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THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO
U.S. Envoy Revises Testimony To Describe Quid Pro Quo; Sondland Amended Testimony To Say He Told Ukraine That U.S. Aid Likely Continued On Announcement Of Investigation; CNN Embeds With Turkish Forces In Northern Syria; President Xi And Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam Hold Surprise Meeting; United Kingdom Report On Russian Election Meddling Is Delayed. Aired 5- 5:30p ET
Aired November 5, 2019 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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CNN continues right now. Thanks for watching, I'll see you tomorrow.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, new testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The U.S. Ambassador to the EU is now admitting
a quid pro quo with Ukraine. A family tragedy in Mexico three women and six children killed near the U.S. border. CNN speaks with their relatives.
And election security. Fears of Russian interference and mistruths. What social media companies are or aren't doing?
Live from London I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. We begin with a stunning revision of testimony from a critical witness in the impeachment
investigation into U.S. President Donald Trump. Gordon Sondland the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union not only now acknowledges a quid pro quo
with Ukraine, involving withholding crucial U.S. aid but says he himself conveyed the message.
Sondland revised his closed door testimony on Capitol Hill before it became public today, along with the testimony of the Former Special Envoy to
Ukraine, Kurt Volker. House investigators are deepening their reach inside the west wing as they press ahead with the inquiry. They are now requesting
testimony from one of the President's very close aides, Acting Chief of Staff you can see there, Mick Mulvaney saying it appears he was directly
involved in the administration's efforts to pressure Ukraine. Let's investigate the extraordinary revelations by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Here's CNN's Alex Marquardt.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: In black and white, one of the President's top envoys changing his testimony, now admitting he told
Ukraine's leadership that hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid were being held up until President Trump got the investigations he wanted.
Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who's a long time Republican donor turned diplomat who gave money to Trump's Inaugural Committee amending his
original testimony writing I now recall speaking individually with Speaker Yermak where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until
Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.
That public statement that Trump wanted, according to the top U.S. Diplomat in Ukraine, was that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say he is
opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference. Those investigations were being pushed by the President's personal lawyer, Rudy
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE RASKIN, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: There's really only one story. All of the witnesses agree that the President engineered a shakedown of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQAURDT: In Sondland's transcript, released this afternoon, when asked if what Giuliani was doing was illegal, Sondland responded, I assume so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED LIEU, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: That's illegal. You cannot solicit a foreign power to investigate American political parties or your American political
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Over time Sondland said thing got more insidious, the demands on Ukraine bigger and bigger and Ukraine would have to play ball before the
Ukrainian President got a meeting with President Trump. The problem grew for the State Department which was fully aware of what Giuliani was doing,
Sondland said, and when Sondland raised it with his boss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo rolled his eyes and said, yes, it's something we have to deal with. Another member of the trio in charge of diplomatic relations with Ukraine
was Former Special Envoy Kurt Volker who according to the new transcript told the Ukrainians about the Giuliani factor and described the extent to
which Giuliani controlled Ukrainian access to Trump.
The Ukrainians believe that by speaking to Rudy Giuliani they could communicate to President Trump? Volker was asked. That information flow, he
answered, would reach the President.
NOBILO: And Alex joins us now live from Washington. Alex, obviously the revision of testimony seems like a big red flag to many Democrats. It does
seem like further indictment, but why does it matter so much?
MARQUARDT: Well, because it's new Bianca this goes - we were waiting today for the testimony that the transcript of that testimony, what we've got
here is more than just that. We have four new pages of written testimony that go beyond what he said. This is a senior official that had direct
access to Trump.
The first saying you know what I thought about it a little bit more and now that I've thought about it, there actually was quid pro quo. This is an
admission by one of the top envoys to Ukraine that there was quid pro quo in no uncertain terms. Bianca I know we just heard that quote from Gordon
I do think it bears repeating, he says that he spoke to an aide to President Zelensky of Ukraine. He told that aide that resumption of U.S.
aid would only be likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti- corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. Of course that anti-corruption statement that they wanted was an announcement from
President Zelensky that he would investigate the Bidens as well as interference in the 2016 election.
MARQUARDT: Bianca, this is about quid pro quo. This is about abuse of power and this is what Ambassador Gordon Sondland is saying happened. Bianca.
NOBILO: Alex Marquardt in Washington, thank you. Today is Election Day in the U.S. We're watching three key races for signs of how voters may be
reacting to the Trump presidency and the impeachment inquiry.
Voters are casting ballots in these three states Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia. Democrats are hoping to flip the state legislature in Virginia as
that would be crucial to redrawing the districts after the 2020 census. Governor's races in Kentucky Mississippi could signal just how enthusiastic
the President's supporters are feeling.
Donald Trump held rallies recently in both of those states he carried easily in 2016. The U.S. President has been campaigning to boost the
Republican candidate there. And CNN will bring you all of the results from this Election Day as we get them in the coming hours.
Now to a developing story from Mexico. Nine members of a Mormon offshore community were massacred near the U.S. border and officials are
investigating whether the attack was a result of mistaken identity. The video was taken by relative of the victims. You see that the car is
completely burned out with bullet holes piercing the metal.
The attack happened as the group was on their way to visit family, traveling between two states on side - on the Mexican side of the border.
When authorities believed that they were then ambushed by criminal groups. A relative says this image of the family - there we go. Shows some of the
The woman you see here and four of the children, including the two infants. The man you see here is alive and so we blurred his face and the face of
the children who survived as well. Mexico's President vows that justice will be done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICAN PRESIDENT: I send condolences and hugs to the whole family, to the families of the victims. It is a regretful
disgrace because innocent children lost their lives and we will do what is appropriate in these cases. It is our obligation to gather all the
information to seek the causes and stop those responsible so that there is justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Matt Rivers joins me now from Mexico City. Matt, this is a shocking quite confusing event. What are we learning now about the victims?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can tell you straight away Bianca from talking to the family of some of these victims today that they are viewing
those words by the Mexican President as completely empty and they're saying that he needs to stand up to these evil people that committed these acts.
In terms of what is going on with this investigation, he laid it out there in the beginning. In term of the motive behind all of this, they're not
sure yet. Simply is it a case of mistaken identity. This is an area where drug cartels have engaged in violence for decades. Is this a case of a drug
cartel seeing this convoy with three women and 14 children inside three cars traveling down the road thinking it was a rival group's convoy and
that's why they opened fire?
Or the other possibility here that the family of the victims has raised to me is that these people are no strangers to the drug cartels. They have
been live inning a community with hundreds and hundreds of people in Northwestern Mexico for decades now. This community of American citizens
that often have Mexican citizenship as well.
They're not strangers to the cartels. They have had run in this before and so there is a thought in this community that perhaps this was a targeted
killing. We simply do not know at this point. Whether it was targeted or not, the aftermath of this is just horrific. That video we showed right off
the top, that was taken by the grandfather of four of the children that died inside that car, and I interviewed him earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOICE OF KENNETH MILLER SR., RELATIVE OF VICTIMS: You see what happened, what all - none of my grandchildren made it out. They're burnt to a crisp,
and my daughter-in-law, and they're about as innocent as they come, and I'm not saying because she's gone, but she was a good mother. Those children,
they're innocent as the day is long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: The pain is so clearly there and yet this investigation just getting started, and it's not clear at all whether justice will ever be
served in this case. Bianca.
NOBILO: Matt Rivers thank you. We'll check back and see if there are developments in the next few days, I appreciate it. Now to Northern Syria,
where Turkey says it may have found an intelligence gold mine by capturing the sister of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The Former ISIS Leader was killed last month during a raid by U.S. Special Forces. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in the Syrian town of Tell Abyad where
she was embedded with Turkish forces carrying out clearing operations.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A senior official is telling us that Baghdadi's sister was captured along with her husband and daughter-in-law.
They were captured in town of Azaz in Northern Syria in a housing container and now they're basically - Turkish authorities are interrogating them.
And as you mentioned, they believe that this could potentially be an intelligence gold mine. They're hoping to get insights into how ISIS
operates. It's something that would help Turkey and Europe understand the threat that is caused by ISIS now, while ISIS does remain a serious threat
for Turkey, another threat official say is Kurdish separatists, Syrian Kurdish fighters who were until recently were operating in this area.
We're in the town of Tell Abyad, as you recall, this was one of the locations that saw some seriously intense fighting when that Turkish
offensive began on October 9th. It's been about three weeks since major combat operations came to an end here. But still we are seeing Turkish
forces who we're embedded with today carrying out clearance operations they're sweeping areas and sweeping them multiple times, checking for
explosives, for devices that have been left.
And we are told by Turkish officials that they're finding explosives on a daily base and defusing them. Anywhere between 10 to 100 devices on a daily
basis according to a Senior Turkish Official.
NOBILO: Iran is taking a significant step back from the land mark nuclear deal made with world leaders. On Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani
announced that Iran would inject uranium gas into more than 1000 centrifuges and centrifuges have been running on MTU Injecting Uranium Gas
then that can help separate highly radioactive isotopes which can be used for Uranium enrichment.
That's the first step towards this enrichment, which is a concern. It can ultimately be used to develop a nuclear weapon. However, Mr. Rouhani says
that these actions can reversed if U.S. sanctions are alleviated. CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson joins me now.
So Nic, what everybody is obviously just be concerned about here is that it begins with injecting Uranium Gas into centrifuges but then how long does
it take to get from that to having enough enrich Uranium to be able to have a nuclear weapon?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL EDITOR: What's interesting about this step is it's one in a series of steps that Iranians said in the beginning of May
that they were going to do. They telegraphed this. Amount of low enriched uranium 3.67 percent will enrich uranium, which is way short of that 90
percent you need to make a bomb out of - they were allowed 300 kilograms of it.
In July they said okay, we are going above over 300 kilograms. A little bit later they said okay, we're going to enrich it a little bit more to more
than the 3.67 to 4.5 percent still way below the threshold. But a few weeks later they said that they were going to increase their research and
development, which they shouldn't be doing by terms of the nuclear agreement with the United Stated.
And this is the next step up. Because they were limited on the number of enrichment devices they were allowed to use, these centrifuges. They were
limited to 5,060. So they've got up 20 percent in the number. They've also started enriching with some better quality centrifuges as well. This cuts
down the time to make a weapon.
They're still a long way from it, but these are incremental steps that are unpicking the deal that was in place to make it much harder to make the
bomb. And the gap, that length of time, was in principle so that something could be done if Iran was making a hand gram for a weapon. So this is
making it harder to stop hand gram.
NOBILO: And just quickly Nic, because it is "The Brief," how much of this can be done under the radar?
ROBERTSON: This is a good question, because I think at the moment, the international community is taking at face value what Iran is saying. It is
saying we are going to do this, this is telegraphed, we're doing this because we want you to change what you're doing. But the question then
becomes, well, what potentially is being hidden? The strength of the international atomic energy agency's inspections come into play here.
This is something the United States criticized from the beginning and countries like Israel have a concern about. There is concerns there are
nefarious activities undisclosed that could happen behind the scenes.
NOBILO: Nic Robertson, thank you very much. And in China a surprise meeting with President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong Executive Carrie Lam. China's state
run news agency says President Xi gave an enthusiastic endorsement of Lam's job performance during their meeting in Shanghai on Monday night. It comes
during the fifth month of violent protests in Hong Kong and as Mr. Xi's most direct comments yet on those protests.
NOBILO: An extradition bill put forward by Lam is blamed for setting of those demonstrations. Hundreds of protestors also took to the street of
Madrid on Monday to voice anger over Spain's rape law. The crowd chanted justice for women and you will not alone. As they protested a law that says
a rape cannot be committed unless the victim resists.
Last week, at Barcelona court acquitted five men of raping an unconscious teenager because she didn't fight back. The attackers were convicted of the
lesser crime of sexual abuse.
And it's turning into another violent day on the streets of Chile's capital where more clashes broke out short time ago between anti-government
protestors and police. You're looking at live pictures at the moment. These protests are now in their third week and they have left 20 people dead. The
President Sebastian Pinera told BBC he will look into claims of police brutality, but he says he won't step down.
Still to come on the program tonight Russian meddling in the British elections. We'll hear from the MP accusing Boris Johnson of a cover-up.
Stay with us.
NOBILO: A report on Russian interference in British elections is being held up by Boris Johnson's government, and some lawmakers are accusing the Prime
Minster of a cover-up. The report was cleared by British Intelligence and submitted to Mr. Johnson's office more than two weeks ago but Downing
Street says it needs additional security checks and won't be released before the December general election. The Chairman of the Committee that
wrote that report says there's no reason not to release it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC GRIEVE, BRITISH INDEPENDENT MP: It's important to understand the report isn't just about Russian interference in the electoral process, it's
possible electoral interference. It's about Russia's threat more generally to the United Kingdom in terms of espionage, assassination, cyber security
a whole range of issues. But one of those undoubtedly Russia's established reputation for interfering in democratic elections in other countries and
it is possible baring on us.
So I think it would be very informative to public to have the content of that report and I'm sorry it's not going to come out. And as I say there's
no credible justification by the government for not doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The subject of election security is a major theme at the Web Summit that's happening this week in Portugal. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and
Twitter's CEO Dorsey both will face tough questions in recent weeks about how the social media giants are going to treat political advertising.
CNN's Donie O'sullivan is at the summit and he told me that Facebook and Twitter have opposite answers to the same question.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Facebook has come under intense scrutiny in the United States over the last few weeks since Nick Clegg the Former
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and now a Facebook Executive announced that they would allow politicians in the U.S. and all around the
world to run false ads on its platforms.
So think about that. If you're a politician in the UK, the thousands of candidates running there, they can buy and place ads on the platform
targeting voters even if they contain lies. Twitter on the other hand, Jack Dorsey announced last week, perhaps sort of seeing all the trouble that
Facebook had gotten into that, Dorsey said you know what? We don't want any ads. We are not going run any political ads from now on. That policy is
coming to place in about two weeks so for most of the British election campaign, candidates will not be able to run ads on Twitter.
NOBILO: And speaking of political ads that may contain lies or even stretch the truth, in the United Kingdom, where I am at the moment, the general
election in the UK, the campaign started to kick off for that and today there's been controversy over this clip. I just want to play that for you
and our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would they give the EU give you a good deal if they knew that you are going to actively campaign against you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would the EU give you a good deal if they know that you're going to actively campaign against it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, peers, I have been talking to the EU to political leaders across the EU 27 countries for three years. I know very well what
the parameters are of nay deal that they would do with the labour government.
(END VIDOE CLIP)
NOBILO: All right Donie, so what - is the fact that the shadow Brexit Secretary of Labour Party, his response to a question was misrepresented by
the Conservative Party in a video that they posted. Because it was made to look like he wasn't answering the question, like he had nothing to say. In
actual fact he answered it straight away.
That was a small edit in a little video, but is there a concern that that's a slippery slope? Surely that's writ begins they tweak a bit. What then
will happens? Will we see more editing of this political campaigning?
O'SULLIVAN: Absolutely. That's where the real challenge is for voters and also these technology platforms. Where do we cut out off? Where do we start
fact checking? How do we know what is true and how do we know what is false? We have heard a lot particularly in the United States over the past
three years about how Russia used social media to interfere in the election in 2016.
We know in the UK that there's a lot of controversy around the withholding and delay of a report on Russians interference in British Democracy ahead
of the election, but I think what this clip highlights is that, you know, it doesn't have to be Russia, doesn't have to be Iran, doesn't have to be a
foreign government to peddle misinformation in the weeks leading up to the election British political parties and parties in other countries are well
capable of doing that themselves.
NOBILO: And clearly there are issues and threats coming from all sorts of angles as you outlined but there has been a special focus on Russia. Do you
think that the U.S. campaign 2020, the British election that's happening in December of this year, are they ready for any potential Russian
interference from these troll farms that I've seen you've done a lot of exclusive reporting on yourself?
O'SULLIVAN: Sure. I think important to point out that there's no evidence at least publicly that there was any way this sort of interference in UK or
in Brexit at least when it came to online campaigning which Russia did in the U.S. then in the UK. I think what we have seen a big change over the
past three years is that the social media companies have actually taken a lot of steps to try and shut down fake accounts.
We saw in the U.S. that there were Russians posing as real American activists in the weeks leading up to the election. Facebook to their credit
has really sort of built teams some including former intelligence officials to root out these campaigns. Also, Facebook has hired a lot of independent
fact checkers. They've hired their own fact checkers in the UK, U.S. and all around the world to try to actually find misinformation, false news on
the platform, and down rank it to mark it as false and to make sure it's seen by less people.
But then of course we see that Clegg comes out with this policy just a few weeks ago saying, well, actually if you're a politician you can still lie
and you can pay to target ads on our platform so you do have to wonder, does that undo quite a lot of good work that had been done?
NOBILO: That is Donie for us there, one should follow Donie O'Sullivan does a lot of investigative reporting for us and frequently gets hacked for all
of our benefit. But when THE BRIEF returns a warning of untold suffering. If the world doesn't act fast on global warming.
NOBILO: As President Trump promised the United States is stepping back from its commitment on climate change. The Trump Administration started the
formal process of pulling out of the Paris climate accord this week.
In 2015 with the U.S. taking the lead, nearly 200 nations came together to set goal for catching greenhouse gases, but President Trump stated that he
believes the accord hurts businesses and jobs. In the wake of its decision the European Union is renewing its commitment to the accord.
China says it regrets America's withdrawal calling climate change a problem for the whole humanity. And the threat could be more dire than we thought.
A group of more than 11,000 scientists say that we are facing a climate emergency. They described the world is hurtling towards untold suffering in
which parts of the planet won't be fit to live in.
But the scientists say that there are core steps that we can take to avoid this apocalyptic scenario like, relying on clean energy, watching how we
travel and reducing the animal products we consume. That's THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo. "World Sport" is next.