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Jamal Khashoggi's Texts Offer New Clues Into His Murder; Interview with George P. Bush; Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Congress About Trump Tower Moscow; Presidents and the History of Impeachment; More Than a Thousand Aftershocks Rattle Alaska After Massive Quake. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 2, 2018 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: First, the "Wall Street Journal" is reporting that in the hours before and after Khashoggi was killed the Saudi crown prince exchanged multiple messages with a senior aide alleged to have overseen Khashoggi's abduction, torture and killing.

That revelation included in the CIA's official assessment raises questions as to why the Trump administration refuses to believe the prince ordered the murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of the United States government, and when it is done, when you complete that analysis, there's no direct evidence linking him to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is an accurate statement, it's an important statement, and it is the statement that we are making publicly today.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why are you siding with the Saudis than your own intelligence?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because it's America first to me. It's all about America first. Saudi Arabia, if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I've kept them down. They've helped me keep them down. We'll see how that all works out. It's a very complex situation. It's a shame, but it is what it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Also tonight, a CNN exclusive, never-before-seen messages sent by Khashoggi in the months leading up to his murder, ones that could provide clues as to why he was killed. The messages exchanged over WhatsApp with a Saudi dissident who now lives in Canada and provided them to CNN, laid bare Khashoggi's disdain for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. "He's like a beast, a Pacman, the more victims he eats, the more he wants." In another, "May God rid us of this nation of this predicament."

And it wasn't just political views he was exchanging but plans to hold the Saudi state accountable by creating a so-called electronic army on social media. Khashoggi pledging money to help with that project. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration would not

address "The Wall Street Journal" report. And the Saudi government has denied bin Salman's involvement in Khashoggi's death.

I want to bring in our CNN global affairs analyst Max Boot, a senior fellow on the Council of Foreign Relations, and David Rohde, executive editor for the "New Yorker" Web site.

Max, first, on the "Wall Street Journal's" report now that these details of the CIA assessment are out in the public, will that put any additional pressure on the White House?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, of course. I mean, the truth has come out, and it's pretty obvious that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi. You just saw that lame spin from Secretary Pompeo where he was dancing around that fact. I saw the same thing this weekend in L.A. where Jim Mattis spoken once again, repeated his line about how there is no smoking gun. Well, give me a break. There may not be a smoking gun, but MBS's fingerprints are all over this tape.

There is no way that this operation was carried out without his say-so and the fact that the administration continues to deny that is basically a deception of the public and the U.S. looks very weak. It looks like we are subservient to the Saudis and afraid to stand up them.

CABRERA: Just how significant are these WhatsApp messages that Khashoggi exchanged? Could they explain why Khashoggi was killed, Max?

BOOT: I think they certainly contribute to his murder, the fact that he was fomenting dissent within the kingdom as well as the fact that he was embarrassing the crown prince with his "Washington Post" columns, calling out the crown prince for his tyrannical moves, jailing dissidents at the same time that he was also liberalizing, allowing women to drive and so forth, so I think it all comes together.

This is why Jamal Khashoggi was marked for death by the crown prince.

CABRERA: David, the president has basically said there's nothing to confirm that MBS was directly involved in the murder. Here's his secretary of state, again, this weekend defending the White House's response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POMPEO: Today we're working with the Saudis in Afghanistan. We're working with the Saudis to push back against the Ayatollah Khomeini who killed hundreds of Americans, Wolf. And they're an enormous support to us. They are a relationship that has mattered for 70 years across Republican and Democratic administrations alike. It remains an important relationship, and we're aiming to keep that relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: David, does this send a message the Saudis can do this sort of thing with impunity?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It does, and it tells them that they can get away with this, and it's confusing. They could easily condemn Saudi Arabia for this murder, but that wouldn't end American oil purchases from Saudi Arabia. That would not, you know, end the relationship completely, so it's sort of a false argument the administration is making that they can simply not condemn them for murder, and if they do in any way criticize this murder the entire relationship falls apart. That's just simply not true. And I don't understand why the White House is being so cautious in this case.

[20:05:04] CABRERA: We learned that the president did exchange some pleasantries with the crown prince at the G20, not a full-on conversation. He just returned back to the White House early this morning, Max. I read your column. You say this was one of Trump's most successful international trips, why?

BOOT: Well, that's grading on a curve. I only said it was successful because he did not commit a major gaffe of the kind that he committed, for example, at the G7 in Canada in June when he stalked out and refused to sign the communique or his obsequiousness towards Putin in Helsinki July. So there was no horrible moment. But it was a very low energy conference and it was also a missed opportunity for Trump because what he should have been doing is confronting Putin.

He should have been confronting Mohammed bin Salman. He should have been rallying the democracies to stand up to Russia and China and to hold Saudi Arabia to account. He did not do any of that. The highlight of the summit was his dinner with Xi Jinping of China, and Trump was trying to claim that's a huge victory but in fact it's a big nothing. It's basically an agreement to keep talking. It doesn't really amount to very much.

So, yes, by Trump's low standards you can argue that this was one of his more successful outings but certainly not by the standards of previous presidents. I mean, imagine somebody like George H.W. Bush, what he would do at an international gathering like this.

CABRERA: David, one image getting a lot of attention from the G20 was this one, MBS and Putin in sort of a high five enthusiastic greeting, sort of a handshake hybrid of sorts. What went through your mind when you saw that?

ROHDE: Well, there was one tweet that said it was the two of them celebrating, you know, this is what it's like to have total control over the president of the United States, but it does, you know, reflect a very dangerous trend which is that these authoritarian rulers whether it's Putin in Russia or MBS in Saudi Arabia not feeling any concern in terms of violating international norms, any threat from the United States.

As Max said, you know, President Trump is not holding them to account. There's a real, you know, lack of American leadership, and that continued at the G20 and, you know, other countries see this, you know, MBS and Putin look strong, China looks strong. I agree with Max that there was not a big step forward with China, so all of this is an American withdrawal from the international scene.

CABRERA: Max, I hear you say that the president should have held his meeting with Putin to confront him, especially over the incident in the Kerch Strait which was his reasoning for cancelling that meeting, again that incident where -- in which the Russians seized Ukrainian vessels and crew members. What kind of response should there be now?

BOOT: Well, Russia needs to pay a price for its aggression. I mean, this is outrageous that a week ago the Russians attacked Ukrainian ships in international waters. This is a violation of the most basic tenets of international law, and nothing whatsoever has happened to Russia. Putin was smiling like the Cheshire cat at the G20 meeting.

We need to ramp up the sanctions. There's a lot more on the sanctions front that we can do to make Russia feel some real pain from its aggression. We need to make them understand this is unacceptable behavior because this is a trial balloon. If you don't make Putin understand that he could not get away with this kind of aggression you're going to see more of this aggression. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised to see him trying to grab the entire Sea of Azov or trying to grab more Ukrainian territory like the city of Mariupol. That's going to be the next step unless we signal to him right now that he cannot get away with these violations of international law.

CABRERA: David, do you think if Putin was trying to test the waters that he's now thinking he got away with something here?

ROHDE: Yes, I think he is, just -- he said at the end of the G20 summit that he would not be freeing the sailors from the Ukrainian ships that Russia illegally seized in that confrontation so it's a green light. He has gotten away with this, he hasn't paid a price, and I think he, you know, continues to push Trump and see no pushback whatsoever, whether it's in Syria or Ukraine.

Putin, you know, does what he wants and there is no punishment, not even a verbal statement condemning his actions from the White House and so this is really unprecedented, you know, in American-Russian relations.

CABRERA: Although let me just push back on that for a moment, David, because we have seen this administration hammer Russia with sanctions of dozens of individuals. They have, you know, closed consulates and kicked people out of this country, so they haven't done nothing.

ROHDE: I think that's fair, but I think a lot of that it pressure from Congress. You're seeing that same dynamic regarding Saudi Arabia where there are Republicans in Congress, Lindsey Graham in particular, who is a big defender of the president but has said that the failure to confront MBS on the murder of Khashoggi is just too much. So yes, they have carried out these sanctions but they were sort of forced to by demands from Congress, particularly from Republicans in Congress to punish Putin somehow.

[20:10:07] So you're right, some steps, but, you know, taken only under real pressure from the president's own party.

CABRERA: All right. And I said if they close consulate --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: But close compounds is what I meant. Real quick, last word to you, Max.

BOOT: I was going to say, sometimes it seems like we have two Russia policies, the policy of the rest of the U.S. government and the policy of Trump and the rest of the U.S. government wants to be tough on Russia but Trump consistently gets in the way. And he was said to be shocked when he found out that he had signed off on the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. He didn't realize he was doing that. So he's not -- when he has to actually issue personal statements on Twitter or international summits he never ever stands up to Putin.

CABRERA: All right. Thank you so much, Max Boot, David Rohde. Good to have you both with us.

Coming up, farewell to 41. President George H.W. Bush's grandson George P. Bush is going to join us next with memories of his beloved Gampy. Plus, Bush's best friend and longtime adviser James Baker shares new details about his peaceful last day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES BAKER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: He opened both eyes, he looked at me and said, hey, Bake, where are we going today? And I said, well, hefe, I said, we're going to heaven, he said, good, that's where I want to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:15:27] CABRERA: As the nation remembers President George H.W. Bush, his close friend and adviser James Baker is sharing new details about those final hours when Bush was surrounded by friends and family refusing to go to the hospital because he was ready, ready to leave this world, to be with his late wife Barbara and their daughter Robin who died of leukemia at the age of 3. Here's what he told Jake Tapper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAKER: When I showed up at 7:00 in the morning, one of the aides who assisted him physically said, Mr. President, Secretary Baker is here, and he opened both eyes and he looked at me and said, hey, Bake, where are we going today? And he said, well, hefe, I said, we're going to heaven. And he said, good, that's where I want to go. Little did I know or that he knew of course that by 10:00 that night he'd be in heaven.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, and you were there for his last words which were to his oldest son President George W. Bush. Tell us about that.

BAKER: Yes, well, then later on, as -- as it became obvious that he was -- that he was probably going to pass that evening, they -- they got all the kids on the phone. You know, when someone is passing away the last sense that goes is the hearing, and they can hear things, so they got the kids on the phone, and each one of them spoke to him and he spoke back or mumbled back anyway, and then they got 43 on the phone and 43 said, I love you, dad, and he -- and I just -- and I'll see you in heaven, and 41 said, I love you, too. And those were the last words that he ever spoke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Here's what happens next. This plane is standing by to fly the president's body to Washington, D.C. tomorrow. President Bush will lie in state at the U.S. capitol and then Wednesday a memorial service at the National Cathedral. Later in the week the president will be laid to rest on the grounds of his library in Texas.

I want to show you some great pictures, warm, personal memories of President Bush from his grandson George P. Bush. He tweeted this picture of them posing with their baseball gear, quote, "He taught me how to fish in Maine, throw a horseshoe and swing a baseball bat lefty."

And on the phone with me now, the boy in those photos, no longer a boy, George P. Bush, grandson of the late George H.W. Bush, son of Jeb Bush.

George, first of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts and memories of your grandfather. How are you doing?

GEORGE P. BUSH, GRANDSON OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Doing OK. You know, it's been a tough weekend. Reaching out to friends and loved ones these past few hours it's a challenge. You know, he's my idol. He's my hero, and I will say this. We look forward to tomorrow, paying tribute to an incredible grandfather, incredible public servant, incredible man, and celebrating his life.

CABRERA: No doubt this is a man who was loved by many, who accomplished so much and who really gave his life to this country in so many capacities. What will you miss most though about the man you called Gampy?

BUSH: I'll miss his handwritten notes. I'll miss his e-mails and his caring and thoughtful way of looking out for his grandkids. You know, the rest world knows him as the 41st president of the United States but to me he's just my Gampy. And you know, he mentioned he taught me how to fish, how to hit lefty. A lot of people ask well, why lefty, because both of us were challenged by speed and he can get to first base a little bit quicker that way. But I just -- I'm going to miss him, I miss my Ganny, but I'm looking forward to being with the rest of my family in D.C. for a few days and heading out to Texas to say our final goodbye.

CABRERA: Were you able to be with him in his final moments?

BUSH: I wasn't. You know, I know you just played Secretary Baker's fitting tribute. I was actually in Houston last week for state business and I had a chance to drop by his house and I did my best -- you know, even I'd say about a week ago it was becoming clear that we were, you know, in the final weeks if not days, and he came back to Houston from Maine.

[20:20:10] I want to stay in mid-October and I had a chance to see him twice in the last four weeks, and so, you know, I tried to spend as much time with him possible. I saw him this past summer as well, but you look at the loved ones who had a chance to say a final goodbye and I had a chance to talk with him about an hour before he passed and told him I loved him and told him I was praying for him.

CABRERA: All weekend we have been talking about his service to this country and how his life could be described as just one giant act of service. I remember interviewing you, first, when you were running for Texas land commissioner for your first election to that position. How did your Gampy impact your career path?

BUSH: You know, in a big way. And I recall that interview. It was a great discussion in Laredo, Texas. You know, I constantly sought his advice. Who knows better about Texas politics than George H.W. Bush, and, you know, he's really the architect for helping to turn the state Republican in the last century along with Secretary Baker, and, you know, between the two of them, they were just filled with all the wisdom and I would reach out. But more than anything else, you know, he just always provided advice.

In terms of being a family man, while being involved in politics but -- and I think, you know, we'll have a chance to talk about that in terms of his leadership that, you know, he actually had a life, and he spent time and devoted it to his children and his grandchildren, and you can still have character. You can still have class, even in a difficult and challenging political landscape, so I definitely relied on his advice and even after reelection he gave me a call and sent my best and told me he was proud of me.

CABRERA: George P. Bush, I'm sure he's very proud of you and I know he loved you, you loved him, and I'm very grateful that you took the time to share some of those memories and thoughts about your grandfather tonight. Again we apologize. Our condolences to your loss and thank you again for being here.

BUSH: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: We'll keep you in our thoughts and our prayers.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:26:58] CABRERA: Tonight the spotlight is back on President Trump and his business dealings in Russia. It comes after Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about Trump's Moscow Tower project.

CNN's Matthew Chance takes a closer look at this failed venture and who was involved.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Trump, it's always been about business. His business, his brand, his properties.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People ask me, what does Trump stand for more than anything else? And if I use one word it's always quality. Big windows, great fixtures, beautiful kitchens, everything is going to be the best, and that's what it's all about.

CHANCE: And it was Trump, that property developer who campaigned to be a Republican presidential candidate. Juggling his business and political ambitions, which inevitably overlapped. But by how much is only now coming to light.

His former lawyer revealing negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow went on much longer than previously admitted. Until at least June 2016, after he essentially secured the nomination.

Nothing wrong with that, Trump insisted before leaving for the G20.

TRUMP: It was a well-known project. It was during the early part of '16, and I guess even before that. I didn't do the project. I decided not to do the project. So I didn't do it. So we're not talking about doing a project.

CHANCE (on camera): It was in this location, on the outskirts of Moscow, near the sprawling Crocus City, a business and entertainment complex, that the Trump World Tower Moscow as it was called was meant to be built. Part of a 14-tower project according to these developers, which would have stood across this whole area. You can see here if we look through this wire fence that some of the towers have already started to be constructed. But, of course, the Trump Tower isn't amongst them.

One of the ideas for that Trump building, according to one of his business associates, was to give the top floor, the penthouse apartment, in a 250-apartment block to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, as a way of attracting buyers.

IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: The Trump Organization likes to be ahead of the curve. We're always ahead of the curve. And this would be another example.

CHANCE (voice-over): Ivanka Trump and her spa and fitness brand were also an integral part of the Moscow proposal. According to a letter of intent obtained by CNN, Trump's daughter would be given sole and absolute discretion to approve the spa designs. This was a Trump family affair.

But how much was the Kremlin also involved? Until this week, it insisted attempts by Trump associates to make contact over the Moscow tower had been ignored. The Kremlin spokesman now admits his office called and asked why they wanted to have meetings with the presidential administration, and explained that we have nothing to do with construction issues in the city of Moscow.

[20:30:10] It may be an important change. The Russian-based owners of Crocus City where Trump Tower Moscow was meant to be built have been embroiled with the Trump family in other areas, too.

(On camera) Did the Russian authorities give your family information to pass on to the Trump administration?

(Voice-over): Take Amin, the pop star son of Crocus owner, Aras Agalarov, who helped set up a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton at Trump Tower in New York. Aras and Trump also co-organized the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow. But the U.S. president, it appears business and politics in Russia have often mixed.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Joining us now defense attorneys Mark Geragos and Randy Zelin.

Mark, President Trump argues that he was a businessman at the time all this was going down. He had not been elected president yet so he didn't want to lose business opportunities, so even if he had decided to go ahead with this project he says there would have been nothing wrong with it. Is he right?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he's got a big surprise coming in, and I think he knows exactly what's coming. December 12th when Michael goes back to court, there is buried in the sentencing memos a reference to the fact that the -- there's a cooperation in an ongoing unidentified attorney general investigation. That -- that reference is basically a firewall so that they realize or to send a message out to the president's lawyers you're not going to pardon your way out of this.

This is -- you combine that with the American media revelations which will be shortly forthcoming, and there is going to be a firestorm like I don't think most people have seen in a long time when this gets released. I literally can't emphasize enough the fact that he can try to preempt this with the idea that it was business as usual, but when you combine it with the other Michael Cohen piece of this, and there's a large piece that has to do with the American Media and David Pecker, it is going to I think blow a lot of people's minds as to what was really going on.

CABRERA: Randy, do you agree with Mark?

RANDY ZELIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's difficult to say. It's difficult to disagree, but I guess for me it's a matter of so many people seem to be hoping for this firestorm, hoping for this disaster. I can't imagine that anyone would actually want what could happen to this country if in fact our president is put into the crosshairs of the Department of Justice and a criminal prosecution.

It would be a disaster I think right now to try to divine or think about what's going to happen at Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing which is right around the corner. That in and of itself is extraordinarily unusual because typically a defendant does not get sentenced until his or her cooperation is complete, and for Michael Cohen to be basically telegraphing that I've been cooperating but oh, by the way I have no interest in waiting to be sentenced, that in and of itself is extraordinary.

The fact that the -- that the American public knows what proffers are and knows about what goes on with cooperation agreements, all of which is historically done like this.

CABRERA: So what do you think it means, that it's being done differently than what is perhaps normal?

ZELIN: Everything seems to be a new day. The best that I can tell is that Michael Cohen is going to go in and say, your honor, sentencing is all about a sufficient sentence to meet the goals of sentencing, and what are the purposes of sentencing? Promote respect for the law. Swift and certain punishment, to acknowledge the seriousness of the offense, to deter me, to deter others. Well, the most difficult box to check off has always been general deterrence, stopping the next Randy Zelin from committing a crime.

I can assure you with the spotlight having been put on all of these cases, nobody ever thinks about going to jail as a deterrent. It's about getting caught and seeing all of these people get caught lying at the highest ends, the highest of government and society that I would respectfully submit is all the deterrence that we need to say, you know what, this ain't worth it.

CABRERA: And Trump's kids have become embroiled in all of this. A source tells CNN that Trump Jr. knew about this project in Moscow after his sister Ivanka whose involvement was limited to recommending architects and designers, we're told.

[20:35:02] But, Mark, given their potential involvement in this, given the lack of transparency about how this all went down, the fact that we didn't even know about this business venture during the campaign at all, it wasn't revealed until after the president became president, could these other Trump family members be in some kind of legal trouble regarding this issue?

GERAGOS: Yes, and I think that's precisely why they referenced the New York attorney general, both the one investigation for the Trump Organization Foundation and the other as yet not disclosed investigation and building on what Randy said.

This is highly unusual, and that's why I -- I don't look at this or anticipate or relish the fact that it's going to become a firestorm because I think it's going to be more like a meltdown. I think that what you're going to see is you're going to see the prosecutors detail the extent of the cooperation, and when they detail the extent of the cooperation, because they have to tell the sentencing judge, this is exactly what we got. This is why this information is important. This is why it was helpful, distinguish that from what they said earlier this last week with Manafort where they said he was not being helpful. He was not cooperating.

In fact, not only was he not cooperating --

CABRERA: They said Manafort was lying.

GERAGOS: -- but we take the position he was obstructing by talking to the president's lawyers. Exactly. You're going to see a detailed I believe laying out of stuff that is going to just set people's head spinning on the 12th.

CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, got to leave it there for tonight.

Mark Geragos and Randy Zelin, we'll continue the conversation as we learn more details. Thank you both.

It used to be a last resort constitutional measure, but nowadays impeachment has become a political weapon. Hurled as a threat. Coming up, CNN's Fareed Zakaria investigates impeachment and what could happen when the U.S. really needs to use it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:41:25] CABRERA: The I word, impeachment, a failsafe in our Constitution that has become something of a political weapon in recent years. Tonight Fareed Zakaria traces the history of impeachment including the case that was made against former President Bill Clinton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All my life I've wanted to be involved with people.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: In 1978 a bright-eyed 32-year-old Bill Clinton was running for governor of Arkansas.

CLINTON: I've tried to bring out the best in people through politics, and I really have been very happy doing it.

ZAKARIA: He and his wife Hillary were also investing in some real estate. A nice little patch of land in the Ozarks called Whitewater. That plot of land on the white river, a two-bit real estate deal that ended up losing money, would change the course of history.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you a subject or a target?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did they read you your rights?

ZAKARIA: Decades later --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The Whitewater controversy --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Whitewater -- UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Political turbulence over Whitewater.

ZAKARIA: Whitewater became a massive spiraling investigation that led prosecutors to a sex scandal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ayes have it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: William Jefferson Clinton is impeached.

ZAKARIA: That became the second presidential impeachment in American history.

How on earth did that little corner of Arkansas --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hereby deliver these Articles of Impeachment.

ZAKARIA: -- Explode into a constitutional showdown?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: I spoke with Fareed Zakaria about his special earlier today specifically about how threats of impeachment have become a go-to battle cry of sorts over the last few presidencies and I asked him whether Americans are becoming desensitized.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZAKARIA: I think that's precisely the danger. When -- when Bill Clinton was impeached, that was a period that had -- that was the first impeachment since Richard Nixon, and when Nixon was almost impeached, that was the first one in 100 years after Andrew Johnson. Since Bill Clinton with every president there has been serious efforts to impeach. One-third of Americans at the end of George W. Bush's presidency thought he should be impeached. One-third of Americans at the end of Obama's presidency thought he should be impeached.

One-third of the Americans at the start, day one of Donald Trump's presidency, thought he should be impeached. I think that, you know, we've gone into a new world where what was once considered a kind of nuclear option, the constitutional nuclear option to deal with the president, has become the routine way that you describe a president you really don't like.

CABRERA: Is there a case for Trump's impeachment at this point?

ZAKARIA: Well, there's no question that Trump -- that some of the charges that have been raised about Donald Trump, chiefly the obstruction of justice and the collusion with Russia, it's important to point out generally speaking scholars agree anything you did before you were president doesn't really count. If he was a shady businessman, if he did tax fraud, those are not considered high crimes and misdemeanor, because they didn't -- weren't an abuse of the office, the high office he holds. But if during the campaign and during the presidency he was colluding

with the Russians, he was obstructing justice, those are real charges. But it's very important to understand this is a big, big deal. It's not some magic mechanism that will just bring Americans together. This will come in the midst of a deeply divided society where people will disagree bitterly. It will get to the streets.

[20:45:06] So I would say, you know, the one thing that -- all the experts I talked to said be careful about using it. It is a very dangerous sword. If you have the goods, absolutely. But otherwise there's already a danger that you take an already bitterly divided country and you literally throw gasoline on the fire.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: CNN's Special Report, "PRESIDENT UNDER FIRE: THE HISTORY OF IMPEACHMENT" airs at 9:00 tonight right here on CNN. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:50:00] CABRERA: A series of aftershocks are shaking Southern Alaska just days after a massive earthquake struck near Anchorage. The 7.0 magnitude quake happened Friday splintering buildings, shattering roads, scaring a lot of people. Since then, scientists said this area had more than 1,000 aftershocks in and around Anchorage.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is there with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Road after road --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very major damage right at that area.

ELAM: Torn apart. Alaska battered by a 7.0 earthquake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.

ELAM: The shaking, the worst here since 1964. Nick Kuhlmann is checking his vacationing neighbor's place for the first time since the quake hit. What he finds is a home wrecked by Mother Nature. Upstairs, cabinets knocked to the floor. Heavy dressers piled in the bedroom. A bathroom full of glass. The shower door pulled from the wall.

NICK KUHLMANN, ANCHORAGE RESIDENT: It's pretty devastating, especially it seems like the higher up you go in the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's an earthquake.

ELAM: From Anchorage to Wasilla, and the home of Sarah Palin. Residents reeling from lost but thankful that does not include lives. Shocking, they say, because of scenes like this.

Road crews right now working 40 sites similar to this.

(On camera): This is the most travelled artery in Alaska and take a look at what has happened to the roadway because of the earthquake. It looks like some massive machine has clawed the road away. So because of that, crews are working around the clock to get this road way open, they are saying, within days. But there is a threat.

Take a look at this. See this crack right here? We have to stay on this side of it and that is because everything on the other side of it is liable to give way with all of the aftershocks that continue to hit the Anchorage area.

(Voice-over): According to the Alaska Earthquake Center, more than 650 aftershocks so far, around 20 of those at magnitude four or higher.

DIANE KUHLMANN, HOME DAMAGED BY QUAKE: I didn't want to go to sleep last night, afraid it was going to happen again.

ELAM: Diane and Bill Kuhlmann, like so many here, still on edge after riding out the quake in their Eagle River home of 47 years.

BILL KUHLMANN, HOME DAMAGED BY QUAKE: It was just a tremendous loud sound.

ELAM: Even with their possessions crashing down around them, they never heard a sound over the roar of the quake. Now, like so many, they repair what they can and search for memories that survived.

B. KUHLMANN: We had to put some lights up to make it a little brighter and cheerier in here. It makes it easier to work. Otherwise, you cry.

ELAM: Still, they know that nothing lost here outweighs what really matters.

D. KUHLMANN: Wow, you know, that was quite something we survived.

ELAM: Stephanie Elam, CNN, Eagle River, Alaska.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Coming up, as we remember President George H. W. Bush a famous face sheds some new light on this very famous picture.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:57:28] CABRERA: Did the Terminator once take out the first lady? We are hearing more personal stories from President Bush's life and one this morning from Arnold Schwarzenegger here on CNN is raising a few eyebrows.

In 1991, you may recall, First Lady Barbara Bush broke her leg. Here's the "New York Times" reporting of the official explanation at the time President Bush's wife Barbara broke her left leg this morning when she hit a tree while sledding on an icy hill at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, the White House said.

Well, this morning, Arnold Schwarzenegger remembered it a little differently when he spoke with Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: I want to bring up this photograph of you and the former president sledding at Camp David in 1991 and he signed on the bottom, "Arnold, turn, damn it. Turn. All best, George Bush."

When you see that photo, what goes through your mind?

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Well, I have to laugh every time I see the photograph or someone mentions it because, you know, he invited me up to Camp David more often than anyone else, I think. And I was up there every month and we had a great time, but it was exhausting because we were doing sports from morning until night. We were ski and trap shooting and horseshoe throwing, and working out with the weights and doing (INAUDIBLE) which is volleyball against the wall with the Marines there. And it went on and on, and the bowling.

And so by the time I went to bed at night, I was exhausted. That's all I can tell you. But it was one day that it was snowing up there and we had this toboggan and he was trying to teach me how to slide because I was only used to sledding down with Austrian sleds which you direct kind of with your feet. And so we went down totally out of control and of course we crashed into Barbara Bush who broke her leg then after that.

So that's why he sent me this picture. So we had a great time up at Camp David. And like I said, it was a great learning experience hanging out around him. He was kind of like a mentor and kind of like a father figure at the same time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: So was it a tree that broke the former first lady's leg or perhaps it was a world famous actor riding a toboggan with the world's most powerful man?

That does it for me. I'm Ana Cabrera. Thank you for being with us tonight. Good night.

(END)