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New Testimony On White House Push To Withhold Ukraine Aid; Supreme Court Argument On DACA; Israeli Forces Kill Islamic Jihad Leader In Gaza. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired November 12, 2019 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- worries the Trump administration would change its foreign policy to suit domestic politics. And concern from then-national security adviser John Bolton about Rudy Giuliani's influence over Ukraine policy.

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Two of those officials said Ukraine was aware the aid was frozen soon after it was put on hold in July. That's earlier than previously known. Ukraine's knowledge undercuts the argument from Trump backers the aid could not have been used as leverage.

We also learned military support to Ukraine had been withheld once before by then-budget director Mick Mulvaney to avoid upsetting the Russians.

ROMANS: As for what to expect in the next 36 hours and beyond, House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff and Republican ranking member Devin Nunes will lead the sessions. They'll have 45 minutes each to question witnesses, with staff lawyers likely playing a big role here. All other committee members will also get five minutes each to ask their questions.

BRIGGS: CNN has obtained the Trump campaign's talking points ahead of the public impeachment inquiry.

A source close to the campaign expects renewed attacks on the whistleblower, on House Intel chairman Adam Schiff, and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, along with claims that the entire process is a political stunt orchestrated by Democrats.

And with televised hearings about to begin, Rudy Giuliani considering launching an impeachment podcast. President Trump's personal attorney was overheard discussing the plan at a New York City restaurant and Giuliani's spokeswoman confirms it.

ROMANS: All right, much more on all of this head. Plus, breaking overnight, Israel takes down a senior Jihadi leader. More than 100 rockets now flying into Israel. CNN live at the Israel-Gaza border.



ROMANS: All right.

Three more career government officials confirming closed-door testimony that the White House took direct action to freeze $400 million in aid to Ukraine. A televised public testimony in the impeachment inquiry begins tomorrow.

BRIGGS: "CNN POLITICS" senior writer Zach Wolf has been covering the impeachment process in his daily CNN newsletter and joins us live from Washington. Good to see you, sir.

ROMANS: Hi, Zach.


BRIGGS: Popcorn for these hearings or how do you do it? I mean, you excited for this?

WOLF: Middle-of-the-day popcorn, no -- just a lot of coffee.

BRIGGS: All right, a lot of coffee for all of us.

So let's talk about strategy a little bit and first, on the Democratic side. Adam Schiff is a former screenwriter while he was an attorney out there in California, so he knows how to play the narrative game. He starts with 45 minutes of questions for the witnesses.

What do you think he's learned from, say, Corey Lewandowski and from the Mueller hearings where Bob Mueller refused to read his own report out loud?

WOLF: Those -- big difference, though. Those were hostile witnesses. Corey Lewandowski was trying to --


WOLF: -- make a point. Robert Mueller wanted his report to be his report. He didn't really want to testify about it.

In these cases, we're going to have these career diplomats, many of whom raised red flags about what Trump was doing, and they want to seem very down-the-middle, I think, in some of their instances.

So that -- it's going to be a much different crowd. I don't think he's going to have to pull people so much as -- you know, give them the opportunity just say what's on their mind.

ROMANS: Right.

WOLF: So it will be a very different scenario -- at least those two.

ROMANS: How is the Republican response gelling -- or, I guess, not gelling? The president is still saying this was a perfect call.

BRIGGS: Scattershot. ROMANS: We saw, sort of, these talking points come out from the White House overnight. I mean, are they -- are they -- are they gelling on a message?

WOLF: It is continually remarkable to me that at this late stage of the game -- and it's moving so fast but we're already making a public argument that Republicans haven't really settled on a single strategy or narrative. There's a -- you know, there's obviously what Trump is saying, there are the attacks against the process. There are these attempts to sort of minimize the whistleblower.

They're sort of -- it's a scattershot, kind of all of the above sort of a -- sort of a strategy. But it doesn't attack the central themes of what has been alleged, which the facts seem to be beyond dispute.


WOLF: So in that -- in that regard, I think that Republicans are at a real disadvantage in dismissing this.

BRIGGS: What's tough on the president is his own press secretary and his own messenger. With the helicopter in the background, you never know what's going to be the daily strategy.

All right, let's switch to the other side and 2020 and Joe Biden at a CNN town hall last night in Grinnell, Iowa, talking about Elizabeth Warren and her plans for Medicare for All versus his belief that we ought to improve upon Obamacare -- listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Where I come from, growing up in a middle-class neighborhood, the last thing I liked is people telling my family and me what we should know and what we should believe as if somehow we weren't informed. That we -- just because we didn't have money we weren't knowledgeable. I resent that.

And I wasn't talking about her. I was talking about the attitude that if you don't agree with me, get in the other party. I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears than about anybody running in this party, OK?


BIDEN: Including everybody, OK?


BRIGGS: Close-talker there -- shoe soles to ears. How do you think that strategy there will play?

WOLF: Well, you know, the party, I think Joe Biden should realize, has changed a little bit from his days growing up -- the ones he was talking about there. It's a little bit different.

And I think that he needs to recognize that Elizabeth Warren represents something that he hasn't had his finger on during his many years in Congress.


WOLF: But I would also like to point out that it feeds into this narrative that Elizabeth Warren is somehow an elitist. That's something they've been trying to -- people who oppose her have been trying to do for some time. But you have this image of a former single working mom being painted as an elitist. It's a remarkable thing.

ROMANS: You know, and Elizabeth Warren -- and we've prepared some sound. Elizabeth Warren -- you know, she doesn't portray herself as an elitist or an ivory tower academic. She portrays herself as a fighter -- a fighter for the little guy -- listen.



SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I made the decision to run for president, it was not only who I would be fighting for and what I'd be fighting for, it was how I would be fighting.

I'm going to keep showing up and I'm going to keep talking about why I'm in this fight.

I'm out there to fight this corruption.

I think showing up and getting out and just talking about here's what I'm here to fight for.

Health care is a basic human right and we're going to get out there and fight for basic human rights.

It's better to be in the fight than on the sidelines.


ROMANS: So I want to bring in, Zach, this fascinating analysis from "The New York Times" and Siena over the weekend -- a sliver of the electorate could decide 2020 -- here's what these voters want, and this is what they found.

You know, they spoke to some 500 voters in these six swing states -- these six closest states carried by Trump.

"These potentially persuadable voters are divided on major issues, but they are fairly clear about what they would like from a Democrat. They prefer, by 82 percent to 11 percent, one who promises to find common ground over one who promises to fight for a progressive agenda."

We're talking Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina.

Is she not carrying the right message for the general, but maybe it is the right message for now?

BRIGGS: Right.

WOLF: I don't know. I mean, it is so hard to build a presidential campaign around the wants and needs of a very, very small group of people in these swing states. And then --

ROMANS: But could they do -- what if they could decide the election? I mean, Donald Trump, four years ago, catered his message to the wants and needs of a very small --

BRIGGS: Seventy-seven thousand votes in three states.

ROMANS: -- very small, very catered select group of states and electorate.

WOLF: But, you know, that story also suggested that the voters that are persuadable are not the ones that he carried. And he's certainly not talking about finding middle ground with anybody right now --


WOLF: -- quite the opposite.

So I don't -- I don't know that if you -- I think you lose your brand, if you're her, if you start trying to -- talking about middle ground. That could come later.

But, you know, she has something very powerful I think in that she's discovered and you can see it in her rallies --


WOLF: -- and how she's resonated among Democrats. I don't know that changing that would make her feel inauthentic.

ROMANS: I just want to loop his "I don't know" because --

BRIGGS: That was good.

ROMANS: It was very good. I mean, look -- I mean, we don't know.

BRIGGS: That's all of us.

ROMANS: That's what the next months --


ROMANS: -- are going to hold.

BRIGGS: All right, it should be fun. Your impeachment newsletter will be very busy --


BRIGGS: -- in the days ahead. Thanks, Zach Wolf. WOLF: Please sign up.

ROMANS: Thank you.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. Breaking overnight, Jimmy Carter is undergoing a procedure this morning to relieve pressure on his brain. The former president was admitted to Emory University Hospital last night.

Doctors say the pressure is caused by bleeding from Mr. Carter's two recent falls in his Plains, Georgia home. Both incidents landed him in the hospital.

The nation's 39th and oldest president-ever celebrated his 95th birthday last month.

BRIGGS: Welcome to January in November. A record-breaking cold air mass bearing down on the East Coast. More than 300 record lows could be set or tied in the coming days.


AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSENGER: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, hey.


BRIGGS: A big scare for passengers on an American Airlines flight landing in Chicago and skidding off the runway. More than 1,000 flights canceled yesterday at O'Hare due to weather and hundreds more already scratched for today.

The coldest air of the season so far will cover much of the eastern two-thirds of the country over the next few days.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri at the CNN Weather Center.


Another incredible setup here when it comes to the amount of cold air in place here over the 24 or so hours. The arctic blast of air impacting about 70 percent of the U.S. population, so about 240 million people feeling subfreezing temperatures within the next 24 or so hours.

And already this morning, six below out of places such as Chicago. That is what it feels like. Three below in Omaha, minus-five in Minneapolis.

And air temperature more in line with the heart of winter -- say, February, than even at the beginning of November. So the trend here pretty impressive to say the least.

And notice the front. If it already doesn't feel cold across your area -- say, around New York City and around the Gulf Coast, it will get there very soon. Within the next couple of hours, the front pushes right across this region. With it, gusty winds. And, of course, wind chills then drop down to subfreezing as well.

But, Atlanta, a 25-degree temperature expected on Wednesday morning. But look at Houston. They were in the 80s just a few weeks back -- 28. And, of course, into the Midwest, into Chicago, ranging from about five to 25 degrees, depending on where you're tuned in from.

And the trend continues, at least over the next couple of days. So we think upwards of 350 record temperatures could be set for much of this week across the eastern U.S. -- guys.


ROMANS: All right, we are ready. Thank you so much for that.

Today, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on President Trump's decision to terminate DACA.

This group of Dreamers and their supporters walking hundreds of miles to the outside of the Supreme Court. Justices will be mulling the fate of the Obama-era program that protects hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants. These are people who came to the U.S. as children.

A decision could come in the heat of the 2020 election.

Our Jessica Schneider has more.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, this could really be a make or break moment for the more than 700,000 so-called Dreamers who depend on DACA to stay in this country and continue to work.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments later this morning about whether the Trump administration followed the proper procedure under federal law when it decided to end DACA in September 2017. When that decision was made, several groups immediately went to court to challenge the wind-down.

And several federal judges, at the time, agreed that the administration did not give an adequate explanation for ending the program and therefore, didn't properly follow the Administrative Procedure Act, so that program could not be terminated. It remains in effect now.

So for the past two years, really, these Dreamers -- they've had the protection but they've lived in legal limbo while they've waited for the Supreme Court to hear their case. If the justices, though, side with the administration in this case, these 700,000 Dreamers will be at risk of being deported. So, today's arguments, they will be very technical, all about the Administrative Procedure Act.

But hundreds of Dreamers have come here to Washington. They're going to stand outside the Supreme Court and they really are trying to get their message out that this is a human issue -- Dave and Christine. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Jessica Schneider. Thank you so much for that.

We'll be right back.



BRIGGS: Breaking overnight, Israeli Defense Forces killing a senior Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza with tensions already spiking in the region. Gaza militants firing more than 100 rockets toward Israel. One just barely there missing several cars on the road; another causing a big fire in southern Israel.

That's where we find CNN's Oren Liebermann. Oren, last we saw you, they were trying to take you off of television and it seemed to get physical. Tell us what happened.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dave, that was a misunderstanding between us and some soldiers about where we were allowed to be and where we weren't allowed to be. It ended as quickly as it started.

You certainly, though, came in on a dramatic moment of that argument we had with the soldiers. At least it felt dramatic on our end. But I think it's safe to say there's enough escalation in this area that we don't need to add to that.

Here being me is a part of that. This is in Sderot. Locals tell us this was a mattress factory that was hit by a rocket about an hour and a half ago -- a symbol of the escalation here that we're seeing between Israel and Gaza.

And this all started, as you pointed out, at about 4:00 this morning when Israel carried out a targeted killing -- an assassination of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside of Gaza, Bahaa Abu al- Atta.

Israel and the prime minister say he was responsible not only for recent rocket fire from Gaza but also for planning attacks against Israel, some of which were planned for the immediate future. And that's why they say they carried out this attack.

Since then we've seen more than 100 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, some even longer-range, going some 60 or 70 kilometers -- so more than 40 miles. Again, this is the consequence of that.

Meanwhile, Israel has begun striking Islamic Jihad targets inside of Gaza, as well as striking a motorcycle with two Islamic Jihad militants. At this point, Gaza health officials say three Palestinians have been killed inside of Gaza and a number of others injured, as well as number injured in Israel because of those rockets.

What's interesting to point out at this point is that Israel is pointing the finger squarely at Islamic Jihad, not Hamas. Israel generally holds Hamas responsible for everything in Gaza. Here they are pointing at Islamic Jihad and that may well be an effort to try to bring some sort of off-ramp here to deescalate the situation if Hamas and if Israel are in a position to take it -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, Oren Liebermann live for us. Stay safe, my friend -- thanks.

Meanwhile, former Bolivian President Evo Morales on his way to a new life after Mexico granted him political asylum.

The head of Bolivia's armed forces announcing the military will carry out joint operations with police. He says it will prevent what he calls blood and grief and the unrest following Morales' resignation -- a resignation Morales and his supporters call a coup.

Morales tweeting an appeal asking Bolivians to, quote, "Take care of the peace" and to not fall into violence.

It remains unclear, though, who will now lead Bolivia. A so-called extraordinary session of Bolivia's legislature set for today.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this Tuesday morning.

Taking a look at markets around the world, you can see leaning higher. Asian shares closed mostly higher. Stocks in Hong Kong up half a percent after their worst day in three months yesterday.

On Wall Street, narrowly mixed here -- futures are. Markets were mixed yesterday as well. The Dow was up just barely enough to hit a record high.

Boeing drove the Dow higher. Shares of Boeing up 4 1/2 percent after it said it is possible it will deliver the 737 MAX to customers by the end of the year.


The next big event for investors, President Trump's speech at the New York Economic Club -- that's later today -- where he is expected to discuss trade.

Uber's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, is under fire after comments he made on the murder of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.


DARA KHOSROWSHAHI, CEO, UBER: It's a serious mistake. We've made mistakes, too, right, with self-driving. And we stopped driving and we're recovering from that mistake.


ROMANS: So he was referring to when a self-driving Uber killed a pedestrian in an accident. He quickly walked back those comments. He wrote on Twitter, "There is no forgiving or forgetting what

happened to Jamal Khashoggi and I was wrong to call it a mistake." Those comments got a lot of attention and a lot of blowback.

All right, a new force is awakening and streaming. Disney+ launching today. The service will feature movies such as "Star Wars" and "Toy Story" and a huge catalog of movies and content. It will cost $6.99 a month.

Disney is pushing into a crowded space. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon are already there. And the streaming wars will not be cheap. Disney is investing billions of dollars in the platform, hoping for consumers' attention and money.

BRIGGS: One contestant's final "JEOPARDY!" answer had host Alex Trebek close to tears.


ALEX TREBEK, HOST, "JEOPARDY!": Let's take a look at your response. Did you come up with the right one? No, "What is we love you, Alex!"

That's very kind. Thank you (choking up). It cost you $1,995. You're left with five bucks -- OK.


BRIGGS: Right before Dhruv Guar's heartfelt message, the 79-year-old Trebek revealed he was resuming chemotherapy treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Trebek wasn't the only one who was moved. The hashtag #weloveyoualex was trending on Twitter last night.

Guar says he's glad he got to say what everyone was thinking.

ROMANS: All right.

Another game show icon, Pat Sajak, coming back to work on the "WHEEL OF FORTUNE." Sajak had emergency surgery last Thursday to repair a blocked intestine.

Vanna White stepped in as host for the taping of Friday's show.

Sajak telling fans on Twitter, "I'm so grateful for all the good wishes. The worst has passed and I'll be out of the hospital in a day or two, then back to work (unless Vanna White has completely taken over!)."

And, Vanna responded, "Wheel of Fortune without Pat Sajak is like a word without vowels. Don't worry, your job is safe -- well, pretty safe)."

BRIGGS: Pretty safe.

All right, no more unbeaten teams in the NFL. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NFL ANNOUNCER: And, Seattle has done it.


BRIGGS: The Seahawks handed the 49ers their first loss of the season. Jason Myers ending what was a thrilling seesaw back-and-forth battle with 42-yard field goals -- overtime expired.

The 1972 Dolphins, the NFL's only unbeaten team, can now pop the champagne once again.

OK, Sean Spicer's run is over on "DANCING WITH THE STARS."


BRUNO TONIOLI, JUDGE, CBS "DANCING WITH THE STARS": Sean, I really thank you. You've been such a good sport. You've been so entertaining. I've been hard with you, but I have to say, Lauren and Gleb.


BRIGGS: Good sport, bad dancer. To Spicer's credit, he lasted eight weeks and managed to make it to the quarter-finals of the dance competition despite his relative lack of dance skills.

Last night he performed a tango and a foxtrot. It drew cheers from President Trump, of course, who was watching his former press secretary. He tweeted, "A great try by Sean Spicer. We are all proud of you!"

Who could forget, even if you tried, Spicer's dancing debut when he donned the epic neon green ruffled shirt and danced to the Spice Girls' "Spice Up Your Life." That is an awesome shirt, up there with the puffy shirt of "SEINFELD" fame.

ROMANS: Yes, I think so, too.

BRIGGS: That leaves me on team Van Der Beek. James Van Der Beek still standing in "DANCING WITH THE STARS." Let's go, Beek. Team Beek.

ROMANS: That was information I needed to know for this day.

BRIGGS: I'm a James Van Der Beek fan. Who isn't?

ROMANS: All right.

BRIGGS: He's hysterical --

ROMANS: OK, goodbye.

BRIGGS: -- and talented. You know why I keep talking about this?

ROMANS: Thanks for joining us.

BRIGGS: It means we're out of time.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This a critical week heading into these public hearings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laura Cooper testified that the aide was behind held up.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: His argument that the Ukrainians didn't know, this testimony would undermine that argument.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't want to admit that the president had that kind of leverage on them. It made them look weak.

BURNETT: What's your response to those Republicans who say that Hunter should speak to the country?

BIDEN: There is zero rationale for that to happen.

The attitude that we know better than ordinary people -- the attitude is elitist.

WARREN: It's so sad that they might have to pay two cents out of their bazillion dollars.


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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.