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Diplomats to Reveal More on Ukraine Relations; Dems Mull Rules for Public Impeachment Probe; Wildfires Raging Across California; Nats Force Game 7 in World Series; NCAA: Athletes Can Get Endorsements. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired October 30, 2019 - 05:00   ET


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: New details on the impeachment inquiry. What Ukraine experts will tell Congress in just a few hours.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Southern California on alert for an extreme fire danger with at least 26 million people under red flag warnings.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now they're with two outs. And Rendon shoots one into left. Back at the wall and it is gone!


BRIGGS: The Nats strike back, beating the Houston Astros and forcing game seven in the World Series.


Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, October 30th. It is exactly 5:00 a.m. in the east.

And breaking news. In just a few hours, two State Department diplomats set to testify on the impeachment inquiry. And we now know some of what they will say.

According to a copy of their opening statement obtained by CNN, both will outline the role people outside of the government had in Ukraine policy.

BRIGGS: Former special adviser for Ukraine, Christopher Anderson, will say that former national security adviser John Bolton warned top officials about the influence Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani had on U.S. policy toward Ukraine. Anderson will also reveal that the Trump administration blocked a statement condemning Russian aggression toward Ukraine back in November of 2018.

ROMANS: The current special adviser Catherine Croft will talk about pressure from Giuliani's allies to outside government to oust vetted ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Croft will also detail a July 18th video conference where a Trump budget official discussed an informal hold on military aid to Ukraine. The only reason given, Croft will say, was that the order came at the direction of the president.

BRIGGS: And after weeks of closed-door testimony, House Democrats begin setting up their formal public impeachment process, starting with a committee debate this afternoon. The panel will consider a resolution on the scope and rules for the next steps in the impeachment inquiry, ahead of a full House vote on Thursday. That vote will mark the first time each House Democrat will have to go on record on the attempt to oust the president.

More now from Lauren Fox on Capitol Hill.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Dave and Christine, Democrats unveiled their new resolution. Basically, what it does is it sets up the rules for the next steps of the impeachment inquiry. It announces that the Intelligence Committee will have a report they'll send over to the Judiciary Committee. It also expands minority rights.

Basically, what it does is it gives Republicans an opportunity to request testimony and documents from individuals. Of course, they have to do that with consultation from the Democratic chairman. And if there's a agreement, there will be a full committee vote.

Of course, Republicans are arguing that gives Democrats more of an advantage, because they have the majority in the House of Representatives. But most importantly, it gives the president of the United States, Donald Trump, his own rights in this impeachment probe. What it does is it sets out the opportunity for the president and his lawyer to present their case and respond to evidence, to attend hearings, including those in executive session, and raise objections and cross-examine witnesses.

Of course, this all undercuts a key Republican talking point that this process has been happening behind closed doors and that it doesn't give Republicans or the president a right to defend the party.

So, obviously, this is a big step. Democrats are planning to bring this not floor on Thursday for a vote -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: All right, Lauren. Thank you for that.

Russia and Turkey starting a patrol inside Syria after America's Kurdish allies are told to get out of the way. We go live to the Turkish-Syria border, next.


[05:07:55] ROMANS: A new CNN poll shows two New England senators, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren running neck and neck for the lead in New Hampshire, site of the first 2020 Democratic presidential primary. The poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire has Sanders at 21 percent, Warren at 18 percent. They're followed by Joe Biden at 15, Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent.

Although his support in the Granite State has dipped since July, 36 percent still see Biden as the Democrat with the best chance to defeat Trump in November. But Elizabeth Warren has gained ground on that question, jumping from 9 percent to 18 percent in the last three months.

BRIGGS: Julian Castro is polling far behind the top 2020 Democrats, but he's not giving up the fight just yet. Castro says he has hit 80 percent of his fund-raising goal for the end of October. The former San Antonio mayor has told supporters he needs to raise $800,000 by the end of the month or he will end his campaign.

Meantime, Democratic front-runner Joe Biden is keeping up his new, tougher tone towards president Trump. Biden telling CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin, quote, it's like dealing not with a commander in chief, but a whiner in chief. It's bizarre.

Biden slammed the Trump foreign policy as utterly incompetent and says he must reverse course on the Syria troop pullout that abandoned America's Kurdish allies.

ROMANS: All right. America's economic growth is slowing, but how much? In just a few hours, we're going to know. We're going to get a sense of how all these factors are playing in here. We got the trade war, a global slowdown, a GM strike, and also fading effects of those tax cuts, how they have affected the U.S. in the third quarter.

The Atlanta Fed estimates the economy grew 1.7 percent for the quarter. The New York Fed, slightly more optimistic at 1.9 percent. I've seen forecast all the way down at 1.4 to 1.5 percent.

Look, there was a sugar rush from tax cuts early last year, but that growth appears to be fading. What happened to the 4, 5, 6 percent growth that President Trump promised with his policies?

The president's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, blamed one of Trump's favorite targets.


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: I know where 1 percent of that is. And that's Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve.


ROMANS: You think so?

NAVARRO: Absolutely, no question. And if you look at Q2, GDP numbers, we lost two-thirds of a point to export fall alone. And that's all on Jay Powell.

ROMANS: We certainly don't want to emulate --

NAVARRO: Jerome Powell.


ROMANS: I said we don't want to emulate Europe where they talked about -- the president talks about negative interest rates.

The president repeatedly bashed the Fed, said interest rate of the U.S. is too high, lamenting U.S. doesn't have negative rates like Europe and Japan. The GDP report comes out just as the Federal Reserve meets and just hours whether they'll announce cutting interest rating for a third time this year.

BRIGGS: They're setting up patrols making sure Kurdish fighters have moved out. Under the agreement, the two countries will take control of a narrow strip along the border. That's where you'll find Sam Kiley with more on that.

Not just our Kurdish allies in particularly, about those ISIS prisoners. What's the fate of them?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dave, that is ultimately almost the strategic issue here is the fate of 70,000 at least women and children associated or alleged to be associated with ISIS fighters, and then some 10,000 ISIS fighters held in prisons guarded by the Syrian Democratic Forces. Now, most of these prisons lie in camps just outside the 32 kilometer, 25-, 27-mile buffer zone that's been established. Relatively successful so far with the Russians and Turks saying that they believe the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Forces Kurdish-dominated have withdrawn from that area.

But the future of the area that remains under their control, of course, now becomes much more problematic. They've lost in large part the support that they've had from the United States following Donald Trump's withdrawal from this buffer zone. He has reinforced their control more or less over the oil-rich south of the country. And there are hopes as Esper, the defense secretary, said they would actually use that oil to help pay for guarding the prisoners, but ultimately the Europeans are very torn as to what to do, particularly with the ISIS fighters, but even the families in terms of foreign fighters as to whether they come home. At the moment, they're languishing in the camps but potentially could be released and become another army.

BRIGGS: Sam Kiley, live for us near the Turkish-Syrian border -- thank you, sir.

Coming up, game 7 to the best words in professional sports. Andy Scholes, well, probably not good words for the Houston native. He'll tell us that story in the "Bleacher Report", next.



ROMANS: Ten million Californians now under an extreme red flag warning, something the weather service has never before issued.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: So, good morning, Dave and Christine.

The National Weather Service certainly doing what it takes across this region to get everyone's attention when it comes to the extreme red flag warnings across the area. And calculated exactly how much land this compasses. Over 4,700 square miles of land, which is actually 700 square miles bigger than the big island of Hawaii. So, it gives you a scale of the area where they're dealing with the extreme winds and, of course, the extreme fire weather risk that is in place throughout much of Wednesday morning before conditions we think will improve going into Wednesday evening, and eventually Thursday as well.

But widespread coverage from the California-Mexico border all the way into the San Gabriel Mountains, where 70-plus-mile-per-hour winds are possible later morning. You could see some gusts even exceed 80 miles per hour, and we think sometimes between, say, 9:00 and 11:00 local time, is when we think strong will be felt across the region of California.

But when you broaden out the picture, big weather story and quite a bit of it going on across the country, you have this massive front pushing in toward the east. Not only heavy rain to be had, but on this Halloween eve and as you approach Halloween Day, some snow showers across the portion of the Midwest over the next 24 hours -- guys.


BRIGGS: Pedram, thank you.

Game seven, two greatest words in sports. That's what we have tonight. World Series after the Nationals beat the Astros last night.

Houston's own Andy Scholes has that story in the "Bleacher Report."

How are you feeling, buddy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Tired and stressed out, Dave. This World Series and Astros run has taken a few years off my life, that's for sure.

Looking forward to a game seven, maybe, if the outcome goes my way. But I'll tell you what, this series, the road team winning again. This is the first time in NBA, NHL, baseball history that the road team has won the first six games of the series.

What do you say about the Nationals? Such a resilient bunch. Every time they found their backs against the wall, whether they'd be the regular season, the postseason, they have found a way and did that in game six. With a score tied, 21-year-old Juan Soto comes to the play absolutely crushes the ball off Justin Verlander.


That home run gave the Nationals the lead.

Then in the top of the seventh, we had some controversy. Trea Turner hustling for an in-field single gets called out for running inside the base pad. Dave Martinez and all of Twitter just goes off on the umpires. Martinez would end up getting ejected after a heated discussion.

The Nationals, they ended up protesting the game, but just one batter later, Anthony Rendon made all of those nationals fans feel much better as he hit a two-run home run. Stephen Strasburg, fantastic in this one, giving up two runs in the eight and third innings.

The road team wins again. The Nationals, 7-2, the final. Winner- take-all game tonight.


DAVE MARTINEZ, WASHINGTON NATIONALS MANAGER: I'm proud of the way the boys came out and played today. I mean, that's all I want to say about that. Let's come back tomorrow and win again.

AJ HINCH, HOUSTON ASTROS MANAGER: If I told you the series was going to be 3-3 going into a game seven, I don't think there's a person in the building who would think all road teams are going to win. We want to make sure the last one is not the same.


SCHOLES: Yes, the Nationals are going to have their ace, Max Scherzer, on the hill for the game seven. He'll be going up against the Astros' Zack Greinke.

All right. The NCAA making a huge announcement yesterday, saying their board of governors voted unanimously to start the process of changing the rules to allow college athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. This comes after California's Fair Play to Pay Act into law. Now, the goal is to have the new rules in place by 2021. NCAA president Mark Emmert saying, making these new rules, though, is going to be challenging.


MARK EMMERT, NCAA PRESIDENT: Collegiate sport unlike any other sport has a recruitment sport. You get to choose your school. You don't get drafted. You don't -- it's not like you're an American and play for an American team and that recruitment process is really part of the core of what constitute as fair level playing field and structuring a model to allow students to monetize image, and likeness, well, retaining recruitment balance is one of the hardest issues that everyone's dealing with.


SCHOLES: Yes. And, Dave, that recruiting issue, I don't know how they're going to enforce this. How are you going to stop a business or booster from saying, hey, come to my school, we'll pay you 50K to sign autographs on Sundays. I don't know how the NCAA would do that.

BRIGGS: Yes, if you're a millionaire booster, who's to say. Not entirely clear what the regulations are going to be.

Andy Scholes, enjoy game seven, maybe. Thanks, buddy.

Romans, what's coming up?

ROMANS: All right. Comedy fans are mourning the sudden death of John Witherspoon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saw me, you saw the mushroom shirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mushroom shirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't stop with the mushroom shirt. That will go on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will stop with the shirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you've got to keep going.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me show you something. Look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you got a mushroom belt.

Jerrod, did you know your pops had a mushroom belt on?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't stop there. You've got to keep going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a mushroom ring?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, good idea. Look what I got.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jerrod, did you know on the inside was a special mushroom?



ROMANS: That was Witherspoon in the classic "Boomerang." Witherspoon started in standup. But he's best known for his role as Ice Cube's father in the "Friday" movie franchise.

He was also featured in the "Wayne's Brothers" and "The Tracy Morgan Show". Ice Cube paid tribute to him in a tweet saying he's devastated and that life won't be as funny without him.

BRIGGS: Got to coordinate. It was hilarious.

ROMANS: He was 77 years old.

BRIGGS: Oh, man. He'll be missed.

ROMANS: All right. In just hours, Ukraine experts are heading to Capitol Hill as House Democrats get ready to bring the impeachment inquiry out from behind closed doors. That's just ahead.



BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, a shooting at a home in Long Beach, California, leaving three men dead at the scene, and at least nine others wounded. CNN affiliate KABC says paramedics could been treating the wounded in a yard before transporting them to nearby hospitals.

KABC also says multiple shell casings were seen in an alley outside the home.

We're following all of the breaking developments. We'll bring you more as they come in.

ROMANS: In Chicago, a strike by public schoolteachers now entering its tenth day. The city's mayor and union leaders met for almost five hours Tuesday, but did not reach an agreement.

The union president said progress has been made, though, in the negotiations. He says there have been meaningful and important offers, but they haven't settled everything.

Talks are expected to resume this morning. Chicago Teachers Union officials could vote as early as today if they get a tentative agreement in place.

EARLY START continues right now.


ROMANS: Today, House Democrats take their first steps to bring the impeachment inquiry out from behind closed doors and into the public eye.

BRIGGS: Wildfires raging through California. Millions under red flag warnings, fears that strong winds could make fires even worse.

ROMANS: The NCAA overturning a longstanding rule deciding to let collegiate athletes profit from endorsements with a few caveats. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. It's 5:29 Eastern Time.

We start this morning with breaking news. We now know what two State Department diplomats will say in just a few hours.