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Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts Made Public; It's Election Day 2019; Deadly Stabbing at Maryland Popeyes; Man Rescued from Oncoming Train; Cowboys Blow Out Giants on Monday Night Football. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired November 5, 2019 - 05:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats release closed-door depositions in the Trump impeachment inquiry with more expected coming in the hours.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Voters head to the polls for election- day match-ups that could offer hints about the 2020 race.

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

ROMANS: A transit worker's last-second save is caught on camera at a California train station. Right place, right time. Wow, that was close.

Good morning and welcome back to EARLY START, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning. I'm Dave Briggs. Tuesday, November 5th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

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, Maria Yovanovitch. The president was asked yesterday about the effort by Giuliani and others to undermine Yovanovitch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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)

BRIGGS: Fact-check, the rough transcript of Mr. Trump's call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Zelensky criticized the ambassador only after Trump called her bad news.

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

[05:00:02]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Lauren. Thank you for that.

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

He testified: There were numerous media articles appearing about Yovanovitch and, frankly, I did grow concerned we needed to say something forceful on her behalf. Question, how many conversations did you have with the secretary about this matter? Answer, three probably.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remembers things differently. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: So, note that Pompeo was giving a television interview and McKinley was testifying under oath.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Senator Paul calling on 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. Paul also wants the whistleblower subpoenaed.

The whistleblower's lawyer firing back. Mark Zaid says, quote, 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 interest of the Constitution and the American people.

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

ROMANS: So, how is the 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 there are split on impeachment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Michigan's 11th win for President Trump then flipped in the midterms, electing Democrat Haley Stevens to Congress.

BRIGGS: All right. Voters head to the polls just hours from now, for election day 2019. A look at the key races, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:09:19]

BRIGGS: It is Election Day 2019, and there are important state and local off-year elections all across the country today. In big cities like Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco, they're electing new mayors. In Kentucky and Missouri, voters are choosing governors. And in Virginia, Republicans maybe on the verge of losing both houses of the legislature for the first time in decades.

Many of those races could offer hints about what's to come in 2020.

Ryan Nobles with more from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

[05:10:01]

That's where Republicans are in danger of losing their slim two-seat majorities in both houses of their 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right. Ryan Nobles, thanks for that.

Election day, folks.

The Trump administration has started the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo submitting formal notification to the United Nations. The withdrawal from the agreement will take effect in one year, just after the 2020 presidential election. President Trump claims this punishes workers and enriches foreign countries.

According to a recent study, the United States contributes more to global warming than any other country.

BRIGGS: 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ROMANS: A California transit worker is an overnight hero after rescuing a man who fell on the tracks as the train was entering the station.

Look at this video from the Oakland Coliseum BART station. This is after Sunday's Raiders/Lions NFL game. You can see there, the male passenger walking along the edge of the platform before he falls in front of the oncoming train. That's when the transportation supervisor John O'Connor reached down and pulled him to safety with no time to spare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: BART officials thanked O'Connor for his heroism. They say the passenger who fell on to the tracks was intoxicated.

BRIGGS: Literally zero time to spare there.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: All right, ahead, did a black cat foreshadow the Giants' loss to Cowboys on Monday night? As if Big Blue doesn't have enough problems.

Andy Scholes has that story in "The Bleacher Report."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:18:16]

ROMANS: All right. Optimism this morning 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.

New this morning, reports that China continuing to press Washington to remove all tariffs as soon as possible. Officials told CNN the U.S. is assessing current tariffs as it works to finalize the so-called phase one of a trade deal. No decisions have been made beyond waiving tariffs that were supposed to can kick in October 15th. That's already happened.

"The Financial Times" says the White House is considering rolling back the 15 percent tariffs on about $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 these talks over the weekend, and that led to speculation about where Trump and President Xi would sign a phase one deal. The president teasing that it could be in Iowa. Both sides want to avoid new tariffs that are scheduled for December 15th.

But investors have been fooled by progress before. What's on the table today is a mini deal to keep the parties talking with the hopes of a broader deal later. But certainly, dropping tariffs is something that might be popular with the president who's called himself tariff man. That has been his big tool all along, Dave.

BRIGGS: Indeed.

All right. The Cowboys beating the Giants on Monday night football, thanks to an assist from a black cat.

Andy Scholes has that story in "The Bleacher Report."

You would imagine the New York papers have to love that story, right, buddy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I love the way you say black cat.

BRIGGS: It's kind of spooky, Andy.

SCHOLES: You know, Halloween was last week, but apparently the black cats are still out at MetLife Stadium there in New York. This one, apparently, bad luck for the Giants.

[05:20:02]

So, this little one came on to the field, with the Giants up 9-3.

And Westwood One's Kevin Harlan had a great call for the people listening at home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN HARLAN, WESTWOOD ONE: Walking to the 3. He's at the 2. The cat is in the CDW red zone. A state trooper has come on the field. And the cat runs into on the end zone. That's a touchdown.

And the cat is elusive, kind of like Barkley and Elliot. Now, he goes back on the field again. That's running in the back of the end zone. And it runs up the tunnel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: The fact that Harlan mixed in a sponsor in that call, just incredible. From that point in the game, the cowboys outscored the giants, 34-9. Dak Drescott scoring three touchdowns. Dallas now won six-straight over the Giants.

It was a long night in Minneapolis for Timberwolves fans trying to watch their team take on the bucks. The game delayed nearly an hour because one of the baskets wasn't level. They tried to fix it before they brought out the backup basket. The fans that stuck around got to see the T-wolves just get rolled by

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks; 134-106 was the final from.

All right. The Washington Nationals' celebration tour continuing yesterday at the White House. And President Trump honoring the team. Kurt Suzuki put on a make America great again hat. And President Trump gave him a reverse hug.

President Trump's sports tour is going to continue this weekend, Dave. He is expected to be in Tuscaloosa and Alabama, for a match between number one LSU and number two Alabama.

BRIGGS: Yes, there's game five of the World Series and the UFC fight.

SCHOLES: Yes.

BRIGGS: But we've seen some awkward man hugs in my lifetime. I don't know if anything quite like the reverse --

SCHOLES: People were joking, they were re-enacting the "Titanic" scene with Jack and Rose is what President Trump and Suzuki were doing there.

BRIGGS: We're sailing.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIGGS: Andy Scholes, good stuff, my friend.

Romans?

ROMANS: All right. Thanks, guys.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's former adviser contradicting his former boss in newly released testimony from the Trump impeachment inquiry. Details just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:26:58]

ROMANS: 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

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

EARLY START continues right now.

(MUSIC)

ROMANS: Democrats release closed-door depositions in the Trump impeachment inquiry, with more coming in the hours.

BRIGGS: Voters head to the polls that for Election Day match-ups 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 a California train station.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 28 minutes past the hour.

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, Maria Yovanovitch.

The president was asked yesterday about the effort by Giuliani and others to undermine Yovanovitch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

TRUMP: 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, Volodymyr Zelensky, shows Zelensky criticized the ambassador only after Trump called her, quote, bad news.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

END