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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
EU Leaders Are in Brussels for Emergency Summit; Netanyahu Is on Cusp of Victory After Tight Election; William Barr Says I Think Spying on The Trump Campaign Did Occur. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 10, 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. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, another crucial evening in this long Brexit process as Theresa May
tries to convince Europe to delay Brexit until June 30th.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER AT LARGE: I'm Richard Quest in Brussels. And behind me, Theresa May has been speaking and setting out her
pitch to the other 27 leaders. She's finished now and now comes the discussion, stiff resistance, perhaps, not least from the French President
GORANI: Well, as you say, Richard, it is time for decisions now. Those were the words of the French President as he entered a meeting to decide
the fate on Brexit. The spotlight on EU leaders gathering for that emergency summit to decide whether to grant the U.K. a further delay.
We'll be going back to Richard with that in a moment.
Prime Minister Theresa May wants more time in order to avoid leaving without a deal which is currently set to happen this Friday. But there are
other questions too. If the EU grants an extension, for how long? And under what conditions? Theresa May laid out what she is hoping for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think here that the UK's request is for an extension until the 30th of June. I've been working to make sure we
can leave the European Union indeed we could've left the European Union by now but Parliament didn't pass the withdrawal agreement. We need that
extra time to work that we can ensure that we can get a deal through Parliament that enables us lead in a smooth and orderly way. That is in
I think what matters is that we are able to leave the European Union at the point at which we ratify that withdrawal agreement. That would enable us
to leave on the 22nd of May.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Laying the blame on Parliament for not passing her withdrawal agreement. What about the EU, it seems unwilling to give Mrs. May exactly
what she wants and it seems Emmanuel Macron could be a serious spanner in the works? It is reported that he wants strings attached to any Brexit
delay to limit the UK's influence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Now it's time for decisions. Over two years we negotiated a withdrawal agreement. Lots
of time was dedicated to that. Now we have to get to the decisions. I'm impatient to hear what Theresa May has to say. But as far a I am concerned
nothing is a given. Nothing. And particularly listening to the rumors, not a long extension. Today we have to understand why this request is
being made, what political plan justifies it and what are the clear proposals?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, all the focus is on the 27 EU leaders tonight. Any extension will need the approval of every single member. Richard Quest is in
Brussels for us. I picked up "The Evening Standard" on the way to our position here at Westminster. "Europe's in control now, admits May's
minister for Brexit." They're talking about a U.K. humiliation. What is going on where you are and what's the expectation in terms of what kind of
extension the EU will grant Theresa May?
QUEST: That's a very good question. Exactly what will the EU give. Erin is with us following events here in Brussels is with me now. And Theresa
May is believed to have finished her presentation. Do we know how it went?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not yet. I haven't had a chance to check with my sources. That just happened. We learned of that
via tweet from the spokesperson for the President of the European Council. He timed out his tweets from when she started speaking to when she finished
speaking. It lasted about an hour. Many here would hope that it went better than the last summit, according to my sources, she was extremely
evasive, didn't answer really any of the EU leaders' questions, so I'm sure the EU leaders will be hoping that she improves upon it this time around.
GORANI: Let's take this -- is there any danger she won't get an extension?
MCLAUGHLIN: Not from the conversations I'm having. She will get some sort of extension. The question being, how long and what strings will be
GORANI: Who stands where in terms of short and long?
MCLAUGHLIN: The French are originally seen as having pushed that short extension. They're being perceived by some diplomats, but not all
diplomats I talked to about an ambassador's meeting last night, to be against a long extension. With respect to the long extension. Two key
dates, end of December, end of March.
[14:05:00] GORANI: What difference does it make between the two? Besides the European budget which comes up next year. What difference does it make
whether it's eight months or 12?
MCLAUGHLIN: It makes a big amount of difference. The U.K. as an existing member state, if there's an extension, will have all the rights and
obligations that it does currently. There are real concerns among people in Brussels about the consequences for that, what if, in the words of one
diplomat, the U.K. tries to destroy the EU from within? Those are all sorts of questions and concerns that are being expressed in private
conversations that will be expressed during tonight's conversations among the 27 leaders which of course is happening now.
GORANI: But the EU -- the U.K. as a full member, will be able to take part. They'll be looking at the forbearance of the UK.
MCLAUGHLIN: Exactly. And some of the conditions that we're hearing according to Donald Tusk's letter that went out to all 27 that will be
attached is during any extension time period, there will be no renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement, no renegotiation of the future
during that time period. Are there going to be additional strings attached? Legally, really can't attach too many to an extension.
But they can be looking for reassurance is the question being what will those reassurances entail? Should the leaders decide to go down the route
of a long extension, it looks likely at this point.
QUEST: Thank you very much. Hala, that is the lay of the land here in Brussels. And the meeting -- the discussion around the table is under way.
GORANI: And you had a chance earlier, Richard, to speak to one of the leaders in that meeting. And by the way, one of the leaders not in that
meeting is U.K. Prime Minister who will not be dining with the 27. You spoke to one of the heads of state. What did they have to say?
QUEST: Yes, it was interesting. The Lithuanian President was talking to me earlier. She was on the way in. Lithuania may be a small country, but
the President packs a lot of weight. Was a former budget commissioner, is very highly thought of here in the EU and with the council today. She's
sitting next to the Prime Minister Theresa May and I asked the Lithuanian President what it is she expects will come from today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, PRESIDENT, LITHUANIA: We will support in general the request of Prime Minister May for extension, but highly probable that we
will propose a longer extension than she asked.
QUEST: On this question of the length of the extension, what would you be happy with, the end of the year, a whole year, until March of next year.
What's your preference?
GRYBAUSKAITE: For me the preference is not the timeline but the possibility and giving the space for British politics to make a decision,
to finally decide on something and that's why we're giving more space for government and House of Commons for the decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Hans Dahlgren, the Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Sweden's former ambassador to the UN. Good to see you as always.
HANS DAHLGREN, MINISTER FOR EU AFFAIRS, SWEDEN: Good to see you, Richard.
QUEST: What do you expect to come out of tonight?
DAHLGREN: Well, I hope about all that we have a clear decision that will make a hard Brexit avoidable.
QUEST: Nobody realistically thinks there will be a hard Brexit.
DAHLGREN: If no other decision is taken, there will be a hard Brexit.
QUEST: That would be a disaster. Everybody is going in saying they're prepared to give an extension.
DAHLGREN: I hope that we'll agree on an extension. Of course, that is the purpose of this whole meeting to find the consensus.
QUEST: Where does Sweden stand on the question of how long that extension should be?
DAHLGREN: We are open, of course, to the extension that Theresa May has requested, but we're also open to a longer extension. It's very important
that we have unity on this. My Prime Minister will take part in this discussion, it starts right now after Theresa May has answered the
questions from him and the others.
QUEST: What is the thing you want to hear, what is it that you hope she said to them? What does your Prime Minister need before he can make his
DAHLGREN: I hope she is explained what is going on in London right now because that is a new element that there is now talks between the tory
government and the labor opposition in a way that we haven't seen before. There's also a new element that said if they are members of the union at
the end of May, they would organize elections. These are the two new elements and the first one is very important.
[14:10:06] QUEST: The elections, there seems to be a view in Britain, all right, fine if we have to have the elections, we'll have the elections.
But from the Europe's point of view, it's very troublesome. The seats are being reassigned to other countries or put into storage and secondly you
don't want those brits. Elections, we'll have the elections. But from the Europe's point of view, it's very troublesome. The seats are being
reassigned to other countries or put into storage and secondly you don't want those brits.
DAHLGREN: But there's been other consideration that's even more important. That is the integrity of the EU institutions. If we have a country that is
a member of the European Union, they must also have seats in the European Parliament. This decision-making won't work and we can have questions as
to the legality of all the decisions are being taken. This is very important.
QUEST: The U.K. has elections and returns -- does the U.K. get a commissioner?
DAHLGREN: If they're a member, they have a commissioner.
QUEST: Right. And what about the UK's voting in terms of what role they should play? France is believed to want to have -- France is believed to
want to put in place some sort of understanding that the U.K. won't act on controversial issues.
DAHLGREN: I think we already have that kind of understanding. For example, yesterday in the general affairs counsel, I participated. We had
a long discussion on the long-term budget for the European Union starting in 2012 when we expect the U.K. to have left. The British really does not
take part in that kind of discussion.
QUEST: Whether you regret or whether you applaud, is it your feeling that Brexit will happen?
DAHLGREN: The British political system has decided that Brexit will happen. They had a referendum and they have decided --
QUEST: But --
DAHLGREN: Yes, I believe that the political system will produce the results that the voters expect.
QUEST: Good to see you, ambassador. Thank you very much. So, whatever is decided tonight in Brussels, there is a question, Hala, this is an
extraordinary story in the sense that there are two very defined locations. Here in Brussels and where you are at Westminster.
GORANI: Right. And we're going to be monitoring reaction. As you know, Parliament, the building behind me, extremely divided. No real majority
for any alternative to the Prime Minister's plan and divisions as well about how long the extension should be. Richard, we'll be getting back to
you very soon. The Prime Minister has twice today blamed the failure to deliver Brexit on time on Parliament, once in the Prime Minister's
questions and once again on arrival in Brussels.
Bianca Nobilo is here. And Bianca, what's the mood? You were speaking to some MPs in the building behind us. What are they telling you? First,
they were asking you questions about what?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were asking what my sources in Brussels were telling me about what was going on. I think that says it
all. It tells us that the ball is in Brussels but we knew this, it also says that the Prime Minister hasn't communicated to her own back benches or
to cabinet what she would do provided with various different scenarios from the European Union. I described the mood here today as political tumble
weed within the House of Commons because all of the action is in Brussels. But we have the --
GORANI: We've gone from Steve and his megaphone to a xylophone. Which is soothing, let's be honest. And it maybe a reflection of the mood in
Parliament as we wait and see. Now, as we were saying to -- discussing with Richard, there's a lot of division in the building about how long the
extension should be. But the Brexiteers are still holding on, hoping against hope, that the extension will be short.
NOBILO: That's accurate. I spoke this morning to Daniel Kawczynski, who was a member of the ERG the vanguard of the Brexiteers that were determined
to achieve a hard Brexit. He resigned last week to make a point. He felt the intransigence of Brexiteers with the ERG was preventing them from
ensuring that Brexit actually happened.
He was saying to me today that some of his colleagues still had not abandoned their hope that either there would be a no deal on Friday and
given that Chancellor Phillip Hammond indicated that he felt MPs would actually revoke --
GORANI: But they legislated against that.
GORANI: Wouldn't that be breaking -- just educate me. Wouldn't that be breaking U.K. law to leave without a deal?
NOBILO: Brexiteers that I've spoken to cite the fact that international law might Trump U.K. domestic law which is ironic.
[14:15:00] GORANI: Brexiteers are invoking international law over the law over of their own country.
NOBILO: I mean it is a labyrinth when we start getting into it, all of that. They're still holding onto the ideal either of a no deal or a very
short extension. They're not hoping the EU grants the longest form of extension tonight. Also, they're concerned about these conditions, what
strings will be attached to that longer extension of negotiation?
GORANI: You've got to see it from the perspective of the Europeans I think because Macron is playing bad cop here to Merkel's slightly nicer cop.
They've got to make this process from the perspectives seem a little bit painful, not give ideas to other countries, to invoke article 50, then
revoke it, ask for five extensions that are short in terms of duration. The Prime Minister, I don't know what her strategy is here, has blamed
Parliament for all this. This is what she said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAY: I'm pressing the case for the extension that I wrote to Donald Tusk last week that was endorsed by Parliament last night. Can I also say to my
friend that I think it is important we could actually have been outside the European Union if we managed to get the deal through and I'm continuing to
work to ensure that we can deliver Brexit and can do that in a way that works for people across this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, what's -- because initially I think she realized when she gave that very short speech outside 10 Downing Street that blaming Parliament
might not be the way to go. But she's going down that road again.
NOBILO: Yes. When I talked to a spokesperson from Downing Street about that speech which he gave. That was the real first departure in tone that
we saw to blame Parliament. He said that her frustration had reached the level where she couldn't hold it anymore and that's generally what she
felt. It's an argument that you hear repeated, that Parliament voted to trigger article 50 to begin with, therefore it shouldn't continue to impede
the progress toward exiting the European Union.
But then others would argue, that is a clause within article 52 to extend the negotiations, that was always there. Even though we voted to trigger
it, we voted with that in mind. It shows that the Prime Minister has run out of options. Given that she is trying to take a more conciliatory
approach to reach across parties, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour front bench is a peculiar and inexplicable tactic.
GORANI: It's all about the will of the majority right now. We don't have really anything clearly defined as far as the way forward. We'll keep our
eye on what's going on in Brussels. What will the leaders say? We'll be following that of course in our breaking coverage. Still to come, a party
challenging Israel's Prime Minister has just conceded defeat, handing Benjamin Netanyahu another win at the polls. Some dramatic remarks from
Donald Trump's Attorney General. He says the American President's campaign was spied on and he is pledging to get to the bottom of it. We'll be right
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: It is now all but certain that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won the toughest fight of his political life overcoming a
cloud of corruption scandals to when a huge victory at the polls. Mr. Netanyahu's main challenger conceded defeat just a short time ago, but the
Blue and White Party is promising to fight him from within the opposition. It threw in the towel after became clear that the Prime Minister has the
only real chance of forming a ruling coalition.
Let's get the details from Oren Liebermann live from Jerusalem. Where does that leave -- Netanyahu will form the coalition, but you have an opposition
block here in the Knesset.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right. When you look at all 120 seats, the division between right wing, essentially the Netanyahu wing
and other, which includes the center and the left and the Arab parties, that division hasn't changed all that much with that concession that came
around 7:20 p.m. local time from Benny Gantz 's former chief of staff, as well as another member of that list.
Let me read you short statements here. It was Gantz who said, "we are all Democratic, we accept the decision of the nation. We will all welcome and
accept the decision of the President. And we will abide by it."
He's referencing where the process goes from here. It is the President of Israel will over the course of the next week or so, meet with the parties,
see who they recommend, with a look at the results it will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who he recommending to be the next Prime
Yair Lapid would give a very defiant statement essentially saying, we didn't come here to concede the campaign of 2019, we came here to start the
campaign of 2020.
There was one leader who didn't wait that long to congratulate Netanyahu, and that was President Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu. It looks like that race has been won by him. It may
be a little early. I'm hearing he's won it and won it in good fashion. He's been a good ally. And he's a friend. I would like to congratulate
him. That was a well thought out race, I can tell you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Again, with this concession it makes it all but certain it is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He's won a record five elections in
Israel and he will become the longest serving Prime Minister in the country's history some time in the summer, in July.
GORANI: Thanks very much. Now to some fireworks on Capitol Hill. Donald Trump's Attorney General was back in the hot seat today, a Senate committee
grilled William Barr on his summary of the Mueller report. He said he doesn't know if the special counsel agrees with his conclusion that
President Trump didn't obstruct justice. You will remember, that's the conclusion he drew in that four-page summary letter. He also refused to
answer whether the investigation was a witch-hunt. He vowed to look into how it began saying he thinks the Trump campaign was spied on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you're not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't -- well, I guess you could -- I think there's spying that did occur. Yes, I think
spying did occur.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let me --
BARR: But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated, and I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated. But I
need to explore that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, let's bring in CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin. He was a former special assistant to Robert Mueller. He wasn't very forthcoming
when asked about several things including certain aspects of, you know, whether or not the Mueller report was -- or its findings were shared with
anyone prior to his summary's release.
[14:25:00] MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. It was not very transparent the hearings yesterday and today. Barr really obfuscated much
more than he clarified when asked specific questions. We don't know whether Mueller and Barr agree on Mueller's -- about Barr's recommendations
about Mueller, what Mueller said. We don't know whether or not Mueller has agreed to the way in which the report is being redacted.
So, there's a lot of stuff that we just don't know. But we do know one thing for certain which is that Barr believes that the way this
investigation was birthed may have been inappropriate and that's what he's calling spying, an unfortunate choice of words in my mind, that he wants to
GORANI: Yes. Because that's what the President has said. He's falsely claiming that it was an illegal witch-hunt. But also, to look into how it
all began. What does that tell you, the fact that William Barr is saying that he's willing too look into the origins of how this investigation
ZELDIN: It depends on how he approaches it. The President has said, you're absolutely correct, that this is a witch-hunt and his campaign was
illegally spied upon. If Barr wants to debunk that, the best way to do that is for him, who's trusted by the Republicans, to have a look and see
how it was originated and to see whether or not -- to use his words, whether it was properly predicated, meaning there was a factual basis to
If he concludes that, then that debunks the notion that this was an illegal spying campaign and that could be very valuable. We have to see what his
motivates are here. If you take him at his words, he wants to put to rest this notion of illegal spying and that would be a good thing if it works
out that way.
GORANI: What about your expectations for next week? And that's the release of a redacted Mueller report. What do you make of what William
Barr has promised to deliver in the coming days?
ZELDIN: So, Barr is a bit ham strung by the special counsel regulations which were put into place to prevent full disclosure of the full report.
He has these handcuffs on. Within the parameters, he's going to try his best to let us know what it is that Mueller concluded these past two years.
The issue is, how much will he redact which will interfere with our understanding of that narrative. He has told us what he intends to redact,
but we don't know how Mueller wrote the report.
We don't know whether this is a story that when you take out big chunks you don't know what occurred or whether it's broken up into bite size pieces,
that the redactions don't interfere with it.
GORANI: Now, there's that of course persistent issue of the President's tax returns. We know that the Democrats on Capitol Hill in control on
Congress are trying to get those hands on those documents. This is what the President said about releasing his tax returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: While I'm under audit, I won't do it. If I'm not under audit, I would do it. I would love to give them. But I'm not going to give it
while I'm under audit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So yet again the President is saying I'm not going to do it. I'd be happy to do it. But I'm not going to do it. How much power do
Democrats in Washington have to subpoena the President's tax returns? Can they achieve that goal?
ZELDIN: So, there's a provision in the Internal Revenue code that allows the Chairman of The Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Neil, to obtain that tax
return. The language is mandatory. It says the Secretary of Treasury shall give that report, the tax return to the Ways and Means Committee.
So, unless they can establish that the Ways and Means Committee is not engaged in proper legislative oversight, then it doesn't seem to me that
the law allows them to resist.
They could challenge it, to delay it, but I think ultimately if there's a valid legislative purpose for it, they lose. Another thing that's
important to remind everybody is that the Southern District of New York, the prosecutors there who are engaged in a financial crimes investigation
also have the power to obtain those tax returns and their path to acquiring it is even easier than the Congress's.
[14:30:00] GORANI: Michael Zeldin, pleasure talking to you. Thank you for talking to us on the program.
Still to come tonight, the xylophone plays us out of that segment and we go back to Brussels for the latest on the EU's emergency summit on Brexit.
Can EU leaders agree on a date to extend the withdrawal deadline? Also, the iconic image that has become the symbol of a movement. That story when
[14:30:59] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Who is going to blink on Brexit? The U.K. prime minister is in Brussels asking the European Union
to extend the withdrawal deadline from this Friday until June 30th. But we're hearing that the E.U. likely wants much longer extension than that.
Certainly longer than what Mrs. May is proposing.
Richard Quest and Erin McLaughlin are at the E.U. summit in Brussels. And Atika Shubert is in Berlin with more on what the expectations are. And
really, the reporting now for several hours today is that the E.U. wants an extension that is much, much longer than June 30th. The question is, how
long? And also, what conditions will be attached to the extension?
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, what Jeremy wants to see --
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Sorry. Rolling.
SHUBERT: -- is definitely a longer extension (LAUGHTER) that ensures that, you know -- that the U.K. participates in the E.U. elections and that it is
engaged, but most of all, that it delivers on this withdrawal agreement.
Take a listen to what Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier today just as she was arriving in Brussels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): Tonight, we will discuss granting Great Britain more time and, of course, we also have
our expectations. This means above all that, the European institutions must be able to function without disruption. This includes the European
elections in May, in Great Britain, as well as the readiness constructively cooperate with E.U. decision-making.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT: Now, of all the E.U. leaders, Hala, perhaps Angela Merkel has been the most sympathetic to the British prime minister. She has said, you
know, she is open to that extension. But again, it's all about those conditions. And it's all about, whether or not, the prime minister can
actually deliver on the withdrawal agreement.
So, you know, we saw the chancellor at the meeting today, looking very relaxed, actually smiling. She seemed very much in her element. And this
is all about hammering out some kind of compromise, something that Merkel has a lot of experience with, Hala.
GORANI: And, Erin and Richard in Brussels, when do we expect an announcement to be made? I mean, is tonight the night that we'll learn
from E.U. leaders how long the extension will actually be?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, that is the expectation at this point. We know that Theresa May has addressed the
27. She spoke for about an hour and six minutes. She left the room, although we understand that she's likely remaining here inside the council
building while the E.U. 27 discuss their options, take their decision.
Once a decision is made, in terms of the length of the extension, then they'll need to put that back to Theresa May who would need to sign off on
whatever the E.U. 27 decide.
[14:35:00] I'm also told that Donald Tusk will be communicating with Theresa May throughout the night.
QUEST: Which is very similar, of course, to what happened two weeks ago when we're all here at the end of March. On that occasion, Theresa May
made a very disappointing presentation, the discussions went on long and late, but it was Donald Tusk that has the unfortunate job of going back to
the prime minister and saying, you know, this is what we've decided, take it or leave it.
And again -- I mean, more than one person has pointed out that tonight's discussions are over dinner for the others. So I'm wondering, the E.U. --
the U.K. does have offices here, whether they take a tray -- she has it on a tray on her knee and that --
MCLAUGHLIN: I'll check with my sources after this.
QUEST: But I think, Hala, that the reality is, there's a -- there's a hefty dose of Brexhaustion (ph). People have had enough. This is -- this
is arguably the beauty of this flex extension. Decisions are being made by people who are overly tired, can no longer see the wood for the trees.
They are well past their best. And the feeling is that, get to an extension and allow an element, Hala, of calm to take back.
At the same time, French president, Emmanuel Macron, when he arrived, said that an extension is not to be taken for granted and he wanted to see what
Theresa May had to say tonight, even though he's had a bilateral meeting with her. He had a meeting with her yesterday in Paris.
QUEST: He's just being difficult. He's just being difficult. There's no way -- perhaps, as well, also the fortune here. I was going to say that
the French would veto this tonight.
But, Hala, you got the idea, the best guess for when we could get a result, according to one of the ambassadors is in about three and a half hours from
now, the middle of the night.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much and we will be seeing you very soon in a few minutes, at the top of the next hour, for more on what's happening
in Brussels. And Atika Shubert in Berlin, thanks very much.
Let's get more perspective, Guardian columnist, Dawn Foster, joins me here on the College Green. So, does the U.K. have any leverage here, at all,
with the E.U.? Because I mean, all of the headlines, whether they're European headlines or even here in the U.K. are, she's on a begging tour,
she's humiliated, she's having to eat her dinner on the tray while the 27 other E.U. members talk amongst themselves.
DAWN FOSTER, COLUMNIST, THE GUARDIAN: I think any leverage that Theresa May had and the Britain had, is long gone at this point. Over and over
again, she's asked for short extensions, promised she can get them through. And her only kind of bargaining chip was a no-deal Brexit.
And now, parliament have proved that they don't want it at all. They say that she's not listening to them. And she turned right to the E.U. and
says, I want another short extension. They've, rightly, pointed out that they got other things that they'd like to be getting on with. They can't
keep coming back for these summits all the time.
And now, Theresa May has asked for a specific extension. She's not going to get it. The E.U. will turn around and say, you will either have nine
months or a year, or they'll just kick them out. And if Britain do --
GORANI: Kick them out, without a deal?
FOSTER: If they can a few -- it's unlikely. But if Britain do leave on a no-deal basis, then it hurts Britain more than it hurts the E.U., so she
doesn't have any leverage at all.
GORANI: Yes. But does it -- will it fly here in London if the E.U. says to the U.K., we'll give you nine months or a year, and there are all these
conditions attached. And you can't disrupt our business within the E.U., as we heard some politicians here say, if you're going to force us into an
extension, we're going to be troublemakers. The E.U. might then impose conditions on the U.K. to say, you'll remain a member but you won't have
the power you did, just a few weeks before.
FOSTER: I think the certain aspects will really upset people. So, you know, very hard Brexiteers, people who really wanted to leave, will be very
annoyed at having to fight the European elections.
And the E.U. have talked about imposing good behavior clauses. So rather than just given an extension and letting Britain get on with it, they want
to see certain amounts of progress. And I think at this point, when you look at polling, you know, the majority of people who are angry that we
aren't leaving, as quickly as they'd like, they're angry with Theresa May, it's not the E.U. they're angry with. So it's all going to fall in their
conservatives, rather than the E.U.
GORANI: But how is this going to play with Brexit supporters who voted for Brexit, presumably, because they wanted to take back control? And now,
some might look at this and see the E.U. infantilizing the U.K. saying we're going to check on you every month to make sure, you know, you follow
the rules, and then maybe we'll give you an extension. Now the one you asked for, the one we're imposing on you.
How is that going to be received? Badly, obviously?
FOSTER: Yes, it will be badly. I think those people can never let the E.U. in the first place, but they did like the Conservative Party. So I think
it harms the conservatives more. And the conservatives are very, very worried about what this will do.
So, as well as the European elections, we got local elections for like small authorities within the U.K. And the conservatives we're expecting to
lose very heavily there. And they're worried that if they lose heavily there, if they lose in the European elections, which will probably have to
fight, then that could mean the end of the conservative party if a general election is forced.
[14:40:07] GORANI: And the question I hear most often abroad is, look, this is obviously chaotic. Clearly, the extension is going to have to be
longer than June 30th, possibly until next year. Does that open the door, realistically, to another referendum?
FOSTER: I think it could do. I think the referendum would be different. So there has been talk, especially, amongst the Labour side, of once a deal
has been crashed out, and it has been agreed, it's put back to the public. So the public were initially asked, do you want to leave the E.U. or stay?
And nobody voted on the terms. So there is talk about possibly putting it back to public.
GORANI: But what would the question be, the deal or what?
FOSTER: The question would be, remain or the deal. And if, you know, people were particularly upset about not having the leave deal they wanted.
We could have another referendum after that. But it would probably be more like the Irish system where before referendum, the public is consulted
about what the question should be and what would happen afterwards, whereas this referendum was just a yes and a no, and there was no planning,
whatsoever, which is why we see this chaos.
GORANI: All right. Well, thanks very much, as always, Dawn Foster for joining us, columnist at The Guardian. Always a pleasure having you on the
program. Thank you.
Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn and @HalaGorani on Twitter for all your comments about what's going on tonight around us,
Here at CNN, we mostly deal in moving pictures and sounds, but sometimes a silken still image can capture things much better than video.
This image has become the symbol for anti-government protest in Sudan. The woman in the photo is dressed in white robes and she cries out against the
government from atop the car. Her finger is pointed to the sky in defiance, as thousands look on. All holding up their smartphones, it
The woman has been identified as Alaa Salah. Some say the images are extremely powerful because it shows the strength of Sudan's women and they
will not back down in the face of injustice.
Doctors in Sudan, say at least 22 people have been killed since Saturday in these protests. Farai Sevenzo has the story for us.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's nearly dawn on Tuesday morning in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Protestors here have
been facing live ammunition since Saturday.
Protests that began in December over rising living costs have only one aim, to end the three decades rule of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's long-serving ruler
since a military coup in 1989.
The soldier presenting post a state of emergency in February and has yet to answer charges of past war crimes at the International Criminal Court.
Sudan's protests were reignited by changing events in North Africa.
A potential new kind of Arab Spring is prompting a change of guard in this region, unplanned and unexpected. Algeria's Bouteflika resigned following
protests over his intention to run again in elections at the age of 82.
In Libya, a new civil war seems possible, some even say likely. While Sudan has seen protests and deaths since December 2018. Thousands of
Sudanese have been staging a sit-in at the very symbol of their soldier presence power, the military headquarters.
Since Saturday, they have surrounded this massive complex at the heart of the capital, an area housing the state police, army, navy, and al-Bashir's
residence close to the airport.
The death toll has been rising since Saturday alone, say Sudan's doctors' union. But now, the stakes are higher for the beleaguered president.
Eyewitnesses told CNN said that there has been gunfire between the security forces, with many soldiers protecting civilian protesters from police and
national intelligence officers.
Cracks in the military exhibit the unwavering loyalty for al-Bashir are everywhere, as a new camaraderie emerges between soldiers and the people.
The stakes will be high for the men in camouflage, too. If this doesn't go the way the protesters expect, with al-Bashir's departure, then there will
surely be executions for treason.
The president is striving for control, addressing his ruling party, and urging the people to wait until the elections, while his officials rush to
declare that the sit-in is over. Conflicting statements from officials cannot hide the growing crowds at Sudan's military headquarters.
After months of protests, the decision on whether he should stay or he should go may no longer be in Omar al-Bashir's hands.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN.
GORANI: A catholic bishop in India is now charged with raping a nun. Franco Mulakkal was arrested in September, but it was only after months of
protests and allegations of a cover-up that he was actually charged. He is accused of raping a nun in Southwestern India, more than a dozen times over
a two-year period.
[14:45:09] Investigators say medical reports confirm there was a rape. And they have statements from dozens of witnesses, including a cardinal, three
bishops, 11 priests, and 25 nuns. The case is ongoing.
Still to come tonight, we have seen the unseeable. Scientists celebrate the first-ever picture of a black hole. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Humanity's reach into the universe has taken us to a place of myth and mysteries, the black hole. Astronomers from across the globe, today,
announced they have captured the first-ever photograph of that phenomenon, unbelievable.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A grainy, almost inscrutable silhouette. It is humanity's first glimpse of
the darkest and heaviest kind of entity in our universe.
SHEP DOELEMAN, EHT DIRECTOR, HARVARD & SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS: We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen and taken a
picture of a black hole.
PATON WALSH: Simultaneously released by astronomers and precedents around the globe, it's a first. Images from a galaxy 55 million light years away.
Resembling a bright Halo is super-heated gas circling the black hole's outer edge, the so-called events horizon.
Beyond, it exists a gravity force so powerful not even light can escape and all known physical laws begin to break down.
SERA MARKOFF, PROFESSOR OF THEORETICAL ASTROPHYSICS, UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM: Black holes are major disruptors of the cosmic order on the
largest scales in the universe. Amities substance huge black hole mass makes it really a monster. Even by super massive black hole standards. So
you're basically looking at a supermassive black hole that's almost the size of our entire solar system.
PATON WALSH: The images come after years of data collection and analysis by 200 scientists. But no single instrument powerful rough to capture a
black hole. A network of telescopes spread across the earth worked as one. Named the Event Horizon Telescope project is the biggest experiment of its
kind, and the results are scintillating astrophysicists worldwide.
PRIYAMVADA NATARAJAN, ASTROPHYSICIST & YALE UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: You feel like it's a special time. I'm sure Galileo felt he was there at the
special time, right? But I think we all feel that this is a special time.
PATON WALSH: The particular significance, the images help validate what was long thought purely theoretical.
NATARAJAN: It's a stress test for Einstein's theory of general relativity and it has passed with flying colors. So that's what is remarkable. He
was unsure that a mathematical solution would actually correspond to something real in the universe. He eventually changed his mind, but he did
not believe in them because, A, he thought they could be just mathematical curiosities. And that nature wouldn't be so perverse to actually allow
such objects to form.
[14:50:02] PATON WALSH: While resolving some questions, now, visible evidence of black holes creates new cosmic riddles blazing a trail for new
discoveries to come.
AVERY BRODERICK, ASSOCIATE FACULTY, PERIMETER INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO: Mysteries abound around black holes. And we do know that there
must be something more. The problem of quantum gravity remains unsolved with the current tools that we have. And, you know, black holes are one of
the places to look for answers.
PATON WALSH: Nick Paton Walsh, CNN.
GORANI: Some people are even relating the black hole photo to our top story, Brexit. On Twitter, where else? Former British politician and
editor of the London Evening Standard, George Osborne, showed off the paper's latest political cartoon.
And another Twitter user noted the big news about the all-consuming blackness that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it. And
then added, but enough about Brexit. So there you have it. Still have a sense of humor, over here, about the whole thing. Even though, certainly,
it is chaotic uncertain and the road ahead is unclear to everyone involved.
More to come including E.U. leaders breaking a golden dinner party rule. Brexit was banned from a high society meal conversation over a year ago,
yet Europe's heads of state are doing just that as they thrash out the long and short of Britain's Brexit delay.
We are on the ground in Brussels with more after this.
GORANI: "Nothing can be taken for granted." Those were the words of French president, Emmanuel Macron earlier. He spoke as he headed into that
emergency E.U. summit in Brussels that will decide on a second Brexit extension for the U.K.
But it seems one thing can be taken for granted, even Macron did not deny that Prime Minister Theresa May will most likely get a Brexit delay. The
question is just for how long. And also, what will it cost her?
Bianca Nobilo is here again. So, Bianca, breaking news, we have the menu for tonight's EU 27 dinner.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
GORANI: The starter, a warm scallop salad and the main is a loin of cod with brown shrimps and many mushrooms. I'll let you tell us what the
NOBILO: Yes. To finish off, it's iced macadamia nut parfait.
GORANI: This is juts -- we know Theresa May won't be eating this tonight.
NOBILO: No, she won't.
GORANI: Where is she, by the way? Do we know?
NOBILO: Well, she's hanging around. Because the idea that Tusk will be communicating with her throughout this discussion, so she did the Q&A with
the EU leaders, then she's left then now having the discussion, and then she will be around so that she can discuss with them whatever outcome they
GORANI: So we know she's in the building therefore, I mean, within sort of like discussion distance with E.U. leaders.
NOBILO: Yes. We need to -- we need to send our team to go and track her down, Richard and Erin.
GORANI: Just kind of walk up and down hallways randomly, see if you'll bump into Theresa May.
Now, but on a serious note, she is essentially at their mercy tonight, isn't she?
NOBILO: She is because she doesn't have the leverage of a no-deal, which was pushed again and again and again throughout the negotiation process.
It's really the only card that Britain had left to play. And obviously, it's got more serious than that. But negotiation terms, it was.
Now, that's basically been completely removed as an option. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, said today that he felt M.P.s would revoke
Article 50, instead of having a no-deal. We know a no-deal can't happen because there's been a bill in parliament, which is reputedly as well.
[14:55:01] Prime Minister May has said that she wouldn't allow a no-deal to happen without parliament voting for it. I mean, it's not happening. And
that was Britain's biggest card that they had to play.
GORANI: And it wasn't a great one, by the way, to say I'm going to harm myself economically, and that's my only leverage against this group of 27
that seems pretty united. I mean --
GORANI: -- I remember the predictions two years ago that the E.U. will not agree that you'll have smaller countries trying to put a spanner in the
works of these negotiations to get more for themselves. That hasn't happened.
NOBILO: That was always the U.K.'s approach from within the government. They felt that if they could pick off leaders individually, and discuss
with them, and make their arguments as to why Britain needed this type of deal, the special arrangements, that that would work, and that E.U. unity
would not hold.
But from the moment that the referendum result was announce back in 2016, there was a unified response from E.U. leaders. As we know, sitting here
today, there's still has not that from the British government. And that really has been the overarching story of this entire process.
GORANI: And so the expectation tonight is that we will learn from E.U. leaders how long the extension will be. And the question will be here in
London in Westminster, once that is announced, they have to legislate again to incorporate that into British law by an actual date?
NOBILO: Yes. So the prime minister would like to even make a statement to the House of Commons over the next couple of days about how these talks
have gone and explain why the dates are now changing. And what the conditions are. That would be presented as a motion to the House of
Commons. And it would be voted on.
It'll be interesting to see what happens after that, whether there are people on both sides of the argument, who will then know that their ideal
scenarios are likely never to happen. So, will it focus minds and bring them in towards the consensus --
GORANI: It's forcing a lot of compromise, that's for sure. For anyone asking, glockenspiel player hasn't stopped for hours. We can't convince
them to stop. That's what's going on.
NOBILO: I'm going to investigate exactly what message he's trying to send.
GORANI: I don't think there really is one. He's just enjoying his evening. It's a nice evening out here.
Stay tuned. We'll have a lot more. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up. Bianca Nobilo, thanks.
Whatever happens in Brussels tonight will have to be sold by the prime minister to parliament. As we said, Richard Quest will join us after the
break. And we'll also be seeing you in a few minutes. Stay with us for more breaking news coverage on the Brussels summit.