Return to Transcripts main page

THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO

CNN Travels To Site Of Nine Family Members Ambushed Near U.S.-Mexico Border; Former Labour MP Ian Austin Says Jeremy Corbyn Is Unfit To Be Prime Minister; Macron Says Europe Can No Longer Depend On U.S. To Defend Allies; Macron Warns Europe Is "Experiencing Brian Death Of NATO"; Historian: Remains Of Napoleon's General Identified. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Our coverage on CNN continues right now. Thank you so much for watching. I'll see you tomorrow.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, in the U.S. impeachment inquiry. Could it be over by Christmas? Newly released

testimony adds to the evidence. CNN goes to the scene of the crime in Mexico when nine family members killed. And French President accuses Donald

Trump of causing the brain death of NATO. I'll ask a Former NATO Commander about that.

We're live from London. I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. Another transcript has just dropped in the U.S. impeachment inquiry adding to the

growing evidence that the Trump Administration pressured Ukraine for political favors while holding up vital military aid.

Congressional investigators released the testimony of State Department official George Kent. He says he pushed back against a shallow foreign

policy on Ukraine run by President Trump's Personal Attorney. And he says that he believes that there was a quid pro quo involving a White House

visit of Ukraine's President and not the military aid.

Has lawmakers heard today from an aide to Vice President Mike Pence II, Jennifer Williams was on President Trump's phone with Ukraine's Leader back

in July. And she described it as unusual because of its political nature. Pence himself talked with reporters about U.S. dealings with Ukraine. Have

a listen.

(BEGIN VIDO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: President's focus has been as my focus was in my meeting with President Zelensky on supporting

President Zelensky's efforts to deal with a historic pattern of corruption in Ukraine and also to enlist more European support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: One of today's biggest headlines is who didn't show up to testify on Capitol Hill Former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Democrats

decided not to subpoena him fearing it would lead to lengthy court battles. That fast track approach is another sign they're trying to wrap up this

impeachment inquiry before Christmas.

So let's get more now from Jessica Schneider in Washington. Jessica, what else are we hearing from the testimony of George Kent? And does it support

the Democrats' impeachment inquiry?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: It really does. And it supports a lot of what all of these other witnesses have been saying Bianca. So

really another day, another document dumps here. And just more testimony about how disturbed officials and State Department officials were by Rudy

Giuliani's rogue shadow foreign policy and the pressures that he was putting on Ukraine outside of the normal diplomatic channel.

So this latest transcript release just about an hour ago is from the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. And Kent was

particularly disturbed about Rudy Giuliani's attacks on Marie Yovanovitch who was ousted back in May as the Ukrainian Ambassador. So in particular,

Kent recalled a May statement that Giuliani gave to Ukrainian journalists where Giuliani claimed that Yovanovitch was recalled from her post because

of her campaign against the President.

And Kent in his testimony called that claim from Giuliani a, "Continuation of his campaign of lies". And he said that this was really a campaign of

lies that lasted several months. And Kent was pressed about this. He said, he didn't raise any of these concerns at the State Department because he

was told by his superiors to keep his head down, keep a low profile, and really Bianca Kent also said how he was told about how extensive Giuliani's

influence was on the President.

And that really adds yet another voice to this case that Giuliani manipulated this U.S. Foreign Policy for President Trump's political

benefit. And that, of course, is the key allegation in the whistle-blower complaint. It's exactly what Democrats are sort of keying in on. So Kent's

testimony adds yet again more evidence and more weight to the Democrats' case here, Bianca.

NOBILO: Definitely sounds like it. Jessica, thank you. Jessica Schneider there for us in Washington. The first funerals are being held in Mexico for

the nine family members murdered and ambushed near the U.S.-Mexico border. Three women and six children were killed including two infants. Eight

children did survive including this 7-month-old baby called Faith. Her mother put her back in the back seat of the car before she was shot and

killed.

Now we're hearing the audio messages shared between relatives just hours after the attack as they frantically tried to figure out what had happened.

This is what Kendra Lee Miller one of the family members in Mexico had to say. And it's only a portion of the conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENDRA LEE MILLER, RELATIVE OF FAMILY KILLED IN AMBUSH: Dear God, everybody pray. Officers just came and said my mom's suburban is blown up. Everyone,

please pray.

Nita - her children are gone, they've been burned inside the vehicle. Uncle Jeffrey verified counted all five bodies. Their bones are burned. Their

bodies are burned to a crisp. Dear God, pray for us all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: As investigators are beginning to piece together what happened? CNN's Matt Rivers traveled to the scene of the ambush.

[17:05:00]

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it took us hundreds of miles of driving on small winding mountain roads to get to this part of very rural

Northwest Mexico. When we arrived, we found an area teeming with a military presence.

At the check points, soldiers covered their faces. Guns and armor aside, better to stay anonymous in such a violent place the town closest to where

nine Americans were slaughtered on Monday. So this place is so locked down right now that we're being given a military escort to the area where at

least one of the shootings happened.

The massacre started here. This is the exact spot where Rhonita Miller and four of her children ages 12, 10, and two eight-month-old twins were

killed. They were ambushed by armed gunmen, shot, and their vehicle lit on fire. This is what remains.

Up the road a few minutes later, two more cars were ambushed. Two mothers and two children also killed by gun fire another seven kids escaped. It all

left just minutes before from Rhonita's home just a few blocks away. They were part of a community of hundreds of Americans largely Mormon who have

lived here for a long time. Julian LeBaron found one of the bodies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN LEBARON, FOUND BODY OF VICTIM: She was just laying on the ground when we came on her. I could tell from the blood stains that they aimed for

her heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: The family wants to know who would shoot and kill women and children and then light their bodies on fire. We saw Mexican investigators

at the scene on Wednesday. Might not look like it, but this area can be one of the most dangerous drug trafficking routes in the entire world. The U.S.

is 100 miles that way. Drug Cartels have been fighting over this land for a long time.

The government says that could be the reason why the people on this road were killed. They say that maybe one cartel mistook that caravan for

another. Increasingly so, the family of the victims isn't buying it. They think the families were specifically targeted by drug cartels though they

don't know why. This community has had run-ins with gangs before, but say this came out of nowhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't been threatened at least not in any way to suppose that women and children would be killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIVERS: Mexican President Lopez Obrador campaigned on the need to reduce crime in this country though Mexico's murder rate now stands roughly six

times higher than that of the United States. The President insists his strategy of poverty reduction will eventually ease drug violence but some

are losing patience.

And while authorities aren't yet saying who is responsible for this shooting, they are saying that the shooters used American-made firearms

firing some 200 rounds at 3 women and 14 children. Matt Rivers, CNN, in Sonora, Mexico.

NOBILO: A landmark joint investigation by U.S. and Chinese authorities has led to stiff penalties for a group of Chinese drug traffickers. On Thursday

a Chinese court handed down a suspended death sentence to one person and gave sentences ranging from life to six months to eight others for

smuggling Fentanyl into the United States of course Fentanyl in fact a cousin of heroin and is much stronger.

Officials say that it's the first time the U.S. and China have cooperated on a case like this. The U.S. has been pressing China to crack down on

Fentanyl smuggling. Our Steven Jiang was out of the courthouse for the sentencing.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Chinese authorities have brushed aside the notion that Thursday's sentencing was timed to placate U.S. President

Donald Trump who has long linked Beijing's handling of the Fentanyl issue to the ongoing trade talks with officials here saying that drug cases are

always about saving lives and should not be linked to any other issues including trade with one of them adding that nothing is more important than

human lives.

NOBILO: It looks like the U.S. and china may be ready to ease their trade war a fraction. China says the two countries are talking about a phased

rollback of tariffs. China's Ministry of Commerce says the two sides must simultaneously cancel some tariffs before a new trade deal can be signed.

Signs of progress on the trade war gave a boost to stocks worldwide. The DOW industrials closed a yet another record high.

Now, as the UK dives into the election campaign season, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing scathing criticism from two different sources first

from a Former Labour MP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

IAN AUSTIN, FORMER BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LABOUR PARTY: It's a disaster for our country. And it's a really difficult choice. Decent

mainstream patriotic labour voters have got themselves Jeremy Corbyn who has supported terrorism and extremism. I don't think he can be trusted to

lead and I just don't think he can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Ian Austin says he believes Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister. He's calling for Labour Party supporters to back the

conservatives in the upcoming election.

[17:10:00]

NOBILO: This comes on the same day the UK based newspaper "The Jewish Chronicle" published this damning editorial accusing Corbyn of Anti-

Semitism and Racism urging voters to think carefully before casting their ballots on December 12th.

And another blow to some parts of the Labor Party Tom Watson announced he'll be stepping down as both Deputy Leader and an MP citing personal, not

political reasons. But as Deputy Leader, Watson was considered a challenger to Jeremy Corbyn having been critical of his times on Brexit and Anti-

Semitism.

But Labour is not the only party facing criticism right now from figures on their own side of the political spectrum. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson

hit the campaign trail, the former Co-Chair of the conservatives was blasting the party saying the Toreys, "Lost the moral high ground on racism

because of their failure to tackle Islam phobia".

Politics is also causing problems for Facebook. Under increasing scrutiny, the company is considering making some changes to how it handles political

ads. A source tells CNN, Facebook is weighing changes about how political ads can be targeted, how ads are labeled, and providing more information

about who's paying for an ad.

CNN Business Reporter Donie O'Sullivan joins me now. He raced here in an Uber, got here with 30 seconds to spare. So Donie, are Facebook starting to

change their mind about this because they're feeling the heat?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: So Facebook has felt a lot of heat over the past month Bianca mostly, though around fact checking. So Facebook will

allow politicians to run false ads on their platform. You can make up a lie. If you're Labour Party, conservative party here in the UK, Democrat or

Republican in the U.S., and target that at specific voters.

NOBILO: And remind us why they think that's okay.

O'SULLIVAN: Facebook says and it's actually Nick Clegg the Former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who is now their Executive sort of out

there promoting this policy. They say they don't want to get into the space of fact checking politicians. That as a private corporation, they shouldn't

be the ones who are saying what is true and what is false. But in the meantime, they will take millions of dollars running ads potentially that

are false.

Now Facebook this morning - where we're told by a source is considering making some changes to its ad policies. Making the information about who

paid for the ad more prominent making it clear that it's an ad and also potentially removing the ability to micro target those ads.

NOBILO: Yes. So this was going to be my second question. Why are there so many concerns about micro targeting?

O'SULLIVAN: So if you're a politician right now and you take an ad out on CNN or in a newspaper, a lot of people are going to see that ad. Your

opponents are going to see that ad. If there's some sort of spin, people can call that out because a lot of people see it. On Facebook and this is

part of why Facebook is so valuable in terms of being a multi-billion- dollar company, is you can target ads at very specific groups of people even specific users.

So I guess the concern there is that you can target different truths to different voters, right? If you're a politician, you can say, I'm going to

do this for you. I'm going to do this for somebody else. Even if it's not necessarily true. And the concern is that it's so targeted, it'll be seen

by less people.

These are all changes that Facebook is reportedly considering which are good. I think will be welcomed by a lot of people but no indication that

they have any reason or believe that they are going to change the fact checking policy. So the policy that's actually got them in the most trouble

with no indication that's going to be changed.

NOBILO: Thanks Donie. It sounds like micro targeting is basically reducing the surface area for scrutiny and that would be the concern. Thank you so

much, it's great to see you.

O'SULLIVAN: Thank you.

NOBILO: Still ahead on THE BRIEF, the French President says the U.S. is no longer a dependable ally for its NATO partners. We'll ask a Former top NATO

Commander if Macron has a point.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:15:00]

NABILO: In the NATO debrief, French President Emmanuel Macron is facing criticism over his blunt comments about the future of the Trans-Atlantic

alliance. In an interview with the Economist, Mr. Macron said the Europeans are experiencing what he called "The brain death of NATO" caused by

American indifference.

He warned Europe that it can no longer depend on Washington to defend its allies and said that strategic coordination between the U.S. and NATO is

gone. Voices on both sides of the Atlantic were quick to degree with this included U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think NATO remains an important, critical perhaps historically one of the most

critical strategic partnerships in all of recorded history. That's why - frankly, it's why when you hear President Trump talk about the fact that we

need to make sure every nation shares that burden that every nation works alongside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel went even further she said Macron used a rather drastic word in his interview and his judgment was

inappropriate. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Mr. Macron's statement could not only hurt NATO but could also backfire on Europe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Any attempt to distance Europe from North America risks not only to weaken the alliance, the Trans-

Atlantic bond, but also to divide Europe. So therefore we have to stand together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: So does the French President have a point? That's today's debrief on that. We're joined by Retired U.S. General Wesley Clark. He is Former

NATO Supreme Allied Commander. Very good to have you on the program, sir. Thank you for joining us.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Thank you. Yes, I think he has a point. I think it's very important that the leaders of NATO

stay together politically, strategically with their objectives and in coordination. Obviously he doesn't feel that's happening.

NOBILO: Do you feel that NATO is much weaker today than it was when you were a Supreme Allied Commander between 1997 and 2000?

CLARK: It's a much different political situation, but in my experience in NATO and I back to the late 1970s when I worked at NATO Headquarters for

then Supreme Allied Commander General Alexander Haig, yes, NATO was different. During the cold war NATO was a military organization.

During the 1990s, we had to deal with the problems in Europe. We were a peace keeping and peacemaking organization. And since then what we've seen

is a resurgence of Russian assertiveness and aggression in Europe in the form of seizing the Crimea intervening at Ukraine. And NATO has come back

and realized again it has to strengthen its military means.

A lot of great work is being done in NATO on this set of issues. But at the highest level, the Heads of State are really the ones who are responsible

for NATO's strategic direction and coordination. And this is where I would hope there would be much more closer coordination with United States

leadership and good teamwork by all the European political leaders.

NOBILO: And how would you characterize the relationship currently between the Trump Administration and its support for NATO?

CLARK: I would say there's a lot of static in the relationship because a lot of other issues have intervened in this relationship. One of these

issues is of the tariffs that have been put in place. Another issue is the constant needling to get European nations to contribute more to NATO's

defense needs, to their own defense needs.

A third issue is that President Trump has seen a fondness for some - seems to be fond of Mr. Putin and there's a lot of relationship building with

other people who are outside NATO.

[12:20:00]

CLARK: And so all of this is - creates static in the institution. We've got wonderful military leaders in NATO. We've got a great U.S. Ambassador in

Brussels Former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. We've got many dedicated people in Washington. But it's at the highest level on things like the

immediate withdrawal from Syria on what to do about the future of ISIS and how the refugee situation might impact security in Europe. All these things

need a lot of discussion.

And in addition, we've discovered that Russian money buys influence. And the north stream pipeline, Russian efforts to take control of Syrian oil,

cyber and social media in the case of the UK there's charges that maybe Russia had something to do with Brexit. Apparently that report's not going

to be released until after parliamentary elections there.

So there are - there's static in these relationships. And NATO is just as important now if not more important because the principles of democracy,

freedom, liberty are under challenge.

NOBILO: And how much of this - how much of President Trump's decision making on NATO do you think is driven by economic factors? It does seem to

be a big motivator for him. He has constantly criticized the lack of defense spending contribution by the other NATO members. I think the U.S.

accounts for about 70 percent of the defense budget of NATO. Do you think that is the most important factor in his decision to take a less active

role in supporting NATO?

CLARK: Well, I'm not inside the Trump Administration, so I can't really attest to how President Trump makes these decisions. He certainly cites the

need for the - this is the traditional burden sharing argument. As you know traditionally the United States has always spent more than anybody else

combined in NATO.

It's just because we have global responsibilities in Asia and the Middle East that NATO nations other than the United States traditionally haven't

felt the same way. And so we've always said that we wanted our European allies to spend more. But we've always recognized it. We carry a burden, a

special burden for a different unique reason. So I think that's important. It's part of it, but I'm not sure if it's all of it or not.

NOBILO: Just lastly, General, do you still have confidence in article five that if there was a threat or an attack to one of the NATO members there

would be a collective response?

CLARK: I have total confidence in article five. And the United States response to it, there's no doubt in my mind that article five is strong,

there, and would be upheld.

NOBILO: General Wesley Clark, thank you for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

CLARK: Thank you.

NOBILO: When the returns, this iconic actor died more than 60 years ago. But he's reported to have a role in an upcoming movie. We'll explain how

when THE BRIEF returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: I love a historical mystery and one that dissolved in France. It involves one of Napoleon's top Generals. Most of his remains were lost

after he died fighting in Russia in 1812.

[17:25:00]

NOBILO: Thanks to DNA, they may now have been identified - has more?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For 200 years it lay undisturbed in a Russian park the skeleton of a one legged man. A General who died of gang green after having

his leg amputated during the Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia. The remains of the man believed to be Charles-Etenne Gudin one of Napoleon

favorite generals were found by Russian and French archaeologists in July during an excavation in - Park 250 miles west of Moscow.

French Historian Piya Malinowski led the dig and personally flew part of the skeleton's femur and teeth to where DNA was matched to the remains of

the General's mother, brother, and sons. The Kremlin said it was ready to facilitate the repatriation of the rest of the remains as soon as it

receives word from the French government.

Guedin's descendants Abhit Doliho welcomed the news and hopes that General will now be buried near the site of Napoleon's Tomb in Liza Valid in honor

of his sacrifice fighting in another world and another time more than 200 years ago. CNN, Paris.

NOBILO: There are reports that James Dean is coming back to a screen near you. That's right the same James Dean who died more than 60 years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were other people. Why should you be the only one involved?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I am involved! We are all involved! Mom. A boy, a kid was killed tonight. I don't see how I can get out of that by pretending

that it didn't happen!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: That was him in "Rebel Without A Cause" I love that movie. But now he's to appear in a new film. A company obtained his image rights and using

CGI will add him to an upcoming drama called "Finding Jack." It hasn't gone over well with everyone. His Captain American Star Chris Evans and in his

response, he said I'm sure he'll be thrilled with a little eye rolling Emoji.

It's an unusual turn of events but it isn't the first time we've seen this type of thing. This is Tupac Shakur performing in 2012 with Snoop Dogg.

Well, a hologram of Tupac as he died more than 15 years earlier. These cases actually represent quite a serious issue. Can you recreate someone in

part but not in essence? That's THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END