Return to Transcripts main page
HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Interview with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; Trump Aims to Increase Trade With Europe; Interview with Faiz Shakir, Sanders Campaign Manager; Ratcliffe No Longer Trump's Nominee For Nat'l Intel Chief; ASAP Rocky Allowed To Return To U.S. As Judge Decides Verdict; Climate Change Fuels Wildfires In Siberia, Melts Permafrost; Miners Look To Trump For Help After Company Files Bankruptcy. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 2, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:22] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London this Friday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, President Trump talks trade, this time with Europe. But can he calm world markets, still focused on his China tariff threat?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Of course, that's a bad day for all of us who believe in arms control and stability in Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A nuclear treaty, abandoned. It's a bad day for the NATO secretary-general, and anyone who wants a stable, safe Europe. My full
interview with Jens Stoltenberg, ahead.
And, later, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager joins me live. I'll ask him if his candidate's progressive views could work in a general election.
The Trump administration has made it official. The U.S. is pulling out of a decades-long nuclear treaty with Russia, sparking fears of a new arms
race we thought was confined to the Cold War. More than 30 years after Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the historic nuclear arms pact
known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the deal is now dead.
The news has ignited fears here in Europe, especially that European ports and cities could be reached by Russian missiles. CNN's John Lorinc has
more on the significance of this treaty.
JOHN LORINC, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The United States, taking a stand against Russia. A senior U.S. defense official tells CNN, the U.S. is
preparing to test a non-nuclear mobile launched cruise missile. It was developed specifically to challenge Russia in Europe.
The move comes as the U.S. exits the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Moscow, the arms control pact then-Presidents Reagan and
Gorbachev signed, placed a limit on building missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it.
LORINC (voice-over): It's one of the few topics where the Trump and Obama administrations see eye-to-eye.
MARK ESPER, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Russia has cheated or is cheating on treaties. I give the Obama administration high marks for calling them out
and trying to work this.
LORINC (voice-over): The U.S. has repeatedly claimed Russia violated the deal, and the defense official says that country has deployed multiple
battalions on launch vehicles U.S. intelligence could have trouble tracking.
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: The threat is not American withdrawal from the INF Treaty. The threat is the Russian missiles already
LORINC (voice-over): If tensions rise enough to start a war, U.S. officials say Russian targets would include European ports and cities. I'm
John Lorinc reporting.
GORANI: So with the nuclear pact officially dead, provoking fears about what this means for Europeans and people around the world, NATO has
stressed that its response to the treaty's demise will be measured and responsible.
I spoke to NATO's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, to get his reaction.
GORANI: Let me first ask you, with the U.S. withdrawing from this treaty, how concerned are you that we might see a new arms race between the U.S.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: There is a risk for a new arms race, but NATO wants to avoid a new arms race. And that's the reason why
we will respond to the Russian violation, the Russian deployment of new intermediate-range missiles in Europe, in a measured and balanced and
We have to make sure that we have credible deterrence and defense, but we won't mirror what Russia is doing. So we have no intentions of deploying
new nuclear armed ground launched missiles in Europe as a response to the Russian violation of the INF Treaty.
GORANI: Should Europeans be concerned for their safety?
STOLTENBERG: Of course. The fact that we don't have the INF Treaty any more, the fact that Russia, over years, have deployed new missiles, which
can reach European cities without -- within minutes, which are hard to detect, are mobile and are nuclear-capable, and therefore also reduce the
threshold (ph) of any potential use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict. Of course, that's a bad day for all of us who believe in arms
control and stability in Europe.
At the same time, NATO is there to protect all allies, and we will take the necessary measures to maintain credible deterrence and defense, also in a
world without the INF Treaty and with more Russian missiles in Europe.
GORANI: I mean, it's quite scary. What would you tell people in this part of the world? It's quite scary. There's only one arms treaty left between
the U.S. and Russia. And that one expires in 2021. It's not expected to be extended. This is a new and scary time, isn't it?
[14:05:07] STOLTENBERG: It is a serious setback. And I am part of a political generation that was shaped during the 1980s, where actually, we
all were concerned about the risk for a nuclear war, and where we actually were able to reach the INF Treaty, that didn't only reduce the number of
nuclear missiles, but banned all intermediate-range weapons. So that was a great achievement, and that's the reason why it is serious, that this
treaty doesn't function any more, or the demise of the treaty.
Having said that, I still believe it is possible to reach agreement on arms control because in the long run, that will make us all safer. It is in the
interest, not only of NATO and NATO allies, but also of Russia, to engage in arms control agreements with us.
Because an arms race is dangerous and arms race is extremely expensive. That was a lesson we learned during the Cold War. And I hope that we are
able to learn from that lesson, also, today and engage new efforts to find ways to agree on effective and verifiable arms control with Russia.
GORANI: What would you tell people today who, reading this news, think, "Oh, no, we're back to the days of nuclear arms races between superpowers.
I feel less safe today. And that world -- international organizations and superpowers have failed us." What would you tell them?
STOLTENBERG: First of all, I would tell them that we don't see any imminent threat against any NATO-allied country. Second, I will tell them
that NATO is there to keep all people safe, close to 1 billion people living in North America and Europe.
And we keep people safe by standing together, one for all and all for one, sending a message to any potential adversary that if one ally is attacked,
the whole alliance will respond. And -- and through this deterrence, we have been able to, for more than seven decades, to avoid any attack against
any NATO ally.
So we will maintain that credible deterrence and defense, as we continue to strive for a better relationship with Russia, including strive for re-
establishing a real dialogue on arms control.
GORANI: And Russia says it was not violating the terms of this treaty. And that the U.S. walked away, as it's walked away from many international
accords. How do you react to that?
STOLTENBERG: There's no doubt that Russia has been in violation of the treaty, actually for several years. It was the Obama administration,
President Obama, that first raised its concerns about the Russian violations six years ago, with Russia.
And then this has been followed by the current U.S. administration, but not only by the U.S. All NATO allies agree that Russia is in violation.
Several nation allies have made that determination, that assessment based on their own independent intelligence. So there is no doubt that Russia
has been, for several years, in clear violation of the treaty.
And that's exactly why all allies agreed when the United States in February announced that they will start the withdrawal process, and all allies also
agree with the United States when they now finalized that process.
Because the INF Treaty cannot keep us safe if it's only respected by one side. And over several years, the INF Treaty has been violated by Russia.
There are no U.S. missiles in Europe, but there are more and more new Russian missiles in Europe.
GORANI: So what makes you still hopeful that there could be some sort of agreement, when clearly, this is all unraveling. I mean, the two
countries' bilateral arms controls treaties are disintegrating before our very eyes, decades and decades of these agreements that took many, many
years to sign, are now gone. They're just dust.
How can you still have any hope at this stage, that the two countries will come together? Especially with China developing its own missiles. They
don't really have an incentive to limit any of this weaponry.
STOLTENBERG: So I'm not able, and no one is able to promise new arms control agreements in the near future. But what I can say is that I
absolutely think that it's possible to achieve again. Partly because we're able to do that during the Cold War, when we had really bad relationships
between the West and the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, we were able to make the first agreements on arms control.
And, second, fundamentally, it is in the interests of all of us to agree on arms control, as long as this arms control is balanced and verifiable.
[14:10:05] So sooner or later, I'm absolutely certain that Russia, again, will realize that an arms race is extremely expensive, is dangerous and
therefore it is in also their interests to engage in some serious talks with the United States, but also including China and other countries, on
how to have effective arms control.
GORANI: Jens Stoltenberg, speaking to me earlier.
We're waiting to hear from U.S. President Donald Trump any time now. He's talking trade again today, but this time about trying to export more U.S.
beef to the European Union, presumably why there's a group of people there wearing cowboy hats, assembled, waiting for the president to make his
Markets are still in turmoil from Mr. Trump's announcement on China, that he's imposing more tariffs. The Dow is set to end the week in the red,
after the U.S. president said that he'll slap those additional tariffs on $300 billions' worth of Chinese imports, escalating a trade war between the
world's two biggest economies.
Let's bring in Jeremy Diamond at the White House and Cristina Alesci at the New York Stock Exchange.
Jeremy, what are we expecting to hear from the president about wanting to increase trade with Europe at this stage?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Hala, when you first hear that there's going to be news about trade between the United States and the
European Union, you might get some jitters initially because there have been some recent tensions, and the president has floated the notion of
increasing tariffs on certain European products.
But today's actually good news as far as trade for the United States and the European Union are concerned. This is going to be a deal between the
U.S. and the European Union to increase the quota of U.S. beef that can be exported to the European Union.
It's a deal that's been in the works -- excuse me -- for some time now, and it's expected to be signed today, with the president present there. The
U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, will be signing it. So it will be one bright spot in a week and in a day that has really been
dominated by this ratcheting up of tensions between the U.S. and China -- Hala.
GORANI: And, Cristina, why are stocks still down?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, stocks are down because investors are nervous that President Trump is essentially
gambling with the economy. There are concerns that there are some soft spots in the economy.
Take a look at the jobs report today, a solid headline number of 160,000 jobs added. And if you look at the three-month average, the U.S. economy
added 140,000 jobs per month over the last three months.
Most economists say if we keep adding jobs at that level, we'll sustain the 3.7 percent unemployment rate, which is relatively low. But there were
some pockets of softness there. And no one can quite understand, when I was speaking to CEOs and traders yesterday, why the president decided to
escalate trade tensions after coming to a truce with President Xi at the G20 just two months ago.
So this is all sparking speculation that what Trump is trying to do is actually affect economic growth on the negative side, so that the Federal
Reserve will be forced to come in and cut interest rates even further than it has already this week. That would obviously boost consumer spending, it
would boost stock buying, and that would fare well for him politically, going into the 2020 election cycle.
GORANI: All right. I believe the U.S. president has entered the room with those assembled people there, who are representatives of the beef industry
in the United States. And as Jeremy was saying, the objective here is to announce an increase in U.S. exports of American beef. Let's quickly
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- American beef is considered the best in the world. We're delighted to be joined today by
Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, deputy secretary of agriculture; (INAUDIBLE), the European Union's ambassador to the United States, Stavros
Lambrinidis; and representative of the presidency of the Council of the E.U., Jani Raappana.
I also want to thank Senator John Hoeven for being here. Where (ph) is John? John?
Good job, John.
Along with the president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Jennifer Euston.
Thank you, Jennifer.
And the president, CEO --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. We'll get back to that when he makes a newsworthy announcement.
Jeremy, is this likely to reassure people after these trade feuds with China have put so much pressure on stocks, and have rattled, really,
investor and consumer confidence?
DIAMOND: I think these are going to be two issues that are going to be viewed fairly separately. I mean, look, it is a good sign as far as the
situation between the United States and the European Union particularly.
As you've heard the president criticize European trade policies, criticize European monetary policy, there is at least, here, a little bit of comity
between those two sides.
[14:15:03] However, you know, everything that's happening with China is still going to persist. And that is, of course, kind of the -- the big
situation in terms of the U.S.' trade posture. That is the situation that is really roiling the markets. That's the situation that we've seen
impacting the U.S. economy, much more so, of course, than anything that's going on between the U.S. and European Union at this stage.
GORANI: Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much.
And thanks to Cristina Alesci at the New York Stock Exchange.
Still to come tonight, progressive as ever. Bernie Sanders is trying to make his second run at the White House. Count (ph) -- I'll ask his
campaign manager about their game plan, next.
GORANI: Bernie Sanders is working to prove that he can still command the kind of enthusiasm he did in the last run for the White House in 2016.
The struggle for every Democrat in this crowded field is to set themselves apart. And Sanders is betting he can win the debate on health care to get
him across the finish line. He won't be pushing his message unopposed. Here's part of the last debate on Tuesday.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Medicare for all is comprehensive. It covers all health care needs for senior citizens. It
will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.
SEN. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But you don't know that, Bernie.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We'll come to you in a second, Congressman.
SANDERS: Second of all --- second of all -- I do know, and I wrote the dam bill.
RYAN: Senator Sanders does not know all of the union contracts in the United States. I'm trying to explain that these union members are losing
their jobs. Their wages have been stagnant. The world is crumbling around them.
The only thing they have is possibly really good health care. And the Democratic message is going to be, "We're going to go in and the only thing
you have left, we're going to take it and we're going to do better." I do not think that's a recipe for success for us. It's bad policy, and it's
certainly bad politics.
GORANI: So who better to ask about that than his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir.
Thanks for being with us.
FAIZ SHAKIR, BERNIE SANDERS 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hi, Hala. Yes (ph), hi.
GORANI: So in Europe, a lot of -- yes. I was going to say. And Bernie Sanders' ideas and proposals in Europe, a lot of them are pretty
mainstream. In the United States, they're considered radically progressive. How do you win a general election with the proposals of
Bernie Sanders, particularly on something like health care.
SHAKIR: Well, Hala, the -- if you see the coalition of the people who currently support Bernie Sanders, they are working-class people. They are
people who work at Walmart and McDonald's, they're Amazon workers, they're teachers, they're postal employees.
And the challenge that we have as a campaign is getting those people to show up. Particularly not even show up in a general election, but to show
up in a primary. You know, that happens in February of 2020. Many people don't even know it's happening.
So our challenge as a campaign, we know that there's a broad movement out there who understands we have a deeply dysfunctional political and economic
system that is -- that aims to please the wealthy and doesn't do much for them. If we can get those people to show up, it -- Bernie Sanders is going
to do very well. But these are historically people who don't always show up to vote.
[14:20:04] GORANI: Yes. You got a funding bump after the last debate $1.1 million, I believe, and the majority of that was from smaller donations.
GORANI: However, in the -- within the Democratic field, Biden still is very much the leader. And in fact, if I look at a Quinnipiac University
poll, between July 2nd and July 29th, your candidate, Bernie Sanders, lost two percentage points.
TEXT: July 25-28, Quinnipiac University Poll Choice for Nominee, Dems/Dem- Leaning Voters: Biden, July 29, 34 percent, July 2, 22 percent; Warren, July 29, 15 percent, July 2, 14 percent; Harris, July 29, 12 percent, July
2, 20 percent; Sanders, July 29, 11 percent, July 2, 13 percent; Buttigieg, July 29, 6 percent, July 2, 4 percent; O'Rourke, July 29, 2 percent, July
2, 1 percent; Yang, July 29, 2 percent, July 2, 1 percent
GORANI: How do you catch up with Biden?
SHAKIR: Well, I think that right now, Joe Biden has great name recognition as a former vice president. A lot of people know him. We haven't really
gotten into a debate over his ideas versus Bernie Sanders' ideas.
I think you're going to have debates in September, October, November, December, many more debates to come in which it'll become clearer to
voters, what the choice is between them.
And I think as somebody who supports Bernie Sanders deeply, one of the reasons I do is because he's a person of conviction. His politics haven't
changed for many years. He believes deeply in the cause of fighting inequality in this country, fighting for justice.
I think that that is a clear contrast between them, somebody -- and Joe Biden, whose politics have evolved many times over, who has moved on a lot
So I think all that needs to happen here, Hala, is many debates to come in which they're on-stage together so voters understand the choices that are
presented to them.
GORANI: There were reports that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, ideologically, quite close to each other, agreed somehow not to attack each
other. Is that true?
SHAKIR: No. I mean, there's no formal agreement of anything. But the thing that the press is observing is that these are two individuals, Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have been fighting many of these fights together, who are ideological compatriots, who see many of the inequalities
of the system.
They tend to have a different style of politics, but they believe in a lot of the same things . So there's no non-aggression pact. It's simply that
they happen to agree. And they're each making a case for themselves without disparaging the other.
GORANI: Foreign policy didn't quite make it into these debates, not this one or the one a few weeks ago. What is Bernie Sanders' position on the
Iran nuclear deal? If he's elected president, will he re-join it?
SHAKIR: Yes. Of course. And I think that not only that, but there's a whole level of diplomacy that is failing, whether you look at the trade
talks that Donald Trump wants to engage in unilaterally, you look at the arms control conversation that you were discussing before.
We face, in the global community, a common enemy. That common enemy is climate change. And one of the conversations we should be having is that
investment and arms control or arms production right now, should be channeled to combating global warming. And all of us -- as a global
community, all nations -- should see that, and we just need a leader of the United States of America who can compel, through diplomatic means, nations
to join together in fighting that common enemy.
GORANI: And what about North Korea? What would his approach be? Would he meet Kim Jong Un in the same way Donald Trump did -- or and has a few times
SHAKIR: Certainly open. I mean, Bernie Sanders is somebody who disagrees with Donald Trump on many, many, many, many issues -- we could go down the
list -- has said that he agrees with the approach that Donald Trump is taking to try to resolve a very scary conflict in North Korea, and
appreciates the diplomacy that has occurred.
Whether there's follow-through and whether there's actual results that de- escalate that conflict, we wait to see. However, the kind of approach that Donald Trump has taken there, of using diplomacy, is one to be encouraged
GORANI: So he would do the same, he would meet with a murderous dictator?
SHAKIR: He would -- he would certainly be open to a conversation. It isn't geared just at one individual. You don't -- there's no preconditions
that stop you from saying that, "Oh, you know, I can't meet with a foreign head of state." If there's a real risk and a concern there, as there is
with the North Korea nuclear tensions, you should open up any diplomatic channels. There is a right-time manner, of course, and approach. But you
should keep that on the table.
GORANI: So back to the actual campaign now. What is your first priority now, after this debate, this latest debate? What -- is there anything
you're changing in your strategy? And if so, why?
SHAKIR: Well, I think we have six months to go before Iowans vote. And I know that many people feel like, "Hey, you know, you've got to change
strategies." No, not for Bernie Sanders. I mean, he's been consistent in his politics for a very, very long time. He understands the deep
structural injustices that face all of us. And he's got to continue to make that message.
I think one of the things that's interesting about Bernie Sanders, is you see how he shows up. He builds movements and he fights on the front lines
with picketing workers, teachers --
GORANI: But, Faiz Shakir, if you don't change your strategy, you're not going to change your position in the polls, right? You won't beat Biden.
isn't there something that you're thinking should be done or should be explored in order to close that gap?
SHAKIR: No. Not -- actually, we feel comfortable about the position we're in. We're a leading contender. We're right now number two, Biden's number
one. We haven't, as I said, had many debates yet to come, to play out. We're very comfortable with the place that we find ourselves.
[14:25:08] Because ultimately, at the end of the day, it's going to be a lot of voter turnout and whether we can build that working-class movement
across the country that's going to propel Bernie Sanders to the presidency. There's no reason to, on our part, get nervous and anxious and change
GORANI: OK. And how is his state of mind right now? Compare it, for instance, to four years ago. is he more or less hopeful and why.
SHAKIR: Well, I think lots -- four years ago, he was a movement of ideas. He put Medicare for all on the plate. He said $15 minimum wage. He said
free tuition at public colleges and universities.
What has changed now, in four years, is that the movement of ideas is less radical. People understand that these are good ideas.
Now, the question confronting the entire Democratic field and Democratic voters is, do you have the courage and convictions? Do you want to
actually get anything done on these things that we've been talking about for a very long time?
Bernie Sanders presents to you the opportunity to finally put in a place a president who isn't beholden to special interests, who isn't bought by big
money, who will do the things he says he will do. And that is the choice that will present itself to Democratic voters.
GORANI: All right. And in a debate against Trump, what's his advantage do you think?
SHAKIR: Oh, my goodness. So Donald Trump campaign does a fake Bernie Sanders. I mean, in addition to the racism that he projected, he also said
to many parts of this country, "Oh, I'm going to drain the swamp, I'm going to take on pharmaceutical companies, I'm going to cut fair trade deals."
All lies. I mean, he has basically catered to corporate America, filled his cabinet with billionaires. And so the opportunity for Bernie Sanders to go
up against him is to say, "Hey, you went with a fake populist agenda. Now let's go with a real one. This guy has betrayed the working class of
America. Come with me, let's actually get the things done that you wanted to."
GORANI: Faiz Shakir, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager. Thank so much for joining us on CNN International --
SHAKIR: Thank you for having me, yes.
GORANI: -- we appreciate it. Thank you.
And this just in to CNN. On a critical political issue, immigration, the Trump administration just announced that it is ending two family-based
immigration programs. This is yet another way of limiting legal immigration. It is legal. The Haitian Family Reunification Program and
the Filipino World War II Veterans program.
These programs allow certain family members of U.S. citizens or green card holders, to enter the United States even if they wouldn't normally be
allowed to. The Trump administration says these issues will now be decided on a case-by-case basis rather than have the programs stay in place and
apply to everyone who meets those criteria.
Still to come, a decades-old treaty that reduced nuclear weapons in the world is now gone. So are we looking at another arms race? And are we
less safe? Next.
[14:27:48] Plus, women in Saudi Arabia are granted a right that's taken for granted nearly everywhere else: the ability to travel on their own without
asking a male guardian. We'll be right back.
[14:30:23] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And breaking news just in to CNN. U.S. President Trump is reversing course on his nominee for
director of National Intelligence. Mr. Trump says that Congressman John Ratcliffe is no longer his pick for the job. He tweeted that it was better
for Ratcliffe to remain in Congress than, "Go through months of slander and libel."
Sources tell CNN that even Republicans had voiced concerns to the president about the nomination saying he was unqualified for this job.
The INF Treaty helped move the world from a dangerous pile up of nuclear weapons to relative stability. Now, it is gone. Just another example of
how disrupters are changing the geopolitical world we live in.
Just this week, the trade war ratcheted up to another level with U.S. President Trump imposing further tariffs on China. North Korea has fired
more missiles increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula and beyond.
Let's discuss these things a bit further. I'm joined by CNN military diplomatic analyst, John Kirby, and Josh Rogin, a CNN political analyst and
columnist for the Washington Post.
So, Josh, let me start with you. The INF Treaty is no more. We have one more treaty between the U.S. and Russia left and that one expires in two
years. Not expected to be extended. Where does that leave us?
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's first important to note that Russia had been in violation of the INF Treaty for, at least,
seven years. There is a good argument to be made that the treaty has been basically null and void for all of that time.
Now, this is an acknowledgment of that, and the question is what happens next and will there be an arms race, and will the United States build a
weapon that matches it, and is that really directed to the Chinese? But we shouldn't ignore the fact that a treaty is only really working if both
sides are adhering to it.
Now, the other treaty you talk about is called the new start treaty, and that was negotiated by the Obama administration. It expires in February to
2021. And the Trump administration has not shown a lot of enthusiasm about negotiating an extension. So if Trump gets re-elected, I think that treaty
is also not long for this world. But if he gets defeated, you can be sure that a democratic president will quickly renew it.
GORANI: So John Kirby, is this about China also developing its own missile capability and both countries wanting to be able to compete on a global
JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I think it's just as much about China as it is about Russia and their non-compliance, their non-
compliance that Josh talked about. Yes, and there certainly clear concerns about China's development of these sorts of intermediate-range missiles
that they -- that they can threaten their neighbors in Eurasia with, and that is something that -- of course, China was not covered by the INF
Treaty. So there was nothing prohibiting them from doing that. And I think that certainly is a -- is a factor in the Trump administration's
decision to rescind their membership in INF and their compliance with it.
But look, I mean, in order to make -- in order to match that kind of threat, you've got to have some basing overseas. And NATO has been very
cool to the idea of any unilateral or bilateral basing between the United States and any NATO member country in Europe, of those kinds of missile
systems, and it's very unclear if any of our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region would likewise be willing to host those kinds of
systems on their home soil.
GORANI: Yes. Josh, what does Russia want? Because in a trade war, it will lose against the United States. It is a much, much weaker partner and
a much smaller economy. What's its end goal?
ROGIN: You know, I think that it's very clear that Russia, under Vladimir Putin, is simply trying to reassert its control over its near abroad. And
the way that the Russian government keeps its power is by keeping the country's in its near abroad unstable. And we see that in Ukraine and
Moldova and all sorts of other places. In order for Vladimir Putin to feel stable and safe in his position, he's to mess with all of the countries
around him. And this is a great way to do that.
So I think his first goal is survival and to -- and that means bolstering his dictatorship at home. And his second goal is to expand Russia's power
and influence as much as the West will permit him. And I think that this is part of that effort for sure.
GORANI: John, you may have heard the breaking news that the U.S. president is withdrawing John Ratcliffe's name as the nominee for director of
National Intelligence, saying that he didn't want him to go through, "Months of slander and libel."
GORANI: Did you buy that explanation?
[14:35:02] KIRBY: I think what this is really about is that he began to realize that confirmation process for Congressman Ratcliffe was going to be
much more difficult than what he had been led to believe. I'm guessing that some senators, some key senators, you know, whispered in his ear that,
hey, this is not going to go as well. This guy has a very thin resume and there's going to be some difficulty getting him confirmed.
More difficult than, I think, the president realize that this goes right to the issue of vetting in this administration, and the poor judge that they
do, making decisions about nominees ahead of time so that they can answer those kinds of concerns upfront.
GORANI: And what do you make of the John Ratcliffe news then, Josh? Because he was criticized as being wholly unqualified for this position,
and also biased that he would be, essentially, become a yes man at the head of all of America's intelligence agencies, a yes man to Trump?
ROGIN: Yes, I think those are both valid criticisms with the kind of evidence behind him. I mean, the bottom line is that the president is
entering his campaign re-election season and he wants to place officials around the government who will help him investigate the FBI investigation
into Russiagate, and he's giving the attorney general broad sweeping powers over the classifying intelligence related to, investigating the FBI and
everything they did to investigate him, and he wants somebody atop the intelligence community is going to go along with all of that and who's
going to fight his battle. The president's battle against his own intelligence committee.
Dan Coats, the outgoing director of National Intelligence, stood up for the intelligence community. He stood up for truth and he spoke truths to Trump
even when Trump didn't want to hear them. Ratcliffe wasn't going do that. And what the senators want to see is that the president is going to install
someone who can respect the role or respect the intelligence community and not be a plant to investigate Trump's own FBI.
GORANI: Thanks so much to both of you. Josh Rogin and John Kirby. Appreciate it.
A new milestone in Saudi Arabia's very slow march towards gender equality. They will finally be able -- women will finally be able to hold passports
and travel without the consent of a male guardian.
Sam Kiley has more.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Saudi Arabia has announced that women over the age of 21 can finally apply for passports and
travel on their own. In the past, at least back until the year 2000, they had to get permission to apply for a passport from a male guardian. That
would have been a father, husband, or brother most often.
Now, recently a number of Saudi young women have escaped the country by logging on using usually parental details to the website to apply for
passports and then running away to claim asylum in other countries, claiming that they feared some kind of retribution from their loved ones
or, indeed, the regime for leaving the country without permission.
This represents from the perspective of reformers in Saudi Arabia led by Mohammad bin Salman, a step towards his vision of 2030, a modernized Saudi
Arabia capable of attracting investment and living in the modern world. It follows last year when women were finally allowed behind the wheels,
getting their licenses.
Now, this, of course, comes at a time also when Saudi Arabia is under intense pressure from politicians in Washington, D.C. trying to reverse the
Trump administration's support for the Saudi-led war against the Houthi rebels in the Yemen, and also at a time when Saudi Arabia and Iran have
locked horns over each other's regional influences.
It's interesting to note that in Iran, women still do need those permissions from a male guardian to get a passport and travel. So that
puts Saudi Arabia a little bit ahead of their regional rival. This move was celebrated by none other than Princess Al Saud, who is the ambassador
for the Saudi kingdom to Washington, D.C.
As a princess, of course she has rather different rights. But now, all women can travel in Saudi Arabia once they get their passports without
asking permission of the men folk.
Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
GORANI: Well, though it should be noted that some of the women activists who fought for this write are still imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Facebook says it's identified and taken down a coordinated influence campaign with ties to the Saudi government. It removed hundreds
of Facebook pages and accounts with a total of more than a million followers. Facebook says the accounts were used to prop up support for the
kingdom and attack its enemies. Saudi Arabia denies knowledge of the campaign.
More breaking news this hour. ASAP Rocky will be allowed to leave Sweden while he awaits a verdict in the assault case against him. U.S. President
Trump celebrated the news, where else, on Twitter. He's been personally trying to persuade Sweden to release the U.S. rapper from custody. A judge
will deliver a verdict in the trial on August 14th.
[14:40:10] Let's get more now with Nina dos Santos. So I was quite surprised at this news, because he was in detention the entire time before
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. He's been in detention alongside two members of his entourage who have fellow, co-
defendants for the street brawl since July the 3rd. So they have in detention in Sweden for quite some time.
The original incident, Hala, took place on the streets of Stockholm outside a burger bar on June the 30th when it's alleged that ASAP Rocky and other
members of his entourage, he was within a group of about five people at the time, were followed by a 19-year-old man originally from Afghanistan who
moved to Sweden, who had been following them. They say he was threatening them. A street brawl ensued.
ASAP Rocky, the two co-defendants, who have been facing trial throughout the course of the week, have pled not guilty to charges of serious assault.
It's important to say that this judgment, delivered an hour and a half ago, doesn't absolve them. It does not determine as yet, whether they're guilty
or innocent of these charges, but it does allow them to go back to the United States. And that's exactly what the U.S. president wanted.
Let's just bring you the exact tweet that he put out. It's a man of swift wits, Donald Trump, because he put this out less than 20 minutes after the
verdict. "ASAP Rocky released from prison on his way home to the United States, it reads, from Sweden." It was a Rocky Week. Get home ASAP,
As you mentioned, he'd often petitioned the Swedish legal system, even the prime minister of Sweden via Twitter, via the telephone to release them.
It also emerged that he had actually sent the U.S. hostage negotiator to sit in the courtroom for the last three days of the trial.
And at one point, it emerged that he'd actually, this hostage negotiator had written to the chief Swedish prosecutor threatening a detrimental
effect on bilateral relations with the United States and Sweden.
GORANI: The reason I'm surprised he was released is because even if he's found guilty and sentenced to any jail time, presumably, ASAP Rocky is not
going to fly back to Sweden to serve his sentence.
DOS SANTOS: And this will be the next part of the story, won't it? We know that he's still in Sweden. We know that through his lawyer they
released a statement saying that they are satisfied with the verdicts and hoping for acquittal in two weeks' time.
We don't yet know whether he's planning on leaving the country. One would assume that given the fact that they've been in custody quite some time
that the U.S. president has been so vocal to get these three individuals back to the United States, they may well wish to avail themselves of that
option at this point and may not go back to Sweden. That we don't know yet.
But the next hearing will be that one for the verdict on August the 14th, Hala.
GORANI: All right. And it will be song ASAP, I'm guessing. Thanks very much, Nina dos Santos.
Still to come tonight, wildfires in the arctic. One of the coldest places on earth is burning in what scientists are calling an unprecedented
disaster. We'll take you to Siberia to show you how global warming is making it much worse for that part of the world. We'll be right back.
[14:45:56] GORANI: Well, Russia is battling a climate emergency in the arctic right now. Out of control wildfires have been raging in Siberia
since June. They are melting permafrost, and this is releasing dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Our Fred Pleitgen reports now on what is an ecological disaster in the arctic.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Siberia is a place where you can see the global climate crisis in full effect. The
wildfires here in this region have been raging out of control for months. If I took a three-hour flight west of this location, I would still be
inside the zone that's impacted by these fires. They're caused, on the one hand, by global warming, but also by melting permafrost, and they're
dumping megatons of CO2 into the air.
Hellfire in what should be one of the coldest places on earth. Russia's arctic is burning. Firefighters we meet near the far eastern city of
Yakutsk struggling to keep the flames at bay.
"We have a lot of land that is hard to reach so we need heavy machinery. By the time we get there, they can spread very far."
PLEITGEN (voice-over): This year, they've spread extremely far. Fires are raging in almost all of Eastern Russia. By comparison, this would be the
same area in the U.S.
Siberia's wildfires have gotten worse as our planet warms up. At the same time, the greenhouse gases they spew into the air contribute to further
Fifty megatons of carbon dioxide blown into the atmosphere by fires in arctic regions in June alone, scientists say, leaving scorched earth
PLEITGEN (on camera): So here you see one of the reasons why these fires are so dangerous and spreading so quickly. There's a lot of dead
undergrowth and dead trees here in this area that not only catch fire really quickly but then also store tons of carbon that's now being released
into the atmosphere.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Towns like Yakutsk have been under heavy smoke for months while their foundation is literally melting away as the planet gets
This is what this region looks like underground. It's built on permafrost, now getting weaker as temperatures this summer soared into the 90s.
The head of Yakutsk's Permafrost Institute says the world needs to cut back emissions fast.
"The depth of melting is growing," he says. "The point of no return is almost here. We are at a critical point when it comes to permafrost."
PLEITGEN (voice-over): And this is what it looks like when the point of no return is reached. Giant sinkholes, like this one, are popping up all over
Siberia and growing.
The sound you hear is ice and frozen earth breaking off, climate change in action.
PLEITGEN (on camera): The Russians call this place the "Gateway to Hell" because it looks almost like the earth is crumbling and the underworld is
coming to light. And there are fears in this region that fast erosion like this could destroy entire cities very soon.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Melting permafrost also releases huge amounts of carbon stored in the melting ice, further fueling the hellish flames now
eating their way through Russia's arctic and affecting our climate back home.
The Russians now say they're doing more to combat the wildfires. They say they've mobilized the military, among other things. However, Moscow still
says that it's only going to go up against the blazes if they threaten urban areas, not if they're in more remote places and the smoke from these
fires has already reached the west of the United States.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
GORANI: All right, Fred Pleitgen.
Climate change is also causing the ice to melt in Greenland in alarming amounts. Scientists say Greenland's ice sheet experienced its biggest melt
on the summer -- of the summer on Thursday losing 11 billion tons of surface ice to the ocean. That's equivalent to more than four million
Olympic swimming pools all gone in one day. Experts say because of recent heatwaves in Europe and around the world, July was possibly the hottest
month in recorded history.
[14:50:08] Greenland's ice sheet is the second largest in the world and this season's ice melt has already raised global sea levers -- levels half
Now, coming, it is no secret that the coal industry in the United States in the United States is hurting, but it's not just about numbers in a ledger
book. It's about real people with families to support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHANE SMITH, COAL MINER PROTESTING MISSED PAY: I didn't file a 401(k) in, I didn't file child support in and our last checks bounced. We want our
CHRIS ROWE, COAL MINER PROTESTING MISSED PAY: We worked for it. We earned it, and we deserve it. And that's why we're standing here today and we're
not going nowhere until we find out if we're going to get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: But you have those who say coal is bad for the environment. These people are saying they want help from President Donald Trump, just ahead.
GORANI: Boris Johnson has been in Downing Street for less than two weeks, but already, he's facing a major political problem. His working majority
in parliament has been cut to just one after the pro-European liberal democrats won a by-election. And with crucial Brexit votes coming up,
every vote matters.
Anna Stewart explains. Anna.
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, Boris Johnson has been prime minister for just one week, and already he suffered a defeat
in this by-election.
Now, the defeat means that even with the 10 MPs from the Northern Irish DUP Party that props up his government, the prime minister now only has a
majority in parliament of one. One MP. That will make getting any legislation through parliament very difficult.
However, when it comes to Brexit, and trying to get a Brexit deal, or no- deal through parliament by October 31st. This very slim majority might not make much of a difference. The prime minister is already expected to face
a rebellion from some MPs within his own party. And that is a concept, of course, that should be familiar to him since he, himself, voted down his
predecessor, Theresa May's deal twice.
This by-election well is significant though. The area voted to leave the E.U. in 2016 by 52 percent. It reflects the national result. Yet, here we
have them voting for a remain party, the liberal democrats. So that's likely to strengthen remain calls for a do-over vote or a second referendum
And then with the fact that we saw a highly unusual alliance of remain leaning political parties in this by-election. The Welsh, Plaid Cymru
Party and the Green Party both decided not to contest the seat to ensure that that remain vote wouldn't be split, helping the most likely party to
win the liberal Democrats.
Now, that means we could, if there is a general election in the coming months and increasing their speculation there will be one, we could see
this alliance play out again in similar constituencies.
Back to you, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Anna, thanks very much.
One of the most famous families in American political history is in mourning once again. 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy was found dead at the
family compound in Massachusetts on Thursday night. It is the latest tragedy in a series of deaths, accidents and illnesses that some have
called the Kennedy curse.
Hill's grandfather was Robert D. Kennedy, famously assassinated while running for president in 1968. His brother John was the president when he
was killed five years earlier.
U.S. President Donald Trump has promised to protect the coal industry amid demands from environmentalists to find cleaner forms of energy. Well, some
miners in the state of Kentucky say they need his help now more than ever.
[14:55:07] Alexandra Field takes us deep into coal country to get their story.
SMITH: I didn't file a 401(k) in, I didn't file child support in, and our last checks bounced. We want our money
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Miners in Kentucky are taking to the tracks, blocking the coal blocking they have collected from
shipping out until they're paid their due.
ROWE: We worked for it, we earned it, and we deserve it. And that's why we're standing here today and we're not going nowhere until we find out if
we're going to get it.
FIELD: Once the nation's six largest coal producers, Black Jewel and its parent company locked their gates July 1st, filing for Chapter 11
Bankruptcy without warning its workers, leaving them without a paycheck for weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been rough for the last month because I had no money coming in.
FIELD: CNN affiliate, WYMT, confirms Black Jewels former CEO sent an apology letter to employees saying he accepts responsibility for the
company's downfall, adding, he had tried to get a loan to cover employee pay.
Now, WYMT reports Black Jewel is auctioning off its mines in Wyoming, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky through bankruptcy court. All but
Virginia voted for President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're putting our miners back to work like never before. They're going back, back, back.
FIELD: Now, miners say they need his support more than ever, neither Black Jewel or its parent company have responded to request for comment, but if
their coal mines aren't auctioned successfully, these families will have to find a new way to make ends meet.
ROWE: A coal miner is a very tough, strong man, but when it comes to your kids, you're going to break. And to not be able to provide for him or get
for him or anything like that, that hurts.
FIELDS: Alexandra Field, CNN New York.
GORANI: Before we go, NASA has discovered the first nearby super earth that could support life. NASA was looking for planets outside our solar
system and found these three planets orbiting a small dwarf star about 31 light years away.
Researchers say the largest of the three is within the habitable zone. It gets about the same amount of solar energy from its star as mars does from
our sun. Scientists believe if the atmosphere is dense enough, it could trap heat to warm the planet and allow for water and life on the surface.
Thanks for watching tonight. Stay with CNN for more on the latest Trump trade news. He discussed an agreement with the E.U. on American beef
exports this hour, but that, of course, covers amid a trade war with China that is really more of the focus of world markets, which did not do very
"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next on CNN.