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Boris Johnson Addresses Parliament Today; Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry; Polls on Impeachment; New 2020 Democratic National Poll. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired September 25, 2019 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we have breaking news for you this morning.
The British parliament reconvening right now after a five-week suspension had been ordered by the prime minister. We're minutes away from Boris Johnson addressing the House of Commons after suffering a major, legal defeat by the supreme court there.
CNN's Melissa Bell live outside parliament with the very latest.
What do we expect to hear from the prime minister?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it will be very interesting, John, to hear how this embattled humiliated now prime minister intends to crack on with that determination he's had so forcefully over the course of the last few weeks to get to that October 31st deadline with the possibility of the U.K. leaving the EU without a deal. That is, he's been determined to keep on the table the possibility of the United Kingdom crashing out of the EU without a deal.
And yet he has lost almost every battle he's taken on with the institutions, with that aim in mind. He lost six votes here in as many days just before the parliament was suspended. We saw him also lose that with that verdict of the supreme court yesterday with essentially Britain's democratic institutions, both judiciary and legislative, penning him in, tying his hands, and trying to avoid that he overstretch his executive powers.
How determined is he to plow on? That's what we're going to be looking to hear when he gets up to speak within the next hour or so. And, of course, remember that he is going to be facing parliamentarians who resumed their business just a moment ago as a result of that ruling yesterday that are themselves emboldened and more determined than ever to try and prevent him getting the U.K. out of the EU without a deal. They're going to try and make sure that they tie his hands even further in these negotiations with European partners.
And so what you're going to see today is the continuation of this battle between the executive and the legislator once again with a prime minister who simply does not have those parliamentary numbers on his side.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: These are tumultuous times, Melissa, in the U.K. and the U.S., and you can quote me on that, John Berman.
BELL: You can say that again.
CAMEROTA: Thank -- thank you very much. We'll check back with you.
OK, so President Trump is the fourth president in history to face an impeachment inquiry.
How is it different this time? Don't answer that.
CAMEROTA: A new chapter in American politics begins this morning. Democrats are launching an official impeachment inquiry to President Trump. So how does this time compare to the three others that have happened in U.S. history?
Joining us now is CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He's a history professor at Rice University.
Professor, great to have you here.
What's different this time around?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, what's different is that we are now living in kind of an age of impeachment in the sense that, you know, people wanted to impeach George W. Bush for the war in Iraq and there were no weapon of mass destruction. Bill Clinton got impeached over the Monica Lewinsky event. Iran Contra with Ronald Reagan, people were clamoring for impeachment. And so impeachment in modern times starts having a very partisan cast to it.
But -- so the real story is how can a party that wants to pursue impeachment have all wings of its -- all of its factions brought together. And Nancy Pelosi has now effectively done that.
The turning point was "The Washington Post," the seven freshman Democratic lawmakers, the national security moderates, who now say, yes, let's impeach. Pelosi thinks she has the votes and it's just a straight up or down vote in Congress and then you will have a Senate trial of President Trump.
So this time it's a real impeachment movement going on. We're not just talking about it like we've done sometimes in American history.
BERMAN: So three presidents have faced the impeachment process. Two have been impeached. Zero have been convicted or tossed from office. Now, maybe Richard Nixon would have, probably would have, had he officially been impeached and then -- and then the trial in the Senate before he resigned there.
But what should that tell us about the difficulty of pushing through this process?
BRINKLEY: Extreme difficulty. And it tells you that Donald Trump is going to be the last man standing. He is going to be able to survive this politically and run for re-election in 2020. They're not going to be able to knock him down.
You know, with Andrew Johnson, it led into a kind of -- after 1868 and the impeachment of Johnson, it led to an era of power of Congress. In fact, Woodrow Wilson wrote a whole book called "Congressional Government," about, you know, post-Johnson impeachment and how it empowered Congress. And after Watergate and Nixon's impeachment, we started having all of these reforms to our political system.
But Nixon had tapes. He got busted for having the tapes. We had his voice.
What's interesting to me is, do we get Donald Trump's voice speaking to the Ukrainian leader? Or is it going to be a gabled transcript or something that's more of a memo? What's the evidence going to be like? How -- how -- are we going to be able to lean forward and feel like we are watching or listening to, I mean, Trump doing an extortion wrap on a foreign leader? That would be devastating if we have audio of this and Biden's being invoked eight times.
CAMEROTA: Well, we might get the answer to that as early as today. I mean I understand what you're saying, that there may not be an audio, but a lot of people think that just seeing the transcript will be damning.
And what I think is so interesting, Doug, is that the president, how he changed yesterday. You know, up until now, for three years, their tactic has been stonewall and make Democrats go through the courts. But yesterday something shifted where the president, for the first time, at least that I can remember, said, OK, we'll release the whistle-blower complaint, he promised, and we'll release the transcript of the call.
And does that tell you that really nobody wants to be impeached? Nobody wants that dubious distinction in history.
BRINKLEY: No question. I've spoken to Bill Clinton before and he will say impeachment was a badge of honor because I stood up to the right wing, you know, attack squad. Not really. I mean when you die, you don't want in your lead obituary that you were one of this rare club, exclusive club of impeached president. One of the big three and you're joined by Richard Nixon as a fore. So it is a giant embarrassment. You carry the "i" across your chest for the rest of your life.
I saw a Donald Trump yesterday at the United Nations that seemed to be a very diminished person. He could barely even read. You talk about low energy, there was almost none there, because the Senate -- some senators behind the scene are telling Trump, we've about had enough with this. We're going to hear from the whistle-blower. We don't like what you're -- you try to suppress. So Donald Trump is now feeling the heat in a way that he hadn't during the Mueller investigation.
BERMAN: All right, Professor, Douglas Brinkley, thank you very much for being with us this morning. And I do want to note, our reporting this morning from Kaitlan Collins, and Jim Acosta has some brand new reporting also, the president does not want to be impeached. This is not something he wants. He thinks it is bad for him and his legacy. And I think you're framing about the new -- the new attitude maybe plays into that.
CAMEROTA: I mean despite the bluster and despite what he's said in the past, Kaitlan's reporting is that he does not welcome it.
All right, so far impeachment has not been popular with American voters. Will that change now that Democrats have begun the official process? Harry Enten takes a look inside the numbers, next.
BERMAN: All right, we do have some breaking news in the political race right now.
A new poll on the Democratic race, which shows a major change.
But first let's talk about impeachment. What about those numbers? How do Americans feel about that and might that change?
Let's get "The Forecast" with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.
Harry, there's been this notion out there that a majority of Americans oppose impeachment. And they have, when asked. But behind the numbers there's some more nuance.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER: Yes. So I think essentially what we're looking at here is, take a look at Trump's job disapproval rating of 52 percent. Are there too many congressional probes of -- or two few of congressional probes into the president who will ride them out? That's 56 percent. And launching the impeachment inquiry has generally trailed that, right, at only 41 percent in a Monmouth University poll.
But what's the reason why it's trailed it? A large reason why is because Democrats, 89 percent disapprove of the job that the president is doing, 88 percent say there's the right amount or too few congressional probes into the president of the United States, but only 72 percent say that we should launch an impeachment inquiry. Now that we're seeing congressional Democrats get behind that, it would not be surprising to me if this number goes up, as I beautiful -- draw a beautiful hour (ph) right there. And with that number going up, this overall number should go up and start matching these, I would guess, based upon history, because congressional Democrats tend to lead the way and their voters perhaps will listen to them.
CAMEROTA: But let's just be clear for our viewers, that's from a month ago.
ENTEN: That is from a month ago.
CAMEROTA: Things have changed.
ENTEN: That's exactly right. Things have changed. And I think congressional Democrats jumping aboard an impeachment inquiry is a leading indicator.
BERMAN: If 90 percent of Democrats favor an impeachment inquiry, then a majority perhaps of Americans overall --
ENTEN: I crunched the numbers yesterday and what should be the case is then at least the plurality should and there will be more people in favor of an impeachment inquiry than not.
BERMAN: All right, this dramatic, new number in the Democratic race for president. Quinnipiac just released a brand new national poll.
ENTEN: We have now -- you know, it used to be that Joe Biden was the frontrunner. This is a top tier. This is within the margin of error plus or minus about 5 percentage points. But this is clear movement up for Elizabeth Warren.
Joe Biden has generally been ahead in the race, at least nationally speaking. And we see in the average since the September debate, he's still ahead at 28 percent, to 23 percent for, but that is much closer than we have normally been. This is clear movement towards Warren since the debate. We see in the Quinnipiac University poll, we see it in the average. The race is still close. Biden is still up there and is leading in the average. But it is very close. And that lead that he once had, that ginormous lead, 10, 15, 20 points has gone bye-bye.
CAMEROTA: When was this taken and do you think that this has any hint of the Ukraine controversy?
ENTEN: I don't know. I don't want to say that it necessarily does. But this has been taken in the last few days. So it could be picking up on some of that. But it certainly doesn't pick up on the news yesterday.
BERMAN: All right, talk to me about the trends, not just nationally but statewide and also what you're seeing behind the numbers.
ENTEN: Yes. So New Hampshire, another trend towards Elizabeth Warren. In May she was only at 8 percent in New Hampshire, which is right next door. Now in the latest Monmouth University poll, a top tier with Joe Biden, 27 versus 25.
Again, another state, Iowa, New Hampshire, nationally, we're seeing movement towards Warren.
But it's not just the top line that's interesting to me. Among liberals, which should be her key base, she was only at 11 percent in May. She's up to 39 percent now. Biden's been dropping off. And so this is the group that's really getting behind her.
And there's one --
BERMAN: And there's one number I almost didn't believe here.
ENTEN: This, to me, is shocking. Joe Biden has been running away with those over the age 65 and older. He was at 53 percent in May. He's down to 28 percent now. Look at this, Warren, from 9 percent in May to 31 percent now. That was a 40-plus lead for Biden. Now it's within the margin of error, just a three-point difference between (INAUDIBLE).
CAMEROTA: That's really interesting. Has she been spending -- hasn't she been spending more time in Iowa? Has she been spending a lot of time in New Hampshire?
ENTEN: Not the -- the candidates actually themselves haven't been spending that much time in New Hampshire. But this, to me, is an indication that Warren is rising pretty much everywhere.
BERMAN: Look, in polling you look for trends. These are trends.
ENTEN: These are absolutely trends.
CAMEROTA: Thank you.
ENTEN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Harry, thanks so much for all of the snap analysis.
So, it's an important morning. And impeachment inquiry is now moving forward in the House. How will the president react today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": Are you going to keep your kids away from Twitter, people, because this thing is going to be a category five tweet storm. And this one will hit Alabama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: All right, that's Trevor Noah's take at least. "Late Night Laughs," next.
CAMEROTA: How do you make impeachment funny? I don't know. But they do. Here are your "Late Night Laughs."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Nancy Pelosi today announced that the House of Representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry.
She's been very reluctant to do this, but, once again, Donald Trump is doing what he does best, forcing a woman to do something she didn't want to do.
JAMES CORDEN, HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": More than 180 House Democrats are now in favor of impeaching President Trump. It's like the old saying goes, work with a foreign government to undermine a democratic election once, shame on you. Do it twice, we are going to inquire about the possibility of doing something this time, maybe, we'll see, possibly, I don't know.
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON": The whole thing is moving very fast. We found out about the Ukraine scandal last week. The impeachment inquiry is starting this week. Which means Trump will be on "Dancing with the Stars" next week.
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": So the idea that a foreign power like Russia shouldn't interfere in our elections is the only thing everyone agreed on. Everyone but Trump, because he just moved one country over. OK, no collusion with Russia. OK, hello, Ukraine? You up for interfering with our election? No? No? You don't want to do that? OK, do you have Poland's number?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Do you think they sat around the writer's room and were like, we've got a year of material here. Let's pace ourselves.
CAMEROTA: Yes, for sure. But I didn't know they could make it that funny, but they have achieved it.
BERMAN: OK. This is a huge day. We're waiting to see the transcript that the White House has promised of this key phone call between the President Trump and the president of Ukraine. Will they release it? How much will they release? Can we believe it?
NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I'm directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This remains very politically risky. That's why she was delaying.
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is beyond party, beyond the polls, beyond the next election. It's making sure that we follow the Constitution, that we save this democracy.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The only reason they're trying to impeach the president is because they don't believe they can beat him at the ballot box.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Announcing her support of actually calling it an impeachment inquiry, that would be an historic move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know why the Democrats are excited, they just made America weaker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be devastating for this country if these allegations, in fact, are true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: OK, welcome to your NEW DAY.
Today we could learn and see two key pieces of evidence in this whistle-blower scandal that has led to now an impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
Up first we could see the transcript of the July 25th phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian leader where Mr. Trump is accused of asking a foreign power.