Return to Transcripts main page


New Report Alleges U.S. President Donald Trump Directed His Former Fixer To Lie To Congress; Sarah Sanders Speaks Out On Day 28 Of Shutdown; Tesla Has Announced It Is Laying Off 7% Of Its Full-Time Workforce; Britain's Former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson Says The Prime Minister Needs To Return To Brussels And Allow A Proper Brexit To Happen; Netflix Shares Are Down Today; BuzzFeed: Trump Directed His Lawyer to Lie to Congress; White House Planning Second Summit with North Korea; Five Suspects Arrested in Nairobi Hotel Attack; Government of Zimbabwe Shuts Down the Internet After it Increased Fuel Prices; Los Angeles Teachers Strike for Higher Wages, More Staff; Renowned Guitarist Stevie Van Zandt Fights Alongside L.A. Teachers; Aeromexico Ad Campaign Goes Viral; Top Brands Get Political with Moral Messages in Ads. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 18, 2019 - 15:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The last hour of trade on Wall Street, at the end of a week that has seen good gains and there were right

- gained right throughout the day. We are off the best of the day so far. But still nearly 300 points, which is why over the next hour, it is going

to be fascinating to see how investors want to leave things as they head off for the weekend.

Take a look at the green. This is what's moving the markets. On Thursday, it was the Treasury. This time, it's China's turn to cheer them up. A lot

more talk of the breakthrough on trade and China putting money into the economy. Tesla is getting rid of staff. Investors are getting rid of the

stock. It's down more than 13%. And Netflix, they're the market favorite says it's doing battle with Fortnight, not Disney in streaming wars. The

stock is off just marginally.

It's Friday. It's the 18th of January. I'm Richard Quest in London where of course I still mean business.

Good evening. We begin tonight, the second straight day stocks are up sharply on reports that China is offering an olive branch in trade talks

with the United States. Once again, those positive news on trade has taken a back seat news to less savory reports from Washington. Tonight where

there is smoke, there now is possibly a fire, and that fire is a report that puts Donald Trump at the center of a plan to build a Trump Tower in

Moscow. And apparently, he lied or instructed his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie about it.

Documents obtained by CNN, we know that as early as October 2015, Donald Trump signed a letter of intent, an LOI, to build a tower in downtown

Moscow. That's in October of 2015. Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen initially told Congress those plans were scrapped before the election was in full

swing by the time you get to 2016. Then Cohen started cooperating with authorities. He has now changed his story.

He's admitted the Moscow project actually continued until just before the Republican Convention. By that stage, Donald Trump was the presumptive

nominee. A Buzzfeed report which we've not managed to confirm says that Donald Trump was not only receiving detailed reports about the project, he

asked Cohen to lie to Congress about it.

Crucially investigators had e-mails, texts and documents from the Trump administration - I'm sorry the Trump organization to back this up. Trump's

current lawyer Rudy Giuliani says, all of this is categorically false. Some Democrats are talking now about impeachment.


JAMIE RASKIN, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Bill Clinton was impeached over the matter of telling one lie and that lie related to a private sexual affair.

This is a pattern of suborning perjury before Congress on a case of essential national security importance. So clearly if we follow the

precedence set by the Republicans during the Clinton administration --

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ... from the President's team, it was productive and they are going to continue those

conversations and the President is in regular --


SANDERS: The President is in regular contact with a number of world leaders as he has, and those discussions will be surely put out --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a concern among Democrats that if the shutdown isn't wrapped up by the Super Bowl that there could be security concerns

with the Super Bowl. Does the President hold those concerns as well?

SANDERS: I think if the Democrats have those type of concerns then they should sit down at the table and negotiate with the President. We've got

an offer on table. We've made it clear that we would like to make a deal. We want to get something done. The President wants to open the government

as well, but he also wants to make sure we're protecting American citizens and we have to secure the border in order to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any urgency considering that government officials - workers could miss a second paycheck?

SANDERS: Absolutely. That's one of the key reasons that the President did not want Speaker Pelosi to leave the country, is because if she did, it

would all but guarantee the fact that the negotiations couldn't take place over the weekend and Federal workers, 800,000 Federal workers wouldn't

receive their paychecks because she wasn't here to help make a deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) he looked like he might compromise on the budget and sign a CR originally and then of course, we heard from Ann

Coulter and Rush Limbaugh ...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... why is he not willing to go back to where he was in the beginning or is he?

SANDERS: The President has laid out what he wants. We sent a detailed letter from the Office of Management and Budget to Congress, and we've had

a number of discussions discussing what we're looking for. We haven't backed down from that. We haven't changed our position on it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible). Will the President still be delivering a speech on January 29th as he had planned?

SANDERS: We'll certainly keep you posted on that front.

QUEST: So Sarah sanders there at the White House giving an account of what's happening with the shutdown. On the question of the Buzzfeed report

about whether the President specifically told Michael Cohen to lie before Congress, she describes that as being categorically false. Norm Eisen is

the Chair at the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. He was the White House ethics czar under President Obama and has been highly

critical of many of the moves made by this administration.

And Norm, to some extent if true that he did ask him to do this, it's not only ethically wrong, it's illegal, it's against the law, it's a crime.

NORM EISEN, CHAIRMAN, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Richard, thanks for having me back. And of course, that's right. And

there's a broad consensus, but it's the "if" part that is occupying Washington now, and it should be occupying Washington because right now,

what we have is one story, an important story, but not one that has been corroborated by other media organizations. So we need to take it

seriously, but also recognize that we are still in hypothetical land.

QUEST: Right, we are not just in hypothetical land, but this is, of course, the whole Buzzfeed story is something that CNN has not been able to

confirm in that sense, but you know, everybody is off to the races with this because if true, this is the most nakedly obvious form of what some

would say would be high crime and misdemeanors, i.e., impeachable.

EISEN: Well, Richard, you and I have been talking about this story now for the entire period since James Comey's firing, and when we discuss it, we

often talk about obstruction of justice. This would be, if true, suborning perjury, would be obstruction of justice. But there's been a pattern and

accumulating evidence and substantial evidence and while we need to be fair, we need to let the process run out, we just can't judge on media


We need actual witnesses and documents and evidence. It's part of an accumulating pattern and there is substantial evidence here. Certainly,

that accounts for the heightened concern and the serious attention this is getting both in Congress and across the country, indeed around the world

QUEST: Each week it seems somebody somewhere comes out and suggests Donald Trump either did something at instigation or he spoke to somebody. Every

week is a new development, which is described by those in the know as being significant, as being important, as being evidence of. Do you see this, if

true, in the same light?

EISEN: Well, yes. This is one of the most significant of the stories. We do know that some of the stories including Buzzfeed's stories about the so-

called Moscow project, the Trump Tower deal have been proven out, but, you know, this is one of the most important ones.

So I would say very significant development, but, Richard, what's also important is the trajectory, the accumulating evidence, the deepening of

the story as we move from week to week. At the same time, we need to, you know, to take a measured approach and we need to decide based on actual

evidence and witnesses. So, you know, we need to pace ourselves.

QUEST: Right, Norm, that's why you're with us, the measured approach. Keeping us somewhere ethically on this. All right, thank you. Good to see


EISEN: Always.

QUEST: Sarah Westwood is at the White House. Bluntly, I can keep this simple - this question really simple, no matter whether they say it's

categorically false are they rattled by this latest development?


SARAH WESTWOOD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Richard, until Sarah Sanders denied this just moments ago claiming that the report in Buzzfeed is

categorically false, what we saw was deflection from some of the other administration officials who had spoken out publicly about this earlier in

the day. Hogan Gidley, a spokesman; Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to President Trump. Both of them had gone after the outlet that published the

story, Buzzfeed.

They've gone after the credibility of the reporters, the use of anonymous sourcing, but they hadn't really confronted the central question, the yes

or no question of whether President Trump did instruct his former lawyer to lie to Congress, and so this is really one of the first hard and fast

denials on camera that we've gotten from a White House official. Still doesn't erase the hours of uncertainty this morning that we had surrounding

this report which would be extremely significant, obviously, if true.

QUEST: All right, Sarah, the White House is saying that President Trump will meet Kim Jong-un sometime in February, and look, call me a cynic, and

I'll happily probably take the accusation. These announcements come fortuitously when the other news is really bad. When the Mueller news gets

bad, there's a big announcement on something that will divert our attentions.

WESTWOOD: That seems to be one of President Trump's strengths even since the beginning of his candidacy for President that he is able to sort of try

to manipulate the national conversation when coverage is negative. Of course, the second summit with Kim Jong-un has been something the

administration has been working towards for some time.

They've been hinting for more than a month now that perhaps the location of that second summit could be announced in the days ahead. Now they've

chosen to try to move towards that second summit as you mentioned while the President is one scrutiny for a report that if it is substantiated would be

very detrimental to his presidency, but we have no word yet on where that second summit with Kim Jong-un might take place, only with the White House

saying they that are aiming for the end of next month, February, to have that meeting.

QUEST: Sarah, good to see you. Thank you very much. Sarah Westwood. Now, turning to the markets now, and that's optimism. Well, it's holding

its own at the moment. The Dow Jones Industrials is just up 1%. The reports about trade, reports on China, but it will try to reduce any trade

surplus with the United States.

And Tesla shares, now they are falling very sharply. The company has announced it is laying off 7% of its full-time workforce. So it's a loss

of some 12.5%. Elon Musk in his letter describing it, he says, he's trying to cut the cost of the Model 3. We've known that for some time, but Paul

La Monica, the Guru La Monica is in New York, when I read the Musk letter, which is to his staff, it's very detailed and it's very honest. It says we

need to get these costs down, and this is the way we need to do it.

PAUL LA MONICA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, I think you have - I have to give Musk credit for being very blunt and honest with his workforce. The

problem, though, for investors is that he also warned that profits are likely to be not as strong in the fourth quarter as they were in the third

quarter. I think that's the reason more maybe than the layoffs that the stock is down as much as it is.

But also remember, Richard, this is a company that has grandiose dreams and Musk is a very confident person and he's run into several stumbling blocks.

Tis not the first time Tesla in the past year has had to announce job cuts. They laid off nearly 10% of their staff back in June.

And obviously his other company, SpaceX just announced layoffs as well. So I think to those who feel that Musk is the, you know, business genius that

can do no wrong, these are two big black eyes for him right now.

QUEST: But how much though is he - how much is he the victim of his success? At the end of the day - maybe I'm the only one who is always the

defender in some senses. But the letter makes clear, you know, they have to get into - they have to get it into markets where there are more - they

have to sell more cars in markets where people can afford it and they have to create a lower cost product for those people who can't.

LA MONICA: Yes, I mean, I think it's a good point to make that Tesla and Elon Musk, they may be victims of their own success. The Model S and the

Model X crossover were such great vehicles that won so many awards, were viewed very positively by "Consumer Reports." Their fans loved them. And

that, obviously, got Tesla into thinking that they could change the automotive world more broadly with a mass market affordable car that we now

know is the Model 3.


LA MONICA: The problem is, there have been so many delays in getting the Model 3 production out there that you now have many other companies like

Nissan, for example, making their own affordable electric cars. So Detroit and other automakers around the world in Japan and Europe has woken up and

realized that yes, Musk isn't crazy, there is a future in electric cars, so we're going to do it, too.

QUEST: Paul La Monica, good to see you. Have a great weekend.

LA MONICA: You, too.

QUEST: As we continue tonight. London evening "Standard" says Boris Johnson is now joint favor with Michael Gove to take over for Theresa May.

And after the break, an exclusive one-on-one with the former Foreign Secretary on the future of Brexit. Also investors are giving a thumbs down

to the latest Netflix earnings released, even though it attracted more eyeballs than Wall Street had expected. It is the two sides of Netflix

when the results come out. We'll talk about it after the break.


QUEST: Britain's former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson says the Prime Minister needs to return to Brussels and allow a proper Brexit to happen.

He spoke exclusively to CNN's Matthew Chance who is visiting the Midlands. Matthew joins me now.

The comments that Boris Johnson made - look, I'm always reminded of those ideas that well, it's amazing that no one had thought of this before. What

he suggests is well-known.

MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes. Absolutely. He gave advice to Theresa May, the British Prime Minister by saying, "Look,

the way to fix this is simply to go back to Brussels, demand an end to that terrible backstop that everyone is so alarmed by and disliked so much in

Westminster, and then, you know, present them to them as a fait accompli." And if you can't get that, it's fine. Britain is going to be absolutely


This is how Boris would characterize it without any deal at all. I mean, whether or not you believe that that is his leadership pitch. He wants to

show himself to be a man, who amid this chaos and confusion has a clear vision of the future. Take a listen to some of the things we spoke about.


CHANCE: Well, let's talk about whether Britain will go out because, you know, there's a lot of confusion around the world about whether Britain

will, indeed, leave the European Union.


CHANCE: Are you confident that we will definitely - that Britain will definitely be leaving the European Union.


CHANCE: Even without a deal.


CHANCE: That would be catastrophic, wouldn't it for this country's economy?

JOHNSON: No, well, that's the interesting thing. Because if you talk - that's one of the points I wanted to make today. I don't particularly want

that as the starting point in March or April of this year. I think we can do better than that or we should have a standstill, so you keep the

existing arrangements, zero tariffs, zero equator, zero regulatory checks, you keep the existing mutual recognition. But you use the period of the

standstill or the transition to negotiate the free trade deal. That's the way to do it. If you're going to get that way --

CHANCE: Are there any circumstances you could foresee in which Britain would end up staying - staying in the European Union? It's what a lot of

people want in this country.

JOHNSON: I don't think that is going to happen.

CHANCE: But could it happen?

JOHNSON: The only way it could happen would be if there was a - if Parliament now voted to - a proposal from the government, if Parliament now

voted to cancel Article 50.


CHANCE: Article 50, of course, the clause allow as country to leave the European Union. Boris Johnson said even contemplating that would be toxic

and would represent a betrayal of the millions of people in Britain who voted for in the last referendum for Britain to leave the European Union --


QUEST: The other side would say he is not in touch with reality if he thinks he can go to Brussels, demand the backstop gone when Brussels time

and again has made it clear there is no amending or even opening up the withdrawal agreement.

CHANCE: Yes. Absolutely, and of course, you know, this was something that Boris Johnson was confronted with. This fact that the European Union have

said, "Look we're not - we're simply not going to renegotiate that." And his point again, whether you believe it or not is that "Look, concessions

only come in the final - in the final moments of a negotiation." That 29th of March deadline is fast approaching. There's also a deadline for the

European Union and they could, kind of make concessions as we get closer to it.

And if they don't, then fine, we'll get on without a deal. That's his position. And you know what? A lot of people in this country may disagree

with it, but a lot of people agree with that as well, Richard.

QUEST: Matthew - Matthew Chance, thank you. Excellent stuff with the former Foreign Secretary. Thank you. The remarkable thing is if you look

at the London FTSE which closed up nearly 2% in line with the rest of the European markets, but you might wonder why the FTSE could be so resilient

off the back of such depressing arguably developments in the Brexit debate. But Europe, like the Wall Street were boosted by the prospect of some

relief in the U.S.-China trade war - the rising tide and lifting all boats.

Turning to earnings from one of Silicon Valley's brightest stars, Netflix shares, today, they are down - not a huge amount, 4%, and while it's not

bad to compare it to what we've had in the past, but the expectations were high and the company's revenue numbers simply disappointed.

It wasn't all doom and gloom. Now, we need to show you exactly what did happen with the Netflix and it seems like there's plenty on the television

tonight. This is what investors are watching for tonight as Netflix rolled out new releases.

First of all, users, you've got 28 million users, extra users to watch. That's a huge number. It's more than Hulu has got. That's their extras

and that's more than Hulu has got. And some investors are worrying - some investors worry that the price rises that's just come in the last 24 hours

could drive some of those away.

But that's a part of the story. That's one side of the network, Netflix question. Try this one as well. And you have, it says the rival - is that

Netflix says it is not worried about Amazon and Disney stealing their attention, instead it says Fortnight and other gaming. It is worried about

new rivals such as the Fortnight gamers that are perhaps, he says are a bigger threat, I heard, I believe than HBO. And finally, on the Netflix

channel, if you see - there we go, the stock price. This is what investors hope will be a preview of the quarter to come.


QUEST: Netflix shares were up nearly 48% - 48% from their lows on Christmas Eve. That is extraordinary. Fifty percent gain since New Year's

Eve on a stock that had fallen so sharply. Quite remarkable. Get your phones out and go to Today, we are asking you, who will win

the Netflix - the streaming wars? Is it likely to be Disney? Amazon or somebody completely else? Maybe even Fortnight. Go to and

vote. You can see under the screens how things will go.

Brian Stelter is in New York to talk about this and to discuss the way forward on this. Brian, the Netflix story is so much more complicated than

just how many subscribers, whether it put new money on, the amount of revenues, but their comment that they consider Fortnight to be more of a

threat than Disney, is that just bravado?

BRIAN STELTER, CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Oh, I think it is actually very smart. And this is why I love Netflix's quarterly letters to

shareholders. They are something special, Richard. You hear from the executives and their perspective on the landscape of media. And they tend

to see into the future a little bit.

I think what the executives are trying to say is that when you think about a consumer and how they spend their time in front of any screen, a big

screen TV or a phone, you're not just competing with television channels any more, like CNN International or Netflix, you're also competing with

Xbox and Playstation and Fortnight.

And so I think they are on to something insightful there about how people are going to choose to spend their time and their money. What are you

going to spend $10.00 on this month? Is it going to be your Fortnight character or is it going to be Netflix? Obviously, lots of people pay for

both, but as people spend more and more time watching TV and as they have more and more time if they are on their autonomous cars in the future, it

is going to be a competition between gaming and streaming TV and whatever cool new thing I haven't invented yet or you haven't invented yet.

QUEST: And it's a fascinating outlook, but put another way, firstly, who is going to pay for multiple streaming services, and secondly, even if you

did pay for it, who has got time to watch it all?

STELTER: There are absolutely too many shows. But this is the highest class problem to have. And that why I think your poll is so interesting

right now. Disney has the wallet. It has the cash to be a formidable competitor with Netflix. It's starting later this year.

Amazon has that ability, too. My favorite new shows are on Amazon, but you probably haven't heard of them. "Homecoming," "Catastrophe." You know,

there are so many shows now. It's almost like we can't have a common conversation because everybody is streaming something differently.

QUEST: But the quote from our Chief Executive or the head - one of the Warner Media executives, I forget which one who said that - and I have used

this so often in this program, but I do love it, Netflix is the Walmart of television whereas HBO - it's the head of HBO who said it, Richard Plepler

said, "HBO will be the Tiffany of streaming." Do you buy that concept?

STELTER: Here's why I do. In real life, I go to Walmart a lot and I often - well, not often, once in a while I go to Tiffany's also, right, you know,

every so often. Those different stores do play different roles in people's lives, but they are both valuable and they are both incredible

international brands.

You know, to take it out of that literal definition, different streaming services will play different roles in people's lives. But right now,

Netflix has such an incredible head start, it is going to make it harder for the Disneys of the world.

But the thing about Netflix, as we all know, it always comes down to the fact that they are burning through cash, $3 billion of cash last year.

Another $3 billion this year. Can they keep it up? Can this be sustainable? I think that's why we see the stock go up and down and up and

down. The stock is so volatile because there are so many different bets going on about what Netflix is really going to be able to do in the next

few years. Can it really keep raising prices in order to improve this cash flow situation and stop burning through cash? Maybe they can. Obviously,

a lot of investors are betting Netflix can.

QUEST: And if you look at our results, those of you voting at, most of you - actually, it's a sizable majority, 65% of you

believe that it will be Netflix winning. Amazon comes second with 17%. Disney is way behind, just down in the single digits. So there you are.

Brian, have a lovely weekend.

STELTER: Thank you. You, too.

QUEST: We've got - what time "Reliable Sources" on Sunday?

STELTER: 11:00 A.M. eastern here in the U.S. and two hours later all around the world.

QUEST: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, that's 6:00 and 7:00. I'll do the sums.

STELTER: Thank you. My best PR person. Thank you, Richard.

QUEST: Good to see you. Anytime, thank you. So it's 1:00 when it's on, that is 6:00 in London, 7:00 in E.U. Central or the mainland of Europe.


After the break, extreme measures to curtail freedom of speech in Zimbabwe. Internet has been turned off on days of deadly protests over fuel prices.


QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. And I'll be joined by the legendary E Street Band guitarist

Steve Van Zandt about why he's showing solidarity with striking Los Angeles teachers.

And Aeromexico has a special ticket offer for Americans on the southern border. Though you might need to take a DNA test first. As we continue

tonight on this network, this is Cnn and here are the facts, always come first.

Congressional Democrats are vowing to investigate whether President Trump obstructed justice after explosive new report according to "BuzzFeed". The

U.S. president allegedly directed his long-time attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. The White House

calls the report categorically false.

Meanwhile, the White House says it's planning a second summit with the North Korean leader near the end of next month. The location hasn't yet

been decided. It comes after President Trump and the Secretary of State met with Pyongyang's top negotiator, the meeting took place in Washington.

Kenyan government officials have announced that five suspects have been arrested in connection with Tuesday's deadly attack on a hotel in Nairobi.

At least 21 people were killed when men armed with guns and explosives burst into a luxury hotel complex.

[15:35:00] People in Zimbabwe have been denied access to the internet by order of their own government. The country's biggest mobile operator says

it received a government order to pull the plug. You can see one of the reasons they're blaming violence, deadly days of protests which were a

response to authorities sharply raising fuel prices.

The United Nations has called for an end to the security crackdown ordered by the president. Tonight, we're told that the internet has mostly been

restored, but some social media sites are still down. Berhan Taye is the campaigner with a group Access Now, and she joins me from Paris.

The reasons -- I mean, it's not at all clear why this was done other than there has been days of violence over the fuel price increase.

BERHAN TAYE, CAMPAIGNER, ACCESS NOW: Yes, so why they're done, this is pretty clear. They want to control information. They want to make sure

that people don't have access to information and they also want to control the way that people express themselves.

So, it's been quite a tragedy in Zimbabwe this week where the internet was turned off yesterday again at around 10:00 p.m. and was released back on at

around 3:00 p.m. today. Most people don't have access to social media, SMS is still blocked.

So it's pretty clear what the government is trying to do, they want to control the protest, they don't want people to go out on the streets and

protest. They don't want people demanding their rights. That's precisely the reason why they're doing this.

QUEST: And if the -- I'm just trying to be charitable here and play -- and be a devil's advocate. If the government was to say, well, we had learned

that the internet was being used by those who wanted to get-together for violent protests, and this was a way of stopping them congregating to

create the mayhem and destruction. What would you say?

TAYE: So, our response for that is to really see what the police and the law enforcement agencies have done in Zimbabwe and Harare and in many

other cities is that they've been shooting live ammunition at protesters. They've been, you know, going around when the internet was closed down.

They've been going around from homes to homes, pulling people out, beating them out like in the public. There's no one to show the world what is

actually currently happening in Zimbabwe. So that's the reason why the internet has been shut down.

Of course, some of the protest was violent, but starting from Wednesday, much of the protests have been quite peaceful and you know, it's the

government --

QUEST: Right --

TAYE: That's using extreme force, you know, many people have been injured, many --

QUEST: Right --

TAYE: Many more --

QUEST: Yes --

TAYE: Many more have been injured and some people have died as well, so yes.

QUEST: Although, thinking about it and just looking at where you are at the moment, with the yellow jackets protest which have been violent and

there have been deaths, I don't remember President Macron switching off the internet, not that he would have been able to or could have done, maybe,

but he didn't certainly try the best we knew.

TAYE: Yes, so --

QUEST: So, let's --

TAYE: In countries where you have -- go ahead.

QUEST: Yes, thank you. Pull these strands together. The state of Zimbabwe after Mugabe and with the current President Emmanuel Mnangagwa

came in even though he was number two in the previous, he said it would be different and his priority -- he told me, his priority was to bring in

inward investment.

Do forget the internet story for a second. Do you see any evidence that he has changed the story in Zimbabwe?

TAYE: Given what's been happening in the past five days, no. Thus, nothing has changed, you know, protesters, you know, activists have been

arrested. They haven't been able to see lawyers, families don't know where their loved ones are. So he's definitely using the same tactics that

Mugabe's government was using.

He was part of Mugabe's government before as well. So not much has changed. It's a different man practicing the same barbaric ways that his

former, you know, president used to.

QUEST: Good to see you, thank you Berhan. And a reminder to you, we will be speaking to the president next week in Davos. But thank you for

joining us this evening. Yes, the president of Zimbabwe will be one of our guests whiles we're in Davos next week.

As we continue after the break, a teacher's strike in Los Angeles has disrupted schools all across the city this week. The rock legend Stevie

Van Zandt who tells me he is on the teacher's side, and not only that he's prepared to -- not to -- to come out and demonstrate with them. After the

break, good to see you, sir, we'll be with you after the break.


QUEST: More than 30,000 teachers in Los Angeles have been out on strike all this week. The battle has been drawn after almost two years of failed

negotiations. The Teachers Union wants smaller classes --


Excuse me, better pay, and more staff. The head of the school district says the money simply isn't there, although he did make the union a $130

million offer which it rejected. The strike is now in day five and attendants -- the school district says it's cost $97 million.

Both sides are sitting down to negotiate again. What -- this would be big enough on its own. Stevie Van Zandt; the E Street Band guitarist and star

of "The Sopranos" picketed alongside the teachers in Los Angeles. He even wrote an op-ed about it for "Rolling Stone". He joins me now from New


You've been asked before, let me ask again. Why did you decide to picket and join along?

STEVIE VAN ZANDT, ACTOR, MUSICIAN, ACTIVIST: Well, hi Richard, to start with the basics which is our teaching profession is under-appreciated,

under-funded and under-paid. I happen to be there -- we've been working on teacher issues now for a couple of years with my foundation.

Our music history curriculum was established to put the arts back into public schools. Our no child left behind legislation of ten

years ago have devastated the arts. So I've been involved in teaching issues now for a couple of years.

In this case, we have the local issues which is, as you said, the classroom size. Optimally, it's usually 15 to 20 kids, you can do up to 30. In Los

Angeles, they have as many as 45 kids in a class, you know --

QUEST: Wow --

VAN ZANDT: You just can't, you know. They have 80 percent of the schools don't have a full-time nurse. Can you imagine that? And the counselors and

the --

QUEST: But --

VAN ZANDT: Psychologists and the librarians are all -- you know, they just need more people.

QUEST: But Stevie, one is always, though, impressed -- I was going to say amazed, but impressed is a better word when people outside the industry,

and particularly those from the arts and -- I suppose famous people like you in rock music and in television, you decide to -- not just come off the

fence, but knock the fence down and go out and protest as well.

[15:45:00] VAN ZANDT: Well, I mean, you know, celebrities should be good for something more than getting a seat at a restaurant. You know, we

should use it for a -- as it can be useful sometimes in cases like this. We want to raise attention to these local issues, like I say the classroom

size --

QUEST: Yes --

VAN ZANDT: And you know, not a full time. There's -- and the --

QUEST: That's right --

VAN ZANDT: Infrastructure, I mean, one kid marching with us said they spent the whole last year sitting on the floor because there wasn't enough

desks, you know. And then there's --

QUEST: So --

VAN ZANDT: Also the bigger issue there, Richard, which is that --

QUEST: Yes --

VAN ZANDT: It's creeping privatization of the education system which has become a national issue now, and may eventually, you know, become an

international issue. But you know, these charter schools, there's quite a controversy here.

You know, they're in-between public education and private schools. You have this charter thing going on. And they're taking money from the same

pool of money, you know. But the -- without the oversight, without the unions, without the certification of their teachers and they are privately

managed, OK?

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: Which means profit. You know, once you see profit in education in the same sentence, you know, alarm bells should go off, right? You know


QUEST: Now, we're a business program, so we like a bit of profit, but we want to focus on what you're saying. You say there in your article in the

"Rolling Stone", "like everything else is a war of the rich versus the poor. For the first time in my life, we are going backwards in every

single way."

This is a clarion call that you're making more than just about education, isn't it? You're not happy with what you see.

VAN ZANDT: No, I mean, I think we've been on a pretty good trajectory since World War II heading towards global unity, not with a couple of

bumps in the road granted. But for the first time we seem to be going backwards in every single way, you know.

This nationalism which is popping up everywhere, I'm sure you're quite aware of. And that all relates to the same thing. We need to -- you know,

we're only as strong as our weakest member, right? That sort of philosophy. And the same thing happens globally, you know.

We need to sort of be more unified globally, just as we need to --

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: We need to support the teachers locally for the same reason. You know, it's a --

QUEST: Yes --

VAN ZANDT: Matter of the poor kids that are going to be left behind in the charter schools, the handicapped kids. The kids that are a little bit

slower. You know, the ones that may be have a little bit of a language problem, right? You know, those are --

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: The kids that are going to be left out, and those are the ones we need to help the most, you know. And that comes -- that's why the union

movement is so important for that reason, and public education needs to be funded.

And those of us who have a little -- get a little bit of attention from the press -- I'm calling -- I'm calling all of us to come out from the movie

business and TV business and music, come march with the teachers and let's make sure that, you know, the students --

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: Are protected in the future.

QUEST: So we have to -- I mean, it's a two -- on that class clarion call, I'm deliberately trying not to keep this in anyway political either. You

know, whether it'd be in the U.K. with Brexit or in the U.S. with Donald Trump. But this deterioration of standards of which you're talking, how -

- briefly, how is that reversed?

VAN ZANDT: Well, I mean -- oh, my God, I wish we had more time for this because it's a very important question. How is it being reversed? Well,

we're starting to look inward instead of outward, and what happens then is division.

You know, the politics of division --

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: Have now taken over rather than, you know, the open-minded, you know, welcome embrace of the world. I mean, it's a simple matter of we're

stronger together than we are apart.

QUEST: Right --

VAN ZANDT: You know, that's why, you know, I hope Brexit goes away also, you know.

QUEST: Now, that is a subject for another day. Good to see you, Stevie, thank you --

VAN ZANDT: Good to see you too --

QUEST: Next time I'm in New York -- I am sorry I'm not there, but next time I'm there, we'll get-together on the set at the same time --

VAN ZANDT: That'd be great --

QUEST: In New York or L.A. --

VAN ZANDT: Look forward to it --

QUEST: Thank you, thank you. As we continue tonight, a new ad company by Mexico's national airline is personal and unconventional -- next.


QUEST: Extraordinary story of appetizing. Aeromexico is telling Americans, we'll give you a discount if can prove you have Mexican

heritage. Take a DNA test, and the more Mexican blood you have, the bigger the discount. The ad was filmed in Texas and it followed President Trump's

call for a border wall.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like Tequila?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like burritos?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you like Mexico?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when your company name is Aeromexico, well, so how do we increase USA flights to Mexico if a big part of Americans just don't

like Mexico. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Mexican immigration goes as far as the 1800s, settling in on the south.

Meaning that a big percentage of Mexican ascendance in the USA doesn't even know it yet.


QUEST: Now, the ad then goes on to prove as the various people then learn that they've got percentage of Mexican blood within them. I want to bring

in Bruce Turkel; he's the CEO and founder of Turkel Brands, a management firm. He joins me from Miami. Always good to see you, Bruce. You've seen

the advert --


QUEST: It's moving infomercial, it goes on for some two and a half minutes, and it's a good story-tell. But does it work for you?

TURKEL: Well, it goes on for two and a half minutes because, obviously, the whole point of this is they want it to go viral. They want it to sell

-- they want you to sell it and send it to other people. Does it work for me? You know, what's interesting on a lot of levels.

As an American, I find it fascinating. As a traveler, I had to watch. As someone who has partisan, political views as we all do, I also found it

fascinating. But as someone in the industry, I'm not so sure. I did a lot of work for Avio, TECO, for Taco(ph), for Long Chili(ph) and their number

one market is VFR, that's called visiting friends and relatives.

Indigenous residents of a country going home. So if you get a percentage off for Mexican heritage, does that mean if you're Mexican, you fly for

free? I don't understand how that works.

QUEST: As in terms of just being down right controversial, it sort of pokes fun at what some would say as being ignorant Americans in the south

who discover that they are part Mexican. Does -- is that -- is that nice?

TURKEL: It's not nice to poke fun at anybody, but I think you said the right words upfront, Richard. In terms of being down right controversial,

we have proved that in today's environment, both politically and also advertising business, there's no margin in the middle.

You have to both excite people and take the risk of -- let's face it, ticking people off in order to get a response. So no, it's not nice, but

it's telling and it makes you watch. You want to hear what these people do. You either side with them or against them, but you can't turn it off.

[15:55:00] QUEST: It's reality TV in an advert, look, remember yesterday on this program, we had the new Gillette commercial which is all about

getting men not to be so boarish. Let's all listen to that one quickly for a second.


DAMON JONES, VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS, PROCTER & GAMBLE: Nine out of ten consumers tell us that, you know, they want brands to be

active on social and environmental issues, and they will have a more positive view. We know that half of those consumers influence, you know,

the purchase decisions or influence by their shared beliefs from a brand.

So we believe it's an opportunity for us and we believe that when we do it, we can again have a positive impact on society and reflect well on our



QUEST: That was head of commerce for P&G there, defending it. You've seen that commercial too.

TURKEL: Yes, of course --

QUEST: It's taken a lot of flack, does it work for you?

TURKEL: Yes, I think that one makes a lot of sense for a couple of reasons. One of which is obvious, one of which is not so obvious. Think

about when you shave, Richard, what is a more intimate time than when you're looking at yourself in the mirror and trying to make yourself feel

better and look better.

So having a conversation with yourself about how you may have misbehaved, how may be you didn't do the right thing back in your past, that's a very

intimate moment, and I think that ties in exactly with who Gillette is, be the best a man can be.

But there's something they're not telling you. In women's --

QUEST: Right --

TURKEL: Wear -- I'm sorry, in men's wear, 80 percent of men's wear is purchased by women. They buy it for the men in their lives. How many

Gillette customers get their razor blades because their girlfriends, wives, mothers, somebody else buys their blades?

My wife happens to buy mine for me. That ad speaks to women.

QUEST: All right --

TURKEL: I have a feeling that what Gillette is not saying is a big part of their purchasers of men's blades are women.

QUEST: Haven't thought about, brilliant, good to see you, Bruce, have a lovely weekend.

TURKEL: Thank you, Richard, and you --

QUEST: We will take a profitable moment after the break, it will be a short one, but we'll still have it.


QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment. Breakfast, oh, breakfast -- Brexit is a mess and the U.K. is in chaos. In the United States, the government is

paralyzed with the shutdown. Europe is slowing down economically, there may be a recession on the way.

China is facing sanctions and a massive slowdown that could cause serious or is causing serious global problems. The world, you might argue is in a

bit of a mess, which is why next week at Davos, it will be so crucial to meet the leaders, see what they're saying and gauge what might happen

next. I am in Davos, you'll be there with me and it all starts on Monday.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in London. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable.


There you go, champ, the bell is ringing, the day is done.