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tv   Wolf  CNN  December 6, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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white house correspondent jim acosta over at the white house. jim, we expect president trump any moment now to tell us precisely what he intends to do, tell us what the white house is saying in advance. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. and just to set up the scene here for us, we expect the president to start speaking right around 1:00, he'll enter is the diplomatic room here at the white house with the portrait of george washington over his shoulder. there will be a table in the room. we expect the president to sign a waiver that will keep the u.s. embassy in tel aviv for a period of years. they can't move the embassy to jerusalem right away. it will take a few years for that project to be completed. but make no mistake, this is upending and changing decades of u.s. foreign policy precedence in this country in that the president is about to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. of course, it is something that he said he would do during the campaign. he's making good on a campaign props. as you mentioned it does threaten to blow up the middle
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east peace process because so many palestinians recognize east jerusalem as the capital of what they hope to be as a future state of palestine for the palestinian people and asked about this just a little highway ago, the president was meeting with his cabinet earlier today, and he was asked whether or not this will affect the middle east peace process, he said he'll talk about that here in a few moments. but undoubtedly when you look around the world from the pope to the palestinians and just about every u.s. ally in between, there are grave concerns about what the president is about to do here. >> certainly are. we're going to stand by and momentarily we'll hear directly from the president over there at the white house. jim acosta, thanks. we'll get back to you. meanwhile trump administration officials admit it could take years to complete the embassy move from tel aviv to jerusalem. our cnn international diplomatic editor nic robertson is joining from us jerusalem right now. regardless of how long it takes, this is certainly a monumental decision. what's at stake and how is this
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decision being received in the region? >> reporter: well, israel the minister oftance port here in israel described this as a historic day. he said any country that doesn't recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel doesn't therefore recognize the state of israel. the mayor of jerusalem a couple of hours ago welcoming this decision by president trump on the wall behind me, the gate on the old -- around the city walls, the old city of jerusalem, there was projected the israeli and u.s. flag side by side together. so on for israelis this is a by and large a very welcome decision. but for palestinian negotiators shah wary talking earlier saying president trump is putting himself and the united states in an impossible position as a potential negotiator in between palestinians and israelis for the peace process going forward.
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that this daniels the united states credibility and the concern being here that if about the nuance and detail of what president trump says, the concern of course, from the palestinian side if president trump were to mention, we don't know that, but this is what people will be listening for, a united jerusalem as being the capital of israel, then that would send a very, very negative message to palestinian leaders, hamas have said that president trump is crossing a red line. people will be listening to how he articulates his vision if he does for how the peace process may move forward. so right now, the streets here have been very quiet, anticipation here and concern about this three days of rage that various different palestinian organizations have said they expect to come after this announcement. >> yeah, it's just after p.m. in jerusalem right now. so everybody is going to be watching, listening precisely to
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president trump's words. nic robertson, we'll get back to you. thank you. a number of u.s. allies clearly have already weighed in urging the trump administration to reconsider even at had late moment. even the pope expressed profound concern. let's go to our chief international correspondent christiane amanpour joining us live from london. what kind of language will you be listening for? >> that is preseesly the question. we do have to listen for the language. we could have to very closely pay attention to exactly how the president frames whatever he's going to say about jerusalem. whether he bends towards you know, outcry recognizing it as the only capital and only for israel or whether lease a fudge as does exist in some other countries deck cla rags for instance russia. we also have to listen to whether he says anything about his commitment to a two-state solution. we have to listen for as i say the language. here's the thing. we've heard floated for a while now certainly the last few days
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that the administration has a peace plan. the jared kushner peace plan we've been hearing about. while they've announced it, they haven't detailed it. it has not gone on the table. people are concerned, analysts people doing this diplomacy in the past that if they then put this peace plan on the table having recognized israel if he does as the sole inheritor of jerusalem as the capital, then that plan would be still born. then we have to ask our question, can any arab leader continue with any u.s. peace plan if the parameters are changed in what we expect to hear from president trump. can they do it even if they want to do it? will their streets allow it. these are the diplomatic questions we'll wait to see whether they get answered from the white house and from the region. >> i assume it's surprised a lot of leaders in the region right now, the timing of the president's announcement.
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and very quickly, give us your thoughts on that. he's about to walk into that room. >> hard to say about the timing. people are asking why now with all these crises in the rest of the world, why throw another very volatile region into potential turmoil. as you know, jerusalem is the most sensitive peace of real estate in the world. politically, regionally, ideaologically, it is the most sensitive place in the world. so the real big question is why. we know there was a deadline for this waiver on the embassy question. and that actually passed i believe on monday. the president apparently is going to sign that waiver. so that is a question we're obviously going to be asking, the american officials once we hear what this announcement will be. but again, what does it mean? is a two-state solution over? the president says he wants to forge the deal of the century. he said that shortly after his inauguration. his first visit was to saudi arabia. his second visit was to israel. so you know, there's a lot going
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on in that region. question is how we're going to get from here to there. >> christiane, i want you to stand by. the president's about to make his very important, indeed historic statement on the future of the u.s. attitude, the u.s. position on jerusalem. he's to walk into the room. he is walking in right now with the vice president. >> thank you. when i came into office, i promised to look at the world's challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. we cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. all challenges demand new approaches. my announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between israel and the palestinians. in 1995, congress adopted the
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jerusalem embassy act urging the federal government to relocate the american embassy to jerusalem and to recognize that that city and so importantly is israel's capital. this act passed congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. and was reaffirmed by unanimous vote of the senate only six months ago. yet, for over 20 years, every previous american president has exercised the law's waiver refusing to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem or to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital city. presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of jerusalem
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would advance the cause of peace. op s some say they lacked currently but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. nevertheless, the record is in. after more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between israel and the palestinians. it would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result. therefore, i have determined that it is time to officially recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. while previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. today, i am delivering. i've judge this had course of
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action to be in the best interests of the united states of america and the pursuit of peace between israel and the palestinians. this is a longover due step to advance the peace process. and to work towards a lasting agreement. israel is a sovereign nation with the right like pre other sovereign nationing to determine its own capital,age acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. it was 70 years ago that the united states under president true man recognized the state of israel. ever since then, israel has made its capital in the city of jerusalem. the capital, the jewish people established in ancient times. today, jerusalem is the seat of
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the modern israeli government. it is the home of the israeli participant. the knesset. as well as the israeli supreme court. it is the location of the official residence of the prime minister and the president. it is the head quarters of many government ministries. for decades, visiting american presidents, secretaries of state and military leaders have met hair israeli counterparts in jerusalem. as i did on my trip to israel earlier this year. jerusalem is not just the heart of three great religions. but it is now also the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world. over the past seven decades, the israeli people have by the a country where jews, muslims and
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christians and people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and according to their beliefs. jerusalem is today and must remain a place where jews pray at the western wall, where christians walk the stations of the cross, and where muslims worship at al aqsa mosque. however through all of these years, presidents representing the united states have declined to officially recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. in fact, we have declined to acknowledge any israeli capital at all. but today we finally acknowledge the obvious. that jerusalem is israel's capital. this is nothing more or less
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than a recognition of reality. it is also the right thing to do. it's something that has to be done. that is why consistent with the jerusalem embassy act, i am also directing the state department to begin preparation to move the american embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. this will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so ha a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace in making these announcements, i also want to make one point very clear. this decision is not intended in any way to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. we want an agreement that is a
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great deal for the israelis and a great deal for the palestinians. we are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the israeli sovereignty in jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders. those questions are up to the parties involved. the united states remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. i intend to do everything in my power to help forge such an agreement. without question, jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. the united states would support a two-state solution if agreed
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to by both sides. in the meantime, i call on all parties to maintain the status quo at jerusalem's holy sites including the temple mount, also known as haram al shareef. above all, our greatest hope is for peace. the universal yearning in every human soul. with today's action, i reaffirm my administration's long-standing commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. there will of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation. this sacred city should call
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forth the best in humanity. lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable. peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it. so today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. i repeat, the message i delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in saudi arabia earlier this year. the middle east is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. its people are brilliant, proud and diverse.
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vibrant and strong. but the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by blood shed, ignorance and terror. vice president pence will travel to the region in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the middle east to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreeps of future generations. it is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. it is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence. and it is time for young and moderate voices all across the middle east to claim for them selves a bright and beautiful
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future. so today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. and finally, i ask the leaders of the region political and religious, israeli and palestinian, jewish and christian and muslim 0 join us in the noble quest for lasting peace. thank you, god bless you, god bless israel. god bless the palestinians. and god bless the united states. thank you very much. thank you. >> all right. so the president of the united states delivering a historic speech. he is now about to sign this document reaffirming what he just said.
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namely that the united states recognizes jerusalem as the capital of israel. and that the united states will move its embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem, as well. this is a historic moment, first time since zra was established in 1948 that the u.s. recognizes jerusalem as its capital. first time that the united states will have an embassy in jerusalem. it currently has a consulate in west jerusalem. no embassy, in fact, u.s. once this is promised by the president is delivered will be the only country in the world with an actual embassy in jerusalem. let's listen to see if he answers any shouted questions. no shouted questions. the president and the vice president walk out. let's get some reaction. we've got an excellent panel here with us. gloria borger, the president was very firm. he made this commitment during the campaign like other american presidents have made during earlier presidential campaigns ha the u.s. would recognize jerusalem as israel's capital
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and move the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. " president, president trump was very proud to say unlike earlier presidents he's actually delivering on that campaign commitment. >> you know, there was no fuzziness about this, wolf. this was clearly stated. the president said i am delivering. and made the point that other people have, other presidents may have had their reasons but they did not -- they did not do what he is about to do. this was about the president's promise during the campaign which he clearly feels even though there was disagreement in his administration bgs how to handle this, that he wanted to deliver no matter what the outcome quite honestly. i think this was evangelicals were quite involved in it. it is no coincidence you see the vice president standing beside the president on this. he was the go between with the evangelical community on there who was very strong about this.
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you know the president was very close to sheldon adelson who donated $25 million to his political action committee supporting his candidacy. and this is a president who right now wants to keep his promises because he is concerned bedroom where he sit with the people who inspired him. despite disagreement, my colleagues can talk about that, the disagreement he is saying the other guys failed. i'm doing it. it's perfectly clear. >> christiane is is joining us from london. your reaction? >> well, wolf, what exactly just happened, yes, the president did all those things gloria just said. he also said two incredibly important things. that is they are still committed to a two-state solution but most importantly on the language of jerusalem, i heard him say and mo doubt we'll pour over it again, he said we are none of this is to prejudice the final
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outcome or fours to weigh in on one side or the other. ar most specifically he said, it is up to the sides to deal with the boundaries of jerusalem and it's not for us to deal with israel's sovereign boundaries around jerusalem. i don't know, but it soundsed like he wasn't saying that he recognized israel jerusalem as only israel's capital. of course, it is israel's capital. but it was leaving a door open for it potentially to be decided by the parties in a fine agreement. that's what i heard. maybe i'm wrong. but i think it's really important to listen to that little bit again. >> you're not wrong. i heard exactly the same thing. the president said the united states would support a two-state solution. israel living alongside a new state of palestine and he also said even though the u.s. was recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital, he was not necessarily concluding the final sovereign borders of the city of jerusalem. he was leaning that open to
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future negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. i think we have a clip of that specific -- that specific statement, christiane. listen to the president. >> we are not taking a position of any final status issues including the specific boundaries of the israeli sovereignty in jerusalem. or the resolution of contested borders. those questions are up to the parties involved. the united states remains deeply committed to helping facilitate a peace agreement that is acceptable to both sides. >> that's precisely what you suggested,cityian. you heard it absolutely correctly. the president saying the u.s. would still support a two-state solution and isn't conclude what the final boundaries of the city of jerusalem include. >>up.
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i think it's really important. what we've been saying all day is words matter. we have to listen to exactly what the president says. he threw red meat at his supporters and you can discuss that with the political team sitting around you, and he has talked about moving the embassy. of course, that's a change. again, not for another six months. who knows what will happen in six months time. maybe it will happen, maybe won't. it's going to take a long, long time to make that move. that will be contentious. on issue of the actually sovereignty and the openership of jerusalem, it is still apparently you know, being left for the two sides to deal with or the united states as hopefully it can continue its role as an honest broker. we'll have to see what the two sides say after this speech. as i say, that issue we're all waiting on tender hooks to see teams to have been, i don't know, it seems status quo. >> chris tannian, stand by. i want to get more analysis. jim sciutto is our chief
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national security correspondent. you were listening very closely. what did you hear? >> reporter: it was a nuanced statement from the president. but the fact is he did say something that previous presidents democrat and republican have not said about jerusalem. there's a reason that they have not despite the passage of this legislation some 20 years ago because the view is among both parties here in the u.s. but also u.s. allies and adversaries, china russia, is by making that statement you're prejudicing negotiations. they haven't reached agreement on this and yes, he did say i would support a two-state solution if both sides would support it and an the status quo, et cetera. there's a phrasing he didn't quite use on jerusalem but he came out and made a fullsome statement supporting jerusalem as israel's capital. the word palestinians was not mentioned till six or seven minutes into his comments there. that words matter certainly, the positive statement he did say has power coming from an american president.
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and that speaks to exactly why previous american presidents of both parties have not made such a statement because the view is that would prejudice negotiations. the other point i would make is that in addition to this promise during his election, president trump at various times has promised or maybe boasted is the better word he's going to shake shake up these negotiations i can talk to both sides. i'm sending my son-in-law out there to get this done. in this statement he's saying we're going towing abandon failed strategy. we're not going to stick to failed strategies. what is the strategy? was there discussion of how this is connected to a boweder approach to achieving peace? there's been no articulation of that in in speech or for the last nine, ten months of his presidency. >> his speech was exactly 11 minutes in which he laid out this new vision had he. >> it's a statement. is it a visioning? i don't know. >> at least it's a beginning of some process they've been working since they took office
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on getting something going. there hasn't been any visible results not yet. elise lab by the, your analysis? >> i agree with all of that. but if you listen to what he said on the whole jerusalem issue, there isn't that much there there. this is already in u.s. law. what does the u.s. get for this? he gets to be able to tell his base. but it's kind of untethered to what we've been talking about in thames of peace talks. jared kushner, jason greenblatt is also on the peace team have been traveling through the region and gaining the trust and the confidence of the parties in terms of moving something together. i won't say they're there yet. they're going to lay out a peace deal. this kind of diminishes the progress made. if you look at some of these reactions, hamas, all options are open in defending the land now. turkish president erdogan, jordan's king abdullah could fuel terrorism. you talk about evangelical chris
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cranes, all of the heads of the local churches in jerusalem said please don't do that. it could cause irreparable harm. all of the good will that in this peace team is getting in region i think now the role of the u.s. as an honest broker is going to be in question. i think jared kushner and gavin green blatt might argue to you that you know, deals are not linear maybe if you throw something into the equation, this kind of be a catalyst. this was purely a presidential political move. but i think they're kind of working at cross purposes here. i think the president might just have poured fire on something that could have been slowly moving towards progress. >> i'm anxious to get erin david miller's reaction with the wilson center. you spend decades working on this issue, israel and the palestinians when you served in the state department. what is what's your reaction. >> i don't want to rain on ez's parade here. there is an interesting nuance with respect to not committing
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to the sovereignty of east jerusalem or the borders leaving it open to negotiations. frankly this had nothing to do with the pursuit of israeli-palestinian peace. notion ha how we need new ideas, there are no new ideas here. this seems to be a statement by a willful president to a basically deliver and to those who said you can't do it, i can do it. i'm not entirely sure. the statement doesn't appear attached or moored to any specific strategy. and frankly, i think it's going to make mr. kushner's already impossible task ha much more impossible. one final point. he did mention the palestinians. but that was in reference frankly to an overall situation. there's no acknowledgement in the statement whatsoever that palestinians or arabs have any claim either to territory, a capital, or even, frankly, to the issue of sovereignty over
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the holy site. so by and large, i don't want us getting lost in the notion that just because the president acknowledged and obviously, someone who had some measure of experience decided to put that tiny hook in there and to create the notion that now for the first time the administration has endorsed a two-state solution assuming both sides accepted. but i think it's going to make a long shot even longer. >> you can tell that this speech was kind of pieced together around the trump decision. i want to do this. and there was disagreement. and elise has reported on this. there was disagreement inside the administration so that the statement that christiane and you were talking about before we're not taking a position on any of the final status issues had to be sewn into this in order to soften what was a very clear statement by the president. >> hold on one minute. dennis ross is with us,
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ambassador. he worked to try to bring an israeli/palestinian agreement over.years when he bed in the u.s. government. dennis, let me get your reaction to what the president just said. i understand you believe that there could be some potential some strategic vision that the president has to advance the peace process with what he just said. >> well, i agree that we haven't heard what that strategic vision is. we didn't hear new ideas from that standpoint. but i wouldn't undersell the significance of saying that nothing has been prejudged. there is not, in fact, any effort here to say this is what jerusalem is now going to look like. in effect, what he's saying is i'm recognizing what is a fact. now, i also recognize that if we are going to have peace, we're going to have to deal with the needs of other sides as well. aaron is right he didn't spell out what the needs or the claims of the other side were, but by
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the same token, he's empathizing he's not recognizing a particular part of jerusalem as israel's capital. he's in effect saying the boundaries of jerusalem, what the sovereignty will be, where it will be, palestinian claims, all that has to be negotiated. so i wouldn't understate that. i would note that it does put him in a kind of interesting position vis-a-vis the israelis. he's now done something that can every israeli prime minister would have liked to have seen and puts him in a position where with the israeli public he's crossed a threshold. he does have the capacity with the plan at some point is going to be presented. he does have the capacity to be asking something of israel that will won't be so easy for israel. he's created a political context in israel that will obviously gives him some leverage. key question is going to be, can he repeat and can those in his administration repeat in the coming days and in the coming weeks the point that the palestinians and the arab needs
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will have to be address fundamental there's going to be an agreement. that will be critical if he's going to manage their response. >> so we may be giving, you may be giving the president too much credit, but what i hear you saying is that if there is going to be a new two-state solution between israel and the palestinians, a new state of palestine living alongside israel, israel is going to have make some very painful concessions. by what the president has just done, he's gone above the head perhaps of the israeli prime minister of the israeli government and told the israeli public i'm with you, i support you. and go ahead and make those kinds of painful concessions territorial concessions to the palestinians. is that what i'm hearing you suggest that that may be may have been one of the president's goals right now? >> whether it was by design or not, ha is the result. every american president has increasing capacity to ask israelis to do something that's difficult for them when the
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israeli public believes that that american president gets his israel's predictment and basically is on israel's side. well, this president has just done something that creates that reality. >> aaron miller, what do you think. >> dennis makes a fair point. >> you worked closely with him for many years at the state department. >> we've spent most of the last ten years arguing about this issue or that with respect to israeli peace. dennis makes a fair point. if this is the honey as a prelude to the vinegar during an actual negotiation, in other words if the president, the ultimate transactional man really thinks that this is the way to create a situation where no one will now be able to say about donald trump that he is the most pro israeli president since harry true man, well then he is in a position to apply ample amounts of vinegar along with the honey during the course of an actual negotiation. but i'm telling you, wolf, that's straining the bounds of
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credit duty to the breaking point because that would require a degree of pressure and awkwardness and tension with the government of israel and all of the president's constituencies for whom he did this. i'm not entirely persuaded that you're going to see that kind of follow through. >> one of the other conversations during the transition between trump administration officials and allies including russia was regarding the obama administration u.n. security council vote criticizing israel for settlement building that the u.s. abstained from in a remarkable move making that a unanimous decision. so at ha time, you know, even before trump took office, right, there was an effort there to say that we're going to have a different approach to this issue. so the question is, if the vinegar was going to be -- i mean the obvious vinegar would be pressure on settlements. would it not be? >> or on borders. >> but since then, the settlement building has continued and there was pushback against that resolution. where is the vinegar is the
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question. >> he needs to make clear to the israelis that don't create a so-called reality on the ground as we like to say in the middle east. he made that distinction not in name but in suggestion that possibly part of east jerusalem or part of jerusalem would belong to a future palestinian state as their capital. but you know, we've seen that when you give the israelis the kind of hand to do what they want, they feel as if they have a green light. are they going to continue to build in east jerusalem? you know, these kind of things were not spelled out. you need to look at how this affects u.s. relationships in the region. president trump had five calls with arab leaders yesterday. they all told him this was a bad idea the president of france didn't agree and half of his cabinet, his national security team, director pompeo, secretary of state rex tillerson, defense secretary mattis said we have to think of the wider security in the region for the u.s., how this is going to affect our
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partners on isis, on syria. i think that what is really missing here as we've been saying is this kind of regional strategy. jared kushner is trying to get this kind of jigsaw puzzle where the saudis are working together with israel on iran. that part of it seems to be working pretty well i think. there have been some quiet conversations between saudi arabia and israel. what about the gulf? they're not going to be happy about this. >> i want to get reaction from the israelis and palestinians. we are reporters in jerusalem and ramallah on the west bank. nic robertson is in jerusalem. nick, i understand the prime minister benjamin met net is reacting to what the president just said? >> reporter: yeah, he's thanked president trump for a courageous statement. he goes on to say you know, the president's decision is an important step towards peace for there is no peace that doesn't include jerusalem as the capital
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of the state of israel. but in one area, he echoes very clearly on a very important issue for everyone concerned here. what president trump said about the -- about jerusalem being a holy place for three faiths. he said i want to make clear, this is what prime minister benjamin met net said, i want to make clear there will be no change whatsoever to the status quo of the holy sites. exactly what president trump said. the jewish people and the jewish state will be forever grateful. this has been our goal from veil's first day. israel will ensure the freedom of worship for jews, christians and muslims alike. president trump, thank you for today's hick decision to recognize jerusalem israel's capital. very clear the sentiment from the israeli prime minister but echoing what is a major international concern that the announcement by president trump could alter the dynamic in jerusalem and therefore, cause
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sluk potential for violence and for trouble. by no means have we seen the full pan noply of reaction. this is the reaction of the prime minister of israel at this time. >> we'll get more reaction from the palestinian authority in ramallah as well. ian lee i want to go to shortly. listen to what the president said right at the end of his 11-minute address. >> let us rethink owed assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. and finally, i ask the leaders of the region political and religious, israeli and palestinian, jewish and christian and muslim to join us in the noble quest pore lasting peace. thank you. god bless you, god bless israel. god bless the palestinians. and god bless the united states. hank you very much. thank you.
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>> jim sciutto, i know you wanted to react to what we just heard. >> the words, there was something noticeable, i don't know if others did about the way he was speaking there. it was a long statement. possibility that he needed water. but there was something strange about the way the words were coming out of his mouth towards the end of those comments. >> he was very distinctive i thought toward the end. slurring almost. >> a little out of breath. i wouldn't ascribe anything in particular to it. maybe he isn't feeling well today. >> we're standing by for palestinian reaction. we'll go to ian lee in ramallah on the west bank. there's a lot of reaction pouring in right now. allies are warning they fear there could be violence after this announcement. stand by. there's also other news we're following here in washington breaking news from capitol hill. several female democratic senators are now calling on their democratic colleague al franken to resign over the sexual harassment allegations against him. and the calls are growing. also breaking, the wildfires
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we're following right now. just heard president trump announce that the united states will recognize jerusalem as israel's capital. he also announced plans to eventually move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. he wants to build a new u.s. embassy in jerusalem. many regional and world leaders already criticizing trump's decision. they say it will actually undermine in efforts toward middle east peace and risk destabilizing the region. the white house says the move is
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a recognition of reality that jerusalem has long been the seat of power in israel. we earlier received israeli reaction from flick robertson in jerusalem. a statement from the prime minister netanyahu. ian legal is joining us from ramallah on the west bank. i assume the palestinians are pretty angry about all of this. >> you know, wolf, that's something we've heard in the leadup to this. right now we're waiting for palestinian president mahmoud abbas to give his statement and what we're seeing right now is that he's actually having a phone conversation according to palestinian tv with the egyptian president abdul fatah el sisi and then it's presumed he's going to make a statement. palestinians have been very angry about any sort of declaration of jerusalem as israel's capital. and said that this would essentially torpedo the peace process but really everyone was wait forth words that came in
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this the statement by the president. what is he actually going to say. there was one part which you and christiane spoke about earlier about the fact that jerusalem's borders as well as israel's borders will be determined in a final peace negotiated settlement that he's not saying unequivocally that all of jerusalem thus belongs to israel, that he left that open for future peace negotiations. we'll see how the palestinians react to that. we do know though that right now in gaza, hamas has had protests against trump's speech. tomorrow right behind me here in this square in ramallah, there's a planned protest. this is going to kick off three days of rage we're planning to see in jerusalem, the west bank and gaza. i just got a message on my phone from the consulate in jerusalem warning u.s. citizens from going into any area where there's large gatherings, also diplomats
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to stay away from the old city and the west bank. they're taking precautions because of the potential for things to turn violent, wolf. >> as soon as you get that reaction from the palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas, let us know. i'll be speaking later today in "the situation room" with the palestinian representative here in washington, as well. our thanks very much for that ian lee. republican senator james lankford of oklahoma joins us right now from capitol hill, a member of the intelligence committee. thanks for joining us. >> glad to be with you, wolf i know you traveled to israel twice this year. what's your reaction to the decision announced by president trump. >> in many ways it's about time. it's obvious when you go visit israel and you sit down with the pript, you meet with him in his office in jerusalem. if you're going to visit with members of the knesset, you meet in the knesset in jerusalem. it's obvious to the world if you're going to meet with the
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israeli government, it is located in jerusalem. it's always been an odd thing. 1995 was the year congress passed wide bipartisan support to be able to move the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem and declare the capital. that was reaffirmed by the senate as recently as this year with a naps vote in the senate to be able to relocate the embassy back to jerusalem where it should be and where the entire world should recognize the obvious thing there. the capital of israel is jerusalem. >> what do you say to allies, u.s. friends in the region? let's say like jordan and egypt, the saudi arabia who are very upset, the palestinians obviously very upset. they're warning thissal fuel instability and effectively kill any hopes of a future israeli/palestinian peace deal. >> i would disagree with that. we continue to work towards a peace deal. that is an ongoing part of the process that's happened for decades now. it didn't happen for decades when the united states didn't recognize jerusalem as a
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capital. we would assume there's no change on that when we do recognize it. if we couldn't resolve for decades before it, let's go ahead and recognize the obvious. if you're in another country looking at the united states, you're going to see our capital is in washington, d.c. and recognize the capital of the united states is in washington, d.c. you should be able to do the same thing in following in washington. very different subject. more than a dozen democratic senators calling on al franken to resign over groping allegations. senator franken says he'll be making some sort of announcement tomorrow. do you believe he should step down? >> i think we should see the ethics work through. some of his colleagues has stepped in and make recommendations to them this is something the conference will decide. but i don't think the senate decides until we get through an ethics investigation. but obviously a lot of building momentum towards him making his
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own decision rather than the ethic committee determining for him. >> i know you are investigating the russian involvement. i want you to stand by because we have more breaking news in the russian investigation. manu raju is standing by. manu, what are you learning? >> reporter: top democrat house committee says he will make some statements about michael flynn the fired former national security adviser. now, according to the whistleblower account, on the day of president trump inauguration, flynn had texted a business associate about applying to join russia and nuclear reactors in the middle east and said the project was good to go. and one reason why according to the whistleblower account is they were going to rip up sanctions with russia. now this is the strongest indication we have to date that
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michael flynn and the administration perhaps was moving towards easing sanctions on russia. and also that flynn had a personal motivation himself to move forward with such a project. because presumably it could help him financially. now of course flynn on friday pleaded guilty to special counsel robert mueller's charges that he had lied to the fbi on several occasions about his conversations with russians. we don't know the motivation why he lied or if this has any connection to this case. but we do know that cummings told the special counsel's office about this whistleblower and special counsel's office told him to hold back and not say anything publicly about the whistleblower until friday when michael flynn pleaded guilty. so flynn is making clear the administration in his view was
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willing to roll back sanctions a considered to go the whistleblower. and what cummings wants doud to do is it issue subpenas to the white house and other associates of the president in order to get more information about michael flynn. no word yet from doud office whether heel go forward with this. but this is a new line of pressure that democrats are trying to push trying to get the republicans on that committee to sign on. wolf. >> yeah, another twist in this entire investigation. thanks, very much, ronald reagan with t manu raju for that news. anything else you want to say? >> every aspect of the investigation. ask every question he has access to every piece of document and history. the push with michael flynn is overreactions he did while he was a transition time period when he actually started reaching out to multiple countries. i know it's being identified
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saying he talked to the russians. he talked to a lot of different countries, planning to be the national security adviser entirely logical to do. questions need to be asked why he lied to the fbi. that's obviously why the vice president and president lost trust to him after they found out he lied to the fbi. makes total kousense. >> a lot of us are wondering, a, why did he lie to the fbi ks but why did he lie to the vice president, mike pence? >> i would say makes no sense. when someone confronts you and what you've done is contradictory to that, you have to have the trust of the president and vice president when you say something you are saying the truth. if you can't you shouldn't work in the administration. >> because the white house, as you know, senator, says the vice president didn't know that the fired national security adviser, we are talking about michael
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flynn, discussed sanctions with the russian ambassador kislyak. but new details of the lies to fbi. raising questions. but what about what precisely the vice president knew when he went on the sunday talk shows and says no sanctions were discussed between flynn and kislyak. could he have been that much in at dark, head of the trump transition team, and so many others in the trump transition knew precisely what flynn was up to. >> i don't know if they knew precisely what he was up to. obviously some updates phone calls happening. some people are going to know the contents some are not. obviously in a transition time, that's a heck tetic time, not everybody is kept in the loop. so i think the same thing we've done for previous presidents give them some opportunity to have some flex while they are in that kind of transition time. but that's what i assume has happened. i haven't seen anything nefarious and certainly nothing
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that would say that the vice president is not being factual. >> good to get your thoughts. senator thanks so much for joining us. >> you bet. thank you. >> more breaking news, wildfires in the heart of los angeles, spreading more and more evacuations, including parts of bel air. this is cnn special live coverage.
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hi there, and thank you so much for joining me, i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. we are in southern california and winds are ferocious and winds major wildfires. three major wildfires are blanketing and early this morning the fourth flyer broke out l.a. 405 freeway. and officials had to shut down parts of tony bel air estates
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are under evacuation. just take a look at some of the pictures that are coming in. this sa fire that erupted during the morning rush-hour along the busiest interstate there in the center. 405 of course is major traffic artery. and then what's more is the fire broke out near the iconic getty center. commuters have been impacted ten fold. several schools closed for the day. and sara is there in bel air estates with the latest. what's happening, sara? >> reporter: brianna we had incredible drive from ventimiglventura incredible amount of fires coming down the hill. then as we made our way down to 405, by the way they are opened h we got into bel air, houses here, firefighters have been battling all morning long. i want to give you an idea where we were compared to where the getty is. if you look through the