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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Trump Rails On "Deranged Impeachment Witch Hunt" At Rally; Presidential Contenders Descend On Iowa To Make Their Case; Families Return Home After Getty Fire; Time: How Rudy Giuliani's Pursuit Of Money And Power May Cost Donald Trump Dearly; Fact Check: Trump Lies About CNN At Mississippi Rally; Military Dog Injured In ISIS Raid Headed To The White House. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired November 2, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Those in favor say please say, Aye.
We have no choice. We took an oath to protect and defend our democracy and that is what he has made an assault on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President quickly fired back.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can't impeach a President who did nothing wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beto O'Rourke is out.
BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This has been the honor of my lifetime. I love you all and I know that I'll be seeing you down the road. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That fire is skipping right up on...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is getting engulfed in flames.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire season in California is no longer a season. We are responding to wild land fires year round, 365 days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour now on this Saturday morning. Good to be with you and we're starting with a lot that's going on today.
First, President Trump is continuing to spin the impeachment inquiry as, as he calls it a deranged witch-hunt. This was at a rally last night in Mississippi. Also a source tells CNN that his top Ukraine expert, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was told to keep quiet about the President's July phone call with Ukraine's leader. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And with 93 days to go until the Iowa caucuses, several Democratic Presidential hopefuls scouring the state this weekend. They're pitching themselves to likely voters there.
BLACKWELL: And right now 12 wildfires are burning in California. The newest wildfire burning north of Los Angeles, not contained at all, 0% this morning. It's the Maria Fire. It's burned more than 10,000 acres and has just destroyed at least three homes.
Let's get back to our top story. The President on the attack, calling the impeachment inquiry a hoax and an attack on democracy.
PAUL: Want to bring in CNN Correspondent, Kristen Holmes. So Kristen, we know that President Trump insists he did nothing wrong. This call was perfect. He reiterated that last night. What else did he say to the crowd?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, he had quite a bit to say and most of it was an attack, and that's not surprising given what happened in Washington this week. I don't want to underplay here that vote in the House.
This was a historic vote, and not only did it formalize the impeachment process, but it took it a step farther and made it a whole lot less likely that the House isn't going to bring these articles of impeachment against President Trump.
And on the other side, we know that Republicans behind closed doors, they are acknowledging that this is going to happen and they are pressuring the White House to come up with some sort of strategy and messaging.
So with all of this in the background President Trump took the stage last night in Mississippi at a campaign rally. We know that's one of his most comfortable environments there and really was on the offensive.
We heard him hitting a lot of familiar targets Democrats, the impeachment. He was even going after Hillary Clinton. And at one point the media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The media are continuing with the deranged impeachment witch hunt. This is one I never thought I'd be involved in. The word impeachment, to me it's a dirty word, not a good word. Totally phony deal. They know it, everybody knows it--
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So clearly here the impeachment at top of mind for President Trump and this is coming as that list of witnesses that congressional committees want to hear from continues to grow.
Probably one of the most notable names is Secretary Perry, the Secretary of Department of Energy, who was asked to come and testify on Wednesday last night. We heard that he won't be doing that. He said that he will not testify behind closed doors. That he might consider testifying in a public hearing.
BLACKWELL: The House moved - I know, this week moved a step closer to moving this from the deposition phase which will continue in some measure to this public hearing phase as well. But Nancy Pelosi is talking about potentially the expansion, the broadening of any potential articles of impeachment, what's she saying?
HOLMES: Well that's right. In the last couple of weeks we've really seen the Speaker go from not wanting any sort of impeachment to obviously putting this forward. Now we have the vote. The interesting part here is that when she originally said that this was going to be an impeachment inquiry when she launched this about five weeks ago, we know she said that she wanted the scope to be narrow, that they wanted to just focus on Ukraine, on this quid pro quo.
But yesterday as she implied there might be more to it than just that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: There were 11 obstruction of justice provisions in the Mueller report, perhaps some of them will be part - but, again, that will be part of the inquiry to see where we go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes. So saying there are 11 obstruction of justice charges within those Mueller document there, so something we're going to watch carefully. And I do want to note that the White House did respond - the Press Secretary, after that vote on Thursday. And she said that Democrats were unhinged, that they had an obsession with President Trump and an obsession with impeaching him.
PAUL: All righty. Kristen Holmes, appreciate it this morning. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Now, President Trump says this week's House vote to formalize the impeachment process brings - as he calls it shame on the chamber.
PAUL: And I know a lot of people who are watching going how did we get to this point.
Well, CNN Senior National Correspondent, Alex Marquardt is walking us through it here.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A rollercoaster of a week, one that took the impeachment inquiry to new heights and set the stage for a historic showdown on Capitol Hill.
Democrats and Republicans in lockstep with their parties, as the deeply divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to make the inquiry official. Two Democrats joined the Republican minority in voting against it, which the GOP claimed as a bipartisan victory.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The only bipartisan vote on that floor was against.
MARQUARDT (voice over): While, Democrats who won the vote struck a somber tone and argued they had no choice.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This is a solemn day in the history of our country when the President's misconduct has compelled us to continue to move forward with an impeachment inquiry--
MARQUARDT (voice over): That will mean open televised hearings and transcripts from the dozen closed-door testimonies released to the public beginning as early as next week, where one person ready to testify in public is the most senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Ambassador Bill Taylor.
Taylor has already told lawmakers that he understood that U.S. military aid for Ukraine was tied to so-called investigations. He has told in an order for the new Ukrainian President to get a meeting with President Trump President Zelensky would have to go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference.
That was confirmed on Thursday by top National Security Council official Tim Morrison who was on the infamous July 25th call between the two Presidents in which Trump asked for a favor. Morrison was told by his boss to stay away from the shadowy parallel Ukraine policy led in part by Rudy Giuliani.
However, Morrison, told lawmakers that nothing was wrong with the call saying, "I want to be clear. I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed." The White House is already looking ahead, saying, impeachment by the House is all but a foregone conclusion.
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This has been set up to make the - to impeach the President. So that's something that we're expecting. But we can always hope that the Dems will again come to their senses--
MARQUARDT (voice over): Democrats are more fired up than ever after a parade of long time a political career officials have given damning testimony. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the top White House expert on Ukraine who was on the July call saying, this week he was so convinced that the President was blocking $400 million in aid for political reasons that Vindman went to the National Security Council's lawyers twice.
The top lawyer John Eisenberg who has been called in to testify, quickly ordered the transcript of the call be placed in a highly classified server, restricting access to it. And Vindman, according to a source, testified he was told not to talk to anyone about the call.
It was Colonel Vindman along with Ambassador Taylor who contradicted one of the President's main envoys to Ukraine Gordon Sondland, who was appointed by Trump to be Ambassador to the European Union.
Sondland has denied pushing investigations into Joe Biden and his son in the July 10th meeting with Ukrainian officials. But Vindman and his then boss, Fiona Hill, both understood that he was. Vindman said he'll even shut down a meeting over it.
Witness after witness, compounding the evidence that the President had linked aid for Ukraine two investigations into his political opponents, the President declaring the democratic-led investigation is the greatest witch hunt in American history. But its leader, Adam Schiff, is seemingly undeterred.
SCHIFF: We're going to finish our investigation and the public testimony and then make a decision on whether the remedy of impeachment is warranted.
MARQUARDT: Even as much of this impeachment inquiry is set to go public next week, testimony behind closed doors will continue. The three committees that are driving the process are looking to hear from that NSC lawyer John Eisenberg as well as his colleague Michael Ellis.
The big fish they want to get is former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has said he will only appear if he's subpoenaed. Bolton compared that rogue Ukraine policy to a drug deal. Alex Marquardt, CNN, New York.
BLACKWELL: And we know that there are a lot of moving parts in this impeachment inquiry as it now shifted this new phase. To two know the witnesses and understand the testimony, and the latest evidence join Anderson Cooper for a CNN special, "The White House in Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry," it's tomorrow night starting at 8:00 Eastern only on CNN.
PAUL: Speaking of movement, there's a lot of it for Democrats in Iowa this weekend, several 2020 candidates descending on the state to make their case to voters. We are live there for next.
BLACKWELL: Also a new wildfire near Los Angeles, it's forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. We'll tell you what investigators say may have started it.
PAUL: And listen to this at least one person has died in a salmonella outbreak. This involves several states. But officials can't seem to decipher where it's coming.
PAUL: Right now we have (ph) plans for this weekend. But for democrats Iowa is the key. This morning several 2020 candidates are making their way around the state. They're pushing themselves to likely voters there, trying to make some headway. BLACKWELL: Yes. But it's mayor Pete Buttigieg who is making a lot of news after his speech at Iowa's Liberty and Justice Celebration last night. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is joining us from Des Moines. Late night, early morning for you Jeff, give us the headline.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Victor and Christi. It was a late night, but there were a lot of Iowa Democrats who were so interested in hearing what the parade of candidates had to say.
Of course, there were 13 candidates speaking. Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the race right before the dinner was supposed to begin, so he was not on stage. But there were several candidates on stage making an electability argument, saying why they are the strongest Democrat to take on President Trump. Take a listen to some of their arguments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight all of us, no matter what candidate we are supporting, are in agreement that we must defeat the most dangerous President in the history of our country.
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first thing we have to do is get rid of Donald Trump, get him out of office. And once that happens, the road is clear for significant change.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not running some consultant driven campaign with some vague ideas that are designed not to offend anyone. I'm running a campaign based on a lifetime of fighting for working families.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And they're talking about hope and belonging. Sounds optimistic to you for a time like this, fine, call it optimistic, but do not call it naive, because I believe these things not based on my age, but based on my experience.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: It's okay now. So you heard Pete Buttigieg there making the case that, yes, he is a 37 year old Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. But, yes, he's also ready and prepared to be President.
It was not just the words that were important, though. At the dinner last evening, you could see the movement that these candidates are building and that is the actual point of the dinner, to show that they are building an organization. That they can get supporters out to actually come out and vote for them come the night of the Iowa caucus is in about three months or so.
But one thing is clear, these candidates certainly are in the top tier, those four you just heard from, but also Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Governor Steve Bullock other candidates as well, Senator Cory Booker, also making their arguments.
So it is too early at this point to say who is the clear front-runner. There is not a clear front-runner here in Iowa. In that poll two- thirds of Iowa caucus-goers say they could still change their mind before the caucus day on February 3rd.
So the issue here is Democrats still looking for who is the most electable candidate to beat President Trump. The campaign over the next three months will answer that question. Victor and Christi.
BLACKWELL: Jeff Zeleny for there in Des Moines. Jeff, thank you. Let's bring in Julia Manchester, Political Reporter for "The Hill."
Julia good morning to you.
JULIA MANCHESTER, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE HILL: Good morning. Thank you for having me.
BLACKWELL: Let's start here with Mayor Buttigieg. He told John Heilemann on that SHOWTIME program The Circus that this race is shaping up to be a two-way competition. Here's part of their conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say, I'm not saying it is a two way. But I think--
JOHN HEILEMANN, NBC NEWS NATIONAL-AFFAIRS ANALYST: But do you see that. You see it's coming into focus - you and Warren.
BUTTIGIEG: Yes, and certainly a world where we're getting somewhere is that world where it's coming down to the two of us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Buttigieg, Warren, he said it could come down to that. What is the evidence - I mean, beyond wishful thinking, but the evidence that this Buttigieg surge is different than the last one that fizzled or different than the Harris surge or the O'Rourke surge. Why is this different?
MANCHESTER: I think this is different because there are other candidates in the race such as Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden who have really showed some vulnerability. And Pete Buttigieg has been able to very much move up in the polls, especially in Iowa.
And Pete Buttigieg is able to surge in Iowa and get ahead of a candidate like Joe Biden, I think that shows that he could get some momentum going into other crucial early primary states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina.
So I think Buttigieg is almost trying to take Joe Biden's place as the centrist candidate running. And what are you essentially is trying to say in that interview is, this is a battle between two sides of the Democratic Party, the more progressive side, the side that Warren is representing and his wing, which is more centrist and more - maybe more establishment if you will.
But I think Buttigieg is also going to make a generational argument or an age argument. He's going to play up his Millennial credentials and his experience as Millennial. We've heard him on the campaign, talked about that he has had - he has served in one of the longest - the longest foreign conflict that the U.S. has been embroiled in, Afghanistan.
You're also going to hear him talk about the issue of student debt and other issues that Millennials have had to face. So I think he's definitely - this is a sign that he's definitely going to contrast himself with Warren in that way.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about former Congressman Beto O'Rourke who ended his campaign yesterday. It's easy to go to the born for this cover of Vanity Fair.
But I was thinking of yesterday when he made this announcement, there's been this question for several cycles now from POLITICO's. Would there be a significant number of single issue gun violence, gun safety voters comparable to Republicans, who have said publicly that they're holding their nose to vote for President Trump, because they like his judicial appointments.
O'Rourke could have been that candidate, especially after El Paso, after his mandatory buy back endorsements as well could have been as well. Is it too general - is it an overstatement to say that we're getting an answer to that by his withdrawal, by Swalwell's withdrawal, and how much they're talking about gun violence.
MANCHESTER: I think it might be a little too general. I think Beto O'Rourke's campaign had a lot more issues that they had to contend with. They were trailing in fundraising and in the polls. And I think Beto O'Rourke very much realized this.
And I think he, as a politician, as a person is going to look ahead to his political future and maybe look and see how he can best serve the U.S. and how he can best put forth policies he wants to enact. And I don't think he saw a path for that within the Democratic nomination.
But for Beto O'Rourke, unlike Eric Swalwell, I think for Beto O'Rourke this really changed after El Paso. Before he wasn't necessary - was obviously talking about gun control. But I think this became a very personal fight for him after El Paso and it very much changed the game for him.
And it's very understandable, because it took place in his hometown. This was very personal for him. So I'm wondering how he will address the issue of gun violence now that he's outside of the Presidential race.
BLACKWELL: And he says that--
MANCHESTER: --now he won't put forth any reforms. BLACKWELL: --he won't be running for Senate. But, of course, he said that there will be more coming from him. Let me get one more in here before we let you go. And this is Senator Elizabeth Warren, she released the plan to pay for Medicare for all, making up $20.5 trillion over 10 years of additional federal spending.
This New York Times/Siena College poll that came out that groups the four at the top there. If you look into the cross tabs there is something that's fascinating there. That 100 percent of the respondents who say that Warren is their first choice - let's look at it - they're concerned that she's too far left to win. So is that angst resonating with her campaign and what does that say about the stability of her support?
MANCHESTER: I think her campaign has been cognizant of this - with this weariness among some voters from the very beginning and I think this is why Warren has painted herself as maybe slightly more moderate than Bernie Sanders. Remember, Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist. He also comes out and says, yes, I'm going to raise taxes in order to pay for Medicare for all, take it or leave it.
Warren has put a - put forward a slightly different approach. She's trying to stay away from raising taxes for paying for Medicare for all. She calls herself a capitalist. I think she tries to walk that fine line between progressive anti-establishment and being an establishment candidate.
So I think her campaign has been very cognizant of this from the beginning. And I think you're going to see - I think her campaign in the near future is going to put out a plan about how they would transition the healthcare system in the U.S. to a Medicare for all system. I think you're going to see more of that walking that fine line and that plan to come as well as on a number of other different policy initiatives.
BLACKWELL: And although the campaign has released this plan, there are lots of questions about are they going to pass actual immigration reform to get that $400 billion and the trillions of dollars of wasting in fraud there, they're hoping to get. Julia Manchester, always good to have you.
MANCHESTER: Thanks Victor.
PAUL: Still to come, President Trump claims that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was quote "whimpering and crying and screaming all the way to his death." Why his version of this story may not be the way it happened. We're fact-checking the President, the story, that's next.
BLACKWELL: Plus the man in Florida is accused of murdering his wife, but he says it was an accident. Why police are now looking at the couple's Amazon Echo to get some answers.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Been talking about a lot of wildfires in California, but there's
one in particular just moving pretty fast. Better weather conditions could help firefighters make some headway with it today, but the Maria Fire is one of the last fires remaining wildfires that is still a threat in that area. Last checked, it was 0 percent contained and had burned nearly 11,000 acres.
BLACKWELL: There about 500 firefighters working on this one. It destroyed at last two - last count rather to homes and forced thousands of people outside LA to evacuate. Also there are 12 wildfires still burning in California. At least seven firefighters have been hurt trying to put them out.
Meanwhile in Brentwood, California families are finally coming home or they're coming to what's left of their home.
PAUL: Yes, that's because at the Getty Fire. It destroyed at least 10 homes, damaged about 15 more. Amy Johnson with her affiliate KCAL/KCBS has more.
AMY JOHNSON, KCAL/KCBS REPORTER (voice over): Homeowners were allowed back into the hardest-hit area of the Getty fire four days after flames tore through this Brentwood neighborhood.
Most that we saw were too upset to go on camera as they saw the charred remnants of what was once a home.
DAVID DARRETT, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MYSAFE:LA: It's really important when someone is coming home and they may not have seen their home, they may not even know whether it's standing or not, to have some kind of support.
JOHNSON (voice over): David Barrett is the executive officer of MySafe:LA.
DARRETT: We're part of the repopulation group that is here to help owners come back into the areas where homes may have been damaged or destroyed.
JOHNSON: And although the homeowners are allowed to come back to their homes, for some there's nothing to return to.
DARRETT: People might be stoic. They might be very emotional and they might have a medical emergency.
JOHNSON (voice over): For others it's about cleaning up the damage left by the fire, some of it, not even visible to the eye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have fire and assemblage damage it includes settled ash and oftentimes that ash can have chemical contamination, including PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls and flame retardants. So you can look at a sofa that looks like it's undamaged. And then if you take a vacuum dust sample from it you'll see that it's covered in ash. JOHNSON (voice over): Firefighters are still a fixture in the neighborhood as they continue to make sure there was no fire left in these charred hillsides that will hopefully feel like home once again.
PAUL: I want to thank Amy Johnson with our affiliate KCAL/KCBS with the report there. The ways that you can help wildfire evacuees in the short and the long term because they are needs for shelter and food and mental health services, you can go to our website cnn.com/impact, and thank you for doing so.
BLACKWELL: Well he was once the so-called self-determined law and order Mayor of New York City. Well, now his President Trump's most infamous defender. So what led Rudy Giuliani to the middle of this Ukraine scandal? We'll talk to the author of a new "TIME Magazine" cover story about how its mix of business and politics could cost the President.
PAUL: New footage shown by CNN shows one of Rudy Giuliani's indicted associates standing in the risers behind President Trump in a midterm rally in 2018.
PAUL: Lev Parnas is one of the men alleged to have helped Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, try to dig up political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Now the video you see here, is an example of how Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman used their proximity to Giuliani and political donations as ways to gain access to the President and to campaigns. Mixing money and politics is the subject of the new TIME Magazine cover story, "How Rudy Giuliani's Pursuit of Money and Power May Cost Donald Trump Dearly."
With us one of the authors of the piece, Vera Bergengruen, thank you so much, Vera, for being with us. We appreciate it. I want to get right to something that you wrote here regarding Rudy Giuliani.
You said Giuliani has become a kind of shadow Secretary of State even as he maintained his foreign consulting business. He's often been treated as a de facto envoy of the U.S. government while abroad, at the same time, receiving lucrative consulting and speaking fees from foreign officials and businessmen.
Describe for us exactly what he's been doing and is the President - is there any indication that the President is aware of this?
VERA BERGENGRUEN, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, TIME: Right. So I mean that's the question, no one really knows. Very few people know what exactly he's been doing, because he's been given free rein to really go all over the world and do his foreign business deals, while also being the President's personal attorney, because he wasn't bound by any of the usual laws that would prevent someone like Pompeo, for example, from doing that.
So by his own description, he's been to 80 countries, 150 different trips over the last decade, and he says he's just continuing that same business kind of becoming as a security consultant. But it really seems that obviously that picked up once he had the President's ear and once all these foreign officials see him every night I'm speaking for the most powerful person in the world and television.
PAUL: You also write that Giuliani's behavior may have some really historical consequences here. Historic consequences - he is essentially, as I understand it in this article, Rudy Giuliani is driving the train with some conspiracy theories, unsubstantiated by the way, and President Trump seems to be the prime passenger on that train.
With that said, we've had a lot of conversations about who has influence over the President and who talks to him. Is it his family, does Ivanka have any influence over him? But why were you able to decipher any reason as to why the President does seem to listen so closely to Rudy Giuliani?
BERGENGRUEN: Well, the two obviously have known each other for a very long time and they have that kind of relationship. and when Trump talks about Giuliani, he still refers to him as a legendary mayor, as you know the greatest mayor in the history of New York. And he clearly you know thinks highly of him in that way.
But, also, I don't think there were too many people who would have really kind of been a partner for him in this and so in a way, Giuliani was going - doing this with Trump in terms of kind of pursuing these Ukraine conspiracy theories.
But, again, one of the questions we have is that he have other interests in mind and whose interests was he representing, was it Trump or was it America's or was it his own foreign business dealings?
PAUL: OK. Let's watch some of Rudy Giuliani as of late, as he tries to defend himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: GIULIANI: --the prosecutor--
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You're not spinning anything.
CUOMO: Go ahead.
GIULIANI: I'm not spinning a damn thing. Truth isn't truth. The President of the United States says, I didn't--
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Truth isn't truth. Mr. Mayor, do you realize what - I - this is going to become a bad mean--
GIULIANI: No. Don't do this to me.
Shut up, moron. Shut up. Shut up. This stinks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Is there any indication President Trump sees Rudy Giuliani as a detriment to some degree? Is he having - is George Giuliani having any sort of almost meltdown at times?
BERGENGRUEN: Well, so far, I mean it really seem - we asked the President that and he told TIME that he's a great corruption fighter, that's why he was involved in this Ukraine business. We sent him there because he's the law and order guy, he's a crime fighter. He's doing nothing wrong.
And meanwhile Giuliani tells us that the President is a 100 percent in his corner and that they are - he said he's as loyal to me as I am to him. So far it really doesn't seem like there's a crack there. And of course it remains to be seen once the whole impeachment fight really heats up what happens there.
PAUL: Vera Bergengruen really interesting article, TIME Magazine. Vera, thank you so much we appreciate you being here.
BERGENGRUEN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Breaking overnight, hundreds of people went to the streets of Brooklyn protesting what they say is a continuous brutality effort by the New York Police Department. According to CNN affiliate WABC the protests are in response to a video shared on social media showing NYPD officers fighting with teens at a subway station.
The NYPD put out this statement, "The NYPD does not interfere with constitutionally protected activities and works to ensure public safety as New Yorkers exercise their First Amendment rights. Over last five years the NYPD has focused on precision policing.
Our anti-gun and anti-violence strategies, coupled with our neighborhood policing philosophy, have allowed our officers to build stronger relationships with the community and drive crime down to historic lows, while successfully bringing the most violent offenders to justice."
PAUL: Well still to come quote here "whimpering and crying and screaming all the way to his death," that's how President Trump characterized ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and how he died. The thing is, there's no evidence to confirm that that's exactly how it happened. Fact checking, stay next.
[08:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Forty three minutes past the hour right now. President Trump touted how well the U.S. economy is doing. At a GOP rally in Mississippi last night he boasted Mississippi's unemployment rate has hit the lowest it's ever been. The thing is that's not true. And it's just one of several false claims that he's made this week.
BLACKWELL: Joining us now our resident Fact Checker, Daniel Dale. Daniel Dale, thank you so much for being with us. So let's start with the President last weekend claiming that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi was whimpering and crying and screaming all the way to his death. Let's listen to what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He died after running into a dead end tunnel whimpering and crying and screaming all the way. He died in a vicious and violent way as a coward running and crying. He was whimpering screaming and crying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Fact Check that for us Daniel.
DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: So Trump has a long history of falsely claiming that various people were crying. In this case I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he spoke to the Special Forces on the scene. It turns out that's very unlikely.
The Commander of Central Command said that he could not confirm the whimpering, crying. The Secretary of Defense cannot confirm the whimpering and crying. And New York Times just posted an article last night in which various defense officials said that they thought that Trump had simply made this up. There is no evidence even to them privately that this was true.
BLACKWELL: And that's even when the death is big enough. Right? Adding these additional details aren't necessary if you can't confirm them, if you're making them up. the death of Baghdadi is big enough.
PAUL: Big enough. We know that health care is a substantial issue for a lot of people as they watch what's happening in 2020. The President didn't talk about that as well, and in protecting those who have pre- existing conditions. Let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Democrats' health care agenda would obliterate Medicare. I will always protect. Medicare for our seniors and we will always protect patients with existing conditions - always - we'll always take care of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Daniel what stood out to you there?
DALE: Well this is simply false. You know, as a fact checker I don't usually fact check promises. It's hard to fact check the future. But in this case Trump's promise has already been belied by what he has done as President.
The bills that he supported in 2017 to get rid of Obamacare would have significantly weakened protections for people with preexisting conditions. And at present his administration is supporting a Republican lawsuit that would - that is trying to get the entirety of Obamacare declared null and void. And of course, he has presented no plan to protect people with preexisting conditions in the event that that lawsuit actually succeeds.
BLACKWELL: And of course the president at these rallies always goes after the media. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: --the light just went off, see. Well, their light was on - they just turned it off. They just don't like. You know stop, stop. I tried not to do that, because I see their light on. You know when that light goes on that means you are live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DALE: This was fascinating to me, because this is the President looking at thousands of his most devoted supporters and telling them he's seeing something in the room that is not actually happening. So he made this allegation last night about CNN and its camera. He said the light just went off on CNN's camera after I insulted them. That didn't happen.
The CNN camera operator at - the photojournalist never stopped recording - that would not stop recording and his camera, he told me, doesn't even have a light. He said it so that the light is always off. So Trump could not have seen anything even if he had made a change. So this is the President again looking at supporters and just making something up.
BLACKWELL: And could we also clear up, because we're going to have this conversation throughout the day as we were having this morning, about the record of the call with the President of Ukraine. The President has said that they're stenographers and this is a word for word transcripts. Let's be clear about what was released by the White House.
DALE: Absolutely. That document actually says on it on the first page, it says this is not a verbatim transcript of the conversation. This is people's recollections - the people who are listening to the call.
And we now have testimony from Vindman telling us indeed that that stuff was left out of that transcript intentionally or unintentionally. And so people who have testified have said this is a mostly accurate recollection of the call. But Trump's insistence more than 15 times that this is an exact transcript is not correct.
BLACKWELL: Yes. We had the Former Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina on earlier saying that it was a jovial conversation, which - I mean, it certainly isn't a screenplay where they give you notes on disposition as the characters are speaking. Daniel Dale, thank you so much.
DALE: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you. And we're learning at least one person has died from ground beef that's contaminated with salmonella. The thing is officials don't know where this is coming from. We'll tell you what we know though.
PAUL: So police in Florida are looking at a couple's Amazon Echo to search for evidence in a bizarre murder. Silvia Galva Crespo died back in July. Her husband Adam Crespo says the couple was fighting and when he grabbed her by the foot, he says, that's when she was impaled on a bedpost.
BLACKWELL: Now he claims the whole thing was an accident. But it's been charged with second degree murder. And police just got a warrant to examine the Amazon Echo, which may have recorded the whole thing.
PAUL: At least 10 people are sick. One person has died from eating tainted ground beef. The CDC says salmonella has spread across six states, but officials, and this is what's alarming, they haven't been able to pinpoint who is supplying the meat.
BLACKWELL: Now the person who died was from California. Cases have also been reported in Colorado and Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa of the nine who were sickened eight were hospitalized. The CDC is still investigating.
PAUL: Listen up because he is arguably the world's most famous dog at the moment.
PAUL: Thanks to of course the raid that took out the world's most wanted man.
BLACKWELL: We now know him as Conan or Conan. I don't know really the proper pronunciation. Someone should ask him. And he's headed for the White House next week. Jeanne Moos explains.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We no longer have to say a generic "good boy," the good boy's name is Conan, like the comedian who tweeted, "that dog is clearly the better Conan." It's enough to make a studio audience say--
JAMES CORDEN, CBS HOST: I know, I like this.
MOOS (voice over): "Very cute recreation," is how the president described the photoshopped image he shared, "but the live version of 'Conan' will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week."
The Photoshop is based on an actual Metal of Honor recipient, James McCloughan was a medic in Vietnam. His head was replaced by the dog's, leaving some to wonder how James McCloughan feels about this?
JAMES MCCLOUGHAN, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: The first time I looked at it I thought, well they're paying tribute to a dog that did something very brave, and very heroic.
MOOS (voice over): And when the dog visits the White House--
MCCLOUGHAN: Maybe the President will invite me in too, to say hi to the dog.
MOOS (voice over): The dog is fully recovering after touching electrical cables while hunting down the leader of ISIS. Apparently one good Photoshop begets another. From Putin putting a medal on President Trump, to the dog giving the President a medal labeled "zero." Even son Eric tweeted out a version.
The Trump campaign is doggedly raising funds off Conan the canine, selling USA camo dog bandanas for $15. Conan was a hit on late night.
JAMES CORDEN, LATE NIGHT SHOW HOST: If you look closely enough you can practically hear Donald Trump whispering to the dog - you know, a doctor can get you out of military service, right?
MOOS: Given the President's pension for magnificent fast food buffets, can't wait to see what Conan gets fed at the White House. Some were already imagining, like other heroes Conan is likely to get patted, and even hugged. As for pet owners who wonder, do you think my dog could be trained for such greatness? Oh sure, that dog will take orders for a latte. Jeanne Moos, CNN.
TRUMP: A beautiful dog - a talented dog--
MOOS: New York.
BLACKWELL: Thanks for starting your morning with us. We're back here at 10:00 Eastern for CNN NEWSROOM.
PAUL: "SMERCONISH" is up next. Stay close.