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Witnesses Refuse To Testify; America's Choice 2020, Joe Biden Top Polls; McDonald's CEO Force Out; NFL Undefeated No More; Impeachment Inquiry; Whistleblower Should Be Revealed; Two California Murder Suspects Escape; California Wildfires; EPA To Relax Coal Power Plant Waste Rules; Hong Kong Bracing For More Violence; Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Immigration Order; Washington Nationals Visiting White House; White Supremacists Film At Emmett Till Sign; Jimmy Carter At Ease With Death; Niagara Falls Boat Dislodge After 101 Years; 20M Under Frost Advisory In Southeast; Olivia Newton-John's Grease Outfit Sells $405,000. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 4, 2019 - 04:00   ET




DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Four witnesses scheduled today, now refuse to testify in the Trump impeachment inquiry.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Joe Biden tops three new national polls with just three months to go until the Iowa caucuses.

BRIGGS: McDonald's CEO forced out over a consensual relationship with a fellow employee.

ROMANS: The Baltimore Ravens hand Tom Brady and the new England Patriots their first loss of the season. Wah, wah, wah.


ROMANS: Welcome to our viewers in United States and around the world. They always win, so, you know, I mean --

BRIGGS: I didn't see that coming. No, you're right.

ROMANS: I don't usually weigh in on sports. I'm Christine Romans, good morning, everyone.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, November 4th. 4:00 a.m. in New York, 1:00 a.m. in California, the latest on the wildfires ahead.

But we start at the nation's capital. House impeachment investigators all set to interview four witnesses today. But all four refusing to testify. Sources telling CNN late Sunday night, the national Security Council lawyers, John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify. Assistant to the president, Robert Blair and Brian McCormack, associated director of the White House Budget Office, have already said they won't answer the committee's question. And administration officials says, Eisenberg is citing executive

privilege while the rest are refusing to appear because they're not allowed to have an administration lawyer present. House Democrats say witnesses refusing to appear will not stop the impeachment inquiry. Several Democrats, telling CNN that there's already more than enough evidence to move on to the next step, which is public hearings.

ROMANS: The whistleblower who ignited the impeachment inquiry is willing to answer written questions if Republicans want to submit them. But that offer is being rejected by President Trump and his top allies. They seemed determined to discredit the whistleblower and expose his or her identity.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The whistleblower should be revealed. Because the whistleblower gave a false story. Some people would call it fraud. I won't go that far. But when I read it closely, I probably would. But the whistleblower should be revealed.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I think that the whistleblower should come forward in an open hearing. And also bring the six people that he talks about inside his complaint that he said talked about other issues, as well. He needs to answer the questions. We need an openness that people understand this.


ROMANS: The whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid says the fixation on the whistleblower is simply because the president and others are at a loss on how to address the investigations the underlying disclosure prompted.

BRIGGS: President Trump responding to a Washington Post report that a growing number of GOP Senators already to acknowledge a quid pro quo on Ukraine as part of the shifting defense strategy. These Republicans insist the President Trump's actions was not illegal and does not rise to the level of impeachable offense.

President Trump, though, is not changing his defense. They claimed there was, no quid pro quo, tweeting, false stories are being reported that a few Republican Senators who are saying that President Trump may have done a quid pro quo, but it doesn't matter. There is nothing wrong with that. It is not an impeachable event. Perhaps so, but read the transcript, there is no quid pro quo.

ROMANS: All right. Three new national polls put Joe Biden on top of the Democratic field, with Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders rounding up the top three with less than 100 days to go until the Iowa caucuses. Biden leads Warren by 10 points in the latest Fox News poll. Democrats and Democratic leaning voters. The former vice president tops Sanders by 12 points. Biden's lead over Warren in the new NBC News Wall Street Journal Poll, just four points Sanders, eight points back. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, Bidens margin over Warren is five points, Sanders trailing by 11. BRIGGS: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders panning Elizabeth Warren's

Medicare for all plan. Warren released her $20.5 trillion proposal last week. It puts a heavy financial burden on big business and the wealthiest Americans drawing criticism from her two chief Democratic rivals.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: I have a plan that shows that we can have Medicare for all, without raising taxes one cent on middle class families. It's all fully paid for by asking the top 1 percent and giant corporations to pay a fair share.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's making it up. Look, nobody think its $20 trillion.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to say that it is free. Nothing is free. Health care is expensive.


BRIGGS: Until now, Sanders and Warren had been reluctant to cross each other on Medicare for all. Warren is trying to keep it that way, even though, Sanders is attacking her plan.



SANDERS: I think that that would probably -- will have a very negative impact on creating those jobs. I think we have a better way which is, a 7.5 payroll tax which is far more I think progressive.

WARREN: Bernie and I have a different vision on how to pay for it. But let's be really clear. Bernie and I are headed in the exactly the same direction.


BRIGGS: Warren claims the $11 trillion Americans will pay in out of pocket medical cost over the next 10 years will vanish under her plan.

ROMANS: South Carolina Congressman, James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip says there's no question that Pete Buttigieg's sexual orientation is part of the reason he's failed to gain traction in the key early voting state. Clyburn was asked about it on CNN's state of the union, Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg struggling with black voters in your state of South Carolina because he's gay?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, that's a generational issue. I know of a lot of people my age that feel that way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying for older African-Americans it is an issue?

CLYBURN: Yes, it is. There's no question about that. I'm not going to sit here and tell you otherwise. Which I think everybody knows that's an issue. But I'm saying, it's an issue not the way it used to be.


ROMANS: Mayor Pete on a bus tour across Iowa Sunday has this to say in response to the comments by Clyburn.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-SOUTH BEND-IN) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: the thing about outreach is you can't (inaudible) a lot of areas, and I think the most important thing is the message. I believe that, when you go to the ballot, you go to the voting booth, you are asking yourself, how is my life going to get better if I have this president instead of that one? I think we are going to win on that. And my job is to keep (inaudible).


ROMANS: All right, six minutes pass the hour. McDonald's CEO, Steve Easterbrook has been fired after violating company policy. The hamburger chain said Easterbrook became CEO in 2015, and demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee. In an e-mail to employees, Easterbrook expressed regret over the relationship, saying this was a mistake. Given the values if the company, I agree with the board that it is time for me to move on.

Easterbrook has been replaced by Chris Kempczinski, who was most recently president of McDonald's USA. Under Easterbrook, McDonalds stock has roughly doubles, but investors were disappointed, after sales grew 4.8 percent in the third quarter, down from 5.6 percent the second. Investors are concerned the chain is feeling the heat from rivals who are getting aggressive on breakfast and plant-based menu items. Kempczinski says he is energized by the challenged.

BRIGGS: Just one unbeaten team remains in the NFL. It is not the New England Patriots. The Ravens beat the Pats, 37-20, on Sunday night, led by their dynamic quarterback, that man, Lamar Jackson. Baltimore rushed for more than 200 yards against New England. The biggest play may have come here on defense. A 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Marlon Humphrey. Goof night, the only undefeated team still standing by the way the 8-no's San Francisco 49ers.

ROMANS: All right. The world champion Washington Nationals visit the White House today. At least one player will not be there. The story, next.


[04:10:00] ROMANS: Officials in Northern California asking for the public's help

locating a pair of escaped murder suspects. The Monterey County Sheriff's Office, say 21 year-old Santos Fonseca, and 20 year-old, Jonathan Salazar, were being held on unrelated murder charges. Details on how the pair escape weren't release, but authorities say they're investigating. Deputies say the men should be considered dangerous.

BRIGGS: Some inspiring aerial fire video from Southern California this morning. The footage tweeted out by the Ventura County fire department shows what it's like to fight a wildfire at night from a helicopter. The department says, night firefighting using choppers is uncommon and it requires special training, skills and technology. This is the Maria fire, which now covers nearly 10,000 acres and is 70 percent contained. President Trump slammed California Governor Gavin Newsome over the states rush of wildfires, Sunday. The president blame Newsom quote, poor forest management and threaten to withhold federal wildfire funding. Newsom tweeting back, you don't believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.

ROMANS: Later today, the EPA will announce it is relaxing the rules that regulate how power plants store waste from burning coal. The agency is also scaling back regulations for the released of water containing toxic chemicals into public water ways. The moves weaken two Obama-era rules from 2015 that control the disposal of fine powder and sludge which is also known as coal ash. Coal ash can contain mercury, arsenic, and other metals that harm human health and the environment.

BRIGGS: Hong Kong is bracing for more chaos after another weekend of violent protests. Two people are in critical condition, at least, four injured in a knife attack. One Hong Kong lawmaker's ear, reportedly, partially bitten off in that brawl. Riot police stormed several shopping malls on Sunday to break up demonstrators forming human chains. China is calling for a tougher stance to end the months of unrest. And now, cries of police brutality, with one injured reporter claiming authorities are targeting journalists there. Will Ripley live for us, from Hong Kong, where police tried to hold a press conference, but what happen to it, Will?


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. There was a group of people who claimed to be journalists, representing some local news agencies. And they had slogans on their helmet basically speaking out against police brutality. So, clearly they're journalist but they were also activist, they were asked to leave the press conference. They were surrounded by officers. They refused to leave and so the press conference was called off.

That's just one example of the division that is just crippling this city. Look at what happened to this building, this is the Bureau for the Shinwa News agency. Its run by Chinese state media, it's one of their main media arms to get information out there. Protesters smashed this. And they stormed shopping malls across Hong Kong over the weekend. On Sunday, trying to attack businesses that they consider pro-Beijing.

And of course, it was outside one of those shopping malls, that activist including a pro-democracy lawmaker got into a very heated political discussion with a man who done is accused of pulling out a knife, injuring at least four people and reportedly this man also partially bit off the ear of that lawmaker before the crowd surrounded him and beat him off. So, he's in the hospital, presumably facing charges.

And we're waiting to learn the conditions of the other people who are still trying to recover from their injuries in that knife attack. And on Saturday, even though the crowds were smaller, you're talking about thousands of people, not 10's of thousands or hundreds of thousands, more than a million, like you saw earlier -- in the early months of this protest which is now nearly five months on. And yet still, those small groups were able to keep police occupied for a number of hours. There were violent confrontation and public transportation was shut down as a result, both here on Hong Kong Island and also across Victoria Harbor on the Kowloon side. Really no end in sight here, Dave.

BRIGGS: Gosh, still, 5:16 there in Hong Kong. Will Ripley, live for us. Thanks, Will.

ROMANS: An Oregon judge has temporarily barred the Trump administration from denying VISA's to immigrants who cannot prove they will have health insurance. A group of U.S. citizens sued the administration, claiming the order, is a new form of family separation that could keep hundreds of thousands of immigrants out of the country. The White House is calling the temporary restraining order wrong and unfair, because the administration was not allowed to defend the policy in court.

BRIGGS: The world champion Washington Nationals will visit the White House today. But at least, one Nationals player is boycotting the event. Pitcher Sean Doolittle is an outspoken supporter of immigrants and the LGBTQ community and says, just can't bring himself to go. Doolittle also has an autistic brother in law and says, he remains offended by President Trump's mocking of the disabled reporter during the 2016 campaign.

ROMANS: All right, former President Jimmy Carter, is talking openly about his own death after some recent health scares. Hear his candid comments, next.



BRIGGS: A white supremacist group filmed a video in front of a memorial to civil rights icon, Emmett Till Saturday before being driven away by an alarmed siren. You can hear brief part of their messages in surveillance video provided by the Emmet Till Interpretive Center, in Summer, Mississippi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we want to know is where all of the white

people --


BRIGGS: Moments later, an alarm goes off and the group scattered to their cars. In 1955, 14 year-old Emmet Till was tortured to death after he was accused of making advances toward a white woman. The Center's historic marker at the spot where Till's body was recovered has been repeatedly shot at and vandalized.

ROMANS: All right, former president, Jimmy Carter telling churchgoers in Georgia, he's at ease with death. The nation's 39th president was delivering a sermon on Sunday and began discussing his 2015 battle with brain cancer. Carter told the congregation when he got the diagnosis, it didn't really matter to him whether he lived or died.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was going to die very quickly. And I would obviously pray about it. I didn't ask god to let me live. I asked god to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.


ROMANS: Mr. Carter celebrated his 95th birthday last month.

BRIGGS: Stormy weather rocking the boat on Niagara Falls. The severe weather dislodged an old iron boat that's been stuck on the rocks above the falls for more than a century. The Niagara parks commission says, strong winds and heavy rains last week, caused the barge to shift significantly from its position near the brink of Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. The concern now is that the strong current could push the boat over the falls. Officials say the vessel, it became disconnected from its tugboat during a dredging operation in 1918 and stranded on that Niagara River ever since.

ROMANS: All right, fall has definitely fallen nearly 20 million people under some sort of frost advisory in parts of the Southeast. Meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri has the forecast.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Dave and Christine. That's right, upwards of 20 million people and even portions of northern Alabama dealing with some of the freeze advisories, the freeze warnings that are in place across this region. And in fact, you work your way towards Raleigh, on to Charlotte, extremely cold air this morning. Factor in the light breeze in the area, we are talking about wind chills in the lower and middle 30s.

Hatteras getting away with one, 61 degrees right there on the immediate coast, but just about everyone inland here feeling much, much cooler air. And we do have high pressure beginning to kind of pushing off towards the northeastern coastline here. So we will expect some sunshine in to this afternoon and clouds will begin to build in advanced of an incoming front for portions of the Great Lakes, we get some showers today, those clouds and the showers eventually arrive to the northeast later on tonight and into Tuesday as well.


So, another chilly air mass in place here over the next couple of days. But not cold enough yet to produce any snow showers. But notice, there is a secondary system back behind this. And as we go in towards to Wednesday and Thursday, we get another shot of far more colder air, coming here by late this week, potentially giving us an opportunity for some flurries in Boston, overnight Thursday into Friday. And notice the cold air arrives for the weekend. Guys?

ROMANS: Pedram, thank you for that. All right. Olivia Newton-John's iconic bad sandy outfit from Grease scores big at auction.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me about it, stud.


ROMANS: The black leather jacket and the skin-tight pants worn by the actress and singer in the movie, sold for $405,700 more than double the auction estimate. The ensemble made famous in the 1978 films, final musical number, You're the one that I want, sold to separate anonymous bidders in an auction in Beverly Hills this weekend. Newton- John said she had to be sewn into those pants. Hundreds of other items from her career were also sold raising $2.4 million for her cancer wellness center in Australia.

BRIGGS: But you still have a central question.

ROMANS: So, here's my central question.

BRIGGS: About this from.

ROMANS: The happy ending of this film is Sandy changing who she is to be what he wanted. Which is what little girls all over the world we're like, hey wait a minute, I like the songs --

BRIGGS: So, you want a reboot?

ROMANS: I want a reboot.

BRIGGS: All right. Sounds good. Ahead, four White House officials were scheduled to give depositions in the Trump impeachment inquiry today. But now, the House won't hear from any of them. Details coming up.