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First Closed Door Transcripts Made Public; It's Election Day 2019; Deadly Stabbing at Maryland Popeyes; Man Rescued from Oncoming Train. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 5, 2019 - 04:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats released closed-door depositions in the Trump impeachment inquiry with more expected in the coming hours.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Voters head to the polls for Election Day match-up that could offer hints about the 2020 race.

ROMANS: A fight over a Popeyes chicken sandwich turns deadly in Maryland.

BRIGGS: A transit worker's last-second save caught on camera at California train station.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, November 5th. It's 4:00 a.m. in New York. It is 1:00 a.m. in California.

This morning, we finally know exactly what some of the key witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry said behind closed doors. Among the revelations, testimony that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was silent as Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, campaigned to oust then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Now, the president was asked about the effort by Giuliani and others to undermine Yovanovitch.


REPORTER: Was Marie Yovanovitch the target of a smear campaign by your allies? She testified she was.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I really don't know her, but if you look at the transcripts, the president of Ukraine was not a fan of hers.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: A fact check. The rough transcript of Mr. Trump's call with Ukraine's president, Vladimir Zelensky, shows Zelensky criticized the ambassador only after Trump called her bad news.

CNN's Lauren Fox has more on the newly released transcripts from Capitol Hill.


LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: A significant day on Capitol Hill as we saw the release of the first transcripts from these closed-door depositions that have been going on now for the last month on Capitol Hill. It's a big opportunity for lawmakers who haven't been in the room over the last several weeks to see what has actually been occurring. One of the transcripts that we saw was from the former ambassador to Ukraine who grew very concerned that her reputation was being damaged and that the president was losing faith in her. There was rumors basically that she was not supportive of the president, and she essentially wanted the State Department to put out a public statement defending her.

She was told that the State Department couldn't do that because there was concern if they put out a statement, that the president could potentially undermine it even with something as simple as a tweet. She said, quote: What I was told is there was concern that the rug would be pulled out from underneath the State Department if they put out something publicly.

She also went to her colleague, E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland and asked him for some advice. His advice to her, go big or go home. Essentially, what he argued was that perhaps she should tweet her support for the president, say that these rumors weren't true.

Now, Michael McKinley's transcript was also released today. He's a former top aid to Mike Pompeo. Essentially, he said he left the State Department because he believed the career diplomats were being used to advance the president's political agenda, something that he did the not support. But more testimony and transcript expected to be released this week, including that of Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland -- Christine and Dave.


BRIGGS: Lauren, thanks.

And as testimony, Michael McKinley gave another reason for stepping down, as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Pompeo, one that directly contradicts his old boss's version of events. McKinley told the lawmakers he felt the department and especially Pompeo were not defending Yovanovitch against that smear campaign.

He testified, quote: There were numerous media articles appearing about Yovanovitch and frankly I did grow concerned that we needed to say something forceful on her behalf. Question, how many conversations did you have with the secretary about this matter? McKinley, three probably. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remembers things very differently.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: From the time that ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that he came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision --

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: So you were never asked to --

POMPEO: Not once. Not once, George, did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period.


ROMANS: All right. One a television interview, the other under oath.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is joining a growing list of Republicans who are trying to reveal the identity of that whistleblower at the center of this impeachment inquiry.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): The whistleblower needs to come before Congress as a material witness because he worked for Joe Biden at the same time Hunter Biden was getting money from corrupt oligarchs. I say tonight, to the media, do your job and print his name.


ROMANS: Senator Paul is calling in every Republican in Congress to step up and subpoena Hunter Biden, even though there's no evidence to support the claims about Joe Biden's son.


Senator Paul also wants the whistleblower subpoenaed. The subpoena's lawyer is firing back. Mark Zaid, the lawyer, says: A member of Congress who calls for the identity of any lawful whistleblower to be publicly revealed against their wishes disgraces the office they hold and betrays the interests of the Constitution and the American people.

Not all Republicans are onboard with exposing the whistleblower. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says whistleblowers are entitled to maximum protection and it's up to them to decide if they want to come forward.

BRIGGS: So, how is the Democrats impeachment inquiry playing in a swing district in a swing state? That defines Michigan's 11th congressional district, just northwest of Detroit. No surprise then that voters are split on impeachment.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a sham. OK? I think the president -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Horrible.

REPORTER: Horrible?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's horrible. Just horrible what they're doing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is doing a great job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's an important that an inquiry be going on. I also think it's important we not be distracted by it and there's actually governance going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the Democrats are trying to overturn the results from 2016. And I think it's going to fail miserably.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's heading in the right direction finally, the impeachment. We're getting the evidence we need. I hope he gets what's coming to him.


BRIGGS: Michigan's 11th went for President Trump in 2016 and flipped in the midterms electing a Democrat Haley Stevens to Congress.

ROMANS: All right. It is Election Day 2019. There are important state and local off-year elections all across the country today. In big cities like Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco, they are selecting new mayors and other local officials.

In Kentucky and Missouri, voters are choosing governors. And in Virginia, Republicans may be on the verge of losing both houses of legislature for first time in decades. Many of these races could offer hints about what's to come in 2020.

CNN's Ryan Nobles has more from Washington.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi are the states to watch tonight. Voters will be casting ballots in races that could give us a sense of where things stand in terms of momentum for next year.

Let's start in Virginia. Republicans are in danger of losing their slam two-seat majorities in both houses of the general assembly. If Democrats win big, particularly in swing districts in play in northern Virginia and outside of Richmond, it could be a sign of President Trump's growing problem with suburban voters.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, there's a big governor's race on tap. President Trump in support of the incumbent, Republican Matt Bevin. Bevin's approval rating is underwater and his opponent, Andy Beshear, is the son of a popular former governor there. Now, this race could come down to what voters care about -- local issues or the national issues dominating Washington. Bevin has stuck close to President Trump. If he pulls it out, it

could be a sign of just how much strength Trump has with Republican voters.

And then, finally, Republicans and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves are in the driver's seat in Mississippi in the governor's race there. But Democrats are hopeful that conservative Democrat Jim Hood, who's the attorney general, could surprise everyone. It's going to be tough, though, because in addition to winning the popular vote, gubernatorial candidates in Mississippi must also win a majority of state house districts and that will be an advantage for the GOP.

Now, the first results will start coming in at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. That's when the polls close in both Virginia and Kentucky -- Dave and Christine.


BRIGGS: Ryan, thanks.

The Trump administration has started the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo submitting formal notifications to the United Nations. The withdrawal from the agreement will take effect in one year, just after the 2020 presidential election.

President Trump claims the Paris accord punishes America's workers and enriches foreign countries. According to a recent study, the United States contributes more to global warming than any other country.

ROMANS: Optimism in the U.S./China trade war. "The Financial Times" reports the Trump administration is debating whether to remove some tariffs on Chinese goods to seal a partial deal that would pause the trade war. Officials told CNN the U.S. is assessing current tariffs as it works to finalize the so-called phase one of a trade deal, but no decisions have been made beyond tariffs that were supposed to can kick in October 15th.

"The Financial Times" says the White House is considering rolling back the 15 percent tariffs on $112 billion of Chinese goods, including clothing, appliances and flat screen monitors. Those tariffs went into effect September 1st.

President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared optimistic about the progress of talks over the weekend, leading to speculation about where Trump and President Xi will actually sign this phase one agreement. Both sides want to avoid new tariffs that are scheduled for December 15th.

Investors have been fooled by progress before. What's on the table is a mini deal to keep the parties talking to pause the hostilities with the hopes of a broader deal later.

BRIGGS: Do you believe a mini deal does get us closer to a grand deal?


ROMANS: Honestly, no.


ROMANS: I think that there's -- I think there's a real push right now for a mini deal that the president said is 60 percent of the Americans complaints against the Chinese I think in election year. I think the Chinese have made some signs, some signals they are not willing to do more than what's on the table right now.

BRIGGS: All right. It should be interesting.

Ahead, a California transit worker speaking out after saving a man's life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really feels awkward to be called a hero.


BRIGGS: More from the man behind this dramatic rescue, next.



BRIGGS: The FBI may have prevented a deadly hate crime in Colorado. Authorities arrested a 27-year-old Richard Holzer calling him a domestic terrorist and white supremacist. Holzer was accused of plotting to bomb a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado. He was taken into custody as undercover agents posing as co-conspirators. They say Holzer talked about killing Jews in forums online and shared video of himself casing Temple Emmanuel in Pueblo. He faces a maximum 20-year sentence if convicted of a hate crime.

ROMANS: Police are investigating a deadly stabbing at a Popeyes restaurant in Maryland. They say the 28-year-old victim was stabbed Monday night during a fight with another man over the fast food chain's popular chicken sandwich. The victim was rushed to a hospital in Prince Georges County where he later died.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knows what he did here tonight. And he needs to do the right thing and he needs to step up, and he needs to turn himself in.


ROMANS: Police confirmed the deadly fight was related to Popeyes popular chicken sandwich. It just returned to the fast food's menu after debuting this summer and quickly selling out nationwide.

BRIGGS: Jury selection starts today in the criminal trial of long time Trump adviser Roger Stone. The colorful, self-described political dirty trickster has pleaded not guilty to charges of obstructing justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress. The indictment emerged from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. It alleges Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee about WikiLeaks' release of stolen Democratic Party emails, during this 2016 campaign.

ROMANS: Five hundred twenty-four non-violent inmates released from prison across Oklahoma. The largest commutation in U.S. history and a result of a prison reform bill state lawmakers passed in 2016. Governor Kevin Stitt excited to provide the now ex-prisoners with a second chance.


GOV. KEVIN STITT, OKLAHOMA: We really want you to have a successful future. That's what I want to leave you with, because this is the first day of the rest of your life.


ROMANS: The state has set up a transition fair for the released inmates to meet potential employers and to get help with their life beyond prison.

BRIGGS: A California transit worker is an overnight hero after rescuing a man who fell on to the tracks as the train was entering the station. Check this out. From the Oakland Coliseum BART station after Sunday's Lions NFL game against the Raiders. You can see the male passenger walking along the edge of the platform before he falls in front of the train. That's when the transportation supervisor John O'Connor reached down and pulled him to safety with no time to spare.


JOHN O'CONNOR, BART TRANSPORTATION SUPERVISOR: I was just fortunate that God put me there and he got to see another day. I spoke to him later and told him to pay forward.


BRIGGS: BART officials thanked O'Connor for his heroism. In a tweet, they say the passenger who fell on to the tracks was intoxicated.

ROMANS: That's just amazing. The right place at the right time.

All right. Up next, how a black cat proved to be a bad omen for New York football fans.



ROMANS: Two African-American senators and candidates for president taking issue with comments by Congressman James Clyburn about a Democratic rival. Clyburn claims that older black voters have a problem with Pete Buttigieg being gay.

Here's how Cory Booker responded on CNN.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My mom is turning 80 this year. And she's already told me that she celebrates the fact that there's a gay person in this race openly who he is, confident and strong. So, again, this broad brushes we paint with any demographic in our country is just wrong.


ROMANS: Kamala Harris also weighing on CNN and rejecting the premise.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm never going to buy into that trope, and I think it's a trope that has evolved among some Democrats. To suggest that African-Americans are homophobic or that they are transphobia in the black community as a community, that's just nonsense. I'm not saying that about Representative Clyburn who I respect a lot. I'm talking about a trope that has developed among some.


ROMANS: Harris says sadly there's bias including homophobia and transphobia in every community.

BRIGGS: The Dallas Cowboys overcoming a slow start and early deficit to defeat the New York Giants, 37-18 on Monday night football. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliott ran for 139 yards. Cowboys improved their record to 5-3. Giants fall to 2-7.

I don't blame Giants fans for thinking their team is cursed because a black cat ran to the field last night. Late in the second quarter, Giants were ahead at the time after a two-minute delay, the black cat was corralled. Big Blue was doomed.

Scored a touch down as you can hear there.

The Cowboys won the game. The black cat did disappear there into the tunnel.


ROMANS: Where does a black cat come from?

BRIGGS: That's a great question. It must be living in the stadium.

ROMANS: Maybe. Little mice.

BRIGGS: Scraps around. Yes.

ROMANS: All right, and hot dogs.

A man who rescued a cage dog found floating on a lake in Illinois wants to adopt the puppy. When Bryant Fritz spotted Dory over the weekend, he jumped into the lake to save her. He rushed the dog in his truck to the hospital. Dory had hypothermia and wounds that needed to be treated, but she's doing well and just released from the hospital. Fritz is hoping animal control will let him give her a new home.


BRYANT FRITZ, RESCUED DOG FROM LAKE: I just think it's unfortunate because anybody that's in that situation that can't take care of an animal, there's -- there's a lot of options and things that can be done and people are definitely willing to help in the shelters are willing to take in the animals.


ROMANS: Bryant Fritz says his own dog died recently. He believes the rescue is anything but chance.

That must have been terrifying to see thing to in the kennel just floating.

BRIGGS: I can't begin to imagine.

Ahead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's former adviser contradicting his former boss and newly released testimony from the Trump impeachment inquiry. We'll have details, straight ahead.