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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump, Obama, Clinton, Carter All Attended Bush Funeral; Eulogies Remember Bush's Lifetime of Service. Aired 2:20-3p ET
Aired December 5, 2018 - 14:20 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HANNAH VAUGHN JONES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to a slightly later start to our show. I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones in for Hala Gorani. With tears and
tributes, the U.S. bid farewell to a beloved leader today. The state funeral of George H.W. Bush was full of praise, humor and poignant
memories. 3,000 invited guests attended the event at the National Cathedral in Washington. President Trump and all five of the living former
Presidents along with their wives were on hand to honor Bush. It is worth noting, though, that Hillary Clinton acknowledged Melania Trump the First
Lady and did not look at Donald Trump. George H.W. Bush's son former President George W. Bush greeted the former Presidents and First Ladies,
handing a piece of candy to Michelle Obama returning the gesture that she made to him at the recent funeral of Senator John McCain. The speeches
honoring the 41st President were full of stories of his heroism, loyalty and his efforts to make the world a better place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:25:00] BRIAN MULRONEY, FORMER PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: I believe it will be said that no occupant of the Oval Office was more courageous, more
principled and more honorable than George Herbert Walker Bush.
ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The most decent and honorable person I ever met was my friend George Bush. One of nature's noble men. His
epitaph perhaps just a single letter, the letter "L" for loyalty. It coursed through his blood. Loyalty to his country. Loyalty to his family.
Loyalty to his friends. Loyalty to the institutions of government and always, always, always a friend to his friends.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We're going to miss you, your decency, sincerity and kind soul will stay with us forever. So, through our tears let us know the
blessings of knowing and loving you. A great and noble man, the best father a son or daughter could have. And in our grief let us smile knowing
that dad is hugging robin and holding mom's hand again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: George H.W. Bush's body will be taken to Texas and buried next to his wife at Texas A&M University, the site of the Bush Presidential
Library. For more on this Presidential historian Mike Purdy joins me via Skype from Seattle. Mike, good to have you on the program. Let's start
with the eulogy of one President to another, President 43 to 41. But more poignantly, perhaps, from one son to his father.
MIKE PURDY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Yes. It was a very moving speech. Obviously, George W. Bush was very moved by it. It must have been a
somewhat surreal moment for him giving that eulogy in that not only is he the son of this George H.W. Bush but he is a President himself, and while
George W. Bush has been in many, many situations of pomp and circumstance, here's one that is very, very touching and very personal. Of course, he
delivered it well and at the end he broke up a little bit. But a very moving speech by George W. Bush.
JONES: Yes. Mike, as we're talking to you, we are looking at Special Air Mission 41 taking the body then of George H.W. Bush and his family, as
well, on board that aircraft taking them from Joint Base Andrews on the way back to Texas where he will be buried alongside his beloved, of course,
Barbara Bush, the late Barbara Bush. Mike, one of the interesting things I think from international observers and no doubt for domestic observers, as
well, of this funeral service was that astonishing Presidential lineup, if you like, of former Presidents and First Ladies and I wonder what you made
of the interactions, let's say, between them all?
PURDY: Obviously, some of the former Presidents and current President have had their words with one another over time. I think Donald Trump as the
current President has changed the atmosphere in Washington, D.C., changed the atmosphere in the United States and in the world, quite frankly, by
some of his language and I couldn't help but think that this must have been a very uncomfortable moment for Donald Trump being with these former
Presidents. I also thought that as he listened to some of the speeches and eulogies, I wonder what he thought, whether he reflected at all about what
his legacy might be.
PURDY: What people say about him and whether any of the words of praise for George H.W. Bush and his integrity and his decency, whether any of
those things struck any cord in Donald Trump's heart. I don't know but you can't help but wonder.
JONES: Of course, Donald Trump known for being almost a proponent if you like of partisan politics at the moment. I'm wondering what you think the
impact of a funeral service such as of today, the civility amongst the attendees, as well, what impact that might have on the politics of
[14:30:00] PURDY: That's a great question. I mean, I think that we can hope that this was a turning point for people, for President Trump, for
some of the partisanship that we see in Washington. We can hope it's a turning point but I -- I don't know how long that will last. And --
because I think what it takes is a leader of the mold of George H.W. Bush who by everything that he did and how he interacted with people and how he
valued friendships and relationships, he molded things and he set the tone and, obviously, leaders set a tone.
PURDY: And Donald Trump set a tone that's reverberated throughout the institutions of the government of the United States. So, while I'm
hopeful, I'm also realistic and not sure that things will really materially change.
JONES: Great to get your perspective. We appreciate it very much from Seattle. Thank you, sir.
All right. Still to come on the program tonight, Britain could be trapped in an endless negotiations with the European Union by Theresa May's Brexit
deal. That is the legal advice from Mrs. May's own legal adviser. We will have the full story on that coming up next.
JONES: Welcome back. We turn now to some major new insights into the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia according to court
documents. Donald Trump's former national security adviser has given such helpful information to the special counsel that Robert Mueller is
recommending no jail time at all for the charges of lying to investigators.
Mueller says Michael Flynn has provided, quote, "substantial assistance," including firsthand information about contacts between people in Mr.
Trump's transition team and Russia.
Well, the memo itself is heavily redacted with large parts about those contacts, blacked out, making clear that Mueller himself is not yet
revealing his full hand.
CNN White House reporter Stephen Collison says Mueller's back can't be anything but -- Mueller's holding back, rather, can't be anything but bad
news for President Donald Trump and, of course, for those around him. Stephen joins me from Washington with more on this.
So, Stephen, I guess what this memo shows us is that Michael Flynn is very valuable to Mueller which can only be very dangerous to Donald Trump.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I think that's right. First of all, the fact that Mueller asked for no jail time for Michael Flynn
indicates that he believes he's given very important assistance, Mueller has not been worried about coming down harshly on other people in this
[14:35:08] It was interesting what we learned during the pieces of that filing that weren't redacted that Flynn has now spoken 19 times over
multiple hours to Mueller's investigators. That suggests a sort of breadth of the information that he was able to give to the special counsel.
And the fact that so much is redacted, way back a year ago more than that, in fact, Flynn's lawyer said that his client had a story to tell and he
wanted to tell it. I think the fact that Mueller has gone ahead with this filing, that he's asking for no jail time indicates that Mueller believes
Flynn has a story.
But the fact that he doesn't want to tell everybody else what that story is at this stage suggests there's substantial criminal investigation going on
that we don't know about.
One interesting fact about this is that it was revealed in the filing that Flynn is helping Mueller with a so far unidentified criminal investigation
separate from the Russia special counsel issue. We don't know exactly what that is. But that has to be quite alarming, I think, to people around the
JONES: Stephen, we have to leave it at that. We appreciate it. Stephen Collinson in Washington for us.
And now to other news closer to home, for me at least. Anyway, the one person who doesn't need another headache right now is Theresa May, but that
is exactly what she's got and it's come from her own government.
It has been forced to publish its full legal advice on the Brexit deal despite trying desperately not to do so and it is being described as
devastating by the party propping up Theresa May's own government. Here's why.
Theresa May's top legal adviser, the attorney general, said the backstop insurance policy relating to Northern Ireland, could last, quote,
"indefinitely" until a superseding agreement took its place.
There was also a warning that Britain could become involved in, quote, "Protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations," and this all comes a day
after Theresa May suffer the worst day in parliament for a British government in 40 years. Losing three crucial votes related to Brexit in
just one hour.
Let's bring in Nina dos Santos with more on this. First of all, the implications of having to reveal the full legal case for or against her
deal. What's happened so far?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, essentially what we're talking here was the worst day in parliament for any British
government in about 40 years after Theresa May suffered three crucial votes. And as we now was held in contempt of parliament for not publishing
that advice. She was forced to backtrack. She has now published it and the contents of it read in stark of many MP have been expecting, as you
laid out very clearly in your introduction there, Hannah.
We're talking about say indefinite period that this backstop could leave Northern Ireland in a different or at least this is the interpretation by
the Norther Irish party that props up the government at the moment in a different customs union. The E.U.'s customs union cleaved off from the
U.K. And then they are able to use Theresa May's own words against her, if you like, because you remember after the whole fury surrounding the E.U.
summit in Salzburg, she took to the stage and said having Northern Ireland separated from the rest of the U.K. is something that no British prime
minister could actually agree to.
I believe we might have a chance to listen to a little bit of Theresa May pushing back on some of this kind of criticism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have myself said on the floor of this house that there is indeed no unilateral right to pull out of the
backstop. What I have also said is it is not the intention of either party that the backstop should, a, be used in the first place or should, b, if it
is used should be anything other than temporary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Theresa May has also said in the past, very clearly, it's either this deal, no deal or no Brexit at all. Which one is looking the most
likely as we stand right now?
DOS SANTOS: Well, first of all, no Brexit at all seems to have come onto the table at very late stage. It's something that she only started
mentioning among -- or so ago when she was finally nailing down the final parts of that withdrawal agreement, which is the bit the subject to this
legal opinion that has really shaken people today in the House of Commons.
So, yes, you're right. There's a third option on the table, I suppose, to a hard Brexit and soft Brexit. And what we're seeing here over the last
few days is gradually, as expected, parliamentarians of all political backgrounds taking a closer and closer control of the Brexit process
itself, just as it's looking as though people for various reasons including now the legal reason that they have on the table are more and more unlikely
to vote through her deal.
JONES: OK. Nina, thanks very much indeed.
Still to come tonight on the program, he was sentenced to life in prison in the UAE and detained for seven months. And now after his release, he is
speaking out. We have an interview with Matthew Hedges up next.
[14:40:30] JONES: Welcome back. Now, I want to bring you an update on a story we've covered extensively on this show. Matthew Hedges, the British
academic who was sentenced to life in prison in the UAE on allegations of spying, but then was pardoned and released a week later. Well, he's now
speaking out about his ordeal.
He spent almost seven months detained in the country and says six of those were in solitary confinement. CNN's Max Foster spoke to Matthew Hedges and
his wife Daniela Tejada in a television exclusive. They began by asking him when he first realized that he was in trouble.
MATTHEW HEDGES, FORMER PRISONER OF UAE: Since I had landed -- I was in the UAE for two weeks conducting research, I felt a number of occasions I was
being followed. I also noticed that my phone was bugged to some degree.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because it was slowing down or how could you tell?
HEDGES: It sounds like a phone was under water. It sounds like speaking through a speakerphone. The e-mails were slow to be sent and to receive.
And I was having to recharge the data on my phone quite often, even though I was there only for two weeks. So some things, it didn't add up.
And even my mother noticed that on several occasions, cars were following us. But I'd been quite stressed and anxious up until this point for
anyway. I put it down to paranoia. I didn't think about it until later on when I was like, ah. Now this makes sense.
FOSTER: Tell me about the arrest. You thought something was up. You thought something was a bit odd and then what happened?
HEDGES: So I left -- I was supposed to leave the country on May the 5th. My mother came with me on the morning. We had a coffee and I had to say
goodbye because I wasn't going to see her for a few months.
[14:45:06] And I checked in and I went to the like the pre-departure where they check your boarding pass. And about ten Emirati security officials
came out wearing the local wear, but also men dressed all in black and had guns on them and they told me that I had to go with them. They didqn't
confirm or deny if I was under arrest. I asked them if I could have a lawyer. I wasn't allowed a lawyer. They said that there was a case
against me, then they said there wasn't a case against me. But in essence, I had to go with them.
FOSTER: At what point were you told about the charges, the spying charges?
HEDGES: This was towards the end of the six weeks, the initial interrogation period. But I was told that because I had confessed, because
I had signed all this documentation, because I had helped them with their investigation, that the worst that would happen was that I'd just be
deported. That they were trying to smooth over the process and this came from both the interrogators and the state prosecutor.
They said, listen, they were lucky to -- I was lucky that I told the truth because if I hadn't, I would be in prison for 20, 30 years which actually
ironically is what I was charged with later in court.
FOSTER: Couple of things we were told by the UAE, if I could just bump them to you. One of them was you were using two different identities to
gather information. And one was Matthew Hedges, the researcher and another was Matthew Hedges, the businessman. Is that true? Were you using two
different positions in making your calls?
HEDGES: They were the same name. There were a number of different lines of work that I conduct. That's what, you know, if you might do some
moonlighting, you may do some other work. But I was simply in the UAE to conduct my research for my PhD.
FOSTER: They said you did have a lawyer, as well. They contradict what you say about whether or not a lawyer was with you helping you with the
documents, for example.
HEDGES: That's a lie, sadly. I was given a lawyer for the defense in the court hearing which happened in mid to late October. Apart from that, I
wasn't allowed a lawyer any other point in time.
FOSTER: And they said you weren't -- you didn't sign any documents you didn't understand.
HEDGES: They were all in Arabic. As a formal documentation has to be in the UAE. I do not read or speak Arabic.
FOSTER: And you were on your own at that point in time then?
HEDGES: Yes. And I've been in the duress for quite a long period of time.
FOSTER: Why did you sign it?
HEDGES: Because I had no other option.
FOSTER: Were they threatening you physically?
HEDGES: Yes. So I wasn't physically tortured but I was intimidated and I was threatened with acts of physical violence. They had on one occasion
threatened to rendition me to a no cease military base where they would beat and torture me.
FOSTER: So they said these are the charges we want you to admit to as opposed to what you were doing. Who came up with the idea that you might
be an agent, for example?
HEDGES: They did, completely. They start stuff asking me if I was a member of the foreign office. Then it started then it went to, are you a
member of MI6. And then they started to continue going down this line. This is when they asked me later what rank I was. And they said, are you a
second lieutenant? First lieutenant? Captain? Major?
And then in a moment of panic, and I was like yes, yes, yes sure. I'm captain. Just to try to appease them and to tell them what they wanted to
help them go along. Because if I didn't, things would have been very different and they made sure to remind me that I was being treated
relatively well compared to how it could have been, so I had to keep on going with the process to make sure my own welfare was OK.
FOSTER: He's back. But you're still very worried about your futures. Just explain what you're concerned about now.
DAMIELA TEJADA, WIFE OF MATTHEW HEDGES: You can't erase the mistreatment and all the trauma that these seven months of struggle have had on Matt and
on myself and our families. Psychological and physical.
Matt will certainly take a long time to recover from the traumas of it. And the medication that he was given and the general mistreatment. But
there's also the fact that he was granted a pardon but he was never actually declared innocent which he is.
FOSTER: So technically he's still --
TEJADA: So in the eyes of the law --
FOSTER: On paper a spy.
TEJADA: He's still a spy although the British government, the foreign secretary and Alex Younger, head of MI6 made a very rare appearance to say
he is definitely not a spy. So in the eyes of the law, he still is guilty of what he was accused.
FOSTER: But also, with the allies, that's your concern.
TEJADA: Internationally that has massive repercussions which means that we essentially won't be able to go on holidays to half of the world because
his name has been tainted to such an extent.
[14:50:02] FOSTER: So, what's your plan now? How do you clear your name? I mean it seems like virtually impossible task. And presumably Downing
Street and foreign office aren't keen to go too much further with this.
HEDGES: So this is something we're assessing and we are looking at several ways in which we can try to achieve the same -- you're right. It won't be
FOSTER: Finally, any regrets? During this process.
HEDGES: I wish it hadn't happened for both myself, my family, but also for the UAE because I think they need to have a look and see what do they stand
for? This process has shed some light -- some nick of light on their process, on their laws. And I think maybe that's something they might have
to look into.
JONES: OK. So we've just heard then from Matthew Hedges. Let's get the UAE's response on all of this. Jaber al-Lamki is an executive director for
media and strategic communications at the UAE National Media Council and joins me now from Abu Dhabi. Sir, thank you for joining us on the program.
I want to go through the list of allegations that Mr. Hedges has put on the state of the UAE. First of all, the accusation of suffering psychological
torture. Do you routinely shackle, threaten and torture detainees awaiting trial?
JABER AL-LAMKI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR MEDIA AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, UAE NATIONAL MEDIA COUNCIL: First of all, thank you for having me here.
Let me make a clear statement about this mysterious case of Matthew Hedges.
Now, with all what has been reported and I've been following the news lately since he's been pardoned and all these stories had suddenly changed
to a different narrative.
We've said this in our press conference. We have a process in place. The investigation process was he was given all the rights and he was having a
translator all the time. He understood all the question he's been asked and he was able to respond to them and all of that process has been
In terms of the allegations that he's saying now, in our response to that, Matthew Hedges is a free man. He can say whatever he likes to say. But in
our case, we treat all the prisoners with all fairness as per the UAE laws.
JONES: And the question of whether he had a lawyer or not, he says he didn't until right at the end when the court ruling was coming up. You say
AL-LAMKI: Yes, he did. And that's been confirmed. And the way the process is, when someone has been accused with a serious case and a crime
like espionage, definitely there is a process at the beginning of investigation where we have to go and do all the fact findings to
understand and reveal all the information that we've been given by a tip- off.
And at a certain point once that investigation was been confirmed and he have confessed, he was asked by the translator if he can afford a lawyer
which he has clearly confirmed to us he cannot afford a lawyer. And as per the UAE law, a lawyer was been appointed by the state government of the UAE
at our own expenses and the lawyer was his defender throughout all the hearing sessions at the court.
JONES: Right. So that's very different to his claim that he wasn't allowed a lawyer, that he very much asked for a lawyer. You're saying that
he simply was offered one and he didn't have the money to pay for one.
I want to move on to another claim though before we run out of time. Because there's lots of allegations to get through.
Matthew Hedges is also saying that you asked him, the UAE asked him to act as a double agent, that you also already confirmed that he was a spy in
your view and that you asked him to be a double agent acting against the British foreign office.
AL-LAMKI: See, that's absolutely not true for a simple reason. Where the UAE government can understand when an enemy is spying on us. But when it
comes from an ally that was a shock, completely for the UAE government. And we don't respond in the same manner. There is no reason for us to ask
him to work as a double agent. That's absolutely false. And he's been rejected allegation. And we don't accept that at all.
We have a strong historical relationship between the UAE and the U.K. government and we work with them and that's the reason we're trying all the
time to find an amicable solution for that embarrassing situation for the U.K. government.
JONES: OK. So he wasn't asked to be a double agent for the UAE.
On the question of clearing his name, it's obviously something that Matthew Hedges and his wife are desperate to do. They say at the moment, as things
stand, he's still a guilty man in the eyes, not only of the UAE, but of the UAE's allies around the world, as well.
Did you think that with a pardon, this case would end? Or did you always assume that he would go about trying to prove his innocence?
AL-LAMKI: Hannah, in any case like an espionage, a spy is a spy. We've said it on the press conference. He was 100 percent full secret service
operative. He has been given a pardon but that doesn't wipe out the case of being a spy and that's something he has to live with it for the rest of
[14:55:14] JONES: But so he doesn't have the right of appeal?
AL-LAMKI: Well, he's been given a pardon. His family submitted an official letter to the UAE government and we've looked at it and the pardon
was given to him, so he is a free man right now.
JONES: OK. Jaber al-Lamki, we very much appreciate you putting the UAE's perspective across on CNN. Thank you very much, sir.
Now, before we go on the program, more on the state funeral of George H.W. Bush. Everyone who spoke about the former U.S. president mentioned his
sense of humor, so we thought it would be fitting to end our show with some of the lighter moments from today's service. Goodbye from me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON MEACHAM, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: On the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin
asking for votes. When he realized his mistake, he said, never know. Got to ask. You can hear the voice, can't you? As Dana Carvey said, "The key
to a Bush 41 impersonation is Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne."
ALAN SIMPSON, FORMER SENATOR, WYOMING: And he said, "Why don't we go up to Camp David? You and Ann come over and we'll have a weekend together." At
that time, his popularity rating was 93 percent. Mine was 0.93 percent. And so, off we went. Media, of course, all gathered as we headed to Marine
One. As George said, "Now, wave to your pals over there in the media, Al." And they didn't wave back.