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Johnson Doesn't Trust Intelligence; British Royals take on Tabloids; Republicans Mostly Silent after Revelations; Homeless Opera Singer Performs in Los Angeles. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired October 7, 2019 - 08:30   ET




BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: As the impeachment inquiry heats up, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Ron Johnson, is raising eyebrows with an attack on the nation's intelligence community.

Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trust the America -- do you not trust the FBI?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): President Trump's --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't trust the CIA?

JOHNSON: No. No, I don't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am just very confused here.

JOHNSON: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't trust government agencies.

JOHNSON: No, I don't trust any of these guys in the Obama administration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just curious, do you trust them now?

JOHNSON: What -- now who are you talking about?


JOHNSON: I don't trust Andrew McCabe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you trust the --

JOHNSON: I don't trust Andrew McCabe. I don't trust James Comey. I don't trust Peter Strzok. I don't trust John Brennan.


GOLODRYGA: Joining me now is one of those men he doesn't trust, Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI.

Thank you so much for joining us.


Your reaction to what you just heard?

MCCABE: Well, you know, Bianna, I think it's important to put those comments in context of the revelation that "The Wall Street Journal" made about the senator last Friday, and that was, of course, that he, following a conversation with Ambassador Sondland, was so concerned about the president's linking the issues of military defense to Ukraine with -- and withholding that support with starting an investigation of his political rival, that the senator called the president to have a conversation about that.

And, I tell you what, I share his concern about that. It's an incredibly horrible idea and one that's now at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

But I think his comments yesterday are a pretty obvious attempt to work himself back into the president's good favor. It's just really disappointing that he had to throw the entire intelligence community under the bus to do that.

KEILAR: Yes. Well, and Chuck Todd sort of hinted at that during the interview saying, I know you're trying to please the president here. But as our Dana Bash is reporting earlier, this is a view that he's espoused long before just this past weekend. It's something that a large part of the nation, whether it's from watching certain news networks, believes as well. And I would like to hear from you what damage that does to our institutions when you have a powerful senator, not to mention a large portion of the country, not trusting our intelligence communities?

MCCABE: Well, it's incredibly damaging. You know, you have to remember that this is a community whose soul function is to provide information and analysis ultimately to the president of the United States and to the other leaders who support him. And to hear from people like the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he doesn't trust them, he doesn't trust the information and the intelligence he receives from them, is incredibly dispiriting.

So it not only reduces the morale of the folks who are trying to keep us safe every day, but it likely discourages other good people from joining those pursuits.

And let's remember, Bianna, these are not folks who come to -- come to work every day to curry favor with the president or to entice voters or anything else. These are people who do incredibly hard jobs day in and day out for the sole purpose of protecting you and I and the rest of the country. They are people who should be respected and believed and taken at their word and it's very discouraging to hear the senator say that he does not do that.

GOLODRYGA: Let me ask you about Attorney General Bill Barr, who was just recently on his second trip to Italy, along with John Durham, who was his main prosecutor looking into the origins of the 2016 election and the Russian investigation.

Let me get your take on where this investigation is going and have you been interviewed by John Durham?

MCCABE: I have not been interviewed by John Durham. He has not requested to speak to me as of this point. I'm happy to assist in that investigation in the same way I have with many others. But we'll -- we'll see when that happens.

As far as the attorney general's involvement, I mean it's really a symptom of the same disease. Rather than confronting the many serious security threats we have here in the country, most notably the high confidence assessment that the Russians will try to attack our electoral system in 2020, it seems that folks like Senator Johnson and the attorney general are more concerned about supporting conspiracy theories related to the 2016 election.


So, I'd be incredibly encouraged if they turned their efforts to trying to protect us going forward, rather than investigations to support the president's narrative.

GOLODRYGA: Well, I know that from reports that a lot of our allies overseas are already having second thoughts about intelligence sharing given what's transpired as well. So these are --

MCCABE: You know --

GOLODRYGA: Go ahead.

MCCABE: And that is -- that's a great comment. There are -- those relationships are so important to the continued safety and security of this country. That was one of the -- really the most -- one of the areas we focused on most deciduously in the aftermath of 9/11. And certainly by the time I left government, we enjoyed incredibly robust intelligence sharing relationships and I hope those continue.

GOLODRYGA: Andrew McCabe, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

MCCABE: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle taking on the tabloids. We'll tell you about the alarming allegations in this new lawsuit. That's next.



GOLODRYGA: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are suing two British tabloids over accusations that they hacked his cell phone.

CNN's Max Foster has more.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The British royal family is no stranger to media attention. Not least the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who returned last week from their tour of Africa, a well-received trip, meticulously documented by the global media.

Now, however, the royal couple are preparing to enter a legal battle with the British tabloids. Harry and Meghan have accused "The Mail on Sunday" of unlawfully publishing a letter from her to her father and deliberately editing it to change its meaning. The papers responded denying a charge, now adding a quote from Meghan's father saying he was the one who only wanted parts of the letter released because other parts were so painful.

Elsewhere, the duke's badly advised decision to sue the owners of "The Mirror" and "The Sun" over phone hacking was taken up by "The Telegraph" as part of a discussion around Harry's war against the tabloid media.

BONNIE GREER, CNN COMMENTATOR: He's calling time, he's blowing the whistle, and he's saying, if you intrude on our lives, we're coming for you.

FOSTER: And it's personal and he's showing no signs of pulling back on this one.

I lost my mother, he explained in last week's statement calling out the U.K. tabloids, and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.

Back in 2017, he told a documentary team that he blamed the paparazzi for his mother's death. Those people that caused the accident, instead of helping, they were taking photographs in the back seat, and then those photographs made their way backs to news desks.

He also lamented the media intrusion he suffered growing up in the shadows of his mother's superstardom. He sees parallels with that and the negative coverage Meghan has received in recent months and he saw that coming, too.

Before he met Meghan, during a tour of the Caribbean in 2012, he questioned whether he would ever find someone willing to take on a long-term relationship with him because of his public role.

And while the world watched on as Harry retraced the footsteps of his mother in Angola recently, the emotional statement released shortly after by the duke revealed his deepest fear of history repeating itself, warning against his wife being commoditized to the point that she's no longer treated or seen as a real person.

That's what's driving this legal challenge against the U.K. tabloids and he's unlikely to back down until he's seen justice served for his wife, but also for his mother.


FOSTER: Does look like we're heading towards a showdown in court between the royal family and the British tabloid press. And potentially Meghan and her father meeting for the first time in more than a year as she could potentially be called as a prosecution witness and he for the defense.

Bianna and John.

BERMAN: Very interesting, but a fight the royals seem very eager to take on right now.

Max, thank you very much.

Now here is what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: 9:30 a.m. ET, Supreme Court session begins.

10:00 a.m. ET, Sen. McConnell in Kentucky.

6:00 p.m. ET, Trump military briefing.


BERMAN: So the Republican response so far to the impeachment investigation, defiance or silence? Are the cracks in the Republican Party getting bigger? "The Bottom Line" is next.



BERMAN: All right, a new whistleblower has come forward as the impeachment investigation into the president heat up. And we are getting some new sometimes conflicting defenses of the president from the Republicans.

So let's get "The Bottom Line." We're joined this morning by CNN political director David Chalian.

We're lucky to have you here this morning.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, we are.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Thanks. I feel lucky to be here with you guys.

BERMAN: Look, there are a few different, divergent messages we've had from some Republicans. One is to distract. You know, the Ron Johnson method. I'm going to talk about -- about the 2016 investigation and say the whole thing was flawed. Then you have Mitt Romney who admittedly is critical of it. But then

you have this Tucker Carlson op-ed, where he says, you know what, what the president did was wrong, but it's not impeachable.

CHALIAN: Yes, which didn't we see Congressman Turner --


CHALIAN: Back in the hearing with the ICIG saying -- like, he took a moment, even though he was going to ask tough questions, it's not at all clear that he supports the impeachment, but he said, Mr. President, this is wrong. This call is wrong.

Susan Collins, this weekend, she took a couple of different paths here too.

BERMAN: As she's one to do.

CHALIAN: As she -- as she is one to do.


CHALIAN: You know, she -- the moderate Republican senator from Maine, who is up for re-election in this cycle, she said, the president was wrong what he said about China and inviting them on the South Lawn.


Totally inappropriate. But she also took the opportunity to slam Adam Schiff for what Republicans have been hitting him on for doing that re-creation of the phone call instead of using the actual transcript.

GOLODRYGA: Right. So this may work for Republicans and give them wiggle room. The big question is, what about the president, who still calls it a perfect call? How does he embrace this new narrative?

CHALIAN: Yes, I mean -- I mean I think this is why Republicans find themselves in a tough spot, because the president gives no indication that he thinks anything wrong with the call. He calls it perfect. So even if you're trying, as a Republican, to say, you know what, that was wrong, but impeachment goes too far, the Tucker Carlson route, if you will, Donald Trump is not at all on board with that. So that puts them in this awkward position of why we're seeing some are just defiant, some are delusional and occasionally there's a Mitt Romney.

But here's the thing, I think -- I think all of these 53 Republican senators should be asked every day, are you OK with the president of the United States pressuring a foreign country to help investigate a domestic political opponent? Are you OK with that? And it -- whatever they answer on Monday, we should ask them again on Tuesday, because it's not OK. And -- and I do think that as big of a story as what the president did himself, are the Republicans that are not willing to say it's not OK.


BERMAN: It's empirically, objectively not OK.

CHALIAN: Exactly.

BERMAN: And you're not going out on some kind of a limb by saying that. Or one doesn't need to go out on a limb.

GOLODRYGA: And yet it is hard for them to do so.

BERMAN: Correct.

Part of the problem is, is that the president takes any criticism so personally and can't handle it and lashes out. So that's where that is.

The other problem, David, they have is just there's new information every day. It's more than just a drip, drip, drip. Every time someone else comes in, we see this barrage the new texts, we see new documents. There just seems to be so much more that comes out. And I have to believe that affects the Republicans here.

CHALIAN: It does, especially because what's coming out makes the president's case worse it seems at first glance than better, right? It's not -- they don't -- it's not like one day there's a big, new ream of documents that actually is like, oh, totally supports the president's position. It's mounting negative evidence. That is what makes it even trickier for them. They don't know where this will ultimately go.

GOLODRYGA: They have to navigate this very carefully.



BERMAN: David Chalian, great to have you here this morning.

CHALIAN: Good to see you guys.

GOLODRYGA: Good to see you.

Well, a homeless subway opera singer that captured the nation's attention last week is now performing on a big stage. Her angelic voice went viral after an LAPD officer posted a video of her in social media. Well, in a matter of days, her life has completely changed.

Listen to that voice.

Here's CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She's been singing in L.A.'s subway for years.

EMILY ZAMOURKA, HOMELESS OPERA SINGER: This is the only one thing I got left. WATT: A chance meeting just changed her life.

ZAMOURKA: I see this police officer walking toward me from a distance and kind of hesitated because you know how they are. They don't really want you to -- to make any noises anywhere.

WATT (on camera): Right.

ZAMOURKA: And opera is loud.

WATT (voice over): He loved it, filmed it, the department posted it, more than a million people saw it and a little more than a week later Emily Zamourka got her first gig.

ZAMOURKA: They're going to pay me and pay me very well for me performing. Who am I? Who am I?

WATT: On Saturday she sang in San Pedro's Little Italy, earned $700.

ZAMOURKA: I wish I could give hugs to each and every one.

WATT: Zamourka, a trained violinist, came here from Russia in her 20s, illness, medical bills, the theft of her beloved violin all lead to a life on the streets. A homeless charity has now reached out to help and $60,000 and counting donated on GoFundMe. She just met, hugged and thanked that LAPD officer who filmed her.

ZAMOURKA: I can't believe this has happened.

WATT: And a Grammy winning producer now wants to work with her.

ZAMOURKA: It's the biggest ever -- what's the opposite word for tragedy? I mean, like -- I wanted to bring that word correctly.

WATT (on camera): We have some people saying, this story is too good to be true. You look too clean.

ZAMOURKA: This is for real. And -- and just because you're homeless, you don't have to go around stinky and dirty. I would just put it this way, it's my dignity.

WATT: What do you want? I mean you want somewhere to live?

ZAMOURKA: Yes, I do. And I do. I wish that I could just have this kind of place that it will be -- it will be for a long time and my own.


WATT (voice over): That voice, all she had left, might now make that wish come true.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


GOLODRYGA: Should ride the subway more. You never know what you'll hear, right, or discover?

BERMAN: Look, Bianna, during that whole piece, Bianna just keeps on saying, that voice, that voice, that voice.

GOLODRYGA: It's amazing.

BERMAN: It really is amazing.

GOLODRYGA: It's amazing. We're really happy for her.

BERMAN: All right, this new whistleblower has come forward in the impeachment investigation. This is just one of the new twists this morning. We'll have all of it for you, next.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right, good Monday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.


This morning, we are learning more about a corroborating witness in the case against the president. A second whistleblower with firsthand knowledge, and that's key, to President Trump's phone call with Ukraine, this person was on that call and is a sitting member, current member, of the intelligence community. This, of course, will further undercut the White House's attacks on the first ,whistleblower which it called hearsay.


HARLOW: Before news broke of that second whistleblower, 90 former national security officials.