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UK Prime Minister Addresses Parliament After Draft Declaration; Afghanistan now where a brutal drought is leading to horrendous and unimaginable consequences; Peace talks in the conflict in Yemen will take place in Sweden in the coming weeks; Nissan's Chairman has now been kicked out of the driver's seat. Aired: 10-11a ET
Aired November 22, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, the draft text that we have agreed with the commission is a good deal for our country and our
partners in the EU. It honors the vote of the British people by taking back control of our borders, our laws and our money while protecting jobs,
security, and the integrity of our precious United Kingdom.
It ends from movement once and for all, instead, we will introduce a new skills-based immigration system based not on the country people come from
but on what they can contribute to the UK. It ends the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK. We will make our own laws in our own
Parliaments here in Westminster and in Edinburg, Cardiff and Belfast, and they will be adjudicated to the UK courts and it means the end to sending
vast amounts of money to EU so we can take full control of our money to spend on priorities including our long-term plan for the NHS to which we've
committed to spending over 394 million pounds per week by 2023 to 2024, and just this morning, I was able to announce a major investment in primary and
community care worth 3.5 billion pounds a year in real terms by 2023 to 2024.
Mr. Speaker, the text we have now agreed would create a new free trade area with the European Union with no tariffs, fees, charges or constrictive
restrictions. This will be the first such agreement between the EU and any advanced economy in the world which will be good for jobs.
The EU said that the choice was binary, Norway or Canada. The political declaration recognizes that there is a spectrum with the extent of our
commitments taken into account in deciding the level of checks and controls.
Crucially, the text we have agreed also had an explicit reference to development of an independent trade policy by the UK beyond this
partnership with the EU. So we would have the ability to sign new trade deals with other countries and capitalize on the opportunities in the
fastest-growing economies around the world. And we would be able to get on with this negotiating deals during the implementation period and putting
them in place immediately afterwards.
The deal would mean we leave the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy. Mr. Speaker, let me be absolutely clear about what this
would mean for fishing. We would become an independent coastal state with control over our waters so our fishermen get a fairer share of the fish in
our waters. We have firmly rejected a link between access to our waters and access to markets.
The fisheries agreement is not something we will be trading off against any other priorities. We are clear that we will negotiate access and closures
on an annual basis as, for example, do other independent coastal states like Norway and Iceland. The trade agreement with the EU would also cover
services and investment that would go further than any other recent EU agreements and it would secure new arrangements for our financial services
sector, ensuring that market access cannot be withdrawn on a whim and providing stability and certainty for our world leading industry.
We would also have a cutting agreement on digital helping to facilitate e- commerce and reduce unjustified barriers to trade by electronic means and there would be strong rules in place to keep trade fair and ensure neither
side can unfairly subsidize their industries against the other.
A text we have agreed with the European Commission also includes a new security partnership with a close relationship on defense and tackling
crime and terrorism to keep all our people safe. There would be a surrender agreement to bring criminals to justice no matter where in Europe
they break the law and they would there would be arrangements for sharing of data, including on DNA, passenger name records and fingerprints.
The new security partnership would also ensure close cooperation between our peace forces and other law enforcement bodies and we would continue to
work together on sanctions against those who violate international rules or commit atrocities and there would be joint working on meeting cyber
security threats and supporting international efforts to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorists.
Finally, as I set out for the House last week, the draft withdrawal agreement will ensure that we transition to this new and ambitious future
relationship in a smooth and orderly way. It will deliver a 20-month implementation period so that we have time to put our new future
relationship in place and that businesses have time to prepare for it.
It will protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU so they can carry on living their lives as before. It
will ensure a fair settlement on our financial obligations, less than half what some originally expected and it will meet our commitment to ensure
there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and no customs border in the Irish Sea.
MAY: Mr. Speaker, the text we have agreed is explicit about the determination of both sides to avoid the backstop altogether by getting the
future relationship in place on January 1, 2021 and in the unlikely event that we ever did need the backstop, to ensure it is quickly superseded
either by the future relationship or alternative arrangements.
As part of this, there is an explicit commitment to consider facilitative arrangements and technologies which is could avoid a hard border on the
Island of Ireland and I'm grateful to my right honorable friends, the members of Chingford and Woodford Green and for North Shropshire for their
ideas on this.
Preparatory work on alternative arrangements on alternative arrangements to avoid the backstop would begin before we leave, enabling rapid progress
after our withdrawal. Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear about the stage we've reached in these negotiations and the scale of what is now at stake.
We have an agreed text between the UK and the European Commission. The text is being - today being shared with the leaders of the other 27 member
states ahead of the special EU council on Sunday. The negotiations are now at a critical moment and all our efforts must be focused on working with
our European partners to bring this process to a final conclusion in the interests of all our people.
Last night, I spoke to Prime Minister Sanchez of Spain. We have been working constructively with the governments of Spain and Gibraltar in the
negotiations on the withdrawal agreements and we want this work to continue in the future relationship. But I was absolutely clear that Gibraltar's
British sovereignty will be protected and that the future relationship we agree must work for the whole UK family.
Today I met Chancellor Kurz of Austria, which currently holds the EU's presidency and later today and tomorrow, I will be speaking to other
European leaders ahead of returning to Brussels on Saturday.
Mr. Speaker, the British people want Brexit to be settled. They want a good deal that sets us on a course for a brighter future. And they want us
to come together as a country and to move on, to focus on the big issues at home, like our NHS. The deal that will enable us to do this is now within
In this crucial 72 hours ahead, I will do everything possible to deliver it for the British people and I commend this statement to the House.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to thank the Prime Minister for the advanced copy of her statement.
ROBYN CURNOW, ANCHOR, CNN: Okay, the UK Prime Minister there doggedly moving forward on Brexit. She outlined what she has agreed to with the
Europeans and, of course, the critical 72 hours ahead. We will monitor what Jeremy Corbyn is saying as well there in the Houses of Parliament.
But let's go to Nina dos Santos who is at Downing Street.
Nina, you heard all of that. And we've certainly been going along with this tortuous process, the Prime Minister has been updating along the way,
this is just another update and beyond the minute detail which she's laid out for Britons and for the Europeans, This sees a Prime Minister who,
despite all the chaos around her and within the local domestic politics is moving forward doggedly, as I said.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: That's right, nobody can ever accuse Theresa May of not being willing to repeat herself, she's had to do so many
times and again, she's delivering another statement to the House that's quite similar to the one we saw last week after the first part of this two-
stage process was agreed to, Robyn, that being of course the 585-page withdrawal agreement that alienated obviously her key partners as part of
their confidence and supply situation in the government, the DUP, the Northern Irish Party.
This text that that has been agreed to today in Brussels is the political declaration, so it's the other part of the puzzle there. The future
relationship that the UK will have with its partners in Europe that will obviously form the building block for a potential trade deal. And again,
she reiterated some of the statements that she's made in the past before saying that this is a deal that takes back control of the UK's borders so
protecting jobs, also that both sides will be continuing to work together on issues of common interest, for instance security and obviously trade
once they can finally get that trading relationship established in more detail.
If you look at the actual text, it is rather loose in its language. There's a reason for that. That will be because she has a lot of different
sides to please here. On the one hand, the hard Brexit faction inside her own government, but also remainers insider her government and people in
other parties --
DOS SANTOS: -- the liberal democrats, for instance, the Scottish National Party and the opposition Labour Party as well, and as you can see there
Jeremy Corbyn has been questioning her exactly on what this political declaration will mean for the future.
None of this makes the Parliamentary math any easier though when this House will have to vote on it probably before December 20th, which is when recess
is set to take place.
The big point that Theresa May is trying to make here is that she is trying her best, she's trying to be seen as somebody who is working hard to
deliver the best interest of the British people and those different parties with their different views on how Brexit should be taking place.
CURNOW: Yes, and despite all of this, I mean, every day, she takes one step forward and seems to be bringing the UK closer and closer to that
divorce deal no matter what so let's keep us posted. Nina dos Santos there outside the Prime Minister's residence. Thanks so much.
So I want to move on to want to go to Afghanistan now where a brutal drought is leading to horrendous and unimaginable consequences. Some
families are actually being forced to sell their own children so they can afford to feed the rest of their household. Nick Paton Walsh has this
exclusive CNN investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
PATON WALSH: It's not record violence or Taliban control of territory that they are fleeing, not ISIS or unparalleled airstrikes by the coalition that
has finally forced them from their homes. They are instead running from drought. A record dry spell forcing more families in Afghanistan from
their homes this year than the war has.
And as if Afghanistan hadn't already broken all superlatives for its misery, this is what it is driving them to. Meet Mamarin and her six-year-
old daughter, Akilla. You think a tiny family united under plastic sheeting. The desperation means it hasn't turned out that way.
Mamarin has sold Akilla for $3,000.00 to this man, Najmadin who will give her to his 10-year-old son, Sheraga. Listen to how they got here. Mamarin
I fled my village, she says with my three children because of severe drought. I came here thinking that we'll receive some assistance, but got
nothing. To avoid starvation among her children, I gave my daughter to a man for about $3,000.00, but I've only got $70.00 so far.
I have their money, no food and no breadwinner. My husband was also killed. She doesn't know that I've sold her, how could she know? She's a
child, but I had no other choice.
What if Akilla tries to run, we ask? Whether in tears or laughter, she says, Akilla will have to go. Who will sell a piece of her heart, unless
they really have to?
Akilla's buyer, Najmadin thinks buying a six-year-old girl is an act of charity. Her family don't have anything to eat he says. They were hungry.
I know, I am also poor, but I am sure I can pay it off slowly in two or three years. The cameraman asks, but aren't they children?
It doesn't matter he says. These things happen here even an old man marries a young girl. It happens.
Najmadin also fled the drought. The UN says it has put 275,000 people on the move this year, about half from around the area of Badghis.
The wheat crop has failed us, he says, we couldn't grow melons. All the other crops failed because of the drought. We lost our livestock, the
sheep, cows and goats all died of hunger as there wasn't any food for them.
Around the camp, we hear this kind of horrific story repeated.
Here, this man sold his four-year-old daughter to a 20-year-old man to settle a debt. It is a world of survival and unimaginable choices where
families must betray each other just to live.
And winter is ahead, promising to be colder and arid and hungrier, too.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CURNOW: Nick Paton Walsh joins with us now with more on his reporting. Nick, hi, good to see you. I mean, I had a visceral reaction watching
that. I'm kind of speechless because it's just absurd in many ways that report that you've just laid out. So first of all when we talk about
buying a six-year-old. That man bought her as a sex slave and he's going to pay in installments.
PATON WALSH: It's not entirely clear at this point.
CURNOW: Well, he said an old man can marry a six-year-old, so I'm assuming that's the euphemism, isn't it?
PATON WALSH: I mean, I don't know what point that relationship would turn in that direction, obviously, yes, but you're looking at a future for both
those girls you saw there that's exceptionally bleak and one outside of their normal choice, obviously, so there's nothing to be condoned in this.
I think the problem we're dealing often is different sometimes societal mores where things like that have become part of culture over a period of
PATON WALSH: It is still barbaric, it is still incredibly shocking, but I think separate to how the solution has emerged, it seems, for some
families, it's as I said, a solution, but it's simply a way of getting money so they can feed the rest of the family. This comes after four
failed rain seasons in Afghanistan that has left that northwestern part exceptionally arid.
Now, there is a lot of fighting there, too. The fighting across the country is pretty much at a record high. The amount of territory
controlled or influenced by the Taliban is at a record high since records initially began, that's back in 2015, I should say, but half is now
influenced or controlled by them and in fact, the intensity of the dryness is such that even the opium crop which is kind of the mainstay for funding
the insurgency - it was a record high last year. Well, this year it's 30% down simply because they couldn't get water to grow the crops.
CURNOW: Okay. We know the political situation as you say, the fighting at levels we haven't seen in years. So is any aid being delivered to them, is
aid being politicized? In what can these people be helped?
PATON WALSH: Well, they're moving as you see there to IDP camps on the outskirts of main cities. There have been efforts to try and take food to
them, but obviously, as you've seen those shelters are not anything permanent. This is not a proper solution for them going down in the years
Temporary aid is able to be given to them, but we're talking about a nation where there are hundreds of thousands of people on the move on an annual
basis, fleeing violence, fleeing in this case climate change or extreme weather conditions if it's linked to broader global warming, that's
obviously a very hard task for scientists to regularly prove, but the future then is exceptionally bleak there particularly given the broader
sense of collapse in parts of the country where the insurgency is very much on a front foot and the US reaction to that is to ask for peace talks,
pretty much unprecedented ones, too, Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes, but still, I mean, the look in that little girl's eyes, haunting. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much for bringing us that report
from London. Appreciate it.
So there could - there could be a breakthrough for another grueling war in the Middle East. Peace talks in the conflict in Yemen will take place in
Sweden in the coming weeks. Now, that's according to the US Secretary of Defense. Now, the war is in its fourth year and it has cost the lives of
thousands of people and caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Look at that child.
The UN estimates the fighting has put more than 14 million people at risk of starvation. Ben Wedeman is following the story for us from Beirut and
we heard just in the last 48 hours, I think it was 84,000 children that have died as a result of this and malnutrition, so what does a breakthrough
mean and really how much credence can we put on even the prospect of it?
BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, a breakthrough could mean some sort of at least at the minimum, a halt in the fighting but
when it comes to the Yemen war, you really can't be sure of anything until it happens.
Now, we did hear James Mattis, the US Defense Secretary saying that sometime in early December talks would be held in Sweden involving the UN-
recognized government as well as the Houthi rebels, however keep in mind that last September, similar talks were supposed to be held in Geneva, but
the Houthi representatives never showed up because their concern is that when they leave Yemen for talks, whether they are in Geneva or in Sweden,
that their plane will be stopped by the Saudis, they may be taken prisoner, they may be Khashoggied, they may not be allowed back in.
So it's really unclear. Now, we understand that Martin Griffith, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen today did meet with the Houthi leadership in
Sana'a, the capital of Yemen under Houthi control that he may perhaps go to Hadada tomorrow which really is at the center of the fighting in Yemen at
We understand from local sources that there has been bombing in that port city which is essential for the entry of food and aid shipments into the
country. There have been Saudi led coalition bombardments on the city every day except today, we understand there was just one on the outskirts
of the city, but certainly if the fighting continues, the chances of any sort of peace talks begin to diminish.
So as I said nothing is certain in Yemen until it happens. Robyn?
CURNOW: Yes, meanwhile, civilians continue to bear the brunt of all of this. Ben Wedeman, thanks so much for that update. Thanks, Ben.
I'm Robyn Curnow live from Atlanta. You're watching "Connect the World." Coming up, what's next for Nissan? The company has axed its troubled
chairman and considers its future. Stay with us.
CURNOW: You're watching CNN and this is "Connect the World" with me, Robyn Curnow filling in for Becky Anderson. So welcome back. Let's put you up
to speed on some of the other big stories we're watching here at CNN. Nissan's Chairman has now been kicked out of the driver's seat. The
company has voted unanimously to remove Carlos Ghosn following his arrest over allegations of financial misconduct. Another top executive, Greg
Kelly is also out.
There are worries though that the scandal could damage Nissan's powerful alliance with both Mitsubishi and France's Renault.
So Melissa Bell has more from Paris on that while John Defterios covering the story from Abu Dhabi. John, I really want to talk about Carlos Ghosn.
I mean, what a fall from grace?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR, CNN: I was going to say, what a turn of fate, Robyn, this is one that was admired throughout the auto
making world as setting up these global alliances to survive with Renault adding Nissan and then Mitsubishi, became CEO and Chairman of all three and
kind of had this belief that he could serve all three equally because he had so much power, but this raises a number of questions about corporate
Number one, that power consolidation, but also his level of pay in Japan. It was considered extravagant and one of the accusations against him is
hiding that salary for the better part of five years. Unfortunately for him, it will blow out his legacy.
I remember doing a documentary with him in Tokyo back in 2005 and 2006 and they were only months away from bankruptcy at Nissan. He was revered by
Japanese women. In fact, voted as the man who would make the best husband in Japan by Japanese women and they even had an action hero book named
after him that was a bestseller on the street.
I think he also fits into this category, Robyn, of the imperial CEO and the common link here is somebody that stayed in power far too long,
consolidated that power and thought he was bigger than the brands that he represented.
At the end of the day, it was three big auto brands that he actually had the top sales with back in 2017 surpassing VW.
CURNOW: Yes, I mean, certainly, an example of the Icarus syndrome here. So Melissa, what are the implications? You're there in Paris with Renault.
What happens, big questions to this alliance and then also what does that mean for French workers for example?
MELISSA BELL, PARIS CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Renault had already announced that it was placing an interim head in Carlos Ghosn's position
for the time being.
BELL: Even now the French Economy Minister is holding a meeting with Japan's economy minister and this was of course top of the agenda, Robyn,
as you imagined. Both men issued a statement on Tuesday, a common statement, really affirming their commitment to the alliance and to its
strengthening and that I think is what we expect to hear from them today.
But Bruno Le Maire, France's Economy Minister also yesterday came out and said that it was important to remember that due process was due and that
the French would want to see any proof that there was, all the charges that currently hang over Carlos Ghosn.
So in a sense, this was bound to become political. Remember that the French state has 15% stake in Renault, so no doubt a joint commitment
looking at strengthening that alliance. But that really is the larger question for the industry, I think as you have been saying, as John has
been saying, this extraordinary story on a personal level has really gripped the imagination, but there is that wider question of what happens
to this alliance that was considered by some perhaps not as balanced as it might have been. Will it withstand the fall of Carlos Ghosn?
CURNOW: Yes, I mean, there are still so many questions. So John, from your point of view, I know you talk about an imperial kind of leadership
when it comes to these powerful CEOs and about them staying in power too long, but what does this mean about ordinary folks who drive these cars? I
think one in nine cars globally is somehow affected by this leadership. I mean, over 200 countries. There are workers and people who are somehow
connected to any of these companies in 200 countries. What are the implications? Or is this just more in the upper stratosphere here?
DEFTERIOS: Well, no, it's not in the upper stratosphere. You raise an interesting point, Robyn. He had these strategic alliances so he was the
master of producing cars in emerging markets where there was lower cost and then feeding them into the United States, Europe and Asia. This was his
legacy and that's why he wanted to have this global alliance between a European and Asian player.
There's a subplot to this story though, the subplot is, there are many in Japan that thought he didn't want to end with just an alliance but was
looking for a full blown buyout by Renault of Nissan and Mitsubishi that he had this as his final design as CEO and chairman of Renault is to go out
making the acquisition.
He also wanted to finish his legacy going into electric vehicles and cars on demand like Uber and in this region, Careem. So is not going to see
that through obviously. I think we also have to see what the plan is for him when it comes to Renault before and the common man, the French Finance
Minister was trying to express this to the union workers at the same time, "Don't be alarmed, we're not going to lay you off because of the ouster of
He was a fixture by the way at the World Economic Forum. We've covered him for years. He had this vision of what global auto manufacturing was going
to be in the future and respected for it, but going back to my original comment, Robyn, he probably just stayed too long.
CURNOW: Well, he's now camping out in a jail cell, I understand. Do we know the conditions? I don't think he's been charged yet. And John, I
mean, just give us some sense of what also he might be charged with. I mean, there's a lot of fiddling with the books here.
DEFTERIOS: Well, yes, well we have to see if there was fraud related to the financial misgivings here by Carlos Ghosn. On the surface though,
Robyn, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. He is being accused of underreporting his pay, that was a sensitive issue in Japan, his accomplice
was Greg Kelly, which is the Representative Director. He is being charged as well.
So we don't know how deep this goes. There is also this cultural clash with Carlos Ghosn being the globalist going into Japan and remember back 15
years ago that he had so much respect for the Japanese culture and kind of revived the brand of Nissan but again, I think because he wanted to go to
the next step and perhaps make the acquisition and maybe wipe out the brand, even for Mitsubishi as well is where he ran into resistance in the
Japanese culture right now, extraordinary - in three days from charge to ouster. It's almost unbelievable.
CURNOW: Yes, he took it just a step too far with on many levels. Thanks to you both, John and Melissa. Appreciate it. Still ahead here on CNN, an
extraordinary public clash between the US President Donald Trump and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Why critics say Mr. Trump's attacks
are a threat to the rule of law. We have that conversation next.
ROBYN CURNOW, ANCHOR, CNN: You are watching "Connect the World." This is CNN and I'm Robyn Curnow in Atlanta. Welcome back. Now, the US President
Donald Trump has wished the country a Happy Thanksgiving on Twitter in the last few hours. He then immediately launched into a new attack on one of
the fundamental bedrocks of American democracy.
Mr. Trump intensified his extraordinary battle against the judiciary saying judges must not legislate matters of national security and borders,
accusing them of knowing, quote, "Nothing about it," and making the country unsafe.
Now, his earlier criticism of a judge who blocked his asylum policy drew an unprecedented public rebuke by the US Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Trump has
also been speaking from Florida on this and a bunch of other issues so let's listen to what he's been saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Under the Coast Guard where I did last year and I will probably - a lot, but we're going over to the
Coast Guard and just - I really believe nobody - in fact, a number of generals were on television over the weekend and just unrelated but they
all mentioned the fact that nobody has done as a President for the military in a long time what I've done because I've taken spending where you had a
depleted military and it wasn't being fixed and it was a mess and it frankly put us in danger and I was able to get Congress to give us $716
billion for our military and I've also done more for the vets than anybody's ever done.
I got Choice approved. They've been trying to get Choice for 40 years, more than 40 years, they couldn't get it, where a vet can go directly to a
doctor now instead of waiting online for two months and two weeks and three weeks and amounts of time that are unthinkable to anybody, including
yourselves so I think I've done more than anybody else certainly in many, many years and probably in many decades.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are there any updates on the troops that are being sent to the border in regards to the caravan?
TRUMP: No troops. We're going to have a strong border. Our southern border is going to be very strong. You heard me speaking to some of the
folks just now in different parts of the world, and they're so proud of the job they're doing and you have got to have borders. You don't have
borders, you don't have a country.
I mean, the Democrats want open borders and they want these people coming in. Many of those people are criminals, okay? And they have been so
adjudged. We know who they are. They have records. They have some very substantial criminal records. Some very bad criminal records. They're in
You saw what happened in Tijuana where the people said these are tough people, they started fighting. They're starting fistfights - they have
fistfights all over the streets. They're starting fistfights. They said these are not like normal innocent people. These are people you talk to
them and they start a fistfight. I don't want that in this country, okay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what about the idea that the military may use legal force against these migrants?
TRUMP: If they have to, they're going to use lethal force. I've given the okay, yes, if they have to. I hope they don't have to but you're dealing
with a minimum of 500 serious criminals. So I am not going to let the military be taken advantage of, I have no choice. Do I want that to
happen? Absolutely not. But you're dealing with rough people.
You ask the people in Tijuana, Mexico. They opened up with wide arms just come in, come in, let me help you, let us take care of you and within two
days, now they're going crazy to get them out. They want them out because things are happening, bad things are happening in Tijuana, and again, it's
not in this country because we've closed it up.
I actually - two days ago, we closed the border. We actually just closed it. We said nobody is coming in because it was out of control. But you
take a look at Tijuana, Mexico, and you see what's happening there. It's really a bad situation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean you closed the border and nobody is coming over? What do you mean by that?
TRUMP: If we find that it's uncontrollable, Josh, if we find it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to
getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the entire border be closed?
TRUMP: The whole border. I mean, the whole border. And Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many
cars at great benefit to them, not a great benefit to us, by the way, but at least now we have a good new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, but we
will close the border and that means that Mexico is not going to be able to sell their cars into the United States until it's open.
But we're going to need to have a border on that, and when they lose control of the border on the Mexico side, we just close the border and we
have a very powerful border. We built a strong border in a very short period of time and the military has been fantastic.
The job they've done - and the way, Border Patrol and ICE - all of the law enforcement that we have involved, and we have local law enforcement, too.
They have done an incredible job. And they've wanted this for years.
You know, I'm the first President that has done it to this extent, but they've wanted this for years. Some of the presidents I guess they didn't
care or they wanted open borders. I don't think they wanted open borders, because most of them, if you go back to 2006, they all approved essentially
a wall, a very powerful fence, which is pretty much the same thing, but in 2006 if you look, Obama, you look at Hillary Clinton, you look at Schumer,
all of the people that are standing up protesting, they think it's good for them politically.
See, I think it's very bad for them politically. I think the fact that they're weak on the border is very, very bad for them politically. But you
know, I've only been a politician for three years, so maybe they know better than me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the government shut down this wall in December?
TRUMP: It could happen, yes, over border security. The wall is just a part of border security, a very important part, probably the most important
part. But could there be a shutdown? There certainly could and it will be about border security which the wall is a part.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is doing a good enough job?
TRUMP: Well, she is in there trying. I'll tell you, it's a tough job. Yesterday, she gets a ruling that things that we were doing, a judge that
knows nothing about it decided to take law enforcement into his own hands and he gives a ridiculous ruling so we will appeal it, but it makes the job
We're still doing the job perfectly, but it makes the job harder and it makes the job more dangerous because a judge made a ruling that was
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just going back to the idea of shutting down the border, what would it take you for you to reach that step and want to do
TRUMP: Well, I've already shut it down. I've already shut it down for short periods.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you talking about that one border?
TRUMP: Yes, I've already shut down parts of the border because it was out of control with the rioting on the other side, in Mexico and I just said,
shut it down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that look like in practice?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that look like in practice to shut down the border?
TRUMP: I mean, you see it. I mean, it took place two days ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have to sign an order? Is there any --
TRUMP: Yes, ICE did call me up and I signed an order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we get a copy of that?
TRUMP: Ah, you don't need though. It's not that big a deal, but maybe to some people it is.
What we want to do is we want to have a strong border. We want to have people coming in to our country. I want to have a lot of people come in.
We need them, but they have to come in through merit and they have to come in legally. They have to come in legally.
We have a lot of people, millions of people that have been waiting in line for years to become citizens of our country, great people. They went
through a whole process, and then these people come in and they think they're just going to walk in and - it's a very unfair thing to all of the
people that have been waiting in line.
In some cases, for many years. They've done it right, but they don't think they've done it right because they say, well, how can we do it right and we
go through this very complicated legal process and they have lawyers and everything else, and then you have people rushing through the border and
they're supposed to stay. It's not happening with me.
We've been very tough in the border. I mean, the problem that we have is that I've created and helped create a country that's doing better than it's
ever done economically.
So a lot of people are coming up here be their countries are not doing well, and perhaps for a reason. But whatever that reason is, their
countries are not doing well. Okay, a couple more. Anybody else? Yes ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How prepared are you for this meeting with President Xi? How are you preparing for it and how confident are you?
TRUMP: I'm very prepared. I've been preparing for it all my life. It's not just like "Oh, gee, I'm going to sit down and study." I know every
ingredient. I know every stat. I know it better than anybody knows it and my gut has always been right and we are doing very well.
And I will tell you China very much wants to make a deal. China has been taking advantage of the United States for many, many years. They've taken
out $400 billion or $500 billion and $600 billion a year, that doesn't include the theft of intellectual property which has been horrible, what
they've been doing and it's not a question of preparing.
I think I've prepared for this meeting. I had a meeting literally right in that corner with President Xi. We have a great relationship. I like him a
lot. I think he likes me, probably likes me less now than he did before we did what we're doing but we've picked up trillions of dollars in value and
China has lost trillions of dollars in value since I'm President, trillions, many trillions of value, and we've picked up many trillions of
dollars in value and we are a true economic power far greater than we were before I became President.
We are an economic power that is far greater than when we were. When I took over, we were teetering. We were in bad shape. We were going down to
minus four, minus five, minus six percent in GDP.
Instead, last quarter we hit 4.2% and we are doing very well. I can say this, China wants to make a deal very badly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: DO you think it's going to happen --
TRUMP: Because of the tariffs because right now on $250 billion, they'll be paying as of January 1st, 25% and in many case they're already paying
25%. On the rest that they are not, they are paying 10%, but the 10% goes to 25% on January 1st, so they're going to be paying a tremendous amount of
money which frankly is great for our country.
We're taking in billions of dollars from China. We never took in ten cents from China. They took everything from us. We never took anything from
them. Now as of already we're taking in - right now, we're taking in billions.
China is - people don't understand this. China is right now paying us, right now, paying us billions of dollars a month. That's never happened
before. And soon they're going to be paying us many, many billions of dollars a month. But China wants to make a deal and if we can make a deal,
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Matt Whitaker's finances and --
TRUMP: No, Matt Whitaker is a highly respected person and once I choose somebody they always go through hell, but Matt Whitaker is a highly
respected man. The Justice Department respects him tremendously. I've spoken to a lot of people. The press has been nasty to Matt Whitaker, but
I can tell you that he is a highly respected strong person. He's doing a great job. Everybody tells me that. He is doing a really great job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you done anything, Mr. President to try to bring Julian Assange back to the United States?
TRUMP: No, I haven't been asked to, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want him to face charges here?
TRUMP: I don't know anything about it. I'm not very familiar with the whole situation, but I would say that if somebody made a request, I guess
it's something we'd consider. I just don't know very much about that situation, okay. What else? Anything else?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you interviewing people this week for new jobs in your administration?
TRUMP: Yes, we'll have a few. I'm very happy with my Cabinet and people that work for me and for us, we work for the country. We have a great
Cabinet. We have absolute stars. A few of them I would say can do very well outside. Everyone is doing well when they leave. That's one thing
I'll tell you. Everyone that leaves the Trump administration has come out really well.
I'm very proud of a lot of them. Look at hope. Hope Hicks is doing a fantastic job. She's a fantastic young woman and I'm very proud of her.
Look how she's doing. She's become a very important person in the outside world and we have many such people where they work here for a year and a
half or for a period of time and they go outside and they do really well. Many of them, so - and that's what I want. I want to see - there's always
a lot of change. Yes, I'll probably be changing a couple, maybe a few but very little. Overall ,we're very happy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you doing interviews this is week for that?
TRUMP: Yes, I'm doing interviews this week. I'll do interviews as we say in the southern White House, people like doing interviews here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible), Mr. President?
TRUMP: Well, I'll let you know, but you'll see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could let us know now.
TRUMP: I know, maybe I will.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you talked to Ivanka about her e-mails?
TRUMP: Yes, I have, actually and very innocent. Short period of time, very early on. There was no deletion of e-mails like that 33,000 plus
probably another 100,000 that Hillary Clinton did after she got a subpoena. There was no glitch bit, there was no anything, just innocent e-mails.
There were no classified e-mails. A much different deal. That's another fake news story. And she did transition out. She was a private person and
then ultimately, she transitioned out from private to government and I believe all of her records are in the historical society, the historical
records. Much different than the other situation that I've talked about for a long time, but she transitioned out but everything is in historical
I'll see you at the Coast Guard, I'm going over to say hello to the Coast Guard right now, which I look forward. I don't know if you're going but if
you are, I'll see you there, thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
TRUMP: For having a great family ...
CURNOW: Okay you were just listening to I think 13-14 minutes from US President Donald Trump free wheeling on a number of issues. Certainly, a
familiar territory for many people watching out here in the US where it is Thanksgiving. He defended a variety of things also. Self-congratulatory,
we're going to discuss all of that with Ron Brownstein. He is my guest. He'll be joining me after this short break. Stick around.
CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. You are watching CNN. Thanks so much for joining us and you just heard in the last 14 or so minutes US President
Donald Trump speaking about a variety of issues.
CNN political analyst, Ron Brownstein joins me now. You were listening into that. It was typical Trump in many ways, sort of ad hoc freewheeling.
It was a political diatribe. What was the one thing you take from that?
RON BROWNSTEIN, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Appropriately enough for Thanksgiving here in the US. It was definitely a multicourse meal. Look,
if you're going to put one headline on it, it's just a reminder that post this election where in the final counts Democrats may gain 40 seats in the
House, the most they've gained in any election since Watergate, there is utterly no sign of the President changing course in any manner, whether on
policy or in style.
I mean, opening this new line of attack on the Federal judiciary, continuing the very inflammatory racially tinged rhetoric about immigration
despite kind of the historic retreat for Republicans in the white collar suburbs where both of those things are a weight around the neck of
Republicans, but there's just sign of him changing course in any meaningful way.
CURNOW: No, and certainly also doubling down on the spat, and I mean, I hate the word spat to describe what we are seeing here between the Chief
Justice and the US President in many ways, that can be seen as something bigger and wider and potentially more ominous than just a little Twitter
tirade between the two.
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, first of all, I mean, it is consistent with the pattern with seen from the President whether he's talking about the intelligence
community or the media. Any independent institution that he thinks can threaten him in any way, or restrict what he can do, he tries to
But there's a lot of irony in this, Robyn, which is that John Roberts who was here, positioning himself as the defender of the independent judiciary
has been wheeling as the Chief Justice to engineer a succession of 5-4 - essentially party line votes on the Supreme Court with five Republican
justices out voting four Democratic justices that have unleashed in many case, enormous political turmoil. It really was his 5-4 decision driving a
hole through the middle of the voting rights act that has precipitated all of the fight we're having in the US about access to the ballot box.
The irony here is that by forcing Chief Justice Roberts to more explicitly and overtly defend an independent judiciary, I do wonder if the President
is making him - Roberts more reluctant in the future to engineer those kind of 5-4 decisions that have raised questions from the other side about the
independence of the judiciary.
Particularly after Brett Kavanaugh delivered such a partisan attack on Democrats during his confirmation hearing.
CURNOW: Okay, Ron Brownstein there. Thanks so much. And Happy Thanksgiving. We are pretty thankful you spoke to us there from LA, I know
it's a little bit earlier than it is here in Atlanta, but have a wonderful day with your family.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
CURNOW: Okay, so news just coming in to CNN. The US House Republican have issued subpoenas to former FBI director James Comey and former Attorney
General Loretta Lynch.
The House Judiciary Committee is asking for private depositions early next month on FBI actions taken during the presidential election of 2016. Now,
Comey has just tweeted that he got the subpoena and is happy to answer questions publicly, but does not want to speak privately because of what he
calls selective leaking and distortion. No doubt we will continue to keep you posted on the implications of those subpoenas.
So you're watching "Connect the World." Coming up, we're at New York's famous Thanksgiving parade. It is a chilly - and I really mean a very
chilly day. So the snowman is a perfect example of the floats that we're seeing.
CURNOW: In today's parting shops, an American Thanksgiving tradition - the famous Macy's Day Parade in New York City. These are pictures of these
incredible balloon characters that float alongside some of the most expensive real estate in the world and down on the ground, an estimated 3.5
million people are actually lining the streets in freezing, freezing temperatures watching dozens of bands and floats go by.
So to all of you around the world, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. That was "Connect the World."
I'll continue with the "International Desk" in just a few moments. Stick with us, you're watching CNN.