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Donald Trump Talks Impeachment, Brexit In U.K. Radio Interview; Iraq To Hold Early Election, P.M. Agrees To Resign; Strong Winds Keep Fire Danger At Record High In California; U.S. House Votes To Formalize Trump Impeachment Inquiry; John Bercow Steps Down As British Commons Speaker. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired October 31, 2019 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER CNN HOST: All right Bill Weir, thank you so much. Stay safe my friend. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @JAKETAPPER. You can

tweet to show @THELEADCNN. Our coverage on CNN continues right now and see you tomorrow.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry. What

this changes. A disaster in Pakistan at least 17 people dead after an explosion caused by a cooking accident on a train. And after violent

protests, Iraq's Prime Minister has agreed to resign but with conditions. Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show.

It is now official the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump has entered an important new phase after a historic vote on Capitol Hill.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The resolution is adopted without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.


NOBILO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi there, announcing the passage of a resolution that formalizes the inquiry laying out the ground rules going

forward. The vote was almost entirely along party lines with no Republicans supporting it and only two Democrats voting against it.

Some of the key changes, the hearings that have been taking place behind closed doors can now go public with more sustained uninterrupted questions

of witnesses by both parties. Also Republicans will be able subpoena witnesses, but Democrats can veto that requests.

Republicans are furious over the process calling it unfair and illegitimate. One Republican later used a controversial probe to make his

point on the floor.


REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R-LA): This is unprecedented it is not only unprecedented this is Soviet style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do

things like this, where you only you make the rules where you reject the ability for the person you are accusing to even be in the room so question

what's going on. For anybody else to call witnesses, when only one person has the right to call witnesses.


NOBILO: Democrats say displays like that distractions from the substance of the allegations against Mr. Trump. They say Congress has a constitutional

duty to ensure the President isn't abusing his power.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA): When a President abuses his or her office, when a President sacrifices the national interest, when a President refuses to

defend the constitution and does so for the purpose of advancing a personal or political agenda, the founders provided the remedy. I make no pre-

judgment as to whether that remedy will be warranted when we finish these hearings.


NOBILO: Even as the vote was under way, another key figure was testifying in the inquiry. The top White House Adviser to Russia. Let's bring in our

White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, the White House Press Secretary released a statement says that the President has done nothing

wrong, as to what is the White House strategy going forward just saying that nothing illegal has occurred?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's going to be the question because for weeks they've been saying they needed Democrats to

vote for them to view this as a real impeachment inquiry and now that those first formal votes got underway today, the White House is saying two

things, that it is too little too late and then in their minds there is nothing that these Democrats can do in order to make this a legitimate

inquiry. Those were the words of Kellyanne Conway the Senior Adviser to the President of course.

And so really the question inside the White House is exactly how this is going to work now? The Democrats have voted on this, have passed this

because initially when they laid out the procedures, it was confusing not only even to some Democrats on Capitol Hill but also to people back here at

the White House because a lot of it is conditioned essentially upon what it is that the Democrats want including those parts where they say that White

House Council can be in the room, they can cross examine witnesses but only if the Chairman signs up on it and only if the White House isn't blocking

officials from coming to testify.

So there is still a lot to be determined. One thing back at the White House that they are paying attention to is the strategy here. It has been over a

month since Nancy Pelosi announced that she was launching this inquiry now of course they have this first votes today and still the White House hasn't

hired any communications professionals or added attorneys to the legal team in order to spearhead this on that front. And it has left some people here

inside the west wing feeling frustrated.

NOBILO: And Kaitlan the White House had previously pressured Nancy Pelosi to take this inquiry through a vote but this vote hasn't satisfied them at

all has it?

COLLINS: No, it hasn't. It's very clear essentially what they were arguing today that they looked at the rules here, they don't believe that it gives

the President due process. But we're also told a lot of their issue with this has to do with the fact that it gives so much leverage to the House

Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, someone that the President has feuded with. He has told aides that he doesn't want Adam Schiff here at the White

House, so that is really one of their primary complaints.


NOBILO: Kaitlan Collins thanks very much for joining us. And later in the show, we'll speak with someone who knows a lot about impeachment, Guy Smith

who was Special Adviser to U.S. President Bill Clinton when he was impeached back in 1998. He will join me live in just a few minutes time.

While Congress was voting on the impeachment inquiry, President Trump was talking to an old friend it just happened to be on Britain's airways. He

spoke on a radio show with Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage and gave his reaction to the vote.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And the Democrats are doing terribly and the do on nothing Democrats are the only thing that they

can do is this, in fact they just had a vote on a procedure. Guess it is a procedural vote. They gave us absolutely no rights because they have the

majority only in the House. I didn't have one negative Republican vote, which vote, very unusual thing.


NOBILO: But impeachment wasn't the only thing on the President's mind. It's October 31st which was supposed to be the Brexit Day. Well, Britain isn't

leaving the EU just yet as U.S. President pointed out.


TRUMP: Well, I think that Boris is and I'm, and you are, we are all disappointed. I think that it is a good thing for the UK, the concept of

what they were doing. I was in favor of it originally.


NOBILO: Well, Britain is getting a December election. And campaigning for that is now under way. The Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn at his party's

campaign launch. President Trump had no problem giving his opinions on this upcoming vote.


TRUMP: As the President of the United States, I have a great relationship with many of the leaders including Boris. He is a fantastic man and I think

he is the right guy for the times. And I know that you and him will end up doing something that could be terrific if you and he get together you know

an unstoppable force. And Corbyn would be so bad for your country. He would be so bad he would take you into such bad way he would take you into such

bad places. But your country has tremendous potential. It is a great country.


NOBILO: It's a very compelling and wide ranging conversation. Now the new Leader of ISIS has an ominous warning for America. Don't be happy about the

death of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi because ISIS is still expanding. For the first time ISIS has acknowledging the death of its formal leader killed in

a raid last week in Syria.

On Thursday, the terror group named ISIS, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi to be its new Chief. It comes as the U.S. releases newly declassified

images that military raid that lead to Baghdadi's death. Video show militants guarding the compound and attacking American U.S. commandos and

the American Special Forces returning fire as you can see there.

Protestors remained on the streets of Baghdad even after Iraq's President promised early elections. And he said the Prime Minister has agreed to

resign with conditions. Demonstrations began October 1st over the lack of jobs and pervasive corruption in the country. Iraq's Human Rights

Commission says more than 250 people have been killed and 10,000 injured in the protests. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh looks at whether today's announcements

will go far enough.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, this is the first time that we see an Iraqi political leader coming out and speaking to this protest

movement to the people like this, but if the purpose of the President's Barham Solace address was to calm down this anger that we are seeing on the

streets or to quell the protest, it does not seem like that has worked.

Tens of thousands of defiant protestors poured in to the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi streets on Thursday. They say they're fed up, they have had

enough of what they describe as these empty promises from their politician, promises that they have heard for years. Now, what President Barham Solace

said on Thursday is that the Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has agreed to resign, but it is conditional that this will only happen when they find a

replacement because they don't want to end up with a constitutional and a political vacuum.

And the other thing the President said is that they are working on a new election law and that he is for early elections. These are all amongst the

demands of these protestors, but historically if you look at these things, whether agreeing on a Prime Minister or agreeing on a law, this usually

takes a very long time in Iraq because it needs the consensus of the different political parties and the message from the street has been clear,

they want change, real change and they want it now.


NOBILO: And in Lebanon, the President is speaking out for the first time since the Prime Minister announced his resignation. Michel Aoun promised to

work on reforms he calls sectarianism a destructive disease and stressed the need for the country to evolve into a modern civil state. Also

abnormalities returning, demonstrators are still taking to the streets furious over the corruption and deteriorating economy. Earlier, CNN's Becky

Anderson sat down exclusively with Lebanon's Interior Minister to see what happens next.


RAYA HAFFAR El HASSAN, LEBANESE INTERIOR MINISTER: Each of these parliamentary blocks will nominate a person. Whoever gets the majority will

be appointed as Prime Minister.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD: Should you be asked to take that role, would you do it?

EL HASSAN: The outgoing should be the in-going Prime Minister frankly. I strongly believe that. I'm not seeking that position, I mean; I'm part of a

block a part of a political party. The political party has to decide and of course, you know, the majority of parliament has to decide.

ANDERSON: He says that he has reached a dead end. Has Lebanon reached a dead end?

EL HASSAN: No, I don't think Lebanon has reached a dead end. Obviously business cannot run as usual. So there has to be a change in the mindset of

the politicians. I think by forming a technocratic government that's the step in the right direction. It's a different ball game, things have to



NOBILO: Becky Anderson with an exclusive interview with Lebanon's Interior Minister in Beirut. Turning now to Pakistan where at least 17 people were

killed and more than 30 injured in an explosion on a train. A stove blew off as passengers were preparing breakfast and then fire engulfs the

train's carriages. Lynda Kinkade has the story.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tragedy on a Pakistan train, dozens of people killed after a gas canister explodes engulfing the train in fire,

intense flames spreading to a tree cause of the train. Terrified passengers jump off the burning train while it is still moving.

MUHAMMAD IMRAN, INJURED PASSENGER: A cylinder exploded and I don't know how fire erupted everywhere. I jumped out of the train to save my life. There

was a whole line of people behind me and they pushed.

KINKADE: Firefighters struggled to control the blase while army troops paramedics and then army aviation helicopter raised to help the victims.

The train was running on Tezgam line a daily service from Karachi to the Northern City Rawalpindi the explosion happening about halfway into the


The journey takes more than 25 hours covering a distance of 1500 kilometers. The - of gas cylinders on trains is banned in Pakistan. The

passengers say people on board were using gas powered cookers to make breakfast inside the train carriage when the explosion occurred police say

many of the people on board the train were heading to a protest in a Pakistani Capital of Islamabad.

Others were heading to a religious conference. Pakistan has a history of deadly railway accidents due to poor infrastructure and disrepair. Hundreds

of people have been killed in train derailments and collisions in recent year, but it is still common method transportation for Pakistanis. Some 17

million people traveled by train in the last year. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


NOBILO: Now to new fires new dangers in California. More wildfire erupted as people slept chasing them out of their homes and in moments noticed. The

owner of this house told CNN that he was crushed over leaving his children baby pictures behind.


MATTHEW VALDIVIA, LOST HOME IN WILDWIRE: This is my first home, this is first home I've had. We've been in this home for over a year may be a

little over a year. And my family and my neighbors are my priority. It suck, it hurts. But this can be replaced. You can't replace a life.


NOBILO: Here is where things stand right now. More than a dozen fires are burning in the northern and southern parts of the state. They are driven by

powerful winds and the risk remains an all-time high. CNN's Nick Watts joins us live from San Bernardino in Southern California. Nick, I just said

that the risk remains at an all time high, but is there any indication that it might be abating?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, those seasonal Santa Ana winds, these dry hot winds that fan all of these flames, they are forecast to die down

later today. So hopefully we will be safe, but Bianca until the next time. Listen, this is happening more and more frequently. This is the highest

that man we just heard from this the house that he used to live in, woken up in the middle of the night by the smell of smoke.


WATT: He saw the glow of fire out of the window, woke up his wife and their four kids. Got out, banged on the doors next door, woke up his neighbors.

He managed to get out. Now we have known these fires were coming. We knew these winds were coming.

So authorities have done everything that they can. They pre-positioned engines, firefighters in this street, the fact that they only lost two

homes is a testament to that. They were trying to get on top of this. But only so much that you can do. Just in this morning in this area, two

wildfires popped up, these winds have been insane strong enough to blow trucks over on the freeway, strong enough to fan more than a dozen fires.

So as for now, hopefully the wind is dropping, but as I say it will only going to happen again. Bianca.

NOBILO: Nick Watts, thanks for bring us the latest there from San Bernardino in California. I appreciate it. Up next, debrief on the U.S.

impeachment proceedings. I'll talk to the Special Adviser to Bill Clinton when he was being impeached.


NOBILO: For only the fifth time in United States history, Congress is now formally considering the impeachment of a President. U.S. House of

Representatives has approved a resolution to lay out how the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump will work in that chamber. The vote fell

almost completely along partisan lines which is not very different from how things played out last time this happened when Bill Clinton was impeached

in 1998.

That time, it was a Republican-led House of Representatives that impeached a Democratic President. Though there were enough Democratic votes in the

Senate to keep Clinton from being removed from office.

Joining me now is someone who worked side by side with President Clinton throughout the impeachment process. Guy Smith was a White House Special

Adviser during the Clinton Administration and worked on Impeachment Strategy and Communications. Thank you very much for joining the program

sir. It's good to have you on.


NOBILO: Other than the political differences and many other things, what ways do you see the team that you worked on when President Clinton was

being impeached and the impeachment of President Trump being different?

SMITH: Very significant distinction. President Clinton made a personal immoral mistake and not a constitutional mistake. And what we're seeing

from the Ukraine exposures where the White House transcripts itself show that the President was extorting the President of Ukraine, inviting him to

find dirt on his political opponent, that is a very simple abuse of power.

The distinction the American people made - Clinton made a mistake, but it wasn't an unconstitutional mistake. Now today the House of Representatives

have voted for all of this to become public to go out into the public.


SMITH: There will be televised hearings these witnesses that are been behind closed doors will now certainly be on live television right into the

homes of Americans. The Americans will be making the decision. Impeachment is a political process it's not a legal process. And the constitution says

that the House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment.

Basically it is a prosecution document, an indictment. And then the Senate is where the trial occurs and that is where the President can defend


NOBILO: And now - now that is process is going to public going forward it's going to be live and televised in Americans' homes, how do you think that

is going to change the game? How would you expect that to shift public support either way for this impeachment inquiry?

SMITH: What we've seen in the last month since the Ukraine thing became - people became aware of the Ukraine thing, impeachment in the polls moved

pretty dramatically in favor of impeachment. And that was before anything became public. Now you will have live TV, witnesses on live TV, talking

about the specifics that we've been seeing some reports of coming out of these closed hearings.

But now that you are going to have the witness saying it personally live. And it is a simple thing, it's not complicated like the Mueller report

which was 450 pages, poorly written and distorted by the Attorney General. What we got here is it okay to extort a foreign government asking them to

interfere in an American election? That is a pretty simple question.

NOBILO: Now Guy, a lot this going to come down to the efficacy of President Trump's communications team. When you were involved with President

Clinton's impeachment, there was a high level of discipline. He had a separate team for impeachment than he did for other presidential affairs.

Now President Trump has a style which is very off the cuff. He has this stream of consciousness, sporadic tweeting approach to political

communications. How detrimental do you think that is going to be to him in this impeachment inquiry going forward?

SMITH: In my opinion being the White House and President Trump are woefully unprepared to deal with this. This is for all the cards, all the marbles.

And if they don't have a consistent communication - now they got to start defending on the substance, not just whining on TV about, oh, well, the

process is unfair and Democrats are being mean to us. This is the real thing.

And if your only communication device is your Twitter feed and there is no consistent message even in that, from one hour to the next there is no

communication operation that is visible to anybody, there is no coordination between the Democratic National Committee - I'm sorry, the

Republican National Committee and the Republicans in the House, the Republicans in the Senate and surrogates around the country, spokespeople

for the President, there is no coordination of any of that.

And you have got all these leaks coming from inside the White House. All these people testifying, in the last month they are not Democrats. Those

are career public servants and all appointed by the Trump Administration. That is where all this is coming from.

NOBILO: Guy Smith, thank you very much for joining us. We really appreciate your time.

SMITH: Thank you for having me.

NOBILO: When "The Brief" returns, after ten years on many Brexit votes one of the best known voices in British politics is saying order for the last




NOBILO: It's October 31st, the day that Britain was meant to leave the European Union. That didn't happen. But there was one notable departure.




NOBILO: John Bercow has presided over the Britain's House of Commons for the final time. You will be familiar with those order, order, he said them

over 14,000 times. The Speaker has become a viral sensation with his colorful behavior and ties presiding over furious parliament post Brexit.

He will also be remembered as a polarizing figure. He faced bullying claims and many said that he was biased in his role against Brexit mainly a charge

that he refused. But he was there long before Brexit, that role he has been in for ten years.

I sat down with him for an exclusive interview a few weeks ago and he told me that he had plans to write a book, to do some speaking around the world

and follow his favorite football team Arsenal and favorite tennis player Roger Federer. I always asked him if he had any idea how tumultuous a time

he had in that Chair.


BERCOW: If truth be told Bianca, although when I stood for office as Speaker, I had a basic idea of how I wanted to work as speaker, I

envisioned as being a modernizer, the reality is that you will soon adjust and develop your ideas through experience and interaction while in office.

So if you are saying John did you basically you always have a very fully worked out game plan in advance, no, absolutely not.


NOBILO: Bercow will be remembered for his theatrics and eccentrics turn of phrase. I asked him what he wanted to be written on his political tombstone

and he said the back bench's champion. I know many back benchers and member of our frustrated government who would agree with that. That is "The

Brief." I'm Bianca Nobilo. And "World Sports" is next.