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Impeachment Inquiry Getting into Trump's Nerves; Mike Pompeo Meets with Pope Francis; Iraqis Protests Over Their Government Ineffectiveness; Boris Johnson Wants to Freeze Parliament Again; Bernie Sanders Rested for a While. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired October 3, 2019 - 03:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. It's 3 p.m., 9 a.m. in Paris. From CNN headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Rosemary Church. This is CNN Newsroom. Let's get started.


I've answered everything. It's a whole hoax, and you know who's playing to the hoax? People like you.


CHURCH: President Donald Trump pointing fingers and lashing out at his accusers and the media as the impeachment inquiry continues to wear on him.

Violent protests continue across Iraq as years of economic and political frustration come to ahead.

And in the U.K, as Brexit deadline draw near another suspension of parliament looks inevitable.

Good to have you with us. So, we begin with Donald Trump's anger over impeachment on full display. The U.S. President is lashing at the media, Democrats, and the whistleblower who brought to light his controversial phone call to Ukraine. What he's not doing is offering any explanation or asking a foreign government to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden

CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more.


TRUMP: This is a hoax. This is the greatest a hoax. It's just a continuation of what's being playing out, John, for the last - since my election.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump making clear today that the impeachment inquiry has gotten to him. As sources say he feels wronged, and that Democrats are out to get him.


TRUMP: This is a fraudulent crime on the American people but we'll work together with shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them.

That was a perfect conversation.


COLLINS: His combative stance on full display as he attacked the House intelligence chairman and the House speaker.


TRUMP: Listen to this one, president.


COLLINS: While the Finnish president looked on.


TRUMP: I'm sorry to bother you with this, Mr. President, because we have other things to talk about.


COLLINS: During their press conference moments later, Trump responded to a New York Times report that whistleblower met with one of Adam Schiff's aides before filing a complaint.


TRUMP: Well I think it's a scandal that he knew before. I'll go a step further. I think he probably helped write it. He knew long before and he helped write it too.


COLLINS: But Trump refused to answer the question at the center of it all. What he wanted the Ukrainian president to do about the Biden family?


TRUMP: Are you talking to me?

JEFF MASON, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS: Yes, it's just a follow-up of what I just ask you, sir.

TRUMP: Listen, listen, are you ready? We have the president of Finland, ask him a question.

MASON: I have one for him. I just wanted to follow up on the one that I asked you, which is -- (CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Did you hear me?

MASON: -- what did you want --

TRUMP: Did you hear me?

MASON: Yes, sir.

TRUMP: Ask him a question.

MASON: I will.

TRUMP: I've given you a long answer. Ask this gentleman a question. Don't be rude.


COLLINS: Moments earlier, Trump watched as Schiff and Nancy Pelosi delivered a warning shot to the White House.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We're not fooling around here, though.


COLLINS: The president also calling into question the credibility of the whistleblower, and those who gave the official information.


TRUMP: The person is a spy in my opinion.


COLLINS: After Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said the whistleblower should be heard and protected Trump said this.


TRUMP: Look, I think a whistleblower should be protected if the whistleblower is legitimate.


COLLINS: His combative appearance coming hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted he was on that July call with Ukraine's President Zelensky.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: As for was I on the phone call, I was on the phone call.


COLLINS: It's the first time he's publicly addressed his role in the call since this interview.


POMPEO: You just gave me a report about a whistleblower complaint, none of which I've seen.


COLLINS: It's a scandal the world is watching, including Russian President Vladimir Putin who defended Trump against the impeachment today.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Nixon's team was wiretapping listening to their rivals, but this is completely different situation. Trump was wiretapped.


COLLINS: And we're also now learning that not only did President Trump did talk to the Australian prime minister about helping the Attorney General Bill Barr with his investigation into the beginning of the Russia investigation, he also reached out to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believing that these two leaders were going to be more cooperative that they are going to be more helpful. And essentially what his number goal is, discrediting the Russia investigation.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Well, there is no credible evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden or his son in regard to Ukraine but that hasn't stop President Trump from attacking them anyway, calling them stone cold crooked. The former U.S. vice president not amused.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This isn't a game. It's deadly serious. But as you know all too well, the truth doesn't matter to Donald Trump. It never has, and it never will. Which is why I don't think the American people are going to believe him.

The American people know me, and they know him. I'll put my integrity of my whole career of public service to this nation up against his long record of lying, cheating, and stealing any day of the week.



CHURCH: U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden speaking to Democratic supporters in Nevada. Well, members of the U.S. Congress will get their first chance to talk

to a central figure in their impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. The former Ukraine envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, will meet with several House committees in the coming hours.

And CNN's Matthew Chance is live this hour, he joins us from Kiev. Good to see you, Matthew. So how significant will Kurt Volker's testimony likely be, and what are the expectations here?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, I think it would be pretty significant when you consider the kind of figure that Kurt Volker cuts, particularly in Ukraine where he was broadly seen as a really honest broker, somebody who is very important for the strategic relationship between Ukraine and the United States.

When he offered his resignation, submit his resignation a week or so ago, there was -- there were a pronouncement of regret from former officials and including Petro Poroshenko, the former president here and from current ones as well including aides close to the current president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Because he ensured that sort of flow over the past five years of economic and military aid from the United States to Ukraine which they have used to prosecute their war in east against the pro-Russian rebels and their diplomatic campaign as well to try and get back territories seized by Russia in Crimea in 2014.

So, he's an important figure for Ukrainians.

You know, look, I mean, in terms of his testimony we'll see what he says, and we'll be able to gauge better after that testimony obviously about (Inaudible).

But Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer is attempting to argue that Kurt Volker is in on his scheme to try and get the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and other issues as well like 2016 election meddling.

The understanding we have of what Kurt Volker's role was as far as he is concerned, is trying to help the Ukrainians navigate the sort of conflicting difficult demands with the Trump administration was putting on the new government of Volodymyr Zelensky.

So, for instance, he set up a meeting after the July 25th phone call, he set up a meeting in Madrid between Giuliani and someone called Andriy Yermak who is one of President Zelensky's closest political aide.

We don't know the content of their discussion were, but our understanding is, it was to, you know, to see what it was for the Trump administration really wanted. Perhaps that will come out in the testimony, that's why we're all going to be watching here in the Ukraine very closely indeed.

CHURCH: Yes. Of course, Volker resigned from his position, which gives him more freedom to speak at this point. What could he potentially reveal and what would members, particularly Democrats be looking for to find out from him?

CHANCE: I guess they're going to be looking for, you know, whether there was any quid pro quo. I mean, because the story, remember, hinges on these two things. The first one is already been demonstrated that President Trump asked a foreign leader Volodymyr Zelensky to do him a favor to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, his prospective presidential candidate rival.

And the other sort of nab of the story is what pressure, if any, President Trump put on the Ukrainian government to do that. Did he threaten to withdraw military aid or keep back military aid until that dirt was dug up as it were, did he hold out the possibility of more or less diplomatic support for Ukraine depending on the actions of this Zelensky government. And so perhaps Kurt Volker will be able to shed some light for us on that.

CHURCH: All right. Along with you we'll be watching very carefully. Matthew Chance for that live report from Kiev. Many thanks.

And as we've mentioned another key player in the Trump administration's political drama over Ukraine is U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And he is preparing to meet with Pope Francis later this hour.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins me now from Rome with more on Pompeo's visit. Melissa, this has been pre-planned of course. But let's talk about why Mike Pompeo is meeting with Pope Francis this hour and what's likely to come out of this Vatican visit?


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was a long-planned visit more broadly, Rosemary, to talk about questions of the rights of religious minorities and religious freedom across the world, one of those rare issues on which the current administration and the Vatican can agree on which they share some ground.

And that was the focus of Mike Pompeo's visit organized long before of course, all of this emerge in the impeachment inquiry begun, and of Mike Pompeo found himself one of the central characters of the story this week.

Bear in mind that Kurt Volker will be the first to appear before these committees today as part of this impeachment inquiry of those five current or former State Department officials that have been asked to come and testify.

Now, initially Mike Pompeo tried to block that. He claimed yesterday here in Rome that he was trying to protect people -- the officials from his department from what he described as bullying on the part of those Democratic committee chairs. He also said that he would be doing his constitutional duty and cooperating with the inquiry but that he would continue to protect his officials. So, of course, all eyes on Kurt Volker and what he has to say. It will be behind closed doors but we hope to get an idea of what was said later on, and of course on what Mike Pompeo's reaction will be.

Because of course, one of the questions that's at the heart of this is precisely what, whether or not to what extent State Department officials help or did not help Rudy Giuliani facilitated his contacts with the Ukrainians. That is something that Mike Pompeo is going to have to answer for and it's going to be at the heart of some of the questions that will be put to those State Department, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Most definitely. Melissa Bell, many thanks to you bringing us a live report there from Rome. I appreciate it.

Iraq is being rocked by deadly demonstrations in Baghdad and other cities. At least 12 people are dead and more than 650 injured, curfews have been imposed and the internet has been blocked as Iraqis protest the lack of jobs, poor services, and corruption.

We turn now to CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman joining us live from Beirut. So, Ben, what is the latest on these deadly protests and is there any political will on the part of Iraqi politicians to do something to make life better for those people living in Iraq?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, these protests began on Tuesday and they really spread throughout the country in the north in Kirkuk and down to the south in Basra.

Now this curfew is unprecedented. It began -- it came into effect at 5 o'clock this morning, Baghdad time, and it includes vehicles and individuals. And this is in place until further notice. There are exceptions for people traveling to and from Baghdad International Airport, in hospital workers, municipal workers.

But certainly, it is something we have not seen before. The internet is blocked or at least the 75 percent according to people who monitor these things.

Now the government has come out and said, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, the prime minister has said that they're going to try to increase the number of government jobs available for university graduates.

He said that, for instance, when contracts are granted to foreign companies that they will require that 50 percent of the jobs go to Iraqis. But this all seems a bit too little too late for a country that has been struggling to get on its feet since 2003 with the U.S.- led invasion and the fall of Saddam Hussein.

We have seen over the last few years sporadic unrest as a result of corruption, unemployment, poor services. For instance, there is still daily electricity cuts in most of Iraq. You have demonstrations in Basra last year over the poor quality of the water, and really there hasn't been much in the way of development in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. So, this anger is simply bubbling up time and time again. And it

appears that the politicians are simply unable for reasons of corruption, incompetence. It's not all together clear to address these endemic problems that are throughout the country. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Until they do presumably these demonstrations will continue until they see some sign of political will here.

Ben Wedeman, many thanks to you bringing us that live report from Beirut.


We'll take a short break here. Still to come, Britain's prime minister offers his solution to a key sticking point in the Brexit deal. Coming up, the guarded response.

Plus, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been forced to take a break from the campaign trail?

We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Well, Britain's prime minister will once again as the queen to suspend parliament so he can launch a new legislative agenda. This time for a week beginning Tuesday.

It comes just after the U.K. Supreme Court ruled a five-week suspension was unlawful. Critics claim it was being used to prevent lawmakers from examining Boris Johnson's Brexit plan.

Meantime, in his key note address at the conservative party conference he said deal or no deal, the U.K. is leaving the E.U. October 31st.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If we fail to get an agreement because of what is essentially a technical discussion on the exact nature of future customs checks when that technology is improving the whole time.

Then let us be in no doubt conference of what the alternative is. The alternative is no deal. And that is not the outcome we want; it is not an outcome we seek at all but let me tell you. My friends, it is an outcome for which we are ready.


CHURCH: Well, for more on this, Simon Cullen joins us now from London. Good to see you again, Simon. So, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his much-anticipated Brexit deal. It doesn't appear to have been particularly well received, does it? What's being said about it?

SIMON CULLEN, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, muted response at best. So, what Boris Johnson has put forward is essentially a new plan to deal with the Irish border issue. That was the key sticking point for her -- for his predecessor Theresa May, it was the reason the U.K. parliament vetoed her plan.

But Boris Johnson has put forth a different idea. It would leave the Northern Ireland which is part of the U.K. inside the E.U. single market so Northern Ireland would remain subject to many of the rules and regulations of the E.U. but it would take the Northern Ireland outside of the E.U.'s customs union.

And this is where the issue becomes quite tricky. Because both sides acknowledged they do not want physical checks along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. But Boris Johnson acknowledges there will have to be some physical checks. He would like to see this take place at businesses along the supply chain for various goods and services.

Now, the key thing here is that his plan needs to pass two major hurdles. One is it needs the support of the E.U., the second is it needs the support of the U.K. parliament.

And when it comes to the U.K. parliament the initial response from the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is not positive. Let's take a look.



JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: It's worse than Theresa May's deal. I can't see getting the support that he seems to get and it will take us into a regime in Britain of deregulation of undercutting bond, I think it will also undermine the Good Friday agreement.


CULLEN: So that is the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, basically suggesting that Boris Johnson's plan will not work. From the E.U.'s point of view the response has been more nuance but still not positive.

The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker released a statement saying he acknowledge the positive advances. However, the president also noted that there are still some problematic points that will need further work in the coming days notably with regards to the governance of the backstop.

And those are similar response from the Irish prime minister as well. So, Rosemary, it's less than a month now until the U.K. is due to leave the E.U. and this is the most concrete proposal we have seen yet from Boris Johnson since he took over the prime ministership.

CHURCH: All right. Simon Cullen, many thanks to you for that live report. I appreciate it.

And earlier, I spoke with Thom Brooks, a professor of law and government at Durham University and I ask about Mr. Johnson's proposal alternative to the Irish backstop. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOM BROOKS, PROFESSOR & DEAN, DURHAM UNIVERSITY: This simply can't work. It's been a problem since the beginning the claim that he has made that Brexit would allow Britain to have tougher regulations at the border.

And at the same time, seemingly forgetting that there was an open border in Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland, something that will bring peace at Northern Ireland and ended the troubles there.

So, it's always been a contradiction. It was always going to be a problem. How do you keep an open border while trying to have more restrictions?

And there's this is kind of bigger problem, which is, that Boris Johnson has committed, you know, part of the reason to leave the European Union isn't just the different border control that he's been wanting to have, but also having a different regulations in terms of worker rights, goods and services, different, you know, restrictions in the workplace and so on.

Having a different type of markets than the European Union so that Britain, in his view, could trade more on stronger footing with the rest of the world.

Now, how do you have a different regulatory regime while keeping an open border with a country that has a very different regulatory regime which is not part of the same free trade agreement like you have in North America or not part of a single market with the freedom of movement and services across.

It is something that it is just simply not going to be able to get out of.


CHURCH: Thom Brooks talking to me a little earlier.

So, let's look ahead beyond this suspension of parliament that could begin Tuesday. The European Council is to meet in Brussels on the 17th and 18th. And that's when Mr. Johnson hopes to get a new deal.

Now if he doesn't, he's legally required to request a Brexit extension by the 19th, the current deadline for divorce is October 31st unless that extension is agreed upon. And that leaves us with what we're used to buy now, there is no guarantee of anything. We'll keep an eye on it for you.

Well, Bernie Sanders is down but not out. The U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate is off the campaign trail after having a surgery for a blocked artery. Sanders who is 78 complained of chest discomfort Tuesday during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. And after a medical check, he had two stents put in. Sanders tweeted, he's thanks after his surgery, writing, "None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us, and no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for all."

His campaign rivals have sent him wishes for speedy recovery.

Still to come here on CNN Newsroom, the heartwarming moment that stunned a courtroom after a former policewoman was sentenced to prison for murdering her neighbor.



CHURCH: A jury has sentenced a former Dallas police officer to 10 years in prison for murdering her neighbor in his apartment last year. The case drew a national attention because it involved a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man.

After Amber Guyger's sentence was announced, the victim's younger brother stunned the courtroom when he asks the judge for permission to hug the former cop.


BRANDT JEAN, BOTHAM JEAN'S BROTHER: I don't know if this is possible but can I give her a hug, please? Please?



CHURCH: Brandt Jean said he forgave Guyger for killing his brother Botham. And while you can't see it in this video the judge also hugged Guyger and gave her a bible.

It's autumn in the United States but millions of people are still sweltering under a rare October heat wave. Dozens of cities in the east have shattered record highs for the month, some are over 37 degrees Celsius. Forecasters say this is all part of a larger pattern of climate change.

And days of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Nada has left parts of Mexico's west coast underwater. First responders had to use helicopters to reach people trapped in a fast-moving flood. Several deaths have been reported but assessing the full impact of the storm could take days.

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate as Nada made landfall on Saturday.

And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church Eco Solution is coming up next. But first, I'll be back with a check of the headlines. You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.