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New Russia-Turkey Deal Takes Effect In Northern Syria; Turkey Is One Of The Clear Winners Of U.S. Troop Withdrawal; Prime Minister Boris Johnson Meets With Opposition To Discuss Next Steps; U.S. Diplomat Directly Ties Trump To Ukraine Quid Pro Quo; Google Claims It Has Achieved "Quantum Supremacy". Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 23, 2019 - 17:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good evening. Tonight on THE BRIEF the U.S. President said he brokered a permanent ceasefire in Northern Syria

but what does Turkey get out of it and where does it leave the Kurds?

Police launch a murder investigation after 39 people are found dead in a truck in Eastern England and Republican lawmakers storm an impeachment

hearing a day after damning testimony tying the President to a quid pro quo.

Live from London. I'm Cyril Vanier in for Bianca this evening, welcome to the show. U.S. President Donald Trump calls it a major breakthrough for

Syria he is praising the end of the Turkish offensive that he essentially paved the way for by withdrawing U.S. forces from the region and so Trump

lifted all sanctions on Turkey Wednesday saying it's agreed to make a U.S.- brokered ceasefire against Kurdish forces permanent.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This was an outcome created by us, the United States and nobody else. No other nation. Very

simple. We are willing to take blame. We are also willing to take credit. Countless lives are being saved as a result of our negotiation with Turkey.

An outcome reached without spilling one drop of American blood. No injuries. Nobody shot. Nobody killed.


VANIER: Mr. Trump did not mention a new Russian-Turkish deal that has dramatically changed the reality on the ground in Northern Syria. Russia

has now emerged as the key power broker deploying forces to help set up patrols. Russian and Syrian forces are now jointly patrolling part of the

Turkish border enforcing demands for U.S. allied Kurdish fighters to withdraw 30 kilometers south of the border. Russian and Turkish forces will

begin separate patrols next week on the 29th. Why Mr. Trump is giving a rosy assessment to the situation, his own envoy to Syria is not. Jim

Jeffery said this to U.S. lawmakers.


JIM JEFFREY, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: We have seen several incidents which we consider war crimes.


VANIER: And let's get details on all of these developments from Nick Paton Walsh live in Northern Iraq. Nick, it was just a few days ago that we saw

the Kurds pelting American troops as they were withdrawing from the region but today President Trump said that the Kurds are actually thankful that a

top Kurdish commander in Syria is thanking him for his "Tireless efforts". What do you make of that?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Kurds here are stuck in a perilous position whatever they look at as their future

immediately. We are hearing pragmatic comments from them certainly. And in fact, the SDF has said in a recent phone call with Vladimir Putin they have

expressed reservations about the plan imposed now Turkey and Russia to potentially forced their forces to move 30 kilometers away from the border

and stay that far away and then have a Russian and Turkish patrol along that particular border.

But Donald Trump's press conference was hard really to find anything in that were mucky related to the reality of what have been occurring over the

past few weeks. A lot of the figures were sort of fictional. He talked about how people were looking at this deal for decades. Well, the Syrian

civil war has only been happening since 2011 or 2012. He referred to how the U.S. presence was only supposed to be a 30-day long operation but they

have been there for ten years, frankly battling to understand how so much of what he said was actually about the same story we've been covering for

the past fortnight or so.

But essential outcome of listening to what he had said was to determine that U.S. policies made some degrees on a whim. We've also heard from his

top envoy James Jeffrey from here to say that ISIS prisoners have potentially escaped. Donald Trump said some have been recaptured. James

Jeffrey said there had been more crimes committed by the Turkish sponsored Syrian rebels but frankly what exactly occurs in the next days ahead with

this new plan imposed is still very volatile. Cyril.

VANIER: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, reporting live from the region. Thank you very much. Turkey is one of the clear winners of this U.S. troop

withdraw from Northern Syria. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is near the Turkish- Syrian border tonight with details.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Turkey is certainly emerged on top despite all of the pressure they come under from the international

community despite the threats of even more severe sanctions they stood their ground and got what they wanted if not more. They have this agreement

with the Russians that basically promises to push the Syrian Kurdish fighters away from Turkey's border.

That's something they tried to work out with their NATO ally America. But that agreement, those talks never really materialized. Turkey felt that the

United States was really stalling and it wasn't really committed to delivering on that agreement.

And then we have President Trump's statement thanking President Erdogan and praising him and lifting those sanctions that quite frankly never bothered

Turkey because they were seen as light sanctions. Bu there are some who believe that this could be a turning point in U.S.-Turkish relations.


KARADSHEH: These two NATO allies have had a very rocky relationship over the past few years. At the heart of their disagreement has been the United

States support for the Syrian Kurdish fighters so some here believe that this could offer a reset in those relations. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, near

the Turkey Syrian border.

VANIER: Now in Southeast England a murder investigation is underway after the gruesome discovery of 39 bodies inside a truck. It was discovered at an

industrial park about 30 kilometers outside of London. British police believe the container arrived from Belgium. The 25-year-old truck driver is

now in custody. Earlier this is what police had to say about the investigation.


PIPPA MILLS, DEPUTY CHIEF CONSTABLE: It is absolutely imperative that the operation is conducted with the utmost respect for the 39 people who have

lost their lives. The lorry and the trailer will be removed to a secure location it's - so the bodies can be recovered while preserving the decency

of the victim. We are yet to identify them and must manage this sensitively with their families.


VANIER: CNN's Scott McLean is near the scene. What do we know about the truck driver, where the truck came from, who was inside the truck?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Cyril, we don't have the answer to the last question but we do know more about the identity of the driver. His

name is Mo Robinson. He is a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland. We know this is according to a local counselor in part of the country where he is

from who knows the family and spoke directly with his father.

He said that Robinson's parents are salt of the earth and said that they would be needing their space as well. That truck was actually registered in

Bulgaria but the country's Prime Minister said that it hasn't been there since 2017. Police believe that it actually entered the UK from Belgium on

a ship; it arrived here in Southeast England earlier this morning after midnight, an hour before it was discovered.

How it was discovered is pretty unclear. Authorities only will say they were called by the ambulance service who called them though, still pretty

unclear. Cyril.

VANIER: Scott McLean reporting live from Grays in England. Thank you very much. Now the European Union is kicking the Brexit dilemma back to the UK.

One EU official says they need more clarity from London before them siding on an extension for UK's Brexit deadline. Back in Westminster, the British

Prime Minister met with the opposition Wednesday to discuss the next steps with the legislation to implement Brexit on pause, there is no clear path

forward yet. Boris Johnson says what happens next is no longer up to him.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it would still be very much in the best interest of this country and of democracy to get Brexit done by

October 31st. I will wait to hear what our EU friends and partners say in response both to the request for a delay from parliament and also to the

assistance by parliament that they want a delay. I don't think the people of the country want a delay. I don't want a delay. I intend to press on.

But I'm afraid we now have to see what our EU friends will decide on our behalf.


VANIER: An EU official says Ambassadors have agreed on the need for an extension to avoid a no deal Brexit. So what could that extension look

like? I asked our Nic Robertson.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It appears as if the European Union may offer Boris Johnson an extension that perhaps can be

best described as a flex tension. Under the terms of the Ben Act, as Boris Johnson was obliged to at the weekend to follow the terms of that act and

send a letter to Donald Tusk, the European Counsel President requesting a three-month extension to the end of January 2020.

The terms of that act also allow for an earlier completion if both sides agree on Brexit. That would become the new end if you will. No need to go

the whole three months. A shorter period may be appropriate. It is not clear if the European Union is going to do that. That is where the

discussions seem to be at.

Not clear which direction Boris Johnson will go from there if that is indeed what has been offered. We do know that the Labor Party have said

that they reiterated their offer to Boris Johnson to renegotiate that time period to agree the withdrawal agreement bill.

Of course the Prime Minister wanted it to be short. Labor clearly wanting it over a longer period as do many other MPs. And Labour saying that as far

as a general election goes if a no-deal Brexit is off the table then they would support the general election. The Prime Minister did raise general

election again during Prime Minister's question time. But it just is not clear at the moment is that going to be preferred option or is it going to

be to sort of take some compromise and continuing the negotiations for the withdrawal agreement bill right now.

It will it be a bigger gamble for the Prime Minister to go with a general election. The way feeling here though seems to be thinking that might be

the option that he goes for.

VANIER: Nic Robertson speaking to me earlier. Tensions are growing in Bolivia where a general strike is underway. The demonstrators are accusing

the President Evo Morales of election fraud but Mr. Morale is calling this strike a coupe. Meanwhile the organization of the American states met on

Wednesday to discuss this situation and has agreed to audit Sunday's vote. CNN's Matt Rivers tells us why voters are furious.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ballot boxes burned. Angry clashes with police in riot gear. Violent protests on the streets in Bolivia with many

questioning the outcome of the country's Presidential election. Demonstrators claim Bolivian electoral authorities manipulated the vote

count in favor of President Evo Morales. Preliminary results released hours after polls closed on Sunday showed a tight margin between Morales and

opposition candidate Carlos Mesa which would have prompted a run off in December.

To avoid another round of voting the incumbent needs a 10-point advantage. Sunday Morales had 45 percent of the votes while Mesa had 37 percent with

about 83 percent of the vote counted meaning a run off was almost certain. The election released Monday with 95 percent of the vote counted give

Morales a big enough lead to avoid a runoff. Opposition groups and international observers grew suspicious after election officials start the

vote for 24 hours without explanation. Mesa didn't hesitate to speak out.


CARLOS MESA, BOLIVIAN OPPOSITION CANDIDATE: What is happening is very serious. Even the OAS asked for an explanation as to why the vote count was

stopped. We cannot accept it. We cannot accept that the result were manipulated. They clearly handed us a path to the run-off which should be

carried out regardless.


RIVERS: People shouted fraud as the updated tallies were read tensions boiling over at the electoral tribunal. The confusion over the results

sparked anger and outrage as Mesa's supporters claimed the results were rigged. If he has declared the winner, this would be Morales' fourth term

in office. He's been the country's President for 14 years and is one of the longest serving heads of state in Latin America. A 2017 ruling to end term

limits gave Morales the green light to run in this election.


EVO MORALES, PRESIDENT: We won again, four consecutive elections in Bolivia.


RIVERS: While Morales is already claiming victory, the organization of American states is sending a team of election observers to get to the

bottom of the voting discrepancy. Clashes on the streets show no signs of ending. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.

VANIER: We are going to take a short break. When we come back the U.S. President's Republican allies storm a secure hearing for the impeachment

inquiry and then just refuse to leave. Now Democrats are firing back. Stay with us.



VANIER: Congressional theatrics taking center stage on Capitol Hill before the eyes of the world on Wednesday. President Trump's conservative

Republican allies staging a dramatic stunt look at this, they stormed the secured room where the impeachment inquiry is taking place barging through

the doors as the witness was about to testify and throwing the whole thing into disarray and refused to leave for hours. They call the inquiry a hit

job on the President. They call it a sham even though both Republicans and Democrats are actually on the panels that are conducting the probe.


MATT GAETZ, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: We are go to try to go in there and we're going to figure out what is going on behalf of the millions of

Americans that we represent that want to see this Congress working for them and not obsessed with attacking a President who we believe hasn't done

anything to deserve impeachment.


VANIER: All right. Let's get more on all of this. CNN's Lauren Fox joins me from Capitol Hill. Lauren, tell us more about all of this what we know. I

understand it was staged. The President might have been in on it. I don't even understand how they got in the room which is supposed to be a secured


LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICAL CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, basically there is a long spiral staircase. These Republicans went down the staircase and

there were about two dozen of them forcing their way into this skip. I am told that some of them brought their electronic devices which is against

the rules because again this is supposed to be a secured environment.

But it went on for roughly five hours a very long time up here on Capitol Hill as members got into some shouting matches with some of the Democrats

who were in the room and I am even told that they were trying to talk to Adam Schiff, about his process. He is of course the Chairman of the

Intelligence Committee who has been leading these depositions.

But a very tense situation and as you noticed this is something that Republicans have been planning for roughly a week and we are also told that

the President knew that this was something Republicans wanted and were planning on doing. And in part you have to remember President Trump urged

them just two days ago that they needed to get tougher as part of this impeachment inquiry. But a very dramatic scene up here on Capitol Hill,

very chaotic they were in there so long that pizza and snacks had to be rolled in to help some of the members who were behind closed doors. Cyril.

VANIER: I am sorry, Lauren. That last part had me laughing. Nothing says U.S. like pizza is actually brought in. Lauren Fox, thank you very much.

The theatrics we saw on Capitol Hill comes just a day after bombshell testimony by the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine Bill Taylor dismantled

President Trump's claim that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine.

His testimony lead to the Second Ranking Republican in the Senate to say that the picture coming out was "Not a good one" this is coming from a

Republican. Charlie Dent is a Former Republican Congressman he is now a CNN Political Commentator. He is in Washington. Obviously quite a stunt from

your former colleagues do you commend them or condemn them?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a lot of theater Cyril. It is theater. It is a stunt. Nothing will be accomplished with this. I always

said if you have to talk about process that means you are losing on policy and substance.

While the Democrats certainly can be a bit more transparent here and they should probably have a vote on the impeachment inquiry, the substance of

what is being said in those meetings is very damaging for the President. It is that simple? There is a lot of good news for Republicans right now based

on all what we heard from particularly Bill Taylor.

VANIER: Look as you say they are not winning on facts. They are attacking the process. Here is some of the testimony from Bill Taylor. He said this,

Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma

and alleged Ukrainian interference in 2016 U.S. election.

And President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say that he is opening investigations of Biden in the 2016 elections

and that President Zelensky should want to do this him. So this - I mean how close to a smoking gun is this, as far as you are concerned?

DENT: That is a smoking gun. And in fact, for our international viewers I should state that under our system no federal official including the

President may use the resources the federal government to pressure a foreign Head of State to get information to help his political campaign.

You can't use your political office for a campaign purpose.


DENT: We can have a debate if there is a quid pro quo or not. I think there is one based on what I've seen. So I think the President has a very serious

problem. You combine that with a bad week. The whistleblower complaint, the phone transcript the betrayal of the Kurds the Mike Mulvaney confession on

the quid pro quo and of course the Doral self dealing at the golf club. Those are indefensible acts.

Many Republican members I think are very frustrated and dejected because they can't talk about the substance. They can't defend the President's

actions because they are simply indefensible.

VANIER: Also and this is something that we don't say enough there are Republicans in those rooms. Because the Republicans who actually come to

the microphones speak as if the Democrats were conducting some kind of cabal but the investigation is being conducted by Democrats and Republicans

who make up those three House Committees.

DENT: That is correct. There are members of both parties in those rooms. Now again to be fair I do think the Democrats should try to be a bit more

transparent. They should try to open these hearings to the greatest extent possible. When there is classified material I understand why they have to

keep the public out. But I think they should.

VANIER: Charlie, can I jump in on that? The idea of open hearings, on its face it makes sense. We all want to hear it. Transparency makes sense, but

then the last three years that I spent in Atlanta in the U.S. for CNN, you listen to all of these open hearings, whether it's the Brett Kavanaugh

hearings or some of the Russian collusion hearings, the few that were open.

When Republicans and Democrats get a chance to ask their questions before National TV it becomes a spectacle instead of serious fact finding.

DENT: Yes. There is a lot of truth to that. However, I am old enough to remember the Nixon impeachment. Those were very much out in the public. I

get it we are in a different stage. There was a special prosecutor back then and the same with Bill Clinton. I'm not objecting to the Democrats

closing the hearings to gather some facts but I think at some point they are going to have to open these things.

And it is true both parties are in. And again I think Republicans are making a bit too much of this. That stunt they pulled today the theater.

That is going to be in the news cycle. It is not going to change the trajectory of this investigation. And on the substance and on the facts it

does not look good for the President right now.

VANIER: All right, Charlie Dent. Thank you so much for joining us this evening.

DENT: Thank you Cyril, great to be with you.

VANIER: We have many on Capitol Hill seen focused on impeachment, there was another hearing worth paying attention to today. And that was the hearing

of Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg he was testifying about his controversial Crypto Currency Libra and he also got grilled about Facebook's decision not

to fact check political ads on the website.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: I believe that ads can be an important of voice. Especially in the political process for challenger candidates and

for local candidates or advocacy group whose message might not otherwise be covered by the media. Having ads can be an important way to inject your

message into the--

MAXINE WATERS, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Let me interrupt you for a minute. Are you telling me - I think I should said to me before you plan on doing no

fact checking on political ads?

ZUCKERBERG: Chairwoman, our policy is that we do not fact check politicians speech.


VANIER: Zuckerberg went on to tell Maxine Waters that fact-checking is not needed in political ads because people can see for themselves what

politicians are saying. Waters said Zuckerberg's refusal to police Facebook has raised serious questions about whether the tech giant should be broken

up. All right, when THE BRIEF returns Google says its new plans in computer can do the impossible. We'll explain what that is when we come back.



VANIER: One of the world's biggest companies says it has ushered in a new age that could change the world of computing. Google says this computer

needs only 200 seconds to solve a problem that would take the world's second fastest super computer 10,000 years to figure out. This kind of

speed represents a breakthrough called "Quantum Supremacy". Google's CEO was very pleased with the outcome.


SUNDAR PICHAI, GOOGLE CEO: For many years practical quantum computing was only theoretically possible. Google's team has proven it can work. This is

the hello world moment for quantum computing that many of us have been waiting for.


VANIER: Not everyone is celebrating though; IBM says that Google overestimated the difficulty of the computing task. That Google's CEO is

undaunted and compared the test to the Wright Brothers flights. He says that while there was no practical use for the first flight as there is no

practical use for what Google has just achieved it showed the possibility that a plane could fly. That's THE BRIEF for today. I'm Cyril Vanier.

"WORLD SPORT" is up next.


DON RIDDELL, CNN ANCHOR: It has been another huge night in "The Champions League" in the halfway point of the group stage Messi has made history and

so has the new kid on the block. The baseball star Juan Soto is old enough to spray champagne but not old enough to drink it. However, he'll be in a

position to do both in the coming days.