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Video Appears To Show World Leaders Gossiping About President Donald Trump; Democrats Obtain Phone Records Showing Devin Nunes' Calls With Key Players In Ukraine Pressuring Scheme; Sen. Kamala Harris Drops Out Of 2020 Race. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired December 4, 2019 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, breaking overnight, a video that might just drive the president crazy. It appears to show world leaders laughing at him. It's from a gathering at Buckingham Palace last night. It appears to show the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson laughing at how the president conducted himself yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Is that why you were late?
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE).
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: He was late because he takes a four -- 40-minute press conference off the top every time. Oh, yeah, yeah, 40 minutes. He announced -- I just watched. I watched his team's jaw just drop the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Justin Trudeau saying he watched the president's staff -- their jaws drop the floor, complaining about the impromptu press conferences that he would hold.
Here to discuss, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, and CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson.
Kaitlan, this video made the rounds overnight causing quite a stir. Any reaction from the White House this morning?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No. We've asked the White House what the president's response is and if he's seen this video and they haven't gotten back to us yet. But we know that already, the president is back in the same room with those world leaders who appeared to be talking about him in this video. This morning, they have several sessions going on here in London.
And you saw when they were taking the group photo, Justin Trudeau -- who, of course, is the most vocal in that clip -- is on the left side of the stage while the president is closer to the center-right there. So it doesn't appear that they've had any interaction yet.
But we've also reached out to comment -- for comment from the French, from the Canadians. Did they have any comments on this? So far, it has been total silence.
And, of course, the question is how is the president going to react to this because he's been someone who on the campaign, while in office, time and time again has said thank gosh he's in office because that means that the world is no longer laughing at the United States, as he claims they were when Barack Obama was in office.
And even remember that speech he gave at the United Nations General Assembly last year where he made the audience laugh at a moment where he didn't intend to. And later, when he was asked about other world leaders laughing at him, he said no, they're laughing with me -- they're not laughing at me. So the question is going to be, of course, how he responds.
And the fact that Princess Anne appears to be in that video as well -- in that group that was talking about the president. She's a member of the royal family and the president is greatly impressed by the royal family -- always wants to make a good impression on them while he's here in London.
So the question will be what exactly does he have to say about this video.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: For what it's worth, Nic, I don't see them laughing at him in that video. I see them trying to process what is happening. I see them trying to explain that he was late -- I think 40 minutes late for a gathering with the U.N. secretary general. And they're talking about look at -- they were looking at his staffs' faces -- at their jaws dropping.
I mean, we, on this side of the pond, are more used to the president's unorthodox ways at this point and what I see them doing is just trying to figure out what they're seeing. But, Nic, give us your impressions.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I do feel it's a sense of that as well. You know, hey, it's not often that these world leaders actually can get together and sort of compare notes, if you will. And here they are -- they've all had a -- well, apart from Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister standing there -- have just had a common experience with President Trump and they're getting to discuss it in real time.
We don't hear what President Macron has to say. But I think from my understanding here, Trudeau is not particularly
going to be displeased at what we've seen here. I don't think, obviously, we're going to get his press team to comment on this directly, but it's not something that is going to reflect -- they're going to feel is going to reflect badly on them.
This is the reality of the situation. These are leaders who look to their own national interests, got their own constituencies to worry about back home, and here they are comparing notes.
And guess what, they're laughing about it because it's not something that's in there sort of normal day-to-day meeting and professional life. This is different. They're talking about it.
BERMAN: I have to say, the Camerota corollary and the idea that they're laughing at him, not necessarily mutually exclusive. They could be laughing at the awkwardness of the moment --
CAMEROTA: That's what I think happened.
BERMAN: -- with which the president was a central player.
And I will add, though, this comes in the context of something we really haven't seen before, which is the French President Emmanuel Macron -- his standing up to the president yesterday in that news conference, refuting him directly -- real time fact-checking. It doesn't seem like the world is in awe, at this meeting, of President Trump or coward by him in any way, the way that we've seen before.
So, Kaitlan, that's happening. All of this happening while, of course, impeachment is happening here in the United States. Any sense that impeachment is sort of at the front of the president's mind?
COLLINS: Well, it's certainly something he's thinking about. He's stayed in touch with aides about this and exactly what's going on back in Washington where, of course, his White House counsel Pat Cipollone has remained as Democrats are getting prepared for this first House Judiciary hearing today.
And the president said he's not going to watch it because he does have a schedule full of meetings today. Several meetings going on, not just in group sessions but also pull-asides and one-on-ones with leaders. But then, of course, he departs here not that long from now, after he holds a press conference, where he'll be able to catch up on what's been going on at the hearings so far -- what lawmakers have been saying.
And the president has been looking forward to this part of the hearing -- this phase of the impeachment inquiry because it's the House Judiciary Committee and the president feels he has a lot more of his vocal and best defenders on that committee. So that's what the president will be looking for and, of course, it's something at the forefront of his mind here.
CAMEROTA: Kaitlan Collins, Nic Robertson, thank you very much for your reporting and the view from London. So, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes has insisted that he was not involved in the Trump administration's pressure campaign on Ukraine, so why do new phone records show him making multiple calls to a number of the key players at the key time? That's next.
CAMEROTA: The House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report includes phone records that show the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Devin Nunes, was involved in all sorts of phone calls that suggest a coordinated push to peddle false narratives regarding Ukraine, at the very least.
Joining us now is CNN political commentator, Charlie Dent. He's a former Republican congressman who served as the chair of the House Ethics Committee. And, Congressman, that's why it is so important to talk to you today. Let me present the evidence to you as you would have seen as the chair of the Ethics Committee.
Here are the phone logs. This is from April 10th. These calls show Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani repeatedly talking on April 10th.
Then, here are phone calls between Devin Nunes and Lev Parnas, one of the players in this who has been charged with trying to funnel -- with actually successfully funneling Russian money into U.S. elections. So, he has four phone calls here on April 12th -- one of them 8 1/2 minutes long.
What do you think when you see these phone logs?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN, SENIOR POLICY ADVISER, DLA PIPER: Well, my reaction based on the phone logs and what was reported, I believe, last week that -- allegedly, that Devin Nunes, as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, had gone over to Vienna to met -- to meet with some of these folks.
That, I think, was the bigger issue that he used official resources of his office -- a taxpayer-dollar-funded trip to meet with Parnas to, you know -- you know, to -- you know, to encourage an investigation of Joe Biden. I don't know if that's true but that was the allegation.
So I think it's fairly serious and that we know the Southern District of New York is engaged in an investigation. And I suspect the House Ethics Committee could likely take up the matter.
CAMEROTA: Well, let's talk about that because --
CAMEROTA: -- if you were still the chair of the House Ethics Committee would you take up this matter?
DENT: Well, in all -- based on what I've read, I would suspect that as chairman, I would talk to the ranking member.
And by the way, the Ethics Committee -- just, some people should know this. They are investigating violations of House rules and enforcement of House rules. They are not investigating matters of criminality. Now, some of these issues could become criminal, but they're just dealing with violations of House rules, so you need to understand that.
So, the chairman of the committee and the ranking member will sit down and no doubt have a conversation about whether they should open an investigation.
There are two types of investigation. One, that the chair and the ranking member can open on their own. And there's a second type called an investigative subcommittee where there would be a vote of the committee and they would impanel four members to investigate this.
And by the way, that committee is the only committee in Congress that has even numbers of Republicans and Democrats and that's --
CAMEROTA: And you're -- but you're saying that from what you've seen, thus far, that this warrants an opening of an investigation.
DENT: Well, I certainly think there should probably be a review of what happened and I would start that way to see. And if that initial review by the chair and the ranking member finds that there is cause to make this a more formal investigation, then they would impanel the investigative subcommittee.
So again, based on the phone calls, I really couldn't say. I was more concerned about the reports last week about flying on a congressionally-funded trip to Vienna --
DENT: -- to meet with them. I think that's the bigger problem. I don't know what was said in the phone calls.
CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, it's hard to know what is said in the phone calls because here is Devin Nunes' explanation last night on Fox.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA): It's possible, but I haven't gone through all my phone records. I don't really recall that name, you know. I remember the name now because he's been indicted. And I'll go back and check all my records but it seems very unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: What do you think of his explanation of whether or not he spoke to Lev Parnas? DENT: Well, I think more importantly for him, was he using a non- official phone or an official phone when he talked to Lev Parnas? That could actually matter if he was using -- if he was talking to Parnas about investigating the Bidens on official resources, that's a problem. If he was using his campaign phone that's maybe a problem, but less of a -- less of a problem.
CAMEROTA: But just help me understand this, Charlie, because even -- you're saying oh, let's pretend it's his own personal phone. You're saying it's OK for the ranking member of the House Intel Committee to be talking to this indicted --
CAMEROTA: -- conspirator who is accused of funneling --
CAMEROTA: -- foreign money into U.S. elections?
DENT: No, I'm not saying it's OK because you have to also understand, too, something else can be happening simultaneously. We're looking at this from the House Ethics Committee's standpoint.
But if the Southern District of New York is looking at this, obviously they could be looking at this from a criminal perspective and that's completely different.
And that's something else that we should share with the viewers is that it's -- if SDNY is investigating here they could easily pick up the phone and call the Ethics Committee and say we would appreciate if you did not investigate this. We don't want to trip over each other --
DENT: -- while we're investigating. We would like you to defer this --
DENT: -- to us.
CAMEROTA: Got it.
DENT: And the committee would often do that.
CAMEROTA: I see what you're saying.
DENT: They don't have to but they could.
DENT: So keep that in mind.
CAMEROTA: Will do. Congressman Charlie Dent, thank you very much. Great to talk to you.
DENT: Thanks, Alisyn.
BERMAN: I have to say, this was the most shocking news yesterday. Big news in the 2020 race for president. Sen. Kamala Harris, she is out.
How will the shakeup affect the Democratic field? We have a live report, next.
This morning, a sense of shock surrounding the Democratic race for president. Sen. Kamala Harris is out, ending her campaign for president.
CNN's Rebecca Buck live in Washington. Rebecca, this was about money and more.
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: That's right, John, and shock is the perfect word for this. This is one of the most surprising developments yet in the 2020 race. Kamala Harris announcing yesterday that she is dropping out because she does not have the money to compete.
Take a listen to what she told her supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), FORMER 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My dear supporters, it is with deep regret but also with deep gratitude that I am suspending our campaign today. But I want to be clear with you, I am still very much in this fight. Although I am no longer running for president, I will do everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump and fight for the future of our country and the best of who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCK: Now, it was no secret that Harris' campaign was plagued by turmoil. There were widespread reports of mismanagement and, of course, we saw her missteps in this race play out in real time. But the timing of this was quite surprising because she had already qualified for the December debate. We were expecting to see her on that stage.
One person not disappointed, John and Alisyn, to see her missing from that stage is President Trump. He tweeted yesterday, "Too bad. We will miss you, Kamala!" A little tongue-in-cheek.
And she responded, "Don't worry, Mr. President. I'll see you at your trial." Referring, of course, to the impeachment proceedings coming up that we're expecting in the Senate.
So this is likely not the last we've heard of Kamala Harris. She could also be on the list for a potential V.P. running mate.
BERMAN: I think she --
BUCK: So we'll stay tuned.
BERMAN: She is on every list as a potential V.P. running mate.
BUCK: I'm sure.
BERMAN: And she's on her way to Iowa, still, which goes to show she's not leaving the political stage anytime soon.
BUCK: That's right.
BERMAN: Rebecca Buck, thank you very much for that -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: That's so nice. What a lovely, polite exchange those two have.
BERMAN: As they seem to be communicating on Twitter, yes.
CAMEROTA: RSVP'ing, basically, about the job.
All right, it's time for "CNN Business Now." U.S. stock futures are on the rise after a new report says the potential U.S.-China trade deal is moving closer to reality despite whatever President Trump said yesterday.
Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here to explain. Has the market begun ignoring some of what President Trump says?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": The trade drama has just been unbelievable. We'll see if stocks can bounce today. "Bloomberg" reporting a trade deal is closer than it seems, but the messaging from the White House has been the opposite.
It was a tough day for stock market investors coming to grips with the possibility a trade deal with China doesn't happen until after the election.
Stocks down sharply after the president, in these seven little seconds, contradicted months of signs that a deal was close.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Not even two months ago, the president said a so-called phase-one smaller trade deal would be signed soon, talks would continue, and another phase-two would come next year. But instead of resolution, the global trade concerns have escalated not just with China but also the president promising tariffs on Argentina, Brazil, and Europe, too.
And there are only 11 days until a critical round of new tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The president likes to use these tariffs as a tool.
Happy birthday to this tweet. A year ago exactly, the president first called himself Tariff Man. "When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so." It's clear from his language the past couple of days he still feels this way.
The biggest question now is whether companies and investors are prepared for another year of tariffs. Hint -- they are not.
The president telling reporters, by the way, he's not concerned about the stock market response. First, he said it didn't matter since the stock market is up so much since he has been president. And then he said I don't watch the stock market.
BERMAN: Look, the problem is you can't ignore it when the president says things, but there are times, like yesterday, where it might just be that he's saying words out loud. He's stringing noises together and the markets react to it in a way that may not be how he intended.
ROMANS: But look, it was not very long ago that the Treasury secretary said that we were 90 percent there to a trade deal. We clearly aren't.
And you have two new wrinkles. If Congress -- and the president's signing a bill supporting the Hong Kong protestors. And now this latest wrinkle is Congress and its condemnation of China's treatment of its Uighur minority.
BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you very much.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
BERMAN: The Trump impeachment investigation enters a critical phase today as the House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing. But could that investigation turn out to be politically damaging to Democrats?
CNN's Martin Savidge traveled to a pro-Trump district in South Carolina where a Democrat narrowly won last year, and is his congressional seat now in jeopardy? This is what Martin asked.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stretching from Charleston to Hilton Head, South Carolina's first district is home to Rep. Joe Cunningham, a first-term Democrat in a longtime Republican stronghold.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. We love you, folks.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Trump won the district by 14 points; Mitt Romney by 18. In 2018 --
REP. JOE CUNNINGHAM (D-SC): Let's go, baby (ph).
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Cunningham became the first Democrat to represent the area in nearly four decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He ran really good ads, a good campaign. It was a clean campaign, too, you know. He didn't throw all the trash.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Instead of attacking Trump and Republicans, Cunningham's message dealt with more local concerns like the environment and the opposition to offshore oil drilling. It's what drew Donna and Andrew Lehman to Cunningham.
SAVIDGE (on camera): You're the Republican here.
DONNA LEHMAN, CHARLESTON RESIDENT: I know, I know. What can I say? He cares about us. He cares about our city.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): But now, national Republicans are wagering local Republicans will care about something even more -- the impeachment inquiry.
POLITICAL AD: President Trump has been fighting for us. Now, it's time to fight for him.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Attack ads targeting Cunningham have begun airing locally, aimed at peeling away his critical moderate Republican support in 2020.
D. LEHMAN: I've seen the commercials.
POLITICAL AD: Tell Congressman Joe Cunningham to stop impeachment now.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Does that, in any way, affect you -- register with you?
D. LEHMAN: No.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Donna and Andrew both oppose impeachment but that hasn't impacted their support for Cunningham.
ANDREW LEHMAN, CHARLESTON RESIDENT: No, no, because he's real. We need real. We have to get away from all this where there's influences from everywhere else that are guiding our politicians in making decisions.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): For now, moderates and Independents we talked to are sticking with Cunningham, especially as long as he keeps his focus and his message close to home. HEATHER SPRINGS, GRAD STUDENT: I don't think he's harmed, especially not at this point.
SAVIDGE (on camera): You think he'll be reelected?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SAVIDGE (on camera): You say that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he will.
SAVIDGE (on camera): Rep. Cunningham has voted in support of the ongoing impeaching process, telling his constituents that just because he supports the process doesn't mean that he's ready to support removing the president from office. That kind of measured response seems to be working for him, at least for now -- John and Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Thanks to Martin for that.
All right, so a big day in Washington and on the world stage. NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The House Judiciary Committee will hear from constitutional law experts, setting the stage for the potential writing of articles of impeachment.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Democrats, essentially, stacked the deck in their favor. They now have come out of this and failed to prove their case.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We should be looking also at obstruction of justice by the president.