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THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO
Detailed Look At The Raid That Killed ISIS Leader Abu Bkar Al- Baghdadi; U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson To Try Again For December 12 Snap Election; Central Bank Chief: Lebanon Days From Economic Collapse; U.S. House To Vote On Impeachment Inquiry Procedures; China Opens Huge New International Airport. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired October 28, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF. A detailed look at the raid that killed ISIS Leader Abu Bkar Al-Baghdadi, how Kurdish
forces helped? The British parliament rejected the Prime Minster's call for a snap election. What Boris Johnson is planning next? Deadly protest on the
streets of Chile's Capital, the President is changing his cabinet but is that enough?
Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. We begin with some extraordinary new details on the raid that killed the ISIS Leader Abu
Bakr Al-Baghdadi. A spokesman for Kurdish-led forces in Syria says they had an informant inside ISIS who revealed the location while Al-Baghdadi was
He was killed over the weekend in U.S. Special Forces operation in Northwest Syria. The SDF says its informant obtained a piece of Al-
Baghdadi's underwear and a blood sample to help to confirm his identity before the raid took place. But also learning from the Pentagon that two
men were taken alive from the compound where Al-Baghdadi was killed and are now in U.S. custody.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he may release video showing part of that raid. Pentagon confirmed that but says it first needs to be classified. As
for Al-Baghdadi himself, one of the world's most feared and despised terrorists, U.S. defense officials say he's been given an anonymous burial,
his remains disposed at sea.
You may have heard Mr. Trump describe Al-Baghdadi as whimpering and crying before his death. Today reporter asked a U.S. top defense official if he
had any of his details.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENERAL MARK MILLEY, U.S. JOINT CHIEF CHAIRMAN: I don't know what the source of that was there but I assume it was - he was talking directly to
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You haven't talked to any unit members who have described that that to you?
MILLEY: I have not talked to unit members, correct. I talked to commanders and common others but not down to the unit members down at that level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The raid that ended in Baghdadi's death was a carefully planned combination of intelligence and military strategy. CNN's Pentagon
Correspondent Barbara Starr breaks down exactly how it happened?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: U.S. aircraft using bombs missiles and rockets to destroy Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's compound. After
Special Forces used the cover of darkness eight helicopters carrying as many as 100 U.S. Special Operations Forces landed at a compound in Northern
They entered after blowing holes on the side of the building believing the front door might be booby trapped. The President said the Special Ops Teams
were met by local gunfire on the ground that was quickly squashed. At least two ISIS fighters were captured. According to the President, Baghdadi was
chased into tunnel by military dogs, while bringing three children with him.
The tunnel came to an end where he eventually detonated a suicide vest that killed him and the children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: He is dead as a dog now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Baghdadi's remain were disposed of at sea by U.S. military aircraft according to two defense officials. But the world may be about to see even
more of what happened during the two hours U.S. commandos were on the ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLEY: We do have video, photos. We are not ready to release those. They're going through a declassification process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: The President painted the picture that the ISIS Leader was weak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He died a coward. Crying, whimpering and screaming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: Iraq officials say two months ago they captured one of Baghdadi's closest collaborators. He is said to have provided information about one of
the careers that Baghdadi used. That career was killed but documents led to his wife who then led them to more paper work was Baghdadi's location.
Baghdadi who had been on the run for more than five years was eventually tracked down with the help of intelligence from the Kurds. The withdrawal
of the U.S. forces from Syria had a major impact on the operation according to one U.S. official.
U.S. troops now are moving back into Syria's oil fields to keep ISIS from coming back and selling oil to finance its operations. But for the first
time, a specific nod from the defense secretary that U.S. troops could find themselves defending against other military forces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does that include denying access from, preventing Russian or Syrian forces, which now have changed the battle space?
MILLEY: Yes though the short answer is yes, it presently does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: That was our Barbara Starr reporting. Another note on that raid - this dog you're seeing now is believed to have help corner Baghdadi,
chasing the terror leader down the tunnel where he then blew himself up. President Trump tweeted out the photo. Pentagon says the dog was slightly
injured but is doing much better and he is back on duty.
NOBILO: The SDF says an ISIS spokesman was killed on the same day as Al- Baghdadi. These pictures show the site in Northern Syria where the spokesman was reportedly killed in the U.S. air strikes. A U.S. State
Department official says the spokesman acted as Al-Baghdadi's virtual number two. And earlier I asked CNN's Sam Kiley what the death of the Al-
Baghdadi could mean for the future of ISIS as a terrorist organization?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, the death of Baghdadi, the caliph of the so-called Islamic caliphate is a body blow to
the whole brand image of the so-called Islamic state, but it isn't catastrophic. What it does mean though is that it now competes on the
international stage only as an idea. It hasn't - cause all the way from Afghanistan to the Philippines through West-Africa and Somalia.
Often in quite small groups but they remain extremely dangerous in terms of the ideology particularly to Western Europe. This is something the Turks
have been keen to emphasize particularly in the negotiations with the Europeans, threatening to unlock the doors for the refugees if you like and
allow them to flood back in which of course would mean, the possible movement of people planning to conduct terrorist operations inside Western
But ultimately in the end the whole notion of the Islamic state magnetism rested on its ability to control territory and have a caliph a man who put
himself as the head of the whole Islamic world in a move that most is Muslims believe is highly heretic is now over. And from that perspective it
has been a pretty devastating blow. Bianca.
NOBILO: Thanks to Sam Kiley there. Now to Britain where I am which has a new Brexit deadline and maybe a new election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
will try again to call snap election on December 12 will make a new attempt on slightly easier terms after parliament rejected his bid a few hours ago.
Mr. Johnson is hoping a new parliament will sign off on his plan to leave the European Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This House cannot any longer keep this country hostage. Millions of families and businesses cannot plan for
the future. And do I believe that this paralysis and this stagnation shouldn't be allowed to continue. Now that no deal is off the table we have
a great new deal.
We have a great new deal. And it's time for the voters to have a chance to pronounce on that deal. And to replace this dysfunctional parliament with a
new parliament that can get Brexit done so the country can move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Whatever happens when people in Britain wake up on November 1st, they'll still be part of Europe? Mr. Johnson agreed to something else he
was - opposed another Brexit delay. Now Brexit has it all speaking new language from back stop to regret prorogation and now we have flex tension
to add to the vocabulary. Just three days before the deadline the European Counsel has given Britain up to January 31st of next year to reach a deal.
It can then leave earlier if parliament passes that agreement on either December or January 1st.
So Brexit is technically on hold again. Can they seal the deal in a matter of months, even if Mr. Johnson does get a new parliament? CNN's Nic
Robertson is here with more. Nic, you and I were talking earlier about the importance of democracy that Britain is an example of. After the
referendum, which was a giant democratic exercise in the UK and Britain voted to leave that hasn't been delivered up on more than three years
Now we have a parliament which is stymieing the Prime Minster in achieving an election which is something the opposition party is usually
enthusiastically pushing forward. It's not really good look, is it? Where's the democracy in all this?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And when the government has a minority as it has right now its unable actually to get its work
through. So hence the point we need to have an election. That's where normally as you say the opposition steps in. But at the moment the
opposition sees an election as something that they can't trust the terms of it that Boris Johnson would of offer.
They're still speaking about getting this no-deal Brexit making sure it's entirely off the table and having the date of the elections set in law. But
I think the other thing on top of it here is, very clearly, that the Labour Party is just not doing very well in the polls relative to the Conservative
Boris Johnson would go into this looking strong. The other parties that were support in the S&P and the Liberal Democrats think that they can
actually pick up some additional seats, interestingly, from the conservatives. So that's the dynamic in play.
NOBILO: There was a lot more opposition to the prospect of a general election just a few months ago - years in Brexit time.
NOBILO: But there does seem to be a begrudging acceptance by not all of the parties, but many of them, that this parliament isn't going to deliver on
any of their ideal outcomes whether you are perhaps S&N or Liberal Democrat, you would like to see a second referendum or revocation or
whether or not you a leaver and you want to see the deal done or some other form of Brexit. This current parliament almost exists to in a stasis.
ROBERTSON: Where we're at today we seem to be in a position of compromises. The Prime Minster is not going to try to force the withdrawal agreement
bill. That's one of the things he said that he will take off the table to get to the December 12 election
The Liberal Democrats are willing to suspend their real desire for a second referendum. The Scottish National Party they say they would like to have
16-year-olds and 17-year-olds voting in the election as well as members of the European Union community who are living here in Britain as well. They
would like them to vote.
Everyone is willing to make compromises for the Labour Party. This is potentially going to be hugely damaging for the Labour Party. But I think
the general view here is this - as much as the Conservative Party has gone through a significant transition it lost people sort of center is boat on
boat those who sort of at the more of the right end of the party. The Labour Party has split and this election may well shake out the Labour
Party and they may ultimately end up with a new leader but less seats in parliament.
NOBILO: Thank you, Nic. And we'll keep an eye on this. Obviously with the next vote it will be a simple majority so potentially achievable without
ROBERTSON: Much easier.
NOBILO: Thank you. In Chile, the cabinet is getting a major overhaul. The President Sebastian Pinera says several members are being replaced in an
attempt to control the wave of violent nationwide protests. The state of emergency in several cities has also been lifted but despite those changes,
demonstrations are continuing.
At least 20 people died with hundreds more injured. Matt Rivers joins me now from Santiago. Matt, what message do these cabinet appointments send?
What's the intention here?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I think this is just yet another step by the administration to try and meet some of these demand of
these protesters. The change in ministers is just the latest thing that they have tried to do here in terms of alleviating the tension and getting
all these people who are still out on the streets as you can see behind me off the streets and returning some calm here.
They've announced raises in their pension benefits here. They have lifted the state of emergency that was in effect for a while. There is no curfew
any more. There was a curfew for seven straight nights. Now they changed the eight of the cabinet members and yet. I mean, look Bianca, there are
thousands of people streaming towards the main government building called the Morita Palace here, which is where kind of the main executive office
And there are thousands and thousands of people streaming on a Monday night to continue this protest over economic inequality. The - Administration, in
its search for some sort of solution to this ongoing crisis, just by the fact that these people are out here now Bianca it's clear they haven't fund
the answer quite yet.
NOBILO: Matt Rivers, thank you very much. You're looking at live pictures there of the demonstrations that Matt was referring to. He was in amongst
them. Argentina has a new leader. Politician Alberti Fernandez has declared victory over President Mauricio Macri who has conceded defeat. The race was
a referendum on Argentina's struggling economy with voters rejecting the - measures proposed by Mr. Macri. The Argentina's stock market rallied in the
wake of Fernandez's win and the country's Central Bank immediately announced renewed efforts to prop up the Argentinean.
An ominous warning though from the head of Lebanon's Central Bank, h says the protests have disrupted the country for more than a week and could
cause the Central Bank to default on loans and collapse the Lebanese economy unless an immediate solution can be found. He made that dire warn
in an exclusive interview with my colleague Becky Anderson. Take a listen.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Bianca, it's very much a story by the numbers here. When it comes down to it these protests are fundamentally about the
economics of the country. People hate the corruption, but in a sad irony, the protests themselves are also making new economic problems.
Have a listen to my exclusive interview with the world's long longest serving Governor of a Central Bank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: You say that you have enough reserves to ensure that this country can stave off economic collapse as long as the political situation here is
sorted out. Are we talking days, weeks and months?
RIAD SALAME, GOVERNOR, LEBANESE CENTRAL BANK: It's a matter of days because the cost is heavy on the country. But more important, we are losing every
day confidence more and more confidence. And finance and economics is all about confidence.
The banks are all closed. The real asset of Lebanon is the Lebanese working outside our Diasporas. If they don't see a solution that gives hope for the
future, then these influence on which Lebanon relies will diminish in an important manner. And in order to save this situation, we need immediately
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The Central Bank's offices were all but empty earlier. We are 11 days in and banks and shops are still closed here. The idea of an immediate
solution seems far off in what a country is deadlocked by fracture. Back to you Bianca.
NOBILO: Our Becky Anderson there. Now the man charged in the deaths of 39 migrants found inside a truck in Southeast England appeared in court on
Monday. Prosecutors now say that Morris Robinson was part of a global trafficking ring. The 25-year-old is facing charges including manslaughter
and conspiracy to traffic people. Robinson has yet to enter a plea and will remain in custody until his next hearing.
In California, wind-fueled wildfires are raging at both ends of state, threatening homes and causing mass evacuations. Thriving winds have made
fighting that blazes almost impossible. Electric companies have had to cut power to more than a 1 million homes hoping to prevent the electric sparks
that can start even more fires. CNN's Dan Simon is on the scene at one of the burned out community areas in Northern California.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me explain where I'm. This was a 150- year-old winery that was reduced to rubble just in about an hour. You can see there's really nothing left, and you do see obviously destruction as
you drive around. But the real thing with this fire is that the impact it's having on so many people about 200,000 folks were forced to evacuate
because of the very strong wind over the weekend.
NOBILO: And the blazes are not just in Northern California. Smoke could be seen across the Los Angeles sky line Monday morning after a fire that
popped up near the city.
Coming up next on THE BRIEF U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap after a major military win. But as he relishing the accomplishment the
White House is moving forward with a vote on the next steps for impeachment.
NOBILO: The full U.S. House will vote this week for the first time on the impeachment inquiry into the U.S. President Donald Trump. After initially
resisting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi now says lawmakers will move forward Thursday with a vote on the inquiry's rules and procedures.
Democrats hope the vote will establish the White House does not have any authority to resist Congressional subpoenas but documents and testimony as
the Trump Administration has argued. Pelosi explained the coming vote in a letter to House colleagues writing "We are taking this step to eliminate
any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents to prevent witness testimony disregard duly authorized subpoenas all continued
obstructing the House of Representative. Nobody is above the law".
Stephen Collinson joins me now from Washington for today's "Political Debrief". So Stephen, that's Pelosi's description of why the Democrats are
doing this, but politically why is it advantageous for them to take this step now,
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN HOUSE REPORTER: Effectively Bianca she's calling the Republicans bluff, White House's and its allies in Congress have been
arguing that this process of taking depositions from witnesses in the Ukraine inquiry behind closed doors is a sham and unconstitutional. That is
not actually the case that it's unconstitutional but that's their political argument.
Pelosi is basically taking away that centerpiece of the Republican defense of Donald Trump. Effectively what this is going to do as it going to force
Republicans and potentially the White House to face the question of whether the President abused his power by asking a foreign country, Ukraine, for
dirt on his potential 2020 political opponent.
So it's really clarifying the stakes for the public and then the process will go into open hearings and various other legal avenues.
NOBILO: Mm-hmm. And Stephen, today you've also written an article which I was just trying to pull up again, which is very good on President Trump and
the killing of Al-Baghdadi. This is obviously good timing as far as the President is concerned because of impeachment storm that's surrounding him.
Is this military victory something that members of U.S. political spectrum from all sides can support?
COLLINSON: Well, it certainly comes at a good time for the President because all we have been talking about the last three weeks is impeachment
and the Ukraine scandal and the fiery and the Republican ranks of his withdrawal from Syria. So it does ease some of that tension particularly
between the President and his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, but right now we are talking about impeachment again.
It shows how short lived these things can be. The President is out having a victory lap, trying to portray the killing of Baghdadi as evidence of his
statesmanship. He is pro as a military leader. I think the lesson actually from the killing of Osama Bin Laden for the Obama Administration back in
2011 is that while in the moment these things are highly symbolic and can give the President a political lift, their half-life is actually quite
short and the mess of politics in Washington, particularly in this administration given that we are facing an impeachment storm, really is
probably going to mute the effectiveness and the length of any political bounce the President gets from this.
NOBILO: Stephen, not only that, but I suppose obviously the comparison between the killing of Al-Baghdadi and Bin Laden - it's inevitable that
they're going to be compared. How do you think that the impact and context of those events is different now, particularly on the American psyche and
the pop population?
COLLINSON: I think Bin Laden was a bigger figure mythically. The September 11th attacks were an attack on American soil. They took away the illusion
that Americans were safe across the seas in their own land. Therefore it was much more of emotional connection I believe.
Although Baghdadi is clearly a significant figure he was America's most wanted terrorist, I think he was a more obscure figure. Most of the ISIS
attacks didn't take place in United States. So although the present this weekend was arguing that Baghdadi because he was able to create a
caliphate, was a more significant figure than Bin Laden I think most Americans wouldn't share that view.
NOBILO: Stephen Collinson thanks for joining us. Good to see you. When THE BRIEF returns what this huge new airport shape like a star fish says about
China's ambitions going ahead in the world.
NOBILO: A giant new airport is now open to the international public changing how millions of people around the world fly. International flights
took off for the first time from Beijing's Daxing airport, it's nicknamed the Star Fish, four of its reasons and it's huge. It's the size of 97
soccer pitches, to be precise. CNN got a chance to go and tour inside. Here's our David Culver.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you think about the size of airport you think about getting around. That's always a challenge. Especially when
you have arrived here at E 85 and you got to get to another concourse. The argument is because it's a star fish shape that essentially you can go from
one tentacle and get to the main center, they argue, in about eight minutes time. That's what they say it will take on average.
NOBILO: The airport cost $11 billion to build. Its master plan is to see 100 million people pass through a year. But this isn't just about numbers.
It's also about symbolism. It opened just ahead of China's 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic and Xi Jinping was there to do it.
China is expected to pass the United States to become the world's top aviation market by the year 2023. As China looks to expand its influence
around the world with Chinese corporations investing heavily in Africa, increased military activity in South China Sea, having one of the world's
most impressive airports will only bolster its reach. That's it for THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo. And "WORLD SPORT" is next.