Return to Transcripts main page

THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO

Two Key Witnesses Will Lead Off First Public Hearings; Israel-Gaza Violence: Israeli Forces Kill Islamic Jihad Commander; Firefighters Battle Historic Bushfires In Australia; Evo Morales's Exit A Blow To Left-Wing Resurgence In Region; Deep Fake Videos Purport To Show U.K. Political Rivals Endorsing Each Other. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 12, 2019 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST : You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @JAKETAPPER or you tweet @THELEADCNN. Our coverage on CNN continues

right now. I'll see you tomorrow at 2.00 pm eastern time.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, showdown on Capitol Hill. The impeachment inquiry into President Trump's alleged abuse

of power prepares to enter a new public phase. Gaza is retaliating against Israel after the killing of an Islamic jihad leader. And Bolivia's Former

President flees to Mexico after resigning in scandal.

Live from London I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. The doors are about to open to hearings that could change the course of U.S. history. For

the first time, Americans and all of us around the world will get a chance to watch the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are holding last-minute strategy sessions on Capitol Hill ahead of the testimony of two State Department

diplomats. Bill Taylor and George Kent will be the first public witnesses to talk about Mr. Trump's dealings with Ukraine and efforts to extract

political favors.

Republicans are circulating a memo that's outlines their strategy of defending with President Trump. They're making it clear that they don't

believe the inquiry is legitimate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE SCALISE, (R-LA): We just want to make sure that the facts can get out. You can see Chairman Schiff continues to deny our ability to bring

witnesses forward. He doesn't want the facts out. He wants to run his own version of an impeachment witch hunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff just mentioned there is expected to lay out the scope of the inquiry in his opening

statement as well as the stakes. Democrats that say Republicans aren't interested in the substance of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY, (D-IL): Since they don't have a - they go after the process, they go after this whistleblower. They go after the Chairman, and

they go after any other means. They don't want the talk about what the President did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Let's get more from Alex Marquardt live in Washington. Alex, can you lay out for us how the hearing is going play out on Wednesday?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Bianca, no matter what happens tomorrow, we know that this will be contentious. This will be a

dramatic day. It will be a momentous day. But in terms from the case, this session will be gaveled into session at 10:00 am Eastern time here in

Washington, D.C. Both witnesses George Kent and Bill Taylor will be appearing together.

The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff as well as their Ranking Member on the Republican side, Devin Nunes they will each be

given 45 minutes to ask their questions. They're actually allowed to delegate their questions to lawyers, which is expected. They're two very

well known, well prepared lawyers who are going to be on hand.

Once those 90 minutes are done, each of the remaining members on the Committees, both Democrats and Republicans 12 Democrats, 8 Republicans will

get five minutes each to ask questions. And then we are going to - the House Intelligence Committee will actually be able to issue a report to the

House Judiciary Committee which will later on hold a vote on those articles of impeachment.

But Bianca, in terms of the strategy, Democrats are going to lean heavily on this extortion and bribery argument while Republicans as you mentioned

have laid out clearly four points that they're going use as their defense of the President foremost among them that the July 25th call between

President Zelensky and Trump there was nothing wrong.

Bianca, we should have to remind everybody that tight at the beginning of the call after President Zelensky asked for military aid in Ukraine and

President Trump responded by asking for a favor. Bianca?

NOBILO: Alex Marquardt thanks so much. I'm sure, we'll be checking in with you later in the week to find out what exactly went down. CNN's Special

Coverage will begin at 8:00 Eastern tomorrow 1:00 pm London. Be sure to tune in for CNN for exclusive live coverage throughout the day.

Israel targeted and killed a senior commander of the Islamic jihad in Gaza today calling him a ticking bomb. Now Syrian official say six other people

died in Israeli air strikes and militants in Gaza retaliated, firing almost 200 rockets at Israel. Oren Liebermann has more on these escalating

tensions.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca from a big picture prospective this is a fight between Israel and Gaza, but specifically it is a fight

between Israel and the Islamic jihad. As it seems both the military and Israeli officials have gone almost great pace to pointed out that here

they're fighting not all of Gaza but specifically the militant group Islamic Jihad backed by Iran. Baha Abu Al-Ata was carried through the

streets as a martyr to senior Palestinian Islamic Jihadi who killed early Tuesday morning. The Israeli military struck his home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AVIV KOCHAVI, IDF CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF: This man was a live ticking bomb. Even in recent days he worked in planned attacks and was meeting to carry

them out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMANN: The response came quickly the idea of accusing Islamic Jihadi who fired more than a 100 rockets in the southern and central Israel.

During a televised statement, Islamic Jihad's leader warned Israel that it will pay a high price.

[17:05:00]

LIEBERMANN: Sirens sounding as far away as Tel Aviv and beyond. A traffic camera picked up this rocket landing on a road south of Tel Aviv. There

seemed no clear way out of the fighting. That indicate this is isn't over yet. At this point - we just heard a loud explosion behind us. You can see

a plume of smoke. I don't know which way that was coming appear mattress factory in Gaza was hit by a rocket as smoke poured into the sky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AVI BARSSESSAD, SDEROT FACTORY OWNER: We're staying like 15 years in the same situation. It's catastrophe. It's catastrophe because the effect on

us. It's terrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMANN: But this wasn't the same situation. Israel blamed Islamic Jihad for the rocket fire in an unusual move, not pointing the finger at Hamas.

Analysts in Gaza say Hamas is far more interested in calm than Islamic Jihad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MUKHAIMER ABUSADEH, AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Over the past many months Islamic Jihad have tried to provoke Israel many times which wasn't

in the interest of Hamas who is responsible for the well being of 2 million Palestinians in Gaza and has to take care of them and daily life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIEBERMANN: This may be part of a wider move against the Iran backed Islamic Jihad. Serious state runs Sana News Agency said Israel targeted an

Islamic Jihad even there as well. He survived but his son was killed. Israel would not comment on the foreign report. Oren Liebermann, CNN on the

Gaza border.

NOBILO: Hong Kong police say the rule of law has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown as they battle pro-democracy protesters again today.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has become a major flash point in all of this. Riot police stormed the campus firing tear gas as demonstrators

threw petrol bombs. Earlier a few thousand people they took over a major downtown intersection bringing traffic to a standstill. After five months

of unrest now police say they're running out of patience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KONG WING-CHEUNG, HONG KONG POLICE SPOKESMAN: Hong Kong's rule of law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse as masked rioters recklessly

escalate their violence under the false hope that they can get away with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Hong Kong's Leader Carrie Lam calls the protesters selfish for wanting to paralyze the city. CNN's Ivan Watson filed this report earlier.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look at the police retreating. We are in central in Downtown Hong Kong, the heart of the

financial district of the luxury shopping. Demonstrators had occupied the square. Police ran them out, with several rounds of tear gas and men

detained dozens and now a force is leaving and they're being pursued by residents.

Come take a look at the defensive posture they're taking right now. This is not a police force that feels secure and confident in its own city. And it

get to the heart of the problem here - the administration is relying on this police force, a substantial portion of the population does not agree

with the policies.

And you get scenes like this. The police hiding their identity, their faces covered, with the crowd hurling abuse and curses at them. And there is no

end in sight. To these stark political divisions and this crisis that has clinched Hong Kong into economic recession. The worst crisis this city has

seen in a generation. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.

NOBILO: The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments from a case that could impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants known

as "The Dreamers". After the first day some of them emerged on the court steps with this message.

The Obama-era policy is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or D.A.C.A. for short. The Trump Administration has been trying for years now

to end the program which allows about 700,000 undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States. Many were children when their parents brought

them into the U.S. illegally. As the case unfold in the court, U.S. President Donald Trump attacked the recipients on Twitter calling some of

them hardened criminals. New York's Attorney General had this to say.

[17:10:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: It was President Trump who said that he would protect D.A.C.A recipients. He would protect the

recipients and he has failed to do so. As a result of those statements coming out of the mouth of the President of these United States, this court

should understand that this is a nation of immigrants and that all of us should uphold the believes and values of our country and that the

immigrants are here to stay, and we should protect, again, the 700,000 individuals who came here for opportunity, for education, and for freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: The court's ruling likely to come down in June during the height of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign season. And with just one month to go

into the UK's Snap General Election the main opposition party says it's experienced a sophisticated cyber-attack. But a Labour Party Spokesperson

tells CNN that the attack failed and there was no data breach. CNN's Nina Dos Santos has more.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca the Labour Party was subject to do two separate attacks on Tuesday. These were not hack attacks designed to

try to crack open the party's service and try to steal information from it rather it appears as though they were denial of service attacks.

So the aim of these attacks is that called among the cyber community is to try and flood a website to therefore slow it down or in some cases

temporarily render it useless. This had a material impact on Labour MPs who are out campaigning. I spoke to one who was campaigning in his constituency

in Wales and he said he was unable to print out leaflets to try and campaign that there are also access voter data bases which is important at

a time when obviously these MPs are taking to the street, knocking on doors and trying to get canvas support amongst some of their constituency.

It's not just the Labour Party though that's been subject to these types of denial of service attacks. I spoke to one independent MP running in the

south of England who also said that her website was targeted in a similar fashion about six days ago when parliament was dissolved. Bianca

NOBILO: Nina Dos Santos for us there. Meantime, Former U.S. Secretary of State and Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton is slamming the

British government. She says its failure to publish a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics between who was reporting on

yesterday before December's election is inexplicable and shameful. Clinton says voters should be given a full picture of how Russia tries to influence

western democracies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We need a strong UK. We need a UK with smart sensible, forward-looking leadership so, as I said,

I'm dumbfounded that this government won't release the report about Russian influence, because every person who votes in this country deserves to see

that report before your election happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Because the government did not publish the report before parliament dissolved last week it may now be months before that happens.

Australia's most populous region remains in a state of emergency, threatened by dozens of devastating bush fires. Firefighters say half of

them are out of control. Hundreds of schools closed Tuesday. Nine of them were forced to evacuate. Wildlife habitats are also under serious threat

and fire official say the danger isn't over. Meteorologist Tom Sater joins me now to discuss this. Tom, what's the scope of this disaster and how the

climate conditions making it worse?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the last three months Bianca, they were well behind in rainfall, a good 50 percent in some areas. But even if you

go back a year and a half this area is just bone dry. Notice all of the fires they have grown in size and activity. Now 73 active fires last 24

hours have been really tough on 1200 firefighters. 37 are now uncontrolled. Only two are in the emergency warned area.

At one time yesterday, they had 19 fires that were in the emergency warned area. That means you've got to take action now 16 simultaneously. But to

give you an idea of how widespread this is this is retardant in the communities around Sydney. This is Sydney, if you go to this area this is

350 kilometers to the north it's bad there. Well let's go 600 kilometers up the coastline to the north. This is widespread. The last 24 hours were

rough. That's why we had the catastrophic fire warnings, but look what happened as we look at the day today.

We lose the red and when you going from the north coast England this is the New England region. So severe yes, and they're still battling these blazes.

But we had a cold front moved through. They called these southerly busters and we knew the winds were going to get strong and erratic. They're still a

little strong but watch how those start to lighten somewhat in the next 44 hours. So things are improving. That's very good news. They're not going to

get any rainfall, but at least they're going to get the winds to lighten up. Bianca.

[17:15:00]

NOBILO: That's something. Tom Sater thanks very much. I appreciate it. Coming up next on the program, after fleeing Bolivia, the country's Former

President is now taking refuge in Mexico and letting lawmakers back home pick up the pieces. The sudden resignation of Evo Morales is just one of

several political crises shaking Latin America today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: Bolivia's Former President is now in Mexico where he's been granted political asylum. Evo Morales arrived in the capital early - after fleeing

his home country. He thanked Mexico's President "Saving his life".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVO MORALES, FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT: We are here safe thanks to Mexico and its authorities but I also want to tell you, sisters and brothers, as

long as I'm alive we will continue in politics. As long as I'm alive, the fight continues and we are sure that the people of the world can liberate

themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Morales abruptly resigned as Bolivia's President on Sunday after pressure from weeks of protests over disputed election results. This photo

that you are about see shows him on board the flight to Mexico holding the Mexican flag. Morales claims that he was forced out in a coup but the

country's opposition denies that describing it instead there is a fight for democracy and peace.

Bolivia's Former Leader shared this image of himself, sleeping on the floor. It was taken during his last night in his home country before

fleeing to Mexico. Bolivian lawmakers are meeting tonight to try and work out a way forward. The - likely to become the next President says Morales

fled the country voluntarily.

Bolivia is not the only country in the region that's been experiencing significant political unrest. Right now, protests in Chile against

President Sebastian Pinera show no sign of letting up despite a complete cabinet reshuffle two weeks ago.

Another example is Ecuador where the government had to move out of the capital last month because of violent protests. And there's also Brazil

where one left wing President had been in prison before his release last week, his successor was ousted and her replacement was charged with

corruption.

President Jair Bolsonaro is now in power. So joining me now for today's "Latin America Debrief" is Eric Farnsworth, who is Vice President of

America Society and the Council of the Americas. He is in Washington for us. Great to have you on the show, sir. Thank you very much for joining us.

ERIC FARNSWORTH, VP, AMERICAS SOCIETY AND COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAS: Thank you Bianca thanks for having me.

NOBILO: I think if we can start with trying to get to the bottom of some of these disputed facts about what really happened here with the President's

resignation in Bolivia. Morales is maintaining that this is some sort of coup, that is harking back to the brutal military takeovers of years gone

by, but the opposition, the person that lost out to him to become President is saying that this was very much a popular movement. What's your

assessment?

[17:20:00]

FARNSWORTH: It's really complicated and there's history here. The short answer is that it's not a coup in the traditional sense, certainly. The

President Morales did lose the support of the military and the police force and the head of the military did come out on Sunday and encourage President

Morales to depart.

Some people would say, what's the difference? There's a nuance here. The nuance is that the head of the military asked him to depart so that they

could restore calm to the streets. That subsequently hasn't happened. But it was really for public or their insecurity and indeed President Morales

said he would step down so that Bolivia could recover. It was really on that basis.

I think you also have to remember this, just before that on Sunday, the OAS the Organization of American States had come out with a really condemning

report about the elections that Morales oversaw in October and which were clearly seen to be fraudulent and called for Bolivia to rerun those

elections. So the political support for the President had been withering he lost the support of the military and he decided for his own good and the

good of his country I think to depart and now he's in Mexico.

NOBILO: In terms of the political and almost biographical psychological trajectory of Morales. He started at the first indigenous President of

Bolivia. It was a law - I think and he has been in power for 13 years. So what happened here? How did he go from that to somebody who was trying to

really push the constitutional limits of power and then become involved in these accusations of allegiance?

FARNSWORTH: Yes, this is really a shame in some ways because had he left before this whole anti-constitutional effort to maintain power, his legacy

would have been totally different. He was the first President elected as an indigenous person. And you remember that the population, the percentage of

population in Bolivia that's indigenous is really quite large.

It's been downtrodden for years, it's been overlooked, it's clearly underprivileged and to have a President who represents that segment of

society is massive, not just in the Bolivian context, but across Latin America. We can celebrate that fact. He also brought some economic growth

to the country. Certainly he presided during the period of high commodities prices. He was the beneficiary of that.

He did do some things which I think would cause people to say, well, indeed he wasn't like some of the other populist leaders around South America but

he also exhibited a penchant to want to stay too long. Every leader is going to lose public support over time. But he ran an election sorry a

referendum in 2016 that he lost to allow him to continue in power.

Then he got the Supreme Court to issue a favorable ruling that said somehow his human rights had been violated by not been allowed to run for the

election and then the election that he ran was fraudulent. So you know the people of Bolivia even many of his supporters really lost confidence in him

and lost support and called out for change and that's where we are right now.

NOBILO: Eric, Morales was the last of the original leaders of the pink tide in Latin America, do you think that his - the pressure on him and then his

subsequent resignation herds the end or marks a repudiation of that? Do you think as the end of that movement or it's resonant in the region?

FARNSWORTH: Well, it's really hard to say. You know, every country is different and the voter of each country react to their own personal

individual circumstances. But one thing that we can say is that the pink tide is referred to, really did seem to mirror the commodities super cycle

when commodity prices were high, the populist leaders in the region were elected.

They were popular, they ruled with a lot of money sloshing around. As commodities prices over the last couple of years have gone down, there's

been lot less money to circulate and issues like corruption, issues like anti-democratic governance become much more relevant to the voters.

That's where I think we have seen country after country trying to turn a different direction. What we see quite clearly is that the leaders from the

pink tide were all South American leaders and all of those countries are commodities exporters. So I think that has to be part of the discussion. It

probably doesn't explain all of it but it's certainly a large percentage of it.

NOBILO: Yes, inextricably linked. Eric Farnsworth thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate the time today.

FARNSWORTH: Thank you.

NOBILO: When THE BRIEF returns two fake videos are making the rounds showing Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn endorsing each other. What the

video creators are trying to warn you about.

[17:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: False news on social media has been blamed for voter misinformation in the run-up to several elections but the nature of the beast is evolving

into something far more sophisticated. As the UK prepares for a general election next month, a think tank called "Future Advocacy" has released two

videos. They're deep fakes, meant to look like standard campaign speeches by Boris Johnson the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn the Leader of the

Labour Party, but they are fake. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP0

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PIME MINISTER: My friends I wish to rise above the divide and endorse my worthy opponent, the right honorable Jeremy Corbyn

should be Prime Minster of our United Kingdom.

JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: I'm urging all Labour members and supporters to consider people before - and back Boris Johnson to continue

as our Prime Minster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Again, those videos are fake, which you may be able to notice if you're a keen eyed observer our British politics and they're voiced by

impersonators. There is a real risk that some people could fall for them and that's what "Future Advocacy" is warning about is now demonstrated the

technology is available using genuine video that - by A.I. to mimic the lip moments of the speakers.

Route to misinformation is one big risk here but as "The New York Times" Clarissa Ward points out it could also be a convenient excuse for

politicians or others if something controversial they've done has been recorded. The cries of deep fake could soon replace those of fake news.

That's THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.

END