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Baghdad Violent Protests Spread; Thursday Night Thrillers in Sports; Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) is Interviewed about Ukraine Text Messages, Impeachment and the 2020 Race; Trump Raised Biden with China; Michigan Voters Weigh in on Impeachment. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 4, 2019 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Dozens of people have been killed in Baghdad as violent protests there spread. Iraq's prime minister now calls protesters' demands righteous and concedes the government needs to do more to battle corruption.

CNN's Arwa Damon is live for us in Baghdad with more.

What's happening, Arwa?


Yes, that death toll up to 38. Among them, 35 demonstrators in these protests that we have been seeing over the last few days. So far, relatively speaking, at least in the capital, the situation appears to be calm, but that, Alisyn, is because the government has imposed a curfew. People are not allowed to go out into the streets. Despite this, in some neighborhoods, this is what demonstrators have had to resort to, they have been attempting to go out in smaller groups.

Earlier in the day today, there was some brief, sporadic gunfire that was heard. But we do expect potentially people to attempt to take to the streets once again given that Friday prayers have just about ended right now. And it seems, at least from the people that we have been talking to, that the prime minister's promise to address the protesters' concerns is not necessarily going to be enough.

The Iraqi population has heard these promises from various different governments before. And they are, simply put, fed up with this status quo. This is what they have been asking for, for years, an end to corruption.

This country is sitting on one of the world's highest oil reserves, largest oil reserves, and yet the population itself sees very little trickle down of Iraq's oil revenues. So they want an end to corruption. They want an end to unemployment. University graduates here can barely find work. And they want their basic services to be improved. There's still widespread electricity cuts and it is sweltering hot. [06:35:09]

Of course the concern is that if this unrest continues to further develop, that could potentially destabilize Iraq. And as we know very well, having reported for years in this region, when Iraq is destabilized, the region is as well, Alisyn.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: No question about that. I'll take it, Arwa. We're talking about decades now of destabilization and decades of frustration as well.

Thank you very much for that reporting.

A huge night in sports with baseball playoffs and a thriller in the NFL that went back and forth to the final seconds.

Carolyn Manno has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Good morning.


It was an electrifying Thursday night. If you went to bed early, like John did, shame on you. Don't worry about, though, I've got you covered.

We're going to start in Seattle. The Seahawks and Rams in a tough divisional game. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is off to the best start of his career. Wilson threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns. This right here, his first of the night. Perfectly placed pass to Tyler Lockett in the back of the end zone. Look at that. What concentration to keep both feet in bounds. Ridiculous.

Fourth and goal here late in the game and Wilson bookends his night with a juggling near drop from Chris Carson to give Seattle the lead with less than two and a half minutes left in the game.

Rams' offense, though, showing some signs of improvement on Thursday night. Jared Goff led his team into field goal range, but with 15 seconds on the clock, kicker Greg Zuerlein, he had made his previous three kicks and he misses the 44 yarder. The Seahawks hold on to win a thriller by one. The victory and the agony.

Meantime, the MLB playoffs. St. Louis in Atlanta in game one of the national league division series. The Cardinals rallied for six runs in the final two innings of the game. In the eighth against Atlanta, closer Mark Lance and pinch hitter Matt Carpenter slicing a fly ball down the left field line, brings in the tying run here. This is not the flashiest at bat, but the most important.

St. Louis would go on to add four more in the ninth. Marcell Ozuna' two-run double breaking a 3-all tie, smashed it with the bases loaded. The Cardinals stun the Braves in the game lasting over four hours. But I'll tell you what, if you're a Braves fan, might have felt a little bit longer than that. Playoff baseball just getting started. Quadruple header today,

including two games on our sister channel, TBS, as well. So plan accordingly. Everything gets underway just after 2:00 Eastern. Still have time to call in sick, I think.

CAMEROTA: Don't give John any ideas.

That's great. Thank you.

OK, up next, a 2020 candidate is here to give his read on these new text messages that have just been released.

We'll be right back.



CAMEROTA: Breaking news. While you were sleeping, text messages were released between U.S. diplomats and the Ukrainian president's top aid. This is about President Trump's demand of Ukraine in exchange for millions of dollars in military aid.

Let's bring in 2020 presidential candidate and Montana Governor Steve Bullock. He is also -- he was the state's, well, former attorney general for four years.

Governor, good to see you.

GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Alisyn, John, great to be with you this morning.

CAMEROTA: Put on your attorney general hat for a moment. You've just read through just some of these texts that have been released overnight from Kurt Volker, who was the special envoy.

What do you see here?

BULLOCK: Yes, and the attorney general, it's not the president's lawyers, the people's lawyer. It's an individual, you know, independent and trust.


BULLOCK: Yes, and what I see here really is that you have the notion that we've asked the president with one thing. This is more than sort of faithful execution of the laws. We put all the power on the president to speak on our behalf with foreign countries. And you can't use that for personal gain. And, you know, even what he was saying yesterday, when he's actually asking a foreign leader to take actions to benefit himself, not the nation, this is crossing that line.

BERMAN: And just dig in, if we can, if we can put up 202 here. This is from July 19th from Kurt Volker being sent to the ambassador at the EU. Good. Had breakfast with Rudy this morning. Teeing up call with Yarmak

-- Ukrainian -- on Monday. Must have helped. Most important is for Zelensky to say he will help investigation and address specific personnel issues if there are any.

Most important is for Zelensky to say -- again, as a former attorney general, someone steeped in the law, this seems like a quid pro quo.

BULLOCK: Well, and even take it a step back, John. When he spoke to -- when Trump spoke to the president of the Ukraine, he said, I want you to talk to my personal lawyer and the attorney general. I mean the idea that you would direct more or less another president to speak to your personal lawyer and the attorney general to do your bidding, it now I talk to being sent to the ambassador at the EU ext messages really becoming clear that this aid was conditioned. All these discussions, the meeting was conditioned on actually taking actions to benefit the president, not to benefit our nation.

CAMEROTA: It goes on, and you can hear in this one the discomfort of some of the diplomats. This is 209.

Bill Taylor, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine says, are we now saying that security assistance -- meaning all of the millions of aid -- and White House meeting are conditioned on Ukraine doing these investigations? And the U.S. ambassador to the EU says, call me.

Wait, as the attorney general, if you got a transcript of a phone call or text from people that said things like this, what conclusion would you do?


BULLOCK: No, and you'd certainly immediately talk to Sonlan (ph) to find out every piece of what this happens. But even his -- you know, when the president was on the lawn yesterday saying, sure, China, sure, Russia, his expectation is, all of these foreign heads of state -- and think about the negotiations right now we have with China. Farmers across this country are counting on that. But the expectation of investigations to do his bidding, not our nations, I mean this is -- I was slow to impeach, right? It wasn't until Ukraine came out from the perspective -- I didn't want to make the next year and a half about Donald Trump. But there are things -- skip politics, put politics aside, for the future of our country, this action has to go forward.

CAMEROTA: Now you are fully in the impeachment (INAUDIBLE).


BERMAN: And to that end, because, as you said, you were slow to impeachment, but you're now there. You are the governor of a red state. Is this still a hard sell?

BULLOCK: Well, I think -- and that's one of those things. It is bigger than politics now. It is the future of sort of this notion to representive (ph) democracy. I think we have to recognize that walking out of this, there will still be a third of the country that believes this is all a scam to go after Donald Trump. So we need to do this in a way that's very thoughtful and judicious, not every day on television, but get the information and move forward with the information because at some point somebody's going to have to heal these divides in this country and there are those great divides.

CAMEROTA: But are you hearing from your constituents in Montana, from Montana voters, are they comfortable with where we are now in terms of moving forward with impeachment?

BULLOCK: Well, I think, as you've noted, every single day there's something new evolves and is coming out. So I'm not sure even, not just Montana, I'm not sure the whole country's really comfortable with the idea that we'll spend this time with the impeachment. But I think it's something that -- this is one where Congress can't follow, they actually have to lead and do that work.

BERMAN: So, Cory Booker, before the end of the third quarter, now famously said, I have to raise "x" amount of dollars or I'm getting out. You, you're not going to be in the debates coming up in a few weeks.


BERMAN: Do you have some kind of bar you feel like you need to cross, some threshold you need to meet to stay in this race?

BULLOCK: Yes, John, and my bar really is about four months from now as the early states come in. We've seen time and time again, you know, that it really is -- it's Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, which are -- where I'll be this weekend, to take a big field and narrow it down. And while there's so much attention on the, you know, on the presidential campaign, most folks and most voters really haven't even tuned in yet.

CAMEROTA: That's incredible. So you're basing your decision on whatever happens in Iowa.

BULLOCK: Yes, I look back to 2004. John Kerry was at four points 45 days out. Al Sharpton was beating him. He won Iowa. It changed the whole thing. Time and time again, and Iowans have even said it, that for the most part only about 20 percent have committed so far.

CAMEROTA: Governor Steve Bullock, always great to see you here in studio or anywhere or in Montana. Great to see you. thanks so much for joining us.

BULLOCK: Thanks for having me.

BERMAN: Next time in Montana (INAUDIBLE).



BERMAN: All right, President Trump saying it out loud, calling on China to investigate the Bidens. And now CNN has learned this is not the first time the president has mentioned Biden to China's leader. We have details, next.


BERMAN: All right, the breaking news is this, these new text messages released overnight that show U.S. diplomats coordinating with Ukraine and Rudy Giuliani to leverage a White House meeting for investigations into the Bidens in the 2016 election. This for that. Something for something. Quid pro quo.

CAMEROTA: And don't leave out the military aid.


CAMEROTA: There are also text messages that show the quid pro quo for that.

BERMAN: Or concern over it at least.

And there was also new CNN reporting on President Trump's public call out in the open for China to get involved.


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


BERMAN: OK, CNN has learned this is not the first time that President Trump raised Biden's name with China.

Joining us now, Jim Sciutto, CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent, who was part of the team that broke this story.

Jim, why don't you tell us what you learned.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So along with my colleagues Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown and others, we already knew that President Trump mixed domestic politics in U.S. interactions with Ukraine. We know that the president mixed politics as well in U.S. interactions with China, of course, in the midst of consequential trade negotiations, bringing up both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in a phone call with the Chinese president in June of this year. And in addition, at the same time, also bringing up those pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, making a pledge to the Chinese president, that he, President Trump, would not mention those protests. A remarkable pledge to make for a U.S. government that normally is on the side of human rights in this kind of situation.

So you have him again bringing up politics with a world leader with U.S. national security at stake. In addition to that, we know that the records, the transcript of this phone call with President Xi in June, was, like others with the Ukrainian leader, moved to this highly classified code word protected system. So an effort within the White House to restrict access even among administration officials to the contents of that call.

And, John, Alisyn, you know I have talked about this at great length. Beyond the contents of the call, why the enormous effort to conceal the content of that call, even from members of the administration.

BERMAN: Jim, the very idea of asking China to investigate anything, why should that ring major alarm bells?

SCIUTTO: Listen, it's amazing this has to be said. China is an authoritarian state. It has no credible rule of law. It imprisons and kills political dissidents. It uses its legal system to -- to prosecute political enemies inside the country. The U.S. knows this. I spent two years living in the country. I spent decades covering it. I've spoken to the victims of China's quote/unquote legal system. It is not a legal system. So to have a U.S. president, who, by the way, publically, in the midst of trade negotiations, has pointed out China as a bad actor, but to have a sitting U.S. president, to call on an authoritarian country with no credible rule of law, to investigate a political opponent is just remarkable.

And I think the fact that we have not heard -- and we've made an effort, I know your show has made an effort, John, as has the network CNN, to ask Republican lawmakers if they have any objection to that, to hear virtually not a peep is a pretty remarkable state of play as to where we stand right now. China is not a country that anyone trusts to investigate anything credibly. And we have the president asking China to do exactly that to a political opponent. It's -- this is where we are. It's 2019.

CAMEROTA: Jim, about that other computer network, that code word protected network. Are we certain that there's nothing of national security import in these transcripts that have been moved to that other network?


Is there any reason that now we know that these calls would be in that network other than just political sensitivity?

SCIUTTO: Listen. No. At least the administration hasn't credibly given that explanation.

What we do know is that this system has previously been used solely for conversations that have highly sensitive intelligence included in those conversations. I've been told, for instance, that in the past you might have moved calls there during secret negotiations with Iran during the Iran nuclear talks, or discussions regarding Osama bin Laden prior to the raid that killed him. That makes sense. You want to keep that kind of information to a very tight group.

But for politically sensitive information, that hasn't -- this system hasn't been used for that before. And, again, it's not -- it was not just to keep that information from

coming out in the public so that you and I are talking about it. It appears it was to be kept from members of President Trump's own administration. As the whistleblower complaint shows, folks in the administration saw that these comments, particularly in relation to the Ukraine call, were ones that were embarrassing, possibly damaging. That is an unprecedented use of the system.

BERMAN: And in the midst of a trade negotiation, will the Chinese now see this --


BERMAN: As a shift in those talks?

SCIUTTO: Absolutely.

BERMAN: Talk about quid pro quo. Something for something.

Jim Sciutto, terrific reporting. Thanks so much for joining this.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Jim.

So, the impeachment fight is heating up in D.C., but how does the prospect of impeaching President Trump play to voters?

Well, CNN's Miguel Marquez went to a key county in Michigan, a state that President Trump flipped his way to 2016.

So, watch this.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): All-important Macomb County, Michigan, has impeachment dented the president's support here?

MARQUEZ (on camera): Did you vote for the president or Clinton in 2016?


MARQUES: For the president.

Are you still just as happy with him?

JONES: No comment.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Some of the president's supporters are on the fence, but most we spoke to see impeachment as little more than politics.

MATTHEW KALINOWSKI, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think it's a lot of just people don't like him and they want him out of office, the left and the media. MARQUEZ: John Skantze voted for Trump in 2016 and had concerns early

on. Six months ago, he thought Joe Biden might be an option. Now, he says, the push for impeachment has him supporting the president more than ever.

JOHN SKANTZE, TRUMP SUPPORTER: They are there for one thing now and one thing only, and that's to try to impeach the president.

MARQUEZ: But Democrats here say moving forward with the impeachment process could sway voters to their side.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Does it help --


MARQUEZ: Who votes in Macomb county?

CHI: I think so. I think so. Because I think people in Macomb County want to see what's -- see what's being done, see the right thing being done.

MARQUEZ (voice over): Obama won Macomb and Michigan twice. Trump easily one Macomb and flipped the state by a razor thin margin.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And who won the state of Michigan after decades?

MARQUEZ: The county critical to both parties.

Republican strategist Jamie Roe says the drive for impeachment will only help re-elect the president and Republicans.

JAMIE ROE, GRAND RIVER STRATEGIES: If they're going to try and impeach him on this Ukraine business, I think that they are -- they are driving themselves straight back to the minority in the House.

MARQUEZ: Paul Kanan with the Michigan Democratic Party says, while impeachment is important, Democrats also need to keep their focus on the issues.

PAUL KANAN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, MICHIGAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY: We need to be talking about what affects people on a day-to-day basis, and that is -- that's those blue collar pocketbook issues.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, Macomb County, Michigan.


CAMEROTA: It is so helpful to get outside of our New York City bubble --


CAMEROTA: And go out and talk to real voters and see how they're feeling about this. BERMAN: I'm glad there are real voters in New York City. And I think

that it was a mistake to say that voters here and other places --

CAMEROTA: Right, they do vote in New York City. That's a good point.

BERMAN: They do vote here. But I do think it's interesting to hear from people around the country on this. I also think you can't keep up with it because there are new developments every day. By the time Miguel filed that story, we received the text messages after.

CAMEROTA: Miguel, get back out there and then report back.

BERMAN: All right.

CAMEROTA: All right, there are so many breaking details on the Ukraine controversy.

NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY.

Quid pro quo. It's a Latin term that means something for something, or this for that. You do "x" for me and I do "y" for you.

One of our legal analyst, Preet Bharara, writes, all week I've been saying you never see direct written evidence of a quid pro quo. I stand corrected.

Corrected because of text messages released overnight. And that is the breaking news.


These explosive text messages revealed by former special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, shows how U.S. diplomats dangled a White House visit for Ukraine's president in exchange for Ukraine investigating the 2016 election and.