbenchers, who'd like to
But as I mentioned, Liam Fox, is an important name in this country. He's one of the most senior cabinet ministers and he decided to stay, so this is
helping Theresa May, certainly, relax a little bit maybe over the weekend. He spoke to Max Foster.
LIAM FOX, BRITISH INTERNATIONAL TRADE SECRETARY: It was never going to be comfortable and believe me it's not been -- it has not been comfortable.
And for us, for some of us, it's been a very painful process. But ultimately, we have to act and what is the national interest not
necessarily in our own.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you've come to the conclusion that a deal is better than a no deal effectively even if it's a deal that's not
entirely comfortable for you?
FOX: Well, I have said all along that I thought having a deal was better than no deal. But of course, it has to be an acceptable deal and it has to
be acceptable to both sides.
We are now in a process where there's a collective cabinet position. It's not yet finished this process. It still will be commented upon by the E.U.
27 members, we'll then go to the council and then come back to parliament and what we have to be able to do is to reassure people that all their
anxieties have been dealt with.
As the prime minister herself said, she shares some of those anxieties about the process. But ultimately, we're there to work for the national
interest and we have to remember that Europe, we have very important relationship for the United Kingdom but there is a world beyond the E.U.
and there's a time beyond Brexit. We've got to plan for the opportunities when that presents.
FOSTER: The prime minister had a real struggle getting the deal through cabinet. Do you really think she'll be able to get it through parliament,
FOX: Well, we don't know what yet, you know, exactly what the shape of that will be. It still got to go to European Council, as the prime
minister has said. Ultimately, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, so we need to know about the shape of our future partnership, we
need to know what the arrangements are for that separation. Such as citizen's rights will be very key to that.
FOSTER: What sort of discussions have you had with the remaining Brexiteers on the cabinet? You're working together as a group now
FOX: Well, I think that we always have worked together and we've been very frank about our views in cabinet. As you know, we had somewhat of a
marathon meeting over five hours the other night. It was a pretty no holds barred conversation where we were very frank as the prime minister
acknowledged. There's some very passionate views expressed at that meeting and that's what you expect.
We are there to set out what we think are the best alternatives and then collectively to come to an agreement. And that is where we are now. It's
what the prime minister will take to the European Council. Again, as I say that's a negotiation. It's not something what we present an ultimatum.
GORANI: Well, as I mentioned, Liam Fox, very important to the prime minister in this country because he is a leading Brexiteer. If he and
others like Michael Gove had resigned, it would have been bad news for her even more so than what some backbenchers in parliament may be plotting
Ruth Lee joins me now. She's a pro-Brexit economist who's long pushed for the U.K. to leave the E.U. Thanks for being with us. What's your opinion
on this deal?
RUTH LEE, ECONOMIC ADVISER, ARBUTHNOT BANKING GROUP: It's disappointing. And I think -- obviously, we saw the papers on Wednesday which was the
withdrawal agreement, the draft agreement on that. And then of course, there was the political declaration on the future framework, the future
relationship between the U.K. and the E.U.
And on both of those, they were talking about quite close alignment whether it's the Customs Union or a quasi-Customs Union and close regulatory
requirement on a wide range in central regulations. Under those circumstances, you can argue this isn't really Brexit at all. It's a sort
of quasi-Brexit and it's not a clean Brexit.
GORANI: It's not clean but the only clean Brexit is to leave without a deal.
LEE: Well, I was (INAUDIBLE) when we left we should have just a straightforward free trade association agreement with the E.U. and not go
into all this regulatory alignment or indeed customs alignment. But it has gone down the root of this --
GORANI: But how do you have access to banking markets? How do you have access to goods markets in the E.U. if you don't align yourself in a
[14:35:01] LEE: Well, if you're exporting, obviously, you have to comply with the regulations of the countries you're exporting to. But if they're
exporting to the states, we have to do that to the state. If we have to do that to Australia --
GORANI: But pro-Brexit proponents always mention the states. The percentage of trade with the states is so much smaller than the percentage
of this country's trade with the E.U. as a single market.
LEE: Could I just say this? The trade now, our export, 55 percent is to non E.U. countries. So we're not -- so 45 percent is with E.U. countries.
And, moreover, the share that's going to E.U. countries is diminishing because the trade to non E.U. countries is growing much, much greater than
it is to E.U. countries and I suspect in --
GORANI: But 45 percent is not something --
LEE: Forty-five percent, but it's a shrinking percentage. Look, nobody is saying --
GORANI: That you can dismiss.
LEE: Nobody's saying we shouldn't have access to the -- at all. When you think about it, non-E.U. countries trade with us. And we are member of the
E.U. How do they export stuff to us? It's because, of course, they have access to the single market. They have to.
GORANI: But because their relationship hasn't been built on the foundation of a common Customs Union in single market for 40 years. That's why it
would be difficult to disentangle this country from the E.U. --
LEE: I just don't buy this. I'm sorry. I don't buy this. Because after all, for trading under WTO rules, which is what the best you get trading
with non-E.U. countries. Those are tried and tested. It's not as if it's falling off the cliff or any of these sort of dramatic nonsense that we
keep hearing. And it is perfectly possible to trade successfully with countries under WTO rules.
GORANI: Do you think it's better to be in the E.U. or to adopt to this deal that Theresa May negotiated?
LEE: There's a close call. A close call, Hala. A really close call. But let's be honest, I want out of the E.U. and we've got this far, so let's
push on with it. But this deal is actually a very unsatisfactory deal. And I can see why so many people are unhappy with it.
GORANI: Well, it doesn't look like it will get through parliament though. But if it doesn't, then this country, your country, is faced with a very
difficult road ahead, isn't it?
LEE: Well, as I've said, I don't believe leaving with no trade deal is like falling off a cliff. This is so much nonsense.
GORANI: You're always been an optimist when it comes to Brexit.
LEE: Let me tell you something that prior to the referendum result, I was one of the few economists who said this economy wouldn't fall off a cliff.
They keep going on about falling off cliffs or falling to recession or 500,000 extra unemployed. It didn't happen.
LEE: This has caused scaremongering. That was project fear mark one, this is project fear mark two. Take my word for it. If we take the WTO rules,
it's perfectly feasible.
GORANI: All right. Ruth Lee, thank you so much, as always, for coming on. We appreciate having you on the program this evening on CNN.
Now to an update on that lawsuit that CNN filed against the White House. A federal judge in the U.S. has ordered the Trump administration to give back
Jim Acosta, our colleague, his press pass. That they took away from him.
These are pictures of Jim heading straight back into the White House briefing room. Here's what Jim had to say when the ruling came down after
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just want to say something very briefly and that is I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported
us this week. And I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today and let's go back to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let's get more on this. Brian Stelter joins me now with the latest. And it's remarkable. I was wondering after that ruling how long
it would take for the White House to give Jim back his credentials but it was -- it happened right away apparently.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The White House did abide by the order of the judge in the D.C. district court, did provide Acosta a new
hard pass, so he is back at the White House. We're going to see him later today on "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer.
Acosta, obviously, does not want to have be in the middle of this. He wanted to be able to ask questions at a press conference like everybody
else there. But since he was thrown out last week, this did become a dramatic court battle.
And it's not over yet, Hala. Yes, there's been this temporary restraining order. Yes, Acosta is back for now. But the White House may continue to
fight, may continue to try to challenge this in court. We heard a little bit about that from the president he said a little while ago that the White
House is going to write new rules and regulations governing how reporters going to act at the White House. Here's what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People have to behave and they have to do -- we're writing up rules and regulations to make our
You can't take three questions and four questions and just stand up and not sit down. Decorum. You have to practice decorum. You were there. You
understood and you understand. We want total freedom of the press. That's very important to me. It's more important to me than anybody would
But you have to act with respect. You're in the White House. When I see the way some of my people get treated at press conferences, it's terrible.
So we're setting up a certain standard which is what the court is requesting. And always freedom of the press, always First Amendment. But
that's the way it is. And we always have the option of just leaving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STELTER: So that's what the president said about trying to establish regulations. Governing behavior of the press corps. Maybe giving him a
pat in the future for kicking reporters out if he wants to. Because after all, today's ruling was about, primarily, the Fifth Amendment of the U.S.
constitution, about due process. The judge said that Acosta was not given due process. So Trump might try to come up with some way to give people
notice and then suspend their press pass. We'll see about that.
[14:40:14] But CNN's lawyer Ted Boutrous told me CNN would like to resolve this. They don't want to stay in court battling for months. They would
like to resolve this. But the network is prepared to continue litigating this, for example, if the White House puts in draconian new rules, CNN will
be back in court about that.
GORANI: But what about as Jim Acosta's First Amendment rights? What did the judge rule on that?
STELTER: The judge -- I don't want to say he punted but he said he wasn't going to make any decisions today about whether Acosta's first amendment
rights were violated. He said he was focusing on the due process argument, the Fifth Amendment instead.
This is only an initial hearing and an initial ruling. There will be more hearings as soon as next week unless the White House decides to settle. So
the underlying foundational issues here about First Amendment rights, those might be decided by the court down the road.
I think many news outlets, like CNN, would like to see the judge make a firm ruling about the First Amendment here as well. But at least for now,
there's a lot of relief, a lot of cheering going on in newsrooms and press freedoms circles that the judge did support Acosta, did side with CNN today
and most importantly just got Acosta back to work.
GORANI: And I -- it's interesting, the judge in this case was appointed by Donald Trump.
STELTER: Yes. Appointed by Donald Trump just a year ago. And in the ruling today, Judge Kelly said among other things that White House press
secretary Sarah Sanders was wrong when Sanders said, "Yes, Acosta. We kicked him out because he placed his hands on a White House intern." That
was one of the initial claims from the White House which was contradicted by the videotape and I thought it was telling to see a Trump appointed
judge saying the press secretary was not telling the truth.
GORANI: Interesting. Thanks very much, Brian Stelter with the latest on that. Our chief White House correspondent is back at work at the White
We'll be right back on CNN. Stay with us.
GORANI: It's been a week of firings, foul moods from the president and more drama inside the White House. And as new questions surface about what
Robert Mueller has coming, after the president went on a very specific Twitter tirade against the special counsel, some believe Donald Trump is
acting like he knows something about the Russia investigation that the rest of America has yet to learn.
And the last hour the president said he's written answers to questions from Mueller but has not yet submitted them. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There should have never been any Mueller investigation because there was never anything done wrong. There was no collusion. There never
has been. You would have known about it a long time ago if there was. There was nothing -- they shouldn't never had it. They've wasted millions
and millions of dollars. They should have never been a so-called investigation which in theory it's not an investigation of me. But it's as
far as I'm concerned, I like to take everything personally because you do better that way.
[14:45:03] The witch-hunt, as I call it, should never have taken place. It continues to go on. I imagine it's ending now. From what I hear, it's
ending and I'm sure it'll be just fine. And you know why it's going to be just fine? Because there was no collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, so what does this say about the president's state of mind? And about the investigation itself? Let's discuss these developments with
Darren Samuelsohn. He's a senior White House reporter with Politico. Thanks for being with us.
So first of all, the president revealed he wrote answers to Mueller's questions himself. He did not have lawyers draft those responses. What do
you make of that?
DARREN SAMUELSOHN, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, I don't know quite what to say about that. His lawyers have certainly been working
on these questions for a long time. They've been talking to me and I think to many other reporters about the fact that they were preparing answers,
preparing at least maybe the drafts of the answers and so maybe they scribbled down for President Trump what they think should be put down on
paper and then maybe he rewrote them himself.
But clearly the lawyers were involved. They've been there all week at the White House. Rudy Giuliani, I believe Jay Sekulow as well, his other major
lawyer and a couple of other lawyers that he's been relying on.
An clearly, that work that they've been doing, I think is part of why we saw some of those very angry tweets in the last couple of days and why his
mood has been kind of sour along with lot of other reasons why as the Russia probe sort of seems to be closing around him in many different ways.
GORANI: What kind of questions is he answering? He says he's answering them himself. I'm sure he's, as you mentioned, taking some advice from
lawyers. But what questions is Mueller posing here?
SAMUELSOHN: Sure. So there are parts I think in two parts. The questions that he's getting now have to do with his time before he was president of
the United States. And they have to deal with the investigation and to the Russian hacking of the democratic e-mails, how those ended up splashed
across WikiLeaks. Whether his campaign had any role whatsoever in assisting or aiding that.
As well as other ties to Russia, prior to the presidential campaign. So it's sort of stuff looking back before he's inaugurated in January of 2017.
There is a whole separate set of questions that the Mueller team wants to ask him about with respect to his time as president of the United States,
but those questions haven't been post yet. The Trump lawyers have been resisting them and that's where we could have a huge legal fight if Bob
Mueller insists on getting answers to those questions. And that deals with obstruction of justice and the firing of James Comey.
GORANI: But can Mueller compel the president to answer these questions?
SAMUELSOHN: He can certainly try. There's never been a subpoena of a sitting president of the United States with respect to actions while the
person was in office as president of the United States. We do have some Supreme Court precedent in the Bill Clinton era, but that deals with
questions about Bill Clinton's time before he was president.
So we could be heading toward a big Supreme Court showdown where Bob Mueller would be insisting on answers to questions that have to do with
potential criminal acts of someone while he's the president of the United States or -- and the president will be pushing back very forcefully that
that's privileged material that he does not need to share.
And, yes. We could end up in a very protracted legal fight if Bob Mueller does want to subpoena Donald Trump. Now, there would be a huge political
optics question there where you'd be wondering and I would be too. Does President Trump have something to hide? So there's a political cost if
Donald Trump does want to fight that fight.
GORANI: And as we mentioned in the intro, he's been on a tweet tear. There have been several reports and several publications about how he's
been in a terrible mood. What's going on there?
By the way, his vice president is almost acting almost more presidential in his trips abroad and his statements, you know, on the California fires and
other things. The reports are that President Trump has been kid of seething inside the White House.
SAMUELSOHN: Yes. My reporting has shown the same thing. The president is not happy, as I said. Obviously, this debate over answering the questions
and how forthcoming he should be on those questions is one part of it.
We also know, you know, Bob Mueller has been very quiet for the last many months. We are now beyond the midterm elections when there was sort of a
quiet period where Robert Mueller was not supposed to be, at least, publicly. Now, we're beyond that and there's a lot of expectation in
Washington. We're kind of on thin ice here today waiting for maybe more indictments to come. They haven't come yet.
But we're hearing from Trump world that people are very concerned, including the president's oldest son, Donald Trump, Jr. is very concerned
about potential perjury charges. That would have to do probably with his testimony before Congress.
And really once the Democrats take control of Congress in January, which they will in the House, they're going to be able to send that testimony up
to Robert Mueller and recommend perjury charges. And I don't think that Donald Trump is very happy about that prospect.
GORANI: All right. Darren Samuelsohn, senior White House correspondent for Politico, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
SAMUELSOHN: Thank you.
[14:50:57] GORANI: North Korea is claiming it has tested a newly developed ultramodern weapons. State media released images of leader, Kim Jong-un
inspecting it. There he is. Not much is known about the weapon or if it's actually new.
But the timing is curious given a recent concession announced by the U.S. vice president on conditions for a second Trump/Kim summit. Mike Pence
says Pyongyang will no longer have to provide a full list of nuclear and missile sites to the U.S. ahead of that planned meeting.
Global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joins me now with that. What's going on there? Lots of moving parts here with Kim Jong-un, with these
propaganda pictures of new weapons and then the U.S. making -- well, it looks like a pretty significant concession.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It is a concession, Hala. Definitely. I mean, the North Koreans have no intention really of handing
over any kind of declaration. But the fact that the U.S. is saying that it doesn't have to itemize its nuclear arsenal in order to have a summit with
President Trump. That is a big deal.
However, that's not what the North Koreans are really looking for. What they're looking for is some kind of lifting of sanctions, you know, however
small, some kind of small sign that the U.S. is committed to lifting those sanctions and that's why that meeting with Secretary Pompeo and Kim Jong-un
-- or excuse me, Kim Yong-chol was supposed to take place in New York. Secretary Pompeo said it was a scheduling issue.
But the North Koreans have told us that they are very upset that the sanctions aren't going to be lifted. So, yes, a concession about the
declaration, but it doesn't really signify any movement, I don't think in the negotiations.
GORANI: So, OK. When are we -- when is there potentially going to be a second summit here?
LABOTT: Well, I think they're still working on that. This meeting that Secretary Pompeo was supposed to have with his counterpart was supposed to
set up that summit, but it's pretty clear that, you know, that's failing. And it's true that the North Koreans only want to meet with President
Trump. They don't feel they're getting anything from the rest of the administration. They hear mixed messages coming from Secretary Pompeo and
his envoy. They won't even see Steve Biegun.
I think the fact that they launched this test, this -- what they're calling is a tactical weapon, which really signifies that it's maybe a short range
missile of some type or something to hit South Korea, whether it's South Korean forces or U.S. forces in South Korea.
Diplomats, I have spoken to kind of are blowing it off a little bit. They say it's not really a big deal. It's a modern age. It's an older age
weapon not very modern, in fact. I think it's symbolic, though, because the North Koreans have not tested anything since about a year. That's the
one thing President Trump has claimed victory on and now they're saying, you know, we could be ready for a more muscular posture if you don't give
us what they want and what they want is lifting those sanctions, Hala.
GORANI: Elise Labott, thanks very much. We're very, very far from a deal there. It sounds like. Thanks for joining us from Washington.
A lot more ahead. Stay with us.
GORANI: Sometimes a story is just too good to be true. A New Jersey couple and a homeless man are accused of making up a tale out of thin air
that helped them raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe page. New Jersey authorities are now taking legal action against them.
Melissa Raney (ph) has the details.
[14:55:04] MELISSA RANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a story that tugged at the heartstrings of people around the world in November
2017. A homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., gave his last $20 to a woman stranded on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, so she could put gas in her car.
That woman Kate McClure and her boyfriend started a GoFundMe page to pay it forward to Bobbitt.
The story quickly gained traction raising more than $400,000. Fast forward a year later.
SCOTT COFFINA, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY PROSECUTOR: The entire campaign was predicated on a lie. She did not run out of gas on an I-95
off-ramp and he did not spend his last $20 to help her. Rather, D'Amico, McClure, and Bobbitt conspired to pass off a fake, feel good story that
would compel donors to contribute to their cause.
RANEY: Now, prosecutors in New Jersey have filed charges against all three.
COFFINA: My office has charged mark D'Amico, Kathleen (ph) McClure and Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy
to commit theft by deception.
RANEY: Bobbitt says he only saw $75,000 of the money raised. He sued the couple for fraud back in August. Authorities say the remainder of the
money was squandered away.
COFFINA: Among other things, they bought a car, took trips, purchased high-end handbags and hit the casinos hard.
RANEY: Even so, officials say Bobbitt was a willing participant in the scam.
COFFINA: He was fully complicit with the scheme to defraud contributors, promoting the campaign in multiple media appearances and posing with
D'Amico and McClure for a Philadelphia Inquirer story in front of a gas station that he did not buy gas from.
RANEY: The second-degree crimes could carry a sentence of five to 10 years. GoFundMe says everyone who have donated to the campaign will get a
I'm Melissa Raney, reporting.
GORANI: one of the greatest writers in Hollywood history has died. William Goldman won Academy Awards for writing "Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid" and "All the President's Men. But he's probably best known for writing the book and screenplay for one of my favorite movies of all
time, "The Princess Bride."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't fall? Inconceivable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Goldman had been battling cancer and pneumonia. He was 87 years old.
Thanks for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I'm Hala Gorani. If it's your week, have a great one. I'll see you Monday. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS"