Return to Transcripts main page


House Approves Public Impeachment Probe While NSC Official Testifies To Impeachment Investigators; President Trump Officially Relocating To Florida; Fast-Growing Maria Fire Rages In California. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 1, 2019 - 05:30   ET




REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Resolution is adopted without objection.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: A divided House taking a critical step -- the impeachment inquiry now official. So when will a private process go public?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's namesake Tower losing its most-tenured resident. Why is Donald Trump moving to Florida?

SANCHEZ: And breaking overnight, a new wildfire growing fast in Southern California. Thousands forced to evacuate. Is relief on the way?

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Boris Sanchez. It caught me off guard there.

ROMANS: Nice to see you -- nice to see you. I know, the pictures are beautiful and scary at the same time, right? I'm Christine Romans, 30 minutes past the hour.

Just hours after the House officially made Donald Trump the fourth president in history to face impeachment, a defiant chief executive made very clear he has no plans to concede anything.

In an Oval Office interview with the "Washington Examiner," the president said, "This is over a phone call that is a good call. At some point, I'm going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call because people have to hear it."

That's a reference to FDR's radio addresses from nearly a century ago.

SANCHEZ: With Speaker Pelosi holding the gavel, not a single Republican voted to support the impeachment inquiry. Two Democrats did defect, crossing over to vote against it. The vote paves the way for a very private process to go public in the coming weeks. And while that was going on, a top National Security Council official who was on that call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine testified to impeachment investigators. A source saying he told lawmakers his predecessor advised him to stay away from the shadow Ukraine foreign policy being pursued by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

The NSC official also backed up damaging claims about the president.

CNN's Lauren Fox has more from Capitol Hill.


LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, a huge day on Capitol Hill yesterday as lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats, both forced to be on the record when it comes to where they stand on impeachment. The resolution they voted on yesterday sets out the rules for the next stage of this impeachment inquiry when these testimonies become public.

Also yesterday, Tim Morrison up on Capitol Hill where he largely corroborated testimony from Bill Taylor. He was a career diplomat who told lawmakers last week in a 15-page opening statement that he had concerns when he had learned that the president was trying to use nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine as a way to try to extract investigations that he hoped the Ukrainian government would announce against his political rivals.

Now, Morrison also testified yesterday on Capitol Hill that he didn't have any concerns about the legality of what President Trump said on that July 25th call, but he did say he had concerns about information leaking from that call because he said he worried that it could damage the U.S. relationship with Ukraine.

He also said he was part of the conversation about what to do with the call transcript following the July 25th call -- Boris and Christine.


ROMANS: Thank you, Lauren.

Lauren mentioned Tim Morrison testified he was not worried anything illegal was discussed on that call, and that statement was seized on by Republicans, including President Trump in a late-night tweet. "Thank you, Tim Morrison, for your honesty." A departure from the criticism of basically every other witness so far.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said she would only move forward with impeachment if there was bipartisan support. Yesterday's nearly party-line vote was anything but.


PELOSI: I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic about the divisiveness that would occur from an impeachment. But weighing the equities, I had said then he's not worth impeaching because it's even going to divide the country further than he has already divided it. But this was something that you could not ignore.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Alexander Hamilton wrote, "There will always be the greatest danger that the decision to use the impeachment power would be driven by partisan animosity instead of real demonstrations of innocence or guilt."

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): This is Soviet-style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like this where only you make the rules. Maybe you think it's fairness if you can run roughshod over somebody because you've got the votes. But that's not how impeachment was supposed to go.


SANCHEZ: It's important to remember this. The longer impeachment goes on the more complex it becomes for Democrats. A trial could disrupt presidential campaigns with candidates, who are also senators, required to stay in Washington as other candidates like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg stay on the campaign trail.

Also, vulnerable House Democrats may face new challenges after voting for an inquiry. Republicans will no doubt target those lawmakers, many who won traditionally red districts in that blue wave of 2018.

ROMANS: All right.

President Trump giving up his namesake Manhattan tower as a permanent residence and declaring himself a Florida residence. Court documents and a series of tweets show the native New Yorker is moving to Mar-a- Lago whenever he's done in Washington.


He writes, "I cherish New York but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state, and local taxes each year, I've been treated very badly by the political leaders."

SANCHEZ: Yes, and note that he doesn't mention his federal taxes there. There's no way to check the others, too, since he's never actually released his tax returns.

A source close to the president tells "The New York Times" the change was primarily for tax purposes. Remember, Florida has no income tax.

The source says the president was also enraged by the Manhattan prosecutor's lawsuit to obtain Trump's tax returns. That case likely headed to the Supreme Court in an election year.

You can sort of see the irony in the fact that the president is moving as so many other thousands --

ROMANS: Yes, thousands.

SANCHEZ: -- of New Yorkers are also moving to Florida because of the tax bill that he passed.

ROMANS: Because of the president's tax, right. You can't write off state and local --


ROMANS: -- taxes over like 10 grand or something.

All right, much more on this. Plus, Halloween takes an ugly turn in Chicago. A 7-year-old girl is shot while trick or treating.



SANCHEZ: Washington has been fixated on impeachment for more than a month, but in a lot of states that Trump won in 2016, voters have been saying this is not their priority.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a waste of the taxpayers' money.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: You don't really follow the whole impeachment thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, and I don't really know much about it at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the ones of us that support him will continue to support him. If you look at the economy there's no way to deny that we're doing pretty amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he don't need to be taken out. He's the only who's going to tell the truth and he can't be bought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it was out in the open and everything was discussed and he did something wrong, impeach the guy. I just don't like the secrecy.


SANCHEZ: "The New York Times" and Siena College polled voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Arizona. These were the states with the closest popular votes that went for Trump in 2016. Now, three years later, just 43 percent of voters in these six states want the president impeached and removed from office.

ROMANS: All right, 41 minutes past the hour.

Let's talk to "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin, a CNN political analyst. Good morning, Josh.


SANCHEZ: Good morning, sir.

ROMANS: And you heard what those -- what those voters said about how this is a distraction -- or they're not even paying attention to it.

Is this something that Washington is fixated on that is not going to resonate, at least now, in the electorate -- especially in those swing states?

ROGIN: Yes -- well, I think two things.

One, once we have these public hearings where these witnesses make their statements on T.V., I think that's going to crystalize this issue for a lot of regular Americans who have -- who aren't tuning in all day long and spending all their days on Twitter.

I mean, that's what we really didn't get in the Mueller --


ROGIN: -- incident. We didn't get the actual fact witnesses speaking before Congress on T.V. That's going to be pretty startling, right?

But in the end, I think -- in the end, what we see in the polling is pushing Democrats to get this done as soon as possible because they can't be assured that this is going to be a big vote getter. So I think that's driving this process.

And, either way, we're going to end up in the same place anyway, right? He's probably going to get impeached -- he's probably not going to get removed. And then, we're going to have to start the primaries and voters are going to go to the polls.

So I think for all of those reasons we're looking at a very public, very quick schedule.

SANCHEZ: All right.

And, Josh, we have to ask about some of Nancy Pelosi's statements yesterday. I want to play for you some sound right now explaining that she wasn't enthusiastic about moving forward with impeachment at first. Listen to this.


PELOSI: And I had not been, shall we say, enthusiastic about the divisiveness that would occur from an impeachment. But weighing the equities, I had said then he's not worth impeaching because it's even going to divide the country further than he has already divided it. But this was something that you could not ignore.


SANCHEZ: Now, Pelosi has said that she would only move forward with impeachment if it was bipartisan -- it really wasn't. Republicans are now claiming it was bipartisan, right, even though they only got two votes from Democrats.

ROGIN: No, it's not bipartisan. It's almost strictly on partisan lines and it's likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I think what Nancy Pelosi is really indicating here is that she knows that this whole enterprise is a huge political risk and has just as much chance of building enthusiasm for reelecting Donald Trump as it does building opposition to his reelection.

And there's no way to predict which way it's going to go. And if she's smart enough to know that if they had just stuck with the plan and avoided impeachment there's a good chance that Donald Trump would have been voted out of office anyway.

But it's too late, OK?

ROMANS: Right.

ROGIN: It's like she said, she had no choice. The politics pushed her in this direction and here we are.

Now that's, again, coming back to why she's got to do this quick. She's got to try to do it as clean as possible and then hand over this whole political scene to whoever becomes the Democratic nominee and let them lead the party in 2020.

ROMANS: And you saw Congressman Steve Scalise yesterday on the Hill with props -- he brought props. And he is still talking about the process now that they have brought the vote forward and they are going to put this out in the public -- still complaining about the rules -- listen.


SCALISE: This is Soviet-style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like this where only you make the rules. Maybe you think it's fairness if you can run roughshod over somebody because you've got the votes. But that's not how impeachment was supposed to go.


ROMANS: What -- is it Soviet-style? I mean, I thought in the United States you win an election and then you win -- you win the House and then you get to write the rules. That's how a democracy works.

ROGIN: Yes -- no. The Soviet Union was a dictatorship, OK -- a communist dictatorship. That meant the leader ruled and the Parliament was just a rubber stamp, OK.


If we had no first -- if we had no Congress and we had no impeachment process, that would be Soviet -- where the leader of the country can just do anything they want, crooked or otherwise, and there's no checks and balances. That's a Soviet system.

This is actually the democratic system. It's not pretty all the time, it's not clean all the time, it can be chaotic. But trust me, it's better and it's the one we want.

And I think invoking communist dictatorships to accuse the Democrats for using democratic processes is just ridiculous.

SANCHEZ: Now, Josh, lately we've heard from sources inside the White House that President Trump is hesitant to beef up staffing -- to create this sort of war room around him of staffers, of attorneys, strategists who can help him fight this impeachment process.

Is it time that he takes that step? I know that he was trying to bring in Trey Gowdy and now it doesn't look like Gowdy's coming on board. What do you think?

ROGIN: You know, it seems clear to me that he needs help. It seems that the messaging is all screwed up and the lack of strategy is hurting him.

That they're making mistakes all the time that are feeding into the process. They're leaving their people twisting in the wind without real guidance. The talking point system seems to be a mess.

He doesn't seem to care, OK, and I think --

ROMANS: He is the war room.

ROGIN: Yes. I mean --


ROMANS: Trump is the war room.


ROGIN: In the first three years of this administration the one thing we've learned is that it doesn't matter how many people you put around Donald Trump, he's going to do whatever he wants to do. So he could have a thousand people there to tell him what he's doing is great or he could have two people. He's just going to do it anyway.


ROGIN: So I think this whole discussion of like surrounding him with a bunch of like really smart minds is probably something that he needs but definitely not something that he wants, so it's kind of moot.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Probably the best example, his attorneys telling him to focus on the process -- to attack the Democrats' process, and him coming out and saying no, you guys should talk about the substance -- talk about the substance of the phone call.


ROMANS: Right, right.

SANCHEZ: Josh Rogin, thank you so much for the time this morning.

ROMANS: Nice to see you, Josh. Have a good weekend.

ROGIN: You, too. SANCHEZ: Breaking overnight, we're following this new, fast-growing fire in Ventura County, California. You're hearing the crackles of the Maria Fire. At last check, it's at about 5,000 acres and growing. Some 7,500 residents in Santa Paula, just northwest of L.A., are under mandatory evacuations.

I want you to watch this video. It's fire vehicles driving right through the middle of the flames. The Ventura County Fire Department says 400 firefighters are battling the fire from the ground and air.

A pilot for KTLA was overhead as these trucks were narrowly avoiding being seared by this raging fire -- watch.


HELICOPTER PILOT, KTLA, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The second one here -- that fire is a little bit closer so he's just going to make a run for it and get down here as quickly as possible and get away from that fire and continue down here to the east. Now he's right up on top of the hill. You see a big flare-up right there.


ROMANS: Wow -- all right.

Several Ventura County school districts will be closed today.

In Northern California, there are 6,700 PG&E customers who don't have power as a result of a shut-off that began last weekend.

The utility giant's CEO was asked about struggling Californians who have to clear out their refrigerators during these shut-offs.


Bill Johnson, CEO, PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC: These events can be hard on people -- really hard on people -- and particularly, people who have struggles anyway.

We didn't cause any fires -- we didn't, for these people. We didn't burn down any houses. The Kincade Fire is still under investigation -- I got that.

But, you know, one of the things we did was give them the opportunity to actually refill their refrigerator because their house is still there.


SANCHEZ: Fourteen fires are burning across California. More than 200,000 acres have burned. That's more than 150,000 football fields.

The danger, fortunately, is decreasing. High winds are starting to subside after an entire week of red flag warnings.

Stay with EARLY START. We'll be right back after a quick break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SANCHEZ: The president's travel ban could be expanding. Two sources tell CNN the administration is considering adding more countries, though it's not yet clear which ones. The discussion revolves around countries that are not complying with requests to share electronic documents and information.

Fewer than five countries are being discussed. Restrictions would be tailored to them as opposed to a total ban.

Critics have long said that Trump's travel ban is meant to keep Muslims from entering the United States. You might recall the first attempt to implement the travel ban caused total chaos at airports nationwide.

As of mid-September, more than 31,000 people have been denied entry to the U.S. because of the ban. The State Department, though, has issued some 7,600 waivers.

ROMANS: Outgoing California Congressman Katie Hill delivering parting shots in her final speech on the House floor. The 32-year-old Hill resigned after admitting to an affair with a campaign worker. She has denied being involved with a member of her congressional staff.

An investigation was launched using rules implemented following a series of MeToo complaints, mostly against men.

Nude pictures of Katie Hill were also posted by a right-wing blog. She blames her soon-to-be ex-husband.


REP. KATIE HILL (D-CA): I will never shirk my responsibility for this sudden ending to my time here, but I have to say more because this is bigger than me.

I am leaving now because of a double standard. I'm leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality, and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching.

The forces of revenge by a bitter, jealous man, cyber exploitation, and sexual shaming that target our gender, and a large segment of society that fears and hates powerful women have combined to push a young woman out of power and say that she doesn't belong here.


ROMANS: CNN has reached out to Hill's husband for comment but has not heard back.

SANCHEZ: A company that fact-checks Facebook ads thinks it has a solution to uproar over false political ads. Lead Stories is one of the fact-checkers that Facebook hired to curb

misinformation after the 2016 election. Next week, Lead Stories will propose that face-checkers vet ads from politicians and then, those fact-checks be reviewed by a new nonpartisan panel.


Lead Stories says there is an urgent need for a fair way to identify egregiously false political ads. There's been a growing backlash over Facebook's hands-off policy toward political advertising.

Notably, Twitter said on Wednesday that it will no longer accept political advertisements.

ROMANS: A 7-year-old-girl in Chicago is fighting for her life this morning after she was shot trick or treating. Police say she was hit in the neck by a stray bullet when it -- when several people walked up to a group and opened fire.

Police say the girl is in critical condition. A 31-year-old man shot in the hand is in stable condition.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video and asking the community for help. Chicago police say there were fewer shootings and murders last month than any October since 2015.

SANCHEZ: WeWork founder Adam Neumann accused of gender and pregnancy discrimination by his own former chief of staff. A lawsuit brought by Medina Bardhi says that she was demoted twice after becoming pregnant. Bardhi claims that she was repeatedly derided and marginalized.

A WeWork spokesperson says the company will vigorously defend itself and the company has zero tolerance for discrimination.

There were a number of complaints about the company's culture under Neumann's leadership. He stepped down as the chief executive in September.

ROMANS: Yes. She says he called her maternity leave a vacation which, of course, it is not.

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

A mixed performance around the world in global markets. Asian shares mostly higher -- closed mostly higher despite fears of a long-term U.S. trade deal not happening.

A survey of factor activity in China was higher than expected.

On Wall Street, looking at futures right now. It looks like they're going to try and rebound a little bit after falling Thursday on the last trading day of the month.

The Chicago Purchasing Manager Index showed a significantly slower factor activity in the Midwest, the lowest reading since December 2015. The tobacco giant Altria said its investment in Juul is worth $4.5 billion less -- a big right-down there. Altria said it did not expect the regulatory challenges that Juul faces.

The e-cigarette company is blamed for a rise in teenage vaping and it's facing a federal ban on e-cigarette flavors. That's a market that makes up 80 percent of its U.S. sales.

Altria, which owns Marlboro, was facing a decline in cigarette sales last year when it invested $12.8 billion in Juul. At the time, it was one of the most valuable startups in Silicon Valley.

Juul announced earlier this week it will cut around 500 jobs as part of a restructuring.

SANCHEZ: Pivot, pivot, pivot.

A serving of "FRIENDS"-giving coming to a theater near you.


MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": The food smells great, Mon.

DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR, "FRIENDS": Yes, and the place looks so nice.

LEBLANC: Yes. Hey, hey, happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

SCHWIMMER: Happy Thanksgiving.

LEBLANC: Well, this has been great.



SANCHEZ: All of your favorite Thanksgiving-themed episodes from the classic T.V. series "FRIENDS" will screen in movie theaters across the country over Thanksgiving weekend. The eight episodes have been newly-remastered in 4K.

The "FRIENDS"-giving marathon event comes after the success of the show's 25th anniversary celebration.

ROMANS: And it's still an apartment that no one in New York really has, right? No one has that New York apartment.

SANCHEZ: It's so expensive to have something like that nowadays.

ROMANS: All right. While you were sleeping, Stephen Colbert put a "LATE SHOW" spin on a Charlie Brown Halloween classic.


LINUS: Soon, the great pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch for all to see.

CHARLIE BROWN: The great pumpkin is not coming. He's been impeached. LINUS: What did the great pumpkin do?

CHARLIE BROWN: Remember that official phone call we listened in on?

(Muted trumpet noise "Peanuts" cartoons use for when adults are talking, with audio of Donald Trump saying "Ukraine" and "quid pro quo" spliced in.)

LINUS: Well, if the great pumpkin has been impeached, who will take his place and rise out of the pumpkin patch?

CHARLIE BROWN: The great jar of light mayo.

MAYONNAISE JAR WITH VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Look at me, mother. I'm president of the pumpkin patch.

LINUS: Good grief.


ROMANS: Oh my gosh, it's too much.

SANCHEZ: It's tough to pivot out of that.

ROMANS: And welcome to November.

All right, thanks for joining us. Have a great rest of your day, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez. "NEW DAY" starts right now.


PELOSI: The House takes the next step forward so that the public can see the facts for themselves.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): It is a sad day -- it really is for this country -- what the Democrats have put our nation through.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They gave us absolutely no rights. I didn't have one negative Republican vote.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): There is a pretty consistent narrative here about what took place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did sit in the hearing and Tim Morrison absolutely did not say that there was quid pro quo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He confirms Ambassador Taylor's version of the events and that's extremely damning for the president.


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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh my gosh, look at that beautiful sunrise there over the Manhattan sky -- city skyscape.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, November first, 6:00 here in New York.

And, John Berman is off. John Avlon joins me. Thank you for being here.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning on a big day.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you.

AVLON: Happy post-Halloween.

CAMEROTA: Thank you very much. I'm still in a candy coma.