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CNN NEWSROOM

Trump Says He Discussed Biden In Call With Ukrainian President; CNN Poll Shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Surges In Iowa, In Tight Race With Biden; Political Deadlock Continues After No Coalition Formed; World Leaders To Meet At U.N. Summit On Climate Change; Scientists: Climate Change Putting Food Supply In Jeopardy; Hollywood Honors TV's Biggest Stars At The Emmys. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired September 22, 2019 - 18:00   ET

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


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[18:00:00]

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I am Alex Marquardt in for Ana Cabrera.

Up first, a significant acknowledgment from President Trump, he now says he did bring up former Vice President Joe Biden during a phone call with the Ukrainian President, the very phone call at the center of accusations that President Trump tried to influence the upcoming election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: We had a great conversation. The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place. It was largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine and Ukraine -- Ukraine's got a lot of problems.

The new president is saying that he's going to be able to rid the country of corruption, and I said that would be a great thing. We had a great conversation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: The president's acknowledgment there comes after a source familiar with the situation tells CNN that the president did pressure the Ukrainian leader to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden, during a phone call earlier this summer. That was back in July.

The whistleblower has also flagged the call as part of a formal complaint. We should note there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden.

Now, several prominent Democrats are calling for the president's impeachment over this. More than half of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives was already there following Robert Mueller's report, but now there could be movement on the other side of the aisle in the Republican-controlled Senate, which would be needed to convict the president.

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah tweeting this, if the president asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live in Ohio where the president will be appearing with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Jeremy, congressional Democrats, Joe Biden, others all calling for the transcript of this call to be released, the president now saying he'd like to see it released too.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Alex. At a minimum, he's certainly keeping the door open to that possibility as we're seeing all of these Democrats ramping up their calls for a release of this transcript, the president now saying that he would be fine with that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It would be fine to do it, but you will see one of the finest, one of nicest, if we do that, or I'll have somebody -- I'll give it to a respected source. They can look at it. But what I said was so good. It was a great conversation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAMOND: Now, if the president does truly want to release this call, of course, he could do that. He has the authority to release the transcript of his call. So it's not clear why he hasn't done, so if he's indicating he'd be willing to do that.

But what we do know is that earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, were also asked about why not release a transcript of the call particularly because the president has indicated that he did nothing wrong. And they said simply that it would set a bad precedent. Listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: If there really is nothing there, why not just -- why shouldn't the White House just let Congress, let the gang of eight, the intelligence leaders and the leaders of the House and Senate, look at this whistleblower complaint? If it's as innocent as you say, then that would clear it all up.

STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: I think that would be a terrible precedent. Conversations between world leaders are meant to be confidential.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS HOST: Why not release the transcript or a portion to the public? MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The White House will have to explain. They're -- you know, Martha, we don't release transcripts very often. It's the rare case. Those are private conversations between world leaders and it wouldn't be appropriate to do so, except in the most extreme circumstances. There's no evidence that that would be appropriate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAMOND: And now the president, Alex, has continued to insist that he did nothing wrong. He said there was no quid quo pro involving pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his withholding of U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

What we do know, Alex, is that the acting Director of National Intelligence and the inspector general who disagreed with the acting Director of National Intelligence's decision not to release that whistleblower complaint to Congress, they will be briefing Senate Intelligence Committee leaders later this week. How much they will reveal about that complaint remains to be seen.

And the president of the United States himself will also be keeping this story at the center of attention as he meets on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly with the Ukrainian president in just a few days. Alex?

MARQUARDT: And that will be happening right here in New York City. Jeremy Diamond in Ohio with the president, thanks very much.

Now, here's the timeline. The president says that he discussed Joe Biden with the Ukrainian president during a phone call on July 25th. On August 12th, just two and a half weeks later, an intelligence official files a formal whistleblower complaint that we're told was in part about that call.

[18:05:08]

In that complaint the whistleblower reportedly mentions an alarming promise that the president made to a foreign leader.

Then at the end of August, President Trump moves to block $250 million in aid to Ukraine, which the country uses to protect itself from its enemy to the east, Russia.

One month later, the hold on Ukrainian aid is lifted just days after Congress is notified of the whistleblower complaint.

To delve into all this are retired CIA Chief of Operations, Steve Hall, and the former CIA Operative, Bob Baer. Gentlemen, thank you so much for being with me.

Bob, I want to go first to you. There is all this talk about the transcript, releasing the transcript, not releasing the transcript. Is there one or is there a recording of this call that's sitting somewhere that can just be sent to Congress? BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: I think there probably is one. The whistleblower wouldn't come forward without good evidence. When you bring a charge against the president of the United States, you'd better be well-equipped to back that up.

Now, I don't know whether this was an intercepted phone call of the president of Ukraine or it's a White House transcript itself. But I would imagine that this has got so much attention, there's got to be a transcript out there.

MARQUARDT: Steve, the big question now is whether there was some sort of quid pro quo. And that link has not been made between this demand, really, by the president to look into Joe Biden in Ukraine and this $250 million in military aid. How close are we to proving that that's linked?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, let me say this. First, to follow on something that Bob just said in terms of some sort of wiretap or some sort of intercept of this particular phone call in a transcript, I think it is important for people to understand that there was no, you know, CIA or NSA intercept of this of the president.

There are people in the room who will help him with the call, but it's not like there's any clandestine collection, American clandestine collection against the president himself. That's very popular with the base but it's actually -- there's no basis, in fact, there.

To your question about whether or not there was any quid pro quo, there may not have been an if you do this then I'll do this. But let me tell you, the Ukrainians for the past five years have been at war with Russia. Russia has been aggressive against them in the eastern part of the country. And the United States -- they were hoping to count on the United States to help.

So regardless of whether or not the president said I'm going to release the money or release arms to you, the Ukrainians understand they had better -- they want to work with America, with the United States. And so there would have been an implicit quid pro quo, if nothing else.

MARQUARDT: Steve, when it comes to these transcripts and to -- sorry, Bob, Steve just mentioned there that the president is essentially accusing in so many words someone, this whistleblower, of spying on his conversation with a world leader. And now, we have the White House arguing that it would set a dangerous precedent to release this transcript to Congress. Do you agree with that? Do you agree with that assessment, Bob?

BAER: Well, first of all, Steve is absolutely right. The CIA, the National Security Agency doesn't spy on the president. It doesn't happen. There is no deep state. But there are conversations that are picked up in the Ukraine that could have been the source of this suspicion about what Trump said and did say.

A precedent, look, if the president has extorted a promise from a foreign government to fix an election in this country, I think it's a crime. I'm not a lawyer, but I think it's a crime, and it's something that Congress should look at, because if this president is going out seeking the help of foreign countries, we're in trouble in 2020.

MARQUARDT: I want to go to something that Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said. He did travel to Kiev last month. He sat down with President Zelensky about this pressure from the Trump campaign to investigate Joe Biden. Listen to what he said about President Zelensky's concerns about this blocked aid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): He also raised concerns at that same meeting about this aid being suspended and he wanted to know why that was. And, of course, there was no way for people in Ukraine to not draw a connection even if it wasn't ever made explicit to the Ukrainians over the phone or in person.

Of course, they came to the conclusion some of them must have that there was some connection between the political messages coming from Rudy Giuliani that were likely not being met and this sudden unexplained suspension of aid to Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: Steve, Ukraine did eventually get this aid. The prosecutor general back in June, I believe it was, said that there was no -- that the prosecutor actually said that nothing had been wrong, that this military aid hadn't been held up.

[18:10:02]

But -- or, sorry, rather that Joe Biden didn't do anything wrong. But if you're Ukraine now, how are you dealing with this White House?

HALL: Well, first of all, I mean, it's got to be a confusing situation. Usually, when the president of Ukraine gets a telephone call asking -- having another foreign dignitary, another foreign power essentially saying, can you help me out vis-a-vis one of my political opponents? That call usually comes from a guy like Vladimir Putin in Moscow. He's probably not used to getting that call from the president of the United States.

Ukraine is in a very difficult position. They desperately need help from the United States and, in my view, should definitely be getting it because, again, Russia has attacked their country. They've annexed a portion of it already, Crimea, and they're still very much at war in the Donbass region as well.

So I don't think there's really any doubt that the Ukrainians understand that it's in their best interest to do what they can to get that assistance from the United States, which puts the president of the United States in a pretty powerful position over Ukraine. If he decides to use that power to get dirt on his -- or anything, really, any type of information on his political opponents, then that's a very bad thing and very unusual, I think, unprecedented for the president of the United States to be asking for that from a foreign leader. MARQUARDT: What's also unprecedented is the acting Director of National Intelligence, any Director of National Intelligence blocking a whistleblower complaint from going to Congress. Bob, how do you see this ending? Does the public -- does Congress eventually see this whistleblower complaint?

BAER: Well, Alex, it depends how bad it is. Knowing this president, if he made it explicit there's a quid pro quo, he's going to do his best to redact it or keep it away from Congress, because I do think this is an impeachable offense. But we do have to see the transcript. That's absolutely key.

MARQUARDT: All right. Well, the president there, you heard, he said that he is fine with that transcript coming out. So we'll see if that happens. Bob Baer, Steve Hall, thanks very much.

Now, a new CNN Des Moines register poll shows that Senator Elizabeth Warren is surging in the country's first caucus state. Is it part of a larger trend for her campaign? We'll be getting into those numbers. That's next.

And as world leaders discuss the climate crisis at the United Nations, there are alarming new details about how it could affect not only your health but the food that you eat as well. That's coming up.

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MARQUARDT: The latest CNN Des Moines register poll is showing Senator Elizabeth Warren surging among her Democratic presidential contenders and her competitors in the key political State of Iowa. She's neck and neck with former Vice President Joe Biden if you factor in the margin of error, which is 4 percent. And although neither one of them is a clear frontrunner at this point, these numbers put them well ahead of the rest of the Democratic pack.

But today, Senator Warren downplayed the significance of this poll as she joined a picket line by striking G.M. and United Auto Workers in Detroit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't do polls. We are still months away from the Iowa caucuses and the primary elections. But this is about a message that we are sick and tired of American who works for a thinner and thinner slice at the top and isn't working for anyone else. We are on this picket line today to say that we're going to make this America work for everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARQUARDT: Let's break down all of these new polling numbers with Senior Political Writer Analyst, Harry Enten, and Patrick Healy, CNN Political Analyst and "New York Times" Politics Editor.

Gentlemen, thanks, as always, for joining me.

Harry, first, to you. You heard Senator Warren saying, I don't do polls. But if she were to, what should her takeaway from this number and this new number be?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: Well, I do polls. And I'll tell you, the takeaway I would have is that it's not only that she's surging from where she was in June, it's surging from where she was in March when she was in single digits. She has the best, very favorably ratings in the field. Her voters are extremely enthusiastic, more enthusiastic than Biden's supporters. There's really not a lot bad in this poll for her, in fact.

I guess the only question that I have is given that her very favorable rating is 44 percent of the state, well ahead of any of her Democratic contenders, is why isn't she even doing better. But, overall, it's a very good poll for her.

MARQUARDT: And enthusiasm, to Harry's point, is something, Patrick, that you actually can measure, and we have measured in this poll. Are there other trends that are notable that stood out to you?

PATRICK HEALY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Well, you're seeing the enthusiasm. Like on Thursday night, Elizabeth Warren drew about 2,000 people to Iowa City. Just a couple hours earlier right nearby Kamala Harris had about 200 people at an event there. So you're sort of seeing that gap.

But in terms of the poll numbers, her universe of growth is quite strong, about 71 percent of people said that they are considering Elizabeth Warren in some way. She leads the field in that. And on the ground, at least you're seeing, I think, Elizabeth Warren and also Pete Buttigieg, who is down pretty far in that poll, but they are creating what feels like at least the most opportunity for growth for themselves.

Buttigieg kind of did this sort of John McCain-style approach this weekend of just talking to reporters endlessly on the bus and then trying to go there. But he, Harris, probably seeing Biden staffing up more and more and spending more time.

MARQUARDT: The candidates at the bottom of the pack, Harry, are often given the question why are you still in this race. When you look at Bernie slipping now and his progressive counterpart, Elizabeth Warren, surging, when is he going to start getting that question? When should he start listening to that question?

ENTEN: I mean, the mid-low (ph), we've still got a long time to go. We still have got --

MARQUARDT: 134 days.

ENTEN: Yes, there you go, right there, beautiful, I love it. And I'm going to love each and every one of those days.

There's no question that Bernie Sanders is in trouble. His unfavorable rating has jumped into the 30s in that state. He's dropped precipitously. He was in the mid-20s back in March and he's dropped down and dropped down and got 16 percent last time around, now down about 11 percent.

I think there's some real questions about Bernie Sanders' campaign in that state, especially as Elizabeth Warren is leading now among very liberal voters, but not only doing that, but she's actually overtaking Bernie Sanders among those under the age of 35 in the State of Iowa, which, of course, was his key bloc back in 2016.

MARQUARDT: Do you agree? Do you --

HEALY: Yes. No, I think the Bernie Sanders coalition seems to be shrinking and a number of those people are certainly going to Elizabeth Warren. Number probably are more in the kind of wait and see spot right now.

[18:20:00]

But the reality is, in 2016, it really was a binary choice in Iowa. It was Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton. The narrative out of there was Bernie Sanders almost took down the Clintons. That was the reality in 2016. He doesn't have that now. He has a large field. He has a lane with a new candidate who looks very appealing, Elizabeth Warren. And the reality is that he's making pretty much a similar argument that he made in 2016.

Now, he certainly is the crusader on Medicare for all, but having to convince Iowans that it's a reason to go with Bernie again when he couldn't do it the last time, it's a tough message to sell.

MARQUARDT: But if this surge continues, this trend continues with Elizabeth Warren, Harry, what about this notion that she may be too far to the left for moderate Democrats, that her agenda is too progressive for a general election?

ENTEN: I think that's a great question. And in our poll, essentially, we asked, do you like Medicare for all and want it implemented, do you like Medicare for all but think it might cost you the election or you do not like it at all, I'm very interested in that Medicare for all bloc but think it could cost you in the general election. That's about 25 percent of the Democratic caucus electorate.

Right now, Elizabeth Warren is up by four points over Joe Biden among that group. But let's see if she can hold that advantage as more people attack her on the issue and more people say, hey, you might lose the general election to Donald Trump, because that is the number one issue, beating Donald Trump at this point, its issue (ph) agreement and we'll see if her fellow Democrats can beat her.

MARQUARDT: And that's a very important point to make that I was going to make now. Now, I'll put this up on this screen, this latest poll showing that 63 percent value beating Trump over choosing a candidate who shares their positions. That's 63-31 percent. So, Patrick, Warren, just like Joe Biden has been trying to make the case that she's electable, that she is the person to defeat Donald Trump. Is she making that case effectively?

HEALY: She's made the case effectively because she's starting to look more and more like a winner, at least in Iowa, at least New Hampshire. And the reality is that winning those early states, we have seen four- year cycle after four-year cycle, decade after decade, it makes a difference. It made a difference for John Kerry being able to beat Howard Dean, certainly for Barack Obama being able to beat Hillary Clinton in 2008.

Look, the reality is that a lot of the states that come after Iowa and New Hampshire, places where Elizabeth Warren would, on paper now (ph), likely have more problems. There are larger moderate, blocs of moderate voters and large African-American population in a lot of these states where she's not as strong as Joe Biden.

But as hearing (ph) as well, you can -- the slingshot effect of coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire, if she were to beat Joe Biden, you have to ask, if you're Joe Biden, yes, you can tell yourself there's South Carolina, there are all these moderate Democrats, but people are going to start seeing her as a winner.

ENTEN: It's going to be very -- the fact is, I remember when Rudy Giuliani was like, oh, I'm going to go down to Florida and win there.

MARQUARDT: Right, skip all the early states.

ENTEN: It doesn't work that way. You got a place on the top three in Iowa. Only one candidate has gone onto win the nomination without doing that. And that person was John McCain, who basically finished in the (INAUDIBLE) 2000. You've got to finish in the top three to win though.

MARQUARDT: All right. Well, we've got more than four months to go before the first initial caucuses.

ENTEN: I love it.

MARQUARDT: And like you say, every day will be a lot of fun. Harry Enten and Patrick Healy, thank you so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: All right. Well, after a political miscalculation and marketing his close relationship to the president, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, his days as prime minister could be numbered. Those details ahead.

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[18:25:00]

MARQUARDT: In Israel, there is political deadlock five days after voters cast their ballots. The second national election held this year left both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent, Benny Gantz, short of the 61 seats in parliament that are necessary to form a government. And for the first time there in a decade, there's a real possibility that Netanyahu will no longer be Israel's prime minister.

CNN's Oren Liebermann explains what the next steps are.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's nearly a week now since the elections and Israel's political situation is no better now than it was before. The country seems certain to remain in the same political deadlock that led to these elections in the first place.

On Sunday afternoon, Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, began meeting with the political parties to see who they recommended to lead the country. Blue and White recommended their leader, Benny Gantz, while Likud recommended Benjamin Netanyahu, no surprises there.

But then it came to the key maker (ph), former Defense Minister, Avidgor Lieberman. He has only eight seats, but those seats are crucial to whoever wants to form a government and he said nothing. He made no recommendation to the president on who should be the next leader of the country. And that means both Gantz and Netanyahu will almost certainly fall short of the seats required to form a government.

One other thing worth noting, the Joint List of Arab parties made a historic move recommending Gantz, the Arab parties normally making no recommendation. In fact, the only other time they recommended a leader was in 1992 when they threw their support behind Yitzhak Rabin, who campaigned on a platform of peace with the Palestinians. Here, the Joint List said they would support Gantz in order to oust Netanyahu.

Israel's president continues his meeting with the smaller parties on Monday morning but it's not expected that there will be anything to break the political deadlock here. And that means the burden of changing, this falls right now on President Reuven Rivlin.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.

MARQUARDT: All right. Thanks to Oren Liebermann there.

Now, world leaders will be meeting this week to discuss the climate crisis, but yet again President Trump will not be among them. All this coming as people around the world marched to demand action on the issue of climate change before it's too late. A preview of those meetings, that's coming up next.

But first, Alison Kosik is here with this week's Before the Bell.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alex. Investors are trying to figure out what's next for interest rates. The Fed cut rates by a quarter percentage point last week but didn't provide a strong indication of future action. That might be because the central bank itself is divided.

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JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Sometimes the -- and there have been many of those times in my now almost eight years at the Fed --

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-- many times when the direction was relatively clear, it's relatively easy to reach anonymity. This is a time of difficult judgments.

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KOSIK: The Fed meets two more times this year, and economic data is likely to be the deciding factor in future rate cuts. This week, reports on consumer confidence, personal income and spending, and durable goods orders will be closely watched.

Wall Street is also gearing up for another big IPO. High-end fitness start-up Peloton is expected to go public on Thursday. It's looking to raise more than $1 billion. Peloton sales have soared, but it lost almost $246 million in its latest fiscal year. Keep in mind, money- losing unicorns have been falling out of favor with investors. Uber, Lyft, and Slack have all fallen sharply since their IPOs.

In New York, I'm Alison Kosik.

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[18:35:09]

MARQUARDT: If you think that it feels warmer out than usual, turns out you're right. The World Meteorological Organization says that the last five years have been the hottest on record. And for many, that really does come as no surprise.

Two days ago, people in cities around the world took to the streets to draw attention to the climate crisis. And tomorrow, world leaders meet here in New York at a special United Nations summit on climate change.

But there will be one big major noticeable absence. President Trump is skipping the summit in order to hold his own session on religious persecution in the very same building. If that sounds familiar, that's because the President has avoided international meetings on climate before, most recently at the G7 summit in the south of France just last month.

Joining me now is CNN's Senior United Nations Correspondent, Richard Roth. Richard, thanks so much for joining me. This is a huge week on the U.N. calendar. What are the major issues that are going to be focused on?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to New York for this general assembly.

MARQUARDT: Thank you. It's good to be back. ROTH: Don't step off the curb. You're going to get hit by a

limousine, a bigger threat than climate change. At least for tomorrow.

(LAUGHTER)

ROTH: But the summit on climate change is a galvanizing force, but, as you mentioned, the U.S., a few other big countries that pollute a lot, won't even be attending. The summit will bring all the speakers -- and believe it or not, the Secretary-General says you can only have three minutes to talk. And he wants and is demanding bold ideas, concrete proposals, not just, he says, flowery speeches, which is very unlike the U.N.

MARQUARDT: We're now two and a half years into the President's term. And when the President skips a meeting on such a crucial issue, that he world considers to be such a critical issue, what do other world leaders who will be in that meeting -- what do you think they feel? Are they surprised, are they angry, or they're just sort of accepting that this is the U.S. leader they have to deal with at this point?

ROTH: I think, by now, they know the deal. Some of them have their eye on their clock and the election next year. And I think they do fear that the U.S. is not a bigger player.

But they're going alone on it now. They're going away from the U.S. They're forming their own coalitions, different countries, Europeans. I mean, President Macron will be there again and try to be an international mediator.

He's not going to mediate this on climate change. So despite this devastating climate report issued today, when Donald Trump walks in and talks to the media tomorrow morning, I think, once again, he will say, well, there's climate information on both sides.

MARQUARDT: Well, one thing he may certainly be talking about is Iran. Is there any expectation -- there have been these conservations about what meetings will -- would happen at what level, possible meetings and whether they would happen with or without conditions, that's -- that kind of thing. Is there any expectation that President Trump and President Rouhani will meet this week?

ROTH: I'm saying no. Most people are saying no. Could anything happen? Yes. resident Clinton and Fidel Castro of Cuba met in 2000 in a hallway briefly -- in a brief moment. Nothing ever happened from it, but it was a shock.

Could that happen? It's possible, the hallways get crowded. But, really, Iran doesn't even attend the head of states' meeting because of the serving of alcohol. That's on Tuesday afternoon. I do not see a meeting at this moment.

MARQUARDT: You wrote a piece recently that had one of the best leads that I've read in a long time. You wrote that -- on CNN.com that the UNGA sounds like a digestive track flare because --

ROTH: Well, that's pronounced unga (ph).

MARQUARDT: That's because we call it unga (ph).

ROTH: Yes.

MARQUARDT: I know that you meant that that was the way that it's pronounced, but there are a lot of flare-ups that can happen at the UNGA, at unga (ph). What are these domestic flare-ups aside from Iran that you're looking out for?

ROTH: I thought you were talking about --

MARQUARDT: In the diplomatic terms, sorry.

ROTH: -- medications there, where you were going with it.

(LAUGHTER)

ROTH: There are flare-ups. And well, look, you have India and Pakistan --

MARQUARDT: Right.

ROTH: -- who are really loggerheads now. It's unclear if they're going to meet. You have Venezuela's President Maduro not coming. Guaido, the opposition, his forces are going to try to meet with other people.

There are meetings on a host of global crises that everyone who is watching have certainly heard of. But it just is so incremental it doesn't necessarily produce dramatic progress. As one major analyst said to me, President Trump sucks all the oxygen out of the room, also.

MARQUARDT: That he does. Richard Roth, our man at the U.N. Thanks so much. We'll see you in a little bit.

There are alarming new details about how the climate crisis could not only affect your health but the food that we eat as well. That's coming up.

[18:39:20]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUARDT: If you think that it doesn't affect you, think again. Scientists are saying that climate change is already having a negative impact on the food that we eat. And if things don't change and soon, there could be a big impact on the kinds of crops that farmers can grow.

CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. LEWIS ZISKA, FORMER RESEARCH PLANT PHYSIOLOGIST, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: I became disillusioned when it was clear that climate change was not a priority here.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Up until the spring of 2019, Lewis Ziska was a plant physiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

GUPTA (on camera): Do people at the highest levels of leadership within USDA believe climate change is happening?

LEWIS: You'd have to ask them. I only know what I've read in the papers about folks like Sonny Perdue who don't seem to think it's real.

GUPTA (on camera): The head of Agriculture for the United States may not think climate change is real?

LEWIS: From his own comments, it sounds like he agrees with others within the current administration that this is not evidence-based science.

GUPTA (voice-over): In the spring of 2019, Ziska resigned because he felt science was now taking a back seat to ideology.

ZISKA: You're entitled to your own opinion. That's great, we're a free country. But you're not entitled to your own facts.

GUPTA (voice-over): Facts, science, happening at places like this, a patchwork of green in the heartland of the United States. One of the most robust producers of corn and soybeans on the planet, 21 million acres here in Illinois alone.

GUPTA (on camera): This is your lab, huh?

DR. ANDREW LEAKEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN: Yes. Yes. We're lucky to have it.

[18:44:56]

GUPTA (voice-over): It's what drew scientist Andrew Leakey from his home country of Scotland to the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign.

LEAKEY: This is why I moved here, actually.

GUPTA (voice-over): But the climate is changing this most fundamental way of life as well. It's what Lewis Ziska has been sounding the alarm about. The carbon in the air is now changing the food coming from the ground.

GUPTA (on camera): So we are essentially going into your time machine, as you say?

LEAKEY: Absolutely. So you've stepped from 2019 into the mid-century in terms of CO2 concentrations.

GUPTA (voice-over): Within this outlined space, these plants are getting gassed with 25 percent more carbon dioxide. Why? Well, that's the level scientists project our atmosphere will have in the year 2050.

GUPTA (on camera): I just heard the hissing sound.

LEAKEY: That hisses, yes. We're now on the upwind side of the plot. And if you reach out, you can probably feel some of the CO2 -- yes, you'll feel some of the CO2 coming out the backside of the --

GUPTA (on camera): Oh, yes, sure.

LEAKEY: -- you know, the plot there.

GUPTA (on camera): We humans need oxygen as you know. But plants, they like carbon dioxide. They use it in a process called photosynthesis. So if you have more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, that should be good for plants, right?

Well, sort of. It definitely can help plants grow bigger but not necessarily better. That carbon gets turned into carbohydrates or sugar. It also makes it so these plants have less of the good stuff, like zinc, iron, and protein. It's turning some of the best foods we humans have into junkier food.

GUPTA (voice-over): That sounds like a significant problem, if some of the staples of our diet, some of the most commonly grown crops on the face of the Earth are changing.

LEAKEY: I think those of us in the developed world have the luxury of being able to, you know, take a supplement or adjust what we buy at the supermarket. But there's around 2 billion people in the world who are already zinc and iron deficient. And there's also about 2 billion people who depend on the grains that they eat for their supply of zinc and iron.

GUPTA (voice-over): It is one of the ways most of the world will first experience the impact of climate change. And no doubt, it's one of the most critical issues of our time. Which is why it was so shocking to learn that the USDA wouldn't even let Ziska talk to us about his study.

GUPTA (on camera): We tried to sit down with you earlier this year as you may know, and then we were told you wouldn't be able to do it.

ZISKA: Right, and that was the first time that had happened. They said, no, we don't -- we don't want you to talk to CNN.

GUPTA (voice-over): When we asked why were we denied a chance to speak with Ziska, the agency said they didn't publicize his work because they had concerns about the nutritional claims in the paper. When pressed further about speaking with Ziska directly, the agency said there is no additional or new information to share. Ziska believes it was, once again, the agency putting ideology before science.

GUPTA (on camera): I'm a little worried now listening to you because I feel like, first of all, there's, you know, real concerns about what's happening with the climate, and then additional concerns that we're not being proactive about something that we could be proactive about.

ZISKA: Yes.

GUPTA (on camera): Should I be as worried as this is all sounding?

ZISKA: I think you should be worried and I -- but I don't think you should give up hope. As I mentioned before, there are good people in these agencies, and they're just looking for an opportunity to put their skills and their abilities to use.

GUPTA (on camera): Lewis Ziska is now at the Columbia School of Public Health, having, again, resigned from the USDA. And it's worth pointing out he's just one of a handful of scientists who have been leaving the federal government, concerned that their science just isn't getting supported.

And just this past week, I'll tell you that the Senate Democrats released a list of 38 times that they believe the Trump administration, quote, suppressed science across the federal government. So it can be really challenging sometimes for these scientists who are working within government to get their messages out there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARQUARDT: A critical report there. Our thanks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Now, television's brightest stars will be honored for their work on the small-screen. We'll be taking you right to the Emmy carpet. It's not red! It's purple this year, and we'll find out why. That's coming up next.

[18:49:17]

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MARQUARDT: Tonight, the television industry pats itself on the back. The primetime Emmy Awards are taking place. And for the past few years, there has been an embarrassment of small screen riches with fantastic offerings from cable networks like HBO to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime. And of course, you can't forget the traditional T.V. networks. They're still in the race, too, believe it or not.

Which shows and which performers will emerge victorious? Well, for that, we go to straight to Stephanie -- CNN's Stephanie Elam. She's at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, watching it play out. Not on the red carpet, on the purple carpet, which we'll get to at some point, but, Stephanie, we have seen so many --

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

MARQUARDT: -- incredible shows competing tonight. I know I want to see -- I know who I want to see win. I obviously can't vote. It's a packed field. Any indication who's going to walk away with a trophy, perhaps someone sitting next to you? ELAM: Well, let me -- let me show you who I'm standing with right

now, Alex. It's Marin Hinkle and Tony Shalhoub from "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," the show with the fastest speaking on television. I feel like that is part of your job, is to speak faster and faster. Is it?

MARIN HINKLE, ACTRESS: It is.

ELAM: It is!

HINKLE: We should be doing it for you right now.

TONY SHALHOUB, ACTOR: Well, it's bled into our -- over into our real lives, so now everyone's -- everyone thinks we're all, you know, caffeined up in our real lives.

ELAM: But, I don't know, it does seem to make the show more fun. Like you're laughing more because you're speaking so fast all the time, and everyone does it on the show. It's like a thing.

SHALHOUB: Yes.

HINKLE: It's true.

ELAM: Yes. OK, so is the pressure off tonight because you have seen the show have wins. I know Rachel's won before. Do you feel a little calmer going into this Emmys this year?

SHALHOUB: Well, I don't know if calm is really the right word.

HINKLE: You're never calm.

SHALHOUB: Last week at the Creative Emmys, we did -- the show did win six awards so that kind of gave us a little bit of a boost. Like, you know, gave us that feeling that we're still kind of in the running. And so, we're just looking forward to seeing what happens.

HINKLE: Yes.

ELAM: Yes, seeing what happens. And lots of people are still tuning into your show and cracking up and enjoying the ride with Mrs. Maisel, of course.

SHALHOUB: Right. And we just finished shooting season three about three weeks ago, so we feel really good about what we have in the can. We're looking forward to that premiere, which is, I think, on December 6th this year. And we feel really good about having -- you know, having done season two, which is, I think, what this -- this Emmy is for season two.

[18:55:09]

HINKLE: Yes.

SHALHOUB: So -- HINKLE: And we have Jane Lynch and Sterling K. Brown and a few other incredible surprises for this particular season coming up. You're going to love it.

ELAM: OK! Well, we are definitely going to watch, and I'm going to do my mouth exercises to prepare to watch to talk really fast.

HINKLE: OK.

ELAM: I know you have a whole carpet to get to -- and your publicist is looking at me, so --

HINKLE: Oh, no. OK.

ELAM: Enjoy and thank you for stopping.

HINKLE: Thank you. See you next time (ph).

ELAM: All right, great to see you.

So that's a little bit of what's going out here on -- out here, Alex. You've got some heavy hitters who are coming down to walk the purple carpet now because we're getting closer to showtime.

Obviously, we're talking about "Mrs. Maisel," but the other show that everyone is talking about out here is "Game of Thrones," which has the most nominations ever. It is the behemoth, it is the Grand Poohbah. That is the show everyone is awaiting to see if it takes away the big wins in its final season. So we talked a little comedy and there's your little bit of drama.

MARQUARDT: Yes, of course, "Game of Thrones," as you just mentioned, just wrapped up a packed purple carpet right behind you. Stephanie Elam, we will be checking in with you throughout the course of the evening. Have fun out there. It looks like a great assignment.

(LAUGHTER)

ELAM: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: All right. And there is some sad news that is just in to CNN. Celebrity chef Carl Ruiz has died. Ruiz had just opened the La Cubana restaurant here in New York. He made frequent appearances on the Food Network.

Restaurant staffers posted on social media writing, in part, no words can fully express our sadness at the sudden loss of our dear friend and brother. La Cubana has not released his cause of death. Ruiz was just 44 years old.

We'll be right back.

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