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EARLY START

Impeachment Probe Hearings Begin This Week; Bitter Cold Moving Into The U.S.; Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 11, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

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

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

BRIGGS: Kevin Hart is back. The comedian in public for the first time since a bad car accident.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START on Veterans Day. Remember, pay tribute to those vets today on Veterans Day. I'm Dave Briggs.

KOSIK: Good morning, I'm Alison Kosik. It's 30 minutes past the hour.

And brace for a historic, possibly decisive 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're going to be trying to turn the public against President Trump by using witnesses drawn from diplomatic and military service.

The president's allies are peddling a smokescreen of conspiracy theories and distractions, hoping to sow confusion.

BRIGGS: Some fierce exchanges over the weekend offering a preview of how the two sides will fight for a political edge.

CNN White House reporter Jeremy Diamond has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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'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 to 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 also, I 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 his 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: OK, Jeremy. Thank you.

New allegations connecting President Trump directly to threats against Ukraine. Rudy Giuliani 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.

BRIGGS: Parnas said he believed Giuliani was acting with 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 not attend Zelensky's inauguration, a

move the whistleblower's complaint says came at President Trump's direction.

KOSIK: 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 in national polls, last week's Quinnipiac poll in Iowa had him fourth in a tight race.

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It would cost about $720 billion 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 a public option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: The Biden campaign arguing Democratic victories in Kentucky and Virginia prove his health care 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.

[05:35:00]

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

BRIGGS: All right, it should be good stuff.

KOSIK: Yes.

BRIGGS: Much more on this ahead. Plus, is Apple's new credit card giving higher credit limits to men than women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: A big week ahead on Capitol Hill. Both Democrats and Republicans trying hard to shape the narrative as televised public hearings begin in the impeachment probe.

BRIGGS: Let's talk about it with CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood, live in Washington. She is back, by the way, from the LSU- Alabama tailgate on Saturday. We will get to that in a moment.

KOSIK: Good morning.

BRIGGS: I'm glad you talked to those fans before the game, not after. They would have been some angry fans after LSU's win.

[05:40:00]

But first, let's start on Wednesday. The public hearings begin and it's all about language, it's all about conveying what we've seen written. But we have -- the Mueller hearings are a good reference. There was a lot on paper but they never got that -- you know, Mueller never said a lot of that.

So here's what Jim Himes, congressman from Connecticut, said on "MEET THE PRESS" Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): And when you're trying to persuade the American people of something that is really pretty simple, which is that the president acting criminally and extorted in a way a mob boss would extort somebody -- a vulnerable foreign country -- it's probably best not to use Latin words to explain it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Best not to use Latin words to convince the American public.

How good a point is Jim Himes making there, and how dangerous can there hearings be for Democrats if they can't get the public to understand what happened?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, it's a really key point Dave because the Mueller hearing does show what the risks are here for Democrats. That the expectations going into these hearings could be so high that even a moderate mediocre performance from some of those witnesses is going to shoot a hole in the case.

Remember, with the Mueller investigation, Democrats -- they weren't getting the reaction from the public that they had hoped from the Mueller report. They hoped that by bringing the special counsel before them to testify would bring his words to life. That just didn't happen.

And that was sort of the end of the Russia investigation in terms of being able to leverage it into a potential impeachment inquiry which Democrats, at the time, were interested in doing with the Russia investigation.

And part of the reason why the Mueller report fell flat with the public was because it was more than 400 pages. It was very complicated.

BRIGGS: Yes.

WESTWOOD: There were multiple facets to it, from the potential obstruction allegations to the collusion allegations, the contacts with Russia.

And now, Democrats are learning from those mistakes. They're hoping to move this quickly and not drag it out over several years like the Russia investigation. Also, trying to keep the details as simple as possible for people to follow.

KOSIK: Meantime, Democrats have their witness list already in place; Republicans are crafting theirs. And it seems like they continue beating the drum wanting to out the whistleblower and wanting to hear from Hunter Biden as well -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: 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 also, I see the need for Hunter Biden to be called to adequately defend the president. And if you don't do those two things, it is a complete joke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Is it really a complete joke? I mean, everything the whistleblower has said has been corroborated.

WESTWOOD: That's right, and I see the Republicans focus on the whistleblower as a way for them to cling to the process argument.

Remember that the beginning of this inquiry, Republicans were constantly attacking Democrats for the fact that administration officials -- administration lawyers were not allowed to accompany witnesses to these hearings. That Republicans didn't have any input in the witness list.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took that argument away from Republicans, largely, when she formalized the impeachment inquiry and held a vote that gave Republicans more say in who gets called to testify. That is going to give the White House an opportunity to provide lawyers for these witnesses in the hearings going forward.

So now, Republicans don't have as much of a window to attack the process, which forces them to really focus on the merits of the case --

BRIGGS: Yes.

WESTWOOD: -- something they've been reluctant to do.

So instead, they've been continuing to focus on calling the whistleblower even though, as you mentioned, the whistleblower complaint has been largely corroborated by on-the-record witnesses who are much more directly involved in the action here. So most people looking at this don't see a need for the whistleblower --

BRIGGS: Yes.

WESTWOOD: -- to come forward.

BRIGGS: It's been a pretty scattershot approach for Republicans. Nikki Haley, the former ambassador the U.N., told Norah O'Donnell on CBS "SUNDAY MORNING" something I hadn't heard from Republicans -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORAH O'DONNELL, HOST, CBS "SUNDAY MORNING": To be clear, it was not a complete transcript. There are still things that are missing from it. And in it, he does say I would like you to do us a favor, though.

NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AUTHOR, "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT": The Ukrainians never did the investigation and the president released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there's just nothing impeachable there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Never did the investigation, never withheld the funds. Is that a reasonable defense and do you expect Republicans to settle on that eventually?

WESTWOOD: Well, it's interesting because you have seen some Republicans start to explore the suggestion that perhaps the call that the president had with the Ukrainians wasn't exactly perfect but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of impeachment. You saw Congressman Mac Thornberry make that argument yesterday, for example.

But then, President Trump tweeted that he did not want Republicans to fall into what he described as the fool's trap of arguing that the call wasn't perfect, but not impeachable.

He has wanted, consistently, Republicans to be defending him on the merits of the case even though there are Republicans -- some of them -- who are uncomfortable with that, who have preferred to attack the process or to concede that perhaps some of the president's actions weren't exactly great here. That that call transcript may not reflect great on the administration but that to impeach the president over something that could be described by some Republicans as so minimal --

[05:45:14]

BRIGGS: Yes.

WESTWOOD: -- is going to be divisive and dangerous to this country.

That's not an argument that President Trump wants Republicans to be making here, though.

BRIGGS: In 10 seconds, did you get any good food at the Alabama tailgate Saturday?

WESTWOOD: I had some amazing barbecue, Dave. You really missed out.

BRIGGS: OK.

KOSIK: Oh. BRIGGS: I'm just disappointed you didn't go to the actual game --

KOSIK: That's proficient (ph) there.

BRIGGS: -- but I understand you had a job to do talking politics with those folks.

Thank you, Sarah. Appreciate your time.

KOSIK: Sarah, thank you.

WESTWOOD: Thank you.

BRIGGS: All right, another arctic blast ahead this week. Snow in the forecast from the plains to New England. Cold could smash hundreds of records in the eastern U.S.

Here's meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS 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. We're already seeing the impacts across the Northern Plains and portions of the Great Lakes, and all of that eventually pushing in 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 some of the bigger cities -- Chicago -- say, St. Louis, down towards Columbus and Nashville, generally a couple of inches in store.

In the major metro cities in the northeast, too warm for any snow -- will get some rain out of it and maybe a few flakes mix in on Tuesday.

Highs in advance of it 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 nine in Chicago, down to six across Minneapolis before a gradual warming trend into the weekend -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: Pedram Javaheri, thank you.

Goldman Sachs and Apple are facing an investigation after users of the Apple Card accused the program of gender bias. The card, which is run by a partnership between the two companies apparently gave male users higher credit limits than their wives. An official at the Department of Financial Services said, on Twitter, the department would take a look.

Tech entrepreneur David Hansson was among the first to turn attention to the issue. He wrote on Twitter Apple card offered him 20 times the credit limit of his wife. He said they share assets and his wife even has a higher credit score than he does.

And they're not the only couple to have that issue. Hansson said when he reached out to Apple he was told credit limits are determined by an algorithm. By the way, algorithms are built by humans.

And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:52:42]

BRIGGS: Upheaval in Latin America as longtime Bolivian President Evo Morales resigning amid mass protests. Morales stepping down after losing the support of Bolivia's military following last month's disputed election.

The 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.

Patrick Oppmann has the latest from Mexico City.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A political earthquake is rocking Bolivia after the country's long-serving, staunchly-leftist president Evo Morales was forced to step 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 them 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 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'd 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: Police say two people were killed in New Jersey on Sunday after their speeding car lost control and flew into the second story of an office building. Police say the red Porsche Boxster was speeding when it hit a median and was launched into the second-story offices. The owner of the building says no one was inside at the time of the crash.

[05:55:00]

BRIGGS: 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 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 she does not have that kind of time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: A watchdog report in 2016 said the Social Security Administration sees fewer than 1,000 of these mistakes a month.

KOSIK: Let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning.

Checking out global markets, Asian shares mostly lower on Monday. Hong Kong stocks had their worst day in more than three months amid tensions in the city. The Hang Seng Index dropping 2.6 percent, wiping out last week's gains.

On Wall Street, taking a look at futures, they look like they're lower after stocks finished slightly higher on Friday.

Investors are looking at the GDP announcement in the United Kingdom. It showed growth rebounded in the third quarter.

Also this week, the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, will give his semi- annual testimony to Congress.

Today is the Chinese Cyber Monday and so far, it's been huge. Alibaba kicking off its Singles' Day event with a performance by Taylor Swift. Moments ago, it beat last year's record of $30 billion in sales. The company began offering single Singles' Day discounts in 2009.

This year, it's seen as a bellwether for Chinese consumer spending during a slowdown in the economy because of the trade war. The shopping holiday celebrates single people and was chosen because the date November 11th is written with four ones.

People enjoy seeing how many likes they get on Instagram. Soon, though, they may not be able to see how many likes that their friends have. The company will soon test-hide likes for some users in the U.S. So people will be able to see how many likes their posts get, but not how many their friends' posts have.

The move is an effort to ease competitive pressure and it's aimed at younger people on the platform. Instagram has already tested the move in seven other countries.

BRIGGS: Actor and comedian Kevin Hart making his first public appearance since being seriously injured in a car accident in September. 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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN HART, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN, WINNER, BEST COMEDY ACT, PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: It's good to see him back, indeed.

KOSIK: Yes, it is.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Alison Kosik. Have a great day.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. We leave you this Veterans Day morning with 96-year-old World War II vet Pete DuPre performing the National Anthem with his harmonica at the Knicks game yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE DUPRE, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: Performing the National Anthem on harmonica at New York Knicks game on Sunday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several administration officials slated to head to Capitol Hill this week for public televised hearings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans have been demanding that the public be able to judge for itself.

REP. MAC THORNBERRY (R-TX): It is inappropriate. I do not believe that it was impeachable.

BRIGGS: Former Vice President Biden takes questions from voters in a CNN town hall live from Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Biden faces the threat of a new challenger, Michael Bloomberg.

BIDEN: I have no problem with him getting in the race.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like Mayor Pete, but of the women on the stage, do I think that we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience that he had? No, I don't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, November 11th, 6:00 here in New York.

And we are honoring our veterans today. We'll have an important segment coming up about all of that.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Excellent. Always important to do it every day but, obviously, today, extra special.

CAMEROTA: All right.

END