tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN May 21, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT
hello, everyone, it's 1:00 on the east coast, 8:00 p.m. in riyadh, saudi arabia. we want to welcome our viewers in the u.s. and around the world. president trump on the world stage, condemning terrorists, challenge muslim nations to drive them out. >> it's a choice between two futures. and it is a choice america cannot make for you. a better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists, and drive out the extremists. drive them out. drive them out. of your places of worship.
drive them out of your communities. di drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this earth. >> the president also pledging today a partnership between the u.s. and muslim nations is battling extremist ideology. and at any moment, trump will deliver another message directed at millennial's and teens at a forum on twitter where he is expected to discuss how social media can counter violent extremist ideology online. jim acosta joining me now from riyadh where he is traveling with the president. so, jim, what should we expect from president trump in this twitter forum that will kick off at any moment? >> reporter: right, we're expecting the president to kick off this twitter forum in just a little while from now, he's going to be joined bier rex
tillerson and our own counter terrorism. he's going to be talking to young people in saudi arabia about their use of twitter and so on. no word yet on whether we'll get into trump's own twitter use from time to time. he will focus on how twitter and social media can be used to really foster extremism and terrorism in all parts of the world including the united states. so you'll hear the president get into some of that and talk about some of that at this forum. really the main event of the day is the speech he just gave to the muslim world here in riyadh, dozens of countries had their leaders listening in as the president did sort of an etch a sketch on his own rhetoric that you have heard from the president as a candidate in the past, whether it was his call for a traveler ban on muslims coming into the united states
during the campaign, or some of the other divisive rhetoric that you have heard from him throughout the campaign trail. you heard president trump describe islam as one of the world's great faiths but he is also calling on muslim and arab countries to stiffen their spine in the battle against terrorism. >> there is still much work to be done that, means honestly confronting the crisis of islamic extremism and the islamists and islamic terror of all kinds. we must stop what they're doing to inspire because they do nothing to inspire but kill. drive them out. drive them out. of your places of worship. driver them out of your communities. drive them out of your holy land.
and drive them out of this earth. >> now there's another part of this speech fredericka, where obviously you heard the president avoid using that term, radical islamic terrorism. that was something we were anticipating going into the speech, was he going to say it, was he not going to say it. in the end he did not. but he tiptoed right up to islamic terror, without using a phrase that obviously incites a lot of criticism and outrage in the muslim world and obviously many americans back in the united states. we'll hear from the president here in just a few short moments, we'll see him actually tour a global center for countering terrorism here in riyadh that the saudi government has set up and then he'll go back to his hotel where this twitter forum will take place,
and we'll be watching and waiting to see who is said and if applicable here what is tweeted by the president during that forum. >> and from riyadh, it's off to israel and the president in this speech talked about visiting all the capitals, the religious capitals, jerusalem, bethlehem after riyadh for the muslim capital and eventually the vatican. what is his expected message when he does gets to israel? >> reporter: again, he's going to have to dance around some controversial issues, he's going to be in a meeting with the israeli prime minister netanyahu and mahmoud abbad. we should point out that there is some controversy awaiting the president when he arrives in
israel, the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu has made ill clear who his people that all of the ministers will meet the president when he arrives tomorrow. and at the same time, there is an israeli interior minister who has made some remarks questioning whether the president should have executed this deal for some $110 billion. that is not playing well in israel, so as the president generated headlines that he liked very much in saudi arabia, and in the muslim world. when he gets to israel, he may have to deal with some other folks that aren't exactly happy with how things played out here in saudi arabia. so again, this just goes to how complicated this foreign trip is for this president. he is going to the center of these three massive world faiths, with all the complicated diplomatic issues that go with
them and he's going to have to navigate that every step of the way, fredericka. >> jim acosta, thank you so much traveling with the president in riyadh. a former extremist and counter terrorism analyst and former cia operative and security analyst. bob, let me begin with you because just as jim was underscoring, it's going to be difficult to make everyone happy on this eight-day, five city trip. delicate nuances of international politics or was it setting foot on new guidance, now policies. >> i don't see anything new, but it was a good speech considering
donald trump, and the campaign rhetoric essentially attacking islam itself. talking about driving the radicals out of the mosques. he's right, 15 of the hijackers of 9/11 came out of those same mosques, those tribes in saudi arabia. he mentioned that saudi arabia has done a much better job cleaning itself up. but the saudis have other grievances, they're probably not too happen that essentially they passed a half trillion in contracts, if you add them all up, it almost looks like a bribe to the united states, we'll give you these contracts if you protect our security, protect the security of the royal family. but there was never any way that he was going to arrive in riyadh and please everybody. >> so you also heard president trump talk got driving them out. he says drive them out of your
place of worship, drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth. did these leaders hear that and say they need to look within their countries to really get to the root of why terrorists even exist. why the recruitment is successful in some of their countries and why some of the conditions are in place to help produce extremism? >> yeah, i mean i think that there's definitely a huge disconnect when it comes to, especially in saudi arabia, where isis right now uses saudi textbooks to teach their people. so at the ideological level, that kind of research needs to be done. i hope that the saudi takes that as a lesson that maybe we need to start looking into our curriculum. so that's one avenue of correction. but at the end of the day,
president trump is a businessman, right? that's his whole thing. and it's about showing support for the saudis against iran, hence the billion dollar arms deal. the speech was very nice, the wording was very nice and yes, the muslim world does need to do more, this is something that is the responsibility of the muslim world. >> did these leaders hear a challenge of what's next? >> i think they did, at this level when a speech is made, it's a very basic generic message and then the details will begin to get ironed out. so visiting this counter terrorism center, saudi arabia, doing deradicalization programs, with some success, it is working towards that direction and it is a message that we hope was heard
loud and clear. >> the architecture and got credit for some of the language that president trump used on the campaign trail. so i want to play a moment of this speech right now where the president talked about refugees, the responsibilities of the countries and the refugees coming from this region. let's listen in. >> i also applaud jordan, turkey and lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. the surge of migrants and refugees living so poorly, that they're force to leave the middle east, the place that human capital needs to build stable societies and economies. instead of depriving this region is so much potential, middle eastern countries can give hope for a brighter future in their
home nations and regions. >> what was the interpretation by what he was saying? was he laying the responsibility of the countries from the origins of these refugees? >> i think very clearly he was trying to say in very donald trumpian fashion, hey, listen, we may be america first but we're not america alone and we expect you to play a substantial role. that was one of the themes up front in the speech, which was majority muslim countries must take the lead in countering extremism. however in sort of a surprising fashion, trump was also hopeful in the sense that he talked abo abouted about advantaged generations, he harkened back to cairo as a center of learning. so i think he was trying to inspire the audience there, talk about a new renaissance, but at the same time saying listen, we'll be there for you, but
you've got to take the lead and inspire your public not to go down the islamic extremist path. >> we have seen a close shot of these more than a muslim nations, most of them very plac placid, but is there a way to assess what kinds of messages were received from mr. donald trump's dialogue? >> i think it's hard to assess by looking at the audience, it's sort of a staid place, it's not a place for wild cheering and you don't get much out of these foreign leaders, especially in saudi arabia. it's going to be viewed through the prism of look we had bad relations with the united states in the last administration, president trump is here for his first visit, he comes bearing gifts, he's offering a hand of friendship. he's not saying everything we
want to hear him say in terms of democracy in the region. but president trump said it was principled realism, for a lot of peoplifying to figure out how to make sense of all this, this is a little hint. >> president donald trump talked about the declaration, a signed grooirmt that these country also commit to not to assign money to terrorists. >> he had to say it, he had to go there and it is a problem, there are private saudis, private arabs in the gulf who look at these conflicts in syria and iran as existential -- if you want to send $100 to a
charity connected to isis, it's easy to do, you do it in cash and asking the saudis to deplet completely close it down. but they're doing better than they did and i think that's important, the saudis recognize the extremists in their sect are causing them problems. but i keep on going back, it's iran, and that's the message that trump arrived with, we are going to contain iran, we're going to go for regime change, and that was music to everybody's ear because they look at iran has the main problem in the region. >> to bring, to coalesce a -- while trump said it wasn't a lecture, was it interpreted as such? >> i don't think it would be interpreted as a lecture, per se, but as bob said, i mean the sunni arab world, definitely the
gulf states see iran has their existential frett. there was some back and forth between the saudis and the irani iranians. so that kind of tough talk between the two countries, saudi arabia and the gulf states are very, very happy to hear from trump and to do business with trump, that's really what it's about. >> and business was a strong sentiment coming from president trump, no surprise there, and the wall street journal is also now reporting that the world bank will announce that saudi arabia and the united arab emirates will donate $100 million to the women's entrepreneur fund which was proposed by ivanka trump, we have been advised that she spoke to a group of women.
how is this different? >> imnot sure it is different. listen, i think that ivanka trump has been looking for a way to increase the emphasis on women's rights and human rights in particular. this will be a big plus coming out of this particular trip. there were feint references, not as much as we would want, in terms of women's empowerment. it wasn't like the bush's second inaugural address. he still paid some homage to these ideas that we all hold important. >> did you see any parallel from president obama's address to students in cairo when his presidency began. >> i did, i saw essentially a few parallels in that both are
saying that islam is historically a peaceful religion, that for lack of a better word, has been hijacked by extremists that have subverted, that have perverted the ideology of peace. so i think there is that strain, i think we're probably a little surprised to hear it coming from trump's mouth, it wasn't i think as empathetic as you heard from bush or president obama, but nonetheless, he said it, and it makes me thimore or less or tim that we will see. any moment now, president trump will field questions over social media and how it can be used to counter violent extremism around the world, in this place right here in riyadh, the next stop for the president after his speech to a muslim country leaders, we'll take you there live. [team member] so, how can i help you?
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president trump is taking part in a twitter forum in riyadh. another red carpet arrival there. the focus during the forum is how social media can be used to counter violent extremist ideology. of course when the president speaks after his arrival there with the first lady, we'll take you there live for his remarks. so for this trump white house, it's been a controversy-free trip overseas so far, as the president arrives there at that new location there in riyadh, and this comes a week after an onslaught of damaging headlines about russia. left the white house in quite the tail spin, gps' fareed
zakaria's take. >> people that were likely dreading the 5:00 hour by tehe end of the week, it seemed a new blockbuster story would come out right about that time. joining me to discuss is an all republican panel. all conservatives. brett stevens in pulitzer prize winning columnist now with the "new york times." george frum, ron kessler, a long-time investigative journalist, now author and opinion writer. where does this -- where do we stand in the investigation? how should we think about this? >> you should be prepared to accept that even if the most heinous version of the facts proves to be true, there may not
be any crimes committed or any laws broken. it is illegal for an american obviously to participate in any kind of hack. it is illegal for an american to entice a foreigner to spend money or substantial resources on a federal political campaign. if those two things haven't happened, anything else that donald trump is thought to have done will probably turn out to be legally permissible. whether you think it's american or democratic, ethical or loyal is a different question. but it would not -- for example, it is not actually a crime for an american to collude with a foreign intelligence service to interfere with an american election, it would not be a violation of federal election laws, if it turns out to be true, it's a political, probably not a legal problem. >> and brent, the president does have extraordinary leeway in these areas, partly because of
the separation of hourpowers, t the laws don't entirely apply to the president. congress is meant to police him. and the question comes what will a republican house and a republican senate do if these things are as david says, violations of political morality or ethics but not illegal? >> i think david put his finger on it where you have two, the laws may not apply to the president the way they do to ordinary citizens, a point that richard nixon made 40 years ago. but politics applies to him much more than it does to anyone else. and look, what we have now is a crippled presidency, we are, what, 100, 120 days into this administration, and you have with the exception of the
passage of the health care bill in the house, dubious feature in the senate, no political accomplishments to speak of and a perception of an administration that truly can't walk and chew gum at the same time. i think that perception is filtering down into the rank and file of the republican base, even if they are adamant not to concede points to democrats. i think that's going to percolate and have effects into 2018. if you have a democratic congress, democratic senate, then the president's legal jeopardies increase dramatically. >> ron, how does this look to you and how do you think it looks to donald trump, a man you know well? >> well, as you can tell from his appearance in saudi arabia, he is above it all. and very glad to be there with his lovely wife melania. and as david said, there's no violation of law whatsoever
involved here, in watergate, you had richard nixon, the president being a target, donald trump is not a target, there's no indication of any cover-up, there's no indication of any obstruction of justice. in fact trump did not eveni ordr the fbi to stop the investigation, it has continued. >> there is some argument that there was, ron, an obstruction of justice when trump seems to have told comey to ease up on the russian investigation. >> that's not obstruction, obstruction is impeding the investigation, by covering up, by phony evidence which happened during watergate. nixon actually got the fbi to stop the investigation, based on some phony story he made up about the cia. if the campaign colluded with
russia, the only violation would be an individual who didn't register as a foreign agent, such as michael flynn perhaps. and finally this "washington post" story claiming that an close to trump because the fbi doesn't use that terminology in any investigation except for violent crime and kidnapping. counter intelligence investigation or any other -- most of the other investigations, they never use that term. someone made up this story, gave it to the post reporter, at the post, they apparently don't know enough about the fbi to recognize that there's no such term in the fbi lexicon. >> but look, i'm afraid we're talking past one another here. the issue here is the perception that the president of the united states engaged in practices
which, whether legally permissible or not, violate the spirit of the way a president ought to behave toward subordinates, towards the federal bureaucracy and with respect to the american people. we keep getting back to the fact that impeachment is a political, not a legal procedure. >> we continue to watch images from riyadh, saudi arabia right there. you're looking inside the room of the center for combatting extremist idealogy. the president and the first lady are now in there. soon the president will be addressing an audience of millennial's about social media and counter terrorism. we'll be right back.
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on middle eastern leaders to help drive extremists out of their communities. and now he will send a similar message to young people at a twitter forum, at this new building right here, this is an inaugural ceremony for the center for combatting extremist ideology. the president will talk about ways social media can be used to counter extremist violent ideology. we'll bring back the author of "the war for late night." glad both of you could be with me. bill, you first, the president, he likes to tweet, everyone knows that. but why is he the right messenger on the responsibility on twitter and counter terrorism? >> well, i, you know, whether he's the right messenger or not, he's the president, so that
makes him a key messenger, he's not exactlyexactly -- especiall social media is being used by terrorists to recruit young people. so i think there's a strategy to it. but it will be interesting to see what questions he's asked by these young people. >> and mohammad, how great of a tool is twitter when it comes to recruiting? >> well, obviously it's a tool we have seen isis go out and use twitter and use social media very effectively, i should add, to promote their campaigns, to promote their recruitment. and there are a lot of young people in this region that are latching on to social media as free expression and we saw the arab spring was really an extension of that. so there's a deep hunger for
social media, that certainly can be a tool for recruitment and in this case it's going to be used as a tool to prevent that recruitment from taking place. >> if you kind of inject your own personal experience and you have to wonder if the president will address his own use of twitter, he's got something like 17 million followers on his p u potus handle and almost 30 million on his own donald trump handle. >> he has said many times that he goes around the media by using twitter and i suppose he could encourage young people to go around formal restrictions, it would be nice if he suggests that it's a way for women to have more free expression in some of these countries. but that also leaves him
vulnerable to criticism because he's used twitter in ways that the saudis wouldn't like, like saying that saudi arabia should give us all their oil because we protect their planes. he's used it in pretty provokive ways. so i think the questions will be well filtered, the ones that are asked of him. >> the expectation is there would be a young audience, but is it your feeling that the younger audience that may not be in that room is listeninging to t the president's address there, an address that's mostly being catered to leaders of these mostly muslim nations? >> i think there's an interesting paradigm that's in play here. if you look at this room, it was an ornate room, many players, many of them unelected in the middle east, in the muslim
world. it's exactly the type of thing that the young people out against in the arab spring. they'll hear this speech from donald trump and also this twitter forum from donald trump, but the imaging coming out of this forum, may not necessarily match what young people in the region are hung bring for, and that is the ability to express themselveses on social media, without having to worry about tweeting something that could land you in jail, which is is a reality in many muslim countries around the world. >> the president in his speech to muslim leaders, he said when talking about this new islamic sector there in riyadh, he said it is clear that young people have to take the lead in combatting extremist ideology. >> does this inaugural oak kargs, with the visit from the american president really symbolize a significant or seismic change in the way that
saudi arabia or perhaps even other middle eastern countries plan to combat terrorism? >> i doubt you can call it seismic, i mean every step is helpful. but that's a long entrenched culture that you're going to have a hard time changing, i do think social media can be good, pointing out the arab spring. there are advantages to it. but with mr. donald trump, i think it's a double-edged sword, it's been useful to him, but he's also wielded it as a weapon. >> big carter, mohammad lela, thanks to both of you. soon the president will be addressing people in the audience there and beyond. we'll be right back. rumor confirmed. they're playing. -what? -we gotta go. -where? -san francisco. -when? -friday. we gotta go. [ tires screech ] any airline. any hotel. any time.
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dame university. but his reception wasn't entirely friendly. or shall we say welcoming even. several students actually staged a walkout as pence was introduced. some of their fellow students booed as they did that. pence talked about religious freedom and made a reference to president trump's speech earlier in riyadh. >> just a short while ago in saudi arabia, this president spoke out against religious persecution of all people of all faiths. and on the world stage, he condemned in his words the murder of innocent muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of jews and the slaughter of christians. >> all right, cnn's rosa flores was at that speech at notre dame, so what is at the root of the protest? >> reporter: you know, fred, the
students who walked out probably put it best when they said that on this campus, which is a catholic university, they learned to stand up for the marginalized, for the poor, for the lgbtq, for immigrants, and for religious freedom for everyone, for all, not just their muslim brothers and sisters, a message they say came straight from pope francis, these students walked out saying they don't believe that vice president mike pence embodies those teachings. take a listen. >> either we are all notre dame or none of us are. and if you are trying to silence and not listen to the presence of one group and their families, then you're not listening to any of us. and that was a speech s or i guess that was what we wanted to say today, to the administration, more so than anyone else, the administration, you need to listen to our peers, you need to listen to our peers'
families and concerns when you decide who to invite to our graduation. >> reporter: some context is pofrt, about 3,100 students received degrees today and between 75 to 100 students stood up and exited their ceremony once vice president mike pence began to speak. >> rosa flores, thanks very much. next, a debut from the ground in mosul, civilians in the war torn city are risking their lives to escape the city still under the grip of isis. hey, man. oh!
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welcome back. we continue to monitor the trip of president trump. saudi arabia, right now, he and the first lady are alongside the king there. salman where they are inside this new building. it's the center for combatting extremist ideology and you heard the president make reference to it when he was addressing mostly muslim nations earlier today. he talked about the opening of this new global center as, quote, this is a clear declaration that muslim countries have to take the lead in com patting extremist ideology. we just got some interesting notes on the state department on
what's taking place here in this center. this is it is inaugural occasion of this building. many people have come out not only to see the president of the united states, but to be part of this center's opening. we understand that the king will essentially press a button and this is a fairly interactive site. on these big screens they'll be ail to see imagery and words to monitor extremist messaging on these digital platforms and these images are mostly images that are taking place throughout the region of monitoring language and behaviors of, and we know that the president is also scheduled to address millennials, a number of young people a bit later after this introduction to this center to talk to them about the responsibility of twitter and how it can be used in the global
fight against terrorism. bob bear is a security analyst. he's also watching alongside us getting a chance to see how this works and why this introduction is being made and so, bob, your impressions on why saudi arabia has taken this stand by opening up this global center. is it reaffirmation of its commitment in the battle of counter terrorism? >> oh, i think the saudis are committed to this. remember, these people, the extremists are against the royal family. they would like to overthrow them. so you take this toechnology an they're looking for key words,
for statements, for particular quotes, sayings of the prophet and so forth and they identify these people and they, you know, if they're violently, you know, inclined, they arrest them. if they're being converted to extremism, they continue to reeducate them. i think the saudis have learned their lessons from the attacks in 2003 and it is encouraging and the crown prince is very, very close to washington. he's done his best. at the same time, saudi arabia is sitting on something of a l volcano. there's still violence there. americans are still being targeted and the saudis are doing the best they can to stabilize. this look at it this way. the problem, fred, is all the violence around saudi arabia which should worry us. syria. iraq. lebanon. yemen, of course. so they're getting it from all sides. and, you know, i've been very
critical of saudi arabia over the years, but i have to say that better off than we were on 9/11. >> and when you look at this and you see the multiple screens the king has apparently already pressed the buttons, you see some imagery of key words, words terrorists are using in recruitment on social media, what's the equivalency of this in the united states? would it be like headquarters of cia or something else? >> well, the fbi is for instance looking at sovereign nation, people that are american home grown radicals that reject the federal government and they do the same thing, run through their internet searches and the rest of it. it's a real problem here. you've got to get to these people early on. the national security agency looks for we kordwords. the cia does. you're looking for phone numbers
these people could be calling. these algorithms are quite amazing, who's going to turn to violence and who's not. saudi arabia has put an enormous ma amount of money into this technology and i would say it's probably working. >> how do you see this commitment of this alliance and cooperation between the u.s. and saudi arabia? being a step up in global terrorism? >> well, it is a step up. as they say, the saudis are both arsonists and the firemen. their ideology we've been talking supports the islamic state. they use books. it is very radical and it uses the worst sources in islam. i could go through the names, but it's very confusing. and it's changing a whole society. but remember that the saudi family is in power because a long time ago, a couple hundred years ago, it allied with the
wahbis. a lot of people in the national guard that keeps them in power are as well. the saudis will never forget the takeover in '79 which was very destabilizing to the country. they're walking on eggshells t.'s not going to be solved overnight. it's not going to be solved by algorithms alone. >> bob, thanks so much. the president and first lady there touring this new center for combatting extremist ideology in saudi arabia. you're seeing how the screens work, how the technology is being used in the battle against terrorism. and of course, also today we understand the president will be addressing a large room of young people about the responsibilities that come with twitter and counter terrorism. we're going to continue to mon this and we'll be right back. blueberries and pumpkin. me. wow. and spinach! that was my favorite bite so far.
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