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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI

U.K. Government Minister Priti Patel Resigns; Xi Jinping Rolls Out Red Carpet For Trump In Beijing; Trump To North Korea: Do Not Underestimate Us; Democrats Win Virginia And New Jersey Governor Races; Justice Department To AT&T: Sell Major Assets, Potentially CNN; CNN Uncovers New Details On Key Figure. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired November 8, 2017 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:00:26]

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live at CNN London. Thanks for joining us this evening.

I want to begin this hour with breaking news because it is significant here in the United Kingdom. There has been another massive crisis for Britain's

Prime Minister Theresa May. Just in the last few minutes, Priti Patel, a name you may not have heard, the International Development secretary, has

resigned.

Why is this significant? She is the second prominent cabinet member to quit in this country in just seven days. She was summoned back to Downing

Street from Uganda. She was on a trip there after facing criticism about having undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials.

Diana Magnay is outside Downing Street. I guess, the question, Diana, is, is the government -- how weakened is Theresa May's government for this --

from this? Is it possible that it could fall?

DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think curiously, Hala, the fact that Theresa May has now turned around and accepted Priti Patel's

resignation as one way of putting it, it was probably more forceful than that.

It shows a degree of assertiveness, which for the last few days at least she has been heavily criticized for not showing. The Priti Patel story is

a pretty extraordinary one. It transpired when she was a family holiday in Israel last summer.

She had a series of meetings with government officials, tech startup, NGO's including with the Israeli prime minister, which he did not tell anyone

about. She didn't tell the Foreign Office until she'd had them.

She did not tell Number 10 who did not know about them when the prime minister met with Benjamin Netanyahu last week, but she did tell the prime

minister on Monday. They had a discussion about it. Priti Patel said, "I'm sorry for not telling you, not following the usual protocol."

And then the prime minister seemed to be happy to let the matter lie. What has happened since them is that two more meetings have come out that Priti

Patel did not reveal earlier and that is why the prime minister summoned her back from Uganda.

And we've had the outcome that we have, but certainly since that first meeting on Monday, there has been a huge amount talking about how weak the

prime minister is, what do the cabinet and the minister have to do to get fired because it's not just Priti Patel who has clearly breached

ministerial protocol.

We have Boris Johnson too who over the last couple of days through an inadvertent slip of the tongue may have extended the prison term of the

British-Iranian woman who is in jail in Tehran.

You know, these clearly very, very serious breaches from key ministers. Priti Patel has stepped down. Boris Johnson, who knows? But it is an --

GORANI: Then you had Michael Fallon, the defense secretary as well who stepped down. Here you have a government that even though this may show

assertiveness on the part of the prime minister is being weakened time and time again at a time when it needs to appear strong and determined with a

mission while it's trying to negotiate a good Brexit deal.

MAGNAY: That is absolutely right. It does not look good to the negotiators in Brussels. Britain appears weak. The government appears

fragile. That said, curiously, Theresa May's position is probably safe for the time being because no one really wants to step in.

To her she was at this stage in the Brexit process even if they do have bigger ambitions further down the line. Her is an enviable position right

now and unless she faces a sort of back bench revolt for her and from her own MPs, which is perfectly possible. You know, she may live on for a

while, yes.

GORANI: Diana Magnay at 10 Downing Street, thanks very much with our breaking news. We'll keep our eye that. Crisis after crisis in this

country.

Let's talk now about U.S. President Donald Trump's high-stakes trip to Asia. At play, pageantry, and of course, power dynamics. The Chinese

leader, Xi Jinping, offered Trump the red-carpet treatment in Beijing, treating the American president to dinner and opera performance in the

historic palace inside the Forbidden City.

First time that a foreign leader gets to dine inside that Forbidden City. The elaborate welcome is designed to simultaneously flatter the American

president and put China on display as a global superpower. So that is one side of the story.

The other one that all of this is happening in Asia after President Trump issued a direct warning to North Korea during a speech to South Korea's

National Assembly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[15:05:04] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Do not underestimate us and do not try us. We will defend our common security,

our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Well, joining me now live from Beijing is CNN White House reporter, Sara Murray. Donald Trump got a historic reception in Beijing.

There was some very tough talk during the campaign directed at China obviously because of trade and because Donald Trump kept saying that the

deals were unfair to America. But what is this now say about the relationship between Xi and the U.S. president?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, I think people have been fascinated to watch this relationship evolve because as you pointed out on

the campaign trail then-Candidate Trump was particularly harsh when he was referring to China.

But things really evolved when he took office and President Trump and Xi Jinping have developed this sort of warm rapport, and I think you saw that

on display again as well. It's also not lost on these world leaders that flattery will get you everywhere when it comes to President Trump.

That's something Xi Jinping realized very early on. I think that's why you saw sort of this historic dinner take place as well as the opera. I think

other leaders have also had success with sort of ushering the president into a visit, sort of a more informal setting with dinner, with a social

event like that before they get down to the heart of business.

And make no mistake, I mean, there are very controversial issues at play between these two nations right now, as you pointed out, trade but also

dealing with North Korea.

GORANI: Yes. And tell us because Donald Trump didn't use the "Rocket Man" rhetoric. I mean, he didn't sort of tweet his way through that speech in

South Korea. He did have some strong words for North Korea and the U.S. needs China in order to get, quote/unquote, "tough" on North Korea. Is

there any progress on that front?

MURRAY: Well, so that's one of sort of the tricky things about this relationship is the U.S. does need China if they want to try to reach some

kind of diplomatic solution to this problem, and I think that is why we saw President Trump in that speech in Seoul call out China specifically saying

they need to do more.

Saying they should not be trading with North Korea and saying that North Korea needs to be isolated. So, you can bet that that's going to be a

topic of conversation today, but we also did see the president tone down his rhetoric.

Like you said we did not see him taunting Kim Jong-un with nicknames. He did not go that far, but he did make it very clear that his ultimate goal

is denuclearization. A lot of people think that that's probably a nonstarter in terms of actually getting North Korea to the table to start

hashing up some kind of diplomatic solution.

But for some reason, President Trump still said he felt optimistic about this when did his press conference in Seoul the other day with President

Moon. He did not offer any details, though, about why he thinks diplomatic efforts are moving forward, why he believed they could potentially be

successful.

GORANI: Sara Murray live in Beijing, thanks very much.

It has been a year to the day since Mr. Trump's stunning election victory, now we are seeing somewhat of a backlash at the ballot box while the

president is in Asia, and that is because in America, Democrats made sweeping gains in state and local contest across the country on Tuesday

including governor's races into two key states.

Former Republican Party leader, Ed Gillespie, lost that contest in Virginia where he was seen as supportive of the president, but not enough to win.

Mr. Trump said in a tweet. He predicts that "rising economic numbers will lead to future Republican wins even bigger than before."

And he also said that Ed Gillespie essentially did not embrace him and that's the reason he lost. Mr. Trump had another election on his mind

today, last year's presidential elections.

He tweeted this, "Congratulations to all of the deplorables and the millions of people who gave us a massive Electoral College landslide

victory." The deplorables in reference to a term that was in use during the campaign to describe some of Trump's supporters.

Let's get perspective on the president's trip and his party's major losses in Tuesday's election from a former senior adviser to his campaign, Jack

Kingston, who is a CNN political commentator and a former Republican lawmaker from Georgia and he joins me from Washington. Jack, thanks for

being with us.

I want to get your take on the president and his strategy for dealing with North Korea first. Many have observed that because he is threatening to

pull the United States out of, for instance, the Iran deal.

Observers have said why then would North Korea enter into any negotiation with the United States if they feel that any deal is really only as good as

the word of the president in office. Do you think there is any risk that that could happen?

JACK KINGSTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think there is an application there and that if we are going to enter into a deal, we wanted to be one

where you can certify, for example, that North Korea is going to denuclearize itself.

[15:10:08] And I think his tough talk has really shown listen, we are serious. Do not intimidate us. Do not try to intimidate us. We have a

full table of options in front of us. Yet at the same time, he has left the door cracked open for diplomacy.

And he's talked about the vision of highways going back and forth between the two nations, and families reuniting, and cousins seeing each other for

the first time in decades, and I think that that picture of peace was not just intended to the Korean Peninsula but for people all over the world.

That why can't that Peninsula be united the same way the E.U. is.

GORANI: But I guess the Iran example would have some in North Korea say I can't trust the United States because we thought that deal was a done deal.

Europe signed onto it. The United States under President Obama signed up to it.

And now it just takes one president coming in who wants to dismantle some of the legacy of his predecessor, according to the critics, and then we

can't -- that deal -- that deal was threatened --

KINGSTON: I think the two are tied to each other, but what has -- because what is -- raised concern about in Iran is number one, we do want to verify

that Iran is moving away from their nuclear capabilities.

But number two, this is not really related to the deal, but it is related to the peace is they are supporting the Assad regime and their adventurism

and terrorism around the Middle East and destabilizing that region of the country and then build ballistic missiles. So, I think what is --

GORANI: That's understandable but it's not part of the deal so I mean, those are two different topics in this case.

KINGSTON: Yes. And so, what are you saying is, you know what, technically you may or may not be in compliance with the deal, but in terms of the

spirit of peace in our area and stability, you are definitely not taken part of its --

GORANI: Well, that's basically not abiding by the agreement?

KINGSTON: Yes. So, I think what his view is if we enter into an agreement with North Korea, we Are not to let you cheat the way you have going back

every other president since George H.W. Bush over 20 years ago.

And that is one thing that he has pointed out over and over again is please make deals with North Korea, but they continue to pursue nuclear capability

all along.

GORANI: Let me ask about what happened in Virginia and New Jersey as well. Are worried about these Democratic wins in these states as a supporter of

Donald Trump because the numbers are very interesting.

Among those who voted for the Democratic candidate in Virginia, for instance, 34 percent and turnout was high, 34 percent said they voted to

oppose Trump. In other words, the opposition to Trump is motivating some Democrats in a significant way that's leading to some big gains for them.

That has to be a concern.

KINGSTON: It is a concern and if we do not take away some lessons from yesterday then we do that on our own risk and peril. However, we do not

need to panic because Virginia and New Jersey overwhelmingly went with Hillary Clinton and although, New Jersey had a Republican governor,

Governor Christie's approval ratings were 15 percent, and that's hard for the new guy to kind of overcome.

But let me say this, Republicans have to get this tax reform done. They have to continue to turn the economy around, have to continue to get more

jobs out there and prosperity for middle-class families, are yesterday is just the beginning of what was out there.

As you know, historically, the party in the White House loses seats in the off-year and so histories against us already. Republicans in Congress

particularly have to perform.

GORANI: And you mentioned the approval rating of Chris Christie, the approval rating of Donald Trump once again 36 percent approval rating over

55 percent saying they do not approve of Donald Trump. I mean, those numbers as well coupled with what happened in Virginia and New Jersey, and

in smaller races. That's not a great picture, is it for the Republicans going into 2018?

KINGSTON: No, it is not, but he does have some -- I think number one, he is doing a good job with North Korea and internationally, and I think he is

regaining a lot of America's prestige overseas.

But domestically where people really make most of their voting decisions, job, unemployment is at a 17-year low. The stock market is at 23,000. We

got to build on those and we got to make sure that that is not just something that people who are in the stock market prosper from, but it

means something to the middle-class family in Kansas. And if we can make that connection, then I think will be in lot stronger position in two

years.

GORANI: Certainly, the economy is doing well, there is no doubt about that. The Dow Jones and the stock market record level after record levels,

and I know the president very happy to point that out. I mean, the Dow Jones, we know that that number is 23,559 it's trading right now, flat.

But it's gained so much just over the last eight or nine months. So, going into next year, it's going to be an interesting picture. We are a year,

Jack Kingston. We've talked a lot over the last year and during the campaign as well.

Are you -- and you were an early adviser and a supporter, are you satisfied -- what would you change -- is there an aspect of the Trump presidency that

has either disappointed you or that you would like to see changed?

KINGSTON: Well, first of all, disappointed with my friends on Capitol Hill. As somebody who served in Congress for 22 years, I would like to see

our party stick to their campaign promises, and sometimes wait for the White House and coordinate, but other times just do it because you promised

to do it. For example, repealing and replacing Obamacare.

GORANI: But in the president, not your colleagues, just in the president himself, President Trump.

KINGSTON: Well, I think stylistically, there are many people as we all know, who are bothered by his sweeting and may be by his picking fights

with sometimes members of his own party. So, I think you know part of being in leadership is a softer touch.

I do believe we are going to be seeing more that, but that is something that I think people are bothered by, and certainly, the press has made a

lot about it. And so, you know, you do not want to feed your enemies. If you can tap it down a little bit, then you need to.

GORANI: I've heard that criticism from some of his most fervent supporters as well about the tweeting. At least on this trip, it hasn't happened as

often and certainly not using the same town as right before the trip. Thanks so much, Jack Kingston. Appreciate your time this evening.

Still to come, a breaking news story this hour that could have implications for us here at CNN. Find out what American regulators are demanding AT&T

do before it is allowed to move forward with a major integration.

CNN learns new details about a mysterious figure at the very core of the Russia investigation. That's after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Breaking news this hour affecting a major American business deal, the Department of Justice is telling AT&T that if it wants to buy Time

Warner, the parent company of CNN and Turner, it has to sell some major assets, which could potentially include this network.

Let's get straight to CNN Money senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter. So, explain to me, this would be vertical integration. AT&T is a telecoms

company. Time Warner is a content media company. Why is there an antitrust issue here?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Most experts say there is not an antitrust issue here, and that is why it's so curious of the U.S.

Department of Justice may sue to block the deal. This is a very intriguing news that's coming in the past couple of hours.

And it all is rooted in a meeting two days ago at the Department of Justice between AT&T officials and the Antitrust Division. There was discussion in

that meeting about two possible options for moving forward with the deal.

[15:20:04] One option was to sell off all of Turner. Turner is the part of Time Warner that includes CNN, TNT, TBS and other cable channels. The

second option that was discussed was the selloff DirecTV. That's satellite broadcaster that AT&T bought a couple of years ago.

Now the view from AT&T was that both of those options were not really options at all. They were nonstarters. After all a big part of AT&T is

trying to buy inside Time Warner is Turner, CNN, TBS, TNT.

It's is a big chunk of the profits for the entire company. So, the reaction from AT&T and from Time Warner, as you mentioned, owns CNN, owns

this network, was to say we are going to have to see you in court. Go ahead, sue to block our deal. We will see you in court and we believe we

will prevail there.

That is the word from AT&T and Time Warner. The word from the Justice Department side is different. A lot of this is murky, given that anonymous

sources are sharing this information.

But the bottom line here is that we are seeing a very unusual sort of interference from the government and what was expected to be a pretty easy

deal to win approval for. After all, there is a number of other countries, more than a dozen around the world that have already gone ahead and blessed

the AT&T-Time Warner deal.

The U.S. is the only country remaining and that's leading to speculation that it's possible the Trump administration is trying to interfere in the

deal in order to retaliate against CNN.

GORANI: And Brian, this is -- I'm going to remind our viewers what Candidate Donald Trump said about this merger in 2016.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it is too much concentration of

power in the hands of two fields. Additionally, Comcast purchase of NBC concentrates far too much power in one massive entity that is trying to

tell the voters what to think and what to do. Deals like this destroy democracy and will look at breaking that deal up and other deals like that.

This should never ever have been approved in the first place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: So, this kind of also a reminder of what Donald Trump as a candidate said about the deal clearly saying that he would work to block it

if he were elected?

STELTER: Right. That's what he was saying on the campaign trail, but once you are in the White House, any president, whether it is Bush or Obama or

Trump or any before them, the idea is that the Justice Department is usually insulated from that kind of political interference.

Now we have heard President Trump recently complaining about the fact that he felt the Justice Department is not investigating his political rivals

the way he wants them to. He has said recently that he wants Jeff Sessions to be investigating Hillary Clinton, for example.

That is why it does not seem like a big stretch to wonder if President Trump is also trying to interfere in the AT&T-Time Warner deal. After all,

most deals like this, vertical mergers like this do win the approval of the U.S. government. It's highly unusual to see the government trying --

considering suing to block it.

GORANI: And according to the "Financial Times," this type of -- these attempts to block a vertical integration deal such as this one hasn't

happened in 40 years. But were the implications on the deal itself, will it stuck for the deal or will, you know, Time Warner have to selloff

Turner, the parent unit of CNN to go ahead with the merger?

STELTER: There is clear concern on Wall Street in the past couple of hours and Time Warner stock down more than 6 percent, but I am told by AT&T

executives they are determined to see this deal through. They are not looking to sell-off assets in order to satisfy the government's demands.

I have already seen Democratic lawmakers raising concerns about the prospect of government interference here. There is concern about whether

freedom of the press is being challenged by the Trump administration.

But like I said a lot of this is murky right now because we are not hearing from the government or from AT&T on the record. These are ongoing

negotiations that are happening in private.

We are getting glimpses of these negotiations through anonymous sources, but it is clear something unusual is happening here. Normally a deal like

this would be approved with conditions. The prospect of the Antitrust Department of the Justice Department blocking the deal is highly unusual

and that is why it is raising alarm bells.

GORANI: Brian Stelter, thanks very much.

Meanwhile, back here in Britain, speaking of media, the future Sky News is up in the air. Sky is warning U.K. media regulators that it could shut

down Sky News as it becomes an obstacle to a proposed takeover bid by 21st- Century Fox.

Regulators here are investigating the deal amid concerns that the Murdoch family's media empire could become too powerful. Sky said the British

regulator should not assume, quote, "The continued provision of Sky News."

You may not know this man's face, but he could be the professor. The mystery academic, the possible missing link between the White House and the

Kremlin, and one of the key players in the Russia investigation.

[15:25:13] Our Nic Robertson takes a look at Joseph Mifsud's past.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Professor Joseph Mifsud, a middle-aged Maltese lecturer in diplomacy fitting the

description of "Foreign Contact 1" in the FBI's affidavit against Candidate Trump's former foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, has

disappeared, laying low.

He was lost seen around Rome's Link University where he was working three days after the affidavit was unsealed. The FBI affidavit alleges in the

spring of 2016, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of emails relating to Clinton.

The day before he disappeared, Mifsud told the Italian magazine "La Republica," Papadopoulos claimed was baloney. "I absolutely exclude the

fact that I spoke of secrets regarding Hillary Clinton," he told them.

(on camera): Yet it appears the fly directly in the face of what a former associate of his told CNN that Mifsud bragged to him that the Russians had

a bunch of stuff on Hillary right around the same time that Mifsud was meeting with Papadopoulos mid-April last year. The associate says that

Mifsud appeared to enjoy being the center of attention. Indeed, Mifsud has been getting a lot of attention from the Russians for several years.

(voice-over): Photographed here with the Russian ambassador to London in 2014 whom he introduced Papadopoulos to days after he'd become an adviser

to Trump. Mifsud was a participant in the Kremlin connected Valdai Club attending conferences in Russia, occasionally given speaking roles often

reserved for more qualified delegates.

It was following a Valdai Club engagement in Moscow April 19th last year that Papadopoulos alleges Mifsud told him the Russians had (inaudible) of

Hillary. The FBI affidavit states the Russian government and it security and intelligence services frequently make use of nongovernmental

intermediaries to achieve their foreign policy objectives.

(on camera): That description of nongovernmental intermediary does appear to fit Mifsud. His former associate says that Mifsud's proclivity for

self-aggrandizement, name dropping, passing on pretty much anything he was told could have led him to be used as a go-between.

(voice-over): Until Mifsud hit the headlines last week, his career had been unremarkable in the extreme, with a checkered professional track

record. However, Mifsud's credentials were enough for him to be offered a teaching position at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Since being dragged into the limelight as a controversial link to possible Russian malfeasance, Mifsud has become an object of ridicule in Russia.

One TV host calling him a retired bottom feeder diplomat.

For many Russia watchers such character assassination is suspicious and further clouds Mifsud's already shaky reputation. Nic Robertson, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Later in the show, we'll return to Russia. Outspoken Putin critic, Bill Browder (ph), will join me to speak about how he's become an

enemy of Vladimir Putin.

Still to come this evening, it's been a year since Donald Trump was elected president. I'll speak to a prominent Democratic senator about the backlash

against the politics of Trump and when will the Democratic Party will gain ground? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, HALA GORANI TONIGHT: Hard to fathom, but it's really been an entire year since Donald Trump was elected president of the

United States. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Donald Trump, he is elected the 45th president of the United States.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we did it.

My work on this movement is now really just beginning.

Repeat after me.

We're transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Remember, a year ago? Now, the president is getting nostalgic for the past. A short time ago, he tweeted his congratulations to the

Americans who elected him.

You may remember the moment when Hillary Clinton was blasted for referring to some of Trump supporters as deplorables. Well, the tweet included a

photo of the president with some of his key aides on Air Force One, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and a reference to the

"deplorables."

But is it really a time for celebration? Because Democrats yesterday in the United States made some pretty significant gains.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the Democrat from Maryland, joins me now from Capitol Hill. He's a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee. And he's live in Washington. Thanks, senator, for being with us.

So, the Democrats really needed this win because there were some special elections last spring, notably in Georgia, for instance, where Democrats

were unable to score a much-needed win. This time, it happened in Virginia and New Jersey. Do you think this is a turning?

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Well, it happens in other sites around the country as well, in state legislative races.

I think what we saw is that Donald Trump and his policies have really energized people in our community to get more involved, to get actively

engaged, and they saw an opportunity in the elections this week to voice their preferences.

And that is for policies that are keeping with American values and not the extreme policies that we saw from Donald Trump.

GORANI: All that being said, Democrats very unpopular. The latest poll is that, from March, the popularity rating, with a favorability rating for the

party itself was at 44 percent according to a recent poll. Today, it stands at 37 percent. That's a 25-year low. Fifty-four percent

unfavorable rating.

These are bad numbers for a party that wants to make a comeback.

CARDIN: Well, also, if look at the Republican Party numbers, they're equally down. And the reason quite frankly is that the Trump

administration hasn't been able to get things done in Washington. So, the institutions of government are going to look less popular.

But when you start to look at the issues, Americans favor our values of America, the inclusion, embracing diversity, dealing with immigration,

dealing with the problems that we have in our environment, and see the president retreating, the president dangerously taking us to another war in

North Korea, I think all those issues get people engaged and Democrats -

GORANI: But, senator, that's not addressing the problems the Democrats have. I mean, obviously, you're shifting the blame toward President Trump.

I understand why you would politically.

But the Democrats haven't been really able to, first of all, the election - obviously, the presidential election. They don't have control of either

house in Washington.

So, there is an issue here where the Democrats need a strategy. They need a leader. They need to get those favorability numbers up. How do they do

that? What's the strategy?

CARDIN: Well, if you look at yesterday's elections results, you would say the Democrats did very well. So, obviously, we were able to translate that

into a message for the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and the state legislative races.

[15:35:01] Yes, you're absolutely right. And that's why you'll see that we are promoting an agenda for middle-class families. We're right in the

middle of the fight right now on the tax bill. It's very clear that the Republican tax bill that's on the floor will help wealthy people and will

cost middle income families more money.

Who's fighting that? The Democrats.

GORANI: And Donald Trump is saying the reason Virginia was lost for the Republicans is simple, Ed Gillespie is an establishment guy, he did not

embrace my message, this is what President Trump tweeted out, and this is the reason he lost. How do you react to that?

I mean, in a sense, he's right. Ed Gillespie is an establishment politician.

CARDIN: Mr. Trump always has an explanation and he's never wrong. So, look, this was - clearly, the President of the United States Donald Trump

was a factor in the Virginia election and it wasn't a positive factor.

GORANI: Let me ask about the Russia investigation because you sent the letter to the State Department. It was revealed in documentation release,

at the same time as the arrest of Paul Manafort and his colleague Rick Gates, that Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump,

has three American passports with three different numbers.

You asked the State Department why is that, how is that permissible. Did you get a response?

CARDIN: No, we haven't gotten a response yet. The letter was just sent. I am the lead Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and I

think it's important to understand why he has multiple passports and whether that's been taken into consideration considering his indictments.

It seems to me the State Department needs to respond to take action.

GORANI: And do you expect a response?

CARDIN: Oh, absolutely. I've been getting responses in a timely way from the State Department with my letters of request. It's only been a matter

of maybe a week or so. I'm willing to give a little bit more time. But, obviously, I want a response, but, more importantly, I want action taken as

to whether he's eligible for these passports still to be outstanding.

GORANI: As you know, Sen. Cardin, we're seen all over the world and Americans watch us overseas, people from all over different countries,

hundreds of countries, and when they hear you say things like that Russia meddling in the US election is essentially tantamount to "an act of war",

they then ask, well, why then isn't anything done about it if prominent senators like Sen. Cardin believe that Russia's actions amount to an act of

war?

CARDIN: Well, the United States Congress did take action. We passed legislation I helped author that imposes new sanctions against Russia for

their interference in our elections, for their invasion in Ukraine, and for their other activities. So, we did take action.

Now, we're hoping the president work with our European allies to really impose those new sanctions against Russia.

Russia has a comprehensive agenda that includes interfering in our free election systems, not just in the United States, but in Europe. The fact

that they are actively engaged in many countries, including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, they're now involved in Middle East, they're doing things

that we need to stand up against.

And it does affect our national security and we want to have our allies to collectively tell Russia, if they continue down this path, there will be a

cost to pay.

GORANI: Senator, just one quick question on the Iran deal. The UK foreign secretary here, Boris Johnson was going to meet with you, I understand, to

try to persuade the United States not to pull out of the Iran deal.

Is it your sense that America will pull out of this agreement?

GORANI: Well, I had a good discussion already with Mr. Johnson. So, we've already had that opportunity to talk. I think that the view in America is

that if Iran is complying with the agreement, no, we do not want to pull out of that agreement. We want to rigorously enforce it to make sure Iran

complies and never becomes a nuclear weapons state.

But, also, we want to take action against Iran for their non-nuclear activities, including their support of terrorism. We just saw that take

place in Yemen, what they did - an attack against Saudi Arabia. We've seen it in many places in the world.

So, we want to take action against Iran for their terrorism, for their ballistic missile violations, for the human rights violations.

And I talked to Mr. Johnson about the United States working with our European allies to make it clear to Iran that we will be active against

these types of activities.

GORANI: Sen. Ben Cardin, thanks so much for joining us from Washington.

CARDIN: Thank you.

GORANI: We appreciate it.

Here in the United Kingdom, the family of a prominent Welsh politician, who was found dead Tuesday, has hit out at a Labour Party investigation into

him. They say he had not been afforded common courtesy, decency or natural justice.

Carl Sargeant was removed from office last week following allegations about his personal conduct. It's understood he took his own life.

[15:40:06] Let's go to Connah's Quay in Wales. Isa Soares is there. What are people saying there about the death of Carl Sargeant?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Hala. It's really a somber mood. People really in shock. There's a lot of fear. There's a

lot of resentment, as you were pointing out, at the way the allegations, we're told, were given to him, at the way his situation was handled.

I had the opportunity to speak to the people here, in the small community, to get a sense of not only how they feel about the man who tragically died

on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES (voice-over): The small town of Connah's Quay in rural Wales is a community now in shock and mourning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's awful. And a lot of people would have stated (ph). He was a lovely, lovely guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything I've heard about them and what people say, it's just lovely and it's really sad.

SOARES: Its local parliamentarian Carl Sargeant was stripped of his ministerial duties last week amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Four days later, he was found dead at home. His family say they are devastated beyond words.

He was the glue that bound us together, they said in a statement. He was the heart of our family. We loved it so very much.

His last message on social media was posted on Friday, saying allegations have been made about his personal conduct, claims he described as shocking

and distressing.

But he added that the details of the allegations had not been disclosed to him. His family says he was denied fairness and common courtesy.

The Welsh first minister, the man who sacked him, was today saying very little.

CARWYN JONES, FIRST MINISTER OF WALES: (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: Here in Northern Wales, there is a sense of shock that this could have happened to a man who has dedicated his life to his constituents, a

kind and passionate politician, a man of the people, a gentle giant as one of his friends told me.

MARK TAMI, LABOUR MP FOR ALYN AND DEESIDE: If the allegations are made, it's never ever going to be easy. And I'm not saying it's a really right

road, but we really do need to learn the lessons because Carl has lost his life here and we really need to look at that.

SOARES: The circumstances surrounding Carl Sargeant's death have focused debate on how such claims should be dealt with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't allege something without giving somebody the details. I mean, that's how it works in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been an accusation. He is not able to defend it because he doesn't know what that accusation is. And that measure of

ignorance, that can play on a guy's mind.

SOARES: And on social media, his death has already been used to justify arguments on both sides.

One Twitter user described Carl Sargeant as the first victim under the new guilty-until-proven-innocent system, but others point out that, while his

death is sad, the number of people who have harmed or killed themselves due to sexual abuse is infinitely higher.

At the top levels of government in UK, there's been an acknowledgment that more needs to be done to encourage sexual harassment victims to come

forward. But when the alleged perpetrator is a public figure, there can be risks in naming them. And for Carl Sergeant, ultimately a tragedy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SOARES: Hala, one of his colleagues and close friends told me earlier today, not knowing the details of those allegations that really ate away at

him, that he couldn't stop thinking about what he was being accused of, and he said that could destroy any man or woman.

But there is a sense in this quaint little town here in Northern Wales that what took place was also death by social media type of mob justice that led

to his death, Hala.

GORANI: Isa Soares, thanks very much, in Wales.

Still to come this evening, I speak to a man who says he is fighting Russian authorities to try to keep them accountable for the death of his

lawyer despite fearing for his own life. That is next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:46:16] GORANI: Businessman Bill Browder has made it his life's mission to get justice for his former lawyer who died in a Russian prison. Sergei

Magnitsky had been investigating Russian corruption before he was arrested. Reports say he was tortured in custody.

Over the past decade, Browder has fought in his lawyer's name for the Magnitsky Act, which is intended to hold the responsible Russian

authorities accountable by denying them visas or freezing their assets.

In the process, Browder says he is becoming Putin's worst enemy and he's even written a book about it - "Red Notice". He joins me here in London.

Thanks for being with us.

GORANI: You were put on the - Russia added you to the Interpol arrest warrant system for a few days. You couldn't travel. Then you were taken

off again.

BILL BROWDER, FOUNDER AND CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: So, yes. So, the Magnitsky Act was passed in Canada about two weeks ago. Putin got

very, very upset by this. He even like lashed out at me publicly in a speech he gave right afterwards. And then, the next day, I was put on the

Interpol arrest warrant list, the Interpol most wanted list.

And I should point out, this is the fifth time that Putin has gone after me using Interpol. For about nine days, I was on the Interpol list and I

couldn't travel. If I had traveled, I'd be arrested at any border.

And then, the Interpol came to their senses, took me off the list and I was allowed to travel again.

GORANI: And you think it's directly related to the fact that Canada passed its own version of the Magnitsky Act?

BROWDER: Yes, 100 percent sure that that's what happened because really, really doesn't like this Magnitsky Act because he believes that his own

personal assets at some point might be frozen by this act.

GORANI: And you say he's probably the richest man in the world?

BROWDER: Indeed. So, Putin is not like a normal head of state. This guy is a criminal. He is a kleptocrat. And in my own estimation, he's stolen

$200 billion from the Russian state in the time that he's been in power.

And he keeps that money not inside of Russia, but in the West. And because it's in the West, and because these sanctions now exist in the West, he

believes that his money might eventually be frozen.

GORANI: Now, we know this Magnitsky Act was discussed in a June 2016 meeting, at which Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, was present,

among others.

Even if the Russians want the Magnitsky Act repealed, it's not like the president can just with a stroke of a pen repeal legislation in the United

States. It doesn't work that way.

BROWDER: That's exactly right. So, the Magnitsky Act is an act of Congress. In order to have it repealed, you would have to have a majority

of Congress vote to say let's repeal this piece of human rights legislation that blocks Russians torturers and murderers coming into America.

GORANI: And that's not realistic.

BROWDER: Well, we know that. But I don't know whether Putin knew that because he sent in this woman, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the famous Russian

lady lawyer into Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with a specific ask, which was, can you help me repeal

this act.

GORANI: So, that's how important you say this act and its repeal is to Vladimir Putin. The concern with Canada, though, would be that what? That

it would start some sort of domino effect? So, you would go - now, it's the US, now it's Canada, which by the way, I've heard you say, and I don't

think anybody would disagree, is usually seen as benign country in the best sense of the term. Doesn't really take sides. But that it would lead to

other countries.

BROWDER: I don't know. Many people have been backpacking around Europe, the ones with the - they put their Canadian flags in the backpack, so that

they don't get in trouble if there's any problems.

Canada is seen as a sort of an honest broker, a moral leader. And whatever problems people have with America, they don't have those with Canada. And

so, Canada was a hugely symbolic step in our campaign to Magnitsky acts all over the world because whatever criticism people can have of America, they

don't have of Canada.

[15:50:02] And it is indeed leading to a domino effect because just yesterday the Lithuanian Parliament voted 78 to 1 in the second reading of

their Magnitsky Act and, hopefully, it will be passed next week.

GORANI: Although Lithuania, I mean, those states, it's a little less surprising that they act in this way against Russian interests.

BROWDER: Well, you can say it's even more surprising because they're right on the border -

GORANI: Right.

BROWDER: - and they could be taken over in a split second.

GORANI: Donald Trump can't repeal legislation, but there are things that a US administration can do to soften the effect of it.

BROWDER: Well, the main thing they can do is not enforce it. In December of this year - December of every year is the time when they add more names

to the Magnitsky list. They've done it four years a row in the previous - in the Obama administration.

And we're coming up to December this year. And so, it will be a big test - and, particularly, in light of all this Russian collusion or non-collusion

or whatever you want to call it. Will Donald Trump add people's names to the Magnitsky list given all of the stuff he's saying positively about

Russia.

GORANI: And we'll keep our eye on that definitely. Do you think it will happen?

BROWDER: Well, I'm ready to give him the full benefit of the doubt.

GORANI: You're a very vocal Putin critic. I mean, just in researching, I came across four or five interviews just in the last few weeks you've given

US news outlets and cable channels. So, are you concerned for your safety?

BROWDER: Well, let's put it this way. I've been at this now for nearly a decade, certainly since they killed Sergei Magnitsky eight years ago. I've

been full on, trying to get justice for Sergei Magnitsky.

And they've come at me with death threats, kidnapping threats, extradition threats -

GORANI: When you say they, who -

BROWDER: The Russian government.

GORANI: And you know for sure it was the government.

BROWDER: Just to give you an example, Dmitry Medvedev, the current prime minister, was interviewed by a bunch of journalists in Davos about me a few

years ago. And they asked him, what do you have to say about Sergei Magnitsky.

And Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister of Russia, said it's too bad that Sergei Magnitsky is dead and Bill Browder is still alive and running

around. This is the prime minister of Russia.

GORANI: Bill Browder, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate your time on the program this evening.

And by the way, you can get more of our interviews and analysis online. Head to our Facebook page. We'll post some of this interview,

Facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN.

We'll be right back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: To India now and a closer look at the sprawling country's musical and spiritual side. Destination India travels to a shrine in New Delhi

where traditional music is drawing a massive crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMIT KILAM, DRUMMER, INDIAN OCEAN: This is one of my favorite places in Delhi. There are these beautiful places where you can go to and you're not

part of Delhi anymore. This place transports me to some other time zone altogether.

Hi. My name is Amit Kilam and I'm from Indian Ocean. I play drums. I sing. And this is the beautiful Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah.

The poorest of the poor will be here and some of the richest people will be here. Some people who do not believe in anything, but God, will be here.

[15:55:07] When I walk through that place, at least, I get transported to a different world sometimes. There is this nice smell in the air and the sea

of humanity brings you to different questions in your head.

You have everybody from everywhere and from every walk of life here and there is this purity in faith.

(SUFI MUSIC PLAYS)

KILAM: India, and a lot of the Islamic world, they have rich cultures of qawwalis.

(SUFI MUSIC PLAYS)

KILAM: When a person is sitting down and singing, we're trying to emote. The musician will start with a certain set of notes and he will keep

repeating them. Repeating them over and over again. That repetitiveness is key in grabbing your attention and keeping you there.

(SUFI MUSIC PLAYS)

KILAM: If you can let go and - don't seek technical wizardry into this music. You're not here to be dazzled by the skill of the musician, but you

will be swept by the emotion of the musician.

There is something about faith and the beauty of faith. This place transcends normal religion and goes towards spirituality.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: A quick update now on one of our top stories this hour. The AT&T CEO, Randall Stephenson, has just said, "Given DOJ's statement this

afternoon, it's important to set the record straight. Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing

so."

And this is after reports that the Department of Justice and antitrust authorities required of AT&T to divest itself from Turner, the parent

company of CNN, in order for its acquisition of Time Warner to go through.

Finally, this hour, before I leave you, if you're one of those people who can never remember a face, you're about to be outdone by a sheep. A sheep!

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have trained these furry animals to recognize human faces from photographs. They were shown images

of celebrities. They were given food when they chose the correct one. The researchers say it could be useful to help understand certain disorders.

Thanks for watching tonight. I'll leave you with that.

I'm Hala Gorani. "Quest Means Business" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END