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Impeachment Probe Public Hearings to Begin This Week; Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns; Clashes Erupt in Hong Kong After a Protester was Shot. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 11, 2019 - 05:00   ET



ALISON KOSIK, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: And it's cold out there and getting colder, record lows all along the East Coast this week. Good morning and welcome to EARLY START, I am Alison Kosik.


KOSIK: Good morning --

BRIGGS: Good morning to all of you, I'm Dave Briggs, it is Veterans Day, pay tribute to those veterans wherever you can today, Monday, November 11th, 5:00 a.m. in the East. And 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. President's allies peddling a smokescreen of conspiracy theories and distractions, hoping to sow confusion.

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

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 a top State Department official George Kent.

As all of this is happening, of course, the president not only defending his own conduct, but we're 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, oh, he withheld aid until he got what he wanted. Well, if it's corruption and he believes there had been 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. 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 the Ukrainian president sparked this entire 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?

BRIGGS: All right, Jeremy Diamond, thanks. New allegations connecting President Trump directly to threats against Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas says Giuliani told him to give an ultimatum to the new president of Ukraine, investigate Joe Biden or risk hundreds of millions in military aid. Parnas' lawyer also telling "The New York Times" Parnas warned Ukraine that Vice President Mike Pence would not attend Volodymyr Zelensky's inauguration unless Zelensky did as he was told.

KOSIK: Parnas says he believed Giuliani was acting with President Trump's authorization. Both Giuliani and the other participants in the meeting deny Parnas' accounts to "The Times". Note that in the end, Pence did not attend Zelensky's inauguration, a move the whistleblower complaints says came at President Trump's direction.

BRIGGS: This will be a critical week for the Joe Biden campaign. He and other Democrats 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 national polls, last week's Quinnipiac Iowa poll had him in fourth in a tight race.

Biden touting his plan for health care, the single biggest issue among top candidates. In New Hampshire, he framed his plan as the one with the most reasonable price tag.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It costs about $720 billion to $750 billion over ten years. But it will not cost -- if you do Medicare for all, $3.4 trillion a year. So, what I oppose is taking Obamacare and making it Bidencare by adding a public option.


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

Quick programming note. Former Vice President Biden takes questions from voters in a CNN town hall live from Iowa, 84 days to the caucuses and Burnett moderates tonight, 9:00 Eastern Time right here on CNN.

KOSIK: It could be the biggest IPO in history. But there's some risk for Saudi Aramco.



BRIGGS: A remarkable claim from former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. In her 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, she writes "Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren't being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country."

Haley says she refused to go along with their plans.


NIKKI HALEY, FORMER UNITED STATES 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.


KOSIK: Tillerson has not responded to a request for comment. Kelly tells "The Washington Post", if providing the best and most open advice is working against the president, then guilty as charged. This, as the anonymous senior Trump administration official claims in his or her 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. The country has been wracked by deadly protests following last month's disputed election. Resignation of Morales, a vocal supporter of authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Cuba changes the balance of power in Latin America. And after nearly 14 years in power, it's unclear who will succeed

Morales. The three officials next in line also resigned. Patrick Oppmann with the latest from Mexico City.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia after the country's long-serving staunchly leftist President Evo Morales was forced to stepped down. It's been 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 a report came out showing widespread fraud, Morales finally on Sunday offered to hold new elections. The offer came too late though 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 that it was a coup that was forcing him from power, but 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. But Morales says, while he may no longer be president of Bolivia, he's not going anywhere. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.

KOSIK: All right, thanks to Patrick Oppmann for that. Breaking overnight, protests are rocking Hong Kong after a police officer shot a protester. We want to warn you, the video you're about to see is disturbing.




KOSIK: The 21-year-old protester did survive the shooting and is in critical condition. 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.

The world's most profitable company is one step closer to going public. On Saturday, Saudi Aramco released a more than 650-page prospectus for its highly-anticipated initial public offering. It did not say what the company will be valued at, but Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman reportedly wants to see the valuation as high as $2 trillion. But that might be a stretch here. Analysts have estimated the company's value to be half of that at $1 trillion.

The company faces many headwinds, just two months ago, it was attacked in coordinated strikes, Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility. But U.S. officials said the attacks more likely came from Iran. Demand for oil is slowing, keeping prices low, and low 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.

BRIGGS: All right, we'll talk a little sports ahead, the Packers and the Panthers down to the wire at a classic scene, yes, it's a snowy Lambeau Field. No better sight than that. Carolyn Manno has that story in the "BLEACHER REPORT" next.

KOSIK: That's hard to play on, right? You can slip through --



KOSIK: Welcome back, another arctic blast ahead this week with snow in the forecast from the plains to New England. The cold could smash hundreds of records in the eastern U.S. Let's get to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Dave and Alison, good morning, guys. Yes, the big story remains the arctic blast of colder air, multiple rounds of this here in store, already seeing the impacts across the northern plains, portions of the Great Lakes, and all of that eventually pushing it across portions of the northeast.

And notice, you even 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 expected as much as 8 or more inches. But across some of the bigger cities, Chicago, say St. Louis, down towards Columbus and Nashville, generally a couple of inches in store and the major metro cities at the northeast.

Too warm for any snow, we'll get some rain out of it. Maybe a few flakes mixed in on Tuesday. Highs in advance into the 50s 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 9 in Chicago, down to 6 across Minneapolis before a gradual warming trend into the weekend, guys?

BRIGGS: All right, Pedram, thank you. Ahead, the Vikings pull off something they haven't done in almost two years, being a winning team on the road. Carolyn Manno here with that story in the "BLEACHER REPORT", yet --


BRIGGS: He's had that knock for a couple of years now. Great game overnight though -- MANNO: Yes, certainly, and it feels like the picture is becoming a

little bit clearer now, doesn't it? We're into that second place --


BRIGGS: Except for the Saints, yes.

MANNO: Don't answer that --


MANNO: Because I have to do my own --

BRIGGS: OK, sorry --

MANNO: I feel like it's --

BRIGGS: Sorry to throw off the narrative --

MANNO: I feel like it's getting clearer -- I feel like Minnesota is hitting their stride as we move into the second half of the season. They are on the shortlist of Super Bowl contenders, Dave, at least give me that, OK? All right, they had to succeed on the big stage last Sunday if they do want to lift that Lombardi Trophy.

No bigger stage than "Sunday Night Football" against the Cowboys. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott had Twitter buzzing with his unique warm up routine. Yes, I feel, this is David at a wedding -- it seemed to work for just a little while, though. He threw for nearly 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dallas held a 1-point lead late in the third quarter.

But Minnesota had the league's leading rusher in Dalvin Cook was on fire, gave the Cowboys defense fifth 97 yards on the ground including a go-ahead touchdown on fourth out and 86 yards receiving to set up three other scores. Vikings rallied to beat the Cowboys 28-24.

A skydiver at Lambeau Field just overshot the landing during halftime of Sunday's Packers-Panthers games, hit the wall, he was unharmed. This is something that Christian McCaffrey can relate to though, hitting the ball.

Snowy scene late in the game, Panthers running-back absolutely stuffed just inches short of the goal line as the clock run out on that frantic rally nearly ended with an unlikely upset in Green Bay. The Packers improving to 8-2. And after missing the previous two games with a knee injury, Patrick Mahomes looking like his usual dominant self against the Titans on Sunday, 446 passing yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions for the Chiefs' quarterback looked really good.

But even that performance was not enough to bail out his team's defense, particularly the run defense, it was terrible. The game on the line here, though, Titans' quarterback Ryan Tannehill only needed four plays to lead his team down the field for the go ahead score, a 23-yard touchdown pass to Adam Humphries would get it done. A stunning final two minutes as Kansas City has dropped four of its last six games.

And in his latest jaw-dropping performance, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson delivering a play that you only see in a video game, until now. Spin move against Cincinnati, perfect passer rating in two games right in the same season for the 22-year-old. Ravens get a little bit creative as well against the winless Bengals. Wasn't that great? Check this out --

KOSIK: So smooth.

MANNO: So smooth, Alison, formation called the Heisman package here. This is backup quarterback Robert Griffin III, Mark Ingram making for a Heisman trophy triumphant in the back field --

KOSIK: Oh --

MANNO: Jackson, a little pitch to RG-3 there for a 12-yard run. Ravens win by 36. It's just in the shades, you've got to love the shades because it's the much --

BRIGGS: Looking kind of a throwback, those shades --

MANNO: You can just do whatever you want --

BRIGGS: A blue blocker-like shades.

MANNO: You know that Heisman package, it's just a 12-yard run, but it's just the fact that they --

BRIGGS: I know --

MANNO: Can do it. It's just the fact that they can do it.

BRIGGS: I didn't mean to throw off your narrative, by the way, the Saints -- the Saints lost to the Falcons 7-1, warning seven -- so every time you think you know what's going on, you don't.

MANNO: You don't --

BRIGGS: But that's the beauty of the NFL, right?

MANNO: You just don't know, yes --

BRIGGS: It was a good Sunday, thank you my friend, appreciate it --

KOSIK: Carolyn, thank you --

MANNO: You're welcome.

KOSIK: The impeachment battle going public this week. Career civil servants, they're up next. Democrats hope to convict, Republicans look to distract.


[05:25:00] 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 ten 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, something -- that's time that she doesn't have.


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.


KOSIK: The office of the Inspector General said in 2016, the Social Security Administration saw 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 the translation of the Japanese war records had just one digit wrong, identifying where it may have 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 the 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. It's 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 occurs only 13 times in 100 years. Well, guess what? It starts at 7:30 a.m. Eastern, it will take more than five hours.

And almost everyone in North America will get a chance to see it, it's but just like during an eclipse, looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage, so make sure you have a solar filter. EARLY START continues right now.

The biggest week so far in the impeachment inquiry. Democrats will take their case straight to the American people. How will the president counter?

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

KOSIK: Oh, it's getting cold and even colder. Record lows expected all along the East Coast this week.