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President Trump Slams Report On Barr News Conference; Impeachment Inquiry Enters Public Phase; Manhunt For Murderers Of Mormon Family. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 7, 2019 - 05:30   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: -- said that Barr's Justice Department did send out a memo declaring there was no campaign finance crime connected to the call.

Trump advisers told the "Post" the president has said to aides in recent weeks he wishes the attorney general had agreed to hold a news conference.

Late last night, the president slammed the "Post" and CNN for reporting the story, which he called totally untrue.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Republicans, meanwhile, struggling to come up with a clear and coordinated defense of the president in the impeachment inquiry. They've given up on the no quid pro quo mantra in the face of damaging testimony from several senior diplomats.

Listen to Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, trying out this new one -- incompetence argument.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to. They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.


BRIGGS: Incapable of it now.

Sen. Graham did resort to one tried and true tactic labeling the entire impeachment process a, quote, "sham." He says he refuses to legitimize it.

CHATTERLEY: Meanwhile, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine told House investigators Rudy Giuliani encouraged the Ukrainians to intervene in U.S. politics.

According to Bill Taylor's newly-released deposition, President Trump's personal lawyer wanted investigations launched into political rivals. Taylor told lawmakers it was his, quote, "...clear understanding that security assistance money would not come until the president of Ukraine committed to pursue the investigation."

Taylor went on to testify that he saw Giuliani's request as so dangerous he felt Ukraine's president should ignore them even if meant losing an opportunity to meet one-on-one with President Trump.

BRIGGS: A new 2020 poll reveals a tight 4-way race among Democrats in Iowa.

Elizabeth Warren leads with 20 percent of the Quinnipiac poll. She's followed, though, by Pete Buttigieg at 19, Bernie Sanders at 17, and Joe Biden at 15 percent. The top tier candidates in Iowa separated by just five percentage points, essentially the margin of error here.

Tulsi Gabbard polling at just three percent but she has qualified for the November DNC debate. And, with her poll showing, Amy Klobuchar becomes the sixth candidate to qualify for the December debate.

CHATTERLEY: The campaign of Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has asked for a recanvas of Tuesday night's vote.

State Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, claimed victory. Beshear ended the night about 5,100 votes ahead, so less than half a percentage point, and Bevin refused to concede. The governor cited the narrow margin and reports of voting irregularities for which he offered no evidence.


GOV. MATT BEVIN (R-KY): We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted as they should have been counted, that the law was followed, and that regardless of whether they vote this side of the aisle or that side of the aisle that they can always have confidence that the electoral process works.


CHATTERLEY: So just to be clear, a recanvas is not a recount; it's just a reprint of receipts from voting machines that can then be retabulated. The recanvas is set for next Thursday morning.

BRIGGS: On the one-year anniversary of his firing by President Trump, former attorney general Jeff Sessions is expected to announce he is running for his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama. But his troubled relationship with President Trump means the decision could throw the race into chaos.

Sessions held the seat for two decades before the president named him to head the Justice Department in 2017. His relationship with Mr. Trump collapsed after he recused himself from supervising the Russia investigation.

With six Republicans, though, already in the race, how the president reacts to Sessions' announcement could make the difference between returning the seat to Republican hands or losing again to incumbent Democrat Doug Jones.


BRIGGS: Yes, and interesting timing. I don't know if he was unaware of that or perhaps knew it. Stuck the landing.

CHATTERLEY: A happy coincidence.

We're going to take a quick break. Coming up, the Trump impeachment inquiry goes public in a matter of days. More on the first televised witnesses and what they're already saying, next.




House Democrats announcing the first televised hearing in the Trump impeachment inquiry will be held next week.

First up, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. He's scheduled to appear on Wednesday alongside State Department official George Kent. The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is scheduled to appear on Friday.

BRIGGS: All right, let's bring in CNN's Marshall Cohen, live in Washington this morning with more on all of this. Marshall, good to see you, sir.


BRIGGS: So, the public hearings begin next Wednesday and that's when everything could theoretically change.

And let's start with Bill Taylor. Here's what we've learned. Bill Taylor saying, quote, "That was my clear understanding security assistance money would not come until the president of Ukraine committed to pursue the investigation."

Bill Taylor, a Vietnam vet, a career diplomat who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

If he's just to say what we see there, how will it change the optics here?

COHEN: Yes, clear understanding -- right, Dave? Those two words -- clear understanding of a quid pro quo between the United States, the Trump administration, and Ukraine.

So taking this public, right, for the first time in the inquiry. Republicans have been demanding it for weeks now. You've been seeing them everywhere saying why is it behind closed doors.

The truth is they may not like what they see once they open it up because you're going to get people like Bill Taylor and the ambassador Yovanovitch confirming key pieces of information that Democrats think are incredibly damaging to the White House. [05:40:01]

BRIGGS: But does a quid pro quo, the word that says is spiking every day as the most looked-up word or term -- does that mean high crimes and misdemeanors? That's the burden they have to meet.

COHEN: Yes, I actually looked it up yesterday just to nail that down.

Democrats are saying, first of all, we don't even need to prove a quid pro quo to impeach the president. Republicans have tried to -- tried to draw that line in the sand. Democrats have been saying we only need to show that Trump abuses power and solicited election interference.

But when you look at the witness testimony it's clear that they've passed that threshold. So it appears that most Democrats think yes, we see a quid pro quo and yes, it's impeachable.

CHATTERLEY: Marshall, you've written about this, this morning. You said now we've got at least three cases and Bill is one of those -- Bill Taylor -- where he's saying look, there was a quid pro quo here. There was a 'give this, you get that,' ultimately.


CHATTERLEY: Take it now to the Republicans because the Democrats -- fine -- they're convinced that they've got the justification for an impeachment vote here.


CHATTERLEY: But what about convincing the Republicans because we've been playing, all morning, Sen. Graham's response to the idea of a quid pro quo. Let's just listen in to what he had to say about what's happening here.


GRAHAM: What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. It depends on who you talk to. They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.


CHATTERLEY: Incapable, incoherent of forming a quid pro quo. The Democrats are saying there was one.

What does it take here to convince Republicans -- Republican voters -- that a quid pro quo happened and that ultimately, it's something worth impeaching the president for?

COHEN: Yes, it almost sounds like Lindsey Graham is arguing that the Trump administration was kind of too stupid to get itself together to muster a quid pro quo, right?

And that's a very similar defense to what we heard in the Russia investigation, right? They were saying listen, guys, we were so disorganized and so chaotic we could barely collude with our operatives in Florida to carry that state, let alone someone in Moscow.

But look, it's going to come down to politics. This is a political situation. Republican senators are very unlikely to remove a Republican president from office even in the face of strong evidence.

And as we've seen all week and as we're going to see clearly next week in public, there is a lot of evidence of the Trump administration linking things that Ukraine wanted -- like a White House visit and security assistance -- $400 million -- to something that Trump wanted, which was investigations of Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

CHATTERLEY: Something else that President Trump wanted, according to "The Washington Post" overnight, was that he wanted Attorney General Bill Barr to come out and say there was nothing wrong with this call and nothing happened between the two presidents. There was no quid pro quo.

"The Washington Post" says that Bill Barr said he wouldn't, but he did produce that memo saying look, there were no campaign violations here.


CHATTERLEY: The president came out overnight and said look, this is fake news. He attacked CNN, he attacked "The Washington Post" and you can see that tweet here.

TEXT: The story in the Amazon Washington Post, of course picked up by fake news CNN, "President Trump asked for A.G. Barr to host a news conference clearing him on Ukraine" is totally untrue and just another fake news story with anonymous sources that don't exist.

CHATTERLEY: Why does this matter? Does it matter that Bill Barr said look, I'm not going to do this, allegedly? I'm not going to come out and hold this press conference and say you did nothing wrong.

COHEN: This does matter and it's another example of President Trump wanting his Justice Department to back him up. And he's said many times in public, in private -- he's said this so many times that he wants a DOJ and an attorney general that's going to have his back.

So he wanted Attorney General Bill Barr to come out in public and basically do a repeat of what he did with the Mueller report where he came out and said everything was totally fine, the president did nothing wrong, et cetera. Now, Barr didn't do it and we'll hopefully learn in the coming days why.

But let's be crystal clear. They put out a statement -- a written statement that said there wasn't even enough evidence for an investigation, let alone any sort of charges. So they gave the president that political cover and a really strong defense point but apparently, Attorney General Barr wasn't willing to do it in front of a camera. BRIGGS: All right. Well, it will play out in front of a camera on Wednesday -- public hearings begin.

Marshall Cohen, good to see you, my friend.

COHEN: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right, have a great day.

Steve Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, is expected to testify against Roger Stone -- against Roger Stone in his trial for lying to Congress. Bannon was a key witness in the Mueller investigation. Also expected to testify, Rick Gates, another former top aide to Mr. Trump. Both men could shed new light on the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia.


Stone also accused of witness tampering and obstructing justice. Prosecutors allege he regularly updated senior Trump campaign officials, including Bannon, about information he had on WikiLeaks.

CHATTERLEY: All right, we're going to take a quick break. But coming up, Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres teaming up to take on fakes. That story coming up.

BRIGGS: Plus, that half-court shot. Does it go in? Does it not? If it goes in, it's free tuition for a year.



BRIGGS: The president of Mexico is setting up a special commission to find out who slaughtered six Mormon children and their mothers.

More than 200 shell casings have been recovered from the scene of Monday's ambush near the Sonora-Chihuahua border. Mexico's Secretary of State confirming gun caps found near the victims came from a weapon that was made in the United States.

More now from Gary Tuchman in Tucson.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Julia, eight people survived this horrifying massacre in Mexico. They are all children; two of them babies. Three of them were not physically hurt but it's anybody's guess how long the emotional scars will last. And then, five of them also suffered physical injuries -- serious injuries.

They're all in this hospital -- the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, about 65 miles north of the Mexican border.

One of the people hurt is a baby -- a 9-month-old baby by the name of Brixon can't even walk, can't talk, shot in the chest, shot in the wrist.

The other four children are his brothers and sisters. Four-year-old Xander -- he was shot in the back. Eight-year-old Cody shot in the jaw. And two sisters -- McKenzie and Kylie, nine and 14. McKenzie shot in the arm and the wrist; Kylie shot in the foot.

The two girls, we're told -- the older children -- are doing OK and could be released soon. The three boys more seriously hurt.

All day long, family members have been going inside the hospital to visit the children. The hospital, itself, has not given us any information about their conditions but the family members are telling us that all of the children will survive -- that they're all stable, and that's the encouraging news.

We talked with a man we know named Willie Jessop. Willie's son is married to a woman whose mother was one of the three women killed. And a short time ago, Willie went into the hospital to visit the children.

WILLIE JESSOP, HIS SON'S MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS MASSACRE VICTIM: One of them got multiple gun wounds. I don't know if you're -- if you're not suffering in your shoulder you're suffering where you were shot in the head. And if you've got your head fixed you're suffering where you got shot somewhere else. I mean, so, of course, the suffering is unbearable to watch.

But the medical people are doing everything possible and I'm very grateful for what they're doing.

TUCHMAN: Painful was it for you as a grown man to watch small children and a baby scream like this?

JESSOP: No one should ever see this, Gary. This family should never have to be going through what they're going through.

Nobody should see their little brother or sisters in this situation or a father look and see a mother slaughtered. His children slaughtered and massacred in the most heinous ways possible.

TUCHMAN: After we talked with Willie, he and other family members got in their vehicles, got in a caravan, and headed across the border into Mexico where they will attend funerals for some of the people who died.

Dave and Julia, back to you.


CHATTERLEY: Two murder suspects who cut a hole in a ceiling to escape from a northern California jail have been recaptured. Twenty-one- year-old Santos Fonseca and 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar were arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at midnight Tuesday as they tried to cross from Mexico back into the United States.

Investigators had been tipped off that the men were in Tijuana. It's not clear how they got there or why they decided to return.

BRIGGS: Two former Twitter employees accused of being spies for Saudi Arabia. The Justice Department alleges two men used their access at Twitter to collect sensitive private data on Saudi dissidents. The case underscores allegations that the Saudi government actively tries to silence anti-regime voices abroad.

The DOJ's criminal complaint claims the two men were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Saudi Arabia for their work.

CHATTERLEY: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning with a look at markets around the world. First, as you can see, a sea of green. Global stocks moving higher after Beijing says the U.S. and China may start to roll back tariffs.

The good mood extending to Wall Street, too. Futures, right now, are higher. Let's see what the White House has to say about that.

The investors do remain fixed on trade headlines. Stocks finishing flat on Wednesday after Reuters reported the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China could be delayed until December.

What we saw was the Dow finishing flat. The S&P 500 there managing to eke out a very small gain. The Nasdaq falling slightly, still sitting around record highs, though, for these markets.

Fresh data, meanwhile, showing the U.S. collected a record $7 billion in import tariffs in September. Those new tariffs on apparel, toys, electronics, and other consumer goods from China kicked in.

Many businesses have warned they will have to raise prices on goods because of the tariffs. U.S. businesses pay those tariffs, remember.

Airbnb taking steps to improve user safety. They are announcing they will start verifying all seven million listings on the platform. They hope to review every listing and host by December 2020.

The announcement comes after a vice investigation uncovered a scam involving the company's listings and the fatal shooting last week at a rental in California. A spokesperson for Airbnb said the review team will be internal.


Bud Light joining the battle for spiked seltzer supremacy, announcing it will add Bud Light Seltzer to its line. The beer giant hopes name recognition will give it an edge against the competition.

The spiked seltzer craze is growing as customers look for drinks with fewer calories and less sugar. Right now, White Claw makes up 58 percent of spiked seltzer sales in the United States.

Bud Light Seltzer will debut early next year.

BRIGGS: Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres are teaming up to stop fake celebrity endorsements. The two stars jointly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against 100 anonymous individuals and entities over false advertising and unauthorized use of their names and likenesses to endorse products.

The defendants are alleged to be behind pop-up sites featuring made-up commentary about health and beauty products.

CHATTERLEY: New rules in China when it comes to kids and video games.

The Chinese government announcing a gaming curfew. Gamers under 18 years old will be banned from playing online between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on weekdays, and can only play for 90 minutes. The limit goes up to three hours a day on weekends and holidays. The new rules are aimed at curbing video game addiction.

An Oakland Raiders fan who fell in front of an oncoming commuter train after Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions is thanking the rail supervisor who saved his life. Rayshawn Jackson admits he was slightly inebriated when he tumbled off the platform onto the tracks.

Listen to him describe the moment he fell and what it was like to be rescued by BART worker John O'Connor.


RAYSHAWN JACKSON, RESCUED FROM TRAIN TRACKS: I knew I had a couple of seconds because I heard the train. I felt the vibration on the rails coming and I could see the light coming out of the tunnel. And as soon as I seen the light I jumped up and tried and get out of the way and I missed my -- I missed my jump the first jump. And I did it again and I actually felt like the man grabbed me in the mid-air and just took me out of the way.


CHATTERLEY: Wow. O'Connor will be honored by the Raiders during tonight's game against the Chargers. What a hero.

BRIGGS: Yes, what a man.

All right. Hit a half-court shot, win free tuition for a year.




BRIGGS: That is Oklahoma University student Cale Montis at halftime of the team's season opener.

In order to get a chance to take that shot, Montis had to first make a layup, a free throw, and a 3-pointer in 30 seconds. He hit the three right at the buzzer and that dude is clutch and ice water in his veins. He barely reacted until being mobbed by the O.U. mascots.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, the mascots are more excited than he was.

BRIGGS: But they got him.

CHATTERLEY: All right.

We mentioned Sen. Lindsey Graham's rapidly-shifting defenses for the president and the impeachment inquiry. Stephen Colbert also noticed and has an explanation for you in "Late-Night Laughs."


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Just a few weeks ago, Graham told Axios this.

GRAHAM: If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.

COLBERT: Well, the transcripts clearly show that but --

GRAHAM: I'm not going to read these transcripts.

COLBERT: How tragic. Graham is clearly working through the five stages of Republican impeachment grief -- anger, denial, won't read, can't read, no hablo ingles.


BRIGGS: You know, the evolution of Lindsey Graham has been one of the more interesting stories in D.C. in the last few years. That'd be a good book, just kind of how he's evolved on his stances regarding all things Trump-related.

CHATTERLEY: One of many.

BRIGGS: Evolution -- it'd be a good book.

CHATTERLEY: These Republicans not shifting right now. Read the book.

Thank you for joining us. I'm Julia Chatterley.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY."


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We will begin our open hearings in the impeachment inquiry next week.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: White House officials appear the most concerned about Bill Taylor, who told lawmakers there was an explicit quid pro quo.

GRAHAM: I'm not going to read these transcripts. The whole process is a joke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His testimony will confirm the underlying narrative, which is that the president betrayed his oath of office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the immediate aftermath of the transcripts being released he wanted the attorney general to have a public appearance. Bill Barr declined.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a measure that he sees of the gathering storm clouds on the horizon.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, November seventh, 6:00 here in New York.

And in a few hours, impeachment investigators are expecting to hear from one of Vice President Mike Pence's staffers for the first time. A source tells CNN that Jennifer Williams, a senior adviser to the vice president, is willing to testify this morning if she is subpoenaed. Williams was on that July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukraine's president and we are told that she was concerned by what she heard.

The big question is whether former national security adviser John Bolton will appear today for testimony.