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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Maduro Says U.S. Is Behind Coup to Oust Him as President; Hunger and Seething Anger Grip A Once Rich Venezuela; United Kingdom MPs Debate and Vote on Changes to Theresa May's Brexit Plan; Gorani Interviews Labour MP Stella Creasy on Brexit; 60 Killed and Hundreds Missing After Brazil Dam Collapses. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 28, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome, everyone, on this Monday. I'm Hala Gorani. We are live outside the Houses of Parliament.
Lawmakers here are trying to come up with some sort of plan so that Brexit can proceed without disruption to the economy. This time tomorrow, we
should know whether Theresa May will have control of the process or whether she will have to give her Parliament more of a say. We're two months before
Britain leaves the European Union. So, we'll have that for you. But we begin tonight by giving you an exclusive look inside the anger, inside the
frustration that is boiling over in Venezuela. The opposition leader is calling for another round of nationwide protests this week on Wednesday and
Saturday. He's hoping to ramp up pressure on the President Nicolas Maduro, who says all the unrest is just a coup attempt orchestrated by the United
States. Mr. Maduro spent Sunday overseeing military exercises. He says that he has the full support of Venezuela's military. Though it is worth noting
that Guaido says he is talking to military leaders and hoping to sway them. Pope Francis has weighed in as have so many other countries on the
Venezuela unrest today, saying, he is afraid. He is afraid, he says, that there will be a blood bath.
Now, Venezuela was once a rich country with some of the most lucrative oil fields in the world. But today it is crippled by rampant inflation, with
millions of its citizens suffering from actual starvation. CNN's Nick Payton Walsh spent a week hidden inside Venezuela and here is a look at his
unforgettable report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cross into Venezuela's unending disaster, the world's worst-growing refugee crisis, and it's like the world
as you know it is slowly ending. Oil once made them the richest in South America. But this is now the line for three days and nights to get a full
tank. In the capital, there is a que for everything, everywhere. Hunger breeds a special kind of anger.
This is how inflation works. These groceries cost $50 a pound. They'll be worth double at least by next month. Tomorrow prices today --
There's no cueing for the youngest living off what here nobody wants. This isn't play, it's practice for self-defense.
My brother got killed in July by another gang, says a 14-year-old. They found the body in the river. We gather stuff, we beg a piece of chicken
skin to take home.
In a socialist utopia that now leaves every stomach empty. This was the day when change was meant to come. Hundreds of thousands flooding central
Caracas watching opposition leader Juan Guaido swear himself in as interim President. But it fast turned sour. They had a standoff outside the
military air field here for months. But this is the first time with an opposition leader claiming the presidency. All eyes were on the army and
whether it, too, would rise up. The question really, the standoff, it's about the military's vote. They may be throwing stones at them here. What
they need is the army to switch sides. That didn't happen. And the police tear gas and motorcycle charges sent us fleeing down side streets.
Yes, yes, yes, I know.
Some, likely wounded, all those dozens reported dead during the day. It was up here in the normally loyal slums where the fight was nastiest. Special
forces entered these streets. They had been coming back to make arrests all during the afternoon when we were invited to meet Carolina's extended
family when Maduro's base has long lived. They sport their loyalty for years, but now this. It's all she has to feed four this day. And they say
now they, too, want Maduro gone. They can't hold it in any more, one of her cousins says. We're being crushed with beggars now, always begging. This
isn't political. It's survival.
[14:05:00] People are killing each other for a kilo of rice, for water. Outside Venezuela calling for soldiers to rise up. They'll be here for one
junior officer. Even when you can't feed your family, it's more complicated. I would say 80 percent of soldiers are against the government.
Some even go to demonstrations, but the big fishes, the senior officers are the ones eating getting rich, while the bottom have it hard. I get a dollar
and a half every month, promptly enough for one chicken and a food box from the barracks. Then we have to make magic to make it last like everyone
Soldiers on your level, would you open fire on resistance people in the street?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd rather quit. That person could be my brother or my mother. We need a general to flip to make a change.
And as Washington says Maduro isn't President, but Moscow insists he is. Everyone else walks zombie-like further and closer towards starvation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, we are joined live now by CNN's Nick Payton Walsh in Bogota next to Venezuela. Maduro, will he be forced out?
WALSH: At this point it looks quite unlikely in all truth. Juan Guaido's moves to get people on the streets Wednesday and Sunday, too, may result in
what we saw last week. You saw part of that in the report, organized and polite and angry crowd. A substantial number, who go home reasonably fast
and leave younger more motley crew to take on the police in a very practiced series of street battles.
Now, we may see change ahead possibly, but the biggest hurdle Mr. Guaido faces is the military. You saw in the report, well, I think there are
plenty in the lower rank and file who feel the same discontent, more Venezuelans do as well. The general officer core, the higher-ranking
members of the military who on television have repeatedly in a bizarre circus we saw after the day of demonstrations put messages out with their
troops behind them expressing their support for Maduro.
The minister of defense, Vladimir Padrino Lopez said vocally today they are willing to die for the government there. That's probably an exaggeration.
Until we see those ranks start to fray, I think Mr. Maduro can feel significantly more comfortable in his position than he perhaps deserves to.
We've seen extraordinary chaos and mismanagement and corruption that he's put up upon his country. Hala?
GORANI: And what would it take for the higher-ranking military officers to withdraw their support for Maduro if that's where his ability to stay in
WALSH: Well, I think it's been said it's about money. They have been very easily able to benefit from the very well-resourced elite around them in
the government at the moment. Whether or not there are other motivations, if, for example, we do see in the weeks ahead some element of violence on
the streets, the protests have been extraordinary peaceful up till this point that could potentially flip people at the same time. There seems to
be sort of obvious expiry date. They vote with the most likely outcome with their feet. I think at the moment he's hanging on and there is no obvious
sign the military are going anywhere, but there are plenty of things that could change. Juan Guaido is saying, he's talking to the military. I don't
know quite know where that's happening or how successful it's being. May potentially cause doubt among the ranks. Hala?
GORANI: Nick Payton Walsh in Bogota with the report. One part of the Venezuela story involves the Bank of England. Maduro has asked the Bank of
England to send $1.2 billion in gold back to Caracas. Opposition leader Juan Guaido is asking Britain not to comply with the request. He wants to
finance the oppression of the people. So far, the Bank of England has refused Mr. Maduro's request for the gold.
Now, let's get to the reason why we are here outside the U.K. Houses of Parliament. This time tomorrow I will be joined by my colleague Richard
Quest and we'll be covering this story. British lawmakers will get the chance to shape the course of Brexit. You'll remember two weeks ago the
members of Parliament rejected by historic margin the deal that Theresa May struck with Europe. On Tuesday they'll get their chance to vote and debate
on changes to that plan. And potentially break the deadlock. Let's walk you through what to expect tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) [14:10:00] THERESA MAY, UK PRIME MINISTER: We each have a solemn responsibility to deliver Brexit.
JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR LEADER: The government is in disarray.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Competing voices in the British Parliament coming head to head for what many hope will be the final showdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: I commend this motion to the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The outcome of voting could redirect the course of Brexit Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT: Clear the lobby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A key proposal, and perhaps a life line for Theresa May, seeks to salvage her existing deal by doing away with the bit everyone hates, the
North Ireland backstop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFFREY CLIFTON BROWN, UK CONSERVATIVE MP: I think the best future we have for this country is outside the E.U., trading with growing nations around
the world. We cannot do that while we're stuck in the backstop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Although a word of caution. There is little sign from the E.U. side that removing the backstop is even remotely workable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER: Jeremy Corbyn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Next up, the opposition Labour Party will be pushing for Parliament to scrap May's deal and go back to the drawing board.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORBYN: There is a deal that could command support --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: It aims for a much closer relationship with Europe post Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORBYN: In a strong relationship and a guarantee -- a guarantee to keep pace with European Union rights and standards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Another popular proposal which has support from MPs on both sides is to extend article 50. Essentially, kick the can down the road and
postpone Brexit for a few months, giving more time for negotiations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: For the sake of businesses and jobs and people across the country, to seek an immediate extension of article 50.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And if, after MPs that emptied and filled the chamber for vote after vote, no proposal gets majority support --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER: As many as are of that opinion say, aye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And MPs find no path through the deadlock.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MINISTERS OF PARLIAMENT: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Britain is still on course for the cliff edge, exiting the E.U. March 29th with no deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPEAKER: I think the no's have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Bianca Nobilo is with me. Are we likely to see the MPs agree on an extension of the negotiation period?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's one of the amendments with the greatest chance of passing. As you mention in your piece, it depends on the
speaker's discretion. He's the one that gets to choose the amendments. The one amendment most simple which rejects no deal in principle, I think if
selected, that amendment is likely to go under the largest amount of support. There is a ground swell really of cross-party support for the
amendment which would see if there is no agreement by the 26th of February, the U.K. would have to ask the European Union for an extension of article
GORANI: Is it legally binding, though?
NOBILO: None of these are. In a normal situation with perhaps a majority government and prime minister that commanded a lot of authority could kind
of dismiss these types of votes. But Theresa May absolutely can't. So even though they're not legally binding, if there was a majority in the House of
Commons for any one of these amendments, you can just imagine that the political pressure will be truly overwhelming on this prime minister given
that what in this impasse there doesn't seem to be a way of breaking the deadlock and that amendment would present an option.
GORANI: She would be compelled to listen to the voices coming from Parliament if there is a majority that say to her, listen, you haven't
negotiated something that's acceptable to a majority of us in the 2 1/2 years you had. Let's at least kick the can down the road six months, nine
months, whatever it is.
NOBILO: Indeed. If we listen to her last speech, in fact, the speech they're voting on tomorrow, she said that she's going to engage with cross-
party members and try and listen and she wants to hear everybody out. That was the intention behind her next steps that she presented to Parliament.
Yes, if she's going to stand by her word, she should definitely listen to what the House of Commons comes back with. There is a consensus for this, a
majority for this. It is important to talk about one of the amendments coming from the conservative side. So, there's been talk about the brady
amendment. Essentially all of them seek to address this issue of the backstop. Now, some of the Brexiters I've spoken to were keen for one of
those to be selected. They thought if they got maybe in the hundreds of MPs to support that, it would be a way of the prime minister returning to
Brussels and say, look --
GORANI: But Brussels doesn't -- I mean, Brussels has been very clear, they will not negotiate on the backstop period. It doesn't matter. And imagine
if this is not within a majority that Theresa May goes and says --
NOBILO: It's the number she needs to get a majority. Maybe she needs 160 MPs without --
GORANI: Why would they?
[14:15:00] NOBILO: Hala, I totally agree with your logic. However, I have spoken to the European research group and "the 11th hour" it's in the E.U.
style to give in and perhaps reach a compromise that neither side is entirely happy with but is better than what we've currently got.
GORANI: These are the hard Brexiters that lost, by the way. They tried to unseat. Their side lost. They keep maintaining that facts aren't facts when
it comes to the economic impact of Brexit. Now they are saying if we have enough numbers, then Theresa May maybe can go back to Brussels. It just
doesn't sound like something that is quite realistic at this stage, does it?
NOBILO: I think they're just looking for ways to find some kind of way to progress forward. And the comments are sewing that it's completely
resisting the notion of no deal. There would have to be another consensus arrived at in order to avoid no deal because that is enshrined in law. I
think the Brexiters are starting to get a little concerned they might need to compromise in order to avoid no Brexit at all because the speaker has
been breaking with Parliamentary precedent lately, so there is a chance he might give Parliament more of a say. If Parliament has a say, they will
rule out no deal if at all possible. And the Brexiters fear that their Brexit project could be lost.
GORANI: Right. So many possible outcomes, but one thing that is certain going forward is that we have a date. We have a deadline. And the clock is
ticking. Bianca, thanks very much. After the break I'll speak to one of the lawmakers who put forward one of those amendments, those plans. Also, ahead
tonight, missing in a sea of mud, rescuers are searching for survivors in Brazil after a deadly dam collapse. Just a horrific number of people still
missing, in the hundreds. We'll have a report from Brazil. Stay with us.
GORANI: Welcome back. Tomorrow the House of Commons in London will be voting on a series of proposals on Brexit, which way will or what route
will Brexit take for this country. Will it be a hard Brexit, will there be an agreement, a majority of Parliamentarians agreeing the negotiation
period, for instance, should be extended? Or is it a question of taking no deal off the table? Because many in the House of Commons have said this is
too damaging to the country. And if no deal can be agreed, at the very least let's agree on one thing. Let's not leave without any kind of
I want to speak to one of the lawmakers who will vote tomorrow, Stella Creasy is a Labour MP and he who campaigned for Remain and she joins us.
So, you tabled an amendment.
STELLA CREASY, MP: Yes.
GORANI: A series of proposals to Parliament you hope will pass. What's in it?
CREASY: I tabled something along with a group of MPs who take all different views they would like Brexit to mean. Whether they support a second
referendum like I do because I think Brexit is not a great idea or people who want to see Brexit happen but have different versions of it. What I
think you're seeing or picking up and talking to people is Parliament is in deadlock and it's been in deadlock for some time.
[14:20:00] And it's in deadlock because people feel strongly because all those outcomes would make a big difference. We're looking at whether we can
learn a lesson from Parliaments around the world, use a thing called Citizens' Assembly to look at controversial issues, get feedback from the
public. Having the Citizens' Assembly and use that to see if we can break the deadlock.
GORANI: What in practice would that look like?
CREASY: Citizens' Assembly is a randomly selected group of people, like a jury, who represent British society. They are chosen to go through the
different issues we've been looking at what expert facilitators and to make recommendations. Parliament retains control. I still have to make difficult
choices as a member of Parliament. It's a way to hear what the public is thinking.
GORANI: You have time for this?
CREASY: Yes, we would.
CREASY: We think we can do this in ten weeks. As you already talked about, the amount of time now, if we're going around this merry-go-round where we
keep going through various options, there's no majority for anything. I think tomorrow we might see some support for extending article 50 so we
have a bit more time. But --
GORANI: Ten weeks, that takes you beyond March 29.
CREASY: We think probably by tomorrow they'll pretty much be in agreement we need to extend article 50.
GORANI: You're counting on that first.
CREASY: I think the question, you can do these panels over a short space of time. They did them in Ireland, for example, around abortion reform and
climate change and what to do about an aging population. They did it in Canada about election reform, in Australia about nuclear waste. They're
circuit breakers in politics where --
GORANI: Those who voted for Remain, would say you're not happy about the results of the referendum and you're trying to find little tricks and
gimmicks to go back on the Democratic result which was in favor of leave.
CREASY: Up front, yes, I don't think Brexit is a good idea. That's why I'm working with people who take a whole series of positions. A Citizens'
Assembly isn't an outcome. It's a different process. Everybody in Parliament says they know what the will of the people is. Nobody knows
because we haven't talked to them about what the different options in front of us are. This is a simple scientific way of bringing a representative --
it's not a town hall meeting, it's not who shows up. You're chosen because you reflect your local community. MPs say when Parliament is so gridlocked
and unable to make some of those choices, it couldn't be a worse thing to do than hear what the public thinks.
GORANI: I wonder do you think tomorrow MP also agree the negotiation period should be extended because it's not feasible to come up with a deal
everybody would agree to support?
CREASY: It's a growing recognition that we're running out of road and that in itself is causing some bad options.
GORANI: You're running out of runway.
CREASY: Yes, runway, lots of analogies, same thing. We're stuck. And there needs to be some honesty about the fact we're stuck. There isn't a majority
for any outcome. Maybe the process needs to change.
GORANI: But it's not legally binding.
GORANI: The prime minister would have to just choose to listen to you. Why would she with that?
CREASY: Tomorrow, we're not pushing this proposal to a vote. We want Parliamentary time for this to be explored, something we haven't done
before in the U.K. we think MPs need to have a look at it to see how it would work, including the prime minister. That's why I've been talking to
people who are very passionate they think Brexit is the best thing for Britain. People who disagree strongly. The point is the process is broken
now. Can we fix it by learning from other countries?
GORANI: Do you think you'll learn tomorrow the negotiation period could be extended?
CREASY: I think people recognize the idea in itself we could crash out, nobody wants that to happen. We need to decide what we do want to happen.
That's where we're stuck.
GORANI: Thank you so much for joining us on CNN.
Now to this story I told you about before the break. An urgent search for survivors is currently underway in Brazil. A dam collapsed and buried much
of a mining town in a sea of muddy debris. Hundreds of people are, in fact, still missing. The death hole has ticked up to 60. Dramatic scenes of
rescues like this air lift from the helicopter played out over the weekend. Journalist Marcia Reverdosa joins me on the phone from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Tell us about the latest in this search effort for the people still missing, Marcia.
MARCIA REVERDOSA, JOURNALIST: Hala, search and rescue operations continue on-site and they may follow-up to the beginning of the night. Seven bodies
were rescued today. Nearly 300 people are missing. According to the fire department, the areas combing with mud -- they are concentrating their
areas in areas with less mud so there is higher chance of funding survivors. Relatives and friends of victims are really afflicted, anxious,
they know the longer this takes is the less chance of finding anyone alive. The magnitude of damage is such that it is very difficult to -- any rescue
[14:25:00] GORANI: Yes, and how many people are still missing? I've seen reports of 300.
REVERDOSA: Yes, the number, the number now is 292. It may drop tonight once they finish the mission of today. So apparently, they found a -- yesterday
night, but they are working on taking the bodies out. It is a very difficult situation, very difficult situation for Brazil, for the families,
and for the community.
GORANI: And, by the way, what our viewers are seeing now, marcia, what I'm telling them is they are seeing the rescue university. Some of the rescuers
are catching their breath. I imagine they've been working nonstop since they got there. What are the hopes, though, of finding -- yes. What are the
hopes of finding survivors under the mud? I mean, could there be air pockets where people are trapped in their homes? That's the hope, they'll
be able to get to people who were kind of trapped in some sort of air pocket?
REVERDOSA: In talking to one of the firefighters today he said there is always hope. He said the one disaster he was working on the rescue, it took
four days and he found one survivor. He's a believer. He thinks they will find more survivors. There are probably people trapped in areas they
haven't reached. That's the hope.
GORANI: Yes, we see that they have ropes, they have back packs, I'm sure filled with supplies. They're wearing helmets. These are live images coming
to us from that part of Brazil where that mud slight happened. And I imagine also, marcia, among the missing are kids, are families, are people
who were going about their daily business.
REVERDOSA: correct, you know. But I think most of the families and relatives, and even the communities are all looking at what's happening
now. Brazil as a whole, I believe, you know, the local news is on the subject 24 hours. Everybody is concerned and hope they will find more
survivors. The mud is 60 meters. It's difficult to walk through. They reach those areas with helicopters. What they have now is -- the area close to
the restaurants and close to the park which is where the mud is deeper. They will use technology to center -- and see if they can capture any
operation. They are using the technology to reach those areas that are more difficult for -- to reach on land.
GORANI: All right. Marcia Reverdosa joining us from Sao Paulo, Brazil, with more on the mudslide that is making big headlines in Brazil, and many
people, as marcia was describing there, are very saddened by what's happening in this mining town. And we hope that they are able to pull
people out alive. We'll keep our eye on that story for you.
Another story we're following, a scary night in cape town, South Africa, as homes were threatened by a wildfire. Some people were forced to evacuate as
the flames engulfed the lower slopes of the iconic alliance head peak, a popular hiking spot for tourist and locals. One person went to the hospital
with some pretty serious burns, we understand. Light winds Monday morning helped firefighters get the blaze under control.
A lot more to come. Tomorrow as we are mentioning is a crucial day for Theresa May's Brexit plans. We will hear from people who are impacted and
frustrated by the U.K.'s uncertain future.
[14:30:03] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: We are in Westminster tonight in front of British Parliament. In less than 24 hours here,
lawmakers will put forward their proposals to Theresa May's Brexit plan amending that plan. They're trying to wrestle away Congress of the process
-- control, I should say, over the Brexit process from Mrs. May's government.
Now, people across the U.K. are feeling the uncertainty. Hadas Gold is in Northampton, England, a town where voters chose firmly to leave the E.U.
What are people telling you there? We're just one -- we're just on the day before an important set of amendment votes is scheduled to take place,
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: Hala, this area voted 58 percent in favor of leaving the European Union in 2016, 42 percent voted to
remain. So it's a heavily leave area.
Now, this is actually what was once known as the shoe manufacturing capital of the world and it was made famous by that Broadway musical, "Kinky
Boots." Actually, that musical was set in Northampton.
But people here, despite the chaos in London, despite the frustrations, they still want to leave. And for a lot of them, it was about getting
power back to Britain and bringing Britain back to where they think it once was. Take a listen to what some of them had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not want to say Theresa May, implement the deal that she seems to have at the moment. I'd rather go for a no-deal than
take the deal that's on the table.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got bedridden three months ago because of that because I didn't know that the supplies were going to come in from Europe,
from Holland, and France. And so it affects people.
GOLD: So this is directly affecting you and your livelihood as what's happening with Brexit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty much. And I've got two kids so it's really not good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's just better than anything else as I hope so, that's my opinion. I think there's -- there are lots of reasons. I
think that's my -- I think it was a very negative campaign from the remainers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen problems over the years. You just can't deal with it. There's always an answer, right? That's who many people are
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLD: And, Hala, what I found most interesting is actually that one gentleman who said he had been made redundant from his job, he worked at a
warehouse, said that he would actually still vote to leave if given the option.
And one thing that I did find, we're speaking to people today, is I didn't have this panic, nobody was stockpiling food or medicine like we've heard
some warnings from grocery stores and rations that there might be some food insecurity. That's actually also the message that the government is trying
to get across just today.
Theresa May's spokesperson said that the U.K. has a high level of food security. Whether or not they leave the European Union with a deal or with
a no-deal. And clearly, the people here feel that it will all just be fine no matter what happens, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Hadas Gold. So no changed minds there.
Now, as the Brexit debate is increasingly fractious, campaigners on both sides are out in force. You may remember anti-Brexit campaigner, Gina
Miller, who initiated a legal challenge to the government's authority to implement Brexit that was back in 2016 after the referendum.
And now, she's launching a new campaign, "Lead, not Leave," which calls for the U.K. to stay in the E.U. and lead efforts to reform it. And Gina
Miller is here with me now. Thanks for being with us.
Our reporter Hadas Gold was speaking with people who voted for Brexit two and a half years ago, one man was even laid off, potentially as some
businesses make preparations for a hard Brexit. And yet, they all said they would still vote to leave again. So it doesn't sound like people have
changed their minds so much in Britain.
GINA MILLER, FOUNDER, LEAD NOT LEAVE: People haven't really changed their minds because the debate hasn't changed. The same half-truths in sort of
misleading people about how easy it would be to leave and that it's literally like a flip of a coin. We can just flip to WTO. All of those
irresponsible remarks and debates is still happening, so --
GORANI: But they know by now. I mean. We've had industry groups coming out. As recently as this morning, retailers, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose are
MILLER: Well, what's really -- well, what's really extraordinary is that's not landing with people. It's not making a difference. The reports we are
seeing on a daily basis is the people are still saying, oh, they're just saying that. So they've actually developed a different sort of narrative,
which is saying, of course, they'd be saying that because the government is making saying that or because it's their profits. We don't actually
So what has happened is the distrust has increased. So the messages are not landing. So it doesn't really matter anymore what you say. It's about
how do you address underlying issues.
What I'm saying is that if we're at this late stage in the process, there is no parliamentary majority for anything. Are we looking at this with the
wrong lens, if you like, and that if people voted for sovereignty, immigration controls, more competitiveness, then we actually can do that if
we have a voice in the table. Whereas if we leave and we're literally voiceless, then should this be something to look at.
GORANI: You have eight weeks, eight, nine weeks to convince people of these things. It's been two and a half years since the referendum.
MILLER: Nobody's talked about this. It's been the elephant in the room. Because what Mrs. May and the politicians have been saying is there is only
one deal, which is Mrs. May. My withdrawal agreement is the only agreement. Hello, there is another deal. The one we already have. So,
why not leverage that?
GORANI: How do you get there? It's been legislative, the March 29th is the day the U.K. leaves the E.U.
MILLER: Exactly. Well, this is the thing that's really coming down and focusing politicians at the moment. I don't think we're quite there yet.
But there are suddenly late in the day they're realizing that the legal default position, because of my case is no-deal, and they're just all
scrambling around now, fighting amongst themselves as to how do they stop that happening. And there isn't actually majority.
So by default, I think we could be heading for no-deal. So we have to think of something else. And this is -- creates a win/win situation. So
you can leverage being in, but demanding saying if you -- because this hurts everybody, us leaving with no deal will hit all of us.
GORANI: But what's your position? You just -- you accept that Britain leaving the E.U. is what this country voted for, but you think there should
be a good negotiated mutually beneficial deal and that no deal is a disaster?
MILLER: No deal is a disaster. We're not ready for it. It's not just that great.
GORANI: But how do you get there? How do you get there?
MILLER: Well, this is about the politicians. And the fact is they're going to have to stand up and really take ownership of this and they're not
doing that. They're still squabbling and talking about -- some groups are talking about the fact that the backstop is the main problem. It is not
the main problem. Quite a lot of those 585 pages don't cover our rules on financial services, doesn't cover competition rules. It doesn't cover what
happens to college and fight to sanitary.
GORANI: Well, there's a lot to be agreed down the road?
MILLER: No, no, no. Because all of those things would be -- the wishful agreement is going to become an international treaty. And that's the
problem. It will mean that we are basically -- we are going to be in a position, under that international treaty where we don't have a voice.
GORANI: Right. It's about negotiating the withdrawal and then down the line perhaps trying to figure out industry by industry sector by sector how
to -- how to trade with the other 27 countries still in the E.U.
Would you call the people who think that leaving without a deal is not such a bad thing delusional?
MILLER: Oh, absolutely delusional, because at the moment, they're talking about this Article 24 and the gap, the WTO rules.
Now, just think about this. We've struggled to get an agreement with 27 member states. To make that article work, you'd actually have to have the
agreement of the 27 states and the 164 WTO members. I mean, it's even more delusional -- rather than becoming facing reality it's the other way.
GORANI: Because what they say -- they say people like you are delusional. You've got nine weeks left and you think we're going to change course now?
That doesn't make sense. It's not feasible.
MILLER: I don't buy that because actually if we remain and we actually -- or if you revoke Article 50 and we start negotiating, because what you do
is you present the E.U. with a demand which says we want the task. We had a package called the tough package.
Let's dust it off and be more forceful to say Britain is not going to accept staying unless you fulfill these terms. Why wouldn't they think
GORANI: When I was reading up on you, I saw you get some of the most vial abuse, by the way, really disturbing stuff sent to you, e-mail to you,
tweeted at you. I mean, where does that come from?
MILLER: It comes, unfortunately, from many of the people who think that leaving with no-deal is the answer. And when I say that, it's not because
they particularly pick me as an individual is they have a very different --
GORANI: It's pretty personal what they're saying.
MILLER: Well, yes. But they don't want -- they see Britain as being a different sort of country, where somebody like me, how dare this woman,
this woman of color stand up and try and be in men's debates. It's the sort of thing I get told or, you know, know your place. Because this is
the country they have very strong ideological views that are pretty right wing and that's the thing. That's where I get most of the hatred from.
GORANI: Gina Miller, thanks so much for joining us on CNN.
Still to come, a rising star in the Democratic Party officially gets in line to take on Donald Trump. We're live in Washington.
[14:40:00] GORANI: All right. Let's get more now on the crisis in Venezuela. Embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is accusing the U.S. of
orchestrating a coup to remove him. This as U.S. National security Advisor John Bolton warns of a significant response, quote-unquote, "Should
American diplomats or self-declared president Juan Guaido be harmed?" No word on what that might entail.
But Axios is reporting that President Donald Trump mused about a military option as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
Let's talk this over with CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd. Joining me now from New York.
What do you think that Bolton meant when he said there'd be a response if Maduro government harmed in any way American diplomats in Venezuela?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Hala, I dealt with situations like this when I worked at the White House during the Arab
Spring and other circumstances when U.S. diplomatic personnel and American citizens were at real risk because of tense situations on the ground and
decisions that the U.S. government made.
Typically, in these kind of situations, the national security advisor would be looking at a range of options, not only to get Maduro out of power, but
also to protect our diplomats. And a response to any move against American diplomatic personnel could be something like more sanctions against anybody
that's involved, the security military forces, more sanctions against a regime, and more sanctions in general against things like Venezuelan oil.
I know that when many of us hear the name John Bolton, we immediately think military response, regime change because he's been such a proponent of
that. But there is a lot of highway in between punishing people that hurt U.S. diplomats, which I hope doesn't happen, via sanction and other
measures and some kind of military response.
GORANI: But Nick Paton Walsh who was in Venezuela, over the last several days, was reporting it appears as though Maduro has the support of the top
military brass, and for that reason he's pretty -- he's pretty safe that he's going to stay put. So, what options does the U.S. have? Or do other
countries have for that matter?
VINOGRAD: Well, Hala, Maduro likely or at the time being, it looks like does have the support of the military and security forces. But in the
situation right now, what I would imagine is starting any discussion on Venezuela is an intelligence assessment of how solid that military and
security force support is and what kind of factors could try to shift their loyalties from Maduro to the newly declared legitimate president?
You can look at things like, again, more sanctions. You could look at what sorts of measures other countries could take to block assets of the
Venezuelan regime and Maduro around the world and try to figure out at what point would the security military forces really change their calculus from
supporting Maduro or not. And that has to rely on very detailed intelligence assessments that would lead to the president and national
security advisor to make a decision on what to do.
[14:45:03] GORANI: And what do you make of the appointment of Elliott Abrams. I mean, he's old school neocon, interventionist, hawk --
VINOGRAD: He -- indeed. Indeed. I think that John Bolton did not get his -- have his dreams come true in terms of the regime change that he
specifically called for in North Korea, an intervention there Iran is another place where John Bolton has talked about a change in regime
behavior and not a change in the regime itself.
Venezuela is somewhere in the middle. This is not a coup. This is, hopefully, a peaceful transfer of power in line with the needs and the
desires of the Venezuelan people. But appointing someone like Elliot Abrams who does have that interventionist track record, I think really is
going to stoke talking points by the Venezuelans, by the Russians, by the Chinese, that this is really just about the United States intervening where
it's not welcome, and trying to topple a regime illegally. So that's going to add fuel to their arguments on that front when, in fact, this is
currently very different than interventions United States has made in Latin America in the past and around the world.
GORANI: Samantha Vinograd, thanks very much. Joining us live.
VINOGRAD: Thanks, Hala.
GORANI: Back to business, as usual today, for hundreds of thousands of U.S. federal workers but the clock is already ticking toward yet another
possible government shutdown, believe it or not.
President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats have less than three weeks to reach a deal on his demand for a border wall. And if the
stalemate continues, Mr. Trump said he'd be willing to do another shutdown or could even declare emergency powers to get funding for his wall.
Despite the fact that it is unpopular. Majority of Americans do not agree with the wall and a majority of Americans, in fact, were blaming Trump for
the shutdown not Congressional Democrats.
Democrats are lining up to challenge Trump in 2020. And now, prominent Senator, Kamala Harris, has officially thrown her hat into the ring.
CNN's Kyung Lah has more on her.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democratic rising star, Senator Kamala Harris jumps into a crowded field for the presidency.
A native of Oakland, California, she says she embodies everything President Donald Trump is against. She is a daughter of immigrants, a father from
Jamaica and a mother from southern India.
HARRIS: They came here in pursuit of more than just knowledge. Like so many others, they came in pursuit of a dream.
LAH: She went to Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, and returned to California to begin her career as a prosecutor.
HARRIS: It was just a couple of blocks from this very spot nearly 30 years ago, as a young district attorney, I walked into the courtroom for the
LAH: She later became district attorney for San Francisco. And in 2011, the state's first black woman attorney general. She was elected to the
U.S. Senate five years later, becoming the second-ever African-American woman and first south Asian-American to serve there. It's also where she
gained acclaim for asking tough questions.
Harris: Are you willing or are you not willing to give him the authority to be fully independent of your ability statutorily and legally to fire
ROD ROSENSTEIN, UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: He is -- he has the --
Harris: Yes or no, sir.
LAH: Harris laid out a progressive platform, including Medicare for all, debt-free college and a middleclass tax cut, as well as being a vocal
opponent of President Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Oakland, California.
GORANI: Well, other big names are flirting with the possibility of a presidential run, including perhaps the most well-known face of all in the
Let's bring in CNN White House reporter, Stephen Collinson. So there is CNN reporting that Hillary Clinton may have told some friends that she's
not closing the door on a 2020 run, Stephen.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Hala. That will come as a shock to many Democrats, I think. She hasn't really been
among the candidates that people thought might be running. I think I would take this with a little pinch of salt, to be honest.
The rationale is that if Robert Mueller were to come back with a report that suggests that the 2016 election was, indeed, stolen from Hillary
Clinton, she would have some kind of moral grounding to run and to have another go.
I don't think there is any enthusiasm really for another --a third Hillary Clinton run for president in the Democratic Party. You see the slate of
candidates now declaring for the presidency, a very diverse group, a number of women.
[14:50:01] And I think, I'm afraid, that for many Democrats, the time of the Clintons has passed, even if there is a great deal of sympathy for her
and what she had to endure during the 2016 campaign against Donald Trump.
GORANI: And the Starbucks CEO is also considering a presidential run as an independent centrist, he said. Let's listen to him and then I'll get back
to you, Stephen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STARBUCKS: I am seriously thinking of running for president. I will run as a centrist independent
outside of the two-party system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, Stephen, Democrats mainly are saying, please do not run because what you'll do is you'll cannibalize some of the Democratic vote
and you'll ensure that Donald Trump will win again in 2020. That's mainly Democrats saying this.
COLLINSON: Right. As soon as news broke about that interview there was almost panic, you could see on Twitter, among a number of Democrats who
believe that were there a moderate centrist candidate in the race, that would siphon away votes from the Democrats, and would give Donald Trump
whose approval rating right now is below 40 percent, his best chance of winning a second term. That, of course, is a long, long way away. But
Howard Schultz has got a lot of money that he could use to finance his own campaign.
Historically, it's been very difficult for people running outside the party system, as he says he would, to gain traction, to get on the ballot in all
50 states. It's not impossible that politics is so fractured right now, that there could be more potential for such a run this time around than at
any other time. But it's definitely something that's got Democrats worried.
GORANI: All right. Stephen Collinson, thanks very much.
And be sure to stay with CNN for a live Democratic town hall with 2020 presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris. That's at 10:00 P.M. Eastern
Time and 3:00 A.M. in London for you night owls.
More to come, including divided over Brexit. It's not just Theresa May whose party is warring. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party has its own issues
facing criticism over its Brexit position or lack of a unified one. We'll bring you those details, next.
GORANI: Well, we've talked a lot about the divisions in the Conservative Party. But what about Theresa May's opposition? Jeremy Corbyn's Labour
party faces its own challenges. It's been criticized because of a lack of clarity on its Brexit position. Here's Phil Black.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The noes to the left 432.
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Potential climatic moments in Brexit's ongoing drama, with a furious passion, the Labour Party leader,
Jeremy Corbyn, moves to bring down the government with a formal vote.
JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: So this House can give its verdict on the sheer incompetence of this government and pass that motion
of no-confidence in the government.
BLACK: But as expected, the motion failed.
Despite Prime Minister Theresa May's weakness and the recent humiliation of her Brexit efforts in parliament, opinion polls show Jeremy Corbyn has
failed to convincingly sell the idea he could do Brexit any better.
[14:55:04] He's struggling most in some of Labour's traditional outlets. This is Sunderland in Northern England. Here, lifetime Labour Party voters
want Brexit badly, but they don't trust Corbyn to deliver it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think Theresa May is doing a great job and that Jeremy Corbyn gets in, God help us.
BLACK: Labour's official policy fight for an election. If that's not possible, all options remain, including pushing for a second referendum.
It's a little open-ended.
BLACK: He's trying not to annoy anybody.
MICHAEL CHESSUM, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY ACTIVIST: Yes. He's trying to be all things to all people. And that won't work. Look, Labour, all roots
out of this current impasse and both paying for Labour.--
BLACK: Michael Chessum represents the other side of Labour's divide. He's one of Corbyn's many passionate supporters within the party who want their
leader to fight for a second referendum to stop Brexit.
CHESSUM: I think there's a failure to grasp but some levels of the leadership this is an issue of principle. I think a lot of people within
the leadership view this as a purely tactical issue that can be traded way for electoral calculation.
BLACK: Another view, Labour M.P.s tell us the party's uncertain policy is a direct result of Theresa May's Brexit stalemate.
I think it's well known that Labour doesn't want to leave without a deal. It is well known that Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing for a general
election. Beyond that, there is this widely held view that he's sitting on the fence. Is that fair?
ANNELIESE DODDS, BRITISH LABOUR M.P.: I don't think it is fair. I mean, we think we need to have a general election because obviously our
government is failed so spectacularly.
HILARY BENN, BRITISH LABOUR M.P.: If we had a general election, if Labour won, then we'd be looking at a very different kind of Brexit deal. That is
BLACK: But still Brexit. That's the key.
BENN: Well, that depends on what happens.
BLACK: So Labour remains a divided party in a divided country. But eventually, its leader will have to pick a side or risk further damaging a
reputation famed for being principled and authentic.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
GORANI: Finally, a thief who was either remarkably daring or remarkably stupid. Police in Moscow have arrested a man for stealing a painting from
a state museum.
There was no elaborate plot. The thief just walked up and plucked the painting off the wall as gallery patrons watched. He only got caught when
police officers began inspecting surveillance video because a fur coat was missing.
They went to the man's apartment and arrested him, and the painting has been recovered. Not sure about the fur coat.
Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.