The Irith Jawetz report on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square at CNN International show
of March 12, 2017.
First, Fareed spoke with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Was there any collaboration or serious communication between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign last year? What does Russia think of claims that Moscow tried to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election? What does Vladimir Putin make of the first several weeks of the Trump administration? Fareed poses these questions and more to the longtime Kremlin aide.
Peskov denied any interfering in the US elections and any collaboration. Russia is being demonized, Russia has become a nightmare for the U.S. and the US is humiliating itself in the world.
It is impossible for a foreign country to interfere in an election process and Russia would not do it to any country, as it would not accept any country interfering in Russian elections.
What did all Trump’s people talk to the Russian Ambassador? It’s very common for an Ambassador to meet with the Administration people of the country they serve in to get a better understanding. They spoke about bilateral relations, trade, but definitely not about the election process.
President Putin always said he will respect whoever the American chose for President. Yes, he did like Trump’s approach better than Hillary Clinton’s since she had a very negative view of Russia and Trump said that although we have differences we have to talk to each other. However Putin would never interfere with the elections.
When will they meet? Not sure yet, if it does not happen before the Summer, then they will definitely meet at the next G20 meeting in Hamburg beginning of July.
What does President Putin think of President Trump: Too early to tell, but what he saw until now he thinks he is very pragmatic. We have to work together since there are so many problems in the world.
Will President Putin raise the question of the sanctions? No, since the US imposed those sanctions, Russia will not be the first to open discussions, it is up to the US to start.
What kind of a person is Putin? Putin is different than most politicians. He means what he says, he will never say more than he will be able to do. That’s why he is trustworthy, and has been in power for 17 years.
Then, Fareed spoke with Stephen Schwarzman, chair of the White House’s business advisory council and co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone. Fareed asks how Schwarzman got chosen for his role, whether he believes President Trump is open to criticism, whether there could be a U.S.-China trade war, and what could happen to GDP growth under a Trump administration.
He knows Trump for many years and when asked him to join his Administration he said no, but agreed to be his economic advisor. Trump asked him to form a group of businessmen whom he trusts and to lead that group and they have been advising Trump.
He said that 60% of Americans have not seen increase in disposable income for many years and are frustrated. The GDP will grow, the stock market has already been up 12-13% which is a good sign..
China: on Trade – US wants equivalence – fair trade – and China is accountable for half of the US Trade deficit. However, China wants a long term relationship with the U.S. but it has to be fair. As for Trump’s relations with China: “Some of Trump’s hyperbole on China will be dialed back” ( in his words). All in all Mr. Schwazmamn seemed very optimistic.
The last segment was a question: Which countries are the only ones that have a favorable view of President Trump?
1) Russia with 83% and
2) China with 54%.