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House Votes 232-196 to Formalize Impeachment Process; Iraqi President: Prime Minister Agrees to Resign; Maria Fire in Santa Paula Spreads Rapidly; Rare Access to Syrian Prison Holding ISIS Militants; American Voters Speak Out About Impeachment Inquiry. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 1, 2019 - 09:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, coming to you live from Studio 7 at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta.


Now, ahead this hour, an historic day in the U.S. Congress as Democrats push their impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump forward without a single Republican vote.

Iraq's leaders promise reform following weeks of protests, but so far, it has done little to calm the anger on the streets.

And even as the number of fires raging across California grows, there are crews there are finally getting some small relief.

A warm welcome, everyone. As expected, U.S. House Democrats have voted overwhelmingly to bring the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump out from behind closed doors and into the sunlight. Every Republican voted against it, even though they've been demanding a vote just like this.

It's worth noting, two Democrats actually voted with the Republicans. That is pretty insignificant in the overall numbers, but it was enough for Republicans to declare their opposition to the impeachment process had, quote, "bipartisan support."

We get the details now from CNN's Phil Mattingly.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): On this vote, the yeas are 232. The nays are 196.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With that historic drop of the gavel, the House entering a new phase of its impeachment inquiry, one exceedingly likely, aides say, to end up with the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Democrats today holding the first official vote on the matter, a resolution to establish rules for the process, the vote almost entirely along party lines, with no Republicans supporting it and two Democrats voting against.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Today, the country just witnessed the only bipartisan vote on that floor was against.

MATTINGLY: The vote determined how the House Intelligence Committee will hold public hearings moving forward and allows Republicans to request witnesses to be called, but it does not grant them subpoena power unless Democrats agree. Republicans today blasting their colleagues.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Clearly, there are people that we serve with that don't like the results of the 2016 election.

MATTINGLY: Calling the inquiry a sham.

SCALISE: When you look at the Soviet-style process, it shows you that they don't really want to get to the truth. They want to remove a sitting president.

MATTINGLY: Democrats, many of whom were wary of impeachment before explosive allegations related to withholding money from Ukraine for political reasons, defending the impeachment inquiry as necessary to preserve and defend the Constitution.

PELOSI: Right in the here and now, we are keeping the republic from a president who says, Article II says I can do whatever I want. Not so.

MATTINGLY: The inquiry itself saw new testimony today from Timothy Morrison, the top advisor on the National Security Council for Russia and Europe. Morris is the second official who was on Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president to testify so far.

According to multiple sources familiar with his testimony, Morrison said he was concerned the transcript of the call would have a negative implication if leaked and was involved in discussions over how to handle the call.

Morrison corroborated much of the testimony given by William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, about interactions they had related to President Trump's insistence on investigations into the Bidens in the 2016 election.

Morrison also testified that he was warned by then-White House official, Fiona Hill, to avoid Rudy Giuliani's shadow Ukraine diplomatic mission, according to a source familiar with the matter. But the source said Morrison was concerned Trump asked Zelensky for a favor and that he did not think, quote, "anything illegal" was discussed in that July 25 call. Republicans leaving the deposition saying Morrison's testimony may have contradicted other witnesses and helped President Trump.

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): Mr. Morrison's testimony is very damaging to the Democrat narrative. That's why you haven't seen any leaks from my Democrat colleagues today.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Democrats have been reluctant to put a formal timeline on how this is all going to play out going forward, but we do know this. There will be at least one more week of closed-door depositions. After those depositions are complete, they will move into the public

phase, at least one hearing, likely multiple hearings with some of the witnesses likely that they've heard from up to this point behind closed doors.

After the investigation is complete, things will be transmitted over to the Judiciary Committee, where they will draft articles of impeachment. How many still unclear. What they'll look like still being chewed over.


Once that is done, there will likely be a vote, both in committee and the full House. Then, should they pass that on the House, things will move over to the Senate for a trial.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: And CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein joining us now from Los Angeles. Always a pleasure, sir.

Now, that House vote, and it's a big moment in American history.


HOLMES: The vote, as we said, was on party lines, but why wouldn't Republicans want public hearings? The right to question White House involvement. Isn't that what they wanted?

BROWNSTEIN: First, good to be with you, Michael.

Look, I think that, despite the procedural implications of the vote, from the point of view of the president and the president's supporters, voting for it would be voting to advance, you know, what he is calling a witch hunt.

And there are only three Republicans in the House left in districts that did not vote for President Trump. In other words, virtually all of them are in districts that he carried in 2016. In almost all of them, he probably still has majority support. There may be a few where he has kind of fallen back. And so I think that gives very little incentive for them.

But this, just real quick, is the long-term trend. I mean, if you go back to Watergate, one third of the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee did vote to impeach President Nixon, and obviously, he left office in part, because Senate Republicans told him his support was crumbling.

But even by the time you get up to the Iran-Contra investigation in the Eighties, which did not result in impeachment but a very critical congressional kind of analysis, it was much more along party lines. It was further polarized along party lines by Bill Clinton's time in 1998. And then here we are in 2019 with a virtually complete partisan split.

HOLMES: Yes, it's interesting when you mentioned Nixon. I always come back to that, that saying that I hear so often, which is with Nixon, Republicans were with him until they weren't.

Is there any indication that, you know, anything is changing in terms of the impeachment conviction in the Senate, where of course, Republicans have the number? What would that look like? What would cause that fracture?

BROWNSTEIN: Right, well, the first thing I would say is, you know, I was in Washington this week. The most important thing that happened today is that the Democrats from the Trump districts in the House almost all voted to advance this inquiry.

And you know, that was not the case a few months ago, that those Democrats, 31 House Democrats in districts that voted for Trump in 2016 were very leery of moving down this road. And without them, Democrats don't have a majority to -- to move forward on any kind of impeachment.

And so the fact that almost all of them felt comfortable voting for this, and given the nature of the evidence that is accumulating against the president, you have to assume that virtually everyone, if not literally everyone who voted to begin the inquiry today, will vote to impeach him in the end.

Whether the Senate will get 20 Senate Republicans voting to convict, I think, is an almost unimaginable hill, at this point, but that doesn't mean there could not be a few votes, which I think would change public perception of the whole process.

HOLMES: And I guess it depends what Nancy Pelosi has got up her sleeve, too. I mean, it depends what evidence comes out of these public hearings and other things to come forward.

I mean, it's going to be interesting, because there's, as I've said, a lot of lawyers are going to be doing the questioning, which could do away with a lot of the usual --


HOLMES: -- grandstanding that you get for the cameras. How might that change things?

BROWNSTEIN: Enormously. I mean, you know, I think the Democrats were right, as Republicans have been on -- in previous investigations. And it's really a hard to actually develop information and to learn things and to conduct kind of an organized, systematic questioning in these public hearings, where time is broken up in five-minute increments. It goes back and forth between the parties like ping-pong with the one side really just, you know, trying to defend the president at any given moment, depending you know, on who's in the White House.

So I think this is going to allow for a lot more information. The question is, how much will more information change the basic parameters of public opinion? I mean, you know, the evidence, right, now I think we now have three, you know, senior officials in President Trump's own government who are saying that their clear understanding was that his message to the Ukrainians was that they would not get the military aid, unless they publicly committed to an investigation into the Bidens and this kind of debunked theory about the 2016 election.

That -- you know, when that is plastered across national television, will not move the numbers a little bit? Perhaps, but I think, you know, what Republicans are already retreating to is that, even if he did this, it is not an impeachable offense. It does not warrant impeachment. And so I'm not sure how much more proving the case will move them off of that position.

HOLMES: And what do you think Nancy Pelosi's, you know, her strategy is going to be when it comes to the people, to move the dial when it comes big, because a lot of it -- a lot of the public positioning at the moment is pretty baked in.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Funny you should say that, because I was in a small group of columnists that interviewed her earlier this week for an hour in her conference room; and you know, while she didn't, like, divulge all of the specifics.

She did make clear a few things. I think, first, that this is going to be -- this is going to move forward sooner rather than later. She talked a lot about kind of the law of diminishing returns, at how much stomach the American people have for a lengthy process.

Also, that it was going to be narrower than broader. I mean, she made the point to us that, just because things are left out of impeachment, doesn't mean that they endorsed them. In other words, that they don't feel the need to throw in everything that they believe is improper about the way Trump has conducted the presidency.

And the third thing she said that I thought was interesting was that, in this modern era, a preponderant consensus is no longer possible. She said this is no longer a 70 percent country. She said, we have enough to impeach the president, both in terms of evidence and public opinion. And I think most people expect that is exactly where this is going sooner than later, sometime this year.

HOLMES: Great insight as always. Ron, good to see you. Ron Brownstein there in Los Angeles, appreciate it.

BROWNSTEIN: Good to be with you.

HOLMES: Well, ISIS says it has a new leader ISIS after its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was of course, killed in that raid on Saturday.

The terror group has named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi to the top job. The U.S.-led operation that killed al-Baghdadi ended a years'-long hunt to find one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.

But ISIS is warning the U.S. not to celebrate, claiming it has militants on the doorstep of Europe, which indeed it does. Also, in the center of Africa and more cells expanding.

Well, in Iraq, violent protests over unemployment and corruption have been raging for weeks now. And now the government has responded to the unrest with some sweeping changes or promises of them.

Iraq's president says the prime minister has agreed to resign when the time is right, as CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports. It is one of several concessions aimed at appeasing the demonstrators.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time that we see an Iraqi political leader coming out like this, speaking to the people, to the protesters.

But if the purpose of President Barham Salih's address was to calm down the anger on the streets or to quell these protests. It does not look like that has worked.

Tens of thousands of defiant protesters poured into the streets of the capital, Baghdad, and other cities in the south on Thursday evening.

This is a population that says they've had enough. They've had enough of what they described as these empty promises by their politicians that they've heard for years now.

And what we heard from the president on Thursday is the prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has agreed to resign, but it's conditional. That would only happen when they find a replacement. They say they don't want to end up in a state of -- in a situation where Iraq is in a constitutional or a political vacuum.

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

Now, these are some of the demands that we have heard from the protesters. But historically, looking at this, these are things that take a very long time in Iraq, because it requires a consensus amongst the different political parties to agree on a new candidate for prime minister or to agree on an election law.

And the message from the streets has been clear. They want change, real change, and they want it now.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


HOLMES: And Feisal Istrabadi is the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East at Indiana University. Joins us now from Washington.

A pleasure to see you, Feisal. It's been a while. Let's talk about all of this, these big protests there. Importantly, not just in Baghdad. Other parts in the country, the south importantly. There are some sectarian aspects emerging, even though they are broadly based. Describe how this can go wrong for Iraq.

FEISAL ISTRABADI, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE MIDDLE EAST, INDIANA UNIVERSITY: Well, I think the fear is that, as the government has responded quite harshly, with now almost 200 people killed over the course of the month, the past month, and several thousand wounded, my fear is that the -- those kinds of numbers are going to become the basis for exacerbating the anger of the demonstrators, at what they perceive, probably correctly, as a corrupt and detached political past.

So I'm very concerned about the violence, and that that will cause its own sort of cascade of events of increasing harsh measures against demonstrators and more outrage on the part of the demonstrators. But there's also -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

HOLMES: Yes. Yes, that's interesting. We've heard of snipers. We've heard of military-style tear gas, which has been embedding itself in the bodies and even the heads of protesters. Some brutal overreaction.


In the broader picture, I wanted to get your take on -- on how strong the hand of Iran is in Iraq these days. How concerned Tehran is at this public opposition to its patrons in Tehran politically. A lot of these sheer protestors have called for the removal of some of these Iranian-backed militias who compete for security and political control in many ways.

Is Tehran worried that it could spread?

ISTRABADI: I think so, because you're seeing -- I mean, the protests grew up mostly in Baghdad. So this is the predominantly Shia area, as you well know. And there is a general -- the Iraqis have had enough. They've had enough of the meddling of Iran in Iraq. Frankly, I think they've had enough of all foreign meddling in Iraqi internal affairs, and have a reliance on the political -- on outside powers to help to sustain them in power.

I think that Iran, which has worked very hard over the last 16 years to extend its influence in Iraq, is loath to see the possibility that its influence may wane. So it's -- you have sort of two conflicting clashes -- two clashes here. One is the Iranians trying to continue their influence, and I don't think they control the political process in Iraq, but they certainly have influence. And then the prevailing thought is the rank-and-file Iraqis, particularly the young, have just had enough of it.

HOLMES: Yes. You know, it's interesting. The head of al Quds, the Iranian group was there in Iraq, advising on how to handle these protests, so their fingers are there. Maybe they're worried about what's happening there in Lebanon, as well, and whether it could spread.

I wanted to get your thoughts, too, on whether all of this could embolden ISIS. It could do what it does best, and that is tap into social dissatisfaction, happily recruit those who feel disfranchised. Could that happen?

ISTRABADI: I fear that it may. You have a situation where, I mean, ISIS is sort of like a bacterium or an infectious body that invade a human body, takes advantage of weakness. That the immune system is weak; it takes advantage. And ISIS is very much like that.

They won't make much headway, of course, in the Shia itself. They won't get recruits there. But as there's chaos in Baghdad, the fear is that Baghdad's attention is diverted from larger issues, or other issues. It can take -- try to take advantage. It is resurgent, both in Iraq and, potentially, in Syria.

Your reporters noted the appointment of someone to replace Baghdadi. So the notion that they're defeated, and gone and done with, of course, again, as you know, is simply untrue. So it's (AUDIO GAP) -- in chaos they thrive.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. It's interesting. I was going back. I looked at -- you and I spoke, I think it was almost exactly a year ago, about the fundamental failures of the government. And it's not just in Iraq, but let's talk about Iraq. It's in the region, generally.

But, you know, the failure to provide fresh water, to have sewage systems that work, to have some sort of future for young people who graduate from universities and then sit at home. This is structural failure to provide by the ruling class. And we spoke about this a year ago. Nothing's changed. It's gotten worse.

ISTRABADI: Precisely. And actually, you have these demonstrations began with students who are graduates of medical school and engineering school. I mean, these, in any country, are tickets to golden jobs, golden opportunities. They can't find jobs. Graduates, they've done everything they're supposed to do. They've worked hard all their lives. They've gone to school. They've studied hard. They've graduated. And then they can't find jobs in what is supposed to be, what is in fact one of the largest oil exporting states in the country.

You have a detached political class, which even lives apart from the population. And this becomes more -- you know, this exacerbates the tensions. It exacerbates the frustration.

And now, the demonstrators want change, and they want it now. The change they're asking for are going to take years, if not decades. Much of it the result of decades of neglect to the infrastructure. We haven't built schools. We haven't built hospitals. We haven't paved roads in Iraq. These problems are going to take years and years to solve and to demonstrate -- the demonstrators want them solved by sundown today.

It's a very precarious situation that Iraq finds itself in, I'm sorry to say.

HOLMES: Took many years to happen, many years to fix. As you say, an impatient populace to be ignored at the peril of the ruling class.


Feisal Istrabadi, I've got to leave it there from Indiana University. Good to see you, my friend.

ISTRABADI: Always a pleasure. Thank you very much.

HOLMES: All right. We'll take a short all right. When we come back, as long as they're behind bars, they're no longer a threat to the outside world. CNN's exclusive access inside a prison holding ISIS fighters. That's ahead.

Also, this enormous wildfire is whipping through California, but a change in the winds could make things a little easier for firefighters. We'll have an update for you when we come back here on CNN NEWSROOM.



HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. At least 73 people have been killed in an inferno on a train in Pakistan. Authorities say it was passing through a town when a gas cylinder blew up, engulfing three railway cars with flames.


IMRAN KHAN, PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: First of all, I would like to commiserate with the families who have -- families of the victims of the Rahim Yar Khan train tragedy. It's -- trying to imagine what they will be -- must be going through right now, we just pray for them. May the almighty Allah give them strength to bear this loss.


HOLMES: Gas cylinders are actually banned on Pakistan's trains, but police say passengers were using gas-powered cookers to prepare breakfast inside their train carriage when the explosion happened.

Medical officials say the death toll could climb higher.

Some 250 firefighters are battling a new wildfire that has broken out in Southern California. The Maria Fire, as it has been named, has overtaken three square kilometers in just a few hours. Well, now 11 major fires are burning across the state, stoked by strong winds.

Still, there could be some good news on the horizon, as Nick Watt explains.


NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sixty-mile-an-hour gusts, homes burning in the predawn dark. The Hillside Fire broke out in the early hours.

[00:25:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is getting engulfed in flames.

WATT: Sunrise --

MATTHEW VALDIVIA, LOST HOME TO WILDFIRE: This right here they would have been the bedroom.

WATT: -- and the Valdivia family returned to, well, nothing. Speaking with my colleague Omar Jimenez.

VALDIVIA: And I had my kids' baby pictures on a laptop, and destroyed, destroyed. My heart broke, man. I mean, we have -- we have good memories in this house.

WATT: All week we've seen dangerously strong winds flipping tractor trailers on the freeway, fanning flames, spreading embers across the state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The embers are blowing into neighborhoods out here.

WATT: East of L.A., residents evacuated from a senior center through the smoke.

In West L.A., the Getty Center and many multi-million dollar homes were threatened, some of them badly burned.

North of the city, hurricane-force winds whipping flames, forcing 30,000 to evacuate. A close call for the Reagan Library, resting place for the former president and first lady.

And in Northern California, hundreds of structures destroyed, nearly 80,000 acres burned.

This is California's new normal.

(on camera): Nearly half of this state's population has been under a red-flag high-wind warning for at least part of this week. Most of those warnings will be lifted on Friday as the winds subside. Still, some in place around Los Angeles say the fire danger is deemed to be increased but no longer extreme.

Nick Watt, CNN, San Bernardino.


HOLMES: And meteorologist Derek Van Dam joining us now with more.

Those images are just extraordinary, the winds are just terrible.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Kicking up to near hurricane-force gusts. That's what makes it so difficult for these firefighters to battle these blazes.

So we're going to talk about the Maria Fire, which is new to CNN. This is coming out of Ventura County, just northwest of Los Angeles. Two hundred and fifty firefighters battling that from both the air and

the ground. There's three water tenders, two helicopters, two dozers and even 30 fire engines, all trying to put this rapidly-expanding blaze to rest, but unfortunately, it's just not taking place.

These are some of the newest images. I mean, you can see one of the fire engines. I mean, these are really brave, brave firefighters, trying to tackle this blaze. As we speak, they're trying to bring in some of the equipment to get ahead of the fire as it continues to rapidly expand. So that is kind of the latest information that we have to pass along to you in the development of the fires across southern California.

Really great visuals coming from one of our affiliates there.

So a little bit more information to pass along to you. Zero percent containment with this Maria Fire in Ventura County. Again, Los Angeles is located here. Three hundred and four hectares burned, and you can see the personnel and the fire engines that are in place, trying to get ahead of the fire.

But I want to talk about why these fires are spreading so quickly. Look at the embers blowing from that particular fire in the Simi Valley. This is coming out of Southern California, as well. You could see just how quickly these fires get picked up from the strong Santa Ana winds. They've been known to pick an ember up, transport it one to two kilometers away, and start additional spot fires, as they're called, well in advance of the original fire.

So you heard the man talking a moment ago, 11 large active wildfires across the state. That doesn't count all the individual, smaller brush fires that are still ongoing.

In fact, if we look at 2019, as a whole, we've already had over 80,000 hectares burned across the state, over 6,000 fire incidents taking place. There have been three fatalities this year and nearly 700 structures burned or destroyed.

So tonight, we still have our extreme -- extremely critical fire danger in -- in place, but the winds will relax overnight, then pick up somewhat, not as strong as what we experienced over the past 24 hours but still enough to put out an elevated fire risk for the Los Angeles and and Ventura County.

Unfortunately, there is no rain in store for the next five days. In fact, the Climate Prediction Center's extended outlook through the middle of November calls for below average precipitation for all of the West Coast in the U.S. So no rain in sight, still dry conditions in place.

HOLMES: And the winds will keep going?

VAN DAM: Not as strong. That's the good news.

HOLMES: All right. Derek, thank you. Derek Van Dam there with that. Extraordinary. Well, we're going to take a short break. When we get back, CNN gets inside a prison where ISIS fighters are being held, cut off from the world. Our exclusive report coming up.



HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes. Let's update you on the top stories this hour.

The impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump now shifting to a public phase, after the U.S. House on Thursday passed a resolution detailing how the investigation will go forward.

The vote of 232 to 196 largely along party lines. Two Democrats did join Republicans in opposition.

The White House condemning the resolution as unconstitutional.

Weeks of violent protests against Iraq may soon cost the prime minister his job. Iraq's president says the prime minister has agreed to step down if political leaders can agree on a replacement.

At least 200 people have died since protests over unemployment and corruption, among other things, broke out last month.

ISIS says it has a new leader, just days after a U.S. military raid killed the terror group's founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Almost nothing is known about his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al- Qurashi.

ISIS also claims it's expanding and that it's already on Europe's doorstep and in Central Africa.

And CNN has gained exclusive access inside a prison in Syria where foreign ISIS fighters don't know that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. Or really, anything that it's going on in the outside world.

One of them, a dual American citizen, describes the sense of betrayal he feels and how he yearns to return to the U.S. to face justice.

Here's Nick Paton Walsh's exclusive report.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This wasn't the ending they were promised, even if it begins to feel eternal. ISIS foreign fighters, so long as these bars in Syria hold, no longer a threat to the outside world and no longer aware of what's happening outside in it.

LIRIM SULEJMANI, PRISONER: We don't get much information of outside, what's happening.

WALSH: This man says his name is Lirim Sulejmani and is a dual American citizen. He has no idea that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi has been killed, just 17 hours earlier, when our cameraman visits. The guards explicitly forbid visitors from breaking the news, so we can only ask what if.

SULEJMANI: If he's killed, he's killed. For a lot of people, he's already been killed; he's already dead. He -- you don't hear from him, you know. I don't know.

For me, personally, I kind of -- I feel like I was betrayed, you know. So there is no Islamic State anymore. It doesn't exist.

WALSH: His a common story in the sea of orange. He was just an engineer who was worried about his wife and three children in camps nearby. Their fate is so uncertain, he says, facing U.S. justice would be preferable to another day here.


SULEJMANI: I feel very unsafe, and I, you know -- I want to go back to States. I -- one thing for sure, I don't want to be here.

WALSH: Nobody here has faced a trial or been found guilty, and now many yearn for the due process ISIS denied others in their barbaric rush for blood, pleading to the nations ISIS pledged to destroy.

SULEJMANI: We messaged the American people to France. There is American citizens. They shouldn't be abandoned. They should be brought to States, face -- face the law, and if they committed any crime, or you know, they can be punished, not be left in some -- some place like -- like slow death concentration camp.

WALSH: Emaciated, withering, leaderless, ISIS here has not suddenly stopped being a threat. Imagine the rage incubating in these cells, so great the guards fear what may happen if they learn the news of their leader's death. An anger their home countries do not, for the most part, want to import back, but that lives on, after Baghdadi's death, in these cells.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Irbil, northern Iraq.


WALSH: And when we come back, many Democrats say the next step in the impeachment inquiry is vital to democracy. But Trump supporters aren't sold. Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, we'll ask voters how it could affect the 2020 presidential race. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: In Britain, the campaigning hasn't officially started yet, but it's already really underway. And Donald Trump has weighed in. The U.S. president went on London-based radio station LBC, telling the host and Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, that he'd like to see Farage and Prime Minister Boris Johnson join forces.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): You know, as the president of the United States, I have great relationships with many of the leaders, including Boris. He's a fantastic man, and I think he's the exact 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 -- if you and he get together, it's you know, an unstoppable force. And Corbyn would be so bad for your country. He'd be so bad. He'd take you in such a bad way. He'd take you into such bad places.

But your country has tremendous potential. It's a great country.


HOLMES: Well, the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, says the interview was Mr. Trump trying to interfere in the December 12 election. Boris Johnson called that vote, hoping it would break the gridlock over Brexit. Parliament is to be dissolved on Wednesday.


When it comes to the impeachment inquiry, the U.S. House of Representatives is almost completely divided on party lines. So, too, are American voters. With the next presidential election a little more than a year away, how they feel about possible impeachment could tip the balance towards the Democrats or towards four more years of Donald Trump.

Miguel Marquez talks to voters in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What one thinks of impeachment --

ANDREW GMITER, DEMOCRAT: I think he deserves to be impeached, absolutely.

MARQUEZ: -- often tracks with what one thinks of Donald Trump.

(on camera): What do you think of impeachment?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): James Dilly (ph), a coal miner, and his stepson, Rock Dabney (ph), are huge supporters of the president, proudly describing Trump flags like this one. They see impeachment as Democrats trying to reverse the outcome of 2016.

JAMES DILLY (PH), COAL MINER: They're just head hunting. They're mad they're lost, and they're just trying to get him out.

ROCK DABNEY (PH), PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: Well, I think it's something the Democrats are doing right now. They're just, like, grabbing for straws, really.

MARQUEZ: Washington County, south of Pittsburgh, has trended Republican for years. In 2016, Donald Trump beat Clinton here by more than 25 points.

(on camera): Aren't you excited for the first female president?



MARQUEZ (voice-over): CNN was here on election day in 2016. The Krachalas, then married 37 years, and diametrically opposed on candidates.

Today --

(on camera): You voted for Donald Trump. You voted for Hillary Clinton. Has anything changed?


MARQUEZ (voice-over): Now, both of them 90, they still lovingly bicker.

W. KRACHALA: I think he's a crook, and I think he's going to get us into a war.

J. KRACHALA: Well, you're not dead, and we had wars before then.

W. KRACHALA: We're not done yet.

MARQUEZ: Jacqueline couldn't be clearer on impeachment.

J. KRACHALA: Well, that's ridiculous.

MARQUEZ: Bill, a lifelong Republican, is as opposed as ever to Donald Trump. But impeachment?

W. KRACHALA: I don't like him. I don't know whether impeachment would solve anything or not. It would just create a lot of upheaval. But I'm hoping to hell that he gets elected out of office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My insurance alone --

MARQUEZ: Cody Spence, a registered Democrat in 2016, was struggling to pay for health care. Today, his financial situation has improved. He credits Donald Trump.

CODY SPENCE, TRUMP VOTER: I don't think at this point that there is a reason to impeach him. You get some hard evidence that the people of the country can see, that's a different story.

MARQUEZ: Some moderates question the wisdom of an impeachment fight now. SUSAN LUISI, MODERATE DEMOCRAT: Well, we've already gone pretty far

into this presidency, so do we really want to spend the last time of it impeaching someone who may or may not be elected again?

MARQUEZ: More progressive Democrats say full steam ahead on impeachment, regardless of the outcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It probably still favors the Democrats.

MARQUEZ (on camera): And then if he goes on to win the election?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be -- it's going to be a rough another four years.

MARQUEZ: Democratic officials here in Washington County say that not only does dislike of Donald Trump help them, but impeachment does, as well. They have an off-year election coming up in just a few days, and they say impeachment and the dislike of Trump is already driving voters and raising enthusiasm among Democrats here, and they expect that trend to continue through 2020.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Washington County, Pennsylvania.


HOLMES: Oh, America.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. WORLD SPORT will be up after the break. I'll see you in about 15 minutes or so with more news.