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CONNECT THE WORLD
Government, Houthi Rebels Signal Support for Ceasefire Talks; Jewish Home Party Backs Down from Threat to Leave Government; Trump Triggers Controversy with "Raking" Remark; Khashoggi Affair Casts Shadow on Trump's Agenda; Hook, Saudi Arabia Helping to Regulate Oil Markets; Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn Arrested; Trump Criticizes U.S. Admiral Who Led bin Laden Raid; White House, Acosta's Press Pass Could be Revoked Again. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 19, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: A very warm welcome to what is CONNECT THE WORLD, with me I'm Becky Anderson live from Abu Dhabi. It is 7
o'clock in the evening here.
And we begin tonight with new hope, real hope that the guns may finally fall silent in a war that has triggered one of the worst humanitarian
crisis in the world. There is now broad support, among the warring parties, in Yemen, for U.N. sponsored cease fire talks. Now, just a short
time ago, the country's internationally recognized Saudi-backed government says it will take part in talks after Houthi rebels announced they would
stop attacking Saudi coalition targets as a goodwill gesture. All this as Britain's U.N. ambassador is as we understand it circulating a draft
resolution, this hour, on Yemen, in the Security Council in New York.
I'm joined now by our senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, for more on this. And Sam, is this really the beginning of the end of a
conflict that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and has forced Yemen to the brink of famine?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it is the beginning of a glimmer of hope. Ultimately, who knows where these talks,
if they ever happen, go anywhere. But we do have two remarkable developments in the last 24 hours, as you were saying there. The
internationally recognized government, which is of course backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, saying it would go to talks. That's the first of any
of the belligerence to sign up publicly to the idea of talks. The Houthis have said that they are going to stop using their long-range weapons -- the
ones that they used to cross borders into this country and neighboring Saudi Arabia, and drones. That was part of the original 2015 United
Nations Security Council resolution, which demanded that they stop shooting first effectively. That sort of what they have offered.
It has been interesting over the last week -- two week. There has been a big uptick in fighting around the port city of Hodeidah, all of the
belligerence there up until now, have said that they would begin to respect a pause in the fighting but not the Saudis. And it is going to be how the
Saudis react, I think, that will also be determined by what the wording is of this resolution being circulated at the moment in draft form by the
ANDERSON: That's right. And as we understand it, that draft resolution, the wording of which is now being circulated amongst security council
members and it will be a period of some days, as we understand it, before we get to see that draft resolution, and it be voted on. There is, as we
have discussed, Saudi resistance reportedly to this new resolution. Because Riyadh quite frankly as you rightly point out, thinks that
resolution 2216, from several years ago, still holds. That called for -- and let's just bringing it up. And viewers, isn't getting stuck in the
weed, this is really important.
It called for quote, all parties in the embattled country, in particular the Houthis, immediately and unconditionally, end violence. And to refrain
from acts that threaten the political transition.
A political transition, it is seen, we certainly know, three years in the making. And until General Mattis called for this cease fire, and these
talks, by the end of November, it seemed we were going absolutely nowhere. So, if we are getting somewhere at this point, why are the Saudis so
exercised by any new resolution that will be tabled by the U.K.? And what is the point of any of these resolutions?
KILEY: Well, take the first question, the first part of that question. The Saudis are exercising, they're under pressure at the moment, over what
happened to Jamal Khashoggi, they're very sensitive, they're very thin- skinned at the moment. Any kind of implied moral equivalency between their war against the Houthis, which, let's face it, does have international
support, it has the support albeit waning from the United Kingdom, the United States. It used to have the support of the French, the Germans just
suspended arms sales but more over Khashoggi. But in this context, they are feeling the pressure, they are ultra-sensitive, they don't want to be
put into equal camp as the Houthis. In their view it is the Houthis who try to depose the legitimate government and they are legitimately trying to
protect that government. That is the Saudi position.
More widely though, there is a sense, particularly among Saudi Arabia's allies, that there hasn't been enough recognition of the humanitarian costs
that have been paid by the Yemenis for this war, and they want to try to reign in the Saudis and their allies in the UAE, elsewhere.
[10:05:03] ANDERSON: Well, the executive director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, recently visited Yemen to assess the situation
there. He talked to our Christiane Amanpour just in the past hour or so about what he saw there, and about the efforts to ease this crisis. Have a
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I wonder what you can tell me, the king of Saudi Arabia, who as you know, they lead the big, the
anti-Houthi coalition, the United States is supporting, the king has just said that Saudi Arabia remains open and supports the possibility of a
political solution. What have each side done in regard to this war and to the possibility of resolving it off the battlefield? Because you've had to
deal with both sides.
DAVID BEASLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: We've had to deal with all sides. You're exactly right. If you recall a year ago, I was
pretty hard on the Saudis for the blockade and for the lack of financial support for the humanitarian disaster that resulted from the war. And so,
the Houthis were like so appreciative of the fact that I was being hard on the Saudi, and I looked at them and I said let me tell you something very
clearly, I'm not taking sides but if you cross the line with us with humanitarian support I will be on your back too. And so, now today I'm
being hard on Houthi's because they don't provide the access we need. They deny us the visas and equipment that we need for the personnel to deliver
the food assistance in the different regions throughout Yemen.
The Saudis have been more cooperative. The UAE has really been remarkably cooperative in working with us in terms of humanitarian financial support
and access, and the U.S. and the U.K., but the pressure is building on all sides now. The difficulty with the Houthis is this. There's not just one
simple faction. In fact, some of the Houthis that we deal with, we can deal with reasonably effective. There are elements that we can't deal with
and it seems like they just don't care.
And so, we had positive meetings last week. I've been meeting inside Yemen for three days last week, in Hodeidah at the port itself in Aden, in Sunna
, meeting with the different leaders of the different factions and, of course, they're telling me what I want to hear. Now we will see what type
of fruit takes place in terms of progress on the ground.
ANDERSON: Well, that was David Beasley speaking just an hour or so ago, to the network, and it's fascinating. Because the Saudi coalition position
is, they do not want to be seen as equivalents so far as these warring parties are concerned, when it comes to the Houthis and David Beasley
pointing out there, that it is access from the Houthis at this point that the humanitarian organizations need on the ground.
KILEY: Well, neither side, and by that, I mean neither the Saudis nor the Iranians who are the big powers in this game, can possibly afford to be
blamed for what could be the starvation of 400,000 children, according to the United Nations Children Fund, and threatening 14 million people with
starvation. Whatever the agenda of their proxy war in the Yemen, none of them -- and right now, Jeremy Hunt I'm sure is making that point to the
Houthis backers in Tehran, there is no upside to killing Yemenis civilians.
ANDERSON: Sam Kiley, in the house. Thank you, Sam.
Later on, in this show we will bring my conversation with Brian Hook, who is the U.S. special representative to Iran, and special adviser to the U.S.
Secretary of State, about the pressure campaign against Iran, about fixing Yemen, and an awful lot more, not the least the U.S. relationship with the
Saudis at present. You won't want to miss that.
To Israel now, where some last-minute political maneuvering by Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to keep his coalition alive. A party that could have
toppled the Prime Minister's government by forcing early elections, made an abrupt U-turn backing down from a threat to leave the coalition. Unless
Naftali Bennett was appointed defense minister. Now this concession came after Mr. Netanyahu addressed the nation, promising to ensure Israel's
security and talking tough about an unspecified plan of action.
Let's get the details from Oren Liebermann who is live for you tonight in Jerusalem. So, Oren, the cabinet minister, who could have been king maker,
deciding to back down. How significant is this?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is incredibly significant. Even before or just before, I should say, this announcement from the right-wing
education minister, and the justice minister, who is part of the same party, all of the reporting here that he was about to resign. He was about
to take down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he had threatened to do, if Netanyahu didn't give him the defense ministry. He repeatedly said if I
don't get the defense ministry, I'm taking down the government, we're going to elections. It came down to a showdown between Benjamin Netanyahu and
[10:10:00] In the end it was Bennett who folded and folded in a big way changing his tune entirely. Saying we're taking all of our political
demands off the table. We just want to see this government become more right-wing. For now, we will support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as
he moves forward. And that was a complete sort of acknowledgment of political defeat by Bennett, and handing it to Netanyahu, averting
elections for now.
Now there is one more key here, Becky, the finance minister, last Thursday, was the first to call for early elections. He was then echoed by the
interior minister. The finance minister, Moshe Kahlon, has not spoken yet. So, he may still have a move he wants to make here. But it looks like
Netanyahu has avoided elections for now.
ANDERSON: So, the Israeli defense minister's job often becomes a steppingstone for the role of Prime Minister, when you look back at how
many Israeli leaders have served in both roles, including Ehud Barack and Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin.
Why then would a clearly ambitious politician -- and that is an understatement -- like Naftali Bennett give up his demand for the defense
LIEBERMANN: There is a simple answer to that and it's because he is going for the same right-wing voter base as Netanyahu. And if he were to take
down the government simply because he wasn't handed the defense ministry, that would be seen by right wing voters as a betrayal of their cause. They
would be seen to be taking down what they have proudly proclaimed as the most right-wing government in the history of the country, and they would
pin that on Naftali Bennett. And so, would Netanyahu. And could cost him dearly in the polls. His only option there really then was to stay in the
government and simply try to move Netanyahu more to the right. Sure, he's ambitious. Sure, he might have his eyes on the prime minister somewhere
down the road here. But to take down the government now, because he doesn't get the defense ministry spot was not going to help him in that
ANDERSON: Mr. Netanyahu said that holding early elections now would be, and I quote him, irresponsible. One of the issues behind the scenes here
could be, could be the expected unveiling of Donald Trump's so-called deal of the century. Now, Axios reporting that the U.S. President is about to
launch his long-awaited Middle East peace plan. But says the timing could depend on Israel and how this political crisis plays out. Does that
resonate with you, Oren?
LIEBERMANN: Well, there's been plenty of reporting for a long time now that the peace plan is about to be unveiled. There was speculation here
that if Israel goes to elections, the peace plan would be delayed but the plan itself could be very difficult for Netanyahu. If the plan involves
concessions of the Palestinians which Trump has said it does, if it involves the establishment to the Palestinians, which Trump has said it
does. If it involves the establishment of the Palestinian state, if it involves the division of Jerusalem, then accepting this plan by anybody in
the current coalition would be seen as a betrayal of the right wing.
So, if Netanyahu accepts the plan, he could lose and election. But if Netanyahu rejects the plan, he may lose Trump. Because it would be seen as
a rejection of President Donald Trump's plan. And he wouldn't like that very much. So, it's a very difficult position, when this peace plan comes
out, that's partially why the administration has been so careful in how they've unveiled it and why so little of the details of the plan have been
revealed so far.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem for you viewers tonight. And speaking --thank you.
Speaking of political survivors, the British Prime Minister is at the start of a week that might have felt like, well, it couldn't have come soon
enough, after winning cabinet support, for her Brexit plan, and avoiding an open rebellion in her own party. Theresa May is fighting back, and she
means business. Literally. In the past few hours, Mrs. May pitched her draft Brexit deal to British business leaders, saying it will install
stability. Now, the focus, Europe. Where two key meetings are scheduled this week.
Well the so-called "camp" wildfire in northern California has caused so much death and destruction, it is hard to believe it isn't even halfway
finished burning yet. That is the word from emergency officials there. They say the fire probably won't be contained until the end of the month.
It has killed 77 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
There is a bit of good news, on the other side of the state, where the deadly Woolsey fire is 91 percent contained. U.S. President Donald Trump
seemed shocked by what he witnessed during his visit to California over the weekend. But he, well he triggered controversy, flack on the internet and
denials from the President of Finland, when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was with the President of Finland, and he said, we have a much different, we're forestation.
[10:15:00] He called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problem, and
when it is, it is a very small problem. So, I know everybody's looking at that, to that end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, let's get to you our Kaylee Hartung in Chico, California, for an update on exactly what is going on, where you are -- Kaylee.
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, where we are here, in the parking lot of a Walmart, about ten miles from the town of Paradise that was
essentially completely wiped out by the campfire. Here you see some of the people in this community whose needs are the greatest. A tent city of
sorts has pops up behind me. Some people who have been living here for 11 day, ever since they have been forced to flee as the wildfire rapidly
approached and engulfed Paradise. The crowd here though I should say has thinned out over the course of the week end. This was only supposed to be
a short-term fix for some of these people.
Volunteers and local officials, now feeling a sense of urgency to find a safer, more secure shelter for these folks, as rain is approaching in the
forecast, on Wednesday. Rains could bring mud slides and floods to this area. And so, three American Red Cross shelters are advertising that their
doors are open, that they are welcoming anyone who needs shelter. But some of those shelters are more than an hour away from where we are here. So
again, transportation needed. Another challenge for these folks who have lost everything, where they're having to rely oftentimes on the kindness of
And while officials try to cater to the needs of the living, there is also the difficult balancing act of the recovery of, and the search for human
remains. The list of people unaccounted for at this time, that list stands at 993 names. But authorities caution that number will continue to
fluctuate, it will do so sharply, and suddenly, with tens of thousands of people displaced, it has been a very difficult process for them to comb
through all of their records and sources of information, from 911 calls and e-mails to incident reports, to call together this list. They say, while
we've seen the number jump in recent day, just yesterday, they were able to remove 283 names from it.
So again, while tens of thousands of families await news on the fate of their loved ones, who may be missing, that gut-wrenching news, that this
fire is barely halfway done burning, as you mentioned, another 11 days, authorities expect, before it will be fully contained.
ANDERSON: Kaylee, thank you.
We will circle back to our top story next. Bringing you an interview with the manhandling the Iran file for Trump, really helping to shape how
Washington thinks, talks, and acts, on the Middle East, and the Gulf region. Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, right here
on CONNECT THE WORLD. We ask him about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, punishing Iranians, not the regime, with sanctions, fixing Yemen, and more.
You don't want to miss that. Stay with us.
Almost gone, Nissan is prepared to oust its chairman, Carlos Ghosn, after making stunning allegations against him. Find out what those are in just a
[10:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: The matter of Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the political fallout that has dominated the news cycle for
several weeks continues. It has put immense pressure on the Trump administration, and its ties to Saudi Arabia. A country Mr. Trump calls a
spectacular ally and one he chose to visit on his first overseas trip as President. Well, all this now, casting a shadow over Mr. Trump's number
one Middle East priority, keeping Iran in check.
Well, nothing that happens in this region happens in isolation. And much of what happens has a direct link or line to Washington. Well, earlier, I
spoke with a man charged with putting pressure on Tehran for the Trump administration. Brian Hook is a U.S. special representative for Iran. He
is also a senior adviser to the former CIA chief. Now, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
ANDERSON: Brian, what do you make of these reports that the CIA has intelligence that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was involved in the
killing of Jamal Khashoggi?
BRIAN HOOK, U.S. SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAN: The reports that the United States has reached a conclusion about the death of Jamal Khashoggi
are inaccurate. We are still gathering the facts. And so, we have taken some actions against suspects. We've imposed sanctions and visa sanctions
on them. But we are still gathering facts. We are determined to hold those accountable, who were responsible for the death of Jamal, and while
we are doing that, we will maintain our strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia.
ANDERSON: Mr. Trump spoke to Fox News on Sunday, and this is what he had to say on Yemen.
TRUMP: I want to see Yemen end. But it takes two to tango. Iran has to end it also. And Iran is a different country than it was when I took over.
It is far weakened because of what I did with the Iran, so-called Iran deal, Iran nuclear deal, which is one of the great rip-offs of all time.
But I want Saudi to stop, but I want Iran to stop also.
ANDERSON: How concerned are you, Brian, of a fundamental breakdown in trust between Riyadh and Washington at what is a really decisive time, when
it comes to your file, and Washington's attitude towards Riyadh's great foe, Tehran?
HOOK: Well, a couple of things there. We will maintain our strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia while we are holding those accountable for
the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. In terms of Yemen, as Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Pompeo have said, we do need to accelerate
the peace process. We need to have a political track. That is being led by the U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths, we very much support him. The war in
Yemen has gone on for a very long time. We are doing everything that we can to support a diplomatic solution to end the war in Yemen.
ANDERSON: What has been the impact of the Khashoggi killing on U.S./Saudi relations? Crucial of course, when you consider the file that you have,
that being Iran.
HOOK: Saudi Arabia has been very helpful in terms of increasing its oil production, as we have taken off one million barrels of Iranian crude oil
from the oil markets. We have asked Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to increase production. Saudi Arabia has been very helpful, very
responsive, to insuring that we have a well-supplied and stable oil market.
[10:25:00] In fact, when our sanctions -- when the President got out of the deal in May, oil was at 74, six months later, it's now at around 67 or 68,
and we've taken off a million barrels of Iranian crude.
ANDERSON: I know you've said, that the U.S. does want a deal, but why would Tehran ever trust Washington again?
HOOK: Well, I don't know if it is really about trust. It is about pressure. This is a regime that historically does not come to the table
without pressure. And so, the Iranian regime has a decision to make. They can either start behaving like a normal country, stop behaving like a
violent revolutionary regime, or they can watch their economy crumble.
This is a dark and brutal religious dictatorship that has been robbing its people blind for 39 years. And they have sowed so much instability over
the time of the regime across the Middle East and secretary Pompeo has made very clear the kind of vision that we see for Iran to behave like a normal
country. And in return, we are willing to restore diplomatic relation, commercial relations, lift our sanction, and welcome Iran into the
ANDERSON: You talk about running an economic pressure campaign, and you say that works. There is no doubt sanctions on Iran will hurt. They will
hurt the average Iranian. And "The New York Times" recently laid it out giving the example of one Iranian whose father's cancer treatment, quote,
used to cost roughly $28 a bottle. Well, the last time he bought any three months ago, the price had increased to $43. He says he can't even find
that important medicine anymore, even if he could afford to buy it. You say your policy is aimed at changing Iranian -- the Iranian government's
behavior. But do you acknowledge the people will suffer?
HOOK: No, in fact, that is not going to be the cause of the United States. The Iranian people know where to blame, to place the blame on their
economic misery. This regime has been mismanaging its economy for 39 years. Instead of investing in their own people, they spend it in Lebanon,
Syria, Iraq, Yemen, wherever they can advance their revolutionary goals. And the Iranian people -- I've seen polling on this consistently -- they
blame their economic troubles on President Rouhani. Our sanctions make exemptions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including food,
medicine, and medical devices. If the Iranian regime would have a financial sector that was transparent, it would be easier for banks to
conduct these transactions.
ANDERSON: Brian Hook there, extremely important take on the Middle East, from right here in the heart of the region at CNN's regional programming
hub in Abu Dhabi.
Up next, you'll see people driving around in their cars all the time. And now Nissan, the household name, says its chairman has been arrested after
major allegations from the company itself. Find out what they are, and what it means, for the car giant, in just a moment.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANDERSON: Recapping our top story for you now, I'm Becky Anderson, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. If you're just joining us, you are more than welcome.
New hopes for a cease fire in Yemen. There is now broad support amongst the warring parties for U.N. sponsored ceasefire talks. Yemen's
internationally recognized Saudi-backed government, says it will take part after Houthi rebels announced they would stop attacking Saudi coalition
targets. They say as a goodwill gesture. Well, that is the biggest concession from the rebels since 2015.
One of the biggest business leaders in the world is on his way out. After being arrested over allegations from his own company. Nissan accusing the
chairman Carlos Ghosn of underreporting his salary and for personally using company assets. Nissan says it has been going on for years. Board member
Greg Kelly also accused in this scheme. Julia Chatterley is at the epicenter of world business. That being the New York Stock Exchange.
Julia, just explain the enormity of this news, and its significance, if you will.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS, ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Shock. I think that's how investors are reacting this morning. And we see that here in New York.
We've got Nissan shares that are down by some 7 percent. Renault stocks off by some 9 percent following the arrest of Carlos Ghosn. After months
of investigations into his conduct, as you've alluded to, Becky, this is a hugely complex situation. Because of the triple role that Carlos Ghosn
plays. He's chairman of Nissan. He's chairman of Mitsubishi and he's the CEO of Renault over in France.
As you said, these allegations are coming from Nissan, and they allegedly are, quote, serious misconduct carried out over a number of years that
includes underreporting his earnings and misusing company assets.
That's all the information that we have so far. As you also mentioned, will is another individual involved here, Greg Kelly. He's also a board
member of Nissan. The board is set to meet tomorrow, and it's believed that Ghosn will be removed from the chairman role.
I go back to what you were saying, Becky, and I agreed with you, I think everyone at this stage is shocked. He's such a huge heavy weight in the
auto industry. He's been at Nissan since the late '90s. My first thought here when I read the story was how was this even possible? Where was the
corporate governance and the oversight here?
What's clear is that he's had a great deal of trust placed in him by three huge companies, and that was one of the criticisms made during the press
conference held at Nissan today. I can show you what the CEO of Nissan said here about the concentration of power in one person's hands. He said
the lesson we need to learn from the negative parts of Ghosn's rule is that power was too concentrated in one person.
I mean I reiterate at this stage, this is just allegations against Carlos Ghosn. And obviously, plenty more questions are going to be asked.
[10:35:00] But there is big implication force the French here, too, and the French government specifically because they own a 15 percent stake in
Renault. Even if this proves to be true and is just isolated to Nissan, we still need to hear from Renault and from Mitsubishi. I believe the board
of directors of Renault are going to be meeting, quote, very shortly. But just so many questions here to ask -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, and very briefly, and just to sort of reinforce the reason why these companies shares are down so much, and that the market, and
investors around the world, who may not be invested in these companies, are shocked, is just because this is a guy who has been around as long as --
well, certainly, a lot longer than you've been reporting, I think, and certainly as long as I have been reporting. He's been at the center of
business for years.
CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. I mean, I've interviewed him twice myself. He's the key architecture of a huge alliance in the auto space. But you can ask
him about anything. He'll weigh in on global politics, on all sorts of economic issues. He's a huge, huge heavy weight in the business community.
We're deeply shocked and obviously we will wait to see what comes of these allegations at this stage.
ANDERSON: Absolutely. All right, Julia, thank you for that. Julia is at the New York Stock Exchange.
We are in Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, Trump's wild weekend. Why the President is lashing out even more than usual. That's
ANDERSON: Well, it has been a rollercoaster of a weekend for President Trump, firing off a lot more than usual it seems. And in the context of
this presidency, you can imagine just how much that is. Just days after the Trump administration called for, quote, decorum. The President
tweeting this out. Attacking Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. Typo maybe. But let's point out, it is not being corrected. Now, asking you to
read what is on this screen.
Then, from Twitter, to television, a wide-ranging interview on his favorite channel Fox News, Mr. Trump wept off against the critics while revealing,
he chose not to hear the murder tape of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't want to hear the tape. No reason for me to hear the tape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, FOX NEWS: Why don't you want to hear it, sir?
TRUMP: Because it's a suffering tape. It's a terrible tape. I've been fully briefed on it. There's no reason for me to hear it. In fact, I said
to the people, should I? They said you really shouldn't. There's no reason. I know exactly -- I know everything that went on in the tape,
without hearing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what happened?
TRUMP: It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, those sources say the CIA, that points a finger at the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as being behind the killing. The
White House hasn't endorsed that assessment.
[10:40:01] As if that was not enough, in the same interview, the President turned on an all-out American hero, retired U.S. Admiral William McRaven.
The man who oversaw the capture of Saddam Hussein and led the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in 2011.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, FOX NEWS: Bill McRaven, retired admiral, Navy Seal, 37 years, former head of U.S. Special Operations.
TRUMP: Hillary Clinton fan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Special operations --
TRUMP: Excuse me, Hillary Clinton fan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- who led the operation, commanded the operations that took down Saddam Hussein and that killed Osama bin Laden, says that your
sentiment is the greatest threat to democracy in his life.
TRUMP: He is a Hillary Clinton backer. And an Obama backer. And frankly --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a Navy Seal, 37 years.
TRUMP: Wouldn't it be nice if we had gotten Osama bin Laden a lot sooner?
ANDERSON: Well, he also attacked U.S. Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, saying he probably wouldn't sit down for an interview with the man in
charge of the Russia investigation. And bemoaning the expense of Mueller's investigation to the U.S. taxpayer which chalked up $16 million in its
But to compare, Americans recently forked out an eye watering $174,000 for Melania Trump's 12-hour trip to Canada, 14,000 bucks an hour. And if you
haven't got a calculator with you, and for the President's more than 100 golf club trips, including Trump's own Mar-a-Lago club, the cost runs into
the tens and tens of millions. Four Mar-a-Lago members have been offered U.S. ambassadorships, maybe some work is being done.
Well to break down the President's moods, let's bring in Dean Obeidallah, the host of Sirius XM radio daily program, Dean Obeidallah early show, and
he joins us now from New York. What do you make of all of this, or put it another way, what is your take, dean?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, CNN OPINION CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think it is really that abnormal. This is the Donald Trump that we see came down the escalate in
2015, who lashes out against anyone he doesn't like. There is no limit to that. His attacks on Mueller are nothing new. You know, it's interesting,
I wrote an article for CNN over the weekend about Michelle Obama's comments Saturday, which I really think sums it up. She said, President Obama's
view and his philosophy was when they go low, we go high. And Michelle Obama famously said that to the DNC. But she said that was really Barack's
view. And she said, when people asked why didn't Barack go after him hard like Trump? She said, because he put his ego second and put America first.
And to me that crystallizes this issue so much. Donald Trump his ego is first, America second or third or whatever it may be on that list. So, he
can never deal with any kind of negative criticism in a way that's constructive or just let it roll off his back. He's got to attack, attack,
attack and this is what you have. So, this weekend is really nothing new frankly to me.
ANDERSON: Dean, it wasn't just this weekend, because as we started this interview, I'm just looking at my Twitter feed, and have a look at this.
Donald Trump, keeping his "told you so" on Osama bin Laden going.
He says, and I quote, of course, we should have captured Osama bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book, just before the attack
on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan billions of dollars. And they never told us he was living
We start this, and this has just come out in the last 14 minutes. We started -- you started this by saying, none of this really surprises me.
But it should surprise us, when an American President is speaking like this. Shouldn't it?
OBEIDALLAH: Well, Becky, my point --
ANDERSON: Is it getting worse, I guess?
OBEIDALLAH: Right. The difference between surprise and pushing back against the President trying to normalize a campaign of misinformation, and
propaganda are different. I am not surprised by Trump. I, and those who treasure facts, and the truth, will continue to push back against Donald
Trump's campaign of misinformation and disinformation, like this one. It is remarkable, Donald Trump who had a chance to serve in the Vietnam war,
but had bone spurs but that somehow is healthier at 72 than in his 20s is remarkable. He's sort of like the "Benjamin Button" of presidents who gets
healthier as he gets older.
But then attacking our generals and our military. A man who just a few weeks ago -- a week ago -- didn't go to Arlington National Cemetery to
honor our fallen soldiers. Men and women who've sacrificed their lives, who are buried in our national cemetery, even though he was at the White
House which is literally minutes away from Arlington. He stayed home and watched TV and tweeted. And literally that's what he did on last week's
So, for Donald Trump, he likes to stir the pot. He likes to cause trouble. He likes to be the center of attention. And again, it goes back to
Michelle Obama, it about ego. Donald Trump wants us to talk about him, and I think we can debate all day if we should or not. I think we have an
obligation to push back against his lies, his misinformation.
[10:45:00] Because if it doesn't, we normalize it. And that's not healthy for the United States of America. And that's not healthy for the world.
They look to the U.S. to be a leader on key issues.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating. I wonder just how important satire is at this point. We told our viewers that the President is spending this
weekend visiting wildfire-ravaged California and his comments that California should rake the forests like they do in Finland, across the sea
and the bemused Fins to take their forest with their own rakes. Hash tagging rake news, and rake America great again and we're seeing some
images on the screen. One woman even took a vacuum cleaner out for a spin. Is this the way to deal with him?
OBEIDALLAH: I think that's one of the ways. Because that keeps your sanity. I think laughing at something like what is going on with Donald
Trump is important. But let's not lose sight of one big thing. Just less than two weeks ago, we had the midterm election, and America is responding.
The Democrats took more house seats in the House of Representatives since any time since 1974, and that was a few months after Richard Nixon resigned
in the wake of Watergate.
Democrats, while we didn't pick up Senate seats on a net basis, we got 15 percent more of the votes than the Republicans did. We picked up seven
governorships including red states like Kansas and knocked off Scott Walker. A man in Wisconsin, a Republican who had run for President. So, I
think the American people have spoken. Donald Trump is not going to change. The American people, if we could have a Presidential election
today or a parliamentary form of government, I think you'd see the government collapse. We have new elections. But in America we have to
wait to 2020. So, Donald Trump's freaking out is going to continue for the next two years. We're going to continue in our obligation -- those that
treasure the truth and honesty -- to push back against his attempts to normalize lies and falsities.
ANDERSON: And if anybody had missed your ideological bent, as you used the term "we," clearly you lean to the side of the aisle occupied by the
Democrats, of course, in the U.S., and let's be completely transparent about this. The "Saturday Night Live" TV show as it has so often piled on
Trump this weekend. Poking fun at the few, between the President, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos. The skit that saw Bezos played by Steve Carol,
trolling Trump and the dire midterms warning about an invasion of migrants. Have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE CAROL, NBC SNL VIDEO OF JEFF BEZOS: I am here to announce a brand- new delivery option that doesn't involve the post office at all. Amazon caravan. Any package going to any Trump building will get delivered by
hundreds of Honduran and Mexican immigrants and not the company billed. Unless you order the "Art of the Deal", that costs more to ship, because it
is heavier. I guess it is the only book with four chapter 11s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let's have you clarify your position so far as politics is concerned. And I wonder, is this kind of stuff what we just have seen
fueling the President's ire, does actually make things worse?
OBEIDALLAH: Look, Donald Trump -- SNL has gotten under Donald Trump's skin so badly -- and I've written about this countless times here for CNN --
that in the campaign, he called for the show to be canceled, because they didn't like the way they were portraying him. Even as President-elect, he
talked about SNL should be retired and went after Alec Baldwin because he didn't like his betrayal. Think about that. The President-elect of the
United States calling for a comedy show to be canceled. And a few months ago, Donald Trump railed against late night comedy hosts like Jimmy Fallon,
Steve Colbert, and the list goes on. Literally a rally going through them name by name.
Donald Trump's got a thick skin, we are not going to be silent. And my politics -- look, what I'm saying now about Donald Trump and the truth is
accurate. It is objective. There are Republicans, at least former Republicans, and current Republicans, who agree, that Donald Trump has a
problem with the truth. And the "Washington Post" has quantified, we're talking about thousands of lies. So, it's not -- I don't come at this as a
progressive. I don't come at this as a Democrat. I come at this as an American who treasures the truth. And I think that's what unites so many
Americans right now. And that election last week in America I think sent a clear message. Although, Donald Trump in the Chris Wallace interview, gave
himself an A-plus -- talk about grade inflation. He gave himself an A-plus when they suffered a horrible loss two weeks ago.
America gets what's going on. And left and right his approval ratings are really low. They're not moving up. Despite a great economy on paper at
least. He shouldn't be there. America's rejecting him.
ANDERSON: 10:49 in New York. 7:49 in Abu Dhabi. Dean, thank you.
OBEIDALLAH: Thank you, Becky.
ANDERSON: Meanwhile, yet another front for the White House, the administration warning CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta,
his press pass could be revoked again at the end of the month. And in response CNN asking the U.S. district court for another emergency hearing.
You'll remember the Trump administration revoked Acosta's press pass after a heated exchange with Mr. Trump last week. We saw CNN win a temporary
restraining order against the U.S. President, and some of his top aides, as a federal Judge said the White House was wrong in taking that pass away.
[10:50:04] Well, Mr. Trump downplayed that ruling on Fox News, saying it is not a big deal. CNN's Brian Stelter following this story for us from New
York. Not a big deal. Is it?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, he says it is not a big deal but his administration is still moving forward. Trying to keep
Acosta out of the press corps. And that's why CNN is back in court this morning, filing new papers. What is happening here is Acosta, as you see,
was walking back to work on Friday. He has his press pass back, for two weeks. That's how long this temporary restraining order is in effect.
Thanks to a judge in Washington, who ruled in CNN's favor on Friday. So that two-week period is already ticking. The clock is ticking. There is
11 days to go.
And a new letter from the White House, to Acosta, indicates that when that temporary restraining order expires his press pass may very well be revoked
again. The White House wanting to continue to keep this fight going. So, in response, CNN is asking for another urgent hearing before the judge.
What CNN now wants is something called a preliminary injunction. That could last a whole lot longer than 14 days. That could last for as long as
this legal battle goes on. So, CNN has just filed paperwork, asking for that new hearing, maybe early next week, since the Thanksgiving holiday is
coming up. And the bottom line here is this is going to go on for a while, it looks like. CNN was victorious in round one. But there is going to be
many more rounds ahead.
ANDERSON: Brian, remind us, is there any precedent to this?
STELTER: Absolutely not. But there is a little bit of case law involving the rules and regulations for handing out press passes. Essentially the
White House and any past administration in the U.S. has been permissive about press access. Always airing on the side of giving more press passes,
But we've never seen a case like this where press passes have been revoked out of the blue and the White House has made up an excuse involving
behavior in order to defend it. So ultimately had is going to be fought in the courts perhaps, even the appeals court or even higher. But CNN's
message as of this morning in a new statement is that these actions are threatening all journalists not just Acosta. Yes, he is the person being
targeted right now. But if the White House is able to successfully kick him out of the press corps, in essence, then the fear is that others will
follow. The White House will be emboldened and we will do this same thing with other reporters.
ANDERSON: Right, Brian Stelter in the house, out of New York for you this evening. Thank you, Brian.
ANDERSON: Sticking with the brighter side of U.S. politics next, as it is out with the primary colors, and with the Instagram filters, the budding
lawmaker who is helping change the image of politicians one post at a time.
[10:55:00] ANDERSON: It's just before 5 to 8:00 here in the UAE. Got a couple of minutes left. So, finally we want to revisit one of our big
stories on this network, U.S. politics. And for the parting shots this evening, we're talking about someone who is making anything but. If it
wasn't enough being the youngest woman ever being elected to U.S. Congress, 29-year-old Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has just racked up another distinction,
social media sensation. Have a look at this.
REP. ALEXANDRA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: What happened when you actually check into orientation, you get a swag bag. Look at that? Isn't
that so cute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And in answer to that question, yes, it is a cute bag. But more importantly, Ocasio-Cortez is being praised for showing a side to
politicians we rarely get to see. Or as one Twitter user put it, Ocasio is talking about the problem with cash bail, while carting chipotle chilies
and making dinner. This is how you take politics at the dinner table. I wish more politicians were real like this.
And to keep the dinner table analogy going, to truly prove that millennials are worth a lot more than smashed avocado and gourmet coffee.
I'm Becky Anderson that was CONNECT THE WORLD. For the team working with me here and those stateside and in London, thank you for watching.