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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Billionaire to Pay Off Student Debt of Entire Class; Google Restricts Huawei`s Access to Android; Iranian Official Says We Don`t Welcome War but Will Stand Steadfast; Houthi Rebels Stealing Food from Most Vulnerable; UN Says Yemen Is World`s Worst Humanitarian Crisis. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 20, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN London, happy day, I`m Hala Gorani.
Tonight, a decision that could affect millions of people around the world, Google suspends Huawei from Android after the Chinese company was
blacklisted by Donald Trump. Also tonight, this 1-year-old baby in Yemen is the weight of a 3-month-old. His lungs are infected. He is
malnourished. CNN investigation reveals aid is there. But stolen from those who need it the most. Then later in the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT F. SMITH, BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR: My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: How those are eleven words changed the lives of hundreds of students at a U.S. graduation. The full heart-warming story is ahead.
We begin tonight with a huge blow for Chinese tech firm Huawei and a clear sign that Donald Trump`s trade war with China is starting to affect
ordinary people, perhaps some of you watching us this evening. If you own a Huawei phone and millions around the world do. They are the second
biggest provider of smartphones in the world. You want to listen to this story.
Google will restrict Huawei`s access to its Android operating system and apps after the Trump administration put the firm on a trade blacklist last
week. Now keep in mind, Android is the digital engine under the hood so to speak of most of the world`s smartphones, let`s get straight into this.
And what it means for people with these devices and what it means for the wider trade world a little bit later. Samuel Burke is here. So the impact
on ordinary consumers.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: This is incredible. You don`t have to be in U.S. or China to be hit by the U.S.-
China tensions. Anybody that has an Android device on Huawei, way more have Android, their phone may be rendered useless, dead in the water is
what some analysts are saying. Let my put up on this screen why. If you don`t get these updates anymore, well, are you going to want to keep on
getting a phone that you get security updates but doesn`t go onto the next generation.
Google may cut you off of Google maps, Gmail and YouTube, what millennial or younger wants a phone out of YouTube, you may be frozen out of ride
hailing apps and delivery services. If you can`t get to Google maps, you will probably end up switching to another Android device fought made by
GORANI: Why did Google bow to pressure on this one?
BURKE: I don`t think they had any legal option. These are the new rules under the Trump administration. It`s not just Google. It`s many other
companies. I think they are doing as best as they k. They`re going to keep security if him to the phones. It`s like having an iPhone 7 and has
operating 10.0 and eventually 10.0. You have apps that says this only works with the newest software update. Eventually it becomes obsolete much
GORANI: Is this the end of Huawei outside of China?
BURKE: No, certainly inside China, they will try to use their own operating system and app store and make that available outside of China.
That will be very difficult for them. They`ll try, many others, including Blackberry which is using systems and Microsoft tried to build their own
ecosystems and failed, it could be end of them unless somehow Google can get this export license in the United States. That itself the big question
mark over Google, Qualcomm and these other American companies affected by this Trump decision.
GORANI: Samuel Burke, thanks very much. Let`s dig deeper, our analyst joins me from New York. Is this reversible at all at this stage?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think it is reversible. I think we are seeing the beginning of what was going to happen for a while
now which is a splinter net. The U.S. going one way and China another, a variety of digital products. If you think about the ecosystems built
around something like Android but also built around Huawei, these are massive business empires. It is going to have a profound impact that this
shift is happening. Happening.
GORANI: Is this about security or trade competition?
FOROOHAR: It`s both. To be fair, U.S. CEOs have been complaining for a long time that they were concerned about intellectual property issues, in
China, Huawei has had issues with security. Huawei would say, look, we have been completely open. We`ve had many security checks.
[14:05:00] The history is it has ties with the Peoples Liberation Army. I think what`s interesting, it will speed up a transition already happening
in China, if you look at the Chinese landscape, a big consumer brand in China sells more smartphones than Apple. I think you see the Chinese
trying to ramp up their own effort to create an alternative ecosystem. The real question is will they sell their products and do better than Google or
Apple in some of the emerging markets?
GORANI: I asked Samuel. I`ll ask you this as well. Is this the end of Huawei outside of China?
GORANI: They were competing very, very effectively against other phones, European-made phones.
FOROOHAR: It`s not and I`ll add something else on that front. If you look at Xi Jinping`s latest speech, One Belt, One Road, economic diplomacy
connecting China, 5G and mobile phones and digital technologies are a big part of that. European countries are right now trying to decide whose
chips are they going to go with? With Qualcomm or Huawei? Huawei is a lot cheaper. As you see once like Greece and Italy being in that orbit of One
Belt, One Road, infrastructure plan. I think you may see some companies following suit.
GORANI: That will be interesting to see. So last question, what does this mean why is this significant between the greater context of a trade war?
FOROOHAR: So I`ll give you a statistic, trade in traditional goods and services, things you hear about, steel, bananas, that`s all been flat or
falling the last five years. Digital trade is growing. That`s up 45 times in the last decade. That is where the economy is headed. Who gets to make
what has profound implications both for economies and who will have economic power and who will be on top politically?
GORANI: All right. And, who has got the advantage here?
FOROOHAR: I think China is looking very strong at the moment to be honest. I think in the short term, they`re feeling a lot of pain. But they have
the advantage of being able to have top down centralized planning. I think what the U.S. needs to do and Europe is actually make sure their markets
are open enough. A lot of small and midsize players in the U.S. complain to me, we can`t get into certain markets, because Google is too big.
The advantage of markets like the U.S., free market systems are that we have decentralized ability for companies too rise and grow and start ups to
flourish. That`s decreased and that`s a bigger problem frankly than China.
GORANI: All right. Certainly, it`s going to be interesting as to watch and see what the response is. As always, thanks so much for joining us.
Thank you. Now, let`s talk about Iran. About a Twitter diplomacy is heating up in the standoff between Iran and the U.S. it began with U.S.
President Donald Trump take to his go-to platform to issue this warning. Quote, if Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. The
tweet reignites the situation that has been showing signs-of-calming down. Iran`s foreign minister replied in kind tweeting in part genocidal taunts
will end Iran and Mr. Trump should try respect instead. But President Trump isn`t being quite as fiery offline. He took on a more measured tone
in an interview with Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just don`t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can`t be threatening us. And you know with
all of -- with all of everything that`s going on, and I`m not one that believes I`m not somebody that wants to go into war. War hurts economies,
war kills people, most importantly, by far, most importantly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, so you have one message on Twitter. The other on television. Which one is being heard in Tehran and which one is being
taken more seriously in Washington? Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran and Jeremy Diamond is in Washington. Fred, you spoke to the Deputy Foreign Minister
of Iran. What is he telling you about what Donald Trump is saying about potential conflict with his country?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hmm. Yes, he was until recently Deputy Foreign Minister. He is still a senior diplomat
in Iranian Parliament. They are responsible for foreign policy. He was quite angry at President Trump for that tweet. He found that quite
insulting to the Iranians. Once again, he reiterated at this point in time the Iranians don`t want negotiations with the Trump administration if there
are going to be tweets like this and if there are going to be sanctions like the current situation. Let`s listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:10:00] PLEITGEN: President Trump last night tweeted if Iran wants to fight, it would be the end of Iran. What is your comment on that?
HOSSEIN AMIRABDOLLAHIAN, DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, IRANIAN PARLIAMENT (through translator): He`s got no idea what the culture of the mentality
of the Iranian people. Trump wants to control us through tweets and threats. All the years of Islamic revolution in Iran have shown he cannot
talk to Iran with threats. If he thinks by bringing in some aircraft carrier and bombers, he can take advantage of Iran and to force Iran to
negotiate for an equal position, he`s wrong. But when there are shifts close to us, it`s a threat to them. We never welcome war. But we stand
PLEITGEN: What President Trump is saying that he would like Iran to pick up the phone and call him. Why not?
AMIRABDOLLAHIAN: Trump can discuss talking Iran through a phone when he does not use the language of threat and force. He can talk about phoning
us when he goes back to the nuclear agreement. And he needs to ensure that even though the next President will renege on that agreement. He thinks he
has a gun to Iran`s head with sanctions and he is trying to shut down our economy. This is all in his imagination. Now, he wants us to call him?
This is crazy President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: So there you have it, Hala, pretty clear words for the American President from that senior Iranian diplomat. It meshes with a lot of
things we have been hearing here in Tehran over the past couple of days. The Iranians again and again saying they don`t want an escalation, a lot of
the military leadership saying if it does come to that, they are saying it will be painful for the U.S. and indeed this entire region. Hala.
GORANI: Thanks very much, Fred. I was just e-mailed a new Trump tweet on Iran, I don`t know if you have an opportunity to see this, "Iran will call
us if and when they are ever ready. In the meantime, their economy continues to collapse, very sad for the Iranian people!" So, this is less
bellicose which we read over the weekend. What should we read into it?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is and at the same time the President is pushing back on reports that he is the one seeking
diplomacy with Iran. Saying it is the Iranians who have to reach out to the United States if they want to have a diplomatic dialogue. So it is
very difficult to try to discern what the President`s messaging is on this issue. As we`ve seen the whole range of things. You mentioned just
yesterday the President was threatening Iran with destruction, essentially, total destruction, if there was a war between the two countries.
And last week we know the President was publicly signaling an interest in diplomacy with Iran. We also know from our own reporting that the
President had passed along a phone number through the swiss. Who act as a protecting power for the United States in Iran in case the Iranians want to
get in touch with him. So again very difficult to try to discern what the President`s messaging is here.
What we do know the President`s strategy on Iran certainly has been one to continue to ratchet up the economic pressure. I was speaking with a senior
administration just last week e week who indicated this is the beginning of the campaign to ratchet up economic pressure on Iran and at the same time
they are trying to signal to the Iranians, look, the United States stand ready to have a dialogue, but as is very clear from the Iranians, including
that interview we just heard from Fred is that the Iranians don`t, are refusing to be backed into a corner through economic pressure saying that
is not the way to get them back to the negotiating table.
GORANI: And what`s interesting, Fred in Tehran, that the Iranian atomic energy agency has said the company raised its uranium enrichment four times
already. Is that in contravention of the Iran nuclear deal?
PLEITGEN: Well, they say it`s not. It`s quite interesting because they put that out today saying they had increased that capacity fourfold. They
say it`s still within the JCPOA. They also say some of the moves they are planning next, which I think requires some modifications of a heavy water
reactor as well, those would be within the nuclear agreement as well, of course, this is a clear sign, not just of the United States, but to some of
the European partners of the JCPOA, that nuclear agreement, Iran is slowly losing its patience.
[14:15:00] Iran wants to see sanction relief and wants to see the Europeans do more, so Iranians get to reap some of the benefits that they say were
promised. So this is a clear signal to them. They are saying they are staying within the nuclear agreement as it was signed. One of the
interesting things about that, one of the reasons why the Iranians, really quick, Hala, are saying they are doing this, the Trump administration is
not allowing them anymore to export some of the low enriched uranium so it would reach the ceiling levels under the JCPOA very, very quickly.
They have raised those levels. They say it`s a move they have to make. Also, clearly, a signal to the other countries in the nuclear agreement as
GORANI: A quick last one to you, Jeremy. We were discussing these Trump tweets. If any other President had tweeted something like it will be the
end of Iran over the weekend, the whole world would be on notice. It would be breaking news 24 hour in a row. Are we going to war with Iran? I
wonder, have people become a little numb to this rhetoric he uses on Twitter and fought take tight seriously?
DIAMOND: I think there has certainly been a shifting of the bar as far as the statements that President Trump makes as far as the statements that
other Presidents may make on the same issue. At the same time have you had previous Presidents who have had very strong bellicose rhetoric, whether
George w. Bush`s axis of evil or other Presidents on other issues. Again what is most significant is the range of messages we are hearing from the
President. One day he is saying, Iran, call me, let`s talk it out. The next he is threatening Iran with the end of their country.
GORANI: Yes, it`s difficult to know which one to take seriously. Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much. Fred Pleitgen is in Tehran. A lot more to
come. A crisis too symbolic of wider issues at play in the Middle East. CNN is on the ground in Yemen to bring you exclusive and heart-breaking
reporting. We`ll be right back.
GORANI: It`s been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and it`s man made. The United Nations reports 10 million people are one step
away from famine. In the first of three exclusive reports, Sam Kiley and his team traveled 4,000 kilometers through Northern Yemen to see firsthand
where millions of people are on the brink of starvation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[14:20:00] SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is warrior country, an ancient land designed for conflict. The U.N. says it`s
one step away from famine because of war, but on a 4,000-kilometer journey through the worst hit areas, we found innocent people brought close to
death by a rebel Houthi government manipulating aid while U.N. officials tried to stop them.
We found evidence throughout northern Yemen. First, Bani Qais, five hours drive from the capital. How are you surviving for food? How do you get
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): My husband goes to work. He gets 500 or a thousand rials and he buys food for us and goes home. But
there is no money for clothes, diapers for the children or medicine.
KILEY: And why do you think are you not getting aid here? Why are people not getting help?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t reach us here. They used to give us grains and flour. Then they refused to give it to anyone. They don`t give
KILEY: Dirt poor, people here relied on U.N. handouts. But they stopped when the World Food Program discovered supplies were going missing. So in
this village there is some malnutrition and people are saying that they are not getting any aid. Why is that?
MOHAMED EL-SHERIF, HEALTH WORKER, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (through translator): They used to give parents a bag of grains, oil and other
stuff every month. This stopped two months ago. We don`t know why. There are people higher up that know why.
KILEY: It is a problem that has been raised at the highest levels.
LISA GRANDE, UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR: We certainly in several situations had to say to local authorities, you don`t let us in there, we can`t
continue these programs. And that`s why we have been forced into situations where we`ve said, if you don`t let us in, if you don`t let us do
our jobs properly, then we`re not going to be able to continue.
KILEY: The U.N. has been denied access to this area and has stopped food distributions because they cannot be monitored. It`s only a few miles from
the front line. Ten thousand people have poured into camps like this in a few weeks. They are victims of a war being waged by Saudi coalition armed
by the U.S. and others against the Iranian backed Houthi rebels.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What we have we get from others. When we get our rations from the World Food Program, I give back people
what we owe. We haven`t had anything from the World Food Program for two months. We have nothing now.
KILEY: So again, vulnerable people are being denied aid by the U.N. because the Houthi government won`t allow access and independent
monitoring. Close to the refugee camps, this clinic struggles to cope. This boy has infected lungs. The doctors say as a direct result of
malnutrition he`s almost a year old, he`s the weight of a baby at 3 months. These children are victims of a vicious circle. They are starving because
of the siege of the port that supplies them and the rebel who the governments diversion of what little aid gets in. In the Yemen now, nearly
everyone is short of food.
MEKKIYAH AL-ASLAMI, NURSE, HEAD OF THE ASLAM HEALTH UNIT (through translator): Malnutrition isn`t only a problem amongst the displaced and
the host community. We have it too. Even us, the employees. Our children back home are malnourished.
KILEY: The Houthis are under siege, they`re access to the outside world are cut by coalition attacks, on this, the main port of Hodeidah. Since
the Saudi led coalition imposed a blockade on this port and attacked it from the air, it`s done about $800 million of damage. It has halved the
amount of food and other materials coming into the port and it`s destroyed about 60 percent of its capacity. The idea, of course, to try to strangle
the capacity of the Houthi regime to survive.
The irony is from the Houthi perspective, a control over a limited amount of supply, particularly when it comes to food means you have control over
everything. In the capital, Sana, the Houthi government denies this.
Essentially, they are saying you are very controlling and you are using this to win friends politically around the country, using foreign aid to
win friends, to win political influence.
HUSSEIN AL-EZZI, YEMEN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): What he said can be described as inaccurate. Mistakes happen sometimes. But
that doesn`t mean or doesn`t represent a policy on our side. We are happy with whatever aid reaches citizens, because these citizens are our strength
and support, they are our capital in this war.
[14:25:00] KILEY: But aid officials here insist aid has been weaponized. Without free food from the outside world, the Houthi government would
struggle to survive. The U.N. plans to feed 12 million this year, mostly in the Houthi areas.
Are you not worried by being here, you could be prolonging the war?
GRANDE: Certainly humanitarians are not political. We`re here to keep people alive. The responsibility for ending the conflict is in the hands
of the people who are driving that conflict.
KILEY: Caught in the middle. Women and children struggle with hunger in a war where Yemen`s powerful factions ignore the responsibility to their own
people and demand that foreigners supply the aid to support them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Sam Kiley joins me live from Abu Dhabi. It`s heartbreaking seeing these kids, knowing it is aid as you so eloquently put in your report that
is being denied by rebel groups, that is being blocked, this aid could be getting through is there any hope in sight for civilians who are suffering
KILEY: Yes, I think there is. First of all, most of the aid is getting through. The WFP estimates perhaps 10 percent is going missing. The point
in the Houthi areas, aid is being manipulated perhaps in anticipation of a peace deal down the line, and they know that they need to be able to curry
favor with their core population group. So they tender to favor the areas that are dominant and it is those areas that the WFP can`t get into and it
those areas ironically that will end up being denied the aid.
But I have to say also, whilst our report was from the Houthi held territories in Yemen in the north of the country. The WFP has similar
complaints but perhaps no on the same scale but similar complaints in the south in the government held areas.
GORANI: These children so badly malnourished, what is their prognosis?
KILEY: If the government cooperate, the WFP can get aid into them pretty quickly. And the other interesting thing about Yemen is that whilst the UN
talks about feeding or having to feed an anticipated case load of 12 million people, they also avoid the term famine, or even imminent famine
with the exception of WFP, that`s certainly a position held by other groups as the World Food Program.
So there are pockets where there is extreme hunger very often because of a disruption
In the ability to deliver aid rather than being a shortage of aid, secondly, Yemen has got quite a lot of food. There is plenty of food in
the shops and the markets. The problem is there isn`t the money around to pay for it and as a part of the ongoing negotiation between the north,
south and United Nations, there is a mission put together to try to get all sides to agree for salaries for government employees to be paid so that
some money can be injected into that system.
GORANI: All right. Sam Kiley, thanks, very much.
This is all a part of a series, we were saying, from Yemen. Tomorrow we will hear about another crisis. Addiction to the khat plant. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KILEY: This is Sana`s khat market. It is a 4,000; 10,000; 15,000; 25,000. That`s $5 for the cheapest bag of khat.
You could feed a family for a whole day for the cheapest cut of khat. Do you think it makes sense for Yemen that has no food for everybody to be
chewing? It doesn`t make sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We`ll have that story tomorrow. Tonight, a Republican accuses President Trump of impeachable conduct. Is that sentiment going gaining
momentum in the party? We`ll find out what his colleagues are saying. One of the Democrats who wants to unseat Donald Trump is calling on the media
to set its own agenda where he said that where he said those words is pretty surprising. We`ll be right back.
[14:30:38] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: In the U.S., more questions over what is next after scathing comments and talk of the "I"
word from a very unlikely source. That`s because a U.S. congressman says the Mueller report, the special counsel`s conclusion from the Russia probe,
showed President Donald Trump engaged in quote "impeachable conduct." Why is it an unlikely source? Because this all came from a Republican, Justin
Amash of Michigan.
They`re the first such comments from a member of the president`s his own party. Amash also said the report outlined multiple examples of
obstruction by the president.
Mr. Trump fired back, he called Amash a loser and a lightweight.
So, will Republicans line up behind Amash or is he a lone voice crying out in the wind? Our White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, said any move to
impeach the president could to be a long shot. Despite this, he joins me now.
So, first of all, the obvious question, Justin Amash, a lone voice or is within the Republican Party the feeling, perhaps, that the president might
not be as politically useful to them as he once was? Because in the past, whenever any Republicans spoke up against the president, they were usually
on their way out the door.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Right, Hala. I mean, I think he`s still a lone voice. Some Republicans will say things like this
privately, but he`s the first Justin Amash to come out and say this publicly. This is an act of political bravery and an act of conscience,
given the backlash that he knew he was going to get, which is already unfolding. And the fact that he`s already drawn a primary challenge for
the next time he wants to run for reelection in 2020.
But realistically, he is one Republican among many in the House. More importantly, he`s not a senator. And if the Democrats were to go ahead and
hold impeachment hearings and effectively impeach Trump in the House, there will be a trial in the Senate. And to convict the president after an
impeachment trial, you need a super majority of 67 senators. That means 20 Republican senators would have to move against the president.
There`s absolutely no indication, whatsoever, that Justin Amash`s sentiments are shared and the act of rebellion against the president would
be shared by any Republican. So right now, he`s certainly a lone voice.
GORANI: Is it politically damaging still for Republicans to speak up against Donald Trump?
COLLINSON: I think it was interesting the way the rest of the Republican Party reacted very swiftly, even before the president. They put a real
impeachment shield around Trump. They understand that a week -- you know, one trickle can become a torrent in politics. So the momentum can change.
Although, I said there`s no sign of that. It does seem interesting that they acted so quickly. After all, back in the 1970s in Watergate, it was
the desertions of Republicans that forced President Richard Nixon to resign before he was impeached.
So they understand, of course, you know, the biggest potential threat to Trump is from Republicans, but the president`s control of the Republican
Party and the Republican base is so strong. There`s no real comparison between what`s happening now and what happened back in 1974.
GORANI: And his popularity, his approval rating is pretty steady also between 35, sometimes in the upper 30 percent.
[14:35:06] Thanks very much, Stephen Collinson.
Meantime, Mr. Trump is bashing his favorite T.V. channel, Fox News, the Democrat, Pete Buttigieg, appeared on a town hall on Fox News, even after
the president criticized it.
Mr. Trump tweeted that Fox was quote, "Wasting air time with him."
Now, Pete Buttigieg, also known as Mayor Pete. He`s someone was not known at all a few months ago and now is one of the rising stars in the very,
very large and wide Democratic field in this race for president.
Listen to what Pete Buttigieg said about Donald Trump`s tweets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The tweets are -- I don`t care.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: But -- and that gets a lot of applause here, the fact is it`s a very effective way for him to reach tens
of millions of Americans.
BUTTIGIEG: Well, it`s a very effective way to command the attention of the media. And I think that, you know, we need to make sure that we`re
changing the channel from this show that he`s created.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let that scene sink in for a minute. Because, obviously, Buttigieg is a Democrat, as you all know, and he`s getting rousing applause
on Republican friendly Fox News.
So what`s going on there in terms of programing? We know for instance Elizabeth Warren also running for president, the Democratic senator, said
she refused to appear on Fox News. She called it a hate machine or for- profit hate machine.
Oliver Darcy joins me now. He`s our media reporter.
By the way, first, I wanted to ask you. Why so many applause? Who was exactly in that audience? I presume it wasn`t a typical cross section of
OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: You know, I`m not entirely sure what was going on there in terms of the audience. But I want to talk about
something, what`s really striking here, in terms of Trump`s tweets is that he`s saying the quiet part out loud really. He`s saying, tacitly saying,
that he does not expect Fox News to behave like a news channel, to host Democrats and Republicans to give their opinions equal weight and let
He expects them to behave as an arm of the White House, to get Trump`s message out and was showing dissatisfaction yesterday, as you said, with
Buttigieg being given this platform on Fox News to talk about his ideas and his vision for the future.
This actually earned some pushback from Fox`s Brit Hume, who is a long time personality and former anchor Special Report on Fox. He said in a tweet,
say this for Buttigieg. He`s willing to be questioned by Chris Wallace. Something you`ve barely done since you`ve been president. Oh, and covering
candidates of both parties is part of the job of a news channel.
What we`re seeing here too is a larger tension between Trump`s adoration for Fox News and him not liking the news components of the channel. He`s
been routinely, over the past several months, going after some of the news personalities on Fox News for covering the news, which is sometimes
critical of his administration.
And he is making it very clear, as the number one fan of the network, that he expects them to be in line with his policies, with his White House, and
with his agenda. And when they`re not, when they`re going to give Democrats a platform to express their ideas, he`s going to lash out.
GORANI: So Buttigieg also talked about Fox News. But he criticized the opinion host. So those are the ones that usually say or tweet the most
controversial things, Sean Hannity, and others. This is what he told Chris Wallace about those anchors on Fox News. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: And when you got Tucker Carlson saying that immigrants make America dirty. When you`ve got Laura Ingraham`s comparing detention
centers with children in cages to summer camps, summer camps, then there is a reason why anybody has to swallow hard and think twice before
participating in this media ecosystem.
But I also believe that even though some of those hosts are not always there in good faith, I think a lot of people has tuned in to this network
who do it in good faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That was clever. He criticized the hosts, but then he essentially said of the viewers, that they are watching, that they`re tuning in, in
good faith, which was a clever way to do it, I thought.
DARCY: Right, right. This has been a huge debate, right, between the -- in the Democratic Party. Whether you go on Fox News or you don`t go on Fox
Earlier on, the DNC decide they`re not going to partner with Fox News for any of the primary debates. But Democrats, including Buttigieg, as you
just saw there, had been going on Fox, while Elizabeth Warren has said that she refuses to go on and give the network any credence, specifically --
GORANI: I wonder if she regrets that now, by the way. I wonder if she regrets that now.
DARCY: You know, it`s really unclear. I`m looking at this and kind of wondering why anyone is getting out of going on Fox. Short of, I guess, a
few headlines here and there. I`m not sure they`re getting a lot. I`m not sure how many viewers are --
[14:40:08] GORANI: Well, you get the Fox viewers. Look at Buttigieg. He did well. His appearance was talked about a lot. Some of the soundbites
went viral, in fact, on Twitter and social media. I mean, you get that, that`s not -- that`s not negligible in a race.
DARCY: Sure. But one thing, too, I guess go on Fox and say with the premise that you`re going to sway the viewers. It`s just unclear to me how
many Fox viewers can be swayed by the Democrat going on Fox?
It seems that most of the Democrats, I mean, if they do a town hall on CNN, they`re going to be talking to a swath of the country that`s opened to
their ideas. It`s unclear to me how many Fox viewers are going to be open to Buttigieg`s ideas when he goes on.
That said, he did hit a homerun with that answer in terms of getting a lot of media attention. He`s been getting a lot of praise for that answer and
going into the lion`s den.
I do think his argument, though, about wanting to go on so that Fox News doesn`t color him and his candidacy and he wants to define his own
candidacy on the channel, is a bit naive and that, sure, that`s one hour and Fox viewers may have tune in and seen him on that one hour.
But for the rest of the primary debates and moving into the general election, Fox`s primetime opinion lineup is going to be doing a lot of
coloring of him in this campaign and it`s probably not going to be very favorable.
GORANI: Especially after what he said.
Oliver Darcy, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, Italy`s hardline. Deputy prime minister takes aim at the E.U. ahead of this week`s parliamentary elections.
GORANI: Some breaking news here at the House Judiciary Committee`s efforts to subpoena Don McGahn, who`s the former White House counsel. The
expectation, according to CNN reporting, is that the White House will block Don McGahn`s testimony. This is according to a source familiar with the
matter, speaking to CNN.
Now, we understand that an office of legal counsel opinion is forthcoming that will address the immunity issue. Because among the options the White
House that used to block the testimony of McGahn includes immunity. We`ll keep our eye on this story and bring you updates as they come in.
Now, to Europe, we`re just days away from the European parliamentary elections and this could be a key time for the union, amid global
uncertainty and, of course, that trend, the rise in populism, pretty much everywhere.
Euro skeptics are hoping they can make their mark during these turbulent times. Among them is Italy`s deputy prime minister.
Erin McLaughlin has our report from Milan.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Milan, a show of support for Matteo Salvini, Italy`s deputy prime minister and most
popular politician. Salvini turned an obscure right-wing separatist party into a political movement.
[14:45:08] Now, he`s set his sights on the E.U. This is the so-called League of Leagues. An uneasy alliance of Europe`s far-right. Strange
bedfellows with very different political agendas, knighted by nationalism and a disdain for the E.U.
They say they`re here to take on the system, poised to make record gains at this week`s European parliamentary elections.
(INAUDIBLE) parties are projected to take a third of the seats. Even though they`re accused of promoting racism, white supremacy, even fascism.
Allegations they deny. Salvini also rejects the label euro-skeptic.
MCLAUGHLIN (on-camera): Some say that an alliance, a functioning alliance of the E.U.`s Euro-skeptic parties is wishful thinking. How specifically
do you intend to change the European Union?
TEXT: The enemies of Europe are those governing the European Union now. I would return to the pre-Maastricht with more normal economic rules where we
spoke of wellbeing and full employment.
MCLAUGHLIN: A message that resonates with many Italians who fear they`re on the losing side of the Eurozone and Europe`s migration policies. A fear
of being left behind is acute in L`Aquila, Italy. Ten years on from a devastating earthquake, the city struggles to rebuild what was lost.
L`Aquila once looked to the extreme left to fix its problems. Now, it swings for Salvini, even though Salvini once pushed for the north to cut
financial ties to the south and leave places such L`Aquila to languish.
That makes no difference to Francesco De Santis --
FRANCESCO DE SANTIS, SECRETARY, LEGA YOUTH MOVEMENT: I`m very proud --
MCLAUGHLIN: -- a self-described true believer.
DE SANTIS: Salvini was the first politician in Italy that understand the importance of the discovery and defending the entity of Italian people and
the European people.
MCLAUGHLIN: Do you question him at all?
DE SANTIS: No, no.
MCLAUGHLIN: Not at all?
DE SANTIS: No.
MCLAUGHLIN: Other Italians are less forgiving. A recent poll by Ipsos MORI shows support for Salvini has dropped from 37 percent to 30.
The dip, after Salvini made a series of moves further to the right, including a Facebook post showing him holding a machine gun, advocating for
gun rights, and an impromptu speech at a balcony infamously used by Benito Mussolini to watch the execution of his adversaries.
Mr. Salvini, Erin from CNN, can I ask you just a few more questions? You slipped in the --
TEXT: I am extremely late guys.
MCLAUGHLIN: You slipped in the polls recently, why? Why is that?
TEXT: I never believe in polls.
MCLAUGHLIN: Do you worry you have gone too far to the right?
TEXT: I am proud that the League is a reference point for change not just in Italy but in Europe. And next week with the democratic vote the
Italians, we will be the first political movement in Italy and Europe that will begin a different story.
MCLAUGHLIN: Do you worry about losing touch with the people of Italy?
TEXT: No, absolutely no.
MCLAUGHLIN: As Salvini looks further and further to the right, the outstanding question to be answered at the ballot box this week, will the
rest of Europe follow?
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Milan, Italy.
GORANI: We`ll be covering those elections, of course, over the next several weeks.
In the U.K., the two main parties look like they`re going to suffer during the European elections, the two established parties. And the latest
polling from YouGov, the biggest winner is looking like the Brexit Party.
The remain-backing liberal Democrats are also making gains as they push into second place. They are very, very clearly in favor of remain. It
could be a disaster for the conservatives, way down in fifth place behind the greens.
But Labour is not exact exactly flying either after being bumped into third place. That`s something my next guest will not want to hear, necessarily.
Andrew Adonis is a Labour candidate for the European Parliament and he joins me now. Thanks for being with us.
So, do you back a second referendum?
ANDREW ADONIS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Strongly.
GORANI: You do. As a candidate, this is one of your proposed --
ADONIS: Yes. As a candidate and also as it`s the Labour Party`s policy. Now that it`s clear that there isn`t going to be a general election and
there wasn`t going to be a compromised agreement between the political parties so the only --
GORANI: Is it the Labour Party`s position though? It`s only if a good deal cannot get through.
ADONIS: But the talks between the Labour and the Conservative Party`s breakdown last week. So given that we`ve got no talks, no election, our
policy is a referendum with an option to remain on the prime minister`s deal.
[14:50:02] But what I`m picking up on the doorstep is that people do want Brexit resolved. But they do not want it resolved. The majority do not
want it resolved on Nigel Farage`s terms, which would be to crash out of the E.U. with no deal, which would mean economic decimation, people losing
their jobs, the ports and the airports are not working. And so they want - - they want actually options to stay --
GORANI: His party -- his party - his polling, way ahead of yours. The Brexit party`s polling in first --
ADONIS: They`re not remotely close to 50 percent of the vote. The other parties --
GORANI: But they`re ahead of every other establishment party.
ADONIS: Let`s be clear what`s going on at the moment. People are seeking to work out how do you stop Farage? This is what`s going on.
And at the moment, they`re not exactly sure how to do it. My view is the best way to it is to -- is to support the principle opposition party, which
has, by far, the best chance of stopping Brexit, because it`s labor that has the overwhelming majority the opposition seats in the House of Commons
(INAUDIBLE) about it. The only, if and when, Labour moves, decisively against Brexit in the House of Commons, will it go down?
GORANI: But that was --
ADONIS: We have votes against Theresa May`s deal three times. We voted for referendum twice. I`m confident that we will do so again and that is
our essential pitch in this election.
GORANI: People were a bit confused by your position because in April, you wrote conservatives have sought to use Brexit to create a more unequal
economy. Labour has always been clear that it respects the results of the referendum. That is why Labour has put forward a sensible alternative plan
that would ensure a close economic relationship to the E.U. That doesn`t sound like backing a second referendum or reversing Brexit.
ADONIS: That does disintegrated last week. That`s what Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May were talking about. Whether it was possible to get a deal.
Now, it was always --
GORANI: So that`s off the table now.
ADONIS: It was always my view that even if there was a deal of that kind, it should still go to a referendum with an option to remain. But that`s no
longer on the table. Those talks broke down last week.
The only show in town now is Theresa May`s deal or a second referendum. And the right thing to do, which I think would be a fair compromise between
the political parties, would be for parliament to agree to Theresa May`s deal, subject to a referendum with an option to remain.
Now, that`s what`s going to happen in parliament next month. After these elections out of the way, Theresa May is going to make the fourth attempt
to getting her deal through parliament.
GORANI: Will it get through?
ADONIS: I think it could get through subject to a referendum with an option to remain, because that would bring both sides of this debate
together. There is then a Brexit deal that could be put to the people.
But the people should have the option to say after three years and now, they can see the deal, 39 billion pounds, we`d have to give the E.U., for
less good trade and economic terms than we`ve got at the moment, the right thing to do is to vote to stay in.
GORANI: Is it now the Labour Party`s official position that they will back a second referendum?
ADONIS: Yes. Because it only show in town now is Theresa May`s deal. And on that, we`ve been clear all along that that should go to a referendum
with an option to remain.
That being the case, that should happen as soon as possible so we can put this national nightmare to an end.
GORANI: So you`re running to become a member of the European parliament. What do you hope to achieve?
ADONIS: I have to stop Brexit. That`s --
GORANI: That`s really your main reason for entering this --
ADONIS: It has to be on Democratic way and the right Democratic way of doing it is, of course, to put myself forward for election, but also to see
that there is a referendum.
And the big message I`m picking up on the doorstep is that certain people want Brexit resolved. But the majority wants it resolved by being able to
have a second vote. Now, they can see the terms of Brexit.
GORANI: Although that`s not polling above 50 percent, the desire --
ADONIS: All of those people who do not want a hard Brexit, they do amount to more than 50 percent. Farage is actually mobilizing --
GORANI: But not if you want a second referendum?
ADONIS: Oh, yes, there`s --
GORANI: Not at any of the polling --
ADONIS: There was a majority who wants the second referendum. And the latest polls show more than 60 percent would vote to remain in that second
referendum. But it`s also true that the single most powerful party out there at the moment is the Brexit party. Because it has the single
clearest message. And that`s why we need to mobilize against Farage, really powerful in the last few days before this election.
GORANI: You talk about the Brexit party and Farage is being milk shaped, I mean, people are throwing food items at Nigel Farage. We have video. What
do you make of this level of political discourse where -- I mean, love him or hate him, people are throwing food at Nigel Farage. What do you think -
ADONIS: I don`t agree when people throwing milk, food, or anything at politicians campaigning in an election. We should have a civilized debate,
we should set out our arguments and programs like yours, then the people should make a judgment and that is overwhelmingly what happens in our
As soon as you start on this spiral towards aggression and public displays of aggression in elections, then I think that ends in tears. So I strongly
condemn what happened today. And I would have no part in aggression in elections.
GORANI: All right. We`ll see if a second referendum does take place in the U.K.
ADONIS: Thank you.
GORANI: Andrew Adonis, thanks so much for joining us. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
[14:55:29] GORANI: A quick last word on our Iran story. Iran has sent a strongly worded letter to the U.N. secretary general, warning about the
dangers of escalation in the Persian Gulf.
In the letter, "Iran says parties outside the region are using fabrications and disinformation to pursue their interests." And it says, if this
continues, the currents situation might spiral into, quote, "Another unnecessary regional crisis." So that coming from Iran sent to the U.N.
That`s it for me. I`m Hala Gorani. Thanks for watching tonight. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.