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EARLY START

Here Come The Hearings; Bolivia's President Steps Down; More Arctic Air On The Way, Frigid Forecast; Kevin Hart Returns; Giuliani Associate, Rudy Had Me Pressure Ukraine; Likely Iowa Democratic Caucusgoers; Trump White House; Hong Kong Protest; Saudi Aramco's Big IPO; 13-year-old Broadway Actress Dies; Texas Woman Legally Declared Dead While Still Alive; World War II Sub Found, Ending 75-Year Mystery; Mercury To Make Rare Pass Across the Sun. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 11, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


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DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The biggest week thus far in the impeachment inquiry. Democrats will take their case straight to the American people.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: After more than a decade, the president of Bolivia is stepping down. Why, and what it means for Latin America.

BRIGGS: It is cold and about to get a lot colder. Record lows in jeopardy all along the East Coast this week.

KOSIK: And Kevin Hart is back. The comedian in public for the first time since a bad car accident. Good morning and welcome to viewers in the United States and around the world. This is Early Start. I'm Alison Kosik. Good morning.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning to all of you, I'm Dave Briggs. Monday, November 11th. It is Veterans Day here in the United States, pay tribute to all those vets if and when you can. It is 4:00 a.m. in New York. We start with a potentially historic week on Capitol Hill.

The impeachment inquiry now moves into the public eye with televised hearings. Democrats are trying to stay narrowly focused, keeping the story simple. They'll try to sway public opinion by using witnesses drawn from diplomatic and military service. The president's allies are peddling a smokescreen of conspiracy theories and distractions, hoping to sew confusion.

And some fierce exchanges we saw over the weekend offering a preview of how the two sides will fight for a political edge. CNN's White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond, has more.

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JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning Dave and Alison. This impeachment inquiry is moving into its public phase. On Wednesday, we will see the first witnesses called forward to publicly testify about the president's handling of foreign policy towards Ukraine. We will see the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, coming forward, as well as the top State Department official, George Kent.

As all of this is happening, of course, the president not only defending his own conduct, but we are also seeing Republicans, Republican Senators in particular, trying to fine-tune their defense of the president.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): If you're not allowed to give aid to people who are corrupt, there's always contingencies on aid. I think it's a mistake to say, he withheld aid until he got what he wanted, well, if it's corruption and he believes there would be corruption, he has every right to withhold aid.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn't allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid, because without the whistleblower complaint, we wouldn't be talking about any of this. And I also see the need for Hunter Biden to be called to adequately defend the president. And if you don't do those two things, it's a complete joke.

DIAMOND: Republicans on the House side meanwhile have sent a list of witnesses that they would like to see come forward in this public phase of this impeachment inquiry, sending this list to House Democrats, who of course, would have to actually approve these witnesses to come forward. Among the individuals on the list, are Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden's son, as well as the whistleblower, the anonymous intelligence official whose complaints about President Trump's call with Ukrainian president sparked this entire he impeachment inquiry?

But Democrats so far, don't seem inclined to accept those requests. The president will also have an opportunity to shift the narrative on Wednesday, as these first witnesses come forward. The president has a scheduled joint news conference at the White House with the Turkish president. Dave? Alison?

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BRIGGS: Jeremy Diamond, thank you.

New allegations connecting President Trump directly to threats against Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas, say Giuliani told them to give the ultimatum to the new president of Ukraine, investigate Joe Biden or risk hundreds of millions of military aid. Parnas' lawyer also telling the New York Times, Parnas warned the Ukraine that Vice President Mike Pence would not attend Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration, unless Zelensky did as he was told.

KOSIK: Parnas said he believes Giuliani was acting President Trump's authorization. Both Giuliani and the other participants in the meeting denied Parnas' account to the Times. Note that in the end, Pence did attend Zelensky's inauguration, a move the whistleblower complaint says came at President Trump's direction. BRIGGS: This will be a critical week for the Joe Biden campaign. He

and other Democrats are now facing a potential new challenge from moderate Michael Bloomberg, who will be focusing on states that hold their primaries later in 2020. While Biden is at the top of the national polls, last week's Quinnipiac poll in Iowa had him a very tight race, fourth there. Biden touting his plan for health care, the single-biggest issue among the top candidates. In New Hampshire, he framed his plan as the one with the most reasonable price tag.

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JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It cost about $720 to $750 billion every 10 years. But it will not cost, if you do Medicare for all, $3.4 trillion a year. So what I propose is taking Obamacare and making it Bidencare by adding the public option.

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BRIGGS: The Biden campaign arguing Democratic victories in Kentucky and Virginia prove his healthcare plan is best. He says the election results there are a warning that the high cost of Medicare for all would hurt the presidential nominee and Democrats in down ballot races.

A programming note. Former Vice President, Joe Biden takes questions from voters in a CNN town hall live from Iowa, just 84 days in the caucuses. Erin Barnett moderates tonight at 9:00 Eastern Time right here on CNN.

KOSIK: Senator Amy Klobuchar taking aim at fellow Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg over his lack of experience. She's the latest 2020 Democrat to attack Buttigieg, a fellow Midwestern moderate. The South Bend mayor is a newcomer on the national political stage, whose ascent has taken many by surprise. Klobuchar tells CNN state of the union, that a woman with Mayor Pete's experience would not have the same opportunity.

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SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of the women on the stage, I'm focusing here on my fellow women senators, Senator Harris, Senator Warren and myself. Do I think that we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had? No, I don't. Maybe we are held to a different standard.

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KOSIK: Klobuchar does believes that Buttigieg is qualified but that she is the better candidate. No comment yet from the Buttigieg campaign.

BRIGGS: A remarkable claim from former ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley. In an upcoming memoir, Haley says former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, tried to recruit her to undermine President Trump. In the book first obtained by the Post, she writes quote, Kelly and Tillerson confided at me that when they resisted the president there weren't insubordinate, they were trying to save the country. Haley says she refused to go along with their plans.

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NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Instead of saying that to me, they should have been saying that to the president, not asking me to join them on their side bar plan. It should have been, go tell the president what your differences are and quit if you don't like what he's doing.

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KOSIK: Tillerson has not responded to a request for comment. Kelly tell the post, if providing the best and most open advices working against the president then guilty as charge. This, as the anonymous senior Trump administration official claims in his or her fourth forthcoming book, that Trump officials considered resigning as a group last year, hoping to sound an alarm about President Trump.

BRIGGS: Upheaval in Latin America long time Bolivian president, Evo Morales, resigning amid mass protest. Morales stepping down after losing the support of Bolivia's military. Their country has been wrath by deadly protests following last month's disrupted election. The resignation of Morales, a vocal supporter of authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, changes the balance of power in Latin America. And after nearly 14 years in power, it is unclear who will succeed Morales. The next three officials in line also resigned. Patrick Oppmann has the latest from Mexico City.

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PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia, after the countries long serving staunchly leftist president, Evo Morales, was forced to step down. It's been a weeks of violent protests and allegations that Morales had stolen an election to become president for a fourth term.

Morales had denied that and said that he was facing a coup. But after report came out showing widespread fraud, Morales finally on Sunday offered to hold new elections. The offer came too late for the country's opposition for the military, and the police. Many of whom had risen up against Morales. The head of the military said on Sunday, it was time for Morales to leave office. And within hours, Morales did just that, shocking Bolivia and much of Latin America.

He said it was a coup that was forcing him from power, right. That he recognized that if he didn't leave there would be bloodshed and he wanted to avoid that. Many of Morales' critics said that he had become too authoritarian, that he was never planning on leaving the presidency and that he was essentially becoming a dictator.

So, while Morales is out, he has received offers from other countries to seek asylum there. Morales says, while he may no longer be president of Bolivia, he's not going anywhere. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.

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KOSIK: Breaking overnight, protests are rocking Hong Kong after a police officer shot a protester. We want to warn you, the video is disturbing.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE.

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KOSIK: The 21-year-old protester did survive the shooting and is in critical condition. Incredible they caught that on video like that. Demonstrators began disrupting transit as early as 7:00 a.m. Local Time as part of a day-long general strike. Office workers in the city's central financial district have been sent home, as riot police fired teargas.

BRIGGS: A prominent Russian professor is being questioned by police after he was pulled from a river, along with a backpack containing a woman's severed arms. Russian authorities say, they found Oleg Sokolov in the Moika River early Saturday morning. Police also say they found the dismembered body of his former student, Anastasia Yeshchenko in his apartment. Sokolov is a well-known academic celebrity. He is a historical re-enactor who likes to dress up as Napoleon, currently in the hospital being treated for hypothermia. A little bit early for both of those stories. Apologies.

KOSIK: It could be the largest IPO in history. But it comes with big risk, as well. We'll tell you what this is all about after the break.

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BRIGGS: Another arctic blast ahead of this week. Snow. Snow is in the forecast, from the plains to New England. The cold could smash hundreds of records in the eastern U.S. Here's meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri.

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PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Dave and Alison, good morning, guys. Yes, the big story remains the arctic blast of colder air. Multiple rounds of this year instore already seen the impacts across the northern plains, portions the Great Lakes and Holland that eventually pushing it across portions of the northeast. And notice you're going to get a decent amount of snow showers there

into the higher elevations. And of course, the favorable regions across the Eastern Great Lakes. But snowfall totals in those areas where some lake-effect snow is expected, as much as eight or more inches. But across of the bigger cities, Chicago, say, St. Louis, Columbus and National generally a couple of inches instore and the major metro cities in the northeast too warm for any snow, well, I guess some rain out of it. Maybe a few flakes mix in on Tuesday.

Highs, in advance headed into to 50's around the northeast. Cincinnati at 58, but notice back behind it, Minneapolis and Chicago ranging from 18 to 28 degrees, upwards of 350 record temperatures could be set. And in fact, Tuesday morning, low temps looking pretty cold across the Midwest. Only nine in Chicago, down to six across Minneapolis before a gradual warming trend into the weekend. Guys?

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KOSIK: OK, Pedram, thanks very much.

And the world's most profitable company is one step closer to going public. On Saturday, Saudi Aramco releasing more than 650 page prospective for its highly anticipated initial public offering. Now it did not say what the company will be valued at but Crown Prince, Bin Salman reportedly wants to see the valuation as high as $2 trillion. That may be a stretch, though.

Analysts have estimated the company's value to be half of that, $1 trillion. The company faces many headwinds here, just two months ago, it was attacked in coordinated strikes. Yemen Houthis rebels claimed responsibility. But U.S. officials said the attacks more likely came from Iran. And there's more than just geopolitical risk. Demand for oil is slowing, keeping prices low. And oil prices are a major part of Aramco's revenue. Still Aramco made $68 billion in profit in the first nine months of the year, and it has a monopoly in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of oil. Saudi Aramco says, it will set a final share price on December 5th.

BRIGGS: All right. Ahead, she went to get medicine that keeps her alive but got turned down. Why? Because the government said she was dead.

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BRIGGS: Tragedy in the acting world. A 13-year-old rising star has died.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful there, Jessica, or you might get some coal in your stocking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From where? We both know coal is a dying industry. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Thank you very much. Merry Christmas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: The family of that 13-year-old actress, Laurel Griggs, says she died from complications related to an asthma attack. The young Broadway star died last week. More than a thousand people attend to her funeral in New York, Friday before news of her death was widely known. Laurel Griggs made her Broadway debut at age 6 in a revival of Cat On A Hat Tin Roof and later joined the cast of the musical, Once.

KOSIK: A 73-year-old Texas woman was unable to get her medication after the social security office mistakenly listed her as deceased. Sherry Ellis was trying to pick up her prescription when her bank card was declined. She takes up to 10 different medications that can cost up to $14,000 without insurance. Ellis says, the Medicare office told her it could take 45 days to fix the problem. But needless to say, she does not have that kind of time.

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SHERRY ELLIS, DECLARED DEAD BY SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: As far as they're concerned, I am deceased. If I run out of my medications, my body starts going down. If I have a heart attack in that time, I'm out of luck.

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KOSIK: The office of the Inspector General said in 2016, the social security administration sees fewer than 1,000 of these mistakes a month. CNN has reached out to the SSA.

BRIGGS: Just in time for Veterans Day, a miraculous discovery of a World War II era, U.S. submarine that sank after leaving Pearl Harbor more than 75 years ago. The USS Grayback, has finally been found. It comes after researchers recently realized that translation of the Japanese war records had just one digit wrong. Identified were it may sunk. The Grayback is credited with sinking 14 enemy ships. It was found south of Okinawa with much of its structures still intact. The discovery can now bring some closure to the families of 80 American sailors who went down with the ship.

KOSIK: As commuters make their way to work this morning, an entire planet will also be in transit. This is a rare solar event called a Mercury Sun Transit. That's when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. NASA says it only occurs 13 times in 100 years. Get started at 7:30 a.m. Eastern and will take more than five hours. Almost everyone in North America will get a chance to see it. Just like during an eclipse, though, looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage. So don't do it. So make sure you have a solar filter.

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BRIGGS: Got that, Mr. President? Actor and comedian Kevin Hart making his first public appearance since

being seriously injured in a September car accident. Hart received a standing ovation at the E People's choice awards last night when he was presented with the award for best comedy act of 2019.

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KEVIN HART, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: It makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate the things that really matter, family. Your energy, your support, it means the world. And I truly want to thank you guys for being there for me in my difficult time.

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BRIGGS: Good to see him back. Hart also thanked his fans for their support during his recovery.

Coming up right here, the impeachment battle goes before the public this week. Career civil servants are first. Democrats hope to convict Republicans looking to distract.

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