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Escalating Attacks; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Message; What Do Americans Think; Whistleblower Lawyers Say His Safety At Grave Risk; Whistleblower Fallout; Republican Defend Trump In Ukraine Scandal; Ukraine Braces For Fallout from U.S. Scandal; White House Steps Up Probe on Clinton Aides Emails; Saudi Crown Prince Denies Ordering Jamal Khashoggi Murder; Chipotle CEO Discusses Growth, Breakfast And Fake Meat; New CNN Polls In Nevada And South Carolina; America's Choice 2020; Prince Harry Visits School In Malawi; Stock Finished Week Lower; Elon Musk, SpaceX Rocket Will Be Cheaper; Forever 21 Files For Bankruptcy. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 30, 2019 - 04:30   ET




DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Lawyers for the anonymous whistleblower say they are worried for their client's safety as President Trump escalates his attacks.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Don't make this any worse than it already is.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Nancy Pelosi with a new message for the White House, about the House impeachment inquiry.

BRIGGS: Plus, new polling shows Americans' opinion on impeachment is now shifting. Welcome back to Early Start everybody on a Monday. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans, it is 30 minutes pass the hour this Monday morning here in New York.

And let's begin here with lawyers for the whistleblower and the Ukraine scandal, warning that President Trump's threats are posing a grave risk to their clients' safety.

60 Minutes report on their letter to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff came as President Trump escalated his war on the whistleblower and on Schiff in this barrage of Sunday night tweets. Telling what is on the president's mind. He tweeted this, I deserved to meet my accuser and he said the whistleblower portrayed his conversation pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. And then, the president slammed the Intel Chairman for misrepresenting

his word, writing, I want Schiff question at the highest level for fraud and treason.

BRIGGS: That's right, fraud and treason. Then the president went after whoever gave information to the whistleblower about his call to the Ukrainian president. Tweeting, was this person spying on the president of the United States? Big consequences. Chairman Schiff confirming there is now a tentative agreement for the whistleblower to testify to his committee. He says the president's threats have heightened security concerns for the whistleblower.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): All that needs to be done at this point is to make sure that the attorneys that represent the whistleblower get the clearances that they need to be able to accompany the whistleblower and to testimony and that we figure out the list -- logistics to make sure that we protect the identity of the whistleblower. That's out paramount concern here.


BRIGGS: Schiff said, he expects the whistleblower to testify quote, soon.

ROMANS: Meantime, the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, refusing to commit to a response to a House subpoena. Intel Chairman Adam Schiff, telling CBS, he plans to subpoena documents and perhaps testimony about the Ukraine affair from Giuliani.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you call Rudy Giuliani?

SCHIFF: We're going to need evidence from Rudy Giuliani. And it's our intention as soon as first thing next week, to subpoena him for documents. And there may very well come a time where we want to hear from him directly.


ROMANS: Giuliani to CNN says quote, I'm not saying I will or I will not. And on ABC, he contradicted to himself.


RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I won't cooperate with Adam Schiff. I think Adam Schiff should be remove. If they remove Adam Schiff, if they put a neutral person who hasn't prejudged the case, if they put someone in a Democrat, who hasn't expressed an opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you are not going to cooperate?

GUILIANI: I didn't say that. I said, I will consider it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you wouldn't do it. You said, you wouldn't cooperate with Adam Schiff.

GUILIANI: I said I would consider it. I have to be guided my client, frankly. I'm a lawyer. It's his privilege, not mine. If he decides that he wants me to testify, of course, I'll testify. Even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman.


BRIGGS: He said he would not t-- that was quite a 30 seconds (inaudible) House and Senate Republicans rushing to President Trump's defense on the Ukraine issue implying a variety of tactics on Sunday. Senator Lindsey Graham honing in on the whistleblower's report as hearsay, that's even though the reports was largely confirmed by the White House transcript of Mr. Trump's call with the Ukrainian president.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It things to me like a political setup, it's all a hearsay. You can't get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay. The whistleblower didn't hear the phone call.


BRIGGS: Ohio Congressman, Jim Jordan focused on the alleged corruption by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. A claimed for which there is no evidence.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): And then, when the company that is paying him that money is under investigation, guess what? Daddy comes running to the rescue. The vice president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is not what happened, sir. Sir, that is not what happened. The European Union, the Obama administration, the international monetary fund, pro-clean government activists in Ukraine, thought that the prosecutor was not prosecuting corruption?

JORDAN: You are saying Joe Biden didn't tell Ukraine to fire that prosecutor? I think he did. He bragged about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did, but the guy was not prosecuting anything.


BRIGGS: Biden, one of the prosecutor fired who was not pursuing corruption. California Republican Kevin McCarthy tangled with 60 Minutes Scott Pelley over the president's use of the word though in his call with the Ukrainian president.


McCarthy insisting Trump did not used the word, Pelly's saying he has the direct transcript from the White House in front of him.


SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: President Trump replies, I would like you to do us a favor, though.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): You just added another word.

PELLEY: No. It's in the transcript.

MCCARTHY: I would like you to do a favor, though.

PELLEY: Yes, it's in the White House transcript.


ROMANS: It's in the transcript. It's right there. President Trump's first Homeland Security Adviser says he is deeply disturbed by the president's actions in the Ukraine controversy. Tom Bossert telling ABC, he repeatedly warned the president that the Ukraine conspiracy theory Mr. Trump was pushing, had been debunked.


TOM BOSSERT, FROMER TRUMP HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: At this point, I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again and for clarify here, George, let me just again, repeat that it has no validity.


ROMANS: In addition to requesting a probe of the Biden's, Trump also asked the president of Ukraine, to look into whether a computer base in Ukraine had been used to hack Democratic servers. In other words, the possibility Ukraine had meddled in the U.S. elections, not Russia. Bossert says, he told Trump again and again that it simply wasn't true, to no effect.

BRIGGS: As preparations for the impeachment inquiry ramp up, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells fellow Democrats, it is not about politics or partisanship, it's about patriotism. Pelosi telling 60 minutes, President Trump painted himself into an impeachment corner.


PELOSI: We could not ignore what the president did. He gave us no choice. It wasn't any change of mind. I always said, we will follow the facts where they take us. And when we see them, we will be ready. And we are ready.


BRIGGS: Pelosi says her message to the president's White House concerning the impeachment inquiry is quote, speak the truth. Honor your oath of office to the constitution of the United States.

ROMANS: New polling out this weekend shows Americans' opinions on impeachment is shifting. A CBS News YouGov Poll finds 55 percent now believe an impeachment inquiry by Congress is necessary, 55 percent. As usual, there's a sharp partisan split most Republicans disapprove of an inquiry. Most Democrats support one and Independence, are pretty divided there.

An ABC News IPSOS Polls taking a different approach to the question asking this, how serious of a problem is it that the president encouraged the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. The answer there, nearly two-thirds say it is serious, about a third says it is not.

ROMANS: All right. CNN track down two Ukrainian men believe -- mentioned in the whistleblower's report.

BRIGGS: And more on what they told us in a live report from Kiev, next.



BRIGGS: 4:41 Eastern Time. Officials in Ukraine tight-lipped about the fallout from President Trump's phone call pressuring President Zelensky to dig up dirt on possible 2020 opponent Joe Biden and his son. Officials in Kiev believe getting dragged into America's widening political scandal can only hurt Ukraine, but a former campaign aide to Zelensky said, President Trump attorney, Rudy Giuliani did pressure the Ukraine administration to investigate Hunter Biden. Chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward standing by live in Kiev, with the latest. Clarissa, good morning, what are you learning?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. Well, that is right. Ukrainian officials here do not want to talk. They do not want to be seen, to be taking sides at all in America's political crisis. But we tracked down one man. He is a former parliamentarian, a journalist, but also, most importantly or relevantly, I should say. He was an adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, during his Zelensky's campaign.

And he told us in no one certain terms that the calls from President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani began in earnest, right after Zelensky won the election. He says it was an open secret among Zelensky's team that what Giuliani wanted was to try to push for an investigation in to two things. One, into Hunter Biden, the son of then Vice President Joe Biden on his role on Burisma, which is an energy holding company here in Ukraine.

And two, an investigation into what he said was allegations of Democrats colluding with Ukrainian officials against Trump in the 2016 election. It's worth noting that both of those claims appear to be completely unsubstantiated, but this former aide told us, in no uncertain terms that Zelensky's team understood that the pressure was on them from the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to try to kick- start investigations into these issues.

But as you said at the beginning, Dave, here for the most part. Ukrainian officials keeping very tight-lipped. They don't want to weigh in on one side or the other. Because Ukraine is hugely reliant on U.S. aides, some $400 million in U.S. military aid for this country this year alone. They are fighting a war with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. So they cannot afford to pick a side in America's political tug-of-war, but certainly it is dawning on everyone here that this is not going to blow over quickly. Dave?

BRIGGS: Ukraine wants to be Switzerland in this case. Clarissa Ward, live for us in Ukraine this morning. Thank you.

A former official who left the State Department in 2012, received a letter in August, informing him that dozens of his e-mails sent to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were now being re-categorized as classified.


One instance of what the Washington Post calls an intensifying e-mail probe by the Trump administration of dozens of former Clinton aides. The wide scale reclassification of e-mails sent to Clinton's private email affecting as many as 130 current and former senior State Department officials. Several people telling the Washington Post, the recent change in the investigation, was an effort to harass diplomats for doing their job.

ROMANS: All right, 45 minutes pass the hour. Chipotle is the best performing stock in the S&P 500 this year. It's up 83 percent this year. Its CEO Brian Niccol was hired to turn around the struggling chain after two E. coli outbreaks in investors' eyes, he has delivered. The burrito chain transforming itself with new digital investments and many new items, but Niccol told me, breakfast, everyone ask him this, breakfast is off the table for now.


BRIAN NICCOL, CEO CHIPOTLE: The reason why I wouldn't rule it out is, our chorizo is fabulous. So, you put chorizo with eggs in a burrito that is pretty good, right? So, you know, down the road, maybe, but not right now.


ROMANS: Niccol's said the chicken burrito makes up the bulk of Chipotle sales. And it's keeping its focus on what customers want. Chipotle added carne assada to its menu as a limited time offer. As for the fake meat craze, creeping into fast food chains, chipotle is not there.


NICCOL: Right now that is not something we're wanting to do. We would prefer to go down more the path of like a whole food. Well, look, it takes a lot to make a plant taste like a burger. And what we are putting the mission toward our chefs, is how do you make vegetables taste fabulous. I do appreciate the effects that it has for the sustainability standpoint. And there's a lot of other positives that come with it. It's just not our approach to food.


ROMANS: Niccol also talked about the fight for talent, you know, how hard it is to keep workers and the importance of training its employees.


NICCOL: The first week on the job, we teach you knife skills on like how to actually cut vegetables, how to cut lettuce, how to, you know, how to cut avocados, how to mash guacamole. And these are skills that transfer then to other opportunities in the restaurant industry.


ROMANS: And Niccol says he thinks Chipotle could grow to about 6,000 locations. But he didn't say how long that would take. It was a fascinating conversation with him as part of the CNN Business, The Table, where we sit down and talk about sort of (inaudible). And that was a food table, about food and it was, it was pretty interesting, I mean, that (inaudible) very well, and he said, how does it feel to come in and see a stock go up, you know, 90 percent? Everyone calls you the best CEO in America. He's like, it feels great. For me I'm like nervous. Feels great.

BRIGGS: Good interview.

All right, ahead, the Saudi crown prince talking about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Did he order the killing? His answer straight ahead.



ROMANS: The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, says he takes full responsibility for the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but he denies ordering the killing. The CIA believes Prince Mohamad Bin Salman ordered the murder inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey last year. In a 60 Minutes interview, Sunday, the crown prince was also ask directly about that murder.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

MOHAMMAD BIN SALMAN, CROWNED PRINCE, SAUDI ARABIA (TRANSLATOR): Absolutely not. This was a heinous crime, but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that mean? That you take responsibility?

BIN SALMAN: When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials working for the Saudi government, as a leader, I must take responsibility. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such thing in the future.


ROMANS: Khashoggi's remains have not been found, five high-ranking Saudi officials were dismissed. Another 18 detained in connection with Khashoggi's death. The crown prince said, an investigation is being carried out and once charges are proven against someone, it will be prosecuted regardless of rank.

BRIGGS: New CNN polls show Democratic presidential candidates knotted up in Nevada while Biden leads in South Carolina. In Nevada the first CNN poll, the cycle there has former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, both at 22 percent. And Elizabeth Warren at 18 percent among likely caucus goers. No else above 5 percent.

In CNN's first poll of South Carolina primary, a different picture. Biden holds the commanding lead among likely Democratic primary voters there. He is up 37 percent to Warren's 16. Sanders at 11 percent. Like in Nevada, no one else above 5 percent. Biden's big lead in South Carolina, due to his popularity among black voters,45 percent of black voters choose him, compared to 13 percent for Sanders and just 4 percent for Warren.

ROMANS: This poll numbers could use a jolt for Cory Booker has reached the required donor threshold to qualify for the fifth Democratic presidential debate in November.


The New Jersey Senator says, his campaign is still running behind a self-imposed fund-raising goal of $1.7 million. Booker already qualified for the October debate, but he has not yet met the polling threshold to qualify for the November stage.

BRIGGS: Malawi is the latest stop on Prince Harry's royal tour of Africa. The Duke of Sussex visiting with students at a school in Malawi, Sunday. Although the Duchess and Baby Archie did not make the trip. She did skype in, one of Meghan's key causes is supporting girl's education. CNN's Max Foster joining us live from Johannesburg, South Africa, with more facts. Max, good morning.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave. Yes, it's interesting to see Prince Harry in Malawi. He's getting involved in anti-poaching projects there, paying tribute to a British soldier who actually got killed in an anti-poaching exercise earlier this year, by an elephant, would you believe?

But to tie with this visit, he's actually written an interesting op-ed in the Daily Telegraph in the U.K. today. He says, talking about conservation shouldn't be dismissed as hippie, he issued the rallying cry really to humankind to overcome his greed, apathy and selfishness. To guarantee its survival on the planet. To what he is talking about there is really changing the stigma that actually a lot of people associate with conservation and projects. And they might not necessarily support it, because they see it as

hippie. So he is really pushing that message today. As you say, his wife dialed into an event to a girls' school in Malawi, again, really emphasizing her key cause, which is female empowerment, particularly around the issue of women of color and empowerment of them.

And this came after a really, sort of pivotal moment, I would say probably on this tour, where the Duchess went to a memorial for a young girl in Cape Town, who was brutally murdered. It's a big story here. All of her issues really speaking to that one issue, about how women of color are often discriminated against and suffer in certain societies.

So, it's interesting to see her really building that brand. And they all meet up here in Johannesburg tomorrow. So we will bring you the images of the family together again. We might even see Archie again. You never know.

BRIGGS: We can hope. Max Foster, live for us. Just about 11:00 a.m. in Johannesburg, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, let go check on CNN Business this morning. First, a look at global markets. You can see, European shares are mixed, now, as were Asian markets closing overnight on Wall Street. At the moment, you've got kind of a directionalist (ph) look at things. The DOW is up just 0.3 of one percent. Stocks fell Friday, lower for the weekend. Reports the White House is considering limiting U.S. investment flows to China. The DOW down 0.4 percent. The S&P 500 fell 1 percent. The NASDAQ dropped 2.2 percent for the week. This is the last trading day of a resilient month for stocks in perspective here. For September, the DOW, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are all higher.

All right, Elon Musk said it might be cheaper than he thought to build a rocket that could fly humans into orbit. Two years ago, he figured it would cost $10 billion. Now, he said it's around $3 billion. A bargain. Over the weekend, Musk, unveiled the 160 feet tall rocket prototype and the SpaceX CEO said building starships out of stainless steel, instead of modern carbon fiber materials was key to making the design cheaper and more durable. SpaceX hopes to send an unscrewed flight to earth's orbit within six months. Musk said passengers could travel to orbit within a year.

Another iconic retail brand has filed for bankruptcy. Forever 21 filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Sunday. The chain plans to close up 178 of its stores. It's a popular teenage clothing chain. And it's the latest to file. Payless and Gymboree, both filed for bankruptcy for a second time earlier this year. You know, many retailers have been struggling. The increase on online shopping has cut foot traffic to malls and brick and mortar stores. So far, U.S. retailers announced more than 8,200 store closings this year.

BRIGGS: All right. Early start continues right now.

Lawyers for the anonymous whistleblower say they are worried for their client's safety as President Trump escalates his attacks.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Don't make this any worse than it already is.


ROMANS: Nancy Pelosi with a new message for the White House, about the House impeachment inquiry.

BRIGGS: Plus, new polling shows Americans' opinion on impeachment is now shifting. Good morning everyone, and welcome to Early Start, I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans, it is Monday, September 30th, the last day of September. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. Noon in Kiev, 11:00 a.m. in Johannesburg. We welcome all our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world.

Lawyers for the whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal warning that President Trump's threats are posing a grave risk to their client's safety, 60 Minutes reports on their letter to House Intelligence Chairman, Adam Schiff came as President Trump escalated his war on the whistleblower and on Schiff. In this remarkable, remarkable series of tweets on Sunday evening. He tweeted, I deserve to meet my accuser. And h said the whistleblower portrays his conversation pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, quote, in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way.