Return to Transcripts main page


Pompeo Was On Ukraine Call; Giuliani Will "Consider" Ukraine Subpoena; China Marks 70th Anniversary of Communist Rule; California Passes Allowing College Athletes to be Paid. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 1, 2019 - 04:00   ET



DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also on the Trump Ukraine phone call.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Rudy Giuliani gives his first response to a House subpoena in the Trump impeachment inquiry.

BRIGGS: Seventy years of communist rule in China. A parade in Beijing and protest right now in Hong Kong.

ROMANS: College athletes could get paid under a bill just signed in California. But will the NCAA play ball?

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. Good morning.

BRIGGS: And I'm Dave Briggs. That was LeBron James hanging out with the California governor there.


BRIGGS: It's Tuesday, October 1st, we can believe it or not, 4:00 a.m. in New York, 4:00 p.m. in Hong Kong. It's 11:00 a.m. in Kiev and 10:00 p.m. in Johannesburg, South Africa. Reports from all of those locations ahead.

We begin, though, in the nation's capital with the latest on the whistleblower scandal. CNN has confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25th call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The story was first reported by "The Wall Street Journal." The State Department has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

Here's what Pompeo told NBC News last week about the call.


MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC HOST: What do you know about those conversations?

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

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRIGGS: Pompeo has not publicly addressed the call with the new Ukrainian leader nor the State Department's role in Rudy Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine.

Here's what Pompeo said last week at the U.N.


POMPEO: To the best of my knowledge and from what I've seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by State Department officials was entirely appropriate and consistent with the objective that we've had certainly since this new government has come into office.


BRIGGS: The chairman of three House committees have subpoenaed Pompeo over his failure to produce documents related to Ukraine.

ROMANS: President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani saying he'll think about responding to a House subpoena for documents in the impeachment inquiry. Giuliani tweeting he believes the three Democratic chairmen of House committees who issued the subpoenas, quote, have prejudged this case. He writes: It raises significant issues concerning legitimacy and constitutional and legal issues. The subpoena will be given appropriate consideration.

Giuliani was just as noncommittal on Fox News.


RUDY GIULIANI, PERSONAL ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, I don't know, I'm weighing the alternatives. I'm -- I'll kind of like go through it. I'll get all my evidence together. I'll get my charts.


ROMANS: Giuliani was repeatedly mentioned by Mr. Trump in his call with the Ukrainian president. Giuliani was to be President Zelensky's primary contact in the president's push to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son.

BRIGGS: The intelligence community watchdog debunking a GOP conspiracy theory about the whistleblower complaints. President Trump tweeting last night, quote, who changed the longstanding whistleblower rules just before submittal of the fake whistleblower report?


Drain the swamp.

Other Republicans pushing the claim the new rules allow secondhand or hearsay information, which they claim the Ukraine complaint relies on.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I can't believe we're talking about impeaching the president based on an accusation based on hearsay. Why did they change the rules about a whistleblower -- you can use hearsay when you used to could not -- just weeks before the complaint?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): He had no firsthand knowledge. He heard something from someone who may have heard something from someone.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": No, no -- his sources were firsthand sources. You know as well as I do that you do not need to have firsthand knowledge to be a whistleblower. And even if --

JORDAN: Well, you don't now because they changed the form. You used to and they changed the form.


ROMANS: But the intelligence inspector general says none of that is true. In a statement issued yesterday, Michael Atkinson wrote the complaint had official and authorized access, including direct knowledge. The whistleblower had more than secondhand assertions and the A.G. found other information supporting the allegations.

In the meantime, President Trump made clear he still wants to know the whistleblower's identity.


REPORTER: Mr. President, do you now know who the whistleblower is, sir?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we're trying to find out about a whistleblower, when you have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.


ROMANS: Of course, the identity of a whistleblower is protected by law.

BRIGGS: CNN has also confirmed that in a recent phone call, President Trump pressed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Attorney General Bill Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

Back in April, Barr raised a lot of eyebrows when he testified he believed the Trump campaign had been spied on.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think that some spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): Well, let me --

BARR: But the question is whether it was predicated -- adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated but I need to explore that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The White House has released a statement on President Trump's call to the Australian prime minister. They say, quote: it relates to a DOJ inquiry publicly announced months ago to uncover exactly what happened. The DOJ simply requested that the president provide introductions to facilitate that ongoing inquiry, and he did so, that's all.

An Australian government spokesman says his country is always ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed light on matters under investigation.

ROMANS: If the House eventually votes to impeach President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his hands will be tied and a Senate impeachment trial will be the next step.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): It's a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change. So I would have no choice but to take it up.


ROMANS: McConnell comment raises the possibility of a Senate impeachment trial just as the Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses are set to begin in early 2020.

BRIGGS: A new CNN follow shows Americans about evenly split over impeachment and support is growing among Republicans and independents. Overall, just about half, 47 percent said he should be impeached and removed from office. That's up from 41 percent in a CNN poll in May. Forty-five percent oppose impeachment down from 54 percent in May.

Among independents, support for impeachment and removal jumped 11 percent since May to 46 percent and it has risen 8 points among Republicans to 14 percent.

ROMANS: All right. President Trump repeatedly used the stock market as one of the best ways to measure his administration's policies. Even though stocks closed higher on the last day of September, all three major averages recorded their worst quarter of the year. Since Trump's inauguration, the S&P 500 is up 31 percent. Stocks were stronger at the same point under President Obama as the economy recovered from the financial crisis.

Goldman stocks predicts a volatile October. Volatility rises 25 percent on average in October since 1928, Goldman says, and that's not just a coincidence. Goldman notes, we believe it's a critical period for any investors and companies that manage performance to calendar year-end. There's still this tug of war in the U.S.-China trade war as well.

The U.S. is looking for additional leverage ahead of the next meeting of Chinese leaders in the American negotiators, October 10th. The Chinese state media, by the way, warns U.S. investment curbs would have significant repercussions and the U.S. believes that a decoupling from China will be simple. It will not.

BRIGGS: Nothing is simple --

ROMANS: On those annual numbers, I think it's so interesting to flush out that 31 percent sounds good, right? The stock market at 31 percent.


ROMANS: It's 44 percent under Obama, and it's more like -- Trump is more among the likes of like Ronald Trump in terms of a stock market return. Be good but not the best.

BRIGGS: Context is important here.

ROMANS: Uh-huh.

BRIGGS: Ahead, a tale of two cities on China's national day. A military parade in Beijing, protests in Hong Kong.


We'll take you there live, next.


ROMANS: The president of Ukraine says his country is willing to open an investigation into the so far unproven claims against Joe Biden and his son. But Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine won't take orders to do so from anybody.

For the latest on the reaction to the whistleblower scandal in Ukraine, let's bring in CNN's Matthew Chance live from Kiev -- Matthew.


That's right. The Ukrainian president is having to walk a very delicate and thin diplomatic line here.


He wants to placate the current administration, but he also wants to make sure he doesn't alienate future administrations and, of course, he's very mindful of the fact that the election in 2020 and there could be a new administration in charge and it could be Joe Biden. So, he's walking that very delicate line. He's basically saying, look, we're not beginning to release the Ukrainian version of the transcript of that July 25th conversation, the way the White House already issued their transcript, of course, thereby avoiding any possibility at this stage of the two versions being compared in case there was any discrepancy. There's also throwing the bone, if you like to the Trump

administration saying, look, we are looking at reopening the investigation into the gas company Burisma for which Hunter Biden worked at the time it took place when Joe Biden had the urge the prosecutor general of this country to be dismissed. We're going to look at that, he said, but, you know, it's up to the law enforcement agencies. They are doing it not because of pressure, because they want to make sure as the newly -- incoming, newly elected government that all Ukrainian laws are being abided to.

So, it's a way of placating the Trump administration but also making sure that the future relationship with any future U.S. administration is not alienated -- Christine.

ROMANS: Of course, Matthew Chance for us in Kiev this morning -- thanks, Matthew.

BRIGGS: China, meanwhile, celebrating 70 years of communist rule today while protesters are taking to the streets of Hong Kong. Take a look at the huge national parade in Beijing. There were more than 100,000 participants with 2,000 of them carrying a giant national flag. China's military might also on full display here.

All while Hong Kong remains engulfed in protesters. Demonstrators in the neighborhood of Wan Chai were out early this morning, shutting down the city's subway system.

Will Ripley live on the ground in Hong Kong with the latest.

Will, good evening. This started with that controversial extradition bill. What are they protesting now?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was first they wanted to withdrawal of the extradition bill. That has now happened. But they have four other demands that remain unmet. The biggest of which is the right to choose their leaders. Universal suffrage, something many of the young people say they will continue to be out and continue to fight until they get, something that Beijing has repeatedly said will not happen.

I want to show you what's unfolding, because we're now outside the Hong Kong government complex. This is Admiralty. This has been a flash point.

But you see all of these bricks that have been pulled from surrounding sidewalks are now being stacked here by these protesters. The front liners, the government calls them radicals. We actually saw them pulling bricks and taking down street signs to use as shields in what they view as an inevitable confrontation with the police.

We know that there's a water canon that's pulled up behind the walls of the legislative complex there in the past we have seen them fire the canon in the direction and you see the protesters down there kind of guarding themselves with umbrellas so they won't be seen by cameras. They are using a traffic cone to unload more bricks, more ammunition, more weapons that they intend to use. We also know they have been using Molotov cocktails, which have set

fires across the city. We haven't seen a lot of to flare up in this area yet, but, Dave, the day is young. And as you can see by the growing number of people, not necessarily the peaceful, larger crowds, but the smaller, the front liners who are out here preparing for a fight, things could get hot pretty quickly here in the coming hours, Dave.

BRIGGS: They could indeed. Stay safe out there. Will Ripley live for us, 4:18 p.m. in Hong Kong. Thank you.

ROMANS: That's quite a split screen and the Hong Kong images.

BRIGGS: Yes, remarkable.

ROMANS: All right. Defying the NCAA, the California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill allowing college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsement deals. Under the Fair Pay to Play Act, athletes would be able to profit from their name and likeness. It's scheduled to go into effect in 2023. Newsom said the Fair Pay law is an attempt to bring more fairness to big money college athletics and let players share in the wealth they create for their schools. If it survives the expected court challenges, it could upend the world of collegiate sports. Interesting.

BRIGGS: Yes, very interesting. That was the show "The Shop" that LeBron James produces.

And, look, this California -- just like with the emissions, they can change an entire industry.


BRIGGS: And that's what they are trying to do here. More than 20 Division I schools out there. The NCAA will fight this. They will do everything in their power to fight this. They do not want to break the model. We shall see.

All right. An airport cart spiraling dangerously out of control. See how one man saved the day, next.


BRIGGS: One small step for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They beat their division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night for their first win of the 2019 season. Steelers rode the ground game and quarterback Mason Rudolph, excuse me, threw two touchdowns and 27-3 route of Pittsburgh, 1-3 on the season of Steelers.


Cincinnati drops to 0-4.

ROMANS: A quick thinking employee stopped an out of control catering truck from crashing into a plane at O'Hare on Monday. American Airlines says the accelerator on the truck became stuck and it started driving widely in circles, right toward a plane. That's when a worker crashed into it with only a second to spare, knocking it over on its side and no one was hurt. American Airlines has said they are investigating the incident and appreciates the quick action of that employee.

BRIGGS: Looks like it was about to hit that plane. Well done there.

Ahead, the secretary of state was also on the Trump/Ukraine phone call. We'll have the latest, next.