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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump in Britain For Three Day State; UK-U.S. Special Relationship and Spotlight on Trump's Visit; At Least 30 People Reported Killed in Sudan Crackdown. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 3, 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 and welcome, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani live outside Buckingham Palace in London. It is one of the most
recognizable buildings in the world, today it has been the epicenter of one of the most important diplomatic visits to this country in years. This
hour you'll see lots more of the glitz and glam as guests start arriving for a lavish state banquet.
It's in honor of U.S. President Donald Trump who was on day one of a three- day state visit and it has been a whirlwind for the President. Since he touched down has had back-to-back events filled with pomp and pageantry.
Not surprisingly there has been controversy as well in his wake and we will get to all of that in a moment. But first Phil Black takes us through the
day so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump touching down for his first state visit to the UK as President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are seeing the President and the First Lady arriving right now. They are in Stansted, England.
BLACK: A brief word as Britain's Foreign Secretary on the tarmac before being whisked away in Marine One to U.S. Ambassador's residence in central
London. Then to Buckingham Palace. An initial greeting by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, finally the Queen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously, President Trump likes pomp and ceremony. As we know he likes big state visits.
BLACK: After a private lunch with the Queen, the President and first lady toured the palace's picture gallery. On display, American artifacts. Some
of which were gifted by former U.S. leaders. And then mall to Westminster Abbey to the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior. Time for reflection. A moment
The President and first lady traveled onto Clarence House for tea with Prince Charles and Camilla, the final event before the state banquet at
Buckingham Palace. An event that will likely provide one of the iconic images of Donald Trump's state visit to the UK. Phil Black, CNN, London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Max Foster has been watching the goings on all day and he joins me now live. By the way the President just tweeted, Max, that the visit has
been going well, there's been no protests --
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Sorry, I can't hear you.
GORANI: And what's going on behind us, this is a protest.
FOSTER: It's an illusion, Hala. It's not really happening.
GORANI: It's a pots and pans protest. They are trying to disrupt the state banquet. I wonder if they would hear that from this location?
FOSTER: I don't think they would. Because the state rooms are in the back overlooking the garden. And there's probably some music playing. To be
fair to him, with his own eyes, he wouldn't have seen anything. This whole area was locked off. He was only moving between here and the abbey in
Clarence House anyway. So when he was driving around, he wouldn't have seen it. In the chopper he wouldn't have seen it.
GORANI: He might if he's going to chopper in tonight ahead of the state banquet. And he'll probably --
FOSTER: And tomorrow is the main day for the protests. We'll wait to see what happens then.
GORANI: What's the expectation tonight? He spent the day, the Queen hosted a private lunch, Prince Harry, Prince William will be present
tonight and Prince Charles hosted him for tea with the Duchess. Really, the red carpet. A mile long.
FOSTER: It really sort of warmed me up as well to the main event, which is a state banquet, very lavish affair. We're told something like 170 guests
expected. From his side, his children, his senior aides and whoever the U.S. Ambassador to London thinks appropriate, Americans in London. And
then on the Queen's side, the great and good of the British establishment will be there. She'll give a speech, he'll give a speech. You'll remember
last time, President Obama came, he spoke very awkwardly over the national anthem and was stopped.
GORANI: We will see if there any faux pas here but no Meghan Markle. She's on maternity leave and she has very different views from the
President. So it is pretty convenient. In an interview over the weekend, he responded to a question from "The Sun" political editor who reminded him
what Meghan Markle said about him in the 2016 campaign. I wasn't necessarily complementary. He responded. I didn't know she was nasty.
[14:05:00] FOSTER: And I hope he's OK, which suggests that something as well. He said the same thing about Sadiq Khan as he flew into the U.K.
today. So I think it's a bit of a running theme. He, I think the Meghan Markle narrative is actually quite difficult for him because while he's
very happy to throw grenades into the political part of British life, he's been feeling reverential as you can see from these images for the Royal
part of life. A suggestion that he feels comfortable in the palace. Whereas he has less respect for Westminster which actually a lot of people
in this country would associate with. Because politics, a lot of people in the UK is broken right now.
GORANI: A reminder to our viewers that state visits are rare. This is only the third U.S. President to receive the full state welcome in the UK.
FOSTER: Yes. And moments like this are what is about. There is standard procedure so they have the lunch, and then they go into the picture gallery
and look at artifacts in the Royal collection which are important to the United States but also trying to create some personal bonds as well. There
was some memorabilia from Scotland and some original Harris Tweed and some images of her father playing golf in Scotland as well.
Donald Trump obviously has golf courses in Scotland. Her job was to cement the ties between the U.S. and the U.K. above her and above the current
President as well. But this is when she comes into her own and I think she's looked pretty pleased today. And I think that would be because the
fact that there's so much political chaos and she's stepping in and rising above it is exactly what she's there for.
GORANI: That's her role. This is a state visit that was announced very early on in the Trump presidency by Theresa May who's now the outgoing
Prime Minister. She was the first foreign leader to visit the White House after his election. She was very eager to make sure he was the -- the
message was sent that he was important to the UK.
FOSTER: America is important to the UK. And you see a lot of military involvement. You saw that on the arrival. As we go into Wednesday as
well, commemorating DD it's about accentuating the ties on military and security matters. Which is why the Huawei story is a big story. It could
potentially undermine security cooperation between the United States and the UK.
That undermines the special relationship and it undermines a lot of what the U.S. means to the United Kingdom. If Theresa May can offer anything as
she leaves, it will be to say to Donald Trump, Huawei won't be involved in the 5G networks in the UK. Whether she does that or not, it will be
interesting to see. That's what he wants to get out of it, I think.
GORANI: All right, Max, see you a little bit later. We expect the arrivals for this lavish state banquet to start taking place at 7:40 PM
local. It's now seven minutes past seven UK time. We will get to that a little bit later this hour. Thank you, Max. What does President Trump
hope to get out of this three-day visit? Let's bring in Pamela Brown for more. In this Pamela is as much for domestic consumption I am sure for the
President as it is to cement a special relationship with the United Kingdom.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is all about pomp and pageantry and the President seems to be relishing all of this
attention. He landed here in London earlier today. He was treated to a lavish lunch at Buckingham Palace. A grand opening ceremony with the
British royal troops. He seemed to enjoy talking with Queen Elizabeth, he really seemed to be enjoying all of that. He then went to Westminster
Abbey, laid a wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier.
The he had tea at Clarence House and he's arriving back at Buckingham Palace for this opulent affair which is of course the state banquet. He
will be attending that with some of his family members. But he's here at an interesting time because it is true that Great Britain is in political
turmoil right now. The Prime Minister will be stepping aside in just a few days and the couple is grappling with its identity as it figures out what
to do with leaving the EU.
The President weighed in on that saying it should leave the EU with no deal if I can't get the terms that it wanted. That would be called a no-deal
Brexit. That would have an effect on leaders and trade. And the President expresses opinion on who should replace Theresa May. He didn't say Boris
Johnson should replace her, but he did make clear that he is a fan of his and a good friend. At this point we're told that there isn't a formal
meeting set up between President Trump and Boris Johnson.
[14:10:00] Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for the President as well because he's going to have a business round table with business leaders
here, Theresa May as well, his daughter Ivanka will be attending that. But you're right, this is a time where you have the Prime Minister stepping
aside and so it's unclear how much will come out of these meetings tomorrow, though, it is expected that at least the Prime Minister will
bring up some key issues where there is an agreement on with the U.S. and that will be climate change, Iran.
At least the Prime Minister will at least the Prime Minister will bring up some key issues where there is an agreement on with the U.S. and that will
be climate change, Iran. There has been a dispute over China as well and the telecom company there. There is a lot to discuss. It's unclear what
will come out of it given the situation they're in.
GORANI: All right. Pamela brown, thank you very much. During his state visit, the U.S. President are trying to balance that special relationship
with the two countries with their disagreements over policy. Clarissa Ward, there are big disagreements over the Iran nuclear deal the U.S.
walked away from. Europeans still very much attached to that agreement. Tell us how the leaders will navigate those particular disagreements.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, Hala, up until this point, the policy of the Trump White House has been to try to
put a lot of pressure on its British allies to hew a closer line to the way that President Trump views these important geopolitical issues, whether it
is the Iran deal, as you mentioned, or whether it is this country's own political turmoil and the whole Brexit negotiations issue.
What remains to be seen, however, is what kind of a tone and what kind of a stance Theresa May, the outgoing Prime Minister, will take. You heard Max
Foster there saying to you that potentially she could weigh in on this whole issue of Huawei, the China telecom giant that would be involved in
building up this country's 5G network. President Trump has said that if it does do that, they might have to review the security alliance because they
believe that China would be trying to install surveillance equipment in as part of that 5G network.
Could potentially Theresa May therefore come out and say, we're not going to work with Huawei on this. That remains to be seen. Will we see a more
accommodating tone in general towards Iran, towards the China trade war and all of these various other issues where the countries do not necessarily
see eye to eye, no one really has a good sense yet of what the answer to that is. But certainly it's fair to say that there is a great deal of
pressure on the U.K. right now to make sure that this relationship is strong.
They call it of course this historic special relationship. But it had been through some turbulent times over the past couple of years. And I think
many quarters of the political establishment here in the U.K. will be trying to consolidate and strengthen that bilateral relationship especially
as the U.K. goes forward into a new post Brexit world, Hala.
GORANI: It's a very different world between the world we're facing today, post-Brexit referendum, post Trump election, and the one, for instance,
that we were reporting on when Barack Obama was the last U.S. President to receive a state visit. Before he touched down in London, President Trump
was weighing into British domestic politics, praising Nigel Farage and expressing support for Boris Johnson. That comes as an interesting time
when Boris Johnson is one of many 13 to be exact who are running to replace Theresa May.
Let's speak to another person looking to be Prime Minister, Rory Stewart, is Britain's international development secretary and he joins me now. Why
would you be the best Prime Minister for the United Kingdom?
RORY STEWART, BRITAIN'S INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY, CANDIDATE FOR PRIME MINISTER: I believe I can unify the country and make a much better
and happier Britain.
STEWART: I'm the only candidate in that's pushing for compromise. I believe that Brexit was an incredibly divisive issue. I'm lucky to be the
only candidate dominating social media, I can put outposts which 2 million people can view. Which in British politics puts me in a different category
from the others. I'm reaching out to younger voters. And I think in the end the message of trying to heal a country that's deeply divided is one
that resonates and is it's going to be fundamental for stability in the future.
GORANI: The biggest challenge is Brexit.
STEWART: The biggest --
GORANI: You were a remainer. And how do you negotiate a Brexit deal that you can get Parliament to back and the British people to believe on both
sides that it wasn't a betrayal to whatever position they embraced?
[14:15:00] STEWART: By putting compromise at the heart of this, understanding there's no future for going for a hard, no-deal Brexit. And
there is no future in trying to remain. The country split 50-50 down the middle. We need to meet through a Brexit deal. And I would unlock that
through a citizen's assembly, it's a new constitutional process in order to take it out of Parliament, and I would bring it back to Parliament and I
would drive it through. What we need is to leave Europe's political institutions, but remain very close to Europe, economically, diplomatically
for our trade and future.
GORANI: The U.S. President seemed to endorse your rival -- one of your rivals, for the Prime Minister's job, Boris Johnson. He said Nigel Farage
should be part of the negotiating team to go to Brussels. Your reaction?
STEWART: I think the President of the United States is one of the most famous public figures in world life. I don't think he surprised anybody by
what he did there. But I feel deep respect and admiration for the United States and the President and we should be proud to welcome the President of
the United States --
GORANI: Is it appropriate for a U.S. President to meddle in this way at a very sensitive time for your country?
STEWART: I think the extraordinary thing about President Trump is that it doesn't have the kind of impact maybe that it would have had four, five
years ago. And people are -- we're all used to what he says.
GORANI: You're saying to we've become numb to tweets or statements.
STEWART: For me. In a sense, I'm the Trumpian, anti-Trump in this campaign. I'm using populist methods to appeal, so I totally understand
what he does. I'm trying to provoke by pushing for compromise.
GORANI: What do you think he says about Sadiq Khan, stone-cold loser. Just as annoying as Bill de Blasio but smaller or something like that.
STEWART: I'm a pretty small guy too.
GORANI: In the name of small guys -- do you think this is appropriate for a U.S. President to say and how would you as Prime Minister approach that?
STEWART: I was a professional diplomat, so I began in the military and from onwards I was a British diplomat. My whole life has been dealing with
heads of state. And the main thing is that we disagree, but we have to disagree privately and respectfully. And the last thing I'm going to do in
the name of harmony and compromise is to criticize the President of the United States on CNN.
GORANI: Right. I can understand that. Though he has not shied away from criticizing those and the institutions he dislikes, including my own
network which he did twice today on his way to Buckingham Palace. I was reading about you in "The Guardian" and one of the paragraphs that jumped
out to me, do the Tories really think the best person to lead Britain through the Brexit crisis is another who throws around Latin epigraphs and
is considered by the admittedly monochrome standards of Westminster to be dashing way on conventional.
STEWART: That's another challenge. I guess the challenge is this is if you can judge me on the five years I spent in Eaton or the five years I
spent in Afghanistan or the five years serving my country in Iraq. Judge me as a whole. In the end this Brexit problem is a pretty serious problem.
I don't think people are going to be making a decision on how we get out of this turmoil on the basis of where people went to high school.
GORANI: Between you and Boris Johnson, it's hard to believe Boris Johnson and you are in the same party because you're so different in style and also
where you stand on policy, on Brexit. That illustrates that your party is divided.
STEWART: We have to try to reunify the country and the party together because I think polarization and populism are the real challenge that face
the United States, face us, face Europe. In the end, we've got to learn to be radical in centerground, we've got to be proud of bringing people
together, about saying I want to live in a country, I've just been at speakers corner how a couple hundred people surrounding me some of them not
voting for me some of them shouting.
I love being out doing that kind of politics. But that kind of politics has to be about healing, has to be about bringing people together.
GORANI: Those are all great sentiments. But in order to tangibly make those differences, how do you go about it? It's not just the U.K. or the
U.S., it's all of these western democracies of going through a terrible time of division and an increase in populism and have a major distrust in
establishment politicians which you are one of.
[14:20:00] STEWART: Action. It's about addressing the injustices, it's about really thinking about how do I sort out this person's hospital
appointment. How do we make young people that we care about the environment. It's about action. The problem with politics, it doesn't
matter whether you're talking about Iraq, Afghanistan, there's so much talk we find it difficult to get things done.
GORANI: Where do you stand on this state visit for Donald Trump? Do you think a state visit is appropriate for a President as controversial and who
lobs insults as easy as President Trump? I'm not asking you to comment on the man, but a state visit.
STEWART: I think a state visit is always appropriate. We've done a state visit for the President of China. My in-laws are Americans, I taught at
Harvard, and I also think that we need to be building bridges, not burning them.
GORANI: Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, are boycotting all of these events. Can you understand their position? Do you support that they
have that position and are expressing with it in that way?
STEWART: I disagree absolutely. We need to build bridges, not burn them and you only burn bridges when you're in retreat.
GORANI: The other headlines we're following, bloodshed in Sudan's capital. Military opens fire on protestors demanding a return to civilian rule.
GORANI: In Sudan opposition leaders say the military used deadly force today to break up a sit in. Medics report at least 30 demonstrators were
killed with more than 100 injured. The transitional military counsel partially shut down the country's internet. David McKenzie has more on the
bloody civil disobedience. And a warning his report contains disturbing images.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A new day in Sudan's dangerous impasse. Ushered in by gunfire and screams. It's streamed live on social media by
protestors who had peacefully demanded civilian rule. Now recording the forces deadly response. They killed someone. They killed someone, the man
filming shouts. A civilian lies unresponsive. In the chaos the cameraman flees for his life. Witnesses and opposition groups tell CNN that the
paramilitary rapid security force led the crackdown.
In this video filmed by a witness, you see a car stopped by security forces, the occupants inside beaten mercilessly. Despite these images,
Sudan's military council claimed that they did not disperse the sit-in by force. The Council has been negotiating with opposition groups for weeks.
Since Sudan's long-time strong man was ousted in late April, the biggest sticking point, what role civilians will have in leading the country
forward? In the face of such violence, opposition groups have suspended those talks calling for a nationwide strike and more defiance.
Hospitals full of the wounded hope for a peaceful power-sharing agreement. They try to frighten us with bullets, one injured man is heard saying. We
need leadership. Among those killed, an 8-year-old child according to a doctor's group. They say more than a hundred injured are crammed into city
hospitals. Some with gunshot wounds, others badly beaten. It's feared the death toll will rise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And a tragic development in the search for a group of eight missing mountaineers in the Indian Himalayas. Rescuers have spotted five
bodies on an unnamed peak. They appear to be at different spot and is are partially buried in an avalanche.
And to this story, Boeing says it's found another problem with some of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft. The regulators say the company reported issues
with systems on the plane's wing due to parts. This affects dozens of other Boeing planes which are still in operation. The airlines are being
given ten days to fix the issue. They've struggled to regain public trust after two deadly crashes in just the last year.
Still to come, U.S. President Donald Trump returning to Buckingham Palace to close out his day with a lavish state banquet. Our coverage continues
after the break.
GORANI: We're minutes away from one of the biggest moments of the U.S. President's state visit here to the UK. Donald Trump will soon arrive at
Buckingham Palace for a state banquet. It will be a lavish affair full of royal spectacle, from an elaborate welcome ceremony, a spot of afternoon
tea, he's been treated to all sorts of pageantry. It's also spurring calls for protest. Nick Paton Walsh is outside of Parliament covering that angle
for us. I can already hear a small group of protestors making just a bit of ruckus here outside of Buckingham Palace during the banquet.
NICK PATON WALSH, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a very small number behind me, the woman's peace council they're here. We will see tens
of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, it really isn't clear, the level of public response on the street. But what we have seen already is a
substantial amount of rhetoric.
Of course, Donald Trump is inserting himself into the biggest political crisis, frankly, the U.K. has had maybe since the Second World War in which
he's, frankly, taking the side of Boris Johnson, a potential candidate for the Conservative Party, who's very much pro-hard Brexit, in some of the
rhetoric we're, in fact, hearing.
So it's into that environment that he's put himself. And behind us, we'll see a repeat of one of the symbols that he seemed to find most distasteful
before his last and that's in 2018 and that's the Trump blimp. They've raised 34,000 pounds to a crowdfunding again to put the inflatable baby
version of Donald Trump in a diaper or in a nappy, as we'd say here in the U.K., up above Parliament Square.
A short window they have tomorrow morning. We're also hearing, possibly, of some sort of toilet construction which will be elsewhere in Trafalgar
Square during this protest.
Substantial numbers of people. They will, we think, march from Trafalgar Square down towards Parliament here. And then, of course, we may well hear
from Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader of the Labour Party who's boycotting the events here and will be addressing the crowd.
But as Donald Trump landed here, he was extremely explicit in referring to the London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a stone-cold loser, that's because Mr.
Khan's desire not to welcome him and Mr. Khan's officer shot back saying that Mr. Trump represented a glaring example of the kind of extremism that
roots really at some of the problems dividing British parliament here, at the moment, Hala.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Thank you, Nick Paton Walsh for that.
Ken LaGrande is an American living here in London. He is the CEO of Sun Valley Rise, you are a Trump supporter. You were, in fact, at the wreath-
laying ceremony today at Westminster Abbey, I understand?
KEN LAGRANDE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SUN VALLEY RICE: Yes, I was. It was such a privilege to join the president and Mrs. Trump as they just
really took the opportunity to respect the somber nature of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the million Americans who joined the fight for the
freedom of Europe and Britain.
GORANI: What do you make of the criticism directed at President Trump about these tweets that he sent out? One of them was directed at the mayor
of this city, Sadiq Khan, while he was still on Air Force One, calling him a stone-cold loser.
LAGRANDE: I think that the opportunity for the discourse between our countries is, one, that gives us so much excitement. I think that the
president has strong opinions and he shares those as do we all. And we really stand with them as we look towards the opportunities that we have
between the U.S. and U.K. for the next 75 years.
GORANI: So, I guess that answer means it doesn't bother you?
LAGRANDE: It doesn't bother me.
GORANI: Right. And there was other -- there were other controversial moments, for instance, when he said I didn't know she was nasty about
Meghan Markle. Did you think any of that might kind of create some potential for awkwardness here at Buckingham Palace?
LAGRANDE: I think the royal family and the Trump family are both extremely experienced groups of statesmen. And I think they look beyond those day-
to-day little bits and I think they see the enormous special relationship that exists.
GORANI: You're a CEO of a big company. You were telling me you sell California rice to the U.K. and beyond and around the world, but you're
LAGRANDE: I do. I am.
GORANI: What do you think -- because the president is promising a lot here by saying -- he just tweeted a few minutes ago, great trade deal is in the
works, we're already talking. Is he overpromising here?
LAGRANDE: I don't think he is, Hala. The opportunities to trade with the U.K. are strong. IN many respect. But particular with rice, there isn't
any rice grown in the U.K., none, and there's a lot of rice consumed.
I think the opportunities to trade between our two countries, in particular, are so exciting and so enormous. We trade all over the world,
and this is one of the best parts.
GORANI: Why would it be better with the U.K. outside the E.U., or will it be? I don't know. What do you think?
LAGRANDE: I can certainly speak to rice, for example. There are tariffs in place that the U.K. consumer is paying that's protecting rice growers in
other countries in Europe. So when those tariffs are gone, they'll be able to access more rice at a lesser level for price.
GORANI: So those barriers will come down is what you're saying, for your industry at least, into the U.K.
LAGRANDE: Absolutely. That's what we expect.
GORANI: What do you make of the president saying -- seeming to endorse Boris Johnson and also saying Nigel Farage should be part of the
negotiating team for Brexit? What is your -- how do you react to those types of statements which are unconventional for a president?
LAGRANDE: I think that the -- again, we all have opinions and it's exciting to have the opportunities right now in the dynamic relationship
with the U.K. and it's a conversation that both sides are engaging in every day.
[14:35:09] GORANI: So what about the opinions of the protestors, you can hear them from when we're sitting. And by the way, the leader of the
opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, said he supports the protestors, he's boycotting these events, and he stands with the protestors. You were familiar, I'm
sure with the big Trump inflatable baby. Do you believe those people as well are -- should have their voices heard?
LAGRANDE: You know, those voices are certainly being heard, but they aren't the voices that I hear every day. Every day, I hear from Britain's
and Londoners who are excited about America, excited about President Trump.
GORANI: OK. And so when you hear those voices, you hear them where, in the business community, outside of the business community? Where do you
LAGRANDE: I hear them -- I hear the taxi drivers, I hear the doorman, I hear the barman. I hear people that are earning a wage in London say to
me, boy, we wish we had a President Trump here.
GORANI: It's interesting, because the polls don't reflect that, 21 percent approval rating for the president here.
LAGRANDE: But I think the polls reflected some really interesting dynamics in the U.K. in the last week.
GORANI: Ken LaGrande, thanks so much for joining us. A Republican in London and the CEO of Sun Valley Rice.
You told me you moved to London just for a little bit, but then you ended up liking it so much, you're here for the long-term. Thanks --
LAGRANDE: We sure did and we're glad to be here. Thank you for having us.
GORANI: Thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, more pageantry and perhaps more surprises ahead on day one of the U.S. president's royal visit to the U.K. We'll see what's
on the menu at the state banquet.
GORANI: Welcome back. We're awaiting the arrival of the U.S. president and first lady for an elaborate state banquet at Buckingham Palace behind
me. With me here is Robin Niblett, director of the London think tank, Chatham House. Thanks for being with us.
ROBIN NIBLETT, DIRECTOR, CHATHAM HOUSE: Hey, Hala.
GORANI: Your takeaway so far today?
NIBLETT: My takeaway so far today is this is the perfect backdrop for Donald Trump to raise his profile ahead of the presidential elections and
it's the perfect backdrop for all the British parliamentarians who are vying for Theresa May's position to define themselves vis-a-vis Donald
Trump. And by the way, for Labour as well, as we've seen with Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan. So it's all pageantry and positioning for the
GORANI: All right. And now the -- today is the royal day. Tomorrow is the politics day. It will be interesting to see whether or not, he doubles
down on his apparent endorsement of Boris Johnson, hard Brexiteer. And also, I'm sure you followed this saying that Nigel Farage, the leader of
the Brexit Party should be part of the negotiating team to go to Brussels.
NIBLETT: Well, he said this the last time as well. And that -- he might be ambassador to Washington.
NIBLETT: And those ideas were not taken up. And as for the government, unless you're in some coalition, you're not going to be taking somebody who
won some seats in the government along with you.
No, I think tomorrow will be interesting. But in the end, he is negotiating with a prime minister who's stepping down at the end of the
week. And that means that everyone, in a way, do fair to hear and evade.
[14:40:08] Theresa may can be reasonably tough, not committing anything on Huawei, not committing anything on Iran, and she won't get any hit for it
because she'll be out of office at the end.
So again, I'm afraid I see even the discussions tomorrow a little bit more imposturing than in real policy.
GORANI: How will the U.K. distinguish itself from the U.S. after Brexit, if the U.S. has the ability to put pressure on this country in terms of
trade, for instance? How will it stand up to the U.S. and say, "No, we don't agree with you on Iran?" No, we don't agree with you on using
certain noncore components of Huawei?
LAGRANDE: Look, I think the U.K. will go to a more extreme version of the balancing role it played, even when it was in the E.U. Remember, the Iraq
won 2003, you know, Tony Blair was definitely stuck away from the bulk of his content in European allies and trying to bring the U.S. over.
And once the U.K. has left the U.K. -- left the E.U., it has left. Then I think what you'll see is it being very selective on which issues it stands
with America on and which in lines up with Europe.
Remember, right now, it is more close to the E.U. on climate, on China, on Iran --
GORANI: But it's still part of the
NIBLETT: On Jerusalem.
GORANI: It's still part of the E.U.
NIBLETT: Yes. But I think, mentally, the British government has moved out of the E.U. And I think a lot of it is E.U.27 has as well. We're talking
now about the E-3, the famous E-3 that helped negotiate the Iran deal was not really E.U. led. It was the three big governments, France, Britain,
and Germany, who unlikely to return to that much more great power kind of set of relationship within Europe.
GORANI: So Theresa may is -- by the way, that visit was downgraded. I understand there was meant to be a one-on-one sit down between the U.S.
president and the U.K. prime minister. That won't be happening anymore. There will be a news conference.
But it is, as you said, probably not pointless, but not as important and fundamental to sit down with a lame duck prime minister than it is to sit
down with a prime minister that has a certain future ahead of him or her.
NIBLETT: Absolutely. The U.S. president has the chance to reinforce messages, for those messages to be heard by her successor. And to use this
one of leverage to see which of those successors might be able to have the closest relationship with people who will remember who he gave his blessing
to and who he didn't.
So in a way, he's talking past Theresa May, talking to the conservative base, talking to the conservative MPs and saying, listen, this is where
America stands. Pay attention.
GORANI: Is he overpromising on trade? Trade deals don't -- they're never easy. The president is saying they will be with the U.K. They never --
they always last longer in the negotiation periods than anybody promises at the outset. You know, it seems like maybe he's being a bit too optimistic
NIBLETT: I don't know he's -- he maybe overpromising. He's doing well, President Trump always does, which he can be great, wonderful, and winning
or terrible, one or the other.
I think the people who got to be careful are the people on the conservative side who are, perhaps, overlaying what they can get from the U.S. So I'm
more worried about how the British MPs were competing for the conservative position -- are positioning themselves vis-a-vis deal. No deal can get
done until the U.K. has left.
Even if it were to leave on October 31st with a no-deal, that would just be the beginning of working out what is the deal that takes the place of no-
deal. You're still going to end up with two years in negotiations.
NIBLETT: This could be no capacity, I think, for the U.K. to step up and do something serious with the U.S. for at least a year or two after Brexit.
GORANI: It seems reasonable to say it can't take less time to negotiate a deal than it will take to un-negotiate the European Union relationship.
And by the way, we're -- just to remind our viewers, what we're seeing here is there's a group of protestors there. This is kind of a pots and pans
protest over there. It's kind of to disrupt the state banquet.
NIBLETT: There are definitely whistles.
GORANI: We can hear them from here. I don't know how much they'll hear them from inside Buckingham Palace.
It's not as crowded as I thought it might be. I thought more people would be kind of lining the streets just for the -- by out of curiosity, if
But we're expecting the chopper, Marine One to land at Buckingham Palace. The president is now at Winfield House and it's about -- let's say it's
7:43 local time, which -- we're three minutes behind schedule. Any minute now, we expect the president and the first lady.
And also, the president's adult children now. This is not -- this is a typical, bringing your adult kids and their spouses and the whole entourage
to a state visit.
NIBLETT: It's a family presidency, as far as I can tell over here. And what an opportunity for them to meet. And also, remember, this is family
to family. It wasn't just the queen who met the president. You have Prince Charles and Camilla. It was the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, you
took him around Westminster Abbey. You've got the Duke and Duchess of Sussex -- of Cambridge, sorry. The Duchess of Cambridge. But coming in
tonight, William and Kate.
So, you know, it's family to family to the extent that the British family is going to roll out all of his royal family. He's bringing his family in
the counterpart, I think it all makes a lot of sense.
GORANI: Robin Niblett, director at Chatham House. Thanks so much for joining us. Always a pleasure talking to you.
We've just seen a sneak peek of the state banquet table in Buckingham Palace in the ballroom. Take a look at this tweet from the royal family in
the building right behind me. And there it is.
[14:45:06] And Robin, you -- maybe you can make it out as well. It looks lavish. We've been using lavish. Well. It looks lavish. We've been
using lavish. I think lavish applies.
Bianca Nobilo joins me from the U.S. ambassador's residence Winfield House. Have they left, Bianca? Have they left to the residence yet?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The reason I'm pushing my earpiece further into my ear, Hala, is I think that that is happening now.
Because we just heard several helicopters go overhead, so I'm sure that they'll be arriving in the near future where you are.
GORANI: Marine One coming. All right. So, yes, we will take those images live when they come to us. Tell me about the expectation for tonight. We
saw one snapshot in a tweet, embedded in a tweet, of what to expect tonight.
Tell us more about what we know about this banquet, Bianca.
NOBILO: Well, it's a sumptuous affair. And we understand that the president is going to be giving remarks at his toast, both sides will make
reciprocal gestures to each other. They will exchange warm words that we can expect. There are several courses. There are many glasses of wine,
various different alcohols.
I was speaking to somebody who works in government wondering whether or not Donald Trump will have his classic Diet Coke. Because typically at a state
banquet, you have a port, you have a dessert wine, you have various other wines and it's an important part of the state and the affairs of the
But we'll all be waiting to see what Donald Trump says this evening and that's because it's typically supposed to be an apolitical event. This is
something hosted by the head of state, by the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. So ideally, politics will not be brought up, specifically Brexit, because
it is such a fractious issue in the U.K., but there will be other people at the dinner who represent the exchange and interest of the U.K. and the
U.S., business people and so on.
So we'll have to wait and see if the president does veer into political territory. But likelihood is, is that he'll be focusing on that special
relationship, their shared ties of kingship, and language, and culture, Hala.
GORANI: Yes. And Bianca, just jumping in here, because we're seeing Marine One hover over Buckingham Palace, about seven minutes behind
schedule. We expect the arrivals at the state banquet to take place in about 20 minutes time. These are live images of the sky above Buckingham
It's quite a nice day. The sun there setting in the distance. A light breeze and this is about the third trip that the Trump -- that President
Trump and the first lady have made have from Winfield House today.
In about 20 minutes time, we expect a formal arrival event to take place and around 8:40 is when the anthems are played of both countries and the
toasts take place and this is really when we're going to see just the main event unfold before us of this state visit of the president, the first
lady, the president's children, assembled guests from all walks of life. You have the industry leaders, business leaders, political leaders, and
politicians in this country.
And, of course, the royal family. Her majesty, the queen, and Prince William as well will be there with his wife Kate. And Max Foster is
joining me now. Will Prince Charles be joining the royal family?
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- taking your invitation out there.
GORANI: Well, you know what? I couldn't make it. I couldn't make it because I had to anchor.
FOSTER: I mean, you're a workhorse.
GORANI: I am a workhorse. But I ate a sandwich, so I'm fine.
GORANI: Is Prince Charles going to be part of this? Because he hosted the --
FOSTER: Yes. He's a very big part of it. This is part of what they call reign change. This is preparing the world for the next generation of
royals. So increasingly, you're seeing Prince Charles alongside the queen. In less of a shot when he becomes king.
And actually, he is the royal, the person who's had the most -- will have the most face time with President Trump. So this is the image the royal
family tweeted out of the table. This huge, u-shaped table, 170 guests, several courses. I have been told the menu, but I'm not allowed to tell
anyone for another half hour or so.
GORANI: OK. So in half an hour we'll know what they will be dining on at this lavish state banquet.
Here we have -- so it's two choppers Marine One. And which one the president is on was unclear to me. I'm not sure if he was on the first
one. I presume he's on the second one.
FOSTER: I saw it, it was the second one.
FOSTER: For security reasons, presumably, they mix it up.
GORANI: Right, they do. Once he lands, then what, talk us through what to expect.
FOSTER: Then he'll go in and he'll be welcomed again. It won't be (INAUDIBLE) we had last time, because that was a formal welcome to kick
start the actual state visit. He'll go inside and they will sort of regroup. I mean, there is an order. The queen will be the last to arrive
in the room. So you'd assume that the president will be shortly before the queen.
[14:50:17] But you'll see the royals gather together and usually we get some images of them going in and there will be a procession which reflects
the hierarchy. So you'll have the order of Queen Charles, William and then the rest.
GORANI: And so who -- we have business leaders, we have CEOs of companies, politicians. We know Jeremy Corbyn won't be there, the leader of the
opposition who is boycotting the whole thing. But how is the guest list decided for these things?
FOSTER: The guest list -- so formally, it's the queen that invites people. But actually, they sit down and the British -- or the American embassy here
in the U.K., along with the State Department will decide who on their side gets a seat and then the government will be heavily involved with the
palace on who gets the seats on the British side.
So actually there's not that many tickets, if you think about it, going out. Especially when you consider there are plus ones involved as well and
a huge amount of royalty.
GORANI: And after the actual banquet, there's some sort of soiree, I mean that follows. What happens (INAUDIBLE) hang on the ceiling? No, but in
all seriousness, there is another opportunity for mingling and relationship-building.
FOSTER: There is some mingling. And the interesting thing there is that prince -- President Trump is keen for his children to work with the younger
royals. So I'm sure there's going to be an effort to get Ivanka involved with Prince William, for example.
Very interesting to see at lunch time, Ivanka and Prince Harry speaking a lot. We didn't see Prince Harry with President Trump at all. So that's
perhaps the way Harry avoided any sort of family tensions with reference to his wife.
But I think certainly the president will want his children to spend time with Prince William even though there's no formal meeting. He wanted a
next-generation meeting for his children, all four of the adult children there tonight.
I understand as well from Kate Bennett that actually the inclusion of all the four children was actually a last-minute addition. The White House
sort of relented to that which sort of caused some sort of chaos, I'm sure, at Buckingham Palace to try to fit them in.
GORANI: That is not typically a protocol. And I want to show our viewers that tweet from the royal family once more that shows the set up of the
table for this state banquet.
Now, we will get toasts as well. So the president will be addressing the assembled guests.
FOSTER: Yes, and the queen will be as well. So I think pressure of moment, actually you see, you know, heads of state crumble in these
situations quite often because the British etiquette system is very, very unforgiving. If you make a mistake, no one actually helps you. They just
let you carry on and make a full of yourself. So saw that with Barack Obama --
GORANI: No prompter.
FOSTER: -- when he kept on talking during the national anthem and everyone was just ignoring the fact that he was talking during the national anthem.
GORANI: But what's the sequence of events? Because from what I'm seeing here, the anthems are first and the toasts come second.
FOSTER: Yes, I think that's the way it will work. Because effectively, when the queen arrives, you'll pay tribute to her. There's also some other
sort of complications, everyone is meant to stop eating when the queen stops eating which -- and she's always been quite a speedy eater. That as
she's got older, she's eating less as well. So people will be looking to see whether or not President Trump stops when she stops.
From what he's been doing over the course of the day, he's actually been respecting the etiquette quite carefully. But he wouldn't made to feel
awkward as the guest of honor he continues to eat, for example.
There are all of these Dutch requirements as well, Prince Charles, has got all of these Dutch requirements. Each one of those settings you saw on the
table around that huge u-shaped table has been -- there's a very particular way of measuring out how it's all laid out. And that comes from Queen
Victoria's time when the queen will always go around and check each place herself.
GORANI: There's a specific -- a precise distance between the plate and the cutlery --
FOSTER: I've got it somewhere. I mean, maybe I should know that in my role. There's a particular measurement that literally they use these old
wooden sticks. It's not actually rulers. But they are old wooden rulers, and they've been around forever. So they probably change overtime as bits
fall off --
GORANI: Yes. That's becoming shorter and shorter, the ---
FOSTER: The flower arrangements are always very important to the queen as well. You'll see how the chairs, the distance of the chair from the table
is a careful measurement all the way around. It has to look absolutely symmetrical. And actually the queen gets really upset if it's not spot on.
For this occasion, I think she'll be particularly sure.
Although, I mean, this has been the setup for decades if not centuries. So they've had some practice.
GORANI: Bianca Nobilo, is at the U.S. ambassador's residence. We still don't know what the first lady is wearing, what's on the menu. I mean, we
can't reveal what's on the menu.
[14:55:07] But any more details as they -- the presidential couple was getting ready to make that chopper trip to Buckingham Palace for this
NOBILO: We don't have any more details as of yet. But I have been speaking with the U.K. lawmakers about Trump's approach to this trip so
far. The difference in the way that he's been interacting in his royal engagements versus how he's been acting vis-a-vis politicians in the United
And it does seem to be -- and this is a point I've heard Max made several times today. The fact that Trump understands that there is a difference,
of course, between the head of state, the monarch that is supposed to stay out of politics.
And then the politicians themselves. Many of whom have expressed open and fairly condemnatory remarks about President Trump over the last few years.
So he has decided to insult Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, the leader of the opposition has said that he's going to be attending these protests against
Trump tomorrow. The blimp will be out in full force, the baby blimp, from 9:00 a.m. in London.
So Trump does seem to be paying very, very different -- a very different type of attention to the royals as he does to politician and I'm sure that
we'll see the apotheosis of that this evening at the state banquet.
GORANI: All right. Bianca, thanks very much. And Max Foster will be joining us a little bit later.
We're expecting now the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and the First Lady Melania Trump to make their way into the state banquet room.
The royal family tweeted out a picture of what the table looks like, absolutely lavish and luxurious and laid out in the same way that it's been
for, as Max was saying, probably centuries.
We'll, I think, know more about the menu in about 20 minutes. But this is, of course, happening against the backdrop of some controversial tweets and
statements by the president ahead of a big political day tomorrow.
We'll have all of it covered for you at the top of the hour on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you in a little bit. Stay with us
for more breaking news.