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Turkish Offensive Fuels Fears Of ISIS Resurgence; Trump Accused Of Abandoned Kurdish Allies; Saudis Slam Turkish Offensive In Northern Syria; Ecuador Government Reaches Deal Ending Violent Protests; Activists Put 'Lady Liberty' Statue On Lion Rock Peak; Business Struggle To Stay Afloat During Unrest; Impeachment Inquiry; Woman Killed by Police in Her Own Home. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 14, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And we're back.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We are.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOLMES: She is and on Michael Holmes. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the Kurds say they have struck a deal with the Syrian government to resist Turkey after the Trump administration announced it will pull all remaining troops from northern Syria.

ALLEN: After weeks of deadly protests, the government in Ecuador is giving into demonstrator's demands.

HOLMES: And U.S. lawmakers back on Capitol Hill this week, a new week of impeachment drama set to consume Washington.

ALLEN: Thank you again for joining us. Our top story here, desperate and feeling deserted by the United States. Syrian Kurds are turning to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, remember him?

HOLMES: Exactly.

ALLEN: For help.

HOLMES: Exactly. And those Kurds say that a deal has been reached for Syrian army units to be deployed on the northern border. The battlefield is getting crowded and complex. This is meant to counter the offensive that was launched by Turkey after U.S. troops were ordered to pull back from the region by President Trump.

ALLEN: Turkey now says it will push even deeper into Syrian territory and the U.S. looks set to pull its remaining forces out of northern Syria. Here was the U.S. Defense Secretary on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ESPER, DEFENSE SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: This is part of the terrible situation that Turkey has put us in. And again despite our protestations we now know we believe that the Turks now intend to go further south and originally expect affected and to go both West and East which would increase their zone from beyond a 30-kilometer depth and nearly 440 kilometers wide.

At the same time, we've learned the last 24 hours. It looks like the SDF is cutting a deal with the Syrians and Russians --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we should say SDF does with the Kurdish forces, the Syrian democracy force defense forces.

ESPER: Defense forces. That's right. They're cutting a deal and now what we're facing is U.S. forces in a trap between a Syrian Russian army moving north to take on the Turkish army that is moving south. It puts us in a terrible position, and the protection and safety of our service members comes first to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Well, Mark Esper's predecessor James Mattis says among those who say U.S. exit could be just what ISIS needs to regroup. The Kurds were a key ally fighting the extremists. They were also guarding ISIS prisoners and their family.

ALLEN: But amid the chaos of the Turkish offensive, the Kurds claim nearly 800 people with ties to foreign ISIS fighters have now escaped. They say ISIS family members were among those who fled after guards at the camp were attacked. That could be a major concern to the U.S. and other NATO allies but it isn't stopping the Turks. CNN's Arwa Damon has more from the Turkish Syrian border.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The situation inside Syria is growing even more chaotic and deadly as Turkey presses forward with this operation. And as we heard President Erdogan say earlier, nothing is going to stop Turkey from carrying out its goals.

The situation, well, it's unclear exactly who is in control of what at this stage. Behind us is the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn whereas there have also been in other areas, pitch battles do seem to be sporadically erupting between Turkey, the Syrian Arab force that it has allied itself with on the ground, and the Syrian Kurdish fighting force, the YPG.

As this is pushing forward, they're also growing concerns about the safety for the civilian population, as well as what Turkey's long term objectives may be. Many quite surprised by some of the moves that have unfolded, moves by Turkey that extends well beyond it would seem its initial goals.

Turkey and its Arab allies captured a key part of the highway known as the M-4. And what this has done is effectively cut off crucial Kurdish cities and towns from one another and also cut off U.S. military bases from one another which is causing great concern among the Americans.

As one expert put this -- put this, there is one clear winner in this entire scenario at this stage and that is the Russians. They are now exerting as they have been all along influence over Damascus. They also greater influence over Ankara, and they have a measure of influence over the Kurds who have turned to just about everyone they can for help but have come up dry.

The Russians, though it would seem have managed to make a key strategic victory and that is in seeing the U.S. military pulling back and pulling out without even having to fire a shot. Arwa Damon, CNN on the Turkey-Syria border.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:05:31]

HOLMES: And joining me now CNN Military Analysts, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling. Great to have you, general. A difficult subject, not good times. Firstly, your reaction to the president now pulling us troops not just from that border area in -- with Turkey, but from all of northern Syria. It's surrendering any influence over events happening there and handing that influence to others.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's certainly an uncoordinated move, Michael. And I think it's going to have devastating short term and much longer-term effects in several areas, the war on ISIS, our partnership with those we fought on the battlefield with, alliances that have been in existence for years. There are going to be so many negative effects as a result of this very short term decision that it's even difficult to weigh them out and see how they're going to play out.

HOLMES: You know, what to your mind, why did this happen and why now? I mean, can you see one reason why the President would have agreed to this move after a single phone call with Erdogan, given the entirely predictable events we're seeing unfold now? One phone call between Trump and Erdogan went by all accounts that the U.S. brokered border plan was working, they've been relative peace there for two years.

HERTLING: Yes, I think it probably comes down to a couple of things. First of all, it's apparent that the President does not understand the complexities of this part of the world and how decision making and coordination and cooperation with others real -- and sometimes demands made upon others, like the Turks affect the situation on the ground.

Secondly, it's becoming increasingly obvious that not only doesn't he take advice and counsel from people who know what's going on in the situations. But now he has surrounded himself with so many people who won't step in, who won't force him to take a stand, to do the right kinds of things that are difficult.

Many of those kinds of things he doesn't have experience with are contributing to these bad decisions because he's going by his gut, and an individual that goes by his gut with without any knowledge of the culture, the history, what has been happening on the ground for the last several decades is just as dangerous as can possibly be.

But again, there's just the -- I think the lack of the willingness to stand up to autocratic rulers which Mr. Erdogan is. And he has been wanting to do this. Mr. Erdogan has been wanting to do this, attack the Kurds in the northern part of Syria, and attack in many other places where the Kurds are living for several years, if not decades.

And to not stand up and say no, don't do this, it's going to have lasting effects in areas that you won't even consider is very problematic.

HOLMES: The motivation is still unclear, and it is to a lot of people why do it, why do it now? I mean, one thing and you know, this area well, we talk of Turkish forces a lot but, you know, the reality as you know, most of this fighting is being done by Turkish proxies.

We're talking about Syrian Arab militias. I mean, you know, who are they? Because in many cases, these are not disciplined regulars who would abide by the norms of war. A lot of them are in fact, former ISIS or al-Qaeda.

HERTLING: Well, I think we've got to remember some recent history to on that account specifically. You remember, Michael, just a few years ago, we were talking about the Turk -- the Turkish government not closing the borders to the flow of foreign fighters into northern Syria. This is the same government now. And as you say, many of these proxy forces are likely made up of some of the same kind of thugs, criminal elements that have flown across that border within the last several years and decades.

So yes, that is problematic. But there's other things that are problematic here, too. And that's the fact that you have a NATO member using proxy forces to commit atrocities. And pretty soon we might even see not a confrontation between Syria and Turkish forces, but Syrian and Russian Turkish -- excuse me, Turkish versus Syrian and Russian forces combined.

And if that occurs as a NATO member, what is Turkey going to do? Is it going to ask for assistance from Turkey under Article Five? Is Turkey going to -- is the rest of NATO going to back Turkey? The problems have yet to be seen in terms of what this is going to drive. And it's going to be much more complicated as the days past and even as we've seen so far.

HOLMES: You make a very good point that it was Turkey who open their borders to a lot of these extremists who went in and became ISIS and enabled the recruitment in many ways. That should not be forgotten.

This notion by the U.S. President that the Turks are going to suddenly take control all the responsibility for ISIS fighters, 10,000 of them currently being held by Kurds, and it must be said a long way from where the Turks are operating. I just had to imagine how they would take control of them. Can you see that happening? I mean, they already starting to escape. HERTLING: No, not at all. I mean, the momentum is already been generated. The Turkish forces and the Turkish proxy are moving. You know, as you know, in warfare, it's really easy to unleash the dogs of war. It's much harder to call them back. What I also find -- well, first of all, that statement is ludicrous that eventually, the President is going to pressure Mr. Erdogan to get control those forces.

The other thing that is just as ludicrous is that they, as many are saying now, both government officials and members of the Trump administration are saying they're going to use economic sanctions against Mr. Erdogan.

Everyone who's ever exhibited economic sanctions know that they take weeks, if not months to put in place before any of these things might happen in Secretary Mnuchin say we could put them on immediately, but the effects don't put take place for months.

So talking about using economic sanctions to stop this kind of momentous attack is just incredulous to anyone that understands the conditions of the battlefield and how forces fight once they are unleashed.

HOLMES: This is going to change the whole makeup of what's happening in that part of the world. And particularly the winners of this, obviously going to be Russia, Iran, the Turks, of course, led to some major because they're getting what they want.

You and I saw in person how you brought together various groups in northern Iraq during the war when you were based up there as a commander. That sort of work takes years. Who's going to trust the U.S. again ever, really?

HERTLING: That's the thing that concerns me the most. Our reputation has been tarnished, and in fact, has been thrown away. There's already indicators that other governments are trying to stem the tide of this. We have many European governments that are attempting to influence Turkey by saying they're no longer going to sell them arms, they are condemning their action. The only government that's part of the U.N. and as part of NATO that has not condemned officially with any formal actions is the United States.

We are the ones that normally lead the way on this. And in fact, we are missing an action from the engagement, from forcing the cooperation, from leading at the front. And as you said, you know, I have experienced at the tactical and operational level with this, and it is extremely difficult to cause forces to come together to find better solutions than just confrontation and conflict.

At the strategic level, this is going to have long term effects. As you said, the winners are -- you name some of the winners Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, potentially. Some of the big losers are going to be the United States, NATO, many of the European countries, the flow of immigrants and refugees the countries are going to affect, not only just terrorist actions, but also the potential for governments trying to support a humanitarian crisis that we just seen the tip of the iceberg on.

All of these things are not just short term winners and losers. There are indicators for long term winners and losers. And Michael, you and I have talked before about how the Trump administration has not yet faced a major confrontation and a major crisis in government just certainly could be it. And we're just seeing the very beginnings of this.

HOLMES: And a lot of lives being taken because of it. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, always great to get your perspective, sir. Thank you.

HERTLING: Yes, it's unfortunate, Michael. Thanks for having me, though.

ALLEN: Good interview there, Michael.

HOLMES: He knows -- he knows that part of the world too.

ALLEN: Yes, he does indeed. For their part, the Saudis are playing it cool, tiptoeing around the change in U.S. policy towards the Kurds while also slamming Turkey.

HOLMES: Yes. Our Matthew Chance is in Saudi Arabia and explains for us the diplomatic balancing act from the Saudi capital.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Saudi officials are condemning events in northern Syria slamming the Turks for what they call an illegal invasion of Syrian land.

[01:15:05]

But this is one of Washington's closest allies. And this deep reluctance here to criticize U.S. policy, even a policy of abandoning another U.S. ally, in this case, Syrian Kurds, to their faith. Adel al-Jubeir is the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and a former Saudi Ambassador to Washington.

Can I have one more question about Syria, which is that you contend, obviously, the Turkish operation there, and now the Kurds are fighting this overwhelming force? Do you think it was right for the United States to abandon its Kurdish allies in this way?

ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I don't think I would describe it as such. I believe that the U.S. is still working with the -- with the Kurdish forces in the Northeast of Syria. And the U.S. has to decide what its policy should be. It should not be -- I won't be presumptuous to sit here and say it's the right approach, it's the wrong approach. This is an American issue, but we are in close consultations with our friends in Washington. And we are in close consultation with our friends in -- the ones we support in Syria. And we -- and we're looking for what the best way is to try to support -- CHANCE: Do you agree with the Kurdish leadership that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to protect the people who's been fighting side by side --

AL-JUBEIR: I haven't seen that, so I'm not going to comment on it.

CHANCE: While as the U.S. pulls back in Syria, it is bolstering its forces here in Saudi Arabia, announcing 3,000 additional troops being deployed to the kingdom in the past month alone to bolster defenses in an escalating standoff with Iran. But as the Kurds and our learning in northern Syria, not all alliances are so strong. Matthew Chance, CNN, Riyadh.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: We turn now to Ecuador. The violent protests that have brought that country for almost two weeks appear to be over.

HOLMES: And the government has reached a deal with indigenous protests leaders. Ecuador agreeing to repeal austerity measures that sparked clashes on the streets. CNN's Gustavo Valdez spoke about how the violence impacted Sunday's negotiations.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GUSTAVO VALDEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The indigenous community, you know, confronted the President about the injured and the dead during these 12 days of protests that that would certainly high up on the priorities for the government to dissolve. And they probably saw that there was no other way to stop the violence and keep the country moving other than repealing this decree. Now, they acknowledged something has to be done to improve the economy. They say they're going to eat on the table with the indigenous community, with the government, and find a way to perhaps target this subsidies to -- so only people who really need the low prices get it. Find a mechanism where that can be done, so upper income people have to pay full price; lower people get a discount.

One of the problems they kept bringing up is that on the border with Colombia, for instance, there are people who take the cheap Ecuadorian fuel and they take it across the border for a profit and they said that is a lot of revenue for this country.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, the demonstrations in Ecuador lasted 11 days, at least seven people were killed, more than 1,000 were injured.

HOLMES: Yes. Now, businesses in Hong Kong taking some hits, sometimes literally from the ongoing protests.

ALLEN: Why some are especially at risk. We'll have that story for you right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:20:09]

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: CNN "WEATHER WATCH". I'm meteorologist Ivan Cabrera. Flying into the Eastern United States or into Canada, we're looking pretty good here. Nothing organized, no big storm systems. We do have a frontal boundary across the Southeastern U.S. but this area has been significantly affected by the lack of rain over the last several months here. So, it's a beneficial rain. And that's about it.

I mean, no cold air coming in across the Great Lakes, but no big storms and we've certainly seen those for British Columbia. We've seen that for the Pacific Northwest, in general, and then into the Rockies with those very early season snowfalls. Well, nothing to be seen right now except, again, for some colder air coming out of Central Canada with single digit highs there. Chicago about 12, mostly sunny conditions, and then we'll have temperatures in the 20s. But I think again, some showers, even a few rumbles of thunder across the southeastern U.S. next few days is bound to continue. It kind of drapes through there with the wet weather that will continue.

There are your highs coming out for New York into the upper teens. That's a bonus for this time of year. You can get north of 20, mid and upper teens by the time we get into the weekend. And into the early part of next week, DC looking cooler as well. We'll start off the week generally across the east with warmer temperatures and eventually seeing that dip through the latter part of week, and then ending into the weekend. But then back to above average temps for next week.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Welcome back. A new warning for the E.U.'s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says, Britain's proposals to exit the European Union still aren't acceptable.

ALLEN: This comes ahead of a critical E.U. summit later this week, and that means more pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the clock ticks down to the October 31st Brexit deadline.

HOLMES: Now, in the coming hours, all eyes will be on the Palace of Westminster as his government sets out (INAUDIBLE) during the Queen's speech, which opens Parliament.

ALLEN: Chinese President Xi Jinping has a warning for anyone trying to split China in any part of the country.

HOLMES: Yes. Now, he says those efforts will end in -- get this -- quote, crushed bodies and shattered bones, China's state media quoting Mr. Xi during a state visit to Nepal.

ALLEN: He didn't mince words there.

HOLMES: Yes.

ALLEN: It comes as China faces a prolonged trade war, of course, with the U.S. and 19 straight weekends of prodemocracy protest in Hong Kong.

Well, Lady Liberty is overlooking Hong Kong early Sunday, prodemocracy activists' climb to city's Lion Rock Peak to put up that statue.

HOLMES: It represents an injured protester believed to have been shot in the eye by a police project. Now, protesters say they hope it will inspire Hong Kong to keep up the fight.

ALLEN: Meanwhile, on the streets of Hong Kong, riot police faced off with demonstrators across the city. Rally started peacefully, later, more violent groups vandalized metro stations and blocked roads. Police used tear gas to clear the crowds and arrested several people.

HOLMES: Yes, Hong Kong stalls, the restaurants, and other businesses, of course, they've suffered a lot after four months of protest and clashes. And the unrest isn't ending anytime soon.

ALLEN: And now, some protesters are accusing some businesses of being blue or pro-government and so-called "Blue businesses". Well, they are being deliberately targeted. Kristie Lu Stou shows us what's at stake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR : A city plunged in protest is struggling to stay in business. Time and time again, some of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts have descended into chaos. The violent clashes have forced stores and restaurants to close repeatedly during four months of protests, including this famous snake soup restaurant in Causeway Bay.

[01:25:08]

Regulars usually line up at the door for a taste of its Michelin- recommended dishes. But these days, it's far too easy to get a table.

LO CHEONG HEI, MANAGERR, SE WONG YEE RESTAURANT (through translator): The number of tourists dropped due to the protests and local people also come here less often.

STOUT: Since the protests kicked off in June, Lo says business has fallen 40 percent. Many businesses have been forced to close early because of their proximity to flashpoints like the Legislative Council, others have been directly targeted for their perceived allegiance to the government. Restaurants owned by Maxim's caterers, including Starbucks, have been targeted by demonstrators after the founders daughter publicly condemned protesters as violent.

On Twitter, prodemocracy activists, Joshua Wong, has called for a boycott of Starbucks. And protesters have spray painted this Starbucks cafe with messages calling on more people to boycott it. Other businesses have attracted ire for their direct links to China, including branches of the Bank of China and China Construction Bank smashed and tagged with graffiti.

Demonstrators are sharing this interactive map to identify which businesses are blue or pro government, as opposed to yellow or sympathetic to the movement. Lists of yellow and blue shops are also making the rounds. They are circulated online, and in the real world, by activists like Emily -- that's not her real name -- and she wishes to remain anonymous.

EMILY, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST (through translator): Boycotting these restaurants is a way for people to express their thoughts. People feel frustrated, so this is the way they choose to express it.

STOUT: But when violent protests paralyze the city, most Hong Kongers Take heed of the police alerts sent to their mobile phones and avoid going out entirely. And that means no dining, no shopping, no local consumption.

The Hong Kong government has announced that August retail sales have plunged some 23 percent from a year earlier. That's the worst year- on-year decline for a single month on record. The government cited subdued economic conditions, as well as severe disruptions to tourism and consumption-related activities.

Lo Cheong Hei does not want to talk about politics, but since the start of the protests, he's had to lay off 10 percent of his staff.

HEI (through translator): The business will be fine again, but I'm not confident that it can go back to the peak time.

STOUT: As hardline protesters and police battle in the streets, local businesses are caught in a political crossfire, and they are struggling to stay afloat. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Real-world impacts there on businesses, yes.

ALLEN: Yes. Touching all aspects.

HOLMES: Uh-hmm.

ALLEN: All right. Phone calls and text messages seem to be at the center of the Ukraine scandal. Now, Congress gets to hear from those involved with those calls and texts. We get a preview, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:31:27]

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back everyone. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Michael Holmes.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen, here are our top stories this hour.

The government of Ecuador has reached a deal with indigenous leaders to end ten days of violent protests. The demonstrations were sparked by a decree that cut fuel subsidies.

But after talks with protest leaders the government has agreed to repeal that order. The unrest killed at least seven people and injured hundreds more.

HOLMES: Kurdish officials in Northern Syria say the Syrian government will deploy troops along the Turkish border to help repel the offensive by Turkey. Some troops already moving in to the northern areas, according to Syrian state media. Syria's government has not said whether this is part of any deal with the Kurds.

ALLEN: Turkey launched its offensive after the U.S. pulled troops back last week. Now the U.S. Defense Secretary says President Donald Trump is ordering remaining U.S. forces out, completely out of northern Syria. Pro Turkish forces have cut off a key road now leading to Kobani, that's a largely Kurdish city near where U.S. troops have been based.

HOLMES: Dramatic music there and it's probably rather apt isn't it?

ALLEN: Yes. I think so.

HOLMES: It is. That is -- it is. That's because U.S. lawmakers are returning to Capitol Hill; a critical week of testimony ahead in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

ALLEN: The inquiry was launched after a whistleblower, you'll recall, complaint alleged Mr. Trump abused his power by pressuring the Ukraine government to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

But one of the key people testifying this week is U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

HOLMES: And lawmakers want to ask Sondland about text messages he exchanged related to Mr. Trump's July phone call with the Ukrainian president.

ALLEN: Joining me now is Julian Zelizer, a CNN political analyst and professor at Princeton University. Thanks so much for coming on -- Julian.

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: Well, first up here, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland testifies this week in the impeachment inquiry. And according to the "Washington Post" his story will, as they put it, blow a hole in President Trump's Ukraine defense. What is expected?

ZELIZER: Well, he's going to essentially say that the message that he delivered that there was no quid pro quo was in conversation with the White House. and so this message becomes more of a talking point or a legalese message to be conveyed rather than something authentic.

And so he has been a principal countervailing voice to the idea that the President was withholding, you know, access and money in exchange for campaign dirt. ALLEN: And if that testimony does indeed happen how significant would

that be?

ZELIZER: Well, I think we are seeing each piece of the investigation with a new revelations like this keeps adding fuel for more of the investigation to take place. It keeps turning public opinion. And I think it would be pretty damaging as Democrats consider, you know, the vote that they are probably going to take by December on articles of impeachment.

ALLEN: And also with Mr. Sondland -- what about Rudy Giuliani? If he testifies that he worked at the direction of Trump's personal lawyer.

[01:35:00]

ZELIZER: Well, Rudy Giuliani is already in a lot of trouble. And a lot of this entire operation swirled around Giuliani from what we are learning. So this testimony could further implicate not simply the President but Giuliani essentially carrying out an operation at a time when we are hearing from news reports that he is under criminal investigation.

ALLEN: Yes. And you talk about the public and if the public continues to get behind this impeachment inquiry as we get more and more testimony, how might that change this scenario for President Trump?

ZELIZER: Well, it has already changed the scenario among Democrats meaning a few months ago, many Democrats were leery about even starting with the impeachment process. Most Democrats now are on board. So the next question is does public opinion change so much that Republicans start to reconsider their position.

And Republicans in the Senate are the key players if the House votes for articles of impeachment. There is a trial in the Senate and Republicans control the Senate. So these kinds of shifts in public opinion are relevant for that reason.

And I do think there is concern even though Republican support remain solid that that is not inevitable and testimony like this is the exact kind of thing that can shake those members of the GOP.

ALLEN: All right. Well meantime, the reason that Mr. Trump allegedly talked with Ukraine was that he wanted Biden and his son to be investigated. Well Hunter Biden announced in a statement that he is stepping down from the board of a Chinese company and will not work for a foreign company if his father becomes president.

Joe Biden emphasized that his children won't serve in the White House if he wins, taking a dig at the Trumps there. Might any of this lessen Trump's campaign against the Bidens?

ZELIZER: Absolutely not. Donald Trump, President Trump does not respond to these kinds of moves by his opponent. He will continue to hammer away at this scheme he believes it is certainly hurting Joe Biden as a candidate even as it is hurting him as well. And I don't think whatever announcements there are whether Hunter Biden will no longer do this kind of work, whether it's Biden promising there will be no children working in the White House none of this will matter this is a central campaign talking point that you will hear until Biden is either his opponent or no longer in the race.

ALLEN: All right. Well, I also want to ask you about an article you wrote about how important Fox News is to President Trump's success. This after a long time Fox anchor Shep Smith stepped down abruptly. What does his departure reveal about Trump support?

ZELIZER: It reveals that within Fox News, there is still not a lot of room for reporters who don't want to follow the general message of the network which is very pro Trump, pro administration.

And he is one of the handful of reporters along with others like Chris Wallace who have been reluctant to echo talking points. And they have been more straightforward in their reporting. So I think his departure reveals that within that Trump base, meaning the voters, meaning the conservative media and meaning within the Republican Party at this point, they are holding firm and there's not a lot of tolerance for anyone who dissents from the party line.

ALLEN: Yes so Fox is winning at what it wants it seems.

ZELIZER: Right now yes. the center within the organization has decided apparently there is no room for him. And so that is a victory for the status quo.

ALLEN: All right we appreciate your insights as always. Julian Zelizer for us. Thank you -- Julian.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

HOLMES: Fascinating stuff, isn't it? Yes Shep Smith leaving, that was quite a shock.

ALLEN: Yes. He was an original.

(CROSSTALKING)

HOLMES: It's not unthinkable, so.

Interesting timing.

All right. We're going to take a short break.

When we come back, another deadly police shooting in the U.S. This time a woman in her own home playing video games with her eight year old nephew.

[01:39:15]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Police in Fort Worth, Texas investigating the seventh fatal shooting by one of their officers this year. 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson killed in her own home early on Saturday morning.

ALLEN: This is such a tragedy. We have learned that her eight-year- old nephew was in the room when she was shot. And police say the officer did not identify himself before he fired his gun.

For more about this, here's Polo Sandoval.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went from a welfare check to a woman being killed by the cops.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Outrage is building over the actions of a Fort Worth, Texas police officer. Saturday morning just before 2:30 a.m., police were called to the home of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson after neighbors noticed her front door was open.

Heavily edited body camera video released by Fort Worth police picks up what happens next. After police peer (ph) thorough the front door, they walked the perimeter of the property when suddenly police say, an officer spots someone standing near a window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands up. Show me your hands.

SANDOVAL: The medical examiner identifies the woman who the officer shot as Jefferson. She died at the scene. James Smith says he is the concerned caller who first alerted police.

JAMES SMITH, NEIGHBOR WHO CALLED POLICE: I feel guilty because had I not called the police department my neighbor will still be alive today.

SANDOVAL: In a statement, Fort Worth police said their officer drew his weapon and fired the single shot after quote "perceiving a threat". In addition to the body camera footage investigators released this still photo showing a firearm inside of the house.

CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson cautions not to jump to any conclusions.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You're going to release the fact that she has a gun in the home as perhaps what? To suggest she had a gun and that we were perhaps fearful for our life?

There's no indication where that gun was. There's no indication she had that gun. There's no indication that she should not have had the gun.

SANDOVAL: CNN has requested the unedited body camera footage. A police spokesperson said nothing additional will be released at this time and that the department quote, "shares the deep concerns of the public and is committed to completing an extremely thorough investigation."

Police have not named the officer who joined the Department in April of last year. Polo Sandoval, CNN -- New York.

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HOLMES: Yet another one of those cases --

ALLEN: What can you say after that?

HOLMES: -- in her own home.

Thanks for watching us on CNN NEWSROOM. Appreciate the company. I'm Michael Holmes.

ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen.

"WORLD SPORT" next and George Howell will be here at the top of the hour.

We're checking out. See you.

HOLMES: Yes. See you later. It's the weekend.

[01:43:54]

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