tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN April 22, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
conference, press conference to you live. >> these are always very good. very energetic when the two leaders get together to answer questions from the combined press corps of the two nations. the news conference begins at any moment now. we'll turn it over to ashleigh banfield and jake tapper. hi, everybody. welcome. i'm ashleigh banfield and this is "legal view" but we begin with the breaking news of what you see on your screen in london where at any moment, you're about to hear from president obama and the british prime minister david cameron. we've got some video from early on as they were heading in to talk front and center on the agenda and it's a big one. a push to intensify the war on isis. plus, britain's very big and upcoming vote on whether or not to leave the european union and it's a move that could have a lasting impact on americans here at home. the meeting at downing street earlier and when they emerge,
some results and the president taking an unusual debate and the pointed op-ed and arguing that the british would be better off staying in the eu. let's listen in. >> good afternoon and welcome. it's great to welcome president obama again on his fifth visit to the united kingdom. brac has be barack has been president for seven years and we have been working through difficult times. the aftermath of the banking crisis, the need to revive growth and create jobs in our economies. new threats to our security from russia in the east to the rise of islamist terrorism in the south and of course, huge global challenges like ebola and climate change. the strong and central partnership between our nations has never been more important. when 70 years ago last month, winston churchill first
described the special relationship, it was not merely an enduring expression of friendship but a way to working together. it was about two nations, kindred spirits who share the same values and so often, the same approaches to the issues we face. and just as our predecessors, that has been true for barack and me whether we work to deliver economic security, national security or new emerging challenges. and today, we've been discussing all three. on economic security, we've succeeded in getting our economies growing and creating jobs for our people. the global economy still faces serious challenges but last year, britain and the united states were the two fastest growing major economies in the world. and we both know just how important trade deals are in driving global growth and barack and i remain among the most determined to achieve our vision of a u.s. eu trade deal and we work hard to push this and ask
the rest of the world to follow. we've used our economic muscle to avoid the calamity with ir iranian nuclear weapon and delivered sanctions against ukraine. we've secured the first ever global and legally binding deal on climate change, being formally signed today by over 150 governments at the united nations and transformed the way we use our aid, our diplomacy and military together to make progress on some of the most difficult issues of our time. for example, in east africa, we've helped to turn around the prospects for somalia. thanks to an eu operation led by britain, supported by america, the safe haven for paris and west africa, british leadership in europe secured a billion euros to support our efforts in helping the people of the region to defeat the outbreak of ebola
with sierra leon and france and guinea. as we've made important progress in all of these areas, so there are many more that need a lot more work. there's no doubt that the situation in libya is immensely challenging but we now finally have a government of national accord with whom we can work. in syria and iraq, we are continuing to have coalition efforts to defeat and degrade diash. a total number of fighters now estimated to be at its lowest for about two years. the iraqi security forces are steadily pushing diash out of the territory and this week, almost entirely clearing them out of the town. and in syria, our partners liberated the large kurdish areas in the northeast and cut off the main route between raqqa and mosul.
it doesn't directly affect the united states and in the u.k., we maintained borders and continue to do so. we know the challenge this poses to friends and allies. nato will reduce the number of mai gra migrants in the eastern mediterranean and how nato could contribute to the eastern and we could do more to break the eastern model and together with the eu partners and the libbian government, we'll look at whether there's more to do to strengthen the libyan coast guard. we look at france, germany, and italy. this will be another opportunity to show how working together collectively we can better protect ourselves from the threats we face. we also covered a number of new and emerging challenges where it will be more important than ever to work together with our
international partners to identify problems and deal with them rapidly. just as we've done with ebola, we now need the same international corporation on dealing with the zika virus, on the challenge of anti-microbial resistance and tackling corruption. britain is holding a big anti-corruption summit in london which secretary kerry will attend and barack and i talked about the things we want to achieve. one of the biggest problems is if you're a country that wants to take action against corruption, you have to go all around the globe to lobby for help. we would like to see the anti-coordination center to help law enforcement agent scies and work across jurisdictions. we get international agreement on the next month. both britain and america will help contribute to set it up. all this work we have done together and at the same time, i think we've got to know each other very well. honored to have barack as a
friend and he's taught the ruling of basketball and beat me at table tennis. i remember very fondly the barbecue we had at number ten danny street with servicemen and women who serve our countries together here in the united kingdom. i've always found barack someone who gives sage advice. he's a man with a very good heart. and he's been a very good friend and always will be a good friend, i know, to the united kingdom. let me finish by saying this. in all the areas we've discussed today, our collective power and reach is amplified by britain's membership of the european union. let me be clear. when it comes to the special relationship between our two countries, there's no greater enthusiast than me. i am proud to have the opportunity to be prime minister and to stand outside the white house listening to this man, my friend barack, say that the special relationship between our countries has never been stronger. but i've never felt constrained in any way in strengthening this
relationship by the fact that we're in the european union. in fact, quite the reverse. we deliver for our people through all the international groups that we're a part of. we enhance our security through the membership of nato and g7 with the g20. like those organizations, brinltbrinl britain's membership of the eu gives us a tool to deliver on the prosperity and security that our people need and to stand up for the values our countries share. and now i think is a time to stay true to those values and to stick together with our friends and allies in europe and around the world. thank you very much, barack. >> thank you, david. and as always, it is wonderful to be here in london and to meet with my good friend, david cameron. i confess, i have always come back to wish your majesty, the queen, a very happy 90th
birthday. earlier today, michelle and i had the honor to join her majesty and royal highness and the duke of edinborough. i have never been driven by a duke of edinboro before and it was a smooth riding. the queen has been a source of inspiration for me like so many people around the world. she is truly one of my favorite people. and should we be fortunate enough to reach 90, may we be as vibrant as she is. she's an astonishing person. and a real jewel to the world and not just to the united kingdom. the alliance between the united states and the united kingdom is
one of the oldest and one of the strongest that the world's ever known. when the u.s. and the u.k. stand together, we make our countries more secure. we make our people more prospero prosperous. and we make the world safer. and better. and that's one of the reasons why my first overseas visit as president more than seven years ago was here to london. at a time of global crisis. and the one thing i knew as green as i was as a new president was it was absolutely vital that the united states and the united kingdom working together to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. our success depended on our ability to coordinate and to be able to leverage.
i met with david on that visit. he wasn't yet prime minister and a special relationship, david and i have shared an extraordinary partnership. he has proven to be a great friend and is one of my closest and most trusted partners. it was the six years or so that our terms overlapped. we have met or spoken more times than i can count. we shared our country's beers with each other. he vouches for his. i vouch for mine. taken in a basketball game in america. david, i think usual recall we were actually partners in that ping-pong game. and we lost to some school children. i can't remember whether they were 8 or 10 but decidedly shorter than we were and they whooped us. samantha and michelle, our better halves, have become friends as well.
it's the depth and breadth that helps us tackle some of the most daunting challenges of our time. around the world, our joint efforts as david mentioned have stopped the outbreak of ebola. helped iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. forged a climate agreement in paris that hopefully helps to protect our planet for future generations. and today, on earth day, our governments along with about 170 others are in new york to sign that agreement. the u.s. is committed to formally joining it this year which should help it take effect years earlier than anybody expected. we also discussed the full array of challenges to our shared security. we remain resolute and continue the progress to ultimately defeating isil and removing top
leaders from the battlefield. we've got to keep working to improve security and information sharing across europe and to stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of syria. we discussed our efforts from yemen to syria in order to increase the prospects for stability. we help libyans rule out extremist elements. in syria, as challenging as it is, we need more progress towards an enduring cease-fire and continue to push towards greater humanitarian acts to those people who need it the most. we continue with our overseas commitments and we have to resolve the ukraine and rightly concerned about russian aggression. we should aim for the nato target of spending 2% of the gdp
on defense. something made to meet that standard and discussed new actions to address with our nato allies and a strong defense relies more on just military spending but helping to unleash the potential of others to live freer, more proweprosperous liv to thank as one of the foremost donors of humanitarian aid. we talked about investment to achieve greater opportunities and prime minister and whether or not the uk should remain part of the european union. let me be clear. ultimately, this is something the british voters have to decide for themselves. but as part of our special
relationship, part of being friends is to be honest. and to let you know what i think. and speaking honestly, the outcome of that decision is a matter of deep interest to the united states because it affects our prospects as well. the united states wants a strong united kingdom as a partner. and the united kingdom is at its best when it's helping to lead a strong europe. it leverages u.k. power to be part of the european union. as i wrote in the op-ed here today, i don't believe the eu moderates british influence in the world. it magnifies it. the eu has helped to spread british values and practices across the continent. the single market brings extraordinary economic benefits to the united kingdom. and that ends up being good for america.
because we're more prosperous when one of our best friends and closest allies has a strong, stable, growing economy. americans want britain's influence to grow. including within europe. the fact is in today's world, no nation is immune to the challenges that david and i just discussed. and in today's world, solving them requires collective action. all of us cherish our sovereignty. my country is pretty vocal about that. but the u.s. also recognizes that we strengthen our security through our membership in nato. we strengthen our prosperity through organizations like the g-7 and the g-20 and i believe the u.k. strengthens our collective prosperity through the eu. in the 21st century, the nations that made their presence known on the world stage aren't the nations that go it alone but
aggregate their power and multiply their influence and precisely because britain's values and institutions are so strong and so sound, we want to make sure that that influence is heard. that it's felt. that it influences how other countries think about critical issues. we have confidence that when the uk is involved in a problem that they're going to help solve it in the right way. that's why the united states cares about this. for centuries, europe was marked by war and by violence. the architecture that our two countries helped build with the eu has provided the foundation for decades of relative peace and prosperity on that contin t
continent. what a remarkable legacy. the legacy born in part out of what took place in this build g building. before we walked out, i happened to see e anythinigma on display. and that was a reminder of the incredible innovation and collaboration of the allies in world war ii and the fact that neither of us could have won that alone. and in the same way, after world war ii, we built out the international institutions that, yes, occasionally constrained us. but we willingly allowed those constraints because we understood that by doing so, we were able to institutionalize and internationalize the basic values of rule of law. and freedom.
and democracy. that would benefit our citizens as well as people around the world. i think there's a british quote that said no man is an island, even an island as beautiful as this. we're stronger together. and if we continue to tackle our challenges together, then future generations will look back on ours just as we look back on the previous generation of english and american citizens who worked so hard to make this world safer and more secure and more process po prosperous and they'll say we did our part and that's important. that's important not just here. that's important in the united states as well. thanks. >> thank you very much.
we've got some questions. we'll start with a question from the british press and we'll have chris from itv. >> thank you very much, prime minister. from itv news. mr. president, you yourself acknowledge the controversial timing of your comments on the eu referendum and the spirited debate that we're having here and i think you're right in the weeks before your arrival here leave campaign said you're acting hypocritically. america would not accept a loss of sovereignty that we have to accept as part of the eu and america would not accept the levels of immigration from mexico that we have to accept from the eu. and therefore, in various degrees of politeness, they have said to youou that you should really keep your views to yourself. with that in mind, mr. president, do you still think it was the right decision to intervene in this debate and can i ask you this, crucially, what happens if the uk does decide in
june to leave the european union? >> first of all, let me repeat. this is a decision for the people of the united kingdom to make. i'm not coming here to fix any votes. i'm not casting a vote myself. i'm offering my opinion. and in democracies, everybody should want more information, not less. and you shouldn't be afraid to hear an argument being made. that's not a threat. that should enhance the debate. particularly because my understanding is that some of the folks on the other side have been ascribing to the united states. certain actions will take if the u.k. does leave the eu. so they say, for example, that
we'll cut our own trade deals with the united states. so they're voicing an opinion about what the united states is going to do. i figured you might want to hear from the president of the united states what i think the united states is going to do. and on that matter, for example, i think it's fair to say that maybe some point down the line, there might be a uk/u.s. trade agreement but it's not going to happen anytime soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big block of the european union to get a trade agreement done. and u.k. is going to be in the back of the queue. not because we don't have a special relationship, but because given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely inefficient.
now to the subject at hand, obviously, the united states is in a different hemisphere, a different circumstance, a different set of relationships with its neighbors than the u.k. does, but i can tell you this. if right now, i've got access to a massive market where i sell 44% of my exports, and now i'm thinking about leaving the organization that gives me access to that market, and that is responsible for millions of jobs in my country and responsible for an enormous amount of commerce and upon a lot of businesses depend, that's not something i'd probably do.
and what i'm trying to describe is a broader principle which is in our own ways, i mean, we don't have a common market in that but in all sorts of ways, the united states constrains itself in order to bind everyone under a common set of norms and rules that makes everyone more prosperous. that's what we built after world the united states and the u.k. designed a set of institutions, whether it was the united nations or the britain wood structure, imf, world bank, nato. across the board.
now, that to some degree constrained our freedom to operate. it meant that occasionally, we had to deal with some bureaucracy. it meant that on occasion, we have to persuade other countries and we don't have 100% of what we want in each case but we knew that by doing so, everybody was going to be better off. partly because the norms of the rules that were put in place were reflective of what we believe. if there were more free markets around the world and an orderly financial system, we knew we could operate in that environment. if we had collective defense treaties through nato, we understood that we could formalize an architecture that
would deter aggression rather than us having piecemeal to put together alliances to defeat aggression after it already started. and that principle is what's at stake here and the last point i'll make on this until i get the next question, i suspect, is that as david said, this magnifies the power of the u.k. it doesn't diminish it. on just about every issue, what happens in europe is going to have an impact here. and what happens in europe is going to have an impact in the united states. we just discussed, for example, the refugee and the migration crisis and i've told my team, which is sitting right here so they'll vouch for me, that we considered a major national security issue that you have
uncontrolled migration into europe. not because these folks are coming to the united states. but because if it destabilizes europe, our largest trading block, trading partner, it's going to be bad for our economy. if you start seeing divisions in europe, that weakens nato. that will have an impact on our collective security. now, if in fact, i want somebody who's smart and common sense and tough and is thinking as i do in the conversations about how migration is going to be handled, somebody who also has a sense of compassion and recognizes that immigration can enhance when done properly, the assets of a country and not just
diminish them, i want david cameron in the conversation. just as i want them in the conversation when we're having discussions about information sharing. and counterterrorism activity. because precisely i have a confidence in the u.k. and i know that if we're not working effectively with paris or brussels, then those attacks are going to migrate to the united states and to london, i want one of my strongest partners in that conversation. so it enhances the special relationship. it doesn't diminish it. >> let me just make, chris, one point in response to that. this is our choice. nobody else's. the sovereign choice of the british people. but as we make that choice, it surely makes sense to listen to what our friends think, to listen to their opinion, to listen to their views and that's what barack has been talking
about today. and also worth remembering as we make this choice, it's a british choice about the british membership of the european union. we're not being asked to make a choice about whether we support the german's style of membersh p membership. we're able to travel and live and work in other european countries but we've maintained our borders because we're not in the no-border zone. and on this vital issue of trade where barack made such a clear statement, we should remember why we are currently negotiating this biggest trade deal in the whole world and in the whole world's history between the european union and the united states is because britain played an absolutely leading part in pushing for those talks to get going and indeed, we announced them at the g-8 in northern ireland when britain was in the
chair of that organization. we set the agenda for what could be an absolutely game-changing jobs and investment because we were part of this organization. i want to add those important points. i think we have a question there now. >> thanks, mr. president. following on that, do you think that between the migration and the unities of the crisis point, what do you hope leaders can concurrently do about it an do you expect those nations. and the further strain of europe while we talk about future summits and wondering whether maybe you plan to go to hiroshima when you go to japan. >> come on, man. you're stretching it. >> i promise. prime minister, the cabinet came here for the friend and speaking honestly, they should stay in the eu and as a friend and
speaking honestly, what would you advise americans to do about donald trump? thanks. >> i'll let you take that. >> that was so predictable. i want to describe european unity as under strength. and some of that just has to do with the aftermath of the financial crisis and the strains that we're all aware of with respect to the euro zone and i think it is important to emphasize as david points out that the u.k. is not part of the euro zone and so the blowback to the british economy has been different than it is on the continent. but we've seen divisions and
difficulties between the southern and the northern parts of europe. that's created some strengths. i think the migration crisis amplifies a debate that's taking place not just in europe but in the united states as well. at a time of globalization, at a time when a lot of the challenges that we face are transnational as opposed to this foc focus, there is a temptation to want to just pull up the drawbridge. literally or figuratively. we see that played out in some of the debates that are taking place in the u.s. presidential elections. and that debate, i think, is accelerated in europe. but i'm confident that the ties
that bind europe together are ultimately much stronger than the forces that are trying to pull them apart. europe has undergone an extraordinary stretch of prosperity. maybe unmatched in the history of the world. if you think about the 20th century and you think about the 21st century, 21st century europe looks an awful lot better. and i think the majority of europeans recognize that. they see that unity and peace have delivered sustained economic growth, reduced conflict, reduced violence, e enhanced the quality of life for people and i'm confident that can continue but i do believe
that it's important to watch out for some of these fault lines that are developing. and in that sense, i do think that the vote which if i'm a citizen of the u.k., i'm thinking about it solely in terms of how is this helping me, how is this helping the u.k. economy? how is it helping create jobs here in the u.k.? that's the right way to think about it. but i do also think that this vote will send a signal that is relevant about whether the kind of prosperity that we built together is going to continue. or whether the forces of division end up being more prominent and that's part of the reason why it's relevant to the united states and why i have had
the tumerity to weigh in? i've got what were your four other questions? i figure i knocked out two. with regard to libya, we try to assist this mason government. and it's a challenge. but there are people in this government of national accord that are genuinely committed to building back up a state. that's something we desperately want because both the united states and the united kingdom but also a number of other allies are more than prepared to invest in helping create border security in libya and helping the drive out terrorists inside of libya. and trying to make sure that what could be a thriving society, relatively small
population, a lot of resources, this is not an issue where we should have to subsidize libya. they're actually in a much better position than some other countries that we've been helping. if they can just get their act together and we want to help provide that technical assistance to get that done. and there's no plans for ground troops in libya. i don't think that's necessary. i don't think it would be welcomed by this new government. it would send the wrong signal. and this is a matter of can libyans come together? what we can do is to provide them our expertise. what we can do is to provide them training. what we can do is provide them a road map for how they can get basic services to their citizens and build up legitimacy. i think the one area where both david and i are heavily committed is as this progresses, we can't wait if isil is
starting to getting a foothold there. so we are working not just with the libyan government but a lot of our international partners to make sure that we're getting the intelligence that we need and in some cases, taking actions to prevent isil from having a stronghold against europe or the united states. and i think you have to wait until i get to asia to start asking me asia questions. >> the question you asked me. this is not a general election. this is a referendum. and as barack has explained, it affects people very deeply but affects others in the european union and affects partners like america or canada or australia or new zealand and, you know, as i look around the world, it is hard to find, so far, i haven't
found a country that wishes britain well. that thinks we ought to leave the european union. and i think that's, again, it's our choice. we make the decision. we'll listen to all the arguments. people want the facts. they want the arguments. they want to know the consequences and i try to lay those out as clearly as i can but listening to our friends, listening to countries that wish us well is part of the process and it's a good thing to do. as for the american elections, i've made some comments in recent weeks and months. i don't think now is the moment to add or them or subtract from them but i think just as prime minister has been through two general elections leading my party, you always look on the u.s. elections in awe of the scale of the process and the length of the process and i marvel at anyone left standing at the end of it. >> fortunately, we're term
limited. so i too can look in awe at the process. >> we have another british question from the bbc. >> we can make plain that voters sho should stay in the eu but good friends being honest, are you seeing our decades old relationship that's been through so much would be fundamentally damaged and changed. are you also, do you have any sympathy with people who think this is none of your business? and prime minister, to you, if i may, some of your colleagues believe it's utterly wrong you've dragged our closest ally into the eu referendum campaign. what do you say to them and is it appropriate for the mayor of london, boris johnson, to have brought up the kenyan ancestry in the context of this debate?
>> the british question. first of all, questions for boris and they're not questions for me. i don't have some special power over the president of the united states. you know, barack feels strongly about what he said and as i said, it's our decision as a sovereign people. the choice we make about europe that i think it's right to listen to and consider the advice of your friends and amplify the points that barack made. we have a shared interest of making sure europe takes a robust approach to russian aggression and if you take those issues of the sanctions that we put in place through the european union, i think i can put my hand on my heart and say britain played a really important role and continues to play an important role in making sure those sanctions were put in place and kept in place.
i'm not sure it would have happened if we weren't there. now it's in our interest for europe to be strong against aggression. how can it be an interest not to be at that table and potentially to see those sanctions not take place? and i think it's been that working between britain and the united states over this issue. that is helped to make a big difference. i would just say about the special relationship to me and i'm passionate about it. i believe it deeply for all the reasons of the history and the language and the culture but the future of our country and the truth is this. the stronger britain is and the stronger america is, the stronger that relationship will be. and i want britain to be as strong as possible. and we draw our strength from all sorts of things that we have as a country. the fifth largest economy in the world. amazing armed forces. brilliant security forces we were discussing about how well
they work together. incredibly talented people. brilliant universities. the fact we're members of nato and the g-7, the g-20, the commonwealth but we draw strength and project strength and project power and project our values and protect our people and make our country wealthier and our people wealthier by being in the european union. so i want britain to be as strong as possible and the stronger britain is, the stronger that special relationship and the more we can get done together to make sure we have a world that promotes democracy, peace, human rights, and the development that we want to see across the world. so to me, it's simple. stronger britain, stronger special relationship. that's in our interest and that's in the interest of the united states of america as well. >> let me start with winston churchill. you know, i don't know if people are aware of this but in the residence on the second floor,
my office, my private office is called the treaty room. and right outside the door of the treaty room, so that i see it every day, including on weekends when i'm going into that office to watch a basketball game, the primary image i see is a bust of winston churchill. it's there voluntarily because i can do anything on the second floor. i love winston churchill. i love the guy. now, when i was elected as president of the united states, my predecessor had kept a churchill bust in the oval
office. there's only so many tables where you can put busts. otherwise it starts looking a little cluttered. and i thought it was appropriat in the united kingdom might agree that as the first african-american president, it might be promote to have a bust of a dr. martin luther king in my office to remind me of all the hard work of a lot of people who would somehow allow me to have the privilege of holding this office. that's just on winston churchill. i think people should know that. know my thinking there. with respect to the special relationship. i have a staff member who will not be named because it might
embarrass her a little bit who generally on foreign trips does not leave the hotel or the staff room because she's constantly doing work making this happen. she has had one request the entire time that i have been president and that is, could she accompany me to windsor on the off chance that she might get a peek at her majesty, the queen? and gracious as she is, her majesty actually had this person along with couple of others lined up so that as we emerged from lunch, they could say hello. and this staff person who is as tough as they come almost fainted which was, i'm glad she didn't because it would have
cost an incident. that's the special relationship. we are so bound together that nothing is going to impact the emotional and cultural and intellectual affinities between our two countries. so i don't come here suggesting in any way that that is impacted by the decision that the people of the united kingdom may make around whether or not they're members of the european union. that's there. that's solid and that will continue hopefully eternally. and the cooperation in all sorts of ways through nato, through g-7, g-20. all of those things will continue. but as david said, if one of our
best friends is in an organization that enhances their influence and enhances their power and enhances their economy. then i want them to stay at it. or at least, i want to be able to tell them, i think this makes you guys bigger players. i think this helps your economy. i think this helps to create jobs. and so ultimately, it's your decision, but precisely because we're bound at the hip, i want you to know that before you make your decision. margaret brennan? >> thank you very much, sir. mr. president, vladimir putin hasn't stopped assad as he led you to believe he would and the cease-fire in syria appears to be falling apart. will you continue to bet on what looks to be a losing strategy?
mr. prime minister, the u.k. today warned its citizens traveling to north carolina and mississippi about laws there that affect transgendered individuals. as a friend, what do you think of those laws? mr. president, would you like to weigh in on that and if you would indulge us, prince? indulge all of us back in the u.s., sir. prince passed away. you were a fan. you had invited him to perform at the white house. can you tell us what made you a fan? >> i'm trying to figure out which order to do this. maybe i'll start with north carolina and mississippi. i want everybody here in the united kingdom to know that people of north carolina and mississippi are wonderful people. they are hospitable people. they are beautiful states and you are welcome and you should come and enjoy ourselves.
and i think you'll be treated with extraordinary hospitality. i also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong. and should be overturned and they're in response to politics in part. in part, some strong emotions that are generated by people. some of whom are good people, but i just disagree with them, when it comes to respecting the equal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation. whether they're transgender or gay or lesbian. and although i respect their different viewpoints, i think it's very important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently. and i think it's fair to say that we're not unique among countries where particularly
under a federal system, in which powers disperse that there are going to be some local ities tht put forward laws that aren't reflective of a national consensus, but if you guys come to north carolina or mississippi, everybody will be treated well. second question with respect to syria, i am deeply concerned about the cessation of hostilities and whether it's sustainable. now, keep in mind that i have always been skeptical about mr. putin's actions and motives inside of syria. he is, along with iran, the preeminent backer of a murderous regime that i do not believe can regain legitimacy within his country. because he's murdered a lot of
people. having said that, what i also believe is that we cannot end the crisis in syria without political negotiations and without getting all the parties around the table to craft a transition plan. and that by necessity means that there are going to be some people on one side of the table who i deeply disagree with and whose actions i deeply abhor. and that's how oftentimes you resolve conflicts like this that are taking an enormous toll on the syrian people. the cessation of hostility is held longer than i expected. and for seven weeks, we've seen a significant reduction in violence inside that country and
that gives some relief to people. i talked to putin on monday precisely to reinforce to him the importance of us trying to maintain this cessation of hostilities. asking him to put more pressure on assad indicating to him that we would continue to try to get the moderate opposition to stay at the negotiating table in geneva. but this has always been hard and it will continue to keep being hard. and what david and i discussed in our meeting was that we will continue to prosecute the war against dash, against isil. we'll continue to support those who are prepared to fight isil. we'll continue to target them. we're going to continue to make progress. but we're not going to solve the overall problem unless we can get this political track moving. i assure you that we have looked
at all options. none of them are great. so we are going to play this option out. if in fact, the cessation falls apart, we'll try to put it back together again even as we continue to go after isil. and it is in my belief that ultimately, russia will recognize that just as this can't be solved by a military victory on this part of those we support, russia may be able to keep the lid on alongside iran for a while, but if you don't have a legitimate government there, they will be bled as well. and that is not speculation on my part. i think the evidence all points in that direction.
and finally, with respect to prince, i love prince because he put out great music and he was a great performer. i didn't know him well. he came to perform at the white house last year and was extraordinary. and creative and original and full of energy. and so it's a remarkable loss n and i stay at winfield loss. so happens there's a turntable and so this morning, we played "purple rain" and "delirious" just to get warmed up before we left the house for important bilateral meetings like this. >> great music. along with brilliant talent.
i've been to north carolina many years ago and enjoyed it. i've not yet made it to mississippi but one day i hope to. we get advice on travel and obviously deals with laws and situations as they are and it tries to give that advice dispassionately and impartially but it's very important it does so. it's something a lot of attention is given to. our view on any of these things is we believe they should be trying to use the law to end discrimination rather than to embed it all or enhance it and that's something where we're comfortable saying to countries and friends anywhere in the world but obviously, the laws people pass is a matter of their own legislators. but we make our own views about the importance of trying to end discrimination and we have made some important steps going forward in our own country on that front which we're proud of. with that, thank you very much. >> thank you very much, everybody.
>> president barack obama and british prime minister david cameron finishing a joint press conference at the foreign office just across the street from 10 downing street. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am jake tapper. the two managed to discuss a great number of topics including new laws in north carolina, in mississippi, having to do with the lgbt community. whether or not president obama removed a bust of winston churchill. there were very big discussions about isis, climate change, libya, about syria, about russia, and its campaign of what president obama called aggression. let's break it all down. let's start, of course, with cnn chief international correspondent christiane amanpour. president obama's last campaign as president will be for the
democratic presidential nominee whomever that might be, hillary clinton or bernie sanders. this campaign in europe right now in the u.k. to keep the u.k. in the european union, this is basically his second to last campaign as president trying to keep, trying to convince the british people and the people of the u.k. to stay in the eu. >> well, yeah. i don't think he framed it in those exact political terms but i get your point because of all those things you just mentioned and obviously, the hour long press conference was dominated by this idea of the eu referendum and what britain will do and what britain will choose on june 23rd. and the president made it very clear. and surprised britain by the no hold's barred and pulled no punches column in the daily telegraph today in which he came out very strongly saying britain must remain in the eu.
as a friend, let us tell you that britain in the eu will be even greater. many thought he may come here and simply provide an opinion on the periphery of these conversations that he's having but he went out and he explained over and over again not just in that column but in his press conference just now. chapter and verse as to why it was important and i think significantly and the president did this incredibly cleverly. he portrayed it as in america's vital interest. he did not just talk about for britain or europe. he said we are weighing in because this is an alliance that serves my national interests. as president of the united states. my trade, my vital security, my defense pack. so he portrayed this as, of course i'm going to weigh in and i will say it very bluntly because it's about america's natural interests as well. and took on the naysayers and
the brexitors. prime minister cameron's own colleagues who say, if we get out, it will be a ball. we will be able to rapidly sign a whole load of trade agreements with the european countries, with the united states because we're so bravig. the fifth biggest country in the world and everybody will want to maintain the trades. you heard president obama from the mouth of the united states president saying that britain out of europe will join the end of the queue. the united states will be no in hurry. i thought that was so important and really the brexitors will need to listen to that clearly. to the complaint that britain had to give up sovereignty. he said, look, this agreement has given you so much more than
a little bit of losing because of this global trade pack or this european trade pack. he said, you know, all of these multilateral organizations and treaties that we've signed demand it but that's a relatively small price to pay. it was really very interesting on the brexit question and on syria, on prince, the singer, and on the queen. he said, you know, i really came here to say good-bye, farewell, as president to her majesty, one of the people i love most in the world. really, really interesting on that level as well. >> thank you, christian. let's get to fareed zakaria. >> he said that president obama