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CNN NEWSROOM

Protesters in Hong Kong Erupted in Anger Over Police Brutality; Mike Pompeo Pushed Back Against House Democrats; Royal Family Versus a British Tabloid; North Korea Test Fired Missiles After Agreeing to Negotiate; Benjamin Netanyahu Awaiting Court's Decision; Brexit Talks in a Tight Deadline; No Justice After One Year of Jamal Khashoggi's Murder. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired October 2, 2019 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

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CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead this half hour intimidation and finger pointing, those are the latest accusations from both sides of the Trump impeachment inquiry. Details ahead.

In Hong Kong, un update on a teenager shot with a live round by police during Tuesday's violent protest and how officers are defending their action.

And a final offer from the British prime minister. Boris Johnson is set to unveil another plan he hopes can end the Brexit deadlock.

Hello and welcome to viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. And this is CNN Newsroom.

U.S. House Democrats are now taking aim at the State Department in their impeachment inquiry of president Donald Trump. Sources say the department's inspector general wants an urgent briefing with top congressional staff on Ukraine, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is facing subpoena.

A source says Pompeo was in on the July phone call at the heart of the scandal, that's when Mr. Trump asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

Now CNN's Abby Phillip reports Pompeo is now pushing back.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While President Trump continues to attack the whistleblower behind his impeachment inquiry both on Twitter and on camera.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIP: His secretary of state today is now pushing back on House Democrats looking to question some of his employees. In a letter, Mike Pompeo saying, "Democrats are trying to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals at the Department of State.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're pointing on going to pretend --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not going to tell right now, Manu.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: House intelligence committee Adam Schiff today refusing to answer questions about Pompeo's letter. Instead issuing this statement late this afternoon along with two other committee chairmen, saying Pompeo "should immediately seized intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky whose phone call with President Trump triggered the investigation now trying to distance himself from the controversy, insisting that he never met with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and denying that he was pressured by Trump to investigate Biden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you feel pressure from President Trump to investigate the Bidens in order to unfreeze military aid?

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: All this as the president's defenders followed his lead in trying to disparage the whistleblower's credibility.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LAWYER: The thing is, I don't know. I heard, I overheard. There's not a single time he says I know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: Trump's other personal lawyer Jay Sekulow arguing the president didn't break the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: What is the rule regulations statute that was violated in the conversation that the president had with the president of Ukraine? None. Nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: And there are some Trump allies who are worried that the White House was not adequately prepared for this fast-moving impeaching inquiry.

And while CNN has learned that there were no plans as of right now for a war room to be established, we've also learned that the president's aides are expected to present him with a response plan as soon as this this week.

Abby Phillip, CNN, the White House.

MACFARLANE: Now a U.S. official is confirming that North Korea test fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday and it was launched from an underwater platform.

And this comes just a day after Washington and Pyongyang agreed to restart nuclear talks this weekend. The U.S. official tell CNN this latest test is not a surprise. North Korea has conducted a series of missile test recently rattling its neighbors.

Well, CNN Paula Hancocks is live for us from Seoul. And Paula, authorities have expressed particular concern over this ballistic missiles that have been launched. What more can you tell us about that?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christina, the U.S. official with knowledge of this that CNN spoke to, said it wasn't a surprise to the U.S. that this had been carried out this morning and that was because they had seen the preparations taking place.

So, what this particular launch is it's slightly different than what we have been seeing in recent months. This is the 11th test according to our tally since May by North Korea. But this one was in the water.

[03:04:55]

So, we understand from the U.S. official that it was launch from an underwater launch platform. And what we've been seeing in recent months from, certainly from the U.S. President Donald Trump and from many within his administration, is that these short-range missiles do not concern them.

Now, of course, this potentially is pushing the envelope somewhat and going one step further. North Korea maybe testing to see how far they can go with the United States. They've done this kind of test just before negotiations in the past, is it some kind of negotiating tactics, there's a myriad of reasons that North Korea could have done this.

But the fact is, it will be interesting to see what the U.S. response, if there is one, is going to be, certainly from a more regional point of view these kinds of launches concern Japan and South Korea, both U.S. allies, far more than the U.S. president himself.

Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan has said, that this is in violation of U.N. resolutions, the fact they're using ballistic technology.

We heard from the South Korean side as well, saying that they're concerned that this has happened just after North Korea has said that they would sit down with the U.S. to continue these denuclearization negotiations.

We've been waiting for a number of months to see whether these working level talks would in fact take place. We heard back in June when Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un at the DMZ that it would happen in a few weeks, several months later, it appears they may happen this weekend. Christina?

MACFARLANE: All right. Our Paula Hancocks there live from Seoul, thanks very much, Paula.

Now in Hong Kong police are defending their decision to use live ammunition on pro-democracy protesters. An 18-year-old man is hospitalized in stable condition after an officer shot him.

CNN's Ivan Watson has more.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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 fire bombs at police. Authorities return fire with tear gas, water cannon, and for the first time since the protest 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 police officer with a pole. Police say they warrant the attacker before firing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOLANDA YU HOI KWAN, SPOKESWOMAN, HONG KONG POLICE (through translator): The police officer's lives were under serious threat. To save his life and his colleague's lives he fired a live shot at the assailant. An 18-year-old man was shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATSON: By nightfall the situation remained tensed. 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. 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 moment 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 yet another show of defiance by protesters and an increasingly hardline approach from police with neither willing to back down. There's no clear exit ramp to the cycle of confrontation that has paralyzed the city.

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.

MACFARLANE: Now a least two people are dead, 200 others wounded after a violent day of protests in Iraq's capital. Anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in Baghdad.

They are angry over unemployment, government corruption, and the lack of basic services. Authorities say the violence began when demonstrators tried to cross the bridge into the heavily fortified green zone where government buildings and foreign embassy are located.

Now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to head off the corruption allegation swirling around him. A hearing is getting underway this hour to decide whether to fully charge the leader.

Israeli police say they have uncovered enough evidence to indict Mr. Netanyahu of charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The prime minister denies any wrongdoing and says he's the victim of witch hunt. A final decision whether to prosecute lies with Israeli's attorney general.

[03:10:06]

Well, CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now from Jerusalem with more. And Oren, this pre-trial hearings is expected to last some four days. Just explain what will happen during this process and if charges are brought what that could spell for the prime minister?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christina, this is all part of a very long legal process that we've been covering here for a few years, but this is one of the most crucial steps of the process.

In this preliminary hearing Netanyahu's high-powered legal team will try to convince the attorney general to drop some or all of the charges he faces in three separate corruption investigations.

A short time ago on Israeli TV we saw Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit heading into the justice ministry where this hearing is being held.

And then we head from Netanyahu's lawyers who say they're confident that this case should be closed. But legal experts and analysts here say that's incredibly unlikely. Now the attorney general did drop some of the charges early this year when he announced the decision to indict Netanyahu pending this hearing.

The charges that are still put possible are the bribery and breach of trust you mentioned. But analysts here say it's incredibly unlikely that all of these charges are dropped and that following the conclusion of this hearing which is likely to be sometime next week, the attorney general will take his time as he has done so far and then decide perhaps by the end of the year to indict Netanyahu.

And that is one of the challenges he faces as he has maintained his innocence. It's not just a question of the legal battle, it's also the battle of the public opinion and there Netanyahu has been fighting these charge for years now, essentially saying this is a media fueled witch hunt hoping to keep the pressure off him as these investigations continue.

MACFARLANE: Now this coming as well as Netanyahu too is attempting to scramble to assemble a coalition government. Our Oren Liebermann there live from Jerusalem. Thanks, Oren.

Now coming up, the duke and duchess of Sussex are furious after a British tabloid published a private letter. Details on what they're doing about it is coming up.

And trying to break the Brexit deadlock. Britain's prime minister is hours away from outlining his plan for leaving the European Union.

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MACFARLANE: Welcome back.

In a few hours, Britain's prime minister is expected to reveal his Brexit plan for his conservative party conference.

Irish broadcaster RT reported Britain would set up customs clearance centers on both sides of the Irish border. But the Telegraph reports Northern Ireland will be aligned with the European Union until 2025. The Belfast decides what it will do.

Despite division of his own party and the country Mr. Johnson says he is determined.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I said we won. I think there's a very good reason. And that is that I've been task one way or the other to get Brexit done by October 31st. And there are quite a lot of well-meaning and highly intelligent people who basically think that that would be something they don't want to see.

[03:15:05] And I think that there is a concerted effort now to frustrate Brexit.

I think that's a mistake. I think it'd be very sad for our democracy if that were to happen. I think that we need to get on and deliver the will of the British people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MACFARLANE: Well, for more insight, John Rentoul joins us now from here in London. He's the chief political commentator for The Independent. Good to see you, John.

JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, THE INDEPENDENT: Good morning.

MACFARLANE: Now John, with this new leak detail overnight just explain to us what the proposal will actually mean in terms of the border checks, and what changed this represents from Theresa May's previous backstop solution?

RENTOUL: Well, Theresa May's solution was essentially to keep U.K. in the customs union with European Union temporarily. And by temporarily, I mean, you know, several years. Whereas, Boris Johnson wants to take us out of the European Union which means there's going to be customs check between the U.K. and the E.U. after the transition period.

That's what this proposal is all about and the difficult beat is what you do if the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, and so far it seems that the suggestion is there will be a customs border but the checks will actually be done five to 10 miles away from the actual border which is completely unacceptable to the Irish and to the European Union.

So, unless Boris Johnson got some clever detail that we don't know about yet, or unless they can negotiate something in the next 10 days, it doesn't seem that this plan is going to work.

MACFARLANE: Yes. Because in effect what we've got is not one but two borders in a way, borders of course always being a sticking point for the E.U. What do you expect their reaction is going to be to this latest day and of course from the Irish prime minister as well?

RENTOUL: Well, it will be very interesting to see because, you know, the prime minister is obviously hoping to enter negotiations. Now that means that, you know, in the jargon of these things they go into a tunnel the negotiators for both sides, and they don't speak to anybody outside.

So, if we don't hear anything, there now suggests that there are serious negotiations taking place. But so far, we've been hearing rather a lot from the Irish in particular saying how much they don't like these plans. And that suggests that there aren't going to be any serious negotiations taking place.

In which case -- in which case, Boris Johnson is heading for trouble because he's got a legal deadline of the 19th of October which is less than three weeks away no. And if he doesn't get a deal by then, he's got to ask for an extension.

MACFARLANE: Yes. And yet, John, he's throwing down ultimatums here. Because he says if the E.U. do not engage with the proposal, he is insistent he will, Britain will leave on the 31st of October. I wonder under what circumstances that that would be possible given that the benefit of --

(CROSSTALK)

RENTOUL: There's not.

MACFARLANE: -- that that's been put in place. Yes, November was been put in place as to prevent a no-deal Brexit, so how would that happen?

RENTOUL: Exactly. I mean, parliament has now passed the law that requires the prime minister to ask for a delay to the Brexit process if there is no deal by the 19th of October. You know, there's an awful lot of talk online about how Boris Johnson may find a way around that law.

So far, no constitutional expert has been able to identify any problem with it, therefore, my assumption is that Boris Johnson's private calculation is that he will be forced to ask for an extension on the 19th of October, but he will do reluctantly, and possibly even forced to do so by the courts that the voters will forgive him for having broken his word to get us out by the 31st of October.

MACFARLANE: But this could all be part of a broader game plan. John Rentoul, great to have you with us this morning to break this down. I appreciate it.

RENTOUL: My pleasure.

MACFARLANE: Now a royal battle could be brewing British courts. The duchess of Sussex is suing The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter, and her husband, Prince Harry accuses the paper of editing that letter to hide so-called lies The Mail told about the duchess.

He's also calling out British tabloids for bullying his wife, comparing it to her mother Princess Diana's treatment by the media.

He writes, "Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences of ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son."

Well, CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster is live for us from Johannesburg. And Max, Prince Harry's statement here could not have been stronger, even referencing his mother, what responses there been from The Mail on Sunday to this?

[03:20:06]

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are sticking by their story. This is their statement. The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending the case vigorously, specifically, categorically denied that the duchess' letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.

There are two elements to this case. The fact that the letter was published at all, they are arguing on the legal side for the palace that she had the copyrights of that letter so it's been published. But also, the fact that it was edited, they argue changing the meaning of what was in those letters.

And The Mail on Sunday denying both elements to that story. So, they're coming back strongly. It's going to be a showdown in court effectively between The Mail on Sunday and its parent company and the palace on the other side and the legal team there.

But it's also a wider battle, I think from what you are quoting there with the U.K. tabloid media, the propaganda as Harry sees it has led up to this tour but also the fact that there's been so much positive coverage during this tour and the double standards involved in that.

So, it's a long letter. It was very strongly worded and it came, I understand it, from Harry on his own went out unedited. This is Harry's words so we know it comes from the heart.

MACFARLANE: Max, this is not the first time the royals have attempted to sue sections of the media. We know the duke and duchess of Cambridge I think previously have done the same thing. But what does this spell for the royal's relationship with the media which at time there's often been fractures and difficult?

FOSTER: Well, they are specifically targeting the U.K. tabloid media, so that part of the media and references to the tour, you know, some people here on the tour taken that quite personally, and also they point out that there's a huge amount of positive coverage as well in the U.K. tabloid media.

So, it has increased tensions. There's been tension anyway ahead of this tour, they've accused of hypocrisy this couple in the past. I think you're going to see more and more tension.

But if Harry, you know, during this tour he's actually speaking in very big terms. So, when he talks about environment, for example, he talks about the threat to mankind. He wants to make the world a better place. And what he sees in this is a bullying story, he wants to stop media bullying people like his wife.

So, it's not just about his wife. He sees this as a big showdown effectively between people who are doing the right thing in his mind, and the tabloid media who keep calling them out unfairly.

So, it has become a very, very big battle. So, as this goes on, I think it's just going to be a debate about the Mail on Sunday and that specific story, it's going to be a wider debate about how public figures are treated by the media.

MACFARLANE: All right. Max Foster there live from Joburg. Thanks very much, Max. Now in just a few hours, vigils and tributes are planned in Istanbul

to remember murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. We'll have a live report on that coming up next.

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MACFARLANE: Welcome back.

Wednesday marks one year since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. And the Washington Post is remembering its columnist with a collection of op- eds. But there's still no justice for the journalist. And Saudi Arabia's crown prince, the man that CIA believes personally ordered the killing has once again denied he was personally involved.

A Washington non-profit tough is now calling on the international criminal court to investigate the crown prince for Khashoggi's murder.

[03:25:06]

Well, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins us now live from Istanbul. And Jomana, it's been unbelievably one year since Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Why are we no closer to seeing justice for his death?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Christina, that is the big question. You know, you had two criminal investigations that were taking place over the past year. You had one taking place here in Turkey where the murder took place.

And you know, we've heard it from Turkish officials throughout that they say that with what they have they shared, and that is the audio recordings, the CCTV, the examination of the crime scene that took them days to get access to, and they continuously complained about that lack of cooperation from Saudi officials.

And we heard it again from President Erdogan just a few days ago in an opinion piece, saying that they vow to continue this quest for justice. But, you know, you look at it, Christina, and their investigation has really reached a dead end. They have said that they want access to those accused of the killing, the suspects who are in Saudi Arabia.

That is where supposedly this trial is taking place, that it's been really shrouded in mystery. We've heard a lot of criticism from human rights organizations about this trial that has been taking place behind closed doors. They say that it lacks transparency. We don't even know who the suspect who are standing trial. They have not officially and publicly announced their name.

And so, what we've heard from human rights experts, including the United Nations repertoire on human -- on extrajudicial killings and executions saying that, you know, there are concerns that Saudi Arabia will not be able to deliver real credible justice.

So there have been real renewed cause on this one year anniversary for real international investigation into the killing, and of course further investigation as we've heard from that U.N. report into the role of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who repeatedly, you know, the Saudi Arabia has denied that he had any role in the killing or that he ordered the killing as we have heard the CIA has concluded.

We heard it this weekend also in his interview with 60 Minutes denying that he had anything to do with but taking responsibility as the leader of the country.

So again, renewed calls for justice. And we should be hearing that again in less than three hours when friends, activists, friends of Jamal Khashoggi, his fiance, dissidents and activists from this region will be gathering here outside the consulate to mark this one year anniversary with what they are describing as a moment of un-silence because they say that his killers would have wanted silence, Christina.

MACFARLANE: All right. Jomana, great to have you with us there to bring us the latest. I appreciate it.

And that is it for this busy edition of CNN Newsroom. I'm Christina Macfarlane in London. Business Traveler is up next. But first, I'll be back with a quick check of the headlines. You're watching CNN.

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