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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
JPMorgan Chase Creates JPM Coin Cryptocurrency; Mitch McConnell: President Trump Would Sign a Spending Bill that Would Avoid a Government Shutdown, and Then Declare a National Emergency to Secure Funding for His Border Wall; McCabe: Meetings Were Held at the Justice Department to Discuss Using the 25TH Amendment to Remove President Trump; U.S. Senate Confirms William Barr as Attorney General; Pence Asks Europe to Back U.S. Sanctions on Iran; British Police Refuse to Charge Prince Philip in Car Crash; CNN confirms Identity of Bezos Tabloid Leaker; Amazon Drops Plans for HQ2 in New York After Protests; Interview With Rep. Gregory Meeks (D- NY); U.K. Prime Minister Loses Symbolic Vote in Parliament; Tudder App Finds Mates for Cows; U.S. Stocks Bounce Back from Early Losses. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 14, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, ANCHOR, CNN: Look at the lackluster day. Dow is pretty much flat down 49 points or so after disappointing retail sales number. They
actually proved to be the worst retail sales number in nine years and this is what is moving the market on Valentine's Day.
Amazon is breaking up with the big apple. Plans for a new headquarters in New York City have been scrapped and Airbus is also breaking up with the
A380. You will hear Richard's interview with the airbus CEO and Britain is sort of, kind of, breaking up with Europe all over again. Theresa May
suffers yet another setback.
Hello, everyone, I'm Zain Asher and this is "Quest Means Business."
Welcome, everyone, I am Zain Asher. So long Amazon. Tonight Amazon is in a New York state of decline, just three months after one of the world's
biggest companies said it would create another sort of second headquarters in the Big Apple. The backlash from the community has sent it packing.
Amazon was set to deliver more than 25,000 jobs and ignite a real estate frenzy. A lot of people brought in that area anticipating that prices
would rise, but then you had this. Look at these protests. A chorus of growing critics slammed the massive subsidies, $3 billion worth of
subsidies in public money that was used to lure the company by Governor Cuomo.
They said that Amazon, which is worth about a trillion dollars and owned by the world's richest man should actually need any corporate charity or any
help at all. Reactions have been sharply divided and New York Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that a group of dedicated every day New
Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon's corporate greed.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community. Meantime, the
Governor of neighboring New Jersey, Phil Murphy, he can spot an opportunity here. He said that "Newark is the clear next choice as the presence for
Amazon's corporate offices."
There is apparently not a lot of middle ground on this issue. There's just so much division on both sides. New York politicians have been at each
other's throats, including on this very program. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL GIANARIS, NEW YORK STATE SENATOR: We can't find two nickels to run together to make the subways run on time or to build affordable housing or
to build enough schools for our kids in this neighborhood, mind you, and yet we're showering Jeff Bezos with all this money that he clearly doesn't
need and that's why we've stood up and finally, the people are being heard.
ANDREW CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE: For the State Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice and if they stop Amazon from coming to
New York, they're going to have the people of New York State to explain it to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Okay, so we want to hear from you. I want you to get out your phones and go to cnn.com/join. Tonight's question for you, is would you
actually welcome Amazon's HQ2, their second headquarters in your hometown? You can vote by going to cnn.com/join wherever you are in the world. Tell
us, would you actually welcome Amazon in your hometown? And you can see the results on your screen very, very shortly.
Christina Alesci is here. So, Christina, here is what I don't understand. I just don't get why it wasn't in Amazon's best interests to fight to stay.
CHRISTINA ALESCI, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, well, I mean, this was sort of a message to New York and Amazon decided to take the debate out of New York
because it felt slighted.
I mean, this is the reality of Amazon's power is that it could really go anywhere and that was Governor Cuomo's point is that Amazon has the ability
to really generate a lot of economic activity and as for those tax incentives that you talked about, he said, "Yes, we're giving Amazon $3
billion worth of city and state tax incentives, but we're getting $27 billion to $30 billion of revenue in exchange. We're getting 25,000 jobs
in exchange," and those are high paying tech jobs that are average of $150,000.00.
ASHER: Six figures, right.
ALESCI: Yes, you know, a year, so that was his argument. Clearly, the other side, the local side, the local politicians and Alexandria Ocasio-
Cortez said, "No way, Amazon is going to come in, gentrify, drive up housing prices, potentially threaten public housing in the area, we need to
do something," and they rallied the base.
But here's the thing, very importantly, this shows two things. One, that the junior members of Congress are making an impact and their voices are
being heard; and number two, this represents a division in the Democratic Party because on the one hand, you had Mayor de Blasio who supported the
deal and Governor Cuomo --
ASHER: De Blasio and Cuomo working together.
ALESCI: Together exactly, when we've never seen this before, and on the other side, the more progressive wing on the party arguing against this
deal in part because they know it is an impassioned issue that will be great to rally the base, but it's very divisive and I think we're going to
see more lawmakers in New York, Carolyn Maloney just came out and said, "Look, I didn't like some aspects of the deal, but we could have worked
perhaps to get more concessions out of Amazon and maybe we shouldn't have thrown the baby out with the bath water."
ASHER: So what I don't understand -- the second thing I don't understand, so you know, you've explained to us why Amazon wasn't really willing to
fight to stay, however, they're also scrapping the plans entirely to look for HQ2. I mean, that's it, they're done with the search.
ALESCI: It's a little unclear. The statement said that they're not going to reopen the search, but remember they did a lot of work on that search so
I'm sure they have, you know, a second city ready to go if they wanted to, their choice city, their next one on the list let's say, ready to go if
they were to, you know, decide to build another headquarters.
But yes, you're right, they're still going to build in Northern Virginia. That plan is going ahead, but it's unclear. You know, I have a few calls
into the company. It's unclear what they're going to do at this point.
ASHER: So when you think about -- I mean, a lot of people talked about, listen, look what Amazon did to Seattle. Seattle has the third highest
rate of homelessness in this country and also just in terms of home prices, just how they skyrocketed after Amazon built their headquarters there.
Are those concerns that that could really be replicated in New York City, are those concerns justified, do you think?
ALESCI: I think this is such a big question because it really speaks to something that Howard Shultz actually said during our town hall, which is
whether or not companies have some kind of moral obligation to the communities that they operate in and I think we're going to continue to
hear that from even the left wing of the party even though Howard Shultz is putting himself as an independent, but that's a democratic, left wing idea
that these companies have an obligation when they go into a community to make sure they don't displace people and they don't cause a rise in
homelessness, or -- so I am not saying that they did in Seattle, but what I'm saying is --
ASHER; That was a concern, though.
ALESCI: That was a concern in New York that they would contribute to rising housing costs. And look, young voters here in New York are
frustrated by the rise. I mean, you and I both live in New York. We both know this. We both hear it from our friends. They're frustrated that they
can't afford to live here. They want to be here and that's part of the creative spirit of the city.
So I think these are all things that need to be debated, but the adults in the room, the more senior lawmakers may question, you know, this sort of,
you know, violent opposition at the outset and they may say, look, maybe we could have gotten some more concessions out of Amazon had it been hand a
little bit differently.
ASHER: And I think -- you know what, I think that's what some people were hoping for that they were hoping that, listen, if we really hold Amazon's
feet to the fire, maybe they'll come back and negotiate investing more in the community as opposed to saying, "You know what, that's fine, we're done
with New York, we're going with --"
ALESCI: You have to know who you're dealing with. You have to know what leverage the other side has, and clearly they have the leverage in this
ASHER: Right. Okay. Christina Alesci, live for us. Thank you.
ALESCI: Thank you.
ASHER; Good to see you. Okay, so we have the results. According to those of you voting at cnn.com/join, about two-thirds of you say that you would
welcome Amazon. It's interesting because a lot of people are thinking about those 25,000 jobs that are high paying as you mentioned.
Most of you say are saying that you would welcome Amazon if you had the opportunity to have them in your hometown.
So later on in the program, I am going to be speaking to one Democrat Congressman who is upset about the decision - Amazon's decision to pull out
of New York City entirely. Gregory Meeks is going to be joining us live in roughly about 20 minutes. Also, do stay tuned for that.
Okay, some more heartbreaks to tell you about. Airbus, the world's largest passenger plane, reaches the end of its runway. Airbus will halt
production of its A380. This is a massively iconic plane by the way. Deliveries are going to be stopping in just two years from now, in 2021.
They spent $25 billion developing this plane, developing the A380, but it didn't pan out the way they were expecting to.
Sales have simply been slow and now you have Emirates, their biggest customer essentially saying that they're going to be cutting orders, too.
So not worth Airbus sustaining making the A380, in their opinion. Boeing and Airbus collaborated early on to develop a super jumbo, but then the two
companies basically went their separate ways.
Boeing put its money on smaller planes flying point to point, Airbus bet on airlines flying between hubs, massive hubs like New York and Dubai for
The plane required was massive. Take a look
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, ANCHOR, CNN: This is an exciting moment. After all, new planes don't come along that often and certainly, not the size of the A380.
QUEST (voice over): Compared to a Boeing 747-400, the A380 is five meters taller, nearly four meters longer. It's the same length as seven and a
half London buses.
JOHN LEAHY, THEN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, AIRBUS: This airplane will become the cash cow for Airbus. With this amount of space, you can do
things your competitor can't.
QUEST (voice over): No more cramped, smelly airline toilets. This premium bathroom is decently sized, showers, beds and business class lounges. This
plane has the lot.
TEN ENDERS, CEO, AIRBUS: Superjumbo orders - new orders are not great.
QUEST (voice over): Many airlines believe the plane is simply too big for their needs, over budget and overdue. Tumultuous times for Airbus.
QUEST (on camera): It has been a painful road for Airbus to get to this point and the A380 is a long way from breaking even, let alone making a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And those are certainly prophetic words today. The CEO of Airbus actually spoke with Richard earlier today and explained why the A380
program ended up failing. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENDERS: I said in my press release this morning, it is painful. It is indeed. That is an aircraft we poured a lot of resource, a lot of effort,
a lot of sweat into over the years and we tried hard to, in recent years, to sell additional A380s and we didn't have to take the decision earlier,
thanks to Emirates because Emirates took an incredible 123 aircrafts from us or ordered this number of aircraft.
But it's like with every product, if you don't find customers anymore, or if you can sell them only below production cost, you have to be
consequential, you have to be economical and cease production and this is what we had to decide.
QUEST: The number had suggested there was huge - or there was good demand for, which is a very large aircraft, did not pan out into sales. Not just
for yourselves but also for Boeing with the 747-8. The reality is, passengers loved them, but airlines didn't want them. Why is that?
ENDERS: That's right. Well, to start with, at the passenger level, I know you love traveling on 380s. I can assure you and all those A380 fans, but
of course, the A380 will fly for many years. It will continue to fly with many airlines and we will support them for many years. Emirates said
today, we will fly them well into the 2030s.
Richard, you'll remember, we had a couple of discussions over the years about why are sales sluggish, et cetera, and some people have suggested as
we were too early with the 380. Well, I tend to believe we were at least ten years or more too late with the 380 because it's obviously the era of
the large four-engine -- the commercial aircraft is coming to an end, unfortunately, but we are building these very economical machines like the
350 or the 78 on Boeing's side that can do a lot of a job except carrying that many people as the 380 does.
QUEST: I mean, do you have any idea what the final bill for Airbus will be. If you were to roll everything up including the paper clips, what do
you think the A380 research, development, everything costs would come too?
ENDERS: One thing is for sure, that's a very significant double digit billion amount of money and the good thing is, even though before we poured
a lot of money into the 380, Airbus is well and kicking. Airbus is very competitive today. We've survived these heavy investments as you know.
This program burdened us for many, many years until rather four or five years ago and it was a heavy liability.
We tried hard, as I said, it didn't work and I'm happy in a sense or I am clear that I could take this decision before handing over to my successor,
Guillaume Faury, so kind of clearing the deck and then focusing Airbus completely on the existing portfolio between 100-seater to 400-seater and
make sure that we are able to fill the very competitive portfolio going forward.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ASHER: Tom Enders there, the CEO of Airbus. So the headlines might actually herald the death of the A380, but the fact is, this plane is going
to be in the skies for a very, very long time. Many, many years to come.
ASHER: Fourteen airlines currently fly the A380 just to give you a lay of the land, and Airbus still has 17 of the giant planes left to deliver.
Three of those planes will actually go to ANA, the rest will go to Emirates, that's a massive customer for Airbus.
Emirates says that it will remain a pillar of its fleet well into the 2030s. There are currently 234 A380s flying right now to more than 60
destinations all over the world. Airbus once hoped there would be more than a thousand, in fact 1,200 or so, that's what they were hoping of the
jumbo jets crossing the globe.
The company says it has no plans to stop servicing the A380 and hopes to continue to fly for decades.
Justin Green is an aviation attorney. He joins us now. So we've talked about this, Richard Quest obviously interviewed Tom Enders. This was
supposed to be an iconic plane. They were expecting thousands of orders. They only had a fraction of that, a quarter. What went wrong?
JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: If you think about it, it was replacing the 747 which is one of the historically most successful aircraft in the
world and it made a lot of sense. One aircraft could fit up to 850 people. It moved them halfway around the world, it was a really remarkable kind of
idea except for the fact that the airlines didn't want them and ultimately what the airlines were able to do was get smaller twin engine aircrafts --
ASHER: That fly to smaller cities.
GREEN: Right, and one of the things that you have to understand, there's very limited number of cities that an A380 could go to. Some airports
couldn't accommodate them --
ASHER: It's like Dubai.
GREEN: Some terminals --
ASHER: JFK -- that kind of thing.
GREEN: And it's similar to the Concord. Remember the Concord had cities that they couldn't fly to -- noise restrictions, other issues -- and that
made it kind of a less -- even though it was great to get to Europe in a couple of hours, it ultimately was not really a successful aircraft, but I
would say the A 380 may go down in history and they're probably going to be teaching about it in business schools, about -- everyone, when it was
launched was excited. You saw some of it before.
I remember being excited the first time I saw one. Everyone expected it to succeed, but there were factors that people didn't really recognize that
really undermined the potential for that aircraft.
ASHER: Guys, if we could pull up some more video of the A380, I just want to explain to our audience just how iconic. I mean, when I think of the
A380, I mean, I think of massive -- obviously, a massive aircraft and in first class you'd have showers. I mean, I flew an Emirates once and it
just an experience I'll never forget. Showers in the first class, beds in the first class. I mean, just talk us through just the experience aspect
of the A380.
GREEN: Well, the experience - it depends on where you're sitting in the aircraft. It depends on the layout. I mean, an 850 is a single class
configuration with about, I think 555. They can have the first class with the showers and everything else, but it is something that reminds -- when
they launched the A380, it was similar to when I was a kid and the 747, you could go upstairs and they had a bar and just an amazing kind of old
fashioned luxury experience on an aircraft and I'm glad to hear that they'll still be flying for many years, but I do think it's kind of sad in
ASHER: It's sad not just because this is an iconic aircraft but also, you've got to think about the job losses as well that go with retiring an
aircraft of this magnitude.
GREEN: It is, but obviously, they've got to cut their losses, go to the platforms that sell, their customers, like, I think one of the things is
the passengers love the A380, especially first class.
But the customers -- the airlines who want to get their people to many different cities, and one thing is A380 was good at one thing, long hauls
and lots of people.
ASHER: I have to run. I have to run. Thank you so much. A very interesting conversation. Okay, so we have some breaking news out of
Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is saying that President Trump is actually going to sign the funding bill to avoid another government
shutdown and then, this is key, we're hearing that he is actually going to declare a national emergency.
The President is going to declare a national emergency, this is according to Mitch McConnell to secure funding for his border wall. Mitch McConnell
added that he will support President Trump's emergency declaration. Obviously, there is going to be so many legal hurdles to this. We'll have
much more on this breaking news ahead in just a couple of minutes, don't go away.
ASHER: All right, so we'll get more on that breaking news out of Washington we told you about before the break. Republican Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell is saying at this point that President Trump is actually going to be signing the funding bill to avoid another government
But then he's also on top of that going to declare a national emergency. This is really, I would say the nuclear option for the President. A lot of
people thought that he wasn't going to do this. He basically takes funds from the Defense Department in order to get funding for his border wall.
McConnell added that he will support President Trump declaring a national emergency. Phil Mattingly joins us live now from Washington. So, Phil, I
mean, this is really one way, I guess, for the President to sort of save face with his own base.
PHIL MATTINGLY, U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, and essentially, it was what had to happen. Here's kind of the backstory of
what was going on over the course of the last hour or two.
There was a recognition on Capitol Hill that the President was wavering on this bill and that he was not going to sign the agreement, an agreement
that the Senate and House -- a Senate controlled Republicans, a House controlled by Democrats -- it was almost certainly going to pass.
There was real question as to whether or not the President was going to sign. Keep in mind, Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell have made clear over the course of the last couple of weeks, they were opposed to the President declaring a national emergency.
And the reality is, both the House and the Senate actually have the capability of blocking a presidential national emergency request. Because
of that, Republicans had kind of thought that the President was moving away from that idea. When the President started wavering on the overall
spending bill, essentially Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader struck a deal.
He had a conversation with the President over the phone, said that if the President signed the spending bill, the large 1,100 page spending bill to
keep the government open through the end of September, McConnell would then support the national emergency declaration. Something he had opposed
leading up until now and something I will tell you, I have been told behind the scenes, he informed the President privately multiple times he was
McConnell has now changed course, because of that, the President has now changed course. The Senate in about 10 minutes will vote on that spending
bill and pass that spending bill. The House will move later on tonight, and as you noted, kind of the dramatic element of all of this is the
President will then declare a national emergency and will face a reality that on Capitol Hill, while Mitch McConnell might support him, House
Democrats will almost certainly move immediately to try and block it will kick it over to the Senate and then there's going to be a real question
whether or not the Senate will also vote to block that national emergency.
But that was the only way. I think the expectation from the Senate Republicans, it was the only way they could get the President to sign on.
That's the route they decided to take.
ASHER: It's interesting because a few weeks ago, there was some talk as to whether or not the President would actually use the State of the Union
address to tell everyone, tell the country that he was going to declare a national emergency at the border. He chose not to do that. Why not?
MATTINGLY: In large part because Republicans in the Senate and not just Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who obviously is the most powerful
Republican in the Senate, but rank-and-file Republicans as well were making clear to the White House both publicly, in talking to us, reporters, but
also privately in phone calls not just to the President, but to his staff as well that they were opposed to the idea.
MATTINGLY: And not to get too technical here, but it only takes a simple majority in the United States to pass a resolution to block a national
emergency. Democrats control 47 of the 100 seats. If you only lose three or four Republicans, you have a real problem if you're the White House on
The shift essentially became that this was the only way to get the President on board. There is still a question about where the rest of the
Senate Republican are, but the reason the President moved away from it including both the national or both the State of the Union address and in
recent weeks where we've seen him try and figure out if there's other executive actions he can take to find some more money, not being a national
The reason he moved away from it is because Republicans made clear, they were very willing to block that move. That appears to have changed at
least from the Majority Leader's perspective, but because of that, the President is now willing to sign the bill and now will absolutely sign a
ASHER: All right, Phil Mattingly live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
So U.S. markets haven't moved a great deal since we learned about this, this news that the President might end up declaring an emergency on the
border. But from CNN Business, I want to bring in Paul La Monica and Matt Egan joining us live now.
So this news, sorry to spring this on you guys, but this news just broke literally five, ten minutes ago. Here is the thing. When you think about
the fact that this country is $22 trillion in debt and the President is declaring a national emergency on the border, presumably getting that $5
billion or so for the border wall, taking that money from the Defense Department, when you think about the fundamental sort of macroeconomics of
this, Matt, what goes through your mind?
MATT EGAN, LEAD WRITER, CNN BUSINESS: So, I don't really think the market is all that focused on the debt and the budget implications. What the
market cares about is whether or not there's a government shutdown because that hurts confidence, it hurts growth and it means that the Fed and the
investors are flying blind when it comes to economic data.
And so from the market's perspective if this means there's no shutdown, that is a positive and if this this means that the border wall won't be a
bargaining chip in the future fight over the debt ceiling, that's another positive.
ASHER: It is also symbolic of the fact that there's just so much division within Congress.
PAUL LA MONICA, REPORTER, CNN BUSINESS: Oh, without question. This adds to the political divisiveness that we obviously have in Washington, but I'm
not so sure that is going to be something that really moves the markets either.
I think this does remove a little bit of uncertainty which we all know, we love to say Wall Street doesn't like uncertainty. you now have Trump making
a very firm move on what he wants to do in order to get this funding for the wall and this is now going to open him up obviously to criticism from
the tons of 2020 candidates that we already have trying to get his job.
ASHER: Not just criticism, but also legal action.
LA MONICA: Also Republicans as well
ASHER: Also legal action as well.
LA MONICA: We're not going to have every single Republican that is going to love this either.
ASHER: You're certainly right about that. Let's just -- can we just pull up the markets again, so I can talk to them about what is moving the
markets today. What is moving the markets are those pretty dismal retail sales numbers -- they came out -- for December, we got the report today,
but for December, it was down about 1.2% or so, that's the lowest in nine years.
When you think about that in the context of just how well this economy is doing, what gives?
LA MONICA: It really is surprising to see them fall that dramatically. It's hard to know whether or not it's just consumers not feeling as
confident as they were. There's a big drop from November to December, even in some of the categories that have done well like the quote-unquote "non-
store retailing category" the government looks at which is essentially online retailing. --
ASHER: Online didn't do that well.
LA MONICA: And then online --
ASHER: I was surprised by that.
LA MONICA: Amazon. It is a big surprise that you had a drop there. So is it possible that consumers were worried about politics and the possibility
of the shutdown, the market turmoil that we had?
ASHER: The cold weather.
LA MONICA: The cold weather, also it gets earlier and earlier every year that people shop so remember, November sales were pretty good.
ASHER: Matt, I want to switch gears, I am sorry, I know you wanted to jump in on that, so Jamie Dimon apparently hates Bitcoin -- guys, do we have the
quote from Jamie Dimon talking about how much he detests Bitcoin. He actually says, I am reading for you now, there it is, he calls it,
"Stupid," "Far too dangerous." He jokes, "My daughter bought some Bitcoin and it went up, and she thinks she is a genius. Now, if you're stupid
enough to buy it, you'll pay the price for it one day." Now, we're hearing that JPMorgan is getting into the cryptocurrency game.
EGAN: That's right, so JPMorgan announced today the launch of a Crypto Coin. It's the first large U.S. bank to do this.
ASHER: JPM Coin.
EGAN: JPM Coin. And I think what's really important here is to remember, there's a big distinction between Jamie Dimon bashing Bitcoin, which
obviously has wild price swings because it is decentralized. It is not tied to any government and what JPMorgan announced today which is a coin
that will actually always equal one U.S. dollar.
So it is centralized. It is tied to the government, and so both things actually can still be true. He can bash Bitcoin, but believe in the long
term potential of blockchain technology.
ASHER: I see, to think people were thinking, "Oh, you know, there's a bit of hypocrisy here," but you're right, he believes in blockchain, just not
Bitcoin is what you're saying.
EGAN: Right, and I think if JPMorgan didn't do this, someone else would have done it, and we're going to see more and more banks jump into --
ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: All right --
EGAN: This space.
ASHER: I will love to run this up, but I've got to run, OK? Paul, thank you guys so much, appreciate that. OK, we have a quick break right now,
we'll be back with more business news in just two minutes, don't go away.
ASHER: All right, I'm Zain Asher. Coming up in the next half-hour of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Theresa May has had a tough night in parliament, and
she wasn't even there to see it. And if you're alone and looking for a partner this Valentine's Day, we have a new app that you could try. The
one catch is, the app is actually for cows only. But first though, these are the headlines we are following for you at this hour.
Just moments ago, U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump would sign a spending bill that would avoid a
government shutdown, and then declare a national emergency to secure funding for his border wall.
The spending bill doesn't include the money Mr. Trump wants for that wall. A stunning revelation from former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, he's
publicly confirming reports that there were high-level discussions at the Justice Department in 2017 about using a constitutional amendment to remove
President Trump from office.
The White House notes Mr. McCabe was fired in 2018 and says that he has no credibility. The Senate has just voted to confirm Mr. Trump's choice to
head the Justice Department as Attorney General. William Barr will oversee the Russia investigation.
He has not commented or committed rather, publicly, releasing special counsel Mueller's report unchanged, but he says he will reveal as much as
he can. And U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned European nations not to go against U.S. sanctions on Iran.
He said the U.S. and Europe need to stand together on the world stage. He's in Poland right now for a meeting on a host of Middle East issues.
And police have decided not to charge Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip over a car crash he was involved in last month.
[15:35:00] The 97-year-old prince gave up his driver's license after the crash. Three people in the other car suffered mild injuries in the
incident. Right, Amazon's Utah on HQ2 wasn't the only bombshell announcement to come from Jeff Bezos and his team today.
We now know who tipped off the "National Enquirer" into Bezos extra-marital relationship with Lauren Sanchez. CNN's sources confirmed her brother, her
brother Michael Sanchez was behind the leak which included salacious photos, actually nude photos of Jeff Bezos himself which Bezos claimed were
used to blackmail him.
He claimed that actually AMI, the "National Enquirer" tried to use those photos to blackmail him. CNN's entertainment writer Chloe Melas is live
now. So, I don't -- I mean, why would your brother do that to you?
CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: That's a great question, Zain. You know, we don't know the motive of why he reached out to the "National
Enquirer" to tip them off that his sister Lauren Sanchez was in this relationship with the most powerful, richest man in the entire world.
But what we do know is that Michael Sanchez who works in L.A. as a manager of sorts in the Hollywood world, that he had a relationship with the
"National Enquirer" with AMI, with Dylan Howard who runs the "National Enquirer", and that possibly --
ASHER: He used to sort of -- he used to sell out his own clients to them - -
MELAS: For his report. Well, I can't confirm that, but there are rumors that he has worked on other stories and been a leaker for other things.
But when we spoke to Michael Sanchez yesterday, my co-reporter Oliver Darcy and I, he wouldn't say "yes" or "no".
He wouldn't deny that he was the leaker. But you've got to wonder why does Jeff Bezos think right now since he launched his own investigation with
his own private investigator to find out who the leaker is, because you better believe if we know that Michael Sanchez is a leaker, he most likely
ASHER: But it's not just that, it's also that blog post that he came out with where he sort of intimated that maybe AMI is after him because of
their Saudi connections and the fact that Jeff Bezos himself owns "The Washington Post". He intimated that, listen, because I'm the owner of the
"Washington Post", there are a lot of people who are out to get me.
MELAS: So --
ASHER: And all along, it was his mistress' brother. Just seems a bit --
MELAS: Well, so, there's a lot of questions as to why did Jeff Bezos dangle all these theories in front of us on that medium blog post last
week. He put a lot of things out there that it was Trump-motivated because David Pecker who runs AMI, who has been a long-time friend of Donald Trump
and obviously, Jeff Bezos owning "The Washington Post" has been critical of Donald Trump and obviously their coverage of Khashoggi.
There's been a lot of questions, right? So when you read that blog post, you think, OK, all those things make sense while Oliver and I, we dove into
that in our report that you can read on cnn.com, and we learned that really it just came down to a good tip, saying, that it was just the brother that
leaked it and that it had nothing to do with Saudi Arabia, it had nothing to do with --
ASHER: Gosh --
MELAS: Donald Trump, and it was just a good juicy story. But I can only imagine that now that Jeff Bezos knows that it was his girlfriend's
brother, that, that definitely must put a strain on their relationship. As far as we know, they're still together, although they haven't been seen
ASHER: OK --
MELAS: In a month publicly.
ASHER: Yes, I mean, I'm just wondering also how he got the photos from her phone. I mean, you would imagine that her phone has a password on it, so I
don't -- I mean, whatever, anyway.
MELAS: Listen, I find it hard to believe that she would be hacked.
ASHER: Right, OK, Chloe Melas, let's leave it there, thank you --
MELAS: Thank you --
ASHER: So much.
MELAS: OK, returning to our top story. Amazon is dropping its plans to build new headquarters and bring 25,000 jobs to New York over protests like
these, while big named Democrats have held this as a triumph for the people, it's a move that's going to upset a lot of New Yorkers.
A recent poll of registered voters in New York State showed that most people -- take a look at this, 56 percent of people actually approved of
the idea of Amazon making second headquarters in New York City. And there wasn't actually much of a difference between high income and low income
voters as well.
And the demographics who most strongly supported the deal -- this is interesting, demographics actually most supported this deal was Latinos and
African-Americans as well. Gregory Meeks represents part of Queens in the U.S. House of Representatives, he's joining us live now from Washington.
So Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. So just give us your reaction to the fact that, A, most African-American and Latinos actually
supported this deal and, B, the fact that New York City is going to lose out on 25,000 jobs?
REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: Well, the reason why a lot of African- Americans and I think Latinos want to support the deal is, here is a chance to have an opportunity to have jobs now and in the future that are not low-
paying jobs, not, you know, minimum wage jobs, the jobs in which they can be trained.
[15:40:00] And these jobs, many of them are going to be $150,000 or more. You prepare them and it gives them a chance to close the income gap that
has existed in America for far too long. And the way that he was negotiating was to make sure that what was happening would be a -- you
know, as far as those jobs would be very diverse, giving African-Americans and Hispanics an opportunity to make sure that they were able to obtain
those jobs as well as investments in schools and education because these are tech jobs.
Secondly, you know, the answer to your second question is that -- I'm trying to remember the second question. What was your second question?
ASHER: Well, it was really just about, A, why African-Americans supported this deal and just the fact that we're going to lose out or rather New York
City is going to lose out on 25,000 jobs. But I do want to ask you, what does this deal actually say about just how divided the Democratic Party is.
On the one hand, you have the likes of "Bloomberg" and Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez being on one side of the argument, bur also Cuomo and de Blasio being on the other side. What does it tell you about the divisions within
the Democratic Party?
MEEKS: Well, there's always divisions in a democracy. But I think that if you would look over the span of elected officials, you'll also find that
most elected officials support it and wanted the deal. The borough president wanted the deal. I wanted the deal.
It was actually in Carolyn Maloney's district, she wanted the deal. So I can go down and I can show you that there were more elected officials who
wanted the deal than who didn't, and they were the ones that were trying to work quietly to work a deal out.
My only disappointment in Amazon is that, they didn't continue to stick at the table because they would have had and would have been able to
demonstrate they had more supporters then in the visions that we're against. And sometimes, you know, you'll hear individuals that are talking
loudly, they get -- you know, sometimes -- my father used to say, the greasy wheel gets the oil.
Well, sometimes they fish out the most. But this was a deal that I think that, you know, it was you know, somewhat complaining about the fact that
there was $3 billion that was going to go out --
ASHER: In a sentence --
MEEKS: In subsidies as it forces an incentive. But the way I look at it, it was and I think that the governor said it best, this was basically a
deal that, that $3 billion was going to be able to bring you back $27 billion. It was like a long-term investment --
ASHER: Investment, right --
MEEKS: That was going to make a significant difference for the district, for the city, for the state. And so I think it's a loss both --
ASHER: Yes --
MEEKS: For New York --
ASHER: I think that --
MEEKS: And for Amazon.
ASHER: I mean, congressman, a lot of people were quite surprised that Amazon didn't really stick to the -- stick at the negotiation table rather,
and just sort of pulled the plug completely. But I do want to touch on something else that we're hearing just in terms of breaking news.
The White House is saying they will actually end up declaring a national emergency on the southern border. President Trump is going to be signing
that funding bill, so there's not going to be a government shutdown which for a lot of government workers obviously is good news. But now, we're
dealing with declaring a national emergency on the southern border. What's your reaction to that?
MEEKS: My reaction is that, this is a Trump-made emergency. There's no emergency on the southern border. It is Donald Trump who made a campaign
promise and he's trying to utilize or have a made-up national emergency based upon the fact that he made a campaign promise that is not going to
protect our borders.
And so, we will see him in court, you cannot go around the United States Congress. We are a separate and equal branch of government, and we're set
up that way. And what he's trying to do is to go around the appropriations process that is within the sole authority of the Congress to get some
dollars. We believe that that's in violation of the constitution and we'll see him in court.
ASHER: Right, there's no doubt that there's going to be legal hurdles for the president. We knew that well before this week. But I think it comes
as a surprise to a lot of people that he ended up going in that direction. Congressman Meeks, we have to leave it there, thank you so much, appreciate
MEEKS: Good to be with you.
ASHER: OK, when we come back, it wasn't quite a Valentine's Day massacre, but Theresa May is reeling from a symbolic defeat in parliament at the
hands of her own party. We'll be live for you in Westminster after the break.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: It was a heartbreaking Valentine's Day for Theresa May. The British Prime Minister suffered yet another stunning defeat at the hands of
her own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, HOUSE OF COMMONS: The Ayes to the right, 258, the Nos to the left, 303. So the Nos have it. The Nos have it. Unlock! Point
of order, Jeremy Corbyn --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And with that, Theresa May lost the support that parliament granted her two weeks ago. Lawmakers defeated a symbolic motion, calling on MPs to
reiterate their support for her Brexit strategy. The compound of hard line Tory Brexiteers ensured her defeat by abstaining from the vote.
The government spokesperson acknowledged that concerns about taking a no deal Brexit off the table led to that defeat. Political analyst Carole
Walker joins us live now from Westminster. Carole has been reporting on this story all day. Thank you so much for staying up late to be with us.
So this means that Theresa May basically goes back to Brussels with a much weaker hand. You know, the EU is obviously going to think what is the
point of negotiating with Theresa May when she doesn't have the backing of her own party?
CAROLE WALKER, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, yes, saying this was a humiliating defeat for the Prime Minister on what should have been a formality. The
motion tonight was essentially saying that MPs should reiterate the support they gave her a couple of weeks ago when they said that they would back her
Withdrawal Agreement provided alternative arrangements were put in place for that backstop to prevent a hard border on that island of Ireland.
But those hard line Brexiteers feel that there was a trap there because two weeks ago, a motion was also passed, which said that the government should
avoid a no-deal Brexit. Those who really want to get a clean break with the European Union believed that at least that threat of no-deal Brexit
must be left on the table.
And just by all the assurances, 66 of them failed to support her tonight. And you know, the government itself had upped the stakes on this vote
tonight with senior ministers saying, during the course of the debate, look, unless you back the Prime Minister, you're going to undermine her,
you're going to weaken her negotiating hand, and that is precisely what they have done.
Because when Theresa May goes back to the EU negotiating team after this, and says to them, look, if you just give me a few changes to that northern
Ireland backstop, I can definitely get it through parliament. Well, they're going to find it very difficult indeed to believe that she's going
to be able to deliver on that promise at a time when they're already saying that they are frankly getting a bit tired of all these promises and want to
see some concrete solutions that can actually be agreed here as well as with the EU 27.
ASHER: All right, Carole Walker, live for us there outside parliament. Thank you so much. All right, after the break here on QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS, steer clear, we're talking the business of modern love and cows after the break. Interesting combination.
[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. And a lot of you are asking me on social media, I did actually get that bouquet of flowers from my husband.
So he's certainly not in trouble. But let's go to greener pastures, shall we? It is the latest dating app craze, it's called Tudder.
You swipe left or right, just like Tinder, only you're looking -- and get this, cat -- you're looking at cows essentially, not people. But this meat
market is certainly no mere PR stunt. Tudder is making it easier to pair breeding partners for cows and bulls, and it's spreading quicker than you
can say Huehifer(ph) or Moo-Dame.
More than 40,000 farms across the U.K. have actually signed up already, so it is indeed proving pretty popular. Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare
Agritech, the firm behind Tudder joins us live from London. So Doug, I have to ask you, who came up with this idea and how did this -- how was
this idea given birth to?
DOUG BAIRNER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HECTARE AGRITECH: Good evening Zain. It all came about when we were interrogating the data from our
sister site, sellmylives.co.u.k., and we realized that with the wealth of data that sits behind breeding cattle, that it lends itself perfectly to an
app-based way of match-making, match more so than human match-making because it's all very objective data rather than someone's opinion of
ASHER: It's interesting because on an app like Tinder or -- I don't even know anything about online dating, but an app like Tinder or match, you
know, you have the -- you have photos of yourself, sometimes photo-shop photos of yourself, but then profile information, for example, your age,
you know, date of birth, star sign -- I don't know. What is it on Tudder, what information do you get about the cows on Tudder?
BAIRNER: Well, with the wealth of the performance data that sits behind all the cattle, you can see exactly how they're going to match up with that
perfect mate. So for instance, if you're looking at dairy cattle, you can see the expected milk yield that you would get, you can see how easy it
would be for the cows to give birth so it's much safer for the cows and the calves.
So yes, all around, there's a huge amount of data that sits in the background, there's no hiding behind the picture or a strange profile.
ASHER: So it's interesting, because you know, when you compare it to Tinder, it's easy to sort of find this funny, you know, dating app for
cows. However, this actually does make farmers lives a lot easier. Explain how?
[15:55:00] BAIRNER: Yes, absolutely, if we're going to face down a global food shortage, we need to make farms more profitable, and that's what we're
really passionate about. There's a huge amount of technology that's being focused on the production side of farming, but not a huge amount looking at
the business side of farming.
We did a survey and realized that most U.K. farmers operate very low profit or actually at a loss. So in order for them to make improvements on the
production side, we need to help them to make improvements in their profitability, and that's really what our business Hectare is all about.
So we're making the supply chain much more efficient for farmers being able to find stock from all around the country, and without having to leave the
comfort of their own office or even their own sofa as in with Tudder.
ASHER: Very interesting. I mean, I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this, so congratulations, at least for a very original
concept. Thank you so much, Doug Bairner, thank you, appreciate that.
OK, let's move over to the trading post for a final check of markets. The three major indices all started deep in the red today, thanks to weak
retail sales. But some economists say, those were a blip and so the bigger global factors like trade talks have actually pushed stocks higher.
It's all helping to boost investor sentiment. The CNN business fear and greed index is solidly in the greed range, that's based on factors like
volatility and demand for safe havens as well. All right, that does it for me, I am Zain Asher, thank you so much for being us, we're not done yet
though, Richard will be back with a profitable moment from Hong Kong after the break.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN: Tonight's profitable moment, the ending of the Airbus A380. A sad day in aviation. Even though the plane will be around in
Emirates fleet until 2030 and beyond, it is still to be recognized that it's sad when planes can no longer be manufactured because they can no
longer make a profit.
I have followed the 380 from the very beginning, back in 2005 when it made its maiden flight. We watched as it went into the air and then in 2007,
entry into service, from Singapore to Sydney. It was only a few hundred A380s around, there will be a time when none are still flying.
You see, passengers said they wanted large planes, but the reality is, they want smaller planes with more frequency. And so the A380, the very large
aircraft along with the 747-8, no longer.
Richard Quest, CNN, Hong Kong.