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Fareed Zakaria GPS

Interview with Tony Blair; The Future of Mobile Technology; Interview with Aaron Sorkin; Laurent Gbagbo Acquited by ICC. Aired 10- 11a ET

Aired January 20, 2019 - 10:00   ET


[10:00:02] TAPPER: Thank you so much for spending your Sunday with us, and our great panel and our amazing guests. "FAREED ZAKARIA" starts right now.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

Today on the show, the Brexit hangover. Two and a half years ago the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union. This week, the House of Commons voted down Prime Minister May's plan to do just that. So what happens now?

I have a very special guest to talk about it all, Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom.

And a look at race in the America as the nation prepares to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. Aaron Sorkin has spent the last three years turning the beloved and racially charged novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" into a Broadway sensation. I'll ask Sorkin what that great American novel can teach us about race and tolerance.

But first here's my take. As we watch Britain go through the paroxysms relating to Brexit, it's easy to view the decision that depart the European Union as an act of foolishness, a self-inflicted wound that will impoverish Britons for years to come. Europe is after all Britain's largest market, taking in almost half of the country's exports. Losing special access to it is a high price to pay for some symbolic gains in sovereignty.

But the Brexit debacle also shines a light on Europe itself, and what one sees is a continent and a political project that have stopped working. At least for many of the people at its Western European core.

I say this as an ardent supporter of the European Union. The U.S. and the E.U. have been the two main engines behind a world based on open markets, democratic politics, liberty and law, human rights, and global welfare. These values will likely be eroded worldwide if the strength and purpose of either of these centers wanes.

But for the last three decades, the European project has wandered off course. What began as a community of nations cooperating to create larger markets, greater efficiency, more political stability, became obsessed with two massive issues that have undermined its central achievements.

The first was perhaps inevitable in the wake of Soviet Union's collapse. The rapid integration of a vast number of new countries that were at a very different stage of economic and social development as the E.U.'s core countries. Since 1993, the European Union has expanded from 12 countries to 28. While proud of this period Europe was mostly concerned with opening up markets, streamlining regulations, creating new growth opportunities, it now became a transfer union, a vast scheme to redistribute funds from prosperous countries to emerging markets.

Even in today's strong economy, E.U. funds account for more than 3 percent of Hungary's economy and almost 4 percent of Lithuania's. This gap between a rich and poor Europe with open borders inevitably produced a migration crisis. For example, as Matthias Matthijs points out in "Foreign Affairs," from 2004 to 2014, about 2 million Poles migrated to the U.K. and Germany, and about 2 million Romanians moved to Italy and Spain. These movements put massive strains on the safety nets of destination countries and provoked rising nationalism and nativism.

The influx into Europe of more than a million refugees in 2015, mostly from the Middle East, must therefore be placed in the context of these already sky-high migrant numbers. And as can be seen almost everywhere, from the U.S. to Austria, fears of immigration are the rocket fuel for right-wing nationalists, who then discredit the political establishment that they deem responsible for these unchecked flows.

The second challenge consuming the E.U. has been its currency, the euro. Launched more with politics than economics in mind, the euro has embodied a deep structural flaw. It forces a unified monetary system on 19 countries that continue to have vastly different fiscal systems. That means when a recession hits, countries have few tools at their disposal.

Brexit should force Britons to think hard about their place in the world and make the adjustments that will allow them to prosper. But it should also cause all Europeans to take stock of their project, a great idea that has gone awry. The European Union needs more than tinkering. It needs to return to first principles, find its central purpose, and question what aspects of its current system are not working, not affordable or not manageable.

[10:05:12] Europe is foundering. While some Americans seem to delight in this prospect, it is in fact bad for America. Bad for its interests, bad for its values.

For more go to and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

Let's now focus in on Brexit and its implications. We have a special guest, Tony Blair. Mr. Blair served for more than 10 years as prime minister of the United Kingdom. He has been an outspoken critic of the idea of a British exit. He joins me now from London.

Tony, pleasure to have you on.


ZAKARIA: From the start you've been opposed to Brexit and you have been, once it happened, in favor of a second referendum. So let me ask you just at the fundamental level, your case for it because it does seem to subvert the democratic process, doesn't it? It's -- the electorate had a chance to vote on Brexit and there wasn't meant to be a do-over.

BLAIR: No. That's absolutely correct. But I think what's happened is we've had 30 months of negotiation. The deal the government has been presented has been voted down heavily. Parliament is gridlocked. It's not clear that there's any version of Brexit that's going to command the majority. There are many different versions of Brexit. And frankly, our knowledge of what Brexit really means has been vastly enlarged in the last 30 months.

So I don't think it's unreasonable in those circumstances to take this back for final resolution to the British people. I mean, we're not -- we're not asking anyone else what their view is. We're asking the British people. And I think given everything that's happened, given the circumstances we're in, that's not unreasonable. So that's the case if you like for a second referendum. And right now, probably the reason the support there in parliament for that either.

On the other hand, there's no support for a proper Brexit proposition. And there's no support for exiting without a deal. So I think as this goes on, it's more likely, finally, that people come around to the fact that in the end of this gridlock in parliament, you've got to put it back to the people.

ZAKARIA: And you've argued that there really isn't a kind of soft Brexit or you can't fudge the issue. That either you are in Europe or you are out.

BLAIR: Yes. Here's the essential problem. In one sense this negotiation has never been a negotiation in the conventional sense. It's really a choice. And the choice is between a Brexit that keeps you tied to Europe's trading system because we've spent 4 and 1/2 decades in Europe. We've been part of the single market, part of the customs union, a whole series of commercial investment, trading relationships have grown up on the basis. We're part of that unique European system.

You either stay close to that in which case you're going to keep to Europe's rules, in which case people say, well, why are you then doing this Brexit? That's what I call the pointless Brexit, or alternatively, you say no, we're going to make our own rules, we're going to break free from Europe altogether, but in which case it's going to cause us at least short term and properly medium and possibly long-term economic damage. And that's the painful Brexit.

So the problem that you have isn't -- and the negotiation, by the way, over these last 30 months has been the attempt by the prime minister and the government to find a way of having our cake and eating it, of being part of the European trading system without keeping to its rules. That was never going to be possible. That's finally become apparent. And so you've got this situation where you either choose a Brexit that's pointless or one that's painful. And that's the problem. Because parliament doesn't find either of those two alternatives palatable.

ZAKARIA: What do you say to people, though, who feel like they are enmeshed in a system over which they don't have much control in the European Union and particularly involving migration, which it seems to me has been the core issue for the populism fueling Brexit, you know, and the Western world in general? And the way they look at it, you know -- you know the numbers. I think 2 million or 3 million people from poorer countries in Europe moved into places like Britain and Germany. This was before 2015 when you then had a million Middle Eastern refugees come in. And they look at all this and they say, look, this is too much, it's too uncontrolled. And if that's what it means to be part of this European Union, we need to reassert sovereignty.

BLAIR: Yes. So you're absolutely right. I mean, the thing that's driving Brexit and deep driving political convulsions all over Europe is this issue to do with migration, identity. These are big issues everywhere in the world today.

[10:10:04] So my ideal situation is a situation where Britain thinks again but Europe also thinks again. Over these last 30 months we in Britain have seen, you know, what the difficulties and complexities of Brexit are. But frankly, the rest of Europe has seen its own politics turned upside down all over Europe. The Italian elections, what's happened in Hungary, what's happening in France, in Germany. All over Europe the same issue.

So the sensible thing is for Europe to take the strong measures necessary on to control the migration problem properly, including within Europe. We have a freedom of movement principle, which is a very sensible principle. And it's a principle, by the way, most people welcome because you can move around Europe very easily, you can go work in different country. People get that.

The problem is when you get large flows of migration or you get the undercutting of wages by people importing cheaper labor in from other parts of Europe. But these are problems you can deal with within the freedom of movement principle. So my ideal situation is where Britain remains in Europe but Europe also reforms.

I don't know whether that's possible but I certainly think it should be one of the options on the table. And, you know, in the end there are problems of course with Europe. I always say to people that there are going to be enormous problems whenever you try and get a whole group of independent nations working together in a formal, political structure. But none of these problems are reasons for breaking up Europe.

You know, what influences me when I look at the world today is I see every month further evidence that power can shift east. You've got the rise of China. China is going to become an even more powerful country in time to come. Its population is double the size of the entire European Union put together. You know, when you look at -- actually three times the size.

When you look at it, in the world that's developing, you know, medium- sized nations like Britain, like Germany, like France, are going to have to band together in order to keep their influence and interests alive in the world. And their values, by the way. So there are big geopolitical reasons, not just economic reasons for keeping Europe today. But Europe would be sensible if it also takes measures of reform. So this is where I think the politics can go. I hope it can go in that direction.

ZAKARIA: Don't go away. More with Tony Blair when we come back. We'll also ask him to look across the channel at what is going on in Europe. Do the protests in France, the weakness of Angela Merkel signal real trouble there as well?

We'll come back in a moment.


[10:16:57] ZAKARIA: I am back now with Tony Blair who joins us from the offices of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in London.

You've said, Tony, that you think that the Europeans should almost help Britain not Brexit. They should speak out. What do you think about the Americans? It has been historically American policy to support a unified Europe because there was a feeling this was the other great center of, you know, the rule of law and values like human rights and open trade and open politics. But the Trump administration, certainly Donald Trump, has open openly cheered Brexit.

BLAIR: Yes, so the debate I often have with people in the United States is that if you think the big challenges we're going to face are, you know, how we deal with the fact that by the middle of the century you're going to live in a multi-polar world where the power of China is very significant and large, alongside the power of America. You have India as well. You could have three super powers by the middle of the century.

In those circumstances the West should stay united and Europe should stand alongside America because in the end, whatever our differences, there are interests we have in common. And most important, there are values we have in common. You know, we're countries that believe in democracy and freedom and the rule of law. These are important values in a world where one of the other centers of power, China, is going, in a sense, to be challenging not just for power but also offering a different system of government.

In those circumstances, the poor Britain, that is traditionally being the country that if you like, bridges Atlantic most easily, the poor Britain out of Europe it's damaging for America. It's not just damaging for Europe and I would say damaging for Britain, too. So all of these issues to do with independent nations wanting to assert their identity. We've got to resolve those without breaking up that essential structure of the European Union that allows Europe to be untied and to be a key ally of the United States of America.

This is my -- this is my way of looking at the world because otherwise we're going to find as this century progresses and my children and grandchildren work out where they stand in the world, the West is going to be weaker. And that's bad for them, bad for all of us.

ZAKARIA: When you look at what is going on in France, does it -- how much does it dishearten you? Here was Macron who was seen as the one centrist reformist figure who was able to in this age of populism get elected, thrive, institute reforms, passionately pro-European, and his presidency seems crippled. What happened?

BLAIR: Well, I wouldn't, you know, as it were, write off President Macron yet. Look, he's making reforms that are difficult. And anyone who's ever been in office and tried to make reform knows it's the hardest thing to do because what you find is that everyone is in favor of reform in general but when it comes to particular reforms you get a lot of opposition.

[10:20:05] So he's got opposition now. But I personally think what he's trying to do for France is right. You know, all over the Western world today, people are struggling with the fact the world's changing fast. We're going to have a digital and technology revolution in my view is the single biggest challenge that policy makers are going to face over the next 10, 15 years and, you know, we're going to struggle with this and political leaders are going to struggle but the art of political leadership is to be able to go through the opposition and come out the other side with your reform intact. And I hope he does that. But wherever you look in the Western world today, you know, you see tension and difficulty.

ZAKARIA: And what about Angela Merkel? Do you think in retrospect her biggest mistake was to let in those large number of refugees in 2015 that without that she would still be secure, stable, popular?

BLAIR: Look, I think, you know, she's been chancellor for a long period of time. And I think the refugee issue was a real problem and probably impacted her politics, indeed, our politics, but she did it for extremely good motives and good intentions. You know, we've got -- we've got a deeper problem, which is that as the world changes and as you get these big migratory flows some people worry about their communities changing, they worry about whether they can maintain their own sense of traditional identity.

And you've got to be sensitive to those questions so you need to manage that. And the thing about immigration that I learned in office is that immigration produces energy, vitality. It's actually a good thing for a country like Britain. But people need to know there are rules around it, there are controls. And if you don't have rules, you end up with prejudices. So this is why it's important when you're fashioning your immigration policy, people have got to know that at the same time as your accessing the benefits of immigration, you're also putting some structure around it that means they can keep control of it.

And particularly, frankly, when you're getting larger numbers of refugees or migrants from majority Muslim countries, people then worry -- do people come in and share our values, you've got to be sensitive to it. Now that's not to say you've become anti-immigrant but if you don't deal with these pressures, that's what then fuels the sentiment on the far right.

ZAKARIA: Always a pleasure to have you on, Tony Blair. Thank you so much for joining us on this important occasion.

BLAIR: Thank you.

ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, if you haven't heard the term 5G, you will soon. It is the new cellular technology that promises lightning fast connectivity for your cell phone. But depending on what company becomes dominant in it, might a hostile foreign government have the potential to see and hear everything you do? We'll tell you when we come back.


[10:26:54] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment.

Lately you might have noticed a new battle front between some Western countries and China. This month Polish authorities arrested an executive of the Chinese tech company Huawei for spying. Before that Canadian authorities arrested Huawei's CFO at the Vancouver Airport at the request of the U.S. China has since detained several Canadians on so-called national security offenses, accused Canada of white supremacy and sentenced a Canadian prisoner in China to death.

What in the world is going on?

Well, behind the headlines, this is a battle over who controls 5G, the next leap in mobile technology. It's difficult to overstate 5G's transformative potential. Its networks will be up to 100 times faster than today's. That means we will use our phones as the primary platforms to do everything, including watch video.

But the real transformation could come from industry. 5G will transfer so much data so fast, machines will be able to talk to each other on a grand scale. This could spur the growth of automated factors, smart cities, driverless cars. 5G will basically make machine learning and artificial intelligence a daily reality for everyone.

The U.S. government is well aware of this. According to Axios, a National Security Council official compared 5G to the invention of the Guttenberg Press. So you can understand why the two largest economies in the world want to dominate this field.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports that the U.S. is trying to convince its allies -- that includes Canada and Poland, of course -- to block Huawei from providing the tools that will power 5G. If Huawei, now the world's largest telecom equipment supplier provides the components of this new mobile architecture to America and its other allies, the American government worries the company would build a so-called backdoor inside its gear. That would allow Huawei to capture reams of data and send that data back to Beijing.

China has hacked into U.S. servers before. Think of "The New York Times" reporting on the Marriott breach to name a recent example. Now imagine that with far more data at play and with the Chinese company actually providing the gear.

Huawei, which is headed by the former People's Liberation Army engineer, Ren Zhengfei, is accused of using bribery and technology theft in its assent. U.S. prosecutors are reportedly conducting a criminal investigation against the company for stealing robot technology from T-Mobile, according to "The Wall Street Journal."

The company did not comment on the reports but denies previous allegations of wrongdoing, noting that a 2017 civil suit found no, quote, "willful and malicious conduct," end quote. Ren swears Huawei would never spy. "The New York Times'" David Sanger says that so far there is no hard proof that it has.

Yet the U.S., Australia, New Zealand have all effectively banned Huawei from 5G supply chains. Other allies remain wary. There are solutions other than bans. Take the U.K., a November report from the Eurasia Group notes that the government set up an inspection center run jointly by British counterintelligence and Huawei that laboriously tests hardware and software for threats and vulnerabilities.

Now, this kind of inspection process may slow down the adoption of 5G, but perhaps that is for the best. The reams of data that 5G unleashes on the global networks will be vulnerable. We need better controls around the mountains of data that we are piling up every minute. If data is the heart of the digital economy, it will need better protection from any source.

Next on "GPS," Aaron Sorkin on turning one of America's most beloved novels into a play and what light "To Kill a Mockingbird" sheds on race in America today.


ZAKARIA: On February 1, 1960, four college students made history in a Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina. The young men, all African- Americans, sat down at a whites-only lunch counter and refused when they were asked to leave. That was the beginning of the sit-in movement. That same summer, a few states away in Monroeville, Alabama, a then-unknown writer named Harper Lee was getting ready for the publication of her debut novel, a book that delved deeply into the American South, race and justice. On July 11, 1960, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was released to the public. The following year Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for the book. And according to her publisher, the book has now been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. In 1962 the book was turned into a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, the small-town lawyer defending an African-American accused of rape.


GREGORY PECK, ACTOR: Is this the man who raped you?

COLLIN WILCOX, ACTOR: It most certainly is.


ZAKARIA: So, after all that acclaim, how do you write a new version of the story for the Broadway stage?

Well, that was the tough assignment that fell in the lap of the highly acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin. His three-year labor of love is open now on Broadway. The play is a huge success, playing nightly to sold- out crowds and standing ovations. I asked Sorkin to join me to talk about the play and what it says about race in America today, as the nation prepares to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'S birthday.


ZAKARIA: Aaron Sorkin, pleasure to have you on.

SORKIN: Great to be here.

ZAKARIA: So why do you think "To Kill a Mockingbird" has become this, sort of, totemic book that every American high school -- high schooler reads? Is there something about the quality of the prose, the subject matter, what?

SORKIN: It's -- for most American high schoolers -- and we read it in seventh, eighth, ninth grade -- I should say for most white American high schoolers, it's our first introduction to -- to injustice, to racism. It's the first time the hero wears glasses. It's the first time that things don't work out the way they're supposed to. And The way Harper Lee wrote the novel through the eyes of a child, it's a nice way in for us. And we all read it together.

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about the challenge of taking this cherished, iconic novel, turning it into a play. There are two parts I want to -- first of all, just at the skill of a writer, what you did in terms of what you did in terms of moving the trial to the start of the play is really extraordinary because the first third of the book is this invocation life in the South. And you cut to the chase right away.

SORKIN: Yeah. My first draft of the play wasn't very good. My first draft of the play was, kind of, an attempt to swaddle the book in bubble wrap and gently transfer it to the stage. It was a greatest hits album done by a cover band. And after getting a very few smart notes from our producer, Scott Rudin, I threw that draft out and I threw the attitude out as well that this should be an exercise in nostalgia or a museum piece or an homage to a book we all loved. And I was going to write a new play. You did need to get to the trial faster. So, I thread the trial throughout the story.

ZAKARIA: In doing all this, you ran afoul of the literary estate of Harper Lee, which is now -- there's now a court case going on which hinges on whether you've been true to the spirit of the book. In fact, Harper Lee approved of you, personally, as the author of the play. And then the issue is, you had to stay true to the spirit of the book. So, is the idea that a judge is going to watch the play and determine whether or not this is true?


SORKIN: Well, first of all, fortunately, that's all been settled. There's no court case anymore. But you're right, not harper lee but the harper lee estate. Harper Lee passed away about three years ago. The Harper Lee estate got a hold of an early draft of the play. They were not -- there's no "they." A woman who runs the Harper Lee estate was not a fan of what I had done and sued claiming that, as you said, that I had departed from the spirit of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The curious part of me wanted to see the case go to court so that a federal judge could define what the spirit of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is.


There's -- I don't think there's a legal definition and there's no literary definition of that either, and to see the case go to court so that a federal judge could define what the spirit of "To Kill a Mockingbird" is. I don't think there's a legal definition and no literary definition of that either and...


ZAKARIA: You remember Potter's -- the Supreme Court justice's famous line about pornography. He said, "I can't define it..."

SORKIN: "But I know it when I see it."


ZAKARIA: ... "I know it when I see it."

SORKIN: Yeah. And perhaps this judge would have resorted to that. But I think what audiences are finding now -- and we've had a month and a half of previews and we've been running for about a month is that, while it is something new; while this play is new, it -- it very much embodies the spirit of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

But what the federal judge was going to need to do in the Southern District was -- you know, there was a complaint letter with, I think, about 80 examples of moments from the play where the estate was saying, "Atticus would never say this; Atticus would never do this." And so a judge was going to have to decide what fictional characters would and wouldn't do. And I just can't imagine that a judge would do that.

And we had offered to perform the play for the judge in his courtroom. And we had -- there was an opportunity to get into the record books as the first play to close on opening night in the New York's Southern District.

ZAKARIA: And talk about the issues of race. I mean, you're dealing with a situation in which -- I mean, I talked about the play to my son, who's in college. And I was saying how I thought it was terrific and that my guess is this will be performed all over the country in colleges.

And he said, "Well, colleges will find it difficult because using the 'N' word in college is so taboo that even in the historical context, it will be impossible."

SORKIN: Well, there's liberal use of the "N" word in the play, as there is in "Tom Sawyer."

ZAKARIA: And in the book.

SORKIN: And in Harper Lee's book. And so I would just say to these college students what I say to my own kid, is that there are words that are OK on a movie screen or on a stage that absolutely aren't OK in life, and...

ZAKARIA: And it's historically accurate because that is how people spoke at that time.

SORKIN: It's historically accurate, but more important, it's -- it's crucial we see the casual cruelty that was going on, that people are using the word; they're using the word in front of African-Americans and using it very -- using it very casually. And it's important that they see that. So I hope that those college students that you're describing do the play and discuss what we're discussing.


ZAKARIA: Up next, for seven years, President Josiah Bartlet sat in the Oval Office presiding over America. The fictional commander in chief was much loved, mostly because Aaron Sorkin wrote him that way.


MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: This is a time for American heroes, and we reach for the stars.


ZAKARIA: So what is Sorkin's take on our current nonfictional president and the words that come out of his mouth? Sorkin on Trump, when we come back.


ZAKARIA: We're back now with more of my interview with Aaron Sorkin, the winner of an Oscar and many Emmys and the creator of such hits as "A Few Good Men," "Sports Night," "The West Wing," "The News Room" and more. He has a new hit production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway.


ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about the nature of political rhetoric. You are famously known from "The West Wing," from, you know, "A Few Good Men" -- you have this very dramatic, eloquent style of writing. You impute to political characters a certain kind of eloquence. What do you make of the rhetoric of Donald Trump?

And what does it say about where we are today?

SORKIN: You know, I'm not sure I can add anything to the conversation that hasn't been already said about the rhetoric of Donald Trump. It -- without question, it doesn't come close to rising to the level of what someone in the Oval Office should be saying and how they should be saying it. The president also -- we don't have a monarch. The president is the closest we get. They -- they are the voice and face of this country, and it's what has so many of us depressed that that is the voice of this country.

ZAKARIA: But how do you respond to people who say -- to him who -- he says, "Look, I'm not -- you know, I'm the modern president; I'm speaking in this colloquial way because that's how people out there speak." You know, and he seems to have gotten through because of a certain amount of that, "I'm not going to have the facade; I'm going to speak like a normal person."

SORKIN: OK, well, first of all, that's not how people out there speak. There are cruddy people out there and I guess that's how they speak. But that is a real put-down of the people he claims to represent, that they speak, act and think that way.

Second, it is not the role of the president to stoop to the lowest common denominator and try to represent that. It is the role of the president to try to elevate us all. And we have had presidents, both Republican and Democrat, who have been fantastic at doing that, who can put a lump in our throat, who can give us goose bumps and who can appeal to the better angels in our nature.

Donald Trump appeals to the very worst in the worst of us. And it's not a strategy and it's not a philosophy. It's just the best he can do. That -- that is who he is.

ZAKARIA: But let me ask you about what he does do. The way I would think about it is, he appeals more to people's cultural anxieties and points them at an enemy they can talk about. It's, you know, Chinese people, Mexicans, Muslims.


ZAKARIA: And one thing lots of social science research now has shown is that emotional rhetoric works a lot better than analytical rhetoric, that people vote from their gut rather than from their brain. How should Democrats -- what is the emotional -- what is the way Democrats do -- I mean, I think Democrats answer often by having a 20-point program that was approved by...

SORKIN: I know.

ZAKARIA: ... the Brookings Institute, which is very sensible, but it's not going to move people.

SORKIN: No, it's not. But Barack Obama was able to move people and John F. Kennedy was and Bill Clinton was. You -- you can do it. You can make people understand that, you know, that there's more that unites us than divides us; we have nothing to fear but fear itself. You can, kind of, swat away the ridiculousness of some of the things we've been told to be scared of and paint a picture of a tomorrow that's better than yesterday.

Honestly, it's -- good speechwriters is what you need.


ZAKARIA: When you listen to Democrats, do you feel like they're speaking the way that they should? I mean, do you want to go in and -- and write speeches for some of them?

SORKIN: Well, there are better speechwriters than me, but when you say -- when I hear "Democrats," it depends which Democrat.

ZAKARIA: Tell us, who you like?

SORKIN: I'm not sure I want to do that. I like Kamala Harris a lot. I like Joe Biden a lot. I -- I really like the new crop of young people who were just elected to Congress. They now need to stop acting like young people. OK? It's time to do that.

You know, there's a -- I think that there's a great opportunity here, now more than ever, for Democrats to be the non-stupid party, to point out the difference, that we are -- that it's not just about transgender bathrooms. That's a Republican talking point they're trying to distract you with, that, you know, we are -- that we haven't forgotten the economic anxiety of the middle class, but we're going to be smart about this; we're not going to be mean about it, and that we can go back to being the America -- my father who passed away a few years ago fought in World War II. And he, like most people from his generation, from the Greatest Generation -- he doesn't tell a lot of war stories. You, kind of, have to pull it out of him. But he would talk about his unit going into a village in Europe and he could hear villagers say, "Thank God the Americans are here."

Now, people don't say that right now. And it's because of Donald Trump. We can go back to being the "Thank God the Americans are here" people. We can go back to being the people who, when exhausted, impoverished and terrified refugees with just the shirt on their back have made it to our border, we can go back to being the people who reach across and give them a hand and a hot meal and say, "Welcome to the new world." That's who we are. That's who we should be.

ZAKARIA: Aaron Sorkin, pleasure to have you on.

SORKIN: Thanks so much, Fareed.


ZAKARIA: And we will be back.


ZAKARIA: It was a rough week for prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in the Hague as judges ruled on one of its highest- profile cases. And it brings me to my question. The former president of which of these countries was acquitted of crimes against humanity charges by the ICC this week? Was it Cambodia, the Ivory Coast, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.

I don't have a book for you this week, but I want to tell you about one more way you can catch "GPS," on YouTube. You have to subscribe to YouTube TV to access episodes of the show, but you can also sign up for a free trial and watch "GPS" anywhere that you can watch YouTube. And don't forget, we are always on CNNgo.

The answer to the "GPS" challenge question is B. On Tuesday former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo, who stood accused of crimes against humanity, was cleared of all charges by the International Criminal Court. Gbagbo he was the first former head of state to be tried at the ICC, according to Human Rights Watch.

The charges stemmed from his alleged role in post-election violence that began when Gbagbo was defeated at the polls in 2010. He refused to concede to his election rival and 3,000 people were killed in the violence that ensued. In spite of 231 court dates dedicated to the presentation of prosecutor's evidence, including the testimony of 82 witnesses and the filing of thousands of documents, the court said the prosecutor failed to submit sufficient evidence to demonstrate the responsibility of Mr. Gbagbo.

With the acquittal, there are reports that Gbagbo is hoping to make a political comeback ahead of the 2020 Ivorian presidential elections. But for now, he is still locked up in the Hague, pending appeal.

Thank you for being part of my program this week, and I will see you next week.