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CNN NEWSROOM

New Sanctions Announced on National Bank of Iran; Climate Protests Around the World Today; Nike Ends Antonio Brown Sponsorship. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired September 20, 2019 - 10:30   ET

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


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[10:30:48]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: This just in to CNN, President Trump has just announced in the Oval Office, that he has imposed sanctions on Iran's national bank, in his words, at the highest levels. This, of course, comes in the wake of an attack on Saudi oil facilities. The U.S. is blaming on Iran, mil-military action in retaliation.

Our Kaitlan Collins is at the White House. Kaitlan, the U.S. already has an enormous range of sanctions on Iran, particularly oil exports. How significant is this additional sanction?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president is speaking to reporters right now, Jim, in the Oval Office, next to the Australian prime minister. That's when he announced these sanctions. And the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is in there as well.

And the president claims these are the highest level of sanctions ever imposed on a country at all. They're sanctioning the Iran National Bank. Of course, this comes in response after those attacks on the Saudi oil facilities that the president and his administration have pinned on Iran, multiple times.

And the president said on Wednesday that new sanctions were forthcoming for Iran. He didn't detail exactly what those were going to look like, and we're still waiting to see what the details are when we do get the paperwork from Treasury, where we suspect that is forthcoming.

But, of course, you also have to keep in mind, this comes after the secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, traveled to Saudi Arabia, he just returned overnight, back here to Washington. That's when the administration said they were going to make a decision on this, and now the president is making this news in the Oval Office as we speak.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: OK, Kaitlan. We'll hear what he says and what his answers are to those reporter questions on all of this. Thank you very much for that breaking news.

So, building on that, CNN was actually able to make it to the site of last week's devastating Saudi Arabia oilfield bombing. Our Nic Robertson brings us the latest from one of the fields that was attacked, that prompted these new sanctions from the president. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): This is the largest oil processing plant in the world, Abqaiq. It is at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, oil pumping system. And you can see, in the tower up here, just how badly impacted it was. I've talked to one of the engineers here, he says they're still in the assessment phase.

Right now they're replacing pipelines here, steel, heavy pipelines at the back. And you -- and I'm counting down here, I can see one, two, three, at least another four towers that have been hit. In total, 18 drones flew in here and targeted this site. They came in from the northwest, sun is setting here, the north is up here. And that direction of impact is another reason that Saudi officials believe Iran was behind this attack.

They're telling us here that this facility will be back up and running, full speed, full production, by the end of September. The government says they will be reaching their expected levels of 11 million barrels a day. This, they say, taken down, taken down that night of the attack, but they were back up to 30 percent capacity within 48 hours. Everyone we're talking to here, at the production here, is saying just how well they responded.

But the reality of the situation is, they're responding to this. They're putting it back together. But repairing international confidence that this isn't just -- that this isn't just the beginning of something else, rather that it is only a single incident, that is going to be much tougher.

This will look maybe brand-new in a few months. Saudi Arabia, however, has got a much, much bigger problem ahead of it, deciding its next move. Nic Robertson, CNN, Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: Such important reporting, Jim, from Nic there, and it just shows the vulnerability of --

SCIUTTO: No question.

HARLOW: -- of those oilfields in Saudi.

SCIUTTO: That's where a lot of U.S.-supplied missile defenses.

[10:34:42]

We're going to hear from President Trump in just minutes. He's been speaking in the Oval Office. Please stay with us. We'll bring you those comments, soon.

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HARLOW: All right. We're back with the breaking news. The president, in the Oval Office with the Australian prime minister, is answering questions about that whistleblower who raised an alarm bill over, apparently, a promise he made, according to "The Washington Post," to a foreign leader.

Let's go to Kaitlan Collins, she joins us at the White House. The president has been downplaying this on Twitter, he's called it partisan. What has he said this morning?

COLLINS: And he's repeating that claim, that he believes this whistleblower who made this complaint about this communication the president had, is partisan. But we should note, the president then, moments later, told reporters he does not know the identity of the whistleblower.

[10:40:01]

Those were questions first asked this morning, after the president accused the person of being partisan, this person who is an unknown identity. And it's a similar argument to what Rudy Giuliani said last night, accusing this person of being a Democrat who wants to take down the president. Though, we should note, it is not known who this person is, and the president himself says he doesn't know who it is, though he is accusing them of being partisan.

The other thing to consider here is that the inspector general who's been handling this complaint, found it to be considered urgent, is a Trump appointee, someone the president picked to be in that position as the inspector general for the intelligence community. So that is something to consider here.

But overall, what the president was telling reporters, just moments ago in the Oval Office -- and we'll see him on-camera shortly -- was that he believes his conversations he's had with foreign leaders are appropriate.

That's going to raise the question, if the president believes whatever conversation he had, this person is complaining about, was above- board, why doesn't the administration just release the information, the complaint by this whistleblower? Because, so far, they've blocked it from even going to members of Congress.

HARLOW: That's a great --

SCIUTTO: Well, it's a charge made without any evidence, presented by the president. And you said, Kaitlan, the inspector general, appointed by the president, was unwavering in his own language about the complaint. He called it --

COLLINS: Yes.

SCIUTTO: -- of urgent concern today. We'll stay on top of the story.

Another story we're following today, thousands around the world and here in the U.S., protesting, demanding immediate action on climate change. The demonstrations started overnight, with protests in Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul and Johannesburg.

HARLOW: This movement, sparked in part by a young woman, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, who has become the face of the next generation of climate activists.

Rene Marsh is live for us in Washington this morning. But let's begin with our Melissa Bell. She joins us from Paris. And the protests, well under way in Paris, Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. They made their way here, to this park near the Seine River. Let me just show you. At the moment, many of these young people who have been protesting again today, just hanging out here, now, in the park.

Here are some of their placards. The only equation, they say, you should remember is that one. This is, of course, as you said, something that's been inspired by Greta Thunberg. And what's been so impressive today, is to see just how those numbers have tallied up. From Australia, to Asian capitals, to European capitals.

Here in Paris, we had certainly not seen numbers like this in previous climate change marches. And what they say, is that they're going to carry on with this, to keep up the momentum, Poppy, by coming out next Friday, again, until their voices are heard.

Now, here in Paris, one of the particularities has been a very strong message of social equality, social justice as well, with placards that read things like, climate change is just one of the symptoms of the real sickness, which is capitalism. And that's something we've seen very strongly in the slogans that were shouted, in the placards that were held up.

Tomorrow, the gilets jaunes, those protestors who have been calling for greater social justice in France, will be back on the streets of Paris, doing so once again. And you're going to see a lot more protests along these lines. On one hand, the environment, led by the young, as we've seen here again. They left school in huge numbers to be on the streets again today. And that question of social justice, getting people out on the streets again, as Emmanuel Macron plows on with his reforms -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Thank you so much. Melissa Bell, live for us in Paris.

SCIUTTO: Well, these are global, of course. Rene Marsh is there in Washington, where we're also seeing big crowds. Rene, tell us what you're seeing there.

RENE MARSH, CNN GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, as you know, I mean, these are school hours and today is a school day. But take a look at all of these young protestors here. They are out in full force. They've got their chants ready.

I spoke to a 12-year-old who said, this is our big shot. The organizers tell me they've been planning this since mid-July. In about 15 minutes, they're going to start their march from here down to the Capitol, and they'll be marching until 2:00.

And I'm joined with one of the very impressive organizers here. She's been calling the shots while we've been waiting to go live. Nadia Nazar, who is from Baltimore. What is the primary thing that you all are asking for out here today?

NADIA NAZAR, YOUTH CLIMATE ACTIVIST: Yeah, so we have five demands that all the youth climate organizations came up with. We all went and met in Iowa with no service, no Wi-fi. And we came up with the demands of a green new deal, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, respect of indigenous land, and protection of biodiversity. Those are our five main demands.

MARSH: Now, you did not go to school a couple of days this week because you were on Capitol Hill, you were talking to lawmakers. How were you received? Do you feel like you made any headway at all?

NAZAR: Yes. So we met with AOC on Monday, we had an hour meeting with Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. And I think for a lot of it, a lot of the elected officials didn't really listen. They were kind of listening to respond, rather than listening to understand. And it was upsetting because we took time out of our school day to do that.

But there were a few congressional members that really listened and didn't talk and they really, like, took in the information. I'm grateful for that.

MARSH: Thank you so much.

Again, these students, they are organized, they're passionate, and they're pretty determined. Back to you guys.

[10:45:05]

SCIUTTO: We'll see if that is the generation that changes things. Rene Marsh here in Washington, Melissa Ball in Paris --

HARLOW: Looks like it.

SCIUTTO: -- thanks very much.

Right now, President Trump is speaking inside the Oval Office. He already spoke about the whistleblower and new sanctions on Iran. When we get that tape, we're going to turn it around, bring it to you live.

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[10:50:18]

SCIUTTO: Nike is now cutting ties with Antonio Brown. The announcement comes as the Patriots' wide receiver speaks out for the first time since he was accused by a former trainer of rape and sexual assault.

HARLOW: Our Coy Wire has more for us this morning in the "Bleacher Report." He is live in Gainesville, Florida. Good morning, Coy. COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy. Good morning, Jim. Antonio Brown, remember, left the locker room without having to face the media after Sunday's game down in Miami. That broke the NFL's media policy.

But he did talk to the media after practice yesterday. He took only four questions, it lasted about a minute. He kept it all about football. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIO BROWN, WIDE RECEIVER, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: I'm just here to just focus on the (ph) ball and look forward to getting out there in the home stadium, you know. Being out (ph) with the team.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Now, Brown and his lawyers, they've denied all allegations against him. He is scheduled to make his home debut in New England, Sunday, against the Jets.

How about Thursday night football in Jacksonville? And what a night for Gardner Minshew. Look at the Fu Minshew with that moustache there, the rookie, sixth round pick, taking over for the injured Nick Foles, and he steps in a major way. Two touchdown passes in the game over the Titans. He's had five TDs in his first three games, a 74 completion rate. That's the highest of any player, in his first three games of his career sine the 1970 merger. Look out, Jags win it, 20 to seven.

Now, break out the champagne bottles in the Bronx. Did you see the Yankees clinching their first AL East title in the last seven years. They did it with a nine-one win over the Angels, it's their hundredth win of the season and it's incredible, when you think that they put 30 players on the injured list this year.

Now, for the reason we're here. The number-nine (ph) Florida Gators, taking on their rivals, the Tennessee Vols. And we're here on-campus in Gainesville. We're -- part of our Tums Ultimate Tailgate, Poppy and Jim. And I'm here with former player Shannon Snell with Sonny's BBQ, now throwing down on the grill for us.

You've played in there, you're an all-American Gator and an NFL player after that. What's it like in The Swamp on Game Day?

SHANNON SNELL, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: It doesn't matter, the team, it -- well, actually, Tennessee, you know, they're one and two right now, the Gators are three and O. Doesn't matter the time, doesn't matter the place. It's going to be a rivalry game, it's going to be a tight game, it's going to be a dogfight.

WIRE: My first time in The Swamp, 90,000 people. Lauren (ph), what's it like in there on game day?

LAUREN (PH), GATORS CHEERLEADER: You know, cheering in The Swamp is absolutely incredible. I've been a cheerleader for four years, I've traveled to so many SCC schools. And I can truly tell you, there's nothing like it.

WIRE: Oh my goodness. Matt (ph), he's getting his master's degree. We're going to get our master's in eating barbecue, how about that? Let's make Jim and Poppy real jealous. Good luck to the Gators tomorrow -- back to you.

HARLOW: Always jealous of your job, but I know you'll bring us some barbecue back, Coy. Have fun. Enjoy it.

All right, it's a big weekend in television. Plenty of star power set for the biggest night in TV, the 71st Primetime Emmys.

SCIUTTO: Stephanie Elam reports.

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STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Emmy question this year: Can anyone take the throne from "Game of Thrones"? Last year's winner is once again the drama frontrunner with a record number of nominations for its final season.

MATTHEW BELLONI, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Even though some of the reactions to "Game of Thrones" were negative this season, the show is such a juggernaut and changed television in so many ways, voters are going to go for it.

JULIA LOUIS DREYFUS, VEEP: Just want to be president.

ELAM (voice-over): Also in its final season? HBO's "Veep," a favorite for best comedy and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

BELLONI: It had to take a year off because Julia Louis-Dreyfus was undergoing cancer treatment. So there is a lot of goodwill associated with the show.

But the nice new shiny thing on the block is "Fleabag."

JENNY RAINSFORD, FLEABAG: Oh my God. Definitely not, that does nothing for you. What?

PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE, FLEABAG: These are my clothes, Boo (ph). I've been wearing these all day.

ELAM (voice-over): "Fleabag," a British comedy, is Amazon Prime's new entry following last year's winner, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," a nominee again this year. But "Fleabag" has momentum, led by star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, also a writer and producer for drama contender "Killing Eve."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, BARRY: Do you think I'm a bad person, Mr. (INAUDIBLE)?

ELAM (voice-over): Bill Hader's "Barry" is another comedy favorite. Overlooked in the category last year, voters could be looking to make amends.

JARED HARRIS, CHERNOBYL: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, CHERNOBYL: Chernobyl is on fire.

ELAM (voice-over): "Chernobyl" leads a spate of real-life stories making up the best limited series category.

ETHAN HERISSE, WHEN THEY SEE US: I didn't see a lady or hit anyone.

ELAM (voice-over): Including tough competition from Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us," about the Central Park Five.

BELLONI: It's just -- it's nothing like it on television.

ELAM (voice-over): This Emmys will be host-less this year, emboldened by the success of the Academy Awards without a host.

BELLONI: I personally like having a host. I think it sets, you know, a bar and gives you something to look forward to when you tune in. But the Oscars had no host, the ratings were up, and the reviews of the show were generally positive.

[10:55:08]

ELAM (voice-over): Without a host, the star power of the Emmys will be left to the winners. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: All right, looking forward to that.

Meantime, President Trump, just moments ago, making his first comments on-camera about that whistleblower scandal. What he said? You'll hear from him in just a minute. Stay tuned for that. Thank you all for being with us this week. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. "AT THIS HOUR" will be up right after a quick break.

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