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Democrats Subpoena White House Chief Of Staff; State Department Official: Giuliani Ran "Campaign Of Lies"; Trump Blasts Reports He Wanted News Conference From Attorney General To Clear Him On Ukraine Call; Macron Warns U.S. Is Causing "Brain Death Of NATO"; U.S. Stocks Hit New Record On Hope; Both Sides Suggest Easing of Tariffs in Tentative Deal; 30th Anniversary of Fall of Berlin Wall. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 8, 2019 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Studio Seven at CNN's World Headquarters in Atlanta. Ahead this hour, just in time for Christmas. Democrats might pursue on Donald Trump the dubious honor of being the third U.S. President ever to be impeached.

Emmanuel Macron declares NATO brain dead and questions the U.S. commitment to the alliance with Donald American first Trump in the White House. And record highs on Wall Street as the mere hint of a suggestion of the possibility of the U.S.-China trade deal. Enjoy the sugar high boys and girls. The reality is about to kick in.

Democrats in the U.S. House have indicated they could be on track for an impeachment vote by Christmas. The inquiry into President Trump's dealing with Ukraine has been fast-tracked and that includes a last- minute subpoena for the White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. He's not expected to show.

And the drip, drip, drip of damning testimony continues with the release of more transcripts from closed-door depositions. We begin our coverage with CNN's Alex Marquardt.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He was the top State Department official on Ukraine, but was shut out. In the just-released transcript with George Kent's testimony, Kent told lawmakers that the Ukraine portfolio was taken over by others close to the President which included his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and a key role.

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): He was very bothered by it, and felt that the demands on the Ukrainian government to provide dirt on a prospective political opponents what he said was undermined 28 years of U.S. efforts to persuade successive Ukrainian governments to abide by the rule of law. MARQUARDT: The President special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker told Kent he would be reaching out to Giuliani because it was clear that the former mayor had influence on the president. Giuliani was working to get the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch removed spreading what Kent called slander and a continuation of his campaign of lies.

Trump recalled Yovanovitch in May. When Giuliani then attacked Kent, Kent was told by his boss to keep his head down and lower his profile. Another key witness appear today on Capitol Hill to testify, putting the spotlight on Vice President Mike Pence's role and the alleged quid pro quo.

Jennifer Williams, a senior national security aide on the Vice President's team listened to the July 25 call between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents in which Trump asks Zelensky for a favor and to look into the Biden's and 2016 election interference.

Williams told lawmakers she found the call's political nature unusual. She made a note of the call, but did not raise it with superiors. It's unclear whether Pence read the transcript of the call. And William said she never heard Pence discussed the investigations that the President had asked Ukraine for.

Pence has denied there was any quid pro quo, and that he ever mentioned holding up aid for Ukraine unless the Trump administration got something.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In all of my discussions with President Zelensky, we focused exclusively on President Zelensky's efforts to end corruption in Ukraine and also enlist more European support.

MARQUARDT: Another crucial voice for Democrats is former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who according to multiple witnesses, called the rogue policy in Ukraine, a drug deal. Bolton refused to show up today as the committees had requested, and they didn't bother sending a subpoena knowing they would have to fight it in court.

An official in the inquiry said we have no interest in allowing the administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months.

Democrats are now looking ahead to the open hearings which are expected to begin next week and will include the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor as well as George Kent. Republicans may also have a chance to ask their own witnesses to testify.

Congressman Jim Jordan, he said that they intend to subpoena the whistleblower who sparked all of this that is incredibly unlikely because it needs to be cleared by the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who wants to protect the whistleblower's identity. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Michael Genovese is the President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. He is with us this hour from Los Angeles. Michael, good to see you.


VAUSE: Michael, let's start the transcript from George Kent. His testimony seems to be sort of driving the political motivation behind the President's demands for these investigations by the Ukrainian government. At one point, he said POTUS, President of the United States wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to a microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton. Clinton being shorthand for the investigation into the 2016 campaign.

And all of this goes right to the very heart of the impeachment inquiry, essentially, the you know, the fact that the President use his -- thee power of the office to coerce a foreign power.


GENOVESE: And it's part of the ongoing drip, drip, drip of person after person coming in saying much the same thing, usually from different angles. The policy was to get the Ukraine to announce that they were going to do an investigation of corruption of the Biden's.

And that would have opened the door for President Trump and going against by the say, well look, even the Ukrainians, the most corrupt government in the country -- in Europe, even the Ukrainians are trying to get the Biden's on corruption. That's how corrupt they are as a family.

And so it would have been a great starting point for President Trump. But it goes much deeper than that. You're talking about the commentary by Mr. Kent was injurious to the rule of law is a comment he made about what was going on, and a campaign of lies from Rudy Giuliani.

And so it was damning in the sense that not only was Kant's testimony bad, it corroborated with so many other people has said, and it almost all goes against the president's position.

VAUSE: And watching this, it goes way beyond just that one telephone call. And what we're hearing is that Kent will be called on the first day of public hearings next week. And this is why. The New York Times summed up his testimony like this.

Mr. Kent spoke with precision and conviction about what he described as a dangerous scheme by Mr. Trump's loyalists to bend foreign policy towards Ukraine to their political end. And this is your point, Michael, undermining the rule of law and imperiling America standings.

You know, it's often difficult to explain precisely the potential harm done by the actions of Donald Trump. That seems pretty close to the mark. Will that resonate with most Americans?

GENOVESE: Well, I think the President is still safe with his base. His base either will not read the testimony, will not pay attention to it, or will take it seriously. So right now his base is still safe. But it's really the question of what will independence, what will people in the middle think. And the drip, drip, drip of day after day testimony revealed saying the same thing will have a cumulative effect.

The President may not be able to withstand that. And so while for now he's holding on to his base, at what point will the base even start to question it? You can only take so much of day after day the same story from people who are credible. And the President has been, I think blessed so far that his base has held up and he works hard to keep that base together. That may not be a long term solution to this problem.

VAUSE: What Donald Trump did, unleash a Twitter tirade on Thursday. It was aimed at the Washington Post for a story that he wanted the Attorney General told hold a news conference back in September to declare that no laws were broken in that perfect phone call with Ukraine's leader.

You know, there were four tweets in three hours. Not only did he deny the story, but said it was made up, fake news, a con job, never happened, the reporters were lowlife, The Washington Post was a garbage newspaper. I mean, these are just the highlights.

You know, even for this president, it seemed over the top, and almost because it seemed like Attorney General Barr was sort of pushing back. There was sort of some independence. He was sort of moving away from the president. He seems the most determined to make sure he pulled him back.

GENOVESE: Well, for the most part, the President has gotten the attorney general he's been demanding, someone who will be a loyal toady. And so the question is to home did Mr. Barr take his oath, to the Constitution or to President Trump, the person?

And the President wanted Barr to go out and do a press conference in which he, as he did, after the Mueller report, basically say nothing to see here, everything is clear, the president didn't commit a crime. He wanted to repeat performance of that.

And that was a bridge too far for the Attorney General because that would have taken him so far off the -- off the reservation in terms of what the evidence suggested that. It's hard to ask him to go that far. I mean, he'll go far for his president as he's proven, but that may be just a step much too far I think for him.

VAUSE: Well, Trump's former Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has emerged from licking his wounds. He's announced a run for his old Senate seat in Alabama. Take a look at one of those campaign ads. Here it is.


JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: When I left President Trump's cabinet, did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I set a crossword about our president? Not one time. And I'll tell you why. First, that would be dishonorable. I was there to serve his agenda,

not mine. Second, the President's doing a great job for America and Alabama, and he has my strong support.


VAUSE: This is a new low and kissing up. You remember Sessions was described by Donald Trump as Mr. Magoo, a dumb southerner, his biggest mistake ever. Has anyone seen Jeff Sessions' backbone because I think he left it somewhere along with his self-respect?

GENOVESE: Well, Jeff Sessions has a lot of repair work to do because he is not that trusted amongst the Trump loyalists. He did not serve the President as the President demanded. He recused himself from the early investigations, and that just burn the president to no end.

He wanted an attorney general who would fight for him and so he would humiliate and insult Sessions almost weekly basis. And so in Alabama which is very much Trump country, where his basis strong and united behind him, for Jeff Sessions to come out of this unscathed would be probably impossible. But he simply has a lot of repair work to do to prove his loyalty to a president that did not show any loyalty to Sessions.


VAUSE: Yes, it's -- why would he do it anyway? We'll move on very quickly, because there's some big news from the Democrats, and that's the billionaire and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He looks ready to jump into the primary race.

Is he the answer for moderate Democrats who are worried that maybe Joe Biden is not after the task, and they don't want to follow left progress like Elizabeth Warren? And this seems like it's pretty bad news for Joe Biden if he does get into the race.

GENOVESE: Bloomberg is a player. He has got $52 billion. He can put a lot of money into his campaign supporting his race. He's got a track record 12 years as mayor which will work both ways. As mayor of New York, his stop and frisk policy might and probably will hurt him among African Americans. You cannot win the Democratic nomination. You certainly can't win the presidency as a Democrat without African American votes.

And so the question is, does this change the arithmetic in any dramatic way? Probably not right away. It might hurt Biden a little bit because he will take part of that centrist lane that Biden is trying to occupy. It might help Warren a little bit because that might allow Warren then to creep forward. But he's really entering late and he's entering now because he's -- there's deadline -- filing deadlines for Alabama come right -- coming up right away, New Hampshire is next week. So he really has to get up to gear very quickly.

He has no formal presidential organization but he does have a very widespread organization that he's used for years and years. And so he has a lot of advantages. But again, it's already a crowded race and probably too little too late. I don't think he changes the arithmetic all that much.

VAUSE: OK. He has $53 billion advantage I guess in some respects. We'll see what happens. But Michael, as always, thanks so much. Good to see you.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: After 70 years, our NATO's days now numbered. France's president says the alliance is suffering from brain dead, others aren't so sure. More on that in a moment. Plus, the moment the Berlin wall came down. We'll take you there 30 years later.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL WEATHER ANCHOR: A potent autumn cold front is sweeping across the eastern portions of the country. Here's the latest satellite imagery for the United States. And you can see the cloud cover and moisture associated with this cold front as it marches eastward.

Lots of dry air settling in behind it so that will clear out the skies and allow for temperatures to really hit rock bottom to overnight lows especially into early Saturday morning across northern Alabama, and to Georgia, as well as the Carolinas. That's why the National Weather Service has a freeze watch for this portion of Southeastern United States.

Otherwise clear sky setting up behind it, high pressure taking control of the weather. Generally a quiet weather pattern across America at the moment, but the next five days shows and paints a very different picture. You can see the snowfall expected across the northern plains, through the Great Lakes, and into northern New England.


In fact, another arctic blast of air will settle in over the next seven days bringing chances of very cold winter-like temperatures. Only a single degree for your day time high today in the Windy City; four degrees for New York City; 13 near Atlanta. There goes the cold weather for the early weekend. Then, we briefly warm up, then another frigid shot of arctic temperatures starts to settle in across the Great Lakes and over the eastern half of the U.S. Seven-day forecast shows that for New York City.


VAUSE: Welcome back. French President Emmanuel Macron has made a remarkably blunt and pessimistic assessment of the future of NATO. In an interview with The Economist, he says, the Western Defense Alliance is experiencing a dangerous brain death thanks to growing indifference from the United States. Mr. Macron's remarks follow the Trump administration's decision to abruptly withdraw troops from Northern Syria, a move that complicated French relations with Turkey. The French President says, "You have partners together in the same part of the world, and you have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its NATO allies. None."

But some NATO allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel don't agree. As she says, Mr. Macron's view is drastic, and that cooperation has not deteriorated that far.

Joining us now from Little Rock, Arkansas, his former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark. General, thank you for taking the time to be with us.


VAUSE: Let's head to Twitter for what I am assuming was your initial reaction to all of this. "French President Macron is making a statement that all Americans should heed. American Security depends on a strong NATO, and a strong NATO depends on American leadership. That leadership is missing today."

I'd like you to expand on that in particular in terms of security, why Americans have just as much at stake here as Europeans.

CLARK: Well, the United States came to Europe's aid, the aid of Britain and France twice in the 20th century, because we realized that if a hostile power took over the continent of Europe, and God forbid, the British Isles in addition, that the United States would lose the nations of the world who are most related to it in terms of culture, in terms of standards of values, and economically. So, we're the best trading partners with each other, because we can trust each other systems. We have essentially honest economy. We work together against corruption. We believe in civil rights and human rights.

Once you go beyond the sphere of the -- of NATO and the Atlantic Alliance, we have Japan. Japan's become a really great partner and a great ally of the United States. China has its own issues and we have a lot of issues in common against China. Like that of Intellectual Property and other matters. And then, if you go to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and so forth, they're not ready. And they're democracies where they have democracies, they're not mature enough yet to have our value. So, it's really about what kind of world we want to live in.

VAUSE: One issue which Macron brought up was the surprise announcement by the U.S. President to withdraw troops from Syria. NATO was not informed ahead of time. That's clearly has impacted relations. So, I'm just curious, would that have been a conscious decision by Donald Trump, or was it more like there were so few people who knew what he was doing? He wasn't told of the need to notify NATO. So, was it by design or by incompetence? What's your say and see it?

CLARK: We don't know what we're giving up, really, when we leave. But what we do know is that it exposes Europe to terrorism, to refugee flows. There's ugliness inside the alliance now with purchase of the SA-400 system, courting with Russia to buy Russian aircraft and so the F-35s.


And a lot of people were asking, well, what a minute, what's this about? Where is America's leadership in NATO? That's what the issue is. I was with a bunch of European, former presidents and prime ministers in New York during the U.N. week. And the universal question is, where is American leadership? One East European former president said that this feels like Europe of 1938. In other words, that kind of conflict is looming on the horizon. And they can feel it. And they're looking for the United States to lead and they're looking for NATO to be strong.

VAUSE: Well, almost, it seems from day one of taking office, it seems President Trump has been one of NATO's biggest critics. Here's a sample of what he said.



And number two, the people aren't paying their weight.

It's just obsolete, and we pay too much money.


VAUSE: That was Trump on the campaign, but those sentiments continue into his administration. The Secretary of State is actually in Germany on a visit there. He tried to explain the approach taken by the President as almost being like tough love. Here's Mike Pompeo. Listen to this.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I think NATO remains an important, critical, perhaps historically, one of the most critical strategic partnerships in all of recorded history. That's why it's -- frankly, it's why when you hear President Trump talk about the fact that we need to make sure that every nation shares that burden, that every nation works alongside us --


VAUSE: I guess on the surface that seems fair enough, but the bigger context here is, you know, Trump's relationship with Europe overall. He hit the E.U. with trade tariffs, he's pulled out of the Paris Climate deal, adding to you know, a sense of what Macron says is that, you know, Trump is out on board with the whole concept of the European project?

CLARK: Well, I think the problem is that NATO is really not about money. There's always been an argument in NATO that the Europeans didn't do enough, didn't pay (AUDIO GAP).

When General Eisenhower was the first NATO commander (AUDIO GAP) the Europeans aren't paying. During the 1970s while I was working for General Alexander A. The criticism was the Europeans aren't paying enough. And even in the 1990s, the Europeans weren't paying, how they're going not pay -- what's new about that? Nothing.

But what is new is that American leaders are questioning the value of the alliance. When President Trump says obsolete, what he should have said is we need to modernize it and move it forward because there are new threats. The cyber threat we first became aware of in 2007. And NATO has moved somewhat effectively against the mechanics of the cyber threat, but it hasn't done a thing to deal with the propaganda, the misinformation, the social media attacks, and the other efforts to influence Western democratic institution --

VAUSE: Next month, NATO will celebrate 70 years. Here's a trip back in time to almost day one. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On April 4, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed between France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Canada, and the United States. The treaty members realized that real peace is more than an absence of war, and they seek to promote political and economic stability in the North Atlantic area.


VAUSE: NATO has been more than just a defense agreement, it was made to promote values and ideals. Is that still applicable today? Is that still happening?

CLARK: Absolutely, it's (AUDIO GAP) and the ideals of democracy and the protection of those ideals are more important today. And people all over the world are looking to the United States and NATO to get those values work and to show that they can be protected against encroachment.

VAUSE: General Clark, we are out of time, but we appreciate you so much for being with us, and your thoughts. And you have a very unique position because of your experience over the years. Thank you very much. It's always a pleasure.

CLARK: Thank you.

VAUSE: And next month, NATO will have a summit, the 70th anniversary was earlier this year. More funerals are continuing for nine victims shot and killed in the U.S. border with Mexico. Two women and four children are to be laid to rest in the coming hours. Woman and her two children were buried on Thursday, not far from where they were shot, killed, and burned.

Mexican investigators are still trying to find out who carried out this attack. They say it was likely to be one of the drug cartels. Some family members, though, say the victims were all targeted.

Still ahead, hope for a trade deal between the U.S. and China sending Wall Street into a buying frenzy. But what does it mean for overall relations between Beijing and Washington?



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause, with a check of the headlines this hour. A State Department official is blasting Rudy Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine as a campaign of lies, aimed at forcing out the American ambassador. Democrats released the transcript of George Kent's testimony on Thursday. The House is expected to vote on impeaching President Trump by Christmas.

French President Emmanuel Macron says NATO is experiencing a brain dead. In an interview with The Economist, he said, Europe needs to rethink its security and defense because it cannot rely on the U.S. to defend its allies anymore. NATO's Secretary General then disagrees, saying, a strong European unity cannot replace cooperation with United States.

A former Congolese rebel known as "The Terminator" has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for war crimes. Bosco Ntaganda's long list of crimes includes murder, rape, enlisting children soldiers, and intentionally directing attacks against civilians. They're all committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

Well, the rest is optimistic that a China-U.S. trade deal is near, helping Wall Street close out another record day. The Dow set a new high for the third time this week, closing up more than 180 points at 27,674. China says tariffs should be rolled back as part of a preliminary trade agreement. New U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made electronics and toys are set to take effect December 15th.

Rana Foroohar is a CNN Global Economic Analyst, Associate Editor of the Financial Times, and author of a new book called, "Don't Be Evil." She's with us once more from New York. Good advice, don't be evil. It's good to see you.



RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Thank you. Thanks for having me back.

VAUSE: Ok. Well, the news, you know, which has the markets all so excited and in a froth, it seems it's incremental, it's conditional, but it's also, I guess, a positive sign that there could be an agreement for this phase one trade deal.

But beyond that, there's been this talk that maybe it will improve overall U.S.-China relations. Put a floor in a relationship which has been heading south for a while. That totally (ph) seems a bit overly optimistic.

FOROOHAR: Well, it's interesting. It could put a floor, maybe, on some of the economic damage we have seen from diminished relations in the last couple of years, and in particular from the trade war.

That's something both countries have actually been suffering from. You've seen industrial numbers in China going south. You've definitely seen market jitters in the U.S. We're at record highs right now but that's in part off the back of these sort of hopes that this is going to be something more substantive.

I don't think it addresses the real underlying issues between the two countries, but it will be interesting to see what it does for the economy in the next year, for example in the U.S., which is of course, we are heading into an election season.

The last thing President Donald Trump wants to see is market jitters that tank the U.S. economy and send it into recession, because a lot of analysts, myself included, feel that that would mean the end of him, and that he would not get a second term if the U.S. was in recession.

I think also, to be honest, the Chinese have hunkered down for a lot of pain. They have a lot of Forex reserved. They can weather a lot of pain in a trade war but they are hurting.

And you know, they have their own issues to deal with -- white collar unemployment is very high in China. You know, social unrest is always a big worry for Xi Jinping, for the party in general, so I think both sides are eager to -- at least for economic reasons -- make it seem as though there's a floor under things.

VAUSE: You know, in China they call it eat bitterness --


VAUSE: When they have to, they can hunker down and eat a lot of bitterness. And they just bite their tongue.

FOROOHAR: Absolutely.

VAUSE: I want you to listen to the U.S. president talking about, you know, taking on China. Admittedly this is in the context of trade, but you get the idea.


TRUMP: This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents.

I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I'm taking on China.


VAUSE: Still no word if he is in fact the (inaudible) but you know --

FOROOHAR: Wow. I am the chose -- that's amazing.

VAUSE: When he says someone had to do it -- and this was long and coming -- I mean it's a fair point because in the overall context, (inaudible) between Beijing and Washington have been, you know, heading south for a long time -- and I guess the question though is, has the hard line approach that Trump and his administration are taking against Beijing,, has it been effective in reshaping the relationship for the better or for the worse?

FOROOHAR: Well, it's very interesting. I mean it's true that there is one point of truth there are, and that's that somebody did have to do this.

And under the Obama administration, officials had a lot of the same complaints about tech transfer, about an unfair playing field in China. Companies would complain a lot to Obama officials, but then they would never want to put their name those complaints -- the WTO for fear of losing out in the Chinese market.

Trump comes in, he's the great disruptor. He and Peter Navarro are like, we're going to change the entire relationship between the two countries. We're going to reset things. We're going to decouple.

If you were really going to be serious about doing that, you should've kept the European allies on board. I mean the Germans have a lot of the same complaints - the French, some of the European countries, but the Americans do. But what did Trump do first? He alienated the Europeans.

He then had trouble renegotiating NAFTA -- and alienated the Mexicans and the Canadians at a time when, if you are going to decouple from China, you want to keep your allies very close, so that you can move quickly to reorder supply chains.

So I think we've got disruption with no solution.

VAUSE: Yes. And one trade war at time probably would be a good idea.


VAUSE: One of the issues though, which -- if you get back to the actual trade deal, and it's kind of a much bigger issue than just trade. But it's this sort of theft of intellectual property. And it happens either through, you know, government regulation, where American companies want to establish a presence there, they have to have this huge transfer of technology. Or, you know, by a more nefarious means.

The headline in the China - "South China Morning Post" back in July, FBI has 1,000 investigations into Chinese intelligence property theft. Director Christopher Wray says, calling China the most severe counterintelligence threat to the U.S.

That's just five months ago, so is there any indication that, you know, is Beijing getting serious about this? Especially given that the government is probably one of the biggest offenders there.

FOROOHAR: No, it's absolutely not getting serious about it. And the bigger question though is whether or not this will become a moot point, because you will see the U.S. and China going different directions in terms of tech regulation, in terms of the tech ecosystem.

You know, you see in China, brands like Xiaomi, which is a big smartphone maker, are already outselling Apple. Why should the Chinese not buy their own products?


If you see a left wing government in the U.S. that -- maybe a Warren government or a progressive Democratic government that wants to continue some of the more protectionist trade policies -- I mean who knows now that Michael Bloomberg is in - potentially in the race -- that could change. But you could see more nationalism. You could see a splinter net in which the entire Internet goes in separate directions in both regions.

So I don't see this phase one deal, which is really about tariffs and the most (ph) surface level really changing anything.

VAUSE: Yes, you know, one thing which is changing though -- there is this assessment - threat (ph) assessment of China by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

First time it's released one publicly, if it's even, you know, done them before, we don't know. But a senior defense intelligence official told reporters earlier this year, the biggest concern is that they're getting to a point where the PLA -- the People's Liberation Army -- leadership may actually tell President Xi Jinping they're confident in their capabilities. We know in the past they have considered themselves a developing weaker power.

You know, that is just such a telling point because from a military point of view, it's not the hardware, it's not the tech, it's not the numbers -- it's just confidence that they can take on the U.S. and win.

FOROOHAR: Yes, No, absolutely. And there is a tie-in here to the trade war, which is really about who's going to control the most strategic technology of the future.

There are a lot of people that think China is in a very good position in the age of artificial intelligence, which is really about collection of personal data, plugging that into algorithms.

You know, the Chinese --- it's a surveillance state. China has no discussion about privacy and so data can be freely collected by the government.

Some people think that that would give the Chinese a leg up in military technology and strategic technologies going forward. That's actually something I cover in my new book. And it will be interesting to see how the U.S. responds to that threat.

We're not doing a very good job in the U.S. of rolling out 5G, of keeping up to speed with some of the most cutting edge things like quantum computing, so it could very well be that the Chinese should feel more confident at this point relative to the U.S. VAUSE: It's a discussion which could go on for a very long time.

Unfortunately we are out of time. But great to have you with us -- Rana. Some very good points there. And a mention of the book again, "Don't Be Evil" -- good advice.


VAUSE: You're welcome. See you soon.

One of the most potent symbols of the Cold War assigned to the dustbin of history now -- Berlin. Indeed the world marks that historic moment 30 years ago.



VAUSE: This coming Monday marks 30 years since the Berlin Wall came down. For decades, it stood as the most visible symbol of the iron curtain -- the divide between east and west.

Over the years, many died trying to escape from the Communist East, but there were those who made it to freedom.

And CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has the story of one man who escaped.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The line of the demarcation in the Cold War lies in Berlin.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For 28 years the Berlin Wall symbolized the struggle between capitalism and communism and the cruel division between the people of East and West Berlin.


PLEITGEN: So here at CNN we actually own our own CNN Trabant. This was the epitome of communist East German automotive engineering. And for the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, what we're going to do is we're going to take this car and take a drive back into history.

That is if I fit into the car. Because it's small, and I'm big. Ready to go.

The remnants of the wall are a tourist attraction nowadays, but this deadly barrier with border guards, observation towers and barbed wire struck fear into the Berliners it divided.

I stop and pick up Peter Bieber who grew up in East Germany despising the communist regime and the wall it needed to keep people from fleeing into the West.

PETER BIEBER, ESCAPED EAST GERMANY: You look and saw the wall. And you know it's the end.


BIEBER: It's the end of the world. You can't go where you want.

PLEITGEN: As a young man, Peter Bieber attempted to flee East Germany several times until he finally succeeded in 1972. He then helped others get out as well, until he was betrayed and arrested by East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, and spent five years in jail there.

BIEBER: It was a little --

PLEITGEN: Psychological terror. Yes.

BIEBER: I sit in a little room, not so light. And one month, two months, nobody came and said anything.

PLEITGEN: The West German government eventually paid East Germany to release Peter Bieber, but many others who tried to get away paid with their lives -- more than 100 of them in Berlin.

In 1989, East Germans had had enough, after a wave of mass protests, the regime opened the wall leading to mass celebrations as people from all over the world joined in to literally tear down the wall.

BIEBER: I think about the freedom, that's for me the highest point --


PLEITGEN: The highest good that people can have is freedom.

Thirty years later, a united Berlin is thriving, having shed the shackles of communism and dismantled the wall many thought could never be breached.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN -- Berlin.


That's actually the news car from the Berlin bureau that Fred was driving.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT starts after the break. Have a great weekend. I'll see you on Monday.