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Impeachment Showdown: Pompeo Stalls Letting Officials Talk To Congress; Protests In Hong Kong, Celebrations In Beijing; Prince Harry And Meghan Sue British Tabloid. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 1, 2019 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, impeachment showdown in the U.S. The Secretary of State pushing back on Democrats'

demands. A violent day of protests in Hong Kong. In stark contrast, China's National Day, why police say they shot a protester. The Duke and Duchess,

Harry and Meghan, are suing a tabloid. What was published to cause this uproar?

Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo. And welcome to the show. A huge showdown in the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. President Donald Trump has

left crucial hearings in limbo. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back against Congressional request to interview key officials from his

department over the next two weeks. He tweeted that it can only be viewed as an attempt to quote, "bully and intimidate," adding he will not tolerate

such tactics.

Democrats wasted no time firing back, warning Pompeo that any attempts to block testimony are illegal. They also say that he is now a fact witness in

the impeachment inquiry because he was reportedly listening on the phone call when Mr. Trump asked Ukraine's President to dig up dirt on a political

opponent. Pompeo has been evasive when asked about that call. Listen to what he said last month.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you know about those conversations?

MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: So, you just gave me a report about a IC - whistleblower complaint, none of which I've seen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it's, quote, "perfectly fine" to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent?

POMPEO: I think I saw a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. Yes, he said there was no pressure.


NOBILO: Pompeo isn't the only official circling the wagons as the administration tries to fend off a growing list of damaging allegations.

CNN's Tom Foreman takes a closer look at all the President's men.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Bianca. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is clearly unhappy that he has been caught up in the web of scandal

around this phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, in which Trump asked Zelensky to help investigate his

Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.

Pompeo, for days, acted as if he were merely hearing about this phone call, that he didn't really know anything firsthand, but now we know he was one

of a dozen people actually on that call, that he did not want the transcript to be released.

We also know that White House lawyers locked those transcripts away in a classified computer system normally reserved for state secrets. But Pompeo

is not alone in all of this.

The U.S. Attorney General William Barr is also caught up in it because President Trump urged the Ukrainians to work with him on this investigation

of the Bidens, even though there is no evidence the Bidens did anything wrong.

We also know the President urged some other countries, including Australia, to cooperate with Barr on investigating the origins of the Russia

investigation here that bedeviled the White House for so long.

The President's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, he is also caught in this because Trump wanted the Ukrainians to work with him as well. Some of the

Ukrainians have now told CNN, it was very clear when they talked to Giuliani, yes, he wanted dirt on the Bidens. He has now been subpoenaed by

Congress along with some of his records.

And then there is the U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence. Mike Pence told the Ukrainians, you need to root out corruption. But it's now very clear that

Donald Trump sees that as being the same thing as going after Joe Biden. Mike Pence says the President has done nothing wrong here even though all

of this happened while millions of dollars in military aid were being suspended to Ukraine.

So you see what's happening here. All of these people have now been caught up in this web, all tied to this phone conversation between the two

presidents up here. And all of them also wanted to keep it secret.


NOBILO: U.S. Security Reporter Kylie Atwood joins us now live from Washington.

First of all, let's show our viewers a look at the depositions and testimony that was scheduled for this week. So we can see - yes, there we


We can see Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arguing now that there's not adequate time to prepare for these depositions that we're looking at, and

we've just learned that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has been rescheduled for next week.

So, is this a sign that Pompeo is derailing the Democrats' plans here?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Secretary Pompeo is saying at least that these folks were not going to be complying with the

depositions for now.


Now, the House Committee has scheduled them to take place over the next two weeks, and he laid out a number of reasons that were both logistical and

legal for why he said they were not going to do that. But we have learned over the past few hours are a number of things.

First of all, Ambassador Volker, the Special Representative to Ukraine who resigned from the State Department on Friday, he is going to be appearing

at his deposition. He clearly is no longer a State Department official. Secretary of State is not his boss. But he will be speaking with the House

committees on Thursday.

We're also learning that of the four remaining State Department officials, who the Hill wants to talk to in these depositions, one of them, as you

mentioned, is the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Ambassador Yovanovitch. And she was scheduled to speak to the committee tomorrow, but

she is now going to be doing that next week, on October 11th.

And her - according to a committee aide, she figured out that with the committee and with counsel - she didn't say that she worked with the State

Department on it, but again, she still works for the State Department. So the expectation here is that she's still going to talk to them. We're still

waiting to hear on the other three State Department officials and what they are going to choose to do and will Secretary Pompeo is going to allow them

to do.

NOBILO: Kylie Atwood, good to see you. Thank you.

With all these developments swirling around the Trump administration, it's worth reiterating that this impeachment scandal began by focusing on one

phone call between two men and whether the U.S. President pressured a foreign leader for dirt on his political opponent. Today, that foreign

leader in question, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, spoke out.

Our Chief International Correspondent, Clarissa Ward is in Kiev, where she asked him during a news conference about that very call.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Did you feel pressure from President Trump to investigate the Bidens in order to

unfreeze military aid?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): I understood. I'd like to tell you that I never feel pressure. I have lots of people

who'd like to put pressure on me here and abroad, but I'm the President of an independent Ukraine. And I'd like to think, and my actions suggest, no

one can put pressure on me.


NOBILO: The Ukrainian President also denied ever talking with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, despite Mr. Trump's efforts

to arrange a meeting.

So just how easy will it be for Democrats to sell this impeachment inquiry to voters? On tonight's debrief, we'll discuss House Democrats' strategy

with Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona. That's in about 10 minutes' time.

For now, massive crowds filled the streets of Beijing and Hong Kong today. But while one city celebrated, the other called it a day of mourning.

Beijing is marking 70 years since the founding of its communist regime, but in Hong Kong, demonstrators clashed with police across multiple districts.

And for the first time, as our Ivan Watson reports, police fired back with live ammunition.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the streets of Hong Kong, a familiar scene - running battles between police and

protesters. Tens of thousands of people defied a protest ban, taking to the streets, sparking violent clashes across the city. Protesters lobbed

firebombs at police. Authorities returned fire with tear gas, water cannon, and for the first time since the protest movement ramped up four months

ago, lethal force.

This video appears to show the moment a protester is shot by a police officer with live ammunition moments after he attacks the officer with a

poll. Police say they warned the attacker before firing.

YOLANDA YU HOI KWAN, HONG KONG POLICE SPOKESPERSON (through translator): The police officers' lives were under serious threat. To save his life and

his colleagues' lives, he fired a live shot at the assailant. An 18-year- old man was shot.

WATSON (voice-over): By night fall, the situation remained tense.

WATSON (on-camera): The riot police have moved in and clashed repeatedly with demonstrators, and now you have these angry scenes where they're being

pursued through the streets of this international financial hub by furious citizens who are calling them all sorts of insults. And the police are

threatening to use force yet again.

WATSON (voice-over): According to police, about half of the city's 18 districts were affected by Tuesday's clashes, with officers making a series

of arrests.

The day was supposed to be a day of celebration for Chinese authorities, marking the 70th anniversary of communist rule, but the flag-raising

ceremony had to be held behind tight security as protesters held so-called day-of-grief rallies outside.


And as the day wore on, tensions escalated, culminating in yet another show of defiance by protesters and an increasingly hard line approach from

police, with neither side willing to back down. There's no clear exit ramp to the cycle of confrontation that has paralyzed the city.

WATSON (on-camera): These scenes of chaos and anger are an embarrassment to the ruling Communist Party in mainland China, which tolerates no signs of

dissent whatsoever in the mainland.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


NOBILO: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are suing a British tabloid for allegedly publishing one of the Duchess's letters unlawfully. A spokesman

for the legal team said the publication of the letter was quite intrusive and part of a wider campaign to write false and deliberately derogatory

stories about her as well as her husband.

They were also wrapping up a tour of Africa. And let's bring in Max Foster. He joins us now from Johannesburg.

Max, it seems that the Duke and Duchess are forging quite a complicated relationship with the British press. In this statement, both of them have

said that they respect media freedom, but yet lately they've come under increasing fire for enjoying some of the perks of being royals but not

really engaging much with the domestic press. So do you think this is going to backfire?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a very loaded story, obviously, for Harry. It goes to his childhood and the way he saw his

mother pursued and probably suggests that he sees the tabloid press is responsible for his mother's death. That's been some of the conversation

behind the scenes.

But in this statement, he speaks to this. And I think this really goes to the center of what he's trying to say. "I've seen what happens when someone

I love is commoditized to the point where they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother, and now I watch my wife falling

victim to the same powerful forces."

He's really picking out the mail on Sunday. He's taking legal action there because there's, he says, a letter written privately by his wife was

illegally published, but he's also attacking the wider media here for effectively telling this nasty narrative against the Duchess.

But to your point, he's pointing out there's been all this positive coverage this week as a result of the tour. But that's hypocritical when

you consider what they've been doing ahead of this. He's using as a case in point.

NOBILO: Max Foster in Johannesburg, thank you.

Up next on THE BRIEF is our political debrief. We'll have a look at the Democratic strategy in the impeachment investigation. A Democratic

congressman who's been calling for impeachment for months joins me live when we come back.



NOBILO: Let's get back to the debate over impeaching President Donald Trump. For a long time, Democratic leaders have been reluctant to use the

"I" word when it comes to the President. But that's seems to be changing, and support from the public appears to be increasing as well.

A new CNN poll shows that 47 percent of Americans say the President should be removed from office while 45 percent of Americans don't feel the

President should be impeached. Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego has been calling for Trump's impeachment for a while now, and he joins me today

for today's political debrief.

Great to have you on the program, Ruben.

REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Thank you for having me.

NOBILO: You've been supporting calls for impeachment since July. What is it you think about the developments around Ukraine that seem to be convincing

the public that impeachment is a better idea? And do you think that support is likely to grow?

GALLEGO: Well, I think the reason why there is more support now is because there was a lot of Americans that just wanted to get over the 2016

election. They thought it was something in the past, and they assumed the Mueller investigation was mostly focusing on actions from that.

I think the reason Americans now are in support of impeachment and more Congress is now because they realize that this President has run amok. He's

obstructing justice, he doesn't understand the rule of law, he thinks he is above the law, and it's really against the grain of Americans to allow that

to happen. That's why you've seen this strong movement for impeachment. That's why you see the polling go in that direction.

NOBILO: How big of a risk is this for the Democrats, though? Because in a way, is it not putting the President on the type of turf that he's very

comfortable in? He's now gearing up for a massive fight. That's the kind of political position, that's the kind of rhetoric that he seems to do well,

that resonates well with his base.

GALLEGO: Well, I think that's also a myth that he somehow is a good fighter. He actually has lost a lot of legislative battles. He won the

election basically through - by the skin of his teeth after interference from the Russian government, Comey leaking a report that ended up being

false at the last minute. He doesn't know how to fight. He's very thin- skinned. And at the end of the day, we have truth and justice on our side.

And more importantly, we as Democrats have to worry about the future of the country. We have to understand that we cannot allow a President to believe

they can get away with this - obstruct justice, extort other countries for personal gain.

If Trump can do it, then the next Democrat would think he could do it or the next Republican. So we have to think about the long-term ramifications

to our democracy by not standing up. But let's not be - let's be clear. Trump has a glass jaw. We've seen it repeatedly. Just because we haven't

impeached him in the past does not mean that he is somehow a Teflon don.

NOBILO: Ruben, I just want to play our international viewers a clip, which the President has referenced several times actually. It's Adam Schiff.

Let's just play that now.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): --and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates. "We've been very good to your country.

Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don't see much reciprocity here.

I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though." And I'm going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you

to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it."


NOBILO: Congressman, do you think that the Democrats might be making a mistake when they lower the tone of their debate, when they resort to that

kind of sarcasm and language? Do you think that that's going to be a concern that they're editorializing this when maybe they should just focus

on the evidence?

GALLEGO: No, because we have to figure out how to explain this to the American public. And I think a lot of the outsiders that don't really

understand the system, especially I think a lot of journalists - no offense to you - just kind of see that there is only one way to fight Trump.

We have to fight Trump on all fronts. If we have to use sarcasm and humor to do it, then let's do it. But let's be clear. The President impeached

himself. He released the memo that basically points to his extortion of the Ukrainian government.

So I don't think we have to over-think this. I think we'll continue pushing forward with actually exposing more of these allegations, more of these

issues, but this is already a done deal. The President impeached himself. He actually admitted to the crime. And there's nothing much more to do with

that. The only person he should be mad at is himself.

NOBILO: And how concerned are you, Congressman, about the President's conduct with other world leaders and potentially exploiting America's

existing relationships and alliances based on what we've learned from the rest of this week?

GALLEGO: Well, at this point, I'd like to know which country have we not tried to extort or shake down as a nation. The fact that this President is

willing to use the reputation of the United States for his own personal gain, so far politically, but I also think financially at some point, is

very disturbing. He's treating our country as if we're a third-world dictatorship, that we could be bought off by petty actions, and God knows

what else. So it is very disturbing.


Again, I don't think anybody would appreciate if President Obama did this. Certainly nobody would appreciate if President Bush did this. And Trump

really has no excuse for doing this. This is illegal. And if we could indict the President, he would (inaudible) enough for these actions.

NOBILO: Congressman Ruben Gallego, thank you very much for joining the program. We appreciate it.

GALLEGO: Thank you for having me.

NOBILO: Now, it's less than a month away from Brexit. And the Prime Minister's Brexit proposal to break the deadlock has yet to be formally

announced. Boris Johnson was at the annual Conservative Party conference in Manchester, where the main message has been getting Brexit done so the

government can move on to focusing on health services and infrastructure, among other things.

The Prime Minster is also denying reports that leaked documents call for checks near the Irish border. He told the BBC he has it all under control.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: You know, we've made some very constructive and far reaching proposals to try to minimize--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we don't know that. You haven't published them.

JOHNSON: Well, we - actually the - I think they're - they're quite widely known to minimize the checks for agro foods, for cattle, for food so that

stuff moving around the Island of Ireland doesn't need to have any checks at all.


NOBILO: I sat down with Daniel Kawczynski. He is a Conservative member of parliament who supports Brexit and is holding down the fort here in

Westminster. And I asked him how he thought the embattled Prime Minster is handling it and about Britain's chances of leaving at all. Here's what he



DANIEL KAWCZYNSKI, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: We do need him. This is a Herculean battle of wills between Brexiteers and Remainers. We've only had

a great deal of damage done to our international reputation for the protracted delays and obfuscation that this country has been through the

last three years. We need Brexit done on the 31st of October, and I believe he is the man to do it.

NOBILO: How confident are you that Brexit is going to happen on the 31st of October?

KAWCZYNSKI: Well, I've had a small bet with a friend of mine on that today. I've bet him 10 pounds, which is a small bet, to say that we will be

pulling out on the 31st of October. I hope I win the bet. If I lose, then we are rapidly moving towards another referendum, I envisage.

NOBILO: How do you win that bet? And you (inaudible) you have the Benn Act, which essentially makes it illegal for Boris Johnson to pull Britain out of

the European Union without parliament approving a no-deal. How--


NOBILO: --do you leave on the 31st?

KAWCZYNSKI: I suggested to the Prime Minister one option, which is that - by the way, if one country in the European Union vetoes an extension of

Article 50, and that's what's (ph) out on the 31st of October.

Now, the European Union acts as a cartel. They want to ensure that everybody sings from the same hymn sheet and speak as one. But some of the

countries in Central and Eastern Europe don't like the country of my birth, Poland or Hungary. We're still hoping - we still haven't given up hope that

one of them may throw us a lifeline in that regard.

NOBILO: Have you made a personal appeal to the Polish government, for example?

KAWCZYNSKI: I have engaged - as a fluent Polish speaker, I have engaged with academics, professors, government officials, everybody I know in

Poland, to say that it is not in their interest to have a recalcitrant member of the European Union carrying on and having Brexiteer MEPs in the

European Parliament, causing them chaos and mayhem.

It's not in their interest for Britain to continue in this limbo paralysis in the European Union. Let's get out, and then the quicker we get out, the

quicker we can start to form strong bilateral relationships with these countries, but also a new relationship with the whole of the European


NOBILO: How amenable is the Polish government to that suggestion, to veto Britain asking for another extension? Because I take your point that you

might not want (inaudible) Britain remaining in the European Union, but then Poland is an EU member state. They have to be worried about how the EU

going to respond then doing that.

KAWCZYNSKI: Well, Poland is already under huge - I would argue, the European Union has bullied Poland repeatedly. I mean, they have been

penalized and admonished for the reforms they're making to their judiciary. They've been penalized because they haven't taken the adequate number of

Syrian refugees that the European Union wanted to distribute. They've been threatened with having their voting rights taken away.

So, some of these countries in Central and Eastern Europe, who have been under the cosh of the Soviet Union for 50 years, are very sensitive about

their own national sovereignty and independence. And they don't like being told what to do by Brussels any more than we do. Now, one of them - I doubt

that one of them would actually veto an extension by themselves, but two of them acting in unison might.


NOBILO: Thanks to Daniel Kawczynski for speaking with us.


When THE BRIEF returns, how victory for this man in Austria gets his far- right counterpart quitting. We look at one of the tightest turning against far right populists in Europe.


NOBILO: For years, it changed the face of governments across Europe. The rise of far-right populism. Born out of economic and social discontent, it

saw nationalistic ideas return to the mainstream. But there are some signs that attitudes may be changing.

Austria, a country that once embraced populist ideals, saw the far-right party slump by 10 percentage points in last weekend's election. Their

leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, today resigned from all posts after that poor showing. But Austria isn't alone.

In Italy, Matteo Salvini is now out in the cold. He collapsed the government thinking that his popularity would guarantee him the leadership,

but that didn't happen. These incidents are not evidence that the far-right is en masse disappearing, but it does show that the rise is neither

inexorable nor inevitable.

That's THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo. And "WORLD SPORT" is up next.