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A White House in Crisis; Iraqi Prime Minister Offers Olive Branch to Protesters. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 4, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our viewers all around the world. We appreciate you joining us. We are coming to you live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell. Here's what's ahead here on "CNN Newsroom," a White House in crisis. The U.S. president says Ukraine and now China should investigate his political rival, Joe Biden. CNN is live in Beijing with reaction in China.

ALLEN: Also ahead, Iraq's prime minister speaks out. Abdul-Mahdi makes his first public address since deadly protest erupted across the country.

And later --

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I don't have (INAUDIBLE) I will go into a coma. When they say everything will be fine, I do not believe them (INAUDIBLE).

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HOWELL: Death by Brexit. Many in the U.K. worry Brexit could threaten their very lives by attacking the supplies of certain important medicines.

Welcome around the world. We are expecting another busy day on the impeachment front in the United States. It all starts with the inspector general of the Intelligence Committee, talking about Michael Atkinson, who is set to testify before Congress about the whistleblower's complaint, alleging Donald Trump, the U.S. president, abuse of power of his office. Atkinson said he found the complaint urgent and credible.

ALLEN: And it isn't just President Trump's phone call to Ukraine that's raising suspicions. On Thursday, he publicly urged China to investigate his democratic rival, Joe Biden. The president made the statement to a crowd of reporters on the White House lawn.

And two sources tell CNN the president discussed Biden and another democratic opponent, Senator Elizabeth Warren, in a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping in June. And just like the record of his conversation with the president of Ukraine, all details of that call were moved to a highly secured electronic system.

HOWELL: So a lot is happening. We get more on this and the president's anti-impeachment strategy from CNN's Jim Acosta, reporting at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In what is fast becoming a game of chicken with House Democrats threatening impeachment, President Trump is calling on U.S. adversary, China, to interfere in the 2020 election by investigating his unproven conspiracy theory about former Vice President Joe Biden son Hunter's business activities overseas. The president issued his plea after admitting he wanted to same out of Ukraine.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They should investigate the Bidens. China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Biden's campaign immediately pounce, comparing Mr. Trump's statement to one he made in 2016, when he asked Russia to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.

ACOSTA (voice-over): At a campaign event overnight, Biden accused the president of acting out of fear.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He did it because like every bully in history, he's afraid. He's afraid of just how badly he may be beaten in November.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is counting on Republicans to remain loyal, pointing to his latest poll numbers and fund-raising figures in a tweet, and thanking the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, for his support. McConnell will play a pivotal role in the Senate trial of the president if Mr. Trump is impeached in the House.

TRUMP: He read my phone call with the president of Ukraine. Mitch McConnell, he said, that was the most innocent phone call that I've read. I mean, give me a break.

ACOSTA (voice-over): And the pot is thickening after the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, admitted to The Washington Post he has discussed his unproven Biden claims with an attorney for former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who is in prison.

Contrast that with Vice President Mike Pence who is trying to keep his distance from the Ukraine investigation.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is great to be in Arizona.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Sources tell CNN to expect the vice president to spend much of his time over the coming weeks on the road as his aides worry about the Ukraine fallout back in Washington, with questions swirling about what Pence do and when he latched on to Mr. Trump's allegations.

PENCE: There are legitimate questions that ought to be asked, and we're going to continue to ask them since the American people have a right to know whether or not the vice president or the United States or his family profited from his position.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president is amping up these accusations on social media.

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[02:04:59]

ACOSTA (voice-over): Putting out a video slamming the Bidens, featuring music from the rock group Nickelback, only to be shut down by Twitter after the band complained that was a copyright violation. The president is grumbling about the prospect of being impeached even at official White House events.

TRUMP: That's why they do the impeachment crap because they know they can't beat us fairly. That's the only reason they're doing it. They can't win.

ACOSTA (voice-over): That's not (INAUDIBLE) growing number of Democrats coming out publicly to state the impeachment inquiry must continue.

REP. MAX ROSE (D-NY): We have no choice now but to proceed with an impeachment inquiry and the only person that the president has to blame is himself.

ACOSTA: Another key sign the administration is gearing up for an impeachment battle, the Justice Department has instructed White House employees to preserve documents and e-mails that may have to be turned over to the House Democrats as part of their inquiry.

Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Jim, thank you. Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, spent the day testifying before Congress. And now, House Democrats have released group text messages which seemed to show how the Trump administration pressured Ukraine into investigating the 2016 election and also investigating Joe Biden.

ALLEN: Sources say Volker told Congress that he urged Ukraine not to interfere in U.S. politics after President Trump's July phone call with the Ukrainian leader. Volker said leaders in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, had a lot of questions about why President Trump was holding up military aid. Volker's story about warning Giuliani, Rudolph Giuliani, that the information he received was not credible, was echoed by a key Ukrainian political figure.

HOWELL: That's right. Ukraine's former deputy to the prosecutor general, he spoke exclusively about it with our Sam Kiley. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID SAKVARELIDZE, FORMER DEPUTY TO UKRAINE'S PROSECUTOR GENERAL: Shokin was deeply corrupt and he had to be dismissed. Lutsenko was deeply corrupt and he had to be dismissed. And because of these guys, we lost five years in Ukraine, five desperate years with no punishment of the corruptioners.

It is a minus in the economy. There was a lot of Ukrainians (ph) leaving this country and working as workers all over the Western and Eastern Europe. That's a tragedy. These people do not have any moral rights to talk in the name of this country, beautiful country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: The two officials mentioned there, former Ukrainian prosecutor, General Viktor Shokin, and former Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, have denied any wrongdoing.

HOWELL: Let us get the latest now live from China. CNN's David Culver is following the story in Beijing, the latest reporting there. And David, clearly China does not want anything to do with these comments from the president. What more do we know about that phone call?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: George, to your point, this is not the arena that the Chinese government and officials want to be playing in. U.S. politics is something they want to stay far from especially domestic issues.

But right now, they're being dragged into that seemingly by President Trump and the suggestion that China helped with the investigation.

This is a moment also here in China where they are in a celebration mode. They are in holiday mode. It's a weeklong holiday marking 70 years since the founding of Communist China. That was on Tuesday. And so this is a time where they are not supposed to be focused on doing government work. A lot of the offices are in fact closed which is why we have not yet heard back officially from the Chinese government.

But, George, we know one Chinese diplomat telling CNN that this is a chaotic situation and that they do not want to get in the middle of U.S. politics. One ally who was an ally of Trump outside the White House was also apparently approached by Chinese government official, asking, is the president serious about this? They're trying to gauge how serious he may be about China investigating the Bidens.

Now, to your question about that phone call, that June 18th phone call, we know it was between Chinese President Xi and President Trump, and two sources familiar with that discussion tell CNN that President Trump brought up his political prospects that would be Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

In that same phone call, according to the sources, George, they made mention of Hong Kong and that President Trump said that he would remain quiet on Hong Kong. We know Hong Kong has been a huge issue. We have been reporting over the past 17 plus weeks now about the unrest going on there.

And so for President Trump to suggest that he would remain quiet, it raises a lot of concerns, especially given the trade talks that are underway and expected to resume at the highest levels this coming week, George.

HOWELL: Keeping in mind, we've seen many of those protests, David. People were waving American flags there in Hong Kong. So, the reporting you shared with us is certainly --

CULVER: Right.

HOWELL: -- noteworthy. David, you know, we know that Joe Biden's name came up with President Xi, but also another candidate, Elizabeth Warren. Tell us about that.

CULVER: That's right. Her name was also mentioned in that June 18th phone call, according to sources telling CNN.

[02:10:02]

CULVER: She is reacting very upset, mostly focused on that Hong Kong portion, saying that it's outrageous to think that the president, in her words, is especially selling out the Hong Kong people.

She's also calling, George, for the transcript of that phone call to be released. But as we have been reporting, that phone call along with the now infamous phone call with Ukrainian president is on highly secured server that the White House put there.

So all of this, of course, is rising around this more contentious moment for China to be thrust into. From an international perspective, foreign policy perspective, this is something that they want nothing to do with.

And so it is not clear if they're gonna comment on the investigation, if they say they will actually conduct an investigation. It's request that we put in. As soon as we hear back from them, of course, we will let you know.

HOWELL: David Culver on the story for us live in Beijing. David, thank you.

ALLEN: There are many developments in the impeachment inquiry today. Let's break it down with former assistant U.S. attorney, David Katz. David, thank you so much for coming in to talk with us.

DAVID KATZ, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: It's my pleasure.

ALLEN: First question for you, President Trump has now called on another country, China, to investigate Joe Biden. Do you think that the president thinks that inviting a foreign country to do this is OK, that it's not a crime? Is it?

KATZ: Well, I think that what's going on is that Trump got caught. Remember, he got caught red handed along with Pompeo and Pence who are on that phone call, having got caught red handed even after he tried to hide the conversation by putting it on misclassified server at a higher security lever.

Now he got caught. So now he is acting -- I am a criminal defense attorney now. I've seen criminal cases from both sides. These are what people do. They act like it's no big deal. I can do it right out in the open. Why is everybody making a big deal? It was a big deal when he did it with Ukraine. If possible, it is even a bigger deal now that he's done it with China.

Why on earth, especially after Trump's rhetoric about China, would anybody believe the communist Chinese about anything? So this is totally improper. It is further article of impeachment in my judgment.

ALLEN: China, a country that often steals U.S. intellectual property, which the president has told them to stop doing. Another question for you, from a legal standpoint, David, what concerns you most about the whistleblower situation and Ukraine?

KATZ: Well, I think that first of all, there is an abuse of power. The president, it's obvious, it's not supposed to trade something or hold out a shakedown of a foreign leader in exchange for doing something personal and political for him.

Of course, in diplomacy, you offer something for something. But this diplomacy was not for the good of the country. It was only for the good of Trump politically and personally. That is absolutely wrong. And what they are trying to trump up to use that expression against Biden and his son has no evidence.

All the king's horses and all the king's men haven't penned anything on Biden. It is just a hollow talking point. What happened in 2016 with this prosecutor was that Senator Portman, Senator Ron Johnson, two Republicans and many other Republicans wanted to do something about corruption in Ukraine.

What Biden did in 2016 was other piece (ph) with what the Republican senators wanted to do. The world thought generally that this particular prosecutor was corrupt. So, all of this is an abuse of power. That's in impeachable offense.

But there is also quite an obstruction of justice to put these items, Natalie, on a special server, and it looks like now some conversations with Putin, some conversation with the Saudi prince were also put on that special server, not because they were highly classified like covert operations, because they were embarrassing to the president. That is in itself an obstruction of justice. ALLEN: And you say this is a big deal, and now we have Vice President Pence saying it is not a big deal. He is defending Mr. Trump for urging China and Ukraine to investigate Biden. Let's listen to him here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: One of the main reasons we were elected to Washington, D.C. was to drain the swamp. I think the American people have the right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position as vice president during the last administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: There we have it. Pence is on this team with Trump. This comes as The Washington Post reports Trump repeatedly involved Pence's (ph) efforts to pressuring Ukraine as he tried to dig up dirt on the Bidens. How big of a problem could this become for Pence?

KATZ: Well, Trump didn't want to come all this way to have power and to try to benefit himself and his family only to lose power and President Pence.

[02:15:03]

KATZ: That is not what he is after. So I think he's made it clear. Maybe you can say I'm (INAUDIBLE), but I think he has made it clear to Pence that if I'm going down, you're going down. It is like, you know, like when you join the mafia or something like that, they make you do something bad so later on they have something on you.

So, of course, I think he dragged Pence to the same misconduct that he was engaged in. But I think that Trump trying to involve Pence and Pence trying to take the fall along with Trump, I think that is something that Trump wanted.

I think at the end of the day, you look at Giuliani, you look at these other people, they are not going to go to jail or take the fall for Trump. When push comes to shove, they're all gonna try to survive, which is what I believe the Republican senators are going to do.

At the end of the day, they are going to see the polls. They are going to see the nation has lost confidence in Trump as the commander in chief because he is dealing for himself. He is not dealing for the good of the country.

I think the Republican senators are going to have a big surprise in store for the people who think you can't ever impeach a Republican president because the country is just too polarized. I don't think that's what's going to happen when you have a televised impeachment trial in the Senate.

ALLEN: Meantime, about the impeachment process, the inspector general for the Intelligence Committee, Michael Atkinson, will testify behind closed doors Friday. On Thursday, the former special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, spoke with Congress for nine hours. According to two sources, he told investigators he urged Ukraine leadership not to interfere in U.S. politics in a conversation that followed the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's president. How might his information advance the impeachment inquiry?

KATZ: Well, I think that this is more damning evidence against Trump because, you know, the sequence of events, Mueller gives his testimony July 24th. On July 25th, Trump is emboldened, is arrogant, he makes this, I believe, fatally flawed telephone call which was basically a shakedown for his private purposes of the Ukrainian president.

The very next day, that is when Volker and another fellow in the government that Trump put there because he gave a million dollar to Trump, these two get together and tried to show, in the words of the whistleblower, how to navigate the frame up of Biden. This is absolutely wrong.

I think that it is going all come out very clearly. You look at the text that was sent at the time. Who would send a text like that? But they did. It is in the evidence. It is before the whistleblower's complaint. It says it is crazy to -- withhold security funds from Ukrainians for political purposes.

That is the charge. That is what he's gonna be impeached for. That's what the trial is going to be about. That is direct evidence in addition to the phone call of what was going on in the top Trump administration officials, trying to shake down this incoming Ukrainian president.

Apparently, he resisted the overtures. He got it from these two diplomats. He got it from Giuliani. Apparently, he is one of the heroes along with the whistleblower. The Ukrainian president fended them off. Of course, he was desperate because he needed that $400 million, Natalie, desperately --

ALLEN: Right.

KATZ: -- to defend against Russian aggression.

ALLEN: All right. We really appreciate your insights. More to come on Friday for sure on Capitol Hill. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Katz, joining us. Thank you so much.

KATZ: My pleasure.

HOWELL: Still ahead, in Iraq, after days of violent protests, 34 people dead there. Iraq's prime minister is making an offer to demonstrators. Find out why a former Iraqi ambassador to the U.N. isn't so impressed.

ALLEN: Plus, in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson's alternative to the Irish backstop seems to be a no go in Brussels. The E.U. reportedly has given him a week to fix it or risk a Brexit delay. More about that is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALLEN: Welcome back. After days of violent protests in Iraq, the prime minister now seems to be reaching out to the demonstrators. A short time ago, he recognized their call for reform and said the government would provide a basic wage for the poor.

HOWELL: But it may not be enough to end the demonstrations that have left 34 people dead, more than 1,500 injured. The protesters say all they want is work, clean water, and food. Our Michael Holmes reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWD: (INAUDIBLE).

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of Iraqis demonstrate against the government less than a year old. Public anger and frustration visceral and the government response deadly.

(GUNSHOTS)

HOLMES (voice-over): Iraqi police using live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon, trying to disperse protesting that most recently kicked off Tuesday. As clashes bled into a third day, the government imposed a predawn curfew and shut down internet across much of the country to limit protester's ability to coordinate. It did little to quell the deadly and growing civil unrest.

(On camera): I'll give you an idea of how this has spread. The protests initially began in the capital, Baghdad. But from there, they spread to provinces and cities all across the south of the country, including the oil rich Shia-dominated area of Basra, critical to the economy.

Now, by Thursday morning, the government had imposed an indefinite curfew on Baghdad, Hilla, Najaf, and Nasiriyah.

CROWD: (INAUDIBLE).

HOLMES (voice-over): In some of the largest protests seen in decades, demonstrators point to corruption by the ruling establishment, economic mismanagement, and the deteriorating quality of life during a time of relative peace.

(GUNSHOTS)

HOLMES (voice-over): In two years since the defeat of the Islamic state in Iraq, the country has enjoyed some measure of security. But sporadic uprisings are often harshly put down by the government. They're generally not partisan issues. Instead, bread and butter issues, jobs, corruption, electricity supplies, clean water, the most basic of services in a country with vast oil wealth. In the years since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, governments have been elected and come and gone, promising much, in reality changing little. Rising poverty and unemployment turning into public outrage that cuts across sectarian lines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are calling for our rights. This is all we want. We want an occupation and a job that would bring good to us.

HOLMES (voice-over): The U.S. invasion in 2003 caused massive destruction to infrastructure in areas like electricity, water and sewage. Sectarian violence and years of ISIS made things worse. Through it all, protesters say a culture of corruption has endured, thrived even, false promises of change leaving Iraq citizens in the crosshairs of their own government.

Michael Holmes, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Let's talk more about what's happening right now with Feisal Istrabadi, a former diplomat who represented Iraq at the United Nations as ambassador and deputy permanent representative. Ambassador, it is good to have you with us this hour.

FEISAL ISTRABADI, FORMER DIPLOMAT WHO REPRESENTED IRAQ AT UNITED NATIONS: Pleasure to be with you. Thank you.

[02:25:01]

HOWELL: Let's first talk about the prime minister's speech to his nation today, promising a project to offer a basic wage while at the same time asking people to follow the rule of law. Do you believe that will make an impact here?

ISTRABADI: Unfortunately, I didn't think the prime minister set quite the right tone in his speech. There are people being killed by security forces on the streets of Baghdad. I had hoped he would take a different approach, a call to peaceful demonstrations and instructions to the security forces not to use live ammunition on the populations of the cities of Iraq. I didn't hear that. I am sorry to say.

As for the promise of basic wages, it's a fine promise to make. That is what these demonstrations are about. Fundamentally, the problem he has I is that Iraq although it is one of the largest exporters of oil in the world, it is fundamentally a poor country because of the neglect of its infrastructure over decades.

So how he delivers on that promise and whether it is too little too late is difficult to foretell.

HOWELL: Well, a little more on the prime minister here, he has clearly offered an olive branch, saying that some of the protesters' demands are righteous. At the same time, many of those protesters want to see him gone. Given the clear frustration we are seeing on the streets across several cities in Iraq, do you believe he can survive this pressure?

ISTRABADI: It is definitely a moment of testing for him. The unfortunate thing is that I think he is a particularly capable individual in the right position. The problem is that successive governments have ignored these basic problems over the last 16 years.

And there has sort of been an expectation that someone of the stature of Adil Abdul-Mahdi would be able to do something quickly. But you can't solve the problems that have festered over decades in one year. He hasn't actually had his one year anniversary yet.

On the other hand, you can also understand the demonstrators, their frustrations. You're talking about medical school graduates, engineering graduates who cannot find jobs. So you can understand the frustration. But you can also see from the prime minister's perspective, as he said in the speech, that he can't just wave a magic wand and make these problems go away, these problems that have been festering over decades.

HOWELL: Feisal, you touched on this a moment ago, about the protesters themselves, the Iraqi government has been criticized for using lethal force against these protesters. Amnesty International, for one, also demanding that government in what it calls the unlawful blocking of the internet and social media access and the curfews.

Given the reasons that they're protesting over unemployment, over corruption, and poor public services, what is your take on the government is handling the situation so far? How should they keep order?

ISTRABADI: I agree that the government of Iraq should have never authorized the use of deadly force against its own population. I think the prime minister should call or the president for investigations into who gave the orders to use live ammunition and to hold those individuals responsible. This is intolerable.

Iraq is a nation of democracy. It has made many strives in the last 16 years. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of Iraq.

Even a nation of democracy, even a democracy that is yet to reach its maturity cannot at the first as a line of first defense against legitimate protest over legitimate issues of corruption and lack of economic opportunity, an uptake measures such as the use of live ammunition and shutting down the right of the people, guaranteed in the constitution of Iraq to assemble as well as to have access to electronic media. This is simply an intolerable situation.

I'm very, very sorry that the government of Irag has taken this. I hope that cooler heads will prevail in the government and that the government can do better on this.

HOWELL: Ambassador Feisal Istrabadi, we appreciate your time today. Thank you.

ISTRABADI: It's my pleasure. Thank you. ALLEN: And coming next here on "CNN Newsroom," Donald Trump caused some shifty but Democrats trying to impeach the president say there is no more savvy. We are talking about House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.

[02:30:02]

ALLEN: We will profile him, next.

[02:30:00]

HOWELL: Plus, a no-deal Brexit, it could be life or death for some people in the United Kingdom, who need medicine from Europe to stay alive. Details ahead as CNN NEWSROOM pushes on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM in the nice big bright studio seven with Natalie Allen here. (INAUDIBLE)

ALLEN: To your place. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are the headlines this hour. The Impeachment Inquiry takes another step forward in the coming hours as the intelligence community inspector general testifies before Congress. Michael Atkinson is the man who approved the whistleblower complaint alleging President Trump violated his oath of office.

HOWELL: And a lot happening in the meantime, President Trump now asking China to investigate Joe Biden. Sources say that he also discussed his political rival during a phone call in June with the Chinese President Xi Jinping. The record of that call was moved to the same highly secured server as has now infamous call with Ukraine.

ALLEN: Iraq's Prime Minister is appealing to protesters after the death toll from the unrest climb to 34. He called their demand for work and reform righteous. He says the government will present a plan to offer a basic wage for the poor.

HOWELL: The House Intelligence Committee is leading the Trump impeachment inquiry that was sparked by the Ukraine revelations.

ALLEN: CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash takes a closer look at the man who's leading that committee, Representative Adam Schiff.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- with Shifty Schiff.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump thrives on creating political foils, especially in a crisis.

TRUMP: Shifty, dishonest guy.

BASH: Now, that's Adam Schiff, the man spearheading the impeachment inquiry. What this means for Schiff is that there is no room for error. Every move he makes, every word he utters scrutinized by Republicans and combed for mistakes like this last month.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.

BASH: Schiff now says, quote, "I regret that I wasn't much more clear." because he may not have spoken to the whistleblower, but it turns out, his staff did. The whistleblower contacted his committee for guidance and was told to file the complaint with the Intelligence Community Inspector General, which is what happened. An aid to the republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee said Schiff follow protocol, but that nuance is irrelevant to a president eager to discredit him.

[02:35:12]

TRUMP: He knew long before and he helped write it, too. It's a scam.

BASH: Schiff aides and the whistleblower's attorney say, that is not true. The committee had no role in writing the whistleblower's complaint. But that did not stop Trump's campaign and conservative media from pushing the false claim.

SCHIFF: I have a favor I want from you.

BASH: The President is also pummeling Schiff for reading a parody of his call with Ukraine's leader instead of the actual White House summary, though, Schiff did introduce it this way.

SCHIFF: This is the essence of what the President communicates. You better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand lots of it. On this and on that, I'm going to put you in touch with people, not just any people --

TRUMP: He actually made it up. It should be criminal, it should be treasonous. He made it up, every word of it made up, and read to Congress as though I said it.

BASH: The President's hyperbole aside, CNN is told by democratic sources that Schiff realizes it opened him up to criticism, despite telling, Wolf, this.

SCHIFF: I was mocking the President's conduct.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Good morning, everyone.

BASH: The House Speaker, a big Schiff champion backs him up.

PELOSI: I want them to hear it. So, yes, it's fair, it's sad, but he's using the President's own words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's an interpretation of the President's words.

PELOSI: He did not make it up. BASH: Many House Democratic sources say Pelosi was eager to put Schiff in charge of the impeachment inquiry because of his intellect, savvy, and background as a prosecutor, which opening statement aside, came across during Q&A with the acting DNI last week.

SCHIFF: Is that not an issue of interference and --

BASH: Now, more than ever, some colleagues tell CNN, he is well aware he's under the biggest microscope of his life.

I'm told Schiff is also keenly aware of the pitfalls of leading an impeachment inquiry because he was first elected to the House almost 20 years ago, in a race against Republican James Rogan, an impeachment manager who argued the case against Bill Clinton in that Senate trial. And voter backlash against Rogan for going overboard with that helped Schiff win, and I'm told lessons from that and what he thinks Republicans did wrong, are helping guide him now. Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: All right, let's turn to Brexit, shall we? European media report Boris Johnson has been given a week to make his latest Brexit proposal acceptable to the E.U. or risk of delay beyond the deadline of October 31st.

HOWELL: And the word in Brussels will initially welcome Boris Johnson's plans. But now that they've looked over it, there's little optimism among E.U. members that it will lead to an actual deal.

ALLEN: And with the Brexit deadline just four weeks, the Prime Minister went before Parliament to garner support.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There will be no need for checks or any infrastructure at or near the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Indeed, I have already given a guarantee that the U.K. Government will never conduct checks at the border. And we believe that the E.U. should do the same. So, there is absolute clarity on that point.

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: Mr. Speaker, these plans are simply unworkable. Mr. Speaker, for what we have before us is not a serious proposal to break the deadlock. Instead, these proposals are nothing more than a cynical attempt by the Prime Minister to shift the blame for his failure to deliver. We can only conclude -- we can only conclude his political advisor was telling the truth, when he called the negotiations with the E.U., a sham.

LEO VARADKAR, PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND: The proposals that have been put forward by the U.K. are certainly welcome in the sense that we now have written proposals that we can engage on, but they do fall short in a number of aspects.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOWELL: So, here's the gist of Johnson's proposal, "Northern Ireland

would remain under the E.U. Single Market trade rules but not part of its Customs Union. Checks on cross border trade would be done electronically away from the border to avoid any physical barrier and every four years, Northern Ireland would decide if it wants to remain in the E.U. single market."

ALLEN: The European Union -- excuse me -- Commission hasn't rejected Johnson's proposal outright, but the mood in Brussels is definitely pessimistic.

HOWELL: After speaking with the Irish Prime Minister Commission President Donald Tusk tweeted, quote, "We remain open but unconvinced."

ALLEN: If the U.K. crashes out of the E.U. without a deal, the government's worst case scenario paints a grim picture, especially in regards to certain life-saving medication.

[02:40:04]

HOWELL: As you can imagine that's cause for fear for many people. Our Isa Soares met with a young diabetic who depends on insulin and worries a no-deal Brexit could put his life at risk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX WILLIAMS, TYPE 1 DIABETIC: If I don't inject, my blood sugar will rise. And eventually, if I don't have insulin for long enough periods, I will go into a coma.

ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is routine for Alex, a scanner glued to his skin, linked to an app that reads his blood sugar.

Have you had dinner?

WILLIAMS: No.

SOARES: OK. So, you -- when you have dinner, you now have to take --

WILLIAMS: I have to take insulin.

SOARES: He's been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 15 years, and he needs to inject insulin at least four times a day, every day.

The reason we're talking about this and why you're concerned about this, and I'll just show you, is because pretty much all your medicine comes from Denmark.

Alex is not alone. People all over the U.K. rely on vital medicine that is manufactured in Europe. Well, this month, the British government was forced to disclose the Operation Yellowhammer document, which it claims outlines a reasonable worst case scenario following a no-deal. And it warns the reliance of medicines, the medical product supply chains on the short straits crossing make them particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays. Three-quarters of medicines come via the short straits.

Well, CNN reached out to the government to try and get some clarity on exactly what medicines would be affected but the Department of Health said they're not prepared to give us that information. Instead, they say they are implementing a multilayered approach to shortages, and that includes everything from stockpiling, secure and express freight service, and additional warehouse space. A spokesperson said our robust plan should help ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remain uninterrupted.

Doctors on Britain's health service, the NHS, have been told to prescribe medication as normal.

WILLIAMS: And when they say everything will be fine, I do not believe them for one second. I've been trying to stockpile but I can only order so much before they start saying, you've ordered too much, you can't have any more because you --

SOARES: And so many more people will be doing the same.

WILLIAMS: Exactly.

SOARES: Alex's insulin is produced by the Danish pharmaceutical giant, Novo Nordisk, the U.K.'s biggest provider of insulin. It says it has tripled its warehouse capacity to hold 18 weeks' worth of supply, 3.8 million packs, but many aren't convinced. We found hundreds of tweets using the #DeathByBrexit, a campaign born out of fear of shortages.

How much have you got now? How much have you got?

WILLIAMS: This is it.

SOARES: This is it, for until when? And is this enough until October 31st?

WILLIAMS: I mean, let me calculate.

SOARES: OK.

WILLIAMS: What's -- so that's going to be 60, 70 days.

SOARES: You've got enough here for 70 days?

WILLIAMS: Yes.

SOARES: As the Brexit deadline draws ever closer, it's certain that Alex, like so many others, will be watching the clock. Isa Soares, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Isa, thank you. Now to Paris, where investigators are searching for a motive after a man killed four of his colleagues at police headquarters. ALLEN: Three officers and an administrative worker were stabbed to

death. The attacker, a longtime employee of the police department was shot and killed.

HOWELL: His wife was taken into custody. No word yet on why the knife attack comes a day after police went on strike across France over increasing violence toward officers.

ALLEN: Terrible.

HOWELL: Yes.

ALLEN: Just days after North Korea's latest missile test, a source says new talks between the U.S. and North Korea are happening. We'll tell you where and when they're expected to take place, coming up.

HOWELL: Plus, the first days of October, but here in Atlanta, the southeast, it's hot. It feels like the dog days of summer. Is there relief in sight? We'll find out after the break. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:00]

ALLEN: Working-level talks between the U.S. and North Korea are expected to resume in the coming hours.

HOWELL: A source tells CNN they'll take place in Stockholm. They come just days after Kim Jong-un test-fired a new kind of submarine- based missile.

Our Brian Todd reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: And this is my honor.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even as his own Pentagon was demanding that North Korea stop launching missiles, including a provocative test this week. Saying, they don't set the stage for diplomacy. President Trump, said new talks with Kim Jong un's government which a source says start Friday in Stockholm are on.

TRUMP: They want to talk, then, we'll be talking to them soon.

TODD: Meanwhile, America's archrival Vladimir Putin, who himself met with Kim in April is weighing in. Praising Trump for meeting Kim and holding talks, instead of treating North Korea as an outcast.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We must give credit to President Trump's courage and his ability to make unorthodox moves.

TODD: But analysts say the new missile test is more evidence that North Korea is not acting in good faith. COL. DAVID MAXWELL (RET.), SENIOR FELLOW, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: I think it's an indication that they have no intention to denuclearize because they want to have their long-range land-based missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and that gives them a real nuclear deterrent.

TODD: Even as diplomacy takes center stage, there is a new reminder of the brutality of the man President Trump wants to cut a deal with. Siti Aisyah, one of two women who were tried for murdering Kim Jong un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur Airport has provided startling details of the 2017 attack to the British tabloid, The Mail on Sunday.

Aisyah and her alleged accomplice smeared Kim Jong-nam with V.X. nerve agent, she says after being tricked into thinking it was a game. "He looked annoyed and upset," she says. "I thought he looks like a rich man and he is clearly angry and he might report us to the police."

Kim Jong-nam collapsed and died within 20 minutes of the attack. Aisyah, says the North Korean agents who recruited her for the attack posed as Japanese T.V. producers and duped the women into thinking they were doing a prank for a reality T.V. show.

MAXWELL: They conducted rehearsals. They -- you know, they practiced and they manipulated these young women to conduct this blatant assassination in broad daylight in an airport, and it's really quite startling.

TODD: Aisyah, says she was so naive, she didn't know who Kim Jong-un was or even where North Korea was.

"I had no idea what I had done," she says. "They told me they were going to make me a star. I feel so foolish for believing them so easily. I feel bad about what happened to Kim Jong-nam, and I wish I had never been involved."

South Korean intelligence, says Kim Jong-un ordered the hit which his regime denies. Charges were eventually dropped against Aisyah and the other woman. Human rights advocates are concerned that in his zeal to strike an agreement with Kim, President Trump and his team are brushing aside incidents like Kim Jong-nam's assassination.

ROBERTA COHEN, CO-CHAIR, HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA: They do not treat human rights as a serious subject of negotiation. It's not broken down into issues that ought to be negotiated with North Korea.

TODD: Despite his newly acquired status as a statesman, analysts say Kim Jong-un won't hesitate to kill again to launch assassination attempts against anyone who he sees as a threat.

Our President Trump or his team of negotiators going to raise those issues with the North Koreans in upcoming talks? We press the White House and the State Department on that. They wouldn't comment.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:50:07]

HOWELL: All right. Brian, thank you. And parts of South Korea -- I want to tell you what's happening. They are digging out of the damage from a tropical storm.

ALLEN: Yet the storm that was a typhoon when it hit the country with heavy rains and strong winds, a landslide in Busan killed, at least, 10 people, four are still missing. We want to get the latest on that storm and the heatwave here in the United States. For that, we turn to Derek. Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: It was a fast-moving tropical storm, but it caused quite a punch, in fact. Unfortunately, a fatalities, but it dumped over 300 millimeters of rainfall in some locations. And you saw what topography, mountains, and heavy rainfall in a short period of time can do, submerging vehicles. Also, submerging businesses and homes.

Here is some of the rainfall totals that stretch from the Korean Peninsula right through mainland Japan. Look at how quickly though this tropical storm is exiting out of the region. The other big story we're talking about is the heat across the U.S.

It has been sweltering, oppressive, and we've got one more day of this extensive heat. 20 possible record highs from the Carolinas, right through Georgia, to Louisiana, and Texas.

Get this, in Raleigh, North Carolina, in hit temperature of 38 degrees yesterday. That is the latest in the year that they have had their hottest temperature of the year. They have not seen this type of weather in their record books incredible.

The latest they've seen temperatures like that previously was September 16. So, that just shows you the extent of this heat wave that we're feeling across the Deep South. 37 Atlanta, 34 degrees today in Raleigh, North Carolina. So, one more day of heat for you.

Now, we've already felt the cooldown for places like New York City and Boston. But the places where you're going to feel a dramatic shift in our temperatures: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, to D.C., we're talking about a major temperature swing from yesterday's daytime highs compared to today.

We like to see the cooler air start to enter into the equation. We say goodbye to the heat wave and welcomed in the autumn temperatures. It'll take a little bit longer for it to reach a little further to the west, Little Rock, Dallas into Austin, but your relief is coming, look at Monday's temperatures. And we did a little bit of digging in some of this research.

Speaking of Atlanta, specifically here where the CNN world headquarters is. From present-day compared to 1970, we actually have 10 additional warm fall days. That is days that are above average compared to 40 years ago. So we're seeing this increase. And think about what that does. It increases the season -- the length of seasons for pests, like mosquitoes, ticks, for instance. It also prolongs people that suffer with allergies -- their seasons last longer.

And then, well, I'm saying this out of personal experience. My air conditioner broke today. Yes, we're sweltering at our house right now. Just remember, the demands on our energy system as we have to now cool our houses for longer seasons.

ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. All right. Thanks, Derek, I guess.

HOWELL: Derek, (INAUDIBLE) so much.

VAN DAM: Yes, right, exactly, one more day.

ALLEN: OK.

HOWELL: Still ahead, the U.S. president, he is making things awkward for his foreign guest. We'll have that story ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: It happens from time to time, but world leaders find themselves unwilling participants in America's political circus.

ALLEN: Finland is the latest. The president of Finland -- the latest to share the awkward spotlight with an angry U.S. President. Our Jeanne Moos has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From the moment President Trump touched the Finnish president's knee --

[02:55:02]

TRUMP: Finland is a happy country.

SAULI NIINISTO, PRESIDENT OF FINLAND: Can you --

MOOS: Talk about a kneejerk reaction. We knew this world leader was in for a doozy of a visit, a visit overshadowed by impeachment.

TRUMP: Quid pro quo. He's a lowlife, shifty shift, who should resign.

MOOS: President Sauli Niinisto, seemed resigned.

TRUMP: Listen to this one, President.

MOOS: Even amused what a Finnish newspaper later called the "Cirkus Trump."

TRUMP: Look at all the press that you attract. Do you believe this? That's very impressive. NIINISTO: I guess, they are not after me.

MOOS: What was the finished president thinking? Beam me up, Scotty. Me, trying to get the check. My dad yelling at a waitress.

TRUMP: The enemy of the people.

There are those that think I'm a very stable genius.

MOOS: Imagine President Niinisto's postcard home. Greetings from the White House, home of the stable genius.

Some viewers even took to Twitter to say sorry. "Dear Finland, I apologize, on behalf of sane Americans."

Any leader who meets with President Trump these days can expect to be sucked into the impeachment whirlpool. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison became a character witness.

TRUMP: I've had conversations with many leaders. They're always appropriate. I think Scott can tell you that. Always appropriate.

MOOS: Finland's president never expected his joint press conference to feel like a scene out of Taxi Driver.

TRUMP: Are you talking to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talking to me?

MOOS: And when a reporter talked to President Trump too much --

TRUMP: We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question. Asked this gentleman a question. Don't be rude.

CHURCH: When the reporter did ask the Finnish president a question, President Trump cut in.

NIINISTO: I tell you I think the question is for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the question --

MOOS: Imagine being the one translating this encounter.

TRUMP: You know, there's an expression -- he couldn't carry his blank strap. I won't say it, because they'll say it was so terrible to say.

MOOS: How do you say jockstrap in Finnish?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alasuojus.

MOOS: Now, we're finished. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: All right, the day's top stories are just ahead here.

HOWELL: Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome to viewers around the world. We're live in Atlanta. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Coming up next on NEWSROOM. The U.S. president is doubling down, calling for Ukraine and now, China, to investigate his political rival in the run-up to the presidential election in 2020.

[03:00:00]