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House To Enact Rules For Public Impeachment Inquiry; First Ear- Witness To Trump-Ukraine Calls Testifies; Wildfires Raging Across California. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 30, 2019 - 05:30   ET




DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Dave Briggs, 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 when they testify in the impeachment inquiry.

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

ROMANS: Former special adviser to Ukraine Christopher Anderson will say that former national security adviser John Bolton warned top U.S. 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.

BRIGGS: The current special adviser, Katherine Croft, will talk about pressure from Giuliani's allies outside government to oust then- 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.

ROMANS: After weeks of closed-door testimony, House Democrats begin setting up there 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 the record in 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 and 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 disagreement 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 to the floor on Thursday for a vote -- Dave and Christine.


ROMANS: OK, Lauren. Thank you for that.

The impeachment inquiry hearing from its first witness who actually listened in on that call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official in charge of Ukraine policy, testified for more than 10 hours.

BRIGGS: Sources say Vindman told lawmakers the White House rough transcript was mostly accurate but that he would have made a couple of minor changes -- one of them to this section where Zelensky says, quote, "He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue."

According to Vindman, instead of the company, Zelensky specified Burisma. That's the name of the energy firm that employed Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

ROMANS: Vindman also pointed to the ellipses in this sentence. "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution -- so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me." According to Vindman, where the three dots are, President Trump said

there were tapes of Biden, an apparent reference to Joe Biden speaking at a 2018 event. Now, that contradicts the White House, which told reporters that nothing was missing there. It was just a pause.

BRIGGS: A tense moment in Vindman's deposition as a shouting match broke out between the parties. Five sources from both sides of the aisle tell us that Democrats accused Republicans of trying to out the anonymous whistleblower whose report sparked the inquiry.

They claim GOP questions about who Vindman spoke to would reveal the whistleblower's identity. Republicans pushed back and the exchange became heated.

Lawmakers say Vindman testified he does not know who the whistleblower is.

Meanwhile, 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, followed by Joe Biden at 15 and Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent.

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


ROMANS: All right. The longest nationwide auto strike in 50 years will cost General Motors almost $3 billion. Now, although GM was unable to build any cars at American factories during that strike, it had built up an inventory ahead of the walkout to give its dealers what they needed to keep selling.

As production picks back up, CEO Mary Barra said, "With no additional vehicles in the pipeline for many weeks, our dealer inventories will be temporarily leaner than we like." Barra also said it will be hard to make up for six weeks of lost production, especially for those best-selling vehicles.

GM insisted the 4-year deal reached with the United Auto Workers Union is a good one and that it will be able to find savings and improvements in productivity in coming years.

And I'll be looking in just three hours for how that GM strike might have affected overall U.S. economic growth because it's not just GM. Think of all the suppliers --


ROMANS: -- and all of the attendant businesses that depended on those workers going to work.

BRIGGS: Ahead, House Democrats are setting up a public formal impeachment proceeding. Will that force the White House to cooperate?



BRIGGS: Two State Department Ukraine experts headed to Capitol Hill to testify in just hours. This comes as the House starts laying out the ground rules for a formal impeachment inquiry. Will this force the White House to play ball with Democrats in Congress?

We're joined by Zach Wolf, senior writer at "CNN POLITICS." He writes the "Impeachment Watch" newsletter, which has been very busy in recent days.

ROMANS: Hi, Zach.

BRIGGS: And before we -- before we talk about what's happening today let's rewind to yesterday.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient. How does his background, the fact that he was on the call and was concerned and reported it to his superiors change the equation here?

ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Well, it's interesting. The first person who we've actually heard from to be on the call essentially confirms --


WOLF: -- everything that we've seen about the call and everything that people have -- the other testimony. He confirms all of that.

Plus, he adds a little wrinkle in that there may have been some few words dropped from the transcript. It's not sure that that would change our understanding of the call --


WOLF: -- but it does kind of go to show the White House had said -- like, the ellipses, for instance, that you guys mentioned earlier in the show -- that those were just ellipses. But apparently, they represent dropped words in one case. He said he would have been more specific. That the word Burisma may have -- may have been used.

It sort of lends that there is more specificity here than we -- than we've been led to believe about some of this stuff.

ROMANS: But nothing earthshattering in the transcript having a couple of things that needed to be tweaked.

What was really interesting to me was the visual of him walking in, in his military uniform. I mean, here's a guy who has served this country, right -- who is a decorated veteran who carries shrapnel from an IED attack in his body.

And the response from Republicans was to take this man, an American citizen who came to this country as a refugee when he was a toddler -- to take this man and to try to tarnish his reputation in this almost the sky is not blue moment that was repeated again and again.

Listen to the attacks on this man's credibility.


LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS, "THE LAURA INGRAHAM SHOW": Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interest, and usually they spoke in English.

JOHN YOO, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: And some people might call that espionage.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": We also know he was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated with his family -- young. He tends to feel simpatico with the Ukraine.

SEAN DUFFY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: He has an affinity, probably, for his homeland.


ROMANS: I mean, it's like this anti-immigrant bias -- this anti- American bias coming into this discussion about this man.

What do you make about the -- about the blowback here?

WOLF: Now, we should point out that after that happened on Capitol Hill there were a number of --



WOLF: -- Republican lawmakers -- Liz Cheney, in particular -- who went out of their way to defend him and say that's not cool, what was going on earlier yesterday.

But I do think we've entered this kind of era of knee-jerk criticism where you don't even wait to hear what somebody says. If you feel like they are going to be against your point of view you automatically try to attack them. It's attack, it's attack, it's attack all the time and there is no room for any honest brokers, even when somebody has taken the oath to defend the country, has gone to Iraq, has done all these things.

It's like it doesn't even -- people can't even fathom that somebody would try to tell the truth as opposed to push an agenda.

ROMANS: It reminds me of the president attack the Gold Star family -- the Khan family. Remember when they were critical of him? It reminds of his criticism of John McCain -- I like it if they don't get captured. There has been this tone already before for veterans and their families, and I think that's unfortunate.

BRIGGS: So there's today. You have a former and a current State Department special adviser and I'm talking about Katherine Croft. The first being Christopher Anderson, a former State Department.

But it's Croft who, according to the opening statement that we have received, will say there was an informal hold put on Ukraine military aid and the key being at the direction of the president. How significant is the opening statement?

WOLF: Well, I think it falls in line with the testimony that we've heard that this was all coming directly from Trump and from this shadow foreign policy operation that was operating outside of the State Department and outside of normal channels, and outside of U.S. policy, really.

And while I'm not sure she's going to be able to be inside the meetings where they were hatching this shadow foreign policy, she certainly saw, it's clear, the end result of it, which is Trump putting a hold on the military aid.


ROMANS: I mean, a free and democratic Ukraine is in the best interest of the United States and a free Europe is in the best interest of the United States. That's the underlying foreign policy here.

And I think that we -- a lot of times in this discussion we forget that -- I mean, the country is occupied by Russia and the president keeps sort of talking about how Ukraine is corrupt and -- you know, it's almost all of this all feeds, in the end, back into a pro- Vladimir Putin position.

WOLF: Yes. It's in the U.S. foreign policy interest if you feel like the U.S. should be standing up to Russia. I mean, just like you put it.

That's exactly the underlying thing there. That's the fulcrum. If you take that away it all falls apart.

ROMANS: Zach, nice to see you. Zach Wolf, thanks.

WOLF: Yes.

ROMANS: Lots to do in the "Impeachment Watch." I keep -- I watch it every morning.

Thank you. Don't forget to sign up for that newsletter. You can go to and see it for yourself.

BRIGGS: All right.

The U.K. heading for an early election in December as the European Union formally adopts an extension to Brexit. The departure of Britain from the E.U. now delayed until January 31st.

The president of the E.U., Donald Tusk warning Britain that the extension may be the last one. "Please make the best use of this time."

This, as the House of Commons votes to hold a general election on December 12th. The bill still has to be signed off by the House of Lords.

It's a win for the British prime minister Boris Johnson who demanded a new election after losing support for his tough Brexit proposals in the lower house.

ROMANS: All right. Here's a preview of what to watch today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rising rent and home prices are pushing Americans further from the places they work. This is straining the backbone of our communities.

To do our part, Wells Fargo has committed $1 billion over the next six years to develop housing affordability solutions, putting affordable homes within reach. This is our commitment. This is Wells Fargo.




BRIGGS: The California strong winds are fueling major wildfires across the state. The largest, the Kincade fire, has burned more than 76,000 acres in California's Wine Country and is just 15 percent contained. Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed, including nearly 90 homes.

Southern California's Getty fire, near Los Angeles, threatening some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Celebrities from LeBron James to Arnold Schwarzenegger among the thousands forced to evacuate.

The National Weather Service warns conditions could get even worse today.

More from CNN's Stephanie Elam in Los Angeles.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Dave, they are saying that this wind event is like no other, so much so that the National Weather Service has now said that this is an extreme weather event, the first time that they've ever used language like that for Los Angeles.

They're saying that these winds could be as much as 80 miles per hour and in line with some hurricane-force winds. That said, they're saying that people should not mess around and that they want people to be ready -- prepared to leave at a moment's notice out of their homes.

Obviously, we are standing in part of the area that has been affected by the Getty fire. Firefighters still out, still monitoring any hotspots that are burning because they want to make sure they can tamp those down as much as possible as these winds pick up and increase because they don't want those embers to catch on the wind and blow miles away and start a fire in another neighborhood, as we've already seen about a dozen homes lost here in the Getty fire.

Another bit of news is the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, coming out and saying that now the power companies are going to credit the millions of Californians who have been living without power during these two wind events as they've affected people in Northern California at the Kincade fire and people here at the Getty fire -- Christine and Dave.


ROMANS: All right, Stephanie Elam. Thank you, Stephanie.

Let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning.

Taking a look at markets around the world, you can see leaning lower here.

On Wall Street, also a bit of a pause in the action. Futures down just about eight points -- not very much at all.

Look, stocks stepped back one day after the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. The Dow closed 20 points lower. The S&P and the Nasdaq also down.

The Fed meets today and could cut interest rates for a third time.

But first up, the first read on economic growth in the third quarter. GDP out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. It's forecast to be below two percent.

HBO Max finally has a launch date. The new service from WarnerMedia, CNN's parent company -- it will debut May 2020, $14.99 a month.

The platform will include classics like "LOONEY TUNES," "FRIENDS," as well as Turner Classic Movies and original content.

HBO Max joins an already crowded field. Apple TV+ launches Friday. Disney+ will launch early next month. NBC Universal's Peacock is set to debut next spring. There is already Hulu, Amazon, and also Netflix.

AT&T is hoping HBO Max will have 50 million subscribers by 2025.

Fiat Chrysler once again looking at a merger, this time with Peugeot. The carmakers confirmed they are taking part in ongoing discussions over a potential deal. Global automakers are facing increasing costs and declining sales

because of a slowdown in China. The deal could create a $50 billion company.


WORLD SERIES ANNOUNCER: One out and now there with two out. And Redon shoots one into left. Back at the wall, it is gone.


BRIGGS: The Washington Nationals forcing a winner-take-all game seven of the World Series. The Nats win game six 7-2 over the Astros.


A big night for third baseman Anthony Rendon, who drove in five of those seven runs. And a historic postseason continues for Stephen Strasburg who pitched into the ninth for his record fifth postseason win.

Washington manager Dave Martinez ejected in the seventh inning after arguing a controversial interference call. It's the first time a manager has been tossed from a World Series game since 1996 and for the first time ever in the World Series or NBA or NHL finals.

The road team has won each of the first six games. Game seven tonight in Houston.

ROMANS: The NCAA reversing course and now says it will allow student- athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. The Board of Governors voting unanimously to embrace the change.

It follows a new California law allowing college athletes to have endorsement deals and hire agents. The state's governor called it the beginning of a national movement.

Ohio State's athletic director admits that was a factor.


EUGENE SMITH, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: The California law and other states that are going to bring about laws is probably a pressure point for us and caused us to move, and I think that that's OK. So the bottom line is we're doing what's right for our student-athletes. And so, I think it's OK.


ROMANS: LeBron James celebrating the move, something he had campaigned for.

LeBron tweeting this. "It's a beautiful day for all college athletes. Thank you guys for allowing me to bring more light to it. I'm so proud of the team at @uninterrupted bringing focus on this and to everyone who has been fighting this fight. Not a victory but a start!"

BRIGGS: Another gender reveal party misfire, though fortunately, no one was hurt in Sunday's accident.

Police in Waukee, Iowa say they received several calls about an explosion in a vacant lot strong enough to shatter a neighbor's window. Fire officials say the property owner confirmed a store- bought gender reveal kit blew up after the partygoers shot it with a rifle.

It happened just 50 miles away and a day after a much more tragic gender reveal gone awry in Knoxville, Iowa. In that case, a woman was killed when a piece of shrapnel from a makeshift gender reveal contraption struck her in the head.

ROMANS: All right, 57 minutes past the hour.

The White House held its traditional trick or treat Halloween party. While you were sleeping, late-night's James Corden showed a horrifying and hilarious highlight. You be the judge.


JAMES CORDEN, CBS HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": In other Trump news, the president and the first lady hosted a Halloween celebration at the White House last night.

Here they are here. As you can see, Trump is dressed in the same unconvincing president costume he's had on since 2016.

But things got a little weird when they started handing out candy to the trick or treaters, right? Look at this video. So look at that -- look, there's a cute minion coming up. But look, rather than putting the candy bar in the bag, Trump just puts it on his head.

What is even going on here? Those are two people who definitely don't know how children work.

And, Trump should be very comfortable around minions. His cabinet is full of them.


BRIGGS: That's well-played. But you have the poor minion. He and Melania put the candy on the head. The kid had a bag so he needed candy.

ROMANS: I know.

BRIGGS: You dressing up tomorrow night?

ROMANS: Oh, I'm just trying to get my kids dressed up. Once I get them dressed up, I'll figure it out. What are you going to do?

BRIGGS: Well, I'm working on that. It has to do with the World Series, but it's difficult to put together a last-minute costume idea. ROMANS: Oh, I have an idea.

BRIGGS: I'm working on it, though.

ROMANS: Let me guess -- you're going to be holding your beers.

BRIGGS: I may or may not be holding two beers, which might be convenient for a guy on Halloween night.

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vindman's testimony is testimony about a cover-up. What was presented to the American people as an official record of this phone call, this witness is saying was at the very least incomplete.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The president's allies would like nothing better than to help the president out this whistleblower.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We're trying to get information. Adam Schiff won't let the witness answer questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrats unveiled their new resolution. They will vote on Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an attempt to dress it up a little bit to try and give it the sheen of legitimacy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans haven't been very cooperative as it relates to what we've been trying to do in the context of presenting the truth.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, October 30th. It's 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is on assignment. Erica Hill joins me this morning. Great to have you here.


BERMAN: You were up until just a few hours ago watching game six of the World Series, no doubt?

HILL: Obviously. I'll give you a full recap later.

BERMAN: Fantastic. We have breaking news for you this morning. New details on what witnesses will tell the impeachment inquiry in just a few hours and it all paints the same picture of a shadow foreign policy to benefit the president. And the testimony tells the same story about concerns from within the administration.

CNN has learned that Christopher Anderson, a career foreign service officer, will tell lawmakers that during a meeting in mid-June, National Security adviser John Bolton cautioned officials about Rudy Giuliani's influence on Ukraine.