tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN May 20, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
the speech is going to have a nuanced mess ablg. hoping that president trump had negative things to say during his campaign. the saudis have put that to one side. the speech here, needs to be you wansed when he delivers a message that says, the leers of the arab and muslim cubs here, need to put forth a more peaceful and tolerant image of islam. certainly, the leaders believe they are. trump's visit here will break a record, in his visit to saudi arabia will be the longest of any president. president bush in 200 w8 was he. president trump will exceed his visit by a couple of hours. and also, when president obama came here a year ago and the contrast for the rollout and
reception that we're seeing being built up at the airport today, compared to last year when president obama came. i remember the reporting when president obamarrived was saudis didn't send senior enough representatives to the airport to meet and greet with him. the fact that king salman is out at the airport. he may not be in the swielterin heat. he may be in a v.i.p. reception area. but absolutely, this is a warm welcome. the pictures of king salman next to president trump on the side of the road. this is the embodiment of it, when the king goes out to the airport to greet someone, that's big. for president trump, as we were saying, he hasn't gotten a lot of sleep on the plane. today is a relatively light day.
he will meet with the king and a couple of occasions. a brief visit to a museum. the members of the gott, the deputy crown prince, the king's son. a light schedule today. the speech, of course, that's tomorrow. and that's the big part of his visit. a lot of pressure, if you will, on delivering a nuanced message there. >> i think, nic and jeremy, our american and international viewers are looking at this differently. for american viewers, there's been a barrage of information, coming out of the white house. revelations regarding the russia investigation. and american viewers will undoubtedly be looking at this and wondering how does that domestic context play into this foreign trip. jeremy, in your sense, does that
weaken president trump in any way? does it hamper his ability to make deals or to represent the united states when he's meeting foreign leaders? >> well, certainly, some foreign leaders may be wondering what the president can accomplish with his political capital weakened back home in washington. don't expect that to affect his one-on-one interactions with leaders. but one thing to keep in mind, this is on president trump's mind, as well. he is going to be focused on the controversies and the scandals he's facing back home and whether or not he can overcome them. what his next move will be to fight back against some of the allegations. >> jeremy, we're watching live pictures of donald trump right now. sorry to interrupt. donald trump is making his way down the staircase. of course, next to him, melania trump. and they will soon be touching the soil of saudi arabia.
and i doo believe that we are seeing, if i'm not mistaken -- it's yet to be confirmed. i believe we're seeing the saudi king about to greet donald trump in person. >> very happy to see you. >> the king of saudi arabia. nic robertson was just telling us, an older gentleman. and nic was thinking he wouldn't come out in the sweltering heat. there it is, the symbolism. he did. he greeted donald trump right at the bottom of the steps of air force one. the king of saudi arabia, the president, the new president of the united states. a handshake. first few words. going to be interesting to see
how this plays out. to comment on this are nic robertson and jeremy diamond, both of them covering the trip, first overseas trip of the u.s. president abroad. nic, it's interesting to watch these pictures. you were telling me about when barack obama was here. and it was a different picture from what we're seeing here. >> it was. none of the fanfare. there wasn't a arrival. there was a roster of dignitaries. but nothing to the level of the king. and for just to, if you will, hammer home that point, of how much the saudis are going out on a limb here. all that baggage that political baggage that president trump brings with him. they are associating themselves so closely with him. we think of theresa may going to visit president trump at the white house. we think of angela merkel, how badly that played for them subsequently and their audiences
back home. the king is aware of that. putting all that on the line and all of the trouble that trump leaves behind him to a degree, to associate with him so closely. there at the foot of the steps, that is a big a welcome as it gets here. that shows how important this is to the saudis. melania, we notice wearing more differential clothes than we saw her boarding the aircraft, boarding marine one and air force one before she left the united states. the king there, perhaps you can see on your screen better than i can. did the king extend his hand? >> absolutely. they shook hands. appears to be a warm welcome there. >> a warm welcome. but the symbolism of the king of a very, very conservative country, the home of islam, where women here where scarves over their heads, many women cover their faces. the king reaches out and shakes
the hand of the first lady, whose head is not covered. no female digit tears visiting the country, they don't cover their heads the same way that local women have to. but theis is a big statement frm the king. not just being there, very much putting himself at the side of the united states. investing a lot of his own political and regional capital in president trump and the success of what president trump can do for the region. and if you will, if there are problems for trump, this will reflect on the king. this is a bold position he's taking. >> nic, don't let me mislead you. i can't guarantee that the king of saudi arabia shook melania trump's hand. i didn't see that. okay. we're looking at the pictures. i'm told that he did. secondly, tell me about saudi
arabia and barack obama. you told us how the welcome was different. the meeting was different. but there's been a huge sigh of relief in several countries arnd the region and notably here in saudi arabia they are seeing the back of barack obama. they are happy about this new president. they feel he pulled the united states out of the region. and seeded the region to iran and russia. the way they pulled forces out of iraq, that was too soon. that allowed iran to develop a stronger hand in iraq. that's on saudi arabia's northern border. a huge concern. main regional rival gets more power. that's a wore. the other worry, they felt that president obama didn't have their back. saudi is a huge ally of the united states. so was egypt. so was president bennally in tunisia. they wanted the united states to
support him in. same with hosni mubarak in egypt. that didn't happen. 21% of saudi gdp will be spent on defense. one of the reasons for that is they lost faith in the united states because of president obama. they massively upped their spending on defense and security. now, the world's third-largest defense and security spender. they massively upsized the scale of their defense forces, the interior forces in this country because they figured the united states wouldn't stand behind them in a time of crisis and they would need to fight for themselves. when president trump, here is somebody they hope will reset all of that, will look after their regional interests. and to wit, part of, if you will, the mechanism, to bring that point home to quarterback, th bring that home, to the saudi king, and bring in muslim and
arab and regional leaders on a huge scale. three summits is how the saudis are casting this, they can pull in so much regional muscle behind them, is a message to president trump, that they're the power brokers. deal with saudi. this royal family is effective. and you have their backing and support, as long as we work together. that's the key message. >> if i can jump in with two, quick thoughts. >> just a second. we're looking at pictures of donald trump and king salman, exchanging the first few words, it seems, as they have sat down at the terminal of the airport, known as the royal hall. they are currently going to be attending a welcome tea ceremony. we'll see what that looks like. the president of the united states, laughing right now. apparently, some levity in the exchanges, as you would expect. it's all protocol at the moment. jeremy? >> yeah.
just to underscore the points that nic is making here. as far as the foreign policy approach of the trump administration, i can't emphasize enough that in the last few weeks with trump administration officials and on the call with saudi officials, both have focused on the fact they're on the same page here, particularly when it comes to iran. as nic is talking about the obama administration saw a certain advancement of relgatios with iran, not only with the nuclear deal and looking longer term into the future. they were hoping to recalibrate the position in the middle east, that was having a policy that was less saudi-centric and looked for engagement with the muslim world, that could involve iran, as well. saudi officials are relieved to see president trump to emphasize the nature of the threat that iran poses to the united states and saudi arabia, which is something that both sides believe, truly believe. and also, making clear that, you
know, he's going to reup the u.s.'s defense commitment. there's weapons held back in the obama administration, due to rum rights concerns. those concerns have evaporated under this administration. as i'm watching the pictures of president trump coming to saudi arabia, i covered his campaign. and the rhetoric he used during that campaign, particularly about muslims in the united states, and muslim refugees, to see him in saudi arabia as his first foreign trip is nothing if not striking. the president talked about the fact that islam hates us. that's something that the president said in march of 2016. and a few months before that, he called for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. and i was struck, you know, yesterday, working on a story previewing this speech in a the president will give tomorrow, to
potentially reset his relationship with muslims. remembered this silent protester who came to a trump rally, a month after he called for that ban on muslims, rose hamid, stood behind the president in the grandstands of this rally. just the fact she was standing there sigh lently. and trump campaign officials removed her. and the president talked about the hatred against us. not his hatred, or his supporters, but the hatred that america faces, presumably from the context of that conversation, that he was talking about muslims, of course. now, we see a president who is trying to get a reset with muslims, as he comes to this country, meeting with the saudi king, that is the kcustodian of
the two holy sites of islam. that coming as the president continue to defend the travel ban against seven muslim countries. there's a lot of irony, as we see the president meeting with the saudi king. but serply, a lot of tiptoeing that needs to happen here. and tight rope walking as the president tries to forge stronger bombeds with the saudi king and muslim leaders. >> we see the president of the united states and the king of saudi arabia, leaving the royal hall at the airport, in riyadh. they have been sitting down, enjoying their first -- judging by the facial expressions, the first few words together, the first verbal exchanges, one to one. sitting, it should be noted, in front of the portraits of previous saudi kings. donald trump, very much in the house of saud here this is just
the beginning ofis 48 hours he arabia, with a major speech. our correspondents are telling us, expected yesterday -- i beg your pardon, tomorrow, a speech on sunday about islam. we believe that mr. trump is expected toed a v ed a voadvoca peaceful vision of islam. those are the first words that we had about what we might expect from the speech. seeing donald trump there, about to board one of the vehicles. the u.s. vehicles. he's going to spend the day meeting further with king salman. and meeting with the crown prince and with the deputy crown prince. james davis with us. he's currently in berlin. these the dean at st. gallen.
what does it mean that he is meeting the crown prince. does that mean that mr. trump has to navigate that relationship to not avoid any faux pas in the succession talks there? >> yeah. saudi royal politics are very opaq opaque. the family relationships are complicated. i think the family is wise to cover his bets. we don't know who will succeed this king. we have mohammuhammad bin nayef crown prince, but also is not a son of the king. we have the king's son is the deputy crown prince. i think he will be trying to develop as many personal relationships as he can with the new generation. and the new generation of leaders is important because they're trying to move saudi
arabia very conservative monarchy. many would say stuck in the past. they're trying to move this conservative monarchy into the future. they're trying to slowly expand the rights of women. slowly open the society up to influences from abroad. but in a way that's consistent of the continued rule of the royal family. it's a difficult act to establish at home. and the president will have to try to navigate those waters as best he can. >> james, a quick question to you about the -- what may be or may not be a personal relationship between the king of saudi arabia and donald trump. >> do you think there's a political connection there? and the king happy to s the back of barack obama? butome analysts say there might be a personal connection. donald trump is a man of money.
he is a man who uses his family in politics. the house of trump, the house of saud, do you think there's a personal collection that may help the countries bilateral politics? >> i don't know if they have developed a personal relationship yet. but it certainly -- the approach to politics that resonates with the saudis, i think the saudis and arabs in general, really value personal relationships. and to the extent that the president can succeed in developing a bond of trust between the king and the american president, i think he will come out of this and see this meeting as a success. the saudis, of course, are comfortable, as you suggested, with a wealthy man that brings his family with them into the white house. who uses his children to promote his interests and agenda. that's how politics works in saudi arabia. this does not seem particularly odd to them. and so, i think i would expect not only the president but also
the children of the president to be trying very hard to develop their own personal relationships with important members of the royal family and the royal household. >> and jared kushner, not just the president's sister-in-law, but one of his top advisers, a person who was running point on organized this trip. he had been in touch with the saudi crown prescription. we're going to take a short break, some 20, 25, 30 minutes after the president of the united states has arrived in riyadh, saudi arabia. the handshake, there it is. the welcome. donald trump and melania trump, handshake for both of them by the saudi king salman. we'll take a short break, back after this.
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white house staffers are focusing on their busy agenda in saudi arabia. but a barrage of controversies are following them in their traltral travels. one day after firing james comey, trump spoke about the officer in the most unflattering terms. "the new york times" reports that mr. trump informed them he had sacked comey. mr. trump cotold the russians, just fired the head of the fbi. he was crazy, a real nut job. i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off. and sources tell cnn, during the u.s. presidential race, russian
officials bragged about how close they were to michael flynn and how they could use that relationship to influence donald trump. listen to pamela brown. >> multiple sources tell cnn that russian officials bragged in conversations during the presidential campaign they have cultivated such a strong relationship with former trump adviser michael flynn, they believed they could use him to influence donald trump and his team. those conversations deeply concerned u.s. intelligence officials and it impacted what intelligence the incoming administration was privy to because some obama intelligence officials acted on their own to limit how much sensitive information they shared with flynn. a former official tells our gloria boar jerger, was recorde a five-alarm fire early on. and the conversations indicated they recorded flynn as an ally. the russians might have exaggerated their sway with trump's team during those conversations.
russia's relationship with flynn developed before 2015. speaking with sergei kissly yak that led to his firing. they reached out to flynn's lawyer and the white house, who said, we're confident when the inquiries are complete, there will be no evidence to support collusion between the campaign and russia. top former obama intelligence officials and members of congress briefed on the matter have all said the same thing. pamela brown, cnn, washington. all these controversies have one thing in common, and that's russia. how is this playing out in moscow? let's go to cnn's ivan watson. he's in the russian capital. i don't think there's been a relating of how this applies to the u.s. can you give us a sense of how the kremlin is reacting to this, being front and center for all
of this damaging news for the u.s. president? >> from day one, when the scandal and the allegations started to emerge about possible collusion between the trump campaign and moscow, the kremlin has denied this consistently, saying that this is a political internal affair in the u.s., denying any allegations of hacking in the november 2016 election. and also, going further, one step further, to claim this is evidence of an anti-russian conspiracy in the u.s. more recently, russian president vladimir putin said that this was political schizophrenia taking place in the u.s. it is worth noting that the russian and the russian -- heavily kremlin-influenced media, saw trump as a potential positive figure for russian/u.s. relations. it lavished him with a lot of
positive coverage. that's largely disappeared from the front pages of russian newspapers and russian television. though, there is still -- you can sense a positive impression of trump, somebody who is seen as somebody who potentially could beneficial to washington/moscow relations. at the same time, russian officials have viewed the negative coverage coming out of the u.s. as evidence of a deep state within the u.s. government bureaucracy. interestingly, that's something that is reflected in right-wing media coverage in the u.s. there are some kind of parallels that you see between some of the russian state media coverage of the controversies and the right-wing media in the u.s. >> ivan watson reporting live from moscow. thank you so much. now, president trump will be delivering a speech on religious unity during his visit to saudi
welcome back, everyone. cnn newsroom in atlanta. here are the headlines this hour. president trump arrived in saudi arabia a moment ago. the first stop in his overseas trip since taking office. here he is meeting with the saudi king salman. he is set to meet with the saudi leader and other arab meters and make a speech about islam. he will stop in italy, and belgium. moscow embraced michael flynn as an ally who could influence donald trump. sources tell cnn that russian officials bragged about strong ties to the trump adviser. flynn was fired after less than a month as national security adviser. the american public will hear from former fbi director james comey. committee leaders say comey has
agreed to testify in open session. that will happen after may 29th. he's likely going to be asked about a report that president trump asked him to develop the investigation into michael flynn. after firing the fbi director, president trump insulted him as a nut job. he said it the next day to senior russian officials in the oval office. the president also reportedly said the fbi's investigation into russian meddling had put, quote, great pressure on the white house and now it's off. let's get more on donald trump's first foreign trip, to saudi arabia. our nic robertson is in riyadh. nic, what would constitute a successful trip for donald trump? what does he need to do to come back with a win? >> we've been asking ourselves that question here. and the common feeling is, if he doesn't make a mistake, if he
doesn't make a gaffe -- this is a long trip. we heard he hasn't slept much on the plane. much of the meetings will be difficult. saudi arabia and israel. things he says in saudi may influence his reception in israel. he will meet with the proeope. maybe the pope won't tell him awkward meeting.t may be an he will meet with other leers in brussels. he will expect the nato allies to have agreed to increase their defense spending to levels where the united states is not carrying the heavy -- solely carrying the financial burden of na nato. then, it goes on to g7, which will deep and heavy politics. this is a long week of intense talk with a huge number of leaders. 27 in nato. as many as 55 here.
seven, including him, at the g7 meeting. the possibilities of whatever having an impact on something he says in some piece of a meeting, getting out that he would rother not be made public as we're hearing his recent experience in d.c. these are the things if he can avoid that, this would be a success. for the saudis, it would be a success if his message about tolerance and peace and good and evil is nuanced in such a way to stand beside him and not feel this is in any way a negative influence on muslims as his campaign rhetoric was. that would be a success, if they get the united states to agree to support them in their regional ambitions, to thwart what they see as iran's growing influence in the region. that would be a success, leaving here in terms of the saudi view.
they would like to see donald trump going to israel and in some way begin to advance a realistic israeli/palestinian peace process. that has been a stumbling block for so many presidents before hum. if he can avoid setting himself up for potential failure there down the road, that may also be a success. way, there's a lot that needs to be calibrated in how he speaks and precise words, that he uses, in how he addresses the issues. as we've seen with president trump, that can be a significant challenge for him. >> nic, prefer has been through the worst two weeks of his presidency. do his domestic troubles cast a cloud over his trip? or do they stay at home? >> behind the closed door here, it's unclear how they're going
to influence the meetings. an to a very large degree, that's going to be the only glimpse that we really get of how the president's meetings have gone. so far, across this whole trip, around-the-world meeting, as many as 50 leaders here. meeting 30 or so in europe. there's going to be no press cob fence, as far as we know. perhaps one will be organized. but at the moment, one isn't built in. it will be hard to gauge what the president has picked up and what the president has learn during this visit. i think it will be very hard, you know, to calibrate -- to calibrate a success or failure. and to calibrate what this is going to mean for him going forward. and to calibrate, how much he is able to put behind him the troubles in washington. you can be sure as soon as he steps in front of a camera here,
the fu first questions will be tell us what you said to the russian. tell us about the damaging israeli intelligence you shared with the russians. a difficult question to face inside israel. tell us about general flynn, his former national security adviser. very, very difficult for him to answ when he knows it is getting the politicof it. and the investigations of it are becoming even more serious in washington. if he avoids being in front of the cameras, yes, to a degree, he can dodge those very, very difficult issues. but anytime that he -- anytime that he chooses to speak, that's when it will get tough. >> nic robertson, thank you very much. covering the trip for us in riyadh, in saudi arabia. after saudi, israel and the palestinian territories will be trump's next stops. he will visit several key spots in jerusalem, the church of the holy sec sepulcher, the wailing
wall, the old city. trump has meetings with benjamin neat netanyahu and mahmood abbas. we go to orren leibermann. when trump lands in saudi arabia, he's in friendly territory. when he lands in israel, he's landing in friendly territory, isn't he? >> reporter: very much so. it's a republican president, a republican senate, a republican congress, meeting a conservative government. this should be an easy trip. by all accounts. and yet, the israelis are nervous. confusion is a word i've heard used to describe this upcoming trip. that's because the first part of nic's answer is relevant here. a good trip is no surprises. no mistakes. nothing spontaneous. make the right statements and take the right pictures.
a few politicians have spoken with him and said, let's get this trip over with. and part of the concern there is what moves president trump might try to make on an israeli/pastinian peace process. saying two-state solution, or asking for a settlement freeze could be a major problem for benjamin netanyahu's government. he has coalition partners that don't want to see a palestinian state established. the more they focus on the israel-palestinian conflict, the worse it is for the israeli government. the more it focuses on iran, the better. and the palestinians are quite relaxed heading into this meeting. from their perspective, they played their cards right. they've done everything they can. the meeting with mahmood abbas with trump went well. now, they are presenting a united abroach in riyadh. they get a chance to speak with trump before he comes to israel, about an approach to the peace
plan. they're relaxed, the prisons. this is something they're looking forward to, to present their vow of peace. the hope on the israeli side, when it comes to peace, is trump could have used the arab states to get the palestinians to make concessions. the fear, now, is the exact opposite. that the arab states will use trump to pressure the israelis to make concessions. if that's where the meeting is going -- >> if i can just interrupt you for a second. we're keeping an eye, as you speak, of the live pictures out of riyadh, the capital of saudi arabia. we just saw the motorcade of mr. trump. the people we saw come out of the car was jared kushner, sister-in-law and senior adviser, and his wife, his daughter, ivanka trump. we're keeping an eye on the live pictures of the trump team, the trump family and mr. trump, being welcomed in saudi arabia.
and oren, what i was going to ask, is you referred to the middle east peace process. and you said they're relaxed about this. is there anyhance that mr. trump gets traction on this? gets going on this? it's been frozen for so long, and frozen despite numerous efforts and attempts by the obama administration. >> reporter: it's had fits and starts. after nine months, talks broke down. what can we expect from trump? the expectations from the beginning were try. a meeting between netanyahu, apa abbas and trump. that would have been a big deal. but those expectations have been severely scaled back. trying to get traction. it look like he's going to make an effort. the speculation here is that the
arab leaders, including abbas, will present to him the 2002 arab peace nesinitiative. netanyahu hasn't accepted that. so, it has to be maneuvered to get that to move a step forward. it won't be big steps. but any movement on the peace process would be a small success for trump, as he tries to do what no president before him has succeeded in doing. you mentioned, jared kushner and ivanka trump. they haven't had any overt actions when it comes to the peace process. that's been led -- that effort has been led by another observant jew, jason greenblatt. he had meetings with both sides. nose meetings, from the perspectives of the israelis and palestinians, have been success. he listened intently, gathered
ideas, asked the right questions. and it will be his input that, perhaps, guides trump on what he intends to do on the peace process. >> we're looking at live pictures in riyadh. we're expecting donald trump himself to arrive at the hotel, where they're being hosted, oren. i want to touch on something you were saying earlier. and the potential pitfalls for mr. trump during his trip to israel. despite the fact he's in friendly territory, is there something he can say that would be a problem, with respect to benjamin netanyahu? >> if trump comes here, and demands a settlement freeze, it will be a problem for netanyahu. they have partners that doesn't believe in a palestinian state. they could attempt to collapse the government. the labor party has said, we don't like netanyahu. but if there's a real move on
the peace process, we'll support the government. so, it seems as if wants to make a move, he can switch up his coalition that he can pursue the peace process and make concessions. and trump has options. he can recognize israeli control of golan heights. he can move the embassy. he can release jonathan pollard. if netanyahu gets pollard, that would be a political win for netanyahu. it's difficult for netanyahu to make concessions on a peace process. but trump has leverage here. he can bring democrat and republican pressure to bear on netanyahu if he tries to make a serious move here. >> watching the live pictures out of riyadh, saudi arabia. and oren will be right there
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u.s. president donald trump, there he is. he just walked out of his vehicle, being welcomed at the hotel where he will be staying for the next two days in riyadh. capital of saudi arabia. the u.s. president on the first leg of his first foreign trip since taking office. well, his visit is being watched closely across the entire middle east. and there is one key player in the region whose leadership will not be meeting donald trump but will be watching the trip intently. and that country is iran. with more on iran and saudi arabia, fred.
king salman are walking into the hotel. back to fred now, in tehran. fred, how is this all being viewed in tehran? >> reporter: iran is the country that is going to be the subject of a lot of the talk that the president is going to be having, not just in saudi arabia. but of course, in israel, as well. iran, of course, the great rival of the saudis in the middle east and the great adversary of israel in the middle east, as well. one thing that the iranians will be looking to here, they're going to see what rhetoric is coming out of a lot of the meetings. so far, they've been surprised how tough the white house has been on the iranians, some of the talk. i speak with iranian leaders here, after trump was e luckele
before he took business. he said, maybe this is someone we can deal with. now, they're slowly seeing this white house is going to be tough on the iranians. and that's something that is slowly sinking in. and one of the big moments that the iranians had was when they conducted a ballistic missile test earlier this year. they were quite surprised at the forceful reaction they got from the white house after that ballistic missile test. that's something they're seeing. they believe that this president for them is very difficult for them to figure out. this is going to be a white house that will be very, very tough on the iranians. that's something that played into the election that we saw happened here, just yesterday. and the results are just now coming in. >> all right. fred, from the iranian capital. there's going to be a lot of talk of iran, as mr. trump discusses the reegion and regional politics with not just the saudi king but other
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continue to meet. u.s. president donald trump arrived a short while ago. it's the first stop in his first overseas trip since taking office. he is set to meet with the arab leaders. later on in his trip, he will stop in israel, italy and belgium. cnn teams will be covering the trip for you every step of the way. and that wraps up this hour of cnn newsroom. stay with us. we'll have more on donald trump's first trip overseas, right after a short break. stay with us.