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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Special Counsel Says Michael Cohen Is Telling the Truth, Trump Says He Is Lying; Trump Cancels Meeting with Putin at G20; Anti-Semitism Reaches Fever Pitch in France; Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 29, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hello, everyone, live from CNN London on this Thursday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, a blockbuster development in the Russia probe in America. Donald Trump's long-time attorney may now be potentially his greatest threat.
We're live in Washington with those details.
That's as the American president cancels a meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin at the G20 an hour after saying the meeting would happen.
Also global reaction from world leaders to CNN's special covering on the alarming rise in anti-Semitism in Europe. We look at what it's like for
French Jews in today's installment.
We begin with the stunning new guilty plea in the Russia investigation that suggests Donald Trump had business dealings with Moscow during the heart of
his presidential campaign, way after he became the Republican nominee.
Today, Mr. Trump's former lawyer and long time fixer, Michael Cohen, admitted that he lied to Congress about discussions surrounding a proposed
Trump Tower project in Russia. He now admits to communicating about it with the Russian government as late as June 2016.
Of course, by then, we were in the midst of the presidential campaign in the U.S. Earlier, he testified that plans were scrapped in January that
year before the primary voting contests began.
Cohen says not only did he brief Mr. Trump on his communications but also some Trump family members. The president responded to the news before
heading to the G20 summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's got himself a big prison sentence and he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by
making up a story. Now here's the thing, even if he was right, it doesn't matter, because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign.
I was running my business, a lot of other things during the campaign. So very simple, Michael Cohen is lying and he's trying to get a reduced
sentence for things that have nothing to do with me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Michael Cohen is cooperating with the special counsel in this Russia investigation and we're now learning that their discussions covered
much more than this particular proposed real estate deal in Moscow.
Let's bring in senior Justice correspondent Evan Perez; legal analyst Joey Jackson joins me as well.
Evan, I do wonder, if Michael Cohen admitted to lying, does this mean there is some sort of evidence?
We know he has recorded conversations with the president in the past.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the big question. Look, one of the things that we now see from the court documents that were
unsealed today is that the special counsel has additional evidence.
They don't only have the word of Michael Cohen, his previous misstatements and his new statements, which, by the way, the special counsel says that
they believe, they also have additional evidence. They have evidence in the form of e-mails.
They have additional communications that tells them, they say, that Michael Cohen is telling the truth this time.
That's a big deal because what we know is that, just recently, the president finished responding to written questions from Robert Mueller.
Among the questions he was answering was about this Trump Tower project in Moscow.
We don't know the specific answers the president gave. But what it tells us is that it now puts him at least somewhat in opposition to what Michael
Cohen is saying and the special counsel is saying they believe Michael Cohen.
GORANI: And Joey, the president said he's lying. But even if he was telling the truth, it wouldn't be a problem because I was legally allowed
to do this. It didn't happen but if it did happen, it wouldn't be an issue for me legally.
Is he right?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He sounds a lot like I sound, like a defense attorney. That's called arguing in the alternative. It's not true
but even if it is true I'm not guilty anyway and here's why.
Here's the bigger problem. On his face potentially he's right. He's allowed to do what he does.
The huger issue to Evan's point is, is there any corroboration?
Now let's unpack it briefly.
From a defense perspective, were you lying then or are you lying now?
Cohen is just a liar. He's being sentenced in regards to another case in a couple of weeks and he's getting a reduced sentence.
So at the end of the day, who are you really going to believe?
JACKSON: If there is corroboration, it changes the whole dynamic. Let's evaluate this, Hala, not in a vacuum but under the idea of collusion in
general and let's look at what the special counsel is looking at.
In order to get to the collusion issue, why, then, are you saying first that it's Michael Cohen in the Senate Intelligence Committee last year,
You know what, everything stops in January, right?
In the event that there was no collusion or no other activities in Russia, why would you have to hide the fact that it started in June?
It makes somebody go, hmm. Now you look at the Roger Stone issue and Roger Stone's relationship to the president and how the special counsel's looking
at Roger Stone and the WikiLeaks dumps and whether he told the president, another thing that makes you go hmm.
The last issue, of course, is the fact that the president has responded in writing. He's locked into the special counsel.
To what extent does any of the president's answers contradict anything that anybody else is saying?
And if they do, there's trouble in paradise.
And, Evan, to you now, what happens in terms of, you know, the president and how this could impact him?
Fundamentally you don't indict a sitting president. We're waiting for the Mueller investigation to be completed.
And then, potentially, what could happen?
PEREZ: Right. Exactly. You can't indict a sitting president but what you can do is lay out a set of facts. That's what Mueller is preparing to do.
He's going to produce a report that's going to be provided to the Justice Department. And then eventually members of Congress want that to be made
And if it does, then it becomes part of the record that potentially could be used to try to pursue impeachment proceedings against the president.
But let me just say this. For the president, this is a political problem of his own making. As he said at the White House there today, if he had
just said, I'm a business man, I'm a very successful business man, I'm doing projects; one of them is in Moscow, he could have said all of that
publicly. It wouldn't have been an issue.
It would have been a political issue because he would have been having to answer questions about being --
GORANI: But he denied it during the campaign as well.
PEREZ: Exactly. He denied it.
And according to Michael Cohen's words in court today, by the way, he says one of the reasons he lied was because he was trying to line up his lies
with the statements that the president was making on the campaign. He was trying to line them up so that the president was telling the truth.
And it turns out, he says, that the president was lying, according to Michael Cohen. So, again, this is a political problem.
Is it going to be an issue that the Mueller investigation is going to have to do?
And, Hala, what we're getting a picture of here, a little bit of a glimpse, is the narrative that the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, is beginning
to lay out and that is going to be laid out in the report that he produces to Congress. And we may actually see some of this in some of the filings
that are yet to come.
We know, for instance, Paul Manafort, there's some court filings that are yet to come. Expect that some of this narrative about the Russian
collusion question to be laid out in those documents.
GORANI: Evan Perez, our senior justice correspondent, and Joey Jackson, our legal analyst, thanks very much to both of you. We'll speak again
soon, I'm sure.
So a whole lot of political baggage back home for the American president but we have also seen Donald Trump making waves on the global stage.
He hasn't even reached Argentina for the G20 and, from Air Force One, he cancelled a hotly anticipated meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir
Putin, blaming Russia's clash with Ukraine in the Kerch Strait for doing. That's just one flashpoint at a gathering where a spate of global crises
are set to collide.
Let's bring in our national security analyst, Samantha Vinograd. She is live in Washington.
Let's talk about this cancellation, the president tweeted that because Russia had not released these Ukrainian sailors that therefore the meeting
is off and that he hopes to be able to meet once the situation is resolved.
What do you make of it?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Hala, I make of it that this is more of a postponement than a cancellation. The president said in
his second tweet that he looks forward to seeing Vladimir Putin again, despite the fact that Vladimir Putin continues to attack the United States
through a range of means, including ongoing information warfare.
My sense is, Hala, the president should have gone ahead with this meeting.
I participated in the G20 summit when Obama met with Vladimir Putin in 2012 and I was really struck by the fact that bilats aren't just for
smiles. Bilateral meetings, including with adversaries, are typically, at least for this president, a prime opportunity to raise contentious issues,
including Ukraine, including Syria, including Russia's ongoing bullying around the world.
By cancelling the meeting or postponing it, this time the president is signaling --
VINOGRAD: -- in the first instance that he doesn't want to deliver tough messages.
And the second, it is very clear that this president has a consistency problem. The president met with Putin. Trump met with Putin when Putin
had violated U.S. sovereignty and is now claiming he cancelled a meeting because Russia violated Ukraine's.
That doesn't hold a lot of water. The timing with this new Michael Cohen news seems very suspicious to me.
GORANI: Sure. And what's interesting -- I love G20 summits for this, because usually whenever they happen, they're a microcosm of all the moving
parts, of all the crises in the world you have through their world leaders.
So you have Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, he'll be there. President Erdogan of Turkey, he will be there. Theresa May,
Emmanuel Macron, who, by the way, got a rock star welcome from the people in the streets in Buenos Aires, much more so than he did in Paris.
GORANI: Angela Merkel in Germany -- yes, I know.
So -- but I found interesting that the U.S. president, at least according to the official schedule, does not have bilats scheduled with his main
allies, European allies.
VINOGRAD: Right. We now know he has pull-asides scheduled with Erdogan and I believe with President Moon of South Korea. But this isn't really
news. The president went to France and had a highly open schedule, despite being on the ground for a lot of time. And in my experience, as you
mentioned, Hala, these summits are kind of like speed dating. You pack as much as you can in because so many peers are present, both allies and
So while the president spent much of his time in France, when, again, I think representatives from 80 countries present at the World War I
commemoration, in his hotel room, ostensibly placing the calls, it's unclear how President Trump will spend his time on the ground in Argentina
on bilateral engagements as well as engaging on core G20 issues.
I don't think he really supports the premise of the G20, which is multilateralism and international cooperation. Instead the president likes
to go it alone. We know that. So you could really see him divorce himself from the G20 agenda itself and spend time alone rather than engaging with
GORANI: He's only spending 48 hours on the ground, is my understanding. Other world leaders are spending a bit more time and perhaps scheduling a
few more meetings.
Samantha Vinograd, as always, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
We have a lot more after the break. Still to come tonight, four little letters that are spelling out a big problem around the world: H-A-T-E.
And that is hate from anti-Semitism in France, to a Syrian boy who made it safely out of Homs, only to face abuse in England. Both of those stories
GORANI: Now to a CNN story and investigation that has got some of the world's most powerful politicians talking: our investigation and special
coverage into anti-Semitism in Europe.
In the words of Germany's foreign minister, "40 percent of Germans aged between 18 and 34 know little to nothing about the Holocaust. These are
shocking numbers that CNN has revealed. We must remember the greatest crime against humanity if we want to prevent fascism in the future."
Israel's president told us that anti-Semitism is quite simply a threat to everyone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REUVEN RIVLIN, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL (through translator): For us, it's as clear as daylight. Anti-Semitism is a presence in society that corrupts
society itself. We try to explain to the whole world, if you don't fight anti-Semitism, it will hit your societies because there are stereotypes
present in your societies that create a lack of understanding.
The treatment of minorities, which is not humane or normal, this will corrupt your society. Anti-Semitism is an evil illness. It's evil. It's
evil. And evil does not exist in one place. Evil can sprout in every society that fails to examine itself, that fails to remember the past and
that fails to educate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The Israeli president there, reacting.
Well, the editorial board of "The Wall Street Journal" has also spoken out, saying CNN's reporting reveals that too many young Europeans, quote, " know
little about their brutal past," and that that, of course, is an issue.
And it's not just about a brutal past. Just this year, an 85-year-old Holocaust era survivor was stabbed to death in her home. And it happened
in France, where some Jewish people are leaving the country because of anti-Semitism. Here's Clarissa Ward.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In France today, anti-Semitism is not just a prejudice. Its 26 people held
hostage in a Kosher supermarket. Its three children and a teacher gunned down at a Jewish school. It's a Holocaust survivor murdered in her
apartment. It's 11 body bags in 12 years.
Nathaniel Azuly (Ph) nearly ended in one, too. He says he and his brother were attacked in a Paris suburb by a group of local Muslim kids. One of
them armed with a saw.
"We were in our car and it happened very quickly," he said. "It happened just because I had the kippah on."
WARD: Just because you were wearing a kippah?
WARD (voice-over): "His speech changed when he saw the kippah," he told us. "He started hurling anti-Semitic insults. Jew, you're going to die on
Azuly (Ph) believes that his knowledge of Krav Maga, the martial art form favored by the Israeli military, saved his life.
Instructor Avi Atlan says he has seen an uptick in the number of young Jews wanting to learn to defend themselves.
"It's very said but that's where we are," he told us. "There are so many people who hate Jews."
According to the French government, the number of anti-Semitic acts here increased by a staggering 69 percent in the first nine months of this year
and the nature of the attacks is changing, becoming more violent.
Frederic Potier has been tasked with managing the official response. He says the government does not fully understand the reason for the increase.
FREDERIC POTIER, HEAD, FRENCH GOVERNMENT OFFICE AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM: We're worried about these figures. But we have decided not to hide these
numbers. We decided to face it. And that's very important.
WARD: So, what do you say to a young French boy who is too afraid to wear a kippah?
POTIER: Don't be afraid to wear it. I need him, I need to fight anti- Semitism. I need him to fight cliche and stereotype. I need him to stand for with the republic saying that, all the French Jews are French.
WARD (voice-over): France is now spending nearly $6 million dollars on educational and online initiatives to combat hate speech. But anti-
Semitism is a complex issue here. Analysts say the traditional anti- Semitism of the far-right has been compounded by a more recent threat from radical elements in France's Muslim population.
Hakim El Karoui has advised previous governments on what some are calling the new anti-Semitism.
HAKIM EL KAROUI, SENIOR FELLOW, INSTITUT MONTAIGNE (through translator): We don't speak about Muslim anti-Semitism, which is a reality in which
aligns the anti-Semitism from the far-right and from the far-left which is mostly directed towards Israel.
A CNN poll found that more than a quarter of French people --
WARD (voice-over): -- have a somewhat or significantly less favorable opinion of Jews as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. France is
home to the largest Muslim and Jewish minorities in Europe with roughly half a million Jews and 4.7 Muslims.
But the relationship between the two communities has deteriorated steadily since the first Palestinian intifada in the year 2000. As the politics of
the Middle East has lapped up on France's shores.
"They're right to be afraid because the conflict in Palestine has reached here. That's why there's this situation." Muslim resident Mallika says,
"but for me when I see a Jew next to my place or on the street, I say we are the same family, they have nothing to do with what's going on in
Palestine and they're afraid for their children. And that's crazy."
France does not identify the religion of those convicted of anti- Semitic crimes. Making it a difficult problem to quantify and a sensitive issue to
discuss with the Muslim community that already feels discriminated against and disenfranchised.
EL KAROUI (through translator): The perception of the Muslim is that they are the victims. They are the ones who suffered from racism and
discrimination. And then the Muslim community is going to tell you, yes, there is an an-Semitism problem but don't our situation. And the problem
is that you start comparing victims.
WARD: Miriam and her family have considered moving from France, joining the more than 55,000 Jews who have left the year 2000. In the sanctuary of
their home, they celebrate Shabbat, a ritual ushered in every Friday night by lighting candles and reciting a blessing.
MIRIAM, FRENCH CITIZEN: I'm scared for the future of my baby here, I hope that he will have a future here. And you know, Jewish community is a part
of historical France. Really. And so, I think France without any Jews is not any more France.
WARD: Miriam's prayers are for a France of tolerance with her little boy can grow up free of fear, but for now, there are no signs that her prayers
will be answered.
GORANI: Well, Clarissa, our chief international correspondent, Ward, is with me now.
We were discussing earlier the fact that a lot of French Jews that you spoke to -- or a significant number -- want to leave mixed neighborhoods
because they don't feel safe.
WARD: That's right. This was one of the real challenges of doing this story, Hala, is that every single French Jew who we approached living in
these working class Paris suburbs, didn't want to speak to us on camera. They were too afraid. If they were living in those mixed neighborhoods,
they simply felt that it wasn't safe.
The thing we heard over and over again was a happy life is a hidden life. Now the problem with that is, as you mentioned, there's been a huge exodus
of Jewish families from these mixed neighborhoods to other parts of Paris.
And the French government is really concerned about this because they believe strongly that integration, not isolation, is the key here, that you
are more likely to have anti-Semitism when people don't personally know Jewish families, when they don't have Jewish friends, when they're not
exposed to Jewish culture.
And so there's a real concern among the French government that you're seeing less integration and more vulcanization as Jewish families move to
other parts of the city.
GORANI: How often did you hear French Jews tell you they'd like to leave France altogether?
WARD: A lot of French Jews at least would tell us that they have considered it at one point. And while 55,000 people we know -- or 55,000
French Jews have left France, some of those have gone back.
We don't know how many of them, because the reality for a lot of these French Jews is that they get to Israel and they're not Israeli. And it's
not that easy to find a job there and it's not that easy to integrate there and maybe they don't speak Hebrew.
So eventually they come back to France, many of them, because they do feel French and that's part of their identity.
GORANI: And I guess that's an important thing to underline as well, they are French people who are Jewish. And a lot of the French Jewish people I
know feel very French. It's not going to be an easy thing to just pick up and move to another continent because of that. They love their country.
GORANI: It's incredible the response we have received to this investigation and this polling because I was telling our viewers before
that "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board wrote an op-ed.
But "The New York Times" as well has published one a few minutes ago.
WARD: That's right. "The New York Times'" Bari Weiss (ph) wrote an op-ed about the poll talking about this issue of what she refers to as the three-
headed anti-Semitism. You're talking about a major resurgence of anti- Semitism on the far right. You're looking also at the issues of the new anti-Semitism from radical pockets of the Muslim community --
WARD: -- but also from elements of the far left, who, in their criticism of Israel, are sometimes veering into anti-Semitic territory.
And when you put it all together, it makes for a very frightening picture for a lot of Jewish people living in Europe -- Hala.
GORANI: Right, absolutely. And Clarissa, thanks very much. We'll have another installment of this special coverage tomorrow as well. Thank you
Speaking of which, join us again when Clarissa talks with Edith Eger. She survived the Auschwitz death camp and had dedicated her life to educating
people about the horrors of the Holocaust. Listen to a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDITH EGER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: We appointed my mom to go to the left and I followed her. He came after me and grab me. I never forget those eyes.
He said your mother is just going to take a shower. You'll see her soon.
WARD: Eden never saw her again. Both her parents were killed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, along with more than 1 million Jews.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And Clarissa also talked with the chief rabbi of Poland to find out his thoughts on the fact that many younger people know very little
about the Holocaust. Join us for the next report in this exclusive series, "A Shadow over Europe: Anti-Semitism in 2018."
And there's a special program at the end of the week hosted by Clarissa as well in this hour. Join us for that. We'll be right back on CNN.
GORANI: The latest developments in the ongoing confront between Russia and Ukraine: a lawyer representing two of the Ukrainian sailors captured by
Russia says some of the sailors have been transferred to Russia.
Ukraine is calling for immediate international sanctions on the country. The president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, says Sunday's confrontation in
the Kerch Strait is part of a Russian plan to take over his country entirely. Our Nick Paton Walsh has the latest from the region.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The days are short but feel long now to Ukraine's navy. Since Russian boats
rammed them and arrested 24 sailors near the Kerch Strait, Ukraine's long and ugly war with its neighbor is in the spotlight again.
These naval ships in Mariupol have been confined to port.
MAXIM NOSENIKO, UKRAINIAN NAVY SPOKESPERSON: Our suberos (ph) stop our moving and patrolling because of the situation. And right now we have a
level of readiness.
WALSH (voice-over): The fear here is that this is just the start, that Russia wants to control entry and movement in all the Sea of Azov so it can
take more of Ukraine's coast right down to Crimea.
NOSENIKO: Russian Coast Guard ships take under control the civilian ship going to our ports and take some time to check all documents. More than 20
ships are waiting from that site to proceed to our port.
WALSH: Ukraine is talking tough and here parading the readiness of their attack helicopters, jets, and antiaircraft guns despite knowing what they
need most is international solidarity. The commander of Ukraine's forces tells us there's one thing he'd like to hear from President Trump.
SERGEIR NAEV, COMMANDER, UKRAINIAN JOINT FORCERS OPERATION (through translator): "I think the American leader, he says, "must say to our enemy
to stop this aggression. Stop now."
WALSH: The Port of Mariupol is itself pretty dead. Fewer and fewer ships came here before the Kerch clash because of the war.
Eerily quiet, isn't it? And that's really because Mariupol's economy has been in the doldrums for years now. This city almost constantly living
with the threat of a Russian invasion.
A tough industrial town made tougher when war snaps away the industry. These park gardeners have a short lunch break and have raced for a tiny,
some familiar with Russia, some fed up of that president.
"If we had a normal president, "she says, "Would women work like this in this kind of job?" "I have relatives in Russia. That's another. We are
Russian. I don't understand this conflict." So that's, "I have many Russian friends who worry for us like we worry for them."
"Trump, I don't know why he supports Poroshenko," she says. And another she adds, "Good president."
Putin, a name that brought the odd smile among them. Strange given how Moscow's pressure has killed thousands here and torn this once prosperous
town down, yet it's a sign the war's agony is, in some places, decaying the fabric of Ukraine rather than renewing it in unity.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from Mariupol. So Petro
Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine says this is all the beginning of a plan by Vladimir Putin to invade all of Ukraine. This is the precursor of
an invasion. Is he right to be worried on that scale?
WALSH: it doesn't feel like there's immense invasion here. But frankly, that's always the point to the Russian strategy to leave no real visible
signs that could give you a clear idea where they're going.
Strategically, the Ukrainian navy personnel we spoke to were concerned that once you've taken or gained control of that Sea of Azov, which is where the
Kerch Strait is (INAUDIBLE) we're filming just earlier in that report. You then really have a lot of control of the Ukrainian coast and potentially
the area that unites Russia's mainland down to the Crimean peninsula which they have obviously annexed stand rather uncomfortably connected to their
mainland with a very expensive bridge.
Strategically, there's always been a long-term potential territorial goal of Russia there. But quite exactly where this leads in the weeks ahead is
very unclear. I think Petro Poroshenko tweeted his approval of Donald Trump cancelling the meeting, writing on Twitter that this is how great
But I think many here are wondering exactly what the U.S. president was doing in the first place meeting with Vladimir Putin rather than instead,
like his predecessor did kind of corralling the world together and increasing sanctions against Moscow. Hala.
GORANI: OK. So what are the options here for the Ukrainian president? Because it seems like what Russia does, there's no -- necessarily there is
verbal condemnation but there's no real tangible impact on Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin. What are the options for Petro Poroshenko and that side of
WALSH: Frankly, they're all pretty bad. The current status quo has him trailing in opinion polls from March of presidential election. So he may
not have to worry about what he's going to do that much longer. If he's too aggressive towards Russia and he could fall into the trap, the Georgian
former soviet republic did in 2008 where, in fact, he insights a larger Russian military move against him.
And if he does nothing, well, he has to really hope, frankly, that Moscow's ambitions here are limited that, in fact, Vladimir Putin is happy just to
see Ukraine's territory constantly compromise and its economy suffered. He doesn't actually have broader ambitions to take part of the country under
Moscow's more clear territorial orbit.
All bad options here. All of which playing on Ukrainians. I think frankly, he just want to see an end to this and life go back to how it was,
frankly, in 2013 where the economy actually wasn't doing that badly. Things have tanked disastrously since. Hala.
[14:35:11] GORANI: Right. It's deteriorating situation. Nick Paton Walsh, live in Mariupol, Ukraine.
Donald Trump, speaking of Donald Trump, is already creating shockwaves at the G20 and he hasn't even landed in Argentina. He's already, as we
discussed there with Nick Paton Walsh, already cancelled that meeting with Vladimir Putin over the current situation between Russia and Ukraine that
we just spoke about with Nick.
This all happened from Air Force One and it's very different to what the president said before he got on the plane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I probably will be meeting with President Putin. We haven't terminated that meeting. I was thinking
about it, but we haven't. They'd like to have it. I think it's a very good time to have the meeting. I'm getting a full report on the plane as
to what happened with respect to that, and that will determine what I'm going to be doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. The White House then said Mr. Trump made his decision in consultation with secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and chief of staff
John Kelly as well as John Bolton who's the national security adviser.
Let's bring you to Moscow. Matthew Chance is there with the very latest. So reaction from the Kremlin to this meeting cancellation, Matthew.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, frankly Hala, I think they were as shocked as the rest of us according to the Kremlin who I've been in text
contact with as per usual.
The tweet from Donald Trump was the first they heard of it along with the - - along with the media reports that they've been seeing based on it. They said this to CNN, "We're flying actually was the response to Dmitry Peskov,
whose Vladimir Putin's spokesperson.
We're trying to get the issue clarified. If this is the case, then we'll have an extra couple of hours for other useful meetings. Dmitry Peskov
texted to us. So his initial move to playing down the significance of this and to underline the fact that when Vladimir Putin arrives in Buenos Aires
for that G20 Summit in Argentina, yes, he was going to be preparing for a two-hour head to head meeting with President Trump.
But he's also going to hold raft of other meetings which he's already scheduled with the Saudi Arabian crown prince, with Xi Jinping of China.
With the Indian premier and a whole host of other figures as well. And the Kremlin is saying, well, if this is the case, then we'll just carry on with
those other meetings and focus on them. But I expect that privately, they are bitterly disappointed at this most recent development. Hala.
GORANI: And the Kremlin is also reacting to being named in some court filings related to the Russia probe.
CHANCE: Yes. And this is another problem which the Kremlin is facing because all throughout this Mueller investigation, these allegations of
collusion and things like that, the Kremlin have been very careful not to contradict President Trump or any of his surrogates. To issue denials
along the same lines that the Trump administration has been denying things. Even, on many occasions, use the same language. Witch-hunt, fake news,
things like that.
But as the story, if you like, from the Trump side in the United States starts to crumble, then the Kremlin's finding as being sort of caught ties
and it's been a good example about the recent findings.
It emerged that whereas Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer was in contact several times with the office of the Dmitry Peskov, the
spokesperson for Vladimir Putin in connection with this Trump Tower Moscow project.
Previously, he'd said, the Kremlin had said that they acknowledged receiving these e-mails for Cohen, but they never responded because it's
not in their remit to talk about things like that.
But now, it's emerged in this latest filing that actually there was a response from the Kremlin and so the Kremlin had confronted then on that
and they've changed their story saying that actually we called back and asked why they wanted to have meetings with the presidential administration
and that explains the bend during that call that they have nothing to do with construction issues in the city of Moscow.
So they've slightly, sort of tweaked their story so it's more in step with the court filings in the United States. Hala.
GORANI: All right. Nobody was being truthful from the get-go. That's the conclusion of this. Thank you very much, Matthew Chance, live in Moscow.
Well, President Trump will be in the same room with crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 Summit. It will be the first time since the murder
of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Meanwhile at home, Trump is seeing a major pushback from Senators from his own party on the intelligence briefing about Khashoggi's killing. And on
the U.S. support for the Saudi influence in the fighting in Yemen.
[14:40:06] Let's go live to Phil Mattingly. He's CNN's congressional correspondent.
So you have all of these senators saying we're not going to vote in line with what the president wants unless we are allowed to hear from the
intelligence community about the murder of Khashoggi. This is pretty remarkable, isn't it?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, particularly because it's the president's own party. Look, if there's one area where the
president's own party is mostly stuck with him throughout the course of his time in office, it has been on foreign policy. When it comes to what's
happening in the Middle East. Kind of across the board, Hala.
And I think one of the interesting elements that's happened over the last 24 hours is you have somebody like Senator Lindsey Graham who has been one
of the most vocal supporters of the president has really been furious and hasn't made any secret about it saying he wants to hear directly from the
CIA director, Gina Haspel, about what the administration, what the intelligence community knows about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, what the
administration and intelligence community knows about the involvement of Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman and they have not gotten that.
Hala, if there's one thing it's always worth remembering on Capitol Hill, it's that if congressional prerogative is ignored, and in this case, that
prerogative is overset in the administration, senators tend to take that personally and that's exactly what has happened in this case.
GORANI: But why isn't Gina Haspel testifying if senators want her to?
MATTINGLY: It's actually an open question right now. Look, we heard a couple of things. There had been senators that have said they believe it's
the White House is saying that they don't -- the White House has decided not to send her up.
My understanding of things right now is there is some frustration about the leaking of the CIA assessment which did say that MBS had knowledge of the
murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That played a role in things right now.
My also understanding, Hala, is that at some point, over the course of the next couple of days, the CIA is likely to send somebody up. The
administration knows they have a problem here. Not just because of what happened with Jamal Khashoggi but also because of a potential Senate vote
which is moving forward, as of yesterday, to cutoff support to Saudi in it's war with Yemen. That is something the administration has asked
Republicans and Democrats not to do. That is something they moved forward with and if there's some way to try and stop that over the course of the
next couple of days, it's likely you're going to see the administration in some way trying to (INAUDIBLE) on that.
GORANI: Sure. Because otherwise, the outcome could be that senators would, what, block, suspend, halt temporarily military assistance to the
MATTINGLY: Yes. And just to kind of underscore how rare this is, usually when something like this comes up, a resolution to stop U.S. foreign policy
activities, they're pushed often, they always fail and they always fail in part because the administration pushes so hard against them. And what they
did in case was sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense, James Mattis up to the Hill.
Usually those classified briefings on why this resolution in the administration was a bad idea, usually they're effective. It backfired
yesterday completely and that really comes in two parts.
One, the frustration, over the lack of information, they think they've gotten from the CIA, from the administration of Jamal Khashoggi, but also
the frustration with what's happening in Yemen, with what Saudi Arabia has done in Yemen. That is kind of combined, created some kind of perfect
storm right now. And the administration is really on the losing end so far of this effort. Will it actually come to fruition? We'll see. They've
got some time before another vote next week.
But right now, it was certainly a rebuke of the administration yesterday.
GORANI: Well, you have some powerful Republicans pushing back. So we'll keep following that story. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much in Washington.
When we come back, we'll show you that shocking viral video that has people in the U.K. both ashamed and outraged at what happened to a young Syrian
refugee. Stay with us.
[14:45:48] GORANI: A sense of safety when you talk to refugees about why they flee their homes, the answer is almost always that they did not feel
safe where they were.
For one Syrian family, the search for safety brought them to the British town of Huddersfield.
For many refugees, finding a home in England would be a dream, but it really wasn't for this family. What you're going to see next will probably
shock you on some level because people across Britain and around the world are up in arms after seeing this video of a 15-year-old Syrian boy being
very badly bullied at school. He is choked, pushed to the ground, and then water is forced into his mouth as his attackers threaten to drown him and
then he walks away.
Now, the boy's family says incidents like this had been happening for months. In fact, the families says the boy's younger sister, you see her
there wearing this pink hijab, that she was also bullied. This is video of an incident in which she was pushed and, in fact, that her head scarf was
pulled off her head.
A GoFundMe has been started to help the family move to a new community. And get this, it has raised $150,000 so far. That just goes to show you
that people are -- there's a lot of good people out there that are really shocked at this type of thing.
And Samuel Burke is in fact in that city of Huddersfield where this all happened. And, Samuel, what are the locals telling you there about this
incident? Because it's really made huge headlines all across the country here in the U.K.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, in spite of everything terrible that the world sees in that video, the family
says that it's actually been the outpouring of support that they've received here in this community and from around the world that's getting
them through this incredibly difficult time.
Hala, it is a sad irony that this family escaped the Syrian city of Homs and eventually came to Huddersfield, but it was here that their children
have been attacked.
It was a U.N. program that settled them in this town two years ago and the family's lawyer tells us that within just two months of arriving that their
children began to be bullied. Take a listen to what the lawyer told us earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED AKUNJEE, LAWYER REPRESENTING REFUGEE FAMILY: It's shocking because of the background as well. The fact that a father whose managed
using every resource at his potential that he has to take his family away from danger through two countries to keep them safe and then finding that
in the first world country that has offered them sanctuary, that sanctuary has been non-existent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURKE: Also telling us that the boy, the brother has been resilient but with everything that the sister has faced that the family is looking for
professional help to get her through this hard time. Hala, I think, it's incredibly important to note that even though the world is seeing this
video all across social media this week, millions of people have viewed it, that video has actually recorded more than a month ago. And the family's
lawyer says that only until he went to the member of the parliament that represents this area, that then the family feels that authorities started
to take action.
But in spite of all the bad that we've seen, that GoFundMe page, the amount of money that you say that they have raised, the family says that they
would like to use it to relocate to another part of England given the circumstances. And so they're hopeful that that money will help them make
a new home somewhere in this country.
GORANI: And that's what they're going to use the money? Because explain to me how it works. Aren't they allocated by region so that they're not
all concentrated in the same area? So presumably, they were settled in this part of the north of England which has its own racial tensions issues.
Do they have the option of just relocating anywhere they want?
BURKE: Exactly, Hala. You might think that Muslim Syrian family might want to go to a metropolitan place like London. But when a U.N. program
like this settles them, they look at the broader country and take economic circumstances, not necessarily of the family, but of the country into mind.
And so what the lawyer is saying is he's trying to work to maybe circumnavigate these rules. So the family can move to a place that's more
[14:50:04] GORANI: All right. Samuel Burke is in Huddersfield, England. Incredible how much traction this story got and it is true what Samuel
said, there was a real outpouring there of sympathy for this poor kid and his sister. It seems like now she has also been bullied as well.
Now Syrian school children being bullied in the U.K., polls suggesting a shocking rise of anti-Semitism across Europe. They have one thing in
common and that is hate. Not just here in Europe but also in the United States. Sara Sidner has that story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to kill all of you.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across America, racism and anger once hidden in the shadows, now pouring out into the light.
In Santa Monica, a racist tirade over a parking space, a message for Muslims in a car in North Dakota.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to kill every one of you (BLEEP) Muslims.
SIDNER (voice over): A black army veteran targeting and killing white police officers in Dallas. A landscaper abused in Los Angeles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you hate us?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because you're Mexicans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we're Mexicans?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Sharia law don't mean (BLEEP) to me.
SIDNER (voice over): Words of hate which seem to be vanished, now brandished more and more often.
The FBI says in 2017, hate crimes shot up 17 percent. The motivation for nearly 60 percent of those, the government says, was race ethnicity or
KEVIN DUNN, AUNT KILLED BY GUNMAN: She didn't see it coming.
SIDNER (voice over): Kevin Dunn's favorite aunt, Vickie Jones, had beaten cancer, but she could not survive hate. 67-year-old Jones and 69-year-old
Maurice Stallard, shot dead while grocery shopping, targeted because of their skin color, police say. They were black, the alleged shooter white.
A white witness armed with a gun told his son what the shooter said while fleeing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said, please don't shoot or I won't shoot you. He said that whites don't kill whites.
SIDNER (on camera): What do you think about what was said?
DUNN: It hurts. It's sad. It's terrible. People have the right to just exist.
SIDNER (voice over): The suspect, police say, could have caused far more carnage.
Pastor Kevin Nelson says a parishioner saw him earlier at their church door.
KEVIN NELSON, PASTOR, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF JEFFERSONTOWN: He bangs on it and pulls on it, then he backs up with his hand on the gun. So, whoever
would have opened it would have possibly have gotten shot and killed.
SIDNER (voice over): His church began locking its doors after white supremacist Dylann Roof entered this predominantly black church, massacring
nine people as they pray.
Ken Parker knows something about the hate that motivated Dylann Roof. A Navy veteran, Parker says he was out of work and without direction. He
joined the Ku Klux Klan and later a Neo-Nazi group.
Their biggest selling point, making him feel he was important, part of a bigger cause.
KEN PARKER, FORMER NEO-NAZI: They were looking at it as like, we're going to have a race war one day and the more people on our side, the better.
SIDNER (voice over): At the time, Barack Obama was president. Some white supremacists touted the first black president as the number one threat to
PARKER: And we would even joke amongst ourselves like, hey, we're going to send President Obama a honorary membership to the Klan because he's our
biggest recruiting tool.
SIDNER (voice over): Then came the election of President Donald J. Trump. White nationalists cheered his anti-immigration rhetoric. Racists who
feared what they called the browning of America began believing President Trump was an answer to their prayers.
PARKER: They want to have all white ethnostate where white people just live by themselves.
SIDNER (voice over): Seven months after Trump's inauguration, Parker virtually broke, paid $30 to help fill a bus of racists headed to
Charlottesville, Virginia for a protest about a confederate monument. They dubbed it the "hate bus," reminiscent of a bus from the 1960s created by
PARKER: On paper, we were just going up there to like stand up for the white race. But, honestly, I think everybody was just going to, you know,
SIDNER (on camera): Violence does happen and a woman is killed. What did you think at that point?
PARKER: Well, when I found out that she died, I was happy at the time.
SIDNER (voice over): He and his cohorts giddy when an alleged Neo-Nazi sympathizer killed counter-protester Heather Heyer.
In their minds, the race war they wanted was beginning to materialize. But when the president condemned the attacks, he added --
TRUMP: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
SIDNER (on camera): How did that play in the group, the good people on both sides?
PARKER: Honestly, some of them were real happy about it and then Trump backpedaled on it a little bit and then others in the movement, they got
angry at Trump. Trump wasn't anti-Jewish enough, he wasn't doing enough for white nationalism.
SIDNER (voice over): Michael German spent 16 years trying to counter domestic terrorism as an FBI special agent.
There's always the counter of argument from this administration that the leftists are violent, that Antifa is violent, and there's some evidence of
[14:55:05] MICHAEL GERMAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: How many people has anyone associated with the Antifa movement killed? None. How many of this
side of white supremacists killed? Many.
SIDNER (voice over): According to Government Accountability Office, since 9/11, while radical Islamists were responsible for 27 percent of extremist-
motivated deaths, the far-right wing accounted for 73 percent of the deadly incidents, far more than any other group.
In Parker's case, it wasn't law enforcement but love that thawed his hate.
So you decided that animosity wasn't the way and shunning wasn't the way but the opposite.
WILL MCKINNON, PASTOR, ALL SAINTS HOLINESS CHURCH-HOGSIC: Absolutely. I fight for peace and what better way to start than your own community?
SIDNER (voice over): His neighbor, Pastor Will McKinnon not only opened his arms, he opened his small predominantly black church to Parker. His
outreach washed away the hate.
GORANI: All right. Quick update here for you on the story that we led the program with Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is now
responding to Michael Cohen's bombshell guilty plea that we covered a little bit earlier.
Cohen, of course, is Mr. Trump's longtime fixer and former lawyer today admitted to lying to Congress about a planned Trump Tower in Moscow.
Now, Giuliani is saying the revelation does not contradict what Mr. Trump wrote in his answers to the special counsel on the Russia probe.
We'll have a lot more on this breaking news story and the rest of the day's headlines after a quick break. And "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up