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Sen. Susan Collins: Trump Made "Big Mistake"; Hong Kong Demonstrators March against Police Violence, Mask Ban; U.S. and North Korea Break Off Nuclear Talks; Thoroughbred Mare Enable Makes Her Bid for Glory in Paris. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired October 6, 2019 - 03:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Live from CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Next, the list of Republican senators criticizing Donald Trump grows as the U.S. president faces an impeachment inquiry.

Also, after 18 weeks of protests in Hong Kong, demonstrators back on the street. We will take you there live.

And, later chasing history in, Paris the superstar horse called Enable aims to win the prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for an unprecedented third straight time. If she does, that she will be legend.

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ALLEN: Thank you for joining. Us.

As the impeachment inquiry gathers steam on Capitol Hill, Susan Collins has become the third Republican senator to criticize President Trump for suggesting that a foreign power investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Collins told a newspaper in her home state of Maine that the president's request was "a big mistake" and "completely inappropriate." CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more about it from the White House.

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JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: House Democrats are indeed ramping up their impeachment inquiry into the president and this administration after already issuing subpoenas for the State Department.

House Democrats on Friday issued subpoenas for the White House. But at this point it is unclear how this administration is going to comply with this. What they are considering is issuing a letter to the House Speaker

Nancy Pelosi, saying that they are not compelled to provide the House committees with any documents until they go to the House floor to vote on opening a formal impeachment inquiry.

Now that is something that has been done in the past but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, there is no constitutional requirement for there to be a vote. But what the White House is clearly doing here is daring Democrats, especially those vulnerable Democrats in Trump districts, to put down their vote in favor of an impeachment inquiry, something that Republicans have already used to go after those vulnerable Democrats as well as to fund-raise.

What we are seeing from the president this weekend are attacks, attacks in particular on Senator Mitt Romney, one of the few Republicans to publicly criticize the president's handling of this Ukraine matter, "wrong and appalling," that is what the Utah senator Mitt Romney is calling President Trump's request that Ukraine and China investigate his political rival, Joe Biden.

The president on Saturday firing back in a series of tweets, including this one, where he says, "Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous ass who has been fighting from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run. I gave it to him. And when he begged me to be secretary of state I didn't give it to him. He is so bad for R's," that is Republicans.

President Trump also calling for Senator Romney's impeachment. Now while senators cannot be impeached they can be expelled from the Senate. There is no indication, of, course that would happen but what the president is doing here is sending a signal to Republicans that if you do not stay in line with, him, if you don't support him in the face of this impeachment inquiry, you could be the target of one of his Twitter tirades -- Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House.

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ALLEN: CNN political analyst Michael Shear joins me now. He is also a White House correspondent for "The New York Times."

Michael, thank you for coming.

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure, always happy to.

ALLEN: Well, another Republican senator has criticized President Trump regarding the impeachment inquiry, that's Senator Susan, Collins. She said the president made a big mistake asking China to get involved and said it is completely inappropriate.

How does the situation in Washington change if more Republicans expressed their dismay at the president?

Does it?

SHEAR: I think it does if a large number of senators were to begin to kind of shed their embrace of the president. I don't expect that to happen. I, mean Susan Collins is a particular kind of Republican senator, who was always positioned herself as a real moderate from her constituency, which is kind of what they want.

And, of course, Mitt Romney, the other Republican senator, has always had a very contentious relationship with President Trump. And so you have to pretty predictable Republican senators who are critiquing the president and the rest of the Republican Senate is largely silent.

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SHEAR: So unless there were to be a cascade of people who suddenly broke with the president and started criticizing his behavior and indicating that they might support removing him from office, I think very little actually changes in Washington until that happens.

ALLEN: The vice president is also involved; now the House Intelligence Committee wanted to know what role he may have played vis-a-vis the Ukraine and has requested records from him.

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris called for him to testify before Congress over the Ukraine call. Let's listen to her on the campaign trail Saturday in South Carolina.

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SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no question that Mike Pence, the vice president, who is clearly in the zone of and in the area of a lot of what has been described as extreme misconduct, should testify before the United States Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to see the vice president testify?

HARRIS: I do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: So what is at play, here Michael?

Could he be forced to testify and is the request for records from a sitting vice president unusual?

SHEAR: I think the answer to the first question is it's very highly unlikely he could be forced testify, in the same way that it would be highly unlikely that a president could be forced to testify. I think the records are a rarity, you don't often see that. It is not unprecedented.

Look, I think two things are going on here, one, it's in the Democratic interest to scoop up as many administration officials and link them to this burgeoning scandal as they can. And I think it doesn't hurt from the perspective of a Democratic presidential candidate to try to remind both voters and other Republican senators that if Donald Trump were to be removed from, office it is not necessarily certain that vice president Pence would take over, f for some reason he too was implicated in the scandal and somehow removed from office. So I think for the Democrats, it is nothing but a win-win to try to

pull vice President Trump (sic) into the scandal; whether it works or not, you, know I think only time will tell.

ALLEN: Right and you mentioned President Trump, he is going after Mitt Romney in a firestorm of tweets. He is going after Democrats. He continues to not be able to take this very well. Reports have him seething.

If he continues to appear to come unhinged, which we hear a lot as well, will that hurt him with the American people, who are deciding if they support this inquiry and possibly impeachment?

SHEAR: Well, it is interesting. Two, things, first of all, I sometimes think the idea that he is seething, enraging, fuming inside the White House is overstated. Sometimes the tweets that he puts out are for that effect, essentially a persona that he likes to put out there, to kind of rile up his critics.

So I am not sure it is quite as bad as we think from that perspective and I don't know that it has that much effect on people who are out in the country. If you are a big-time supporter of President Trump, you shrug that off. If you are critic of President Trump,, you probably -- it probably does not matter whether he is seething or not, you don't like him and want him out of office.

So I am not sure that the tweeting is actually going to make a whole lot of difference. I think the bigger question and the bigger thing that will make a difference is the mounting evidence against him and whether or not there is enough to convince members of his own party that he is ultimately a liability.

ALLEN: We appreciate your insights, thank you for being here, CNN political analyst Michael Shear. Thank, you Michael.

SHEAR: Thanks.

ALLEN: Yet again, Hong Kong protesters are on the move right. Now. We have live video what is going on right. Now they are marching against police violence and in support of journalists and against the government's new emergency ban on face coverings.

This the 18th straight weekend of pro-democracy protests and it is happening just days after some of the worst clashes in months. Anna Coren is in Hong Kong.

Anna, what can you tell us about these marches and how they are going so far?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, as you were saying, there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers who are defying the orders from police and taking it to the streets.

You have to say, the majority of them are wearing face masks. The ban that was put in place as of midnight Friday, certainly is not registering with these protesters.

We ask some, why are you wearing a face mask?

You could be fined. You could go to jail for a year.

They, said, this is our right this is our human rights. This is proud of our civil liberties. We are fighting for them. And we basically dare the police to come and arrest us. Obviously it is raining.

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COREN: There was concern that perhaps that might keep the crowds away but it has not been the case at all and we are seeing a cross section of society. We are seeing mothers carrying their toddlers.

A little bit earlier, I saw an 11-year-old boy, Natalie, who was wearing goggles and a full on mask, putting out cones on the road, trying to block traffic. He was there with his mother.

So there is a real sense of defiance here in Hong Kong. This march has been going on now for almost an hour. They're making their way to the center of Hong Kong and it will be decided then what action will be taken.

Police were have thought to have arrived a short time ago and the crowds just ran. So everybody very much on high alert. Carrie Lam coming, out, the chief executive coming out, enforcing that ban of wearing face masks, saying that she and the government need to get a handle on the situation, that they need to restore law and order here in Hong Kong.

We saw that ugly violence on Friday night and the violence has been escalating over the past 18 weeks. Police are on high alert and bracing themselves, really, for more violent clashes later today.

I should mention,, Natalie, the protests not just happening here on Hong Kong the island but also on the Kowloon side, where we are also seeing some very ugly, clashes Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. And Anna, several pro-democracy lawmakers went to court to get this ban on the use of masks in protest overturned. And the judges had just issued a ruling.

What are you hearing on that front?

COREN: Yes, the high court has rejected that interim application to repeal that emergency law. However, they have said that they will start a judicial review as of the 20th of October and pro-democracy lawmakers, Natalie, are saying that is a win, that they are speeding up the process to review this emergency law of banning face masks.

People wear face masks to conceal their identity and people are very concerned that they are being watched by cameras all over the city whenever they get on the subway, the train network. They're being watched when they're walking into shopping centers, so people are wearing surgical face masks. They believe it is part of their human, rights, civil liberties and

they will continue to do, that, to defy that ban and to defy police. Natalie, I think it is really important to note that so many people here, they just do not fear authorities, they do not fear the Hong Kong police the way that perhaps police forces are feared in other countries.

And I think the reason being is that this has been going on for so many weeks, we're in the fourth month of these protests, so people here still feeling very much involved and they will continue to take the streets in the pouring rain to fight for their freedoms and for their futures -- Natalie.

ALLEN: I was about to say, a bleak, rainy day and these people are undaunted. Anna Coren in the rain for us as, well, we will continue to stay in close touch with you. Thank you and your crew.

The U.S. and North Korea hold nuclear talks for the first time in months but did they get anywhere?

We will tell you what happened in a live report next.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.

Nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea have broken off in Sweden at least for now. The two sides are painting completely different pictures of the working level meeting, the U.S. saying the two sides had a good discussion but North Korea said the Americans came to the table empty-handed.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me now live from Hong Kong, following these developments.

Paula, the North Koreans complaining the U.S. brought nothing new and this is something they have said before, when the two sides have attempted to make some headway in talks.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, what we heard from both the U.S. and the North Korean side is effectively two completely different things. As you, said this is quite what we often have in North Korean discussions, it is as though the two sides were in completely different meetings.

What we heard from the North Korean side was that they were very upset that these talks broke up. There were no fresh ideas from the U.S. but what we heard from Washington or at least from the U.S. delegation in Sweden was that it was a good discussion and that there were creative ideas. So the U.S. really disputed what the North Korean ambassador, who was leading discussions, had said, saying they had a good discussion for 8.5 hours. But the North Koreans' point of view was really not surprising. It is what we have heard many times before.

They said that they believed the U.S. was going back to the old ideas, the old attitudes, and what we can read into that is that they were probably saying that they were not willing to give up on sanctions, to ease sanctions before they saw any kind of legitimate movement from the North Korean side.

This is what the North Koreans want more than anything else, is to have relief on the sanctions. So what we've heard from the U.S. is that, as far as they were, concerned, they were good, discussions they have accepted an offer from the Swedish that they will meet once again in Stockholm in two weeks' time, whereas the North Koreans have said that the U.S. has to go back and think about what they've done and then come back with better ideas by the end of this year.

It is a deadline we have heard before from the North Korean side. The end of this year is when they want to see some creative ideas from the U.S., so it is not necessarily a setback. It is what is to be expected. It is notoriously difficult to negotiate with the North Koreans.

And it is very similar to what we've seen before, that both sides have a very different idea of how the meeting went -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. We will wait and see if there is another meeting in Stockholm. Thank you, Paula Hancocks for us there in Hong Kong.

Violence has flared up again on the streets of, Iraq resulting in more, deaths more injuries. At least 100 people have lost their lives since the protests began. Around 4,000 have been injured.

In Baghdad, there was also unrest at the office of Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya. A correspondent says masked gunmen stormed in injured people and claims police declined to help.

CNN has reached out to the interior ministry for comment.

And funeral processions were held for those killed in the unrest. Heartbroken families cried beside the coffins of their loved ones before they were carried to their final resting places.

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HAIDER ALWAHIDI, RELATIVE OF KILLED PROTESTER (through translator): He went out to defend his, rights nothing less and nothing more. It is an obsolete nation, a tired, nation. A protester went out to defend his rights. He had nothing on him and was unarmed. They were received with snipers, two head shots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Family member there of a killed protester. The unrest began over unemployment, alleged government corruption and the lack of basic services.

Just ahead here, she is a superstar horse with a legendary jockey. In the coming, hours Enable will make a bid for glory at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe horse race in Paris. I have a preview for, you next.

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ALLEN: She's already a superstar and now the wonder mare, Enable, is chasing legendary status in Paris later Sunday. The thoroughbred is bidding to win horse racing's prestigious Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe for an unprecedented third straight time. Marcus Hersh joining me now to talk about this. He is a correspondent for "Daily Racing Forum."

Marcus, thank you for coming to talk with us because we love this story. I wanted to begin with how our digital online folks started it. She is headed to Paris, they wrote, to make history but she is not a fashion model or a top chef, she is a race horse. I like. That.

Enable is a superstar bidding to win this race.

What would mean if she wins?

MARCUS HERSH, "DAILY RACING FORUM": Well, it would be something that no horse has ever done. A lot of people think that the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the most prestigious race in the world. It may well be.

I think this horse run I think in 1920 (ph) and there have been some incredible horses that have won it and not that many horses have had an opportunity to win it three times because, of course, to win it three times, you have to win it two times.

And that in itself is a pretty difficult feat, winning one of the best races in the world two years in a row. Enable's already done that. She's back this year, trying to become the first three-time winner of the Arc. It is not that she is struggling into the race and you hope that she wins.

She has been supremely dominant in her races for the most part of this year. She is coming into this race seemingly at the top of her game. And so I think that helps build the excitement because --

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ALLEN: Right.

HERSH: -- great chance that she will make this --

(CROSSTALK)

HERSH: -- tremendous accomplishment.

ALLEN: Let's talk about her jockey, what he says about her, Frankie Dettori. He's a legend in the sport. He raves about her physiology, her athleticism. He says, "When she takes a breath during a race, I feel my legs moving."

He says she likes to win.

What do you see in her when she is racing?

And she's had some epic finishes as well coming from a good deal back.

HERSH: Yes, one of her epic finishes was in last year's Arc de Triomphe where she barely beat a very fine horse (INAUDIBLE) class (INAUDIBLE). Probably was not at her best that.

Frankie Dettori has had probably as amazing a career (INAUDIBLE). He was at the top of the sport for a long time, had a few fallow years and at a pretty ripe age for a jockey, has come back to be spectacular.

I think that -- I mean, he has said that this horse is probably the most exciting horse he's ever ridden and he's ridden a lot of great horses. I can only imagine what it feels like to be on the back of a horse that is traveling with so much power in such top-level competition.

She has had one narrow victory this year over a very good horse in Crystal Ocean. But even in that race where she won by only a couple of feet, she seems to have things kind of measured.

I mean, what it is for horses like this is they have elite athleticism and, beyond that, an incredible will to compete. Most horses are competitive and want to run and beat other horses to some extent. But some have this special spark and she definitely seems to possess that.

ALLEN: Right. She is 5 years old, so is she going to keep racing if she wins?

We know she won the Breeders Cup Turf in Kentucky in 2018.

Could we see her if she continues back in the United States in a race?

Or is this...

HERSH: No. No, no, this will be her swan song for this --

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HERSH: And basically she was kept in training this year. She could easily have been retired after a four-year-old season. Her owner is also a major breeder. He raises his horses and then the fillies will retire and he will breed them quickly and try to create generations of high-level race horses.

But the main reason she was kept in training as a 5-year-old was to try to do what she is going to attempt to do Sunday morning in Paris, which is to win the Arc for the third time.

That was the goal of the entire year. That is what the owner and the trainer and the jockey agreed that all year and that is what she will go ahead and try to do.

ALLEN: Do you think you can do it?

Do you think she's going to do it?

I know that is an impossible question but, like you say, she has got the momentum.

HERSH: I definitely think she's going to do it. The one thing is, the weather in Paris has been not so great this week. There has been steady rain for several days. For people who are unfamiliar with racing, the nature of the race course itself is a major determinant in how the races are run.

If you run over wet sand on a beach, that is much different than running over a highway obviously. Some horses cope with that a lot better than others, just the way that they are made and also their constitution because it is a lot more demanding.

So when you get a lot of rain over a sustained period it turns the horse really soft and deeper (ph), the horse will sink into it more. It takes the more power to get into and push out of that kind of ground.

She probably has never raced on a course that's soft as one just been encounter (ph). And that kind of race course can be a real leveler, it wants the brilliance of the most elite performers and kind of brings them back down where it becomes a test of will and strength.

So that may make it more difficult than it would have been for her if it had not rained quite as much but I do think, considering the sorts of horses (INAUDIBLE) in the past and the way she's able to adapt to pretty much any scenario so far in her career, she will be up to the task.

ALLEN: All right, well, we will be watching. Thank you so much for your insights. That makes it really exciting for us. Marcus Hersh, thank you, Marcus, for joining us.

HERSH: Oh, you're welcome.

ALLEN: All right. Run, Enable, run.

The last thing you want when you get a haircut is to be scared out of your chair. That is what happened to a customer at a beauty salon in Long Island, New York.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN (voice-over): This poor deer got confused and burst through a window. The owner told CNN she thought it was a car crashing into the building but the animal terrified everyone even more by running out the way he came in. No one was hurt and the deer apparently disappeared in nearby woods.

We hope he or she are OK. Probably saw his reflection, thought it was someone else.

All right, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be right back with our top stories.

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