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U.S. Summons Ambassador Over Resettlement Law; Borrell: Smotrich Remarks "Disrespectful" & "Dangerous"; Former UK PM On "Partygate" Hand On Heart I Did Not Lie; U.S. To Send Patriot Missile System To Ukraine Faster Than Originally Planned; A Conversation With The Man Behind Logan Roy; High-Stakes U.S. Rates Announcement Due In Coming Hours. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired March 22, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: This hour the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Summoned to the State Department putting into question just how strong the
relationship between the two allies is as Mr. Netanyahu's right wing reforms continue to push the dial?
First up, Russia has struck Ukraine with a new wave of attacks including a vicious missile strike in a residential building in Zaporizhzhia. That is
as China's President heads home from Moscow leaving promises of economic cooperation this week suggesting a new world order is aligning against the
French Unions call for another nationwide strike against pension's reform as President Macron addresses the nation in an interview. Then the Fed will
announce later today whether rate hike is on the cards as it battles inflation and a banking crisis.
You're back with us for the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD wherever you are watching. You are more than welcome. Washington growing seemingly more
frustrated with Israel's government for the first time in over a decade.
The U.S. has summoned the Israeli Ambassador after parts of a law barring settlements in the Northern West Bank were repealed. Now the U.S. says it
is extremely troubled. But Israel's Prime Minister in an attempt to reassure his most important ally says that no new settlements in those
areas will be built.
So tonight we ask are U.S. Israeli relations at a critical point? Well, CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond is with us from Washington with
more on these tensions and Hadas Gold following this for us from Jerusalem. And Hadas, let's just start with you on the ground. What is the perception
there? What are you being told about this summons?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very unique. The fact that the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. was summoned to the State
Department, as you noted, has not happened in more than 10 years. The Foreign Ministry did not have an immediate comment on this summoning.
But I think it's a clear reflection of where things stand in the Israeli/U.S. relationship. Just look at the number of times in the past few
weeks the State Department the White House, the White House Spokesperson; National Security Council Spokespersons have spoken out with great concern
over what's happening in Israel.
Whether its security related issues within the occupied West Bank or related to this judicial overhaul. And keep in mind, Becky that Netanyahu
has still not yet received that invitation to come visit the White House and I am not getting any indication that invitation will come anytime soon.
Now this bill that was passed, it repeals parts of the disengagement bill that passed in 2005. This is when Israel withdrew and evacuated from Gaza
as well as parts of the Northern West Bank around these flashpoint cities of Jenin and Nabulus, those areas became closed military zones, and Israeli
civilians are prohibited from entering them.
But this has been a big issue for the settler movement who of course now helped prop up Netanyahu's government who has been saying that it was -
that it was essentially should not have happened and that they are welcomed. Now they are very excited for settlers to be welcomed back in two
parts of the Northern West Bank.
But what we're hearing from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his statement is essentially, he wants to have it both ways, because in parts
of his statement, he says that the repeal brings an end to discriminatory and humiliating law that prohibited use from living in the areas of
Northern Samaria, part of our historical homeland.
He's using the biblical term for parts of the West Bank. But then the very next line, he says, oh, but the government has no intention of establishing
new settlements there so clearly trying to appease his base, while also trying to appease the international community.
This is something we've been seeing as a theme so far from this new government when you have these sorts of extremist elements of the
government. And then you have Benjamin Netanyahu and some other government ministers trying to keep things calm and keep things going.
I should also note that even though this law passed, the Israeli military would have the same this because it's a closed military zone because of
their control over the area. And from my understanding, they have no intention of allowing settlers to come in anytime soon. So far, this repeal
seems to be more symbolic than anything.
But of course, the symbolism is so important here, especially at this time period, especially as this time of increasing violence and especially as
this repeal comes just a few days before the holidays of Ramadan and Passover, which is already expected to notch the tension up here to levels
potentially we haven't seen in some time, Becky.
ANDERSON: Jeremy, let me bring you in. It was just earlier this month that the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with the Israeli Prime Minister.
And I quote here from the State Department to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the United States and Israel. And he said that the
security relationship is ironclad.
There have also been a number of very concerned comments from U.S. officials not least, from Antony Blinken appealing for calm, appealing for
de-escalation in the violence and appealing for a dampening down on rhetoric. Jeremy, what is the view from the State Department as we speak,
just how critical have things got between the U.S. and Israel?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, U.S. officials also have to play a balancing act. As you noted, when Lloyd Austin went to
Israel, he reaffirmed that security partnership, but he also expressed serious concerns about the ongoing violence in the West Bank.
And what we have seen from U.S. officials, as Hadas noted, is in recent weeks increasing criticism and concerns expressed by U.S. officials about
these various Israeli actions, whether it is some of those raids that we have seen in the West Bank.
The judicial reforms which have prompted perhaps the strongest expressions of concern from Biden Administration officials in recent weeks, or just now
this repeal of this 2005 law, which saw Israel evacuate settlements in the Northern West Bank and also prohibited the establishment of new settlements
in the Northern West Bank.
And so you certainly are seeing a rise in expressions of concern and criticism from the Biden Administration but still reaffirming that long
term strategic partnership. Part of that, of course, is politics here in the United States. President Biden certainly doesn't want to be viewed as
being of showing any animus towards Israel.
He wants to show that he is still a stalwart supporter of Israel but at the same time trying to play that Big Brother aspect of this relationship. We
saw President Biden on Sunday speaking over the phone with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressing concerns about these judicial
reform proposals. And subsequently, what you did see was Netanyahu say, you know, that they were going to push this back until after the Passover
holiday, I believe.
And so, you know, there is a sense that the U.S. can try and play a role here, but also some on the left in the United States who believe that
President Biden should go much further in his criticism and take that role of trying to rein in Netanyahu trying to rein in the Israeli government
more seriously? But of course, there's no indication that Netanyahu would necessarily listen to that from Biden.
ANDERSON: Yes, Senator Chris Murphy saying exactly that, to me on this shows just a week ago. Jeremy Diamond is in Washington Hadas is in
Jerusalem thank you both. As we discussed the latest tension in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is partly because of a push by Mr.
Netanyahu's government for major changes to the judiciary changes that have brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets for protests
Merav Michaeli is a leading opposition lawmaker who recently said this about Mr. Netanyahu's government. "On the one hand, they make threats about
Civil War and on the other push for such a war", she added, "This coup is only good for those empower those who will suffer from it now, first and
foremost citizens from the right and the left". An Israeli Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli joins us now live from Jerusalem. You refer to a coup
there by which you mean what?
MERAV MICHAELI, ISRAELI LABOR PARTY, LEADER: It's a clear attempt to change the kind of regime that Israel has from a democratic party, democratic
country, a democratic state to a non-democratic one. They are trying to move all the power into one authority, which is the government and we are
fighting that as hard as we possibly can.
We are seeing the laws and the legislations that they're planning to bring in the coming months. All of them are giving all the power to the
government with zero possibility of criticism of limitation of power of checks and balances. So that's what everyone's taking to the streets about.
ANDERSON: Let's just get a little bit of a detail out briefly. The Knesset repealing a 2005 West Bank law basically paving the way for Jewish settlers
to return to areas they were previously banned from the government talks about wanting to maintain peace especially before these holidays is
critical period Ramadan starts today Passover in a week or so.
We know how this goes? The move will undoubtedly anger Palestinians living in those areas and lead to further violence. A member of your party decried
the changes as a pre-annexation law. Do you agree with that assessment?
MICHAELI: Obviously, I voted against it. I fought against it in the committee and of course, in assembly. And I think it's a very, very harmful
and very dangerous decision, which one of many unfortunately, that this government is making.
One of the - I have to tell you that one of the drivers for this judicial coup that they're trying to pass now is the settlers that have been wanting
to bring down the Supreme Court of Israel for many, many years, because they want to be able to do in the West Bank whatever they want to do.
So this is one of the major forces that are pushing this, what we call, rightfully coup. And one of the steps that we're seeing taken now is
repealing the dismayed engagement law in North Samaria.
ANDERSON: And it is with this, that you can genuinely conflate the issues of the West Bank and this judicial, very controversial judicial reform
plan. That's some in the Israeli government have been trying to, you know, put some distance between.
But clearly, there isn't a clear opportunity to conflate the two here an EU Spokesman Spokesperson has called on Israel to revoke the law in order to
de-escalate. The U.S. hasn't gone that far and I want to talk to you about the fragile nature it seems of that Israeli/U.S. relationship in a moment.
Before I do you are there, you're in the Knesset, you're working behind the scenes just tell me what is the atmosphere like at present? And do you
agree with the EU, when they say that they want to see Israel revoke this law in order to de-escalate these tensions?
MICHAELI: Obviously, the tension is, really its sky high. It's a crazy, tensed within Israel. People are taking to the streets on a daily basis. We
are taking I mean, the protesters taking all kinds of actions in order to disrupt the routine of people's day to day lives in order to make it very,
very present that we are facing a very clear and urgent danger from this government in this legislation.
And of course, it has everything to do with the West Bank. Of course, the situation in the West Bank, which labor as the party of the late Prime
Minister - has been advocating and fighting for funding your political peaceful solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict in the West Bank for
We know how close - how closely attached those two things are. And as I said, and as you mentioned, this repealing of the disengagement law is
exposing once again. So yes, there is a fragility all around by the way, not only to Israel, U.S. relations, but we also saw our unfortunately our
treasurer putting a map of Jordan which is offensive to Jordan.
We saw our Transport Ministers saying something offensive towards the Emirates today, and we are seeing the Prime Minister not being able to come
to relax his American partners and--
ANDERSON: And they are willing to do so perhaps is - yes is a better description. The U.S. and other world leaders have criticized comments made
by Israel's Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich basically denying the very existence of Palestinian people. This is the EU's Joseph Borrell responding
to that have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEP BORRELL, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: They have to deploy this unacceptable comment by Minister Smotrich. It is wrong. It is
disrespectful. It is dangerous. It is counterproductive to say these kinds of things in a situation which is already very tense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The Jordanians have gone as far as to call it racist these comments have been condemned by the UAE by the Saudis and the UAE, of
course, in have normalized relations with the Israelis. And this was a project that was very much at the heart of Benjamin Netanyahu and he hopes
to normalize relations with the Saudis and there seems to be no opportunity for that anytime soon this is all going on.
For the first time in over a decade, we saw the Israeli Ambassador to Washington summoned over the West Bank law. I'm going to put this question
to you, then. This is the question of the hour. Are U.S./Israeli relations at this point at a critical point? And if so, how critical, how concerned
MICHAELI: First of all, you know, it's so hard for me to have to agree with someone outside of my country, speaking about someone from my government,
but unfortunately, those things that are said are things that I completely subscribe to.
And I know for a fact, and as the party's - leader of the party that fights to change that understanding in Israel, and to realize that a peaceful
ending to the Israeli Palestinian conflict is a first and major Israeli interest, it's really hard for me to have to hear those things my
As far as the U.S./Israel relations go, you know, I can only hope that my Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gets his act together as soon as
possible and does not allow the U.S./Israel relations to come to a point that is dangerous. That is dangerous for Israel and that is not for the
ANDERSON: Do you believe that point is close?
MICHAELI: Listen, I don't want to estimate anything. I as always and doing my utmost to act on things to prevent what I don't want from happening. So
I believe that the protest must be a sign of warning.
And the signals that are coming from Washington must be a red light to Benjamin Netanyahu, and to make him stop what he's doing in order to save
not only Israeli democracy and the State of Israel, but in relations with the U.S. just as well.
ANDERSON: The President has suggested that Israel is on the verge of civil war, and others are talking about, you know, massive crisis. At this point,
should can - you can say, so should Benjamin Netanyahu collapses government? Should he dissolve this government? Or is he working in his own
interests as oppose to the interests of the Israeli people?
MICHAELI: For certain, this coup that they're bringing on is bad for the Israeli people. It's bad for the State of Israel. It's really bad for
everything for everyone and for everything other than Netanyahu himself and very, very small interest groups that will act the way they see they will
gain from it.
By all means, I want to see this government fall and to go to elections, and by all means that this is the thing that needs to happen. I want to be
very careful from talking about a civil war. The Israeli people are - how shall I say very, you know, there's this crazy gap between Israeli people
and its politicians.
The majority of Israelis are pro-peace or pro-pluralism or pro-liberalism. A majority of them are being used for political purposes, not legit
political purposes. And hopefully, it will stay at the level of politicians and never get to a point of God forbid a civil war.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for joining us. Your analysis and insight today is extremely
important. Thank you. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson.
Just ahead, another round of Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, including a residential apartment blocking Zaporizhzhia. And Boris bites back; the
Former British Prime Minister defends himself to the committee investigating the so called "Partygate" scandal. And--
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: I think you will love it. I think you will love it. I think it's going to be extremely
surprising and probably quite excited.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Stick around for my conversation with one of the finest actors of this generation Brian Cox talks to me about the final season of his hit
ANDERSON: An update on Ukraine for you, which is important. Russian forces have fired at least six missiles at Zaporizhzhia, that's according to the
cranium prosecutor's office. Those missiles caused heavy damage to residential buildings. And senior Ukrainian officials saying that the
strikes deliberately targeted civilians. Local officials say at least one person was killed 32 others were hospitalized and I'll get you more on
Ukraine later in the show.
Meantime, in Moscow, a new era begins but no announced promise of new weapons as China's president ends his state visit to Russia and returns
home. Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced solidarity along with vows to advance their country's economic interests. Putin also
touted China's self-proclaimed peace plan for Ukraine dismissed by the U.S. diplomatic cover for Moscow.
Matthew Chance back with us from Moscow, there are two or three things in there that I really wanted to pick apart. But I guess the overarching sort
of question is, whether this was a win for Putin, Xi or both at this point? Is it clear?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's probably a win for both of them in the sense that what China gets out of
this is Russian natural resources, or closer connections with one of the main suppliers of energy in the world. And there were more than a dozen
deals signed over the course of this state visit to sort of bring the two countries physically close or connect them physically or during them
And Russia, you know, obviously gets this symbolic show of support from one of the most powerful nations in the world at a time when Vladimir Putin is
incredibly isolated. It's the first time Xi visited Moscow since the start of the Russian invasion. But it was just a couple of days after President
Putin was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. And so having Xi Jinping literally at his side was a huge boost to the Kremlin.
ANDERSON: Matthew Chance is in Moscow, Matthew, thank you. And you can get a lot more of on this story obviously on CNN digital. Online Stephen
Collinson looks at the challenges this summit may bring to the U.S. Why China's president may have motivations that go beyond strengthening ties
with Russia, that cnn.com or through the CNN app.
Well, facing the music over party gate in the past, our former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been defending himself in front of
lawmakers who are investigating claims that he deliberately misled Parliament about parties at Downing Street, while the UK was under strict
COVID lockdowns. Johnson says that while some of his comments may have been misleading, he did not do so intentionally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: It will be one thing if the committee had come here today and said, look, here are the e-mails or here are the WhatsApp that show that
you were warned about rule breaking before you made your statements to the house. You haven't got any such evidence because that never happened.
But if you now say instead that it must have been obvious that we were going against the rules and the guidance, and then let's be clear about
what you are saying.
You're not only accusing me of lying, you're accusing all those civil servants, advisors, MPs of lying about what they believed at the time to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson has been on this story from day one. He joins us now. And we did hear the former prime minister conceding that some of his
statements may have been misleading. But he said that I wasn't intentionally so.
What, what we are seeing here it does seem as the beginning of the end for the political career of Boris Johnson, doesn't it? It's a remarkable
turnaround for the man who swept to a resounding conservative victory in the 2019 general election. We're just talking sort of two and a half years
ago at this point.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, this potentially could be calamitous for Boris Johnson, it could force a by election and his
seat, this committee can sanction him, they can suspend him for 10 days, they could suspend him for a whole lot longer. And that's when it begins to
get more serious.
Here, the language that he's using is knowingly or recklessly, misleading Parliament, which he denies. And he has apologized, as we've heard this
afternoon, for misleading, but his caveat that this wasn't done on purpose. And he says all through this that he's been relying on what aides have told
him what advisors have told him when he's asked him about these gatherings.
They've given him advice on what he could say on Prime Minister's Question Time, which some of the clips of that have been run from back in December
2021. Uneasy watching perhaps for Boris Johnson, but he's really sort of gathered and collected his thoughts here because it is a hugely as you say,
And what the committee is trying to figure out here is did he mislead parliament? And if the answer is yes, was that contempt of Parliament
didn't interrupt the functioning of Parliament? And if the answer to that is yes, how serious was it? So, if he really stumbles and is unable to sort
of convince them at the points that he's making that there's a lot of evidence he says that they haven't considered and won't sort of put in
If he fails to convince them then potentially yes this could mean that Boris Johnson and he does have an interest about coming back and being
Prime Minister again. If he was to fail here that would be a serious, serious political blow.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is on the story, has been from the start. Nic, thank you! It's just before half past seven here in the UAE; you're
watching CONNECT THE WORLD live from Abu Dhabi. Still ahead missiles had a residential area in the City of Zaporizhzhia, while Ukraine says these
strikes deliberately target civilians.
And in the face of carnage like that which we saw in Zaporizhzhia, the U.S. speeding up plans to deliver some weapons to Ukraine we're live from the
Pentagon with the latest on the timeframe and what is set to be delivered.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. Time is half past seven in Abu Dhabi. Let's get you the very latest on
Ukraine now on a deadly missile attack on a residential building complex in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia. Have a look at this. This is the moment
to missile struck a residential building there.
The Ukraine prosecutor's office says half a dozen Russian missiles struck with city. Officials say at least one person was killed at least 32 others
were wounded including kids. A senior Ukrainian official is calling the attack a deliberate strike on civilians. Well for more, let's get you Oren
Liebermann; he's standing by at the Pentagon.
First, I want to get you to the ground. David McKenzie is in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa. And these latest strikes, David, a reminder
of the ruthlessness that Russia has shown on Ukraine. Just explain anything further that we have at this point. What is the detail?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, these devastating strikes, which are caught on this video shared by the Ukrainian
president of a missile striking into the corner of a nine-storey residential building in Zaporizhzhia, yet very far from the front lines but
not out of reach of Russian missile systems.
At least six missiles were struck in the area according to Ukrainian officials; they've been desperately trying to pull people out of the rubble
of that strike. Many are injured more than 20 at least one day, but I fear that could change. Ukrainian says it was deliberate strike on the civilians
there. It's impossible for us to verify it.
But it is part of a pattern of ongoing daily near daily attacks that land up in civilian areas. Also, seven people killed in Kyiv, from UAVs, drone
striking that part of the region. And we were in Kherson close to the frontlines with the Russians over the last two days.
And you hear the incoming fire on a frequent basis. Just in the city of Kherson yesterday, there were several strikes on residential areas, say
Ukrainian. So, this is part of a terrorizing pattern that shows no signs of abating many months into this wall.
ANDERSON: David's on the ground in Odessa. Let me get you stateside to the Pentagon where Oren Liebermann is standing by. Because the U.S. then has
now promised to send more weapons more quickly, patriot missiles and Abraham's tanks. How significant is this news? And has there been any
response from Moscow to this latest news?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: These are two very significant systems; the M1 Abrams tank would be one of the most advanced tanks that
the Ukrainians would end up getting. If you remember back to the original plan, it was for the U.S. to send what's known as the M1-A2, one of the
more advanced versions of the Abrams tank. But that would have taken more than a year.
Instead, the Pentagon has shifted course and said that it will send older M1-A1 Abrams tank, so not as new on that technology. It doesn't have for
example, the digital targeting system of the M1-A2, but it is still a very capable tank. And that decision to send the older models after they're
refurbished will allow them to get to Ukraine by fall 2023.
So not nearly as immediate as some of the other European countries we're seeing send in tanks essentially. Now we're in the next few weeks, but
still a huge acceleration over the previous timeline. On top of that, perhaps even a more significant system, the patriot missile system, a
complex advanced air defense system that will basically provide a long range dome over parts of Ukraine.
That too was supposed to take a year or more of training. Instead, we've learned that because of Ukrainian essentially proficiency with air defenses
and all the practice they're getting after just hearing David McKenzie there, they were able to learn this system within just a couple of months
essentially. And the patriot systems might begin arriving in Ukraine within several weeks.
So that's much faster. Now Becky, we haven't seen specific responses from the Kremlin from Russia, from the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov to
these two specific systems. But in general, the Russians have been keeping up their bluster their warnings and their threats. And I'll give a
In this case, after the encounter between the Russian fighter jets and the U.S drone over the northern Black Sea that ended up Downing, the U.S. drone
following a collision there, Russia essentially expanding its threats and saying these are viewed as a danger and Russia gave its warning to stay
So, we're seeing that sort of similar language, those sorts of similar threats coming from Russia, just given the general environment now that
environment remains tense between Washington and Moscow.
ANDERSON: To both, thank you. More helpful so coming to Ukraine from the International Monetary Fund, which has announced that it has reached an
agreement to supply Ukraine with a financial loan package of $15.6 billion, 15 and a half billion dollars.
The IMF says the package aims to support Ukraine's recoveries so Russia's invasion "continues to have a devastating impact on the economy". Well,
let's get you some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And authorities are warning the death toll from a strong earthquake in
Afghanistan could rise as rescue teams reach remote villages.
13 people are confirmed dead in Afghanistan and in Pakistan to say 6.5 magnitude quake toppled buildings and set of landslides in some areas. U.S.
Secretary of State is condemning new, harsh anti-LGBTQ legislation in Uganda. A bill passed by lawmakers on Tuesday calls for stiff prison
sentences for those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and even the death penalty for some offenses.
Antony Blinken says if implemented, it would undermine human rights and reverse gains in the fight against HIV AIDS. Air pollution is now at
hazardous levels in Beijing and several Northern Provinces in China after a severe sandstorm. The dust so thick, it has sent the air pollution index
off the chart whether authorities urging people not to go outdoors for exercise or other activities.
Well, protests and clashes erupted in Nantes, in France last night over the government's new pension law. French unions have called for a ninth
nationwide strike against the pension reform on Thursday. French President Emmanuel Macron continues to make the case for rising the age from 62 to
64. He said the pension bill should be enacted by the end of the year. He also had this to say about the ongoing demonstrations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: We will not tolerate any flare ups; we will make sure that life can be as normal as possible in spite of those who
are blocking normal life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson, wherever you are watching, you are more than welcome, still to come on this show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN COX, ACTOR: I'm playing a leading role in the best series in television. I mean, it doesn't get better than that. I mean, why what's not
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: My chat with succession star Brian Cox on what it is like to play Logan Roy, that more a wide ranging discussion that one. And slay the
inflation dragon without scorching the banking system. Well, that is a tall order facing the U.S. Federal Reserve. We'll preview what the Fed could
decide on rates a little later in this show.
ANDERSON: This weekend we will see the beginning of the end of Logan Roy, the HBO series succession will kick off its fourth and final season on
Sunday. The show's leading man Brian Cox was here in Dubai recently in the UAE to promote his book "Putting the Rabbit in the Hat". In it he writes,
"I would challenge oceans in pursuit of the reason why, why be an actor. And on occasion he said I would get severely drenched".
But after decades of mostly supporting roles or smaller projects, it is his work as Logan Roy in succession that has vaulted Cox into the A list
spotlight complete with multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
While I sat down with him for a wide-ranging conversation from what it is like to play Logan Roy in that award winning TV series to growing up in the
Scottish town of Dundee.
COX: I tried to do people turn against me. I'm 100 feet tall.
ANDERSON (on camera): You've said it can be almost distressingly easy to play Logan Roy.
COX: Oh, yes.
ANDERSON (on camera): Your character in the HBO series succession. You've said if Logan met me, he wouldn't stand me for two minutes. Just explain
where we're at with Logan.
COX: Logan is a man of very few words. And I am not a man of very few words. In fact, I use far as you can witness them now. I use far too many
words, which not always. But it's also because you know I'm in love with language. Logan is a misanthrope. He's, he's really unhappy man. And his
problems with it would be much easier if he didn't love his children. That's his problem. That's his Achilles heel if he loves his children.
So that's always been the difficulty of dealing with these children who are. And it's again, it's an --it's such a reflection on our life at the
moment. That sense of entitlement those kids have. Logan doesn't feel that because for Logan, and this is what's so important when people go in and
compare it to it's like, in there like the Murdaugh.
So, they're like the Trumps or like the black family. And you know the big difference between Logan and all those guys is he's self-made. He didn't
inherit anything. It all came from nothing. And it came through this illusion. And so, I see his background as one of much tremendous
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we consider at least a call. Was he apologizing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or did he ask?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, if you heard a call, then I guess we would see.
ANDERSON (on camera): I don't think you're going to tell me what's going to happen in series four. But everybody wants to know. So, what happens to
Brian Cox in series four?
COX: Oh, I go on, you know, it just continues on in my, in my misanthropic self, dealing with the fallout of Episode Three when I told them to make
their own effing pile as well, is my last--
ANDERSON (on camera): Is that falls normally that you say. But -
COX: But I do say make your own effing pile. So that's, you know where we've got. And there are a lot of ramifications from that. And season four,
we'll deal with those ramifications. And that's all I can say on that subject because I have sound endless.
ANDERSON (on camera): Are we going to love it?
COX: I think you will love it. I think you will love it. I think you know, I think it's going to be extremely surprising and probably quite excited.
ANDERSON (on camera): Do you love it?
COX: I've always loved it. And let's face it. I'm playing a leading role in the best series in television. I mean, it doesn't get better than that. I
mean, what's there not to love? You know, I mean, it's been a great opportunity for me. And my age, you know, I mean, I've been and when people
used to say, you know, Brian, it'll be the long haul for you. They used to say that to me, that was the older - it's going to be the long --. I didn't
know it's going to be this long.
ANDERSON (on camera): Born and brought up in the tough working-class environment of what was then Dundee continues to be a fantastic but tough
city. How did you get out of Dundee and get into the acting which of course took you down to London as a youngster?
COX: I just think I was very blessed in the sense that I, right from childhood; I had a vision clearly of what I wanted to do. I didn't know
what it was, but I remember it was to do with I remember when you hear - when we all used to get together. My father was a great, he was a quiet
man, but he created a sort of social center for people to come to.
And particularly in New Year, it will come in and songs will be sung, and my sister may who's a tremendous singer would sing one o'clock in the
morning. And I just remember the feeling in the room. I remember how the room transformed, there was this kind of harmony, and it never left me.
And I thought, what is that? And then of course, when I fell in over that and, and going to the cinema and seeing what was going on in the cinema. I
thought this is what I want to do. It was a kind of, I mean that I got that sensation from the age of four, three or four.
ANDERSON (on camera): Spiky, opinionated and inspiring. That is how your memoir has been described by one reviewer.
COX: What was your first spiky?
ANDERSON (on camera): Spiky, opinionated and inspiring.
COX: That sounds like me. Well, I'm not sure about the inspiring, certainly spiky and opinionated.
ANDERSON (on camera): I did wonder whether that was a fair description of the character that is Brian Cox.
COX: I am spiky. And I am over the years; I have become quite opinionated, especially the state of the dreadful state of our world at the moment,
which is, can only give way to opinion, quite frankly.
ANDERSON (on camera): I do want to start with the inspiring because the memoir, "Pushing the Rabbit in the Hat" has been a real inspiration for
people. What inspired you to write it, Brian?
COX: Well, my thing was my parents, that was the most important that was really the initial motivator. Because, you know, my parents had a rough
time. Both my dad died far too young, he was 51. And he died within three weeks of his diagnosis. And he left us with a pile of poop, you know which
his fault was not altogether, because he was in the middle of something and he died.
And he left nothing in the bank and the businesses all finally packed up. And my poor Ma, who had been along with my dad for years and years and
years by his, because he was very charitable, my father, and he was sort of a menu answers for the whole community.
And we get the amazing stuff. I mean, really amazing stuff. I mean, I remember we he organized in our back green, he organized in 1953 coronation
party. God knows why, I mean, looking back, and now it's a pointless venture, but he created the sense of community. I know it's sad for me
going back at them recently, because of that sense of community has gone, you know, and it's become so depersonalized now.
ANDERSON (on camera): Was a tough environment sent to me that--
COX: When I was a kid, we all had our names on the front door. So, every family the Robbie's the Brody's is now, I mean, people have become so
battered over the years that they have, their sense of identity has been taken away from them. And I think it's something that, you know when I was
doing this program about poverty, the main thing that people had the terrible thing about food bags, for example, is it takes away dignity.
And human beings need they require a little bit of dignity, a little bit of sense of who they are, and that they have some purpose. You take that away
and you really defeat people.
ANDERSON (on camera): Let me ask at this point, what do you make of British and more specifically, Scottish politics today?
COX: Well, I'm hopeful that we will get through it and I'm hopeful we will get underpayments, but see I don't just see it in terms of independence of
Scotland. I see it's also independence of England, because I think England has as many problems, if not more problems, because certainly the North has
always been treated like the poor relation.
But I'd like to see the disbandment of the United Kingdom and how the United Federation, so we're all on equal footing with one another. So, we
share because you can't, you can look at the map and you look at the islands, we are tight knit Island community. But we need much more equity
in that, and that's what I'm, that's what I'm hoping for. That's what I hope that we could get.
ANDERSON: Looming interest rate decisions global banking fears now a surprise jump in UK inflation. The official numbers telling the story the
British Consumer Price Index unexpectedly rose to 10.4 percent in February pushed up by higher food and drink prices now that comes one day before the
Bank of England decides on its interest rates.
Another important inflation number, the U.S. CPI as it's known it's up 0.4 percent for February. That is very different from June's big spike, but no
one the Fed will no doubt be assessing before its high stakes rates announcement a couple of hours from now.
The U.S. central bank is in a tight spot. It is trying to balance fighting inflation with maintaining the safety and security of the banking system.
Well, here is how Wall Street and the European markets are doing. And Wall Street's it's sort of lacking confidence today. It's been up and down in
and out of positive territory.
And it's just dipped down at present not to suggest that people are selling off this market big time, because they're not. But they are just really
treading water with a sort of slight sense of pessimism; it seems ahead of that rate decision. The NASDAQ and the S&P are higher only just.
And then again, you've got sort of marginal gains across these European markets, the footsie specifically of course with the potential of a further
rate rise at supporting the currency Sterling, the British pound that market looking OK-ish today.
Let's bring in CNN's Rahel Solomon live from New York. And I'm sort of I can even hear myself sort of doing the issue around, you know, these
markets because I think they are feeling just a little bit ish, aren't they? They don't really know what's going on at present. And it is all
about what we hear from the not just the UK, of course, but the Fed ahead of that later today. And what they say about what their expectations are
going forward, right.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think to your point, what we need right now is a confidence boost, right? And the question is, can
Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve sort of strike this perfect balance between we still have our eye on inflation, however, we know that we have
created some financial instability, we know that there is some financial instability and we are watching that too.
And so, the question is, can they deliver that message of confidence, and also essentially walk and chew at the same time. So, expectations heading
into this meeting, we will hear from the Federal Reserve in two and a half hours, but we'll get that right decision in almost exactly two hours. It's
about 12 pm eastern.
So yes, exactly two hours now expectations are largely for another quarter of a percent rate hike. Nine out of ten traders essentially expecting that
and so, you could argue that we don't necessarily want any major surprises from Jay Powell. But messaging will also be key here.
Can he be clear about the fact that they know that there is a lot of uncertainty right now in the markets, and some would argue that what we're
seeing in the markets is essentially equivalent to a rate hike. And so, I think messaging will be most important here perhaps the most important
meeting of the Feds most recent rate hiking cycle since March of last year.
ANDERSON: Yes, thank you always a pleasure! Well, the sun is set here in Abu Dhabi, where I am, which officially marks the start of Ramadan in the
UAE and across much of the Islamic world. This is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Muslims will be fasting sun up to sun down for the month, known to be a period of spirituality. Many Muslims will try to read the entire Quran
before the end of the holy month while prayers that only take place during Ramadan such as the Taraweeh will echo from mosque minarets every night.
And beyond spirituality, Ramadan is also a time of togetherness, families, friends, and strangers will often get together for Iftar, the name of the
meal that breaks their fast. And if you live in a Muslim country, you will know that Ramadan has arrived by the abundance of celebratory light
displays across cities and streets.
So, from our family here at CNN to yours, wherever you're watching in the world, we wish Muslims around the world a Ramadan Kareem, well up next here