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News on The 700 Club: May 19, 2017

As seen on "The 700 Club," May 19: Trump kicks off foreign tour with Muslim summit: 'Get ready for some fighting words'; Protestors rally for Jakarta's Christian governor, and more. Read Transcript

Welcome to the 700 Club.

President Trump leaves today for his first overseas trip

since he took office.

And because of the importance of this trip,

David Brody is going to be along, and he'll be providing

you firsthand accounts as he meets in Saudi Arabia.

He goes to then to Israel, he is going

to be praying at the Western Wall.

And then on to Rome, and hopefully

he can patch up things with the pope.

Well, Saudi Arabia is on the agenda this weekend,

and the President is looking to strengthen a coalition

against Islamic terrorism.

Dale Hurd has that story.

The President will stop first in Saudi Arabia,

where he'll meet with the leaders of more

than 50 Muslim nations.

He's expected to deliver an important speech on the need

to directly confront, and defeat, radical Islam.

The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world

against common enemies of all civilization,

and to demonstrate America's commitment

to our Muslim partners.

CBN News' David Brody will be traveling with the President.

Steven Miller, who has worked for Jeff Sessions, who

has worked for Michele Bachmann, very conservative.

He's writing that Islam speech, so

get ready for some potential fighting words.

And there's hope in Saudi Arabia for a reset in relations

with the United States.

Saudi Arabia is delighted.

They were very disappointed with President Obama,

who they thought favored Iran, rather than them.

The President then heads to Israel,

where he'll meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Monday, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday

in Bethlehem.

One thing the President is not expected to do on this trip;

announce the moving of the US embassy

from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something

he pledged as a candidate.

But he will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

and say a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Then it's on to Rome, and a meeting with Pope Francis.

The two had sharp differences during the campaign season

over Mr. Trump's proposed border wall.

On Thursday, it's a NATO summit in Belgium, and a visit to,

what was during the election campaign, the evil empire.

The European Union headquarters in Brussels,

and a meeting with the heads of the EU

and the European Council.

Trump will also meet newly elected French President

Emmanuel Macron.

The President will then go to the G7 summit in Sicily,

before wrapping up his trip with a speech to American

and allied servicemen and their families.

Dale Hurd, CBN News.

Well, we were hoping he would move the US

embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,

but it looks like that's off the table.

There's still, scheduled, a major address in Israel,

and so we'll see what he has to say from Jerusalem.

And we'll have exclusive reports from David Brody,

his reports from the President's international trip

will all be on next week on the 700 Club.

Well in other news, the investigation

into Russian interference in the election

has taken a surprising turn.

John Jessup has that story from our CBN News

bureau in Washington.


Thanks, Gordon.

Now that there's a special counsel for the Russia

investigation, Congress is largely out of the picture.

But some on Capitol Hill say that does have one benefit;

it lets Congress focus on other key issues, like health

care and tax reform.

Abigail Robertson brings us that story.

A swarm of media greeted senators

as they left their closed door briefing with Deputy Attorney

General Rod Rosenstein over the ongoing Russia investigation.

I think the shot to the body is

it's now considered a criminal investigation.

And Congress's ability to conduct investigations

of all things Russia has been severely limited, probably

in an appropriate fashion.

In addition to the news it's no longer

a counterintelligence probe, which does not typically

result in charges, Democratic senators

claim Rosenstein knew the President planned

to fire James Comey before he wrote

the memo outlining reasons the FBI director should

be dismissed.

Senator Graham says he thinks members from both parties

approve of the appointment of Robert

Mueller as special counsel to investigate

possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

But many do not understand that it pretty much knocks Congress

out of the game.

One of the side benefits of this

is that now Congress has been pretty much sidelined, not

completely, but pretty much.

And we can go back to dealing with legislative matters that

affect the American people.

While the President says he respects the Mueller

appointment, he thinks the entire thing is a witch hunt.

Believe me, there's no collusion.

While the White House drama dominates media attention,

Republican lawmakers on the hill insist

they're moving ahead and making progress on many issues.

Whether it's tax policy, health care, everything else,

we're still doing those things.

Though, just most of the media attention is just

focused on the White House and on Trump right now.

Senator Lankford told CBN News he thinks the mainstream

media prefers the chase over what's actually happening

in Washington right now.

I'm not sure the media coverage is fair at this point,

because everyone obsesses about the latest rumor.

And there seems to be running through a theme,

and everything that feeds that theme, they run with it.

Whether it's an anonymous source,

whether anyone else has background information on it

or not.

It's suddenly, one person writes a story,

and everyone else covers the story that someone else wrote.

And they're dominating the news cycle.

We're closing out what has been

a rough week for the administration,

but the White House aims to get back on track

and change the headlines with what

it hopes will be a successful first overseas trip

for President Trump.

Reporting from Capitol Hill, Abigail Robertson, CBN News.

Thanks, Abigail.

Well, turning overseas, many people in Indonesia

are still protesting after the former Christian governor

of Jakarta was sentenced to two years in prison

for blasphemy against Islam.

Now, as Lucille Talusan reports, there

is growing concern that Islamic radicals are

trying to impose their ideology in the world's largest

Muslim nation.

Angry and embittered supporters

of Jakarta's governor Basuke Tjahaja Purnama,

better known as Ahok, gathered in front of this court

building, demanding the release of the Christian governor.

This banner says Bebaskan Ahok, it means-

Freedom for Ahok.

Freedom for Ahok.

Ahok was sentenced to two years in prison

after being found guilty of blasphemy against the Quran.

The charge was based on a re-election campaign speech,

where he allegedly stated that voters were being deceived

by his opponents, who said the Quran prohibits Muslims

from having a non-Muslim leader.

Because of this blasphemy clause, you know,

maybe you had no willingness to insult the Quran.

But just quote the Quran, and then they

say, you conduct blasphemy.

Ahok, a Christian with ethnic Chinese roots,

is a double minority in Indonesia, which is the world's

largest Muslim country.

Observers say the judges may have been pressured

by radical Muslim groups, because they ignored

the recommendation of the prosecutors

to put Ahok under a two year probation

due to insufficient evidence.

Political analyst Boni Hargens says

Ahok's case is part of a political game

plan for the next presidential election.

He warns that radical Muslims are using religion

to impose their extremist views on the country.

They claim this country, and they do not hide anything.

While Ahok's lawyers prepare an appeal to the higher court,

his supporters continue to hold rallies.

They say the Christian governor symbolizes hope for Indonesia.

He has been successful in creating the true change

in Indonesia.

So when we are now talking Ahok, we

are talking actually about ourselves.

About our dreams, about our hopes,

our expectations about the future of Indonesia,

about democracy.

Lucille Talusan, CBN News, Jakarta.

And Gordon, even though Indonesia

is the world's largest Muslim nation,

historically it's been known as a tolerant Muslim nation.

Yes and no.

I mean, there were certainly Christian massacres

in Indonesia back in the 1990s, early 2000s.

There was hope for Indonesia, and looking at the broader

spectrum here, Indonesia is the last Muslim democracy.

Turkey used to have a claim to be a democracy,

but they're now a dictatorship by all accounts.

So this is the last one.

And when you have a Muslim majority nation, the larger

issue here, for Europe, for the United States,

is what does it mean when you have a Muslim majority?

Under the Quran, under Sharia law,

it preaches that a Muslim cannot be ruled by a non-Muslim.

What does that mean for democracy?

What does that mean for free speech?

We've been covering this story with great interest, because,

what does this mean for Indonesia?

But from a larger perspective, how

should we approach people that say,

we want to live under Sharia law.

When you have Sharia law, you don't have freedom of religion.

You don't have freedom of speech.

You don't have freedom of assembly.

You don't have these things that we hold dear in the West,

and we need to wake up to that.

To say, if you want to impose Sharia law,

no, you can't be calling yourself a democracy.

Secretary of State Kerry said something absolutely incredible

as he was leaving office.

He gave a lecture to Israel, can you be a Jewish state

and still be a democracy?

And even though Israel is the only democracy in the Middle

East, and there are Muslims elected to the Knesset,

it should have been the other way around.

Can you be a Muslim nation?

Can you be under Sharia law and be a democracy?


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