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U.S. Sailor Kills Two at Pearl Harbor Base; Prosecutors Widen Giuliani Investigation; Hearing Witness' Case for Impeachment; Trudeau Didn't Apologize for Video; New Biden Ad. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired December 5, 2019 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Developing overnight, the U.S. Navy investigating a murder/suicide at the Pearl Harbor naval shipyard in Hawaii. An active duty sailor killed two civilian employees and wounded a third before taking his own life.
CNN's Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon with more.
What have you learned, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Alisyn.
The Navy still investigating, still trying to figure out the motive for this incident. Two civilian shipyard employees were killed, another one wounded and in the hospital before this U.S. Navy sailor apparently turned his weapon on himself. They are trying to figure out exactly what happened.
This sailor, his name has not been released, but he's identified tentatively as someone assigned to the USS Columbia, a U.S. Navy nuclear powered submarine that was apparently in dry dock for routine maintenance.
Now, you know, one of the questions when these things happen, military installations are much like American workplaces. If you have a pass, if you have access to a base, generally you are not searched when you come to that base for weapons and contraband. There's simply too many people.
Pearl Harbor, where this happened, of course, iconic. We are just two days before the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, that pushed the U.S. into World War II.
And this is a very important base even now today. Some 66,000 military people and families live aboard that base.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we're thinking about them this morning.
Barbara, please keep us posted on that.
Meanwhile, new signs this morning that federal prosecutors are widening their investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his associates. Their focus is now said to be deepening on Ukraine's state run oil and gas company and its CEO.
CNN's Kara Scannell, who has really been leading the national reporting on this, joins us now to explain.
Kara, what are you hearing?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: So, John, we know that federal prosecutors this week met with the CEO of the Ukraine state-owned natural gas company. It's one of the fourth people that they have spoken with associated with the company or are trying to speak with. So we're really seeing prosecutors focus in on this company.
Now, here's why. It's because those Rudy Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had approached one of the executive hoping to do business with him and saying as part of this plan, maybe we should get rid of the CEO. That has sparked the interest of prosecutors here are looking to see what was behind that. These men were trying to get a business deal going. They wanted some change at the Ukrainian company and they were working at the very same time with Rudy Giuliani.
So that has raised a lot of questions. What was Rudy Giuliani's involvement with this, if any? Now prosecutors are really starting to dig into this and to ask some questions.
Rudy Giuliani's lawyer says that he has had no financial interest in the company. This gas company that these men were trying to get going. But it definitely raises questions and in a court hearing on Monday, prosecutors said that they were likely to bring a superseding indictment, that means additional charges. And they said specifically about Lev Parnas that they are investigating him for other crimes.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, the questions just keep adding up or piling up, I guess I should say, Kara.
Thank you very much.
So, up next, we're going to speak with one of the four expert witnesses who testified at yesterday's hearing. What are his thoughts now that the smoke has cleared this morning?
BERMAN: The breaking news, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, we learned moments ago, will make a statement at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the status of the impeachment investigation. This is very unusual from her. We are waiting to hear what she will say. This comes after four law professors testified yesterday about the
constitutional basis for impeachment. Three of them laid out why they believe President Trump's alleged abuse of power for personal gain rises to the level of impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL GERHARDT, THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF LAW: If what we're talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable. This is precisely the misconduct that the framers created a constitution, including impeachment, to protect against.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That was University of North Carolina Law Professor Michael Gerhardt. He joins us now.
Professor, thank you so much for being with us.
Why did you feel that was an important point to make? And when you say this is precisely what the founders intended to be the bar for impeachment, what precisely were you talking about?
MICHAEL GERHARDT, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I was talking about the extent to which a president abuses his power for personal gain. Corruption was one of the most important things that the framers were creating a constitution to protect against. And so when we have a record, a transcript, and a whole plan that the president put together apparently to apply pressure to the Ukrainian president to get something that was important to the president personally, that's exactly the kind of thing that the framers were worried about. They were worried about our leaders becoming corrupt, either by foreign influence or becoming corrupt -- being corrupt and then trying to enlist foreign help to help themselves.
BERMAN: One of the things that Professor Turley talked about was he doesn't see any direct evidence or direct testimony yet. You just talked about the transcript, which is a primary document.
BERMAN: A log of this phone call.
How important is that transcript, that record, of the president's ask. Is that ask in and of itself, do you think, an impeachable offense?
GERHARDT: The ask itself is itself -- is, I think, an impeachable offense. And the transcript, I think, speaks for itself. It seems -- it was the -- it represents or is the culmination of a concerted effort to get the Ukrainian leader to help the president personally. In fact, the Ukrainian leader was fully prepared. We know that from other transcripts and other evidence. The Ukrainian leader was fully prepared to deliver what the president wanted and then the whistleblower blew his whistle. And that's why the aid eventually got released.
BERMAN: I think the existence of the transcript is often overlooked here. You have people suggesting there is no first-hand evidence. We have the transcript. You have people saying there are no agreed upon facts here. Well, we all agree that the transcript exists and the words on it are the words. So it does seem to me that that is an important piece of evidence.
Professor Turley, one other thing he said is that, look, while maybe the facts bear out that impeachment is something that should happen here, this is being rushed. This is happening too fast.
What do you say to that?
GERHARDT: I think impeachments always have their own timetable. I don't know if this is too fast or too slow. You go with the evidence you've got and that either supports what you're claiming or it doesn't.
The other thing to keep in mind here is that much of what Professor Turley was asking about, or asking for, to be done by the committee, the committee had already tried to do. All the witnesses he mentioned and all the witnesses the Republican members of Congress were mentioning are people that the committee has already tried to get. The problem is the president has ordered them not to cooperate.
So the order itself is problematic. And the House -- and the committees tried to do what it can to get this other evidence. And the president's order is perhaps another act that the committee will look at as a possible impeachable offense.
BERMAN: Professor Turley suggested that the judiciary branch, that third branch of government, has a right to weigh in on impeachment. What does the Constitution say about the judiciary's role in the impeachment process?
GERHARDT: It says absolutely nothing about it. I -- you know, Jonathan's a friend of mine. We're going to have to disagree about this. But the judiciary has no formal role in this process. The House historically, textually and instructionally, doesn't have to wait for anything or any other branch to do its job. In fact, the Constitution says the House has the sole power of impeachment. That obviously suggests that the courts don't have a role here. The House doesn't -- the House's authority does not depend on the courts.
BERMAN: In terms of what the articles of impeachment may be, based on what you heard yesterday, and the questions is asked, does it seem like there may be three articles, one on possible bribery, abuse of power, one on obstruction of justice, one on obstruction of Congress. Is that what you see as the framework here?
GERHARDT: That -- that -- I think that that is the likely framework. Excuse me. The House members are going to go with, again, the evidence they've got. They've got to follow that and see how -- what -- what it fits into. But I think what we heard about and the questions we got yesterday
suggested I think the focus is beginning to sort of zero in on three different things as you described them, abuse of power, bribery, and finally obstruction of Congress.
BERMAN: Very quickly, our colleague, John Dean, put out a notion last night. He tweeted, let's impeach him now and not send it to the Senate. Rather, keep investigating in the House and add supplemental articles as needed. Just hang it over his head.
He's suggesting that have the impeachment vote in the House, but you don't necessarily have to deliver it to the Senate so they start a trial. Is that possible?
GERHARDT: I think it's technically possible. The problem is that it's problematic otherwise. Every time the House, in the past, has impeached someone, it has sent its articles over. The House has always treated its affirmation of impeachment articles as the end of its inquiry.
BERMAN: Professor Gerhardt, always great to have you on and learn from you. Thanks for being with us.
GERHARDT: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: OK, John, that hot mic moment of America's closest allies venting and laughing about President Trump is now a campaign ad.
BERMAN: New details this morning about that moment caught on video of world leaders laughing at or about or over, shall we say, the president of the United States during those NATO meetings. Sources tell CNN that Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, did not apologize for the incident when he spoke with the president yesterday, even after the president called him two-faced.
CNN's Paula Newton live in Ottawa I think with a lot of the world reaction to this.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a viral moment. Really hard to ignore. It hit everyone's news feed. And, believe me, Canadians cringed. It's the last thing that they wanted. Canadian officials tell me that, look, Trudeau didn't apologize. That he wanted to put this into context is what they're saying. But also stressed the president, the prime minister know what they call substantive interactions after the incident. Still, what a gotcha moment. And if you'll allow me one hockey
analogy, Canadians cringe thinking, wow, a rookie move on the part of Trudeau. Take a listen.
NEWTON (voice over): Sipping a cold beer, Justin Trudeau was burned by a hot mic. He was seen and heard at a royal reception laughing it up with Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, and others seemingly at Donald Trump's expense.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Is that why you were late?
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE).
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIM MINISTER: He was late cause he takes a four -- forty minute press conference off the top every time. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, forty minutes. He announced --
I just watched, I watched his team's jaw just drop to the floor.
NEWTON: Trudeau tried to explain, but did not apologize.
TRUDEAU: Last night I made a reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. And I was happy to take part of it. But it was certainly notable.
NEWTON: Trump's comeback?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he's two-faced.
NEWTON: And so when Canadian's woke up --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump fires back at Justin Trudeau.
NEWTON: They were catching up on the latest petty skirmish between the world's greatest neighbors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prime minister is downplaying a diplomatic gaffe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trudeau is trending right now on Twitter.
NEWTON: From the streets of Ottawa --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump's going to -- is going to make, you know, a hash out of everything. And any little slight, he's going to -- he's going to go at him.
NEWTON: To the online conversation on the West Coast. In one tweet, the U.S. president shredded the Canadian prime minister.
NEWTON (on camera): And so Canadians here are bracing themselves for the political fallout. Now, no matter what they thought of the incident, many agreed that it would have been better had Trudeau shown just a little bit more discretion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not very Canadian, is it?
NEWTON (voice over): No, it isn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to be in the military and I served overseas with American soldiers. And they've always had our back and we'll always have their back. Yes. In spite of our politicians.
NEWTON: Keyword, in spite of.
Truth is, this isn't idle cocktail party chatter but unsettling insight into how the strongest of historical bonds are fraying.
NEWTON: You know, the issue here, this isn't even the worst thing that Donald Trump has called Justin Trudeau. He's called him weak. He's called him dishonest. This -- these kind of things have blown up before.
But you know what, Alisyn, the comment from that service member there, that has real resonance here. You know, the two greatest neighbors in historical terms still can't get it together. And I think finally, at almost three years in, everyone's learned -- all world leaders have learned, no, there is no Trump whisperer. He will not bend to convention. And you'd better hold your tongue at these events.
CAMEROTA: All right, took them three years, but OK, to learn that lesson. But thank you very much, Paula.
Joining us now, CNN global affairs analyst Bianna Golodryga.
So does this blow over or does this have some sort of lasting rift with the -- our neighbors to the north?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think it blows over. I mean you even heard the president, as soon as he called him two-faced, five seconds later he said, look, Justin's a nice guy. We get along. I think I just caught him at a time where I called him out for not contributing more to defense.
So, the fact that the president got up and left clearly shows that his feelings were hurt and he wanted to leave. I don't think this causes permanent damage, especially with the U.S., Mexico and Canada trade deal.
BERMAN: I do wonder whether we're missing the larger point here about what happened at this meeting. It seems as if for the first time that world leaders, U.S. allies presumably, they're no longer scared of President Trump. They're no longer walking on egg shells when it comes to him. We saw it with Emmanuel Macron just fact checking the president in real-time. We saw it with, you know, Justin Trudeau openly talking about the president and then not apologizing after. When Paula says that Canadians are saying the lesson is, you'd better hold your tongue with President Trump, I wonder if the lesson the leaders are learning is, it's not even worth trying.
BERMAN: It's just not worth trying any more.
GOLODRYGA: And it stood out to me too, and it makes you wonder if they had taken this attitude from the get go what would have happened and vis-a-vis the president's relations with them and perhaps even the respect that he has for them knowing that he can only push them to a certain degree.
Look, all of these presidents have constituents back home. And they've got real problems at home too. And you look at what's happening regardless of who's president of the United States. What's happening in Europe, whether it's Brexit, whether it's liberal democracies like Poland and Hungary really moving apart. And then you've got the question of Turkey and Russia and then China.
So this has really come at a crossroads for NATO, 70 year anniversary for the alliance. The one thing you could argue this president has done is focus on how much these countries are contributing to defense.
CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that because he has taken a lot of credit for that, increase -- he says, increasing the defense budget of these other countries substantially. And, in fact, the NATO secretary- general, Stoltenberg, gave him -- heaped, I think, pretty lavish praise on him for that. So can we put that in the win category?
GOLODRYGA: I think so. Look, you have the NATO secretary-general and all of these countries before, they didn't even want to call this a summit really because they didn't know what would come out of it. But they came in with a mission to focus on how much each country is contributing to defense. And relative to just a few years ago, now you have nine countries out of the 29 who are contributing 2 percent of their GDP towards defense. Just a few years ago, there were three countries. So that is a gain and that is significant.
I think what the -- the concern was is just the rhetoric. And you're already -- we were talking about the divisions within Europe as a whole. But for the rhetoric you've got allies.
You'd think they'd come together and they would get along. The rhetoric that we've seen surrounding what this union is all about and the alliance is all about was really frayed and in question. And so I think people are wondering what the long-term consequences of the president's actions towards NATO will be. I -- you know, that's -- that remains to be seen. But given that more countries are contributing to their defense, that's a good thing.
BERMAN: The CNN reporting, and also "The New York Times," Maggie Haberman reporting, the president was uncomfortable and had his feelings hurt, basically. GOLODRYGA: Yes.
BERMAN: Those aren't the exact words of the reporting.
CAMEROTA: The White House says otherwise. They say that they decided to leave (INAUDIBLE) before.
BERMAN: It's not about the departure. The departure was one thing. But the CNN reporting and "The New York Times" is reporting that he was annoyed by that conversation.
CAMEROTA: I'm sure he was (INAUDIBLE).
BERMAN: Now, whether or not -- whether or not that was why he chose to leave is a different subject. And you can see the president's political opponents already picking up on that. The Biden campaign has already come out with this digital video. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: World leaders caught on camera laughing about President Trump.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.
Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The world sees Trump for what he is, insincere, ill-informed, corrupt. Dangerously incompetent and incapable, in my view, of world leadership.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: It is interesting. Again, I get why Democrats are pushing that message. It may be an effective message for Joe Biden.
It's interesting that the president was uncomfortable and didn't like that they -- there was that laughing going on because one thing that has worked for the president is to say, I don't want the approval of the world elites. I want to be an iconic (INAUDIBLE).
GOLODRYGA: But the president also wants to show results, especially going into an election year. We don't have a trade deal with Mexico and China, though it appears to be on the horizon. We don't have a -- I'm sorry, Mexico and Canada. We don't have a trade deal with China yet as well. So when it comes to what are the results out of the president's take on sort of saying, I don't care about what the world thinks of me. We're American. We can get things done with or without allies. You know, there's a lot to be said about what his accomplishments really are. And I'm surprised, frankly, that we haven't seen an ad like this from Biden, especially somebody who's focused so much on foreign policy, sooner.
BERMAN: All right, stand by, because it wasn't just Joe Biden who picked on the -- up on this. It was the late night comics as well.
Here are your "Late Night Laughs."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON": During a reception at Buckingham Palace, world leaders, including Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, were caught gossiping about President Trump. If you haven't seen it, here it is.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Is that why you were late?
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: He was late because he takes a 30 minute press conference.
You just watched his team's jaws drop to the floor.
FALLON: Trump was so upset by the video, he actually canceled a press conference and left NATO early. He was like, take me back to where I'm respected and then flew home to where he's being impeached.
JAMES CORDEN, HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": Trump was asked by a reporter what he thought of Trudeau's trash talking, and he had this to say.
QUESTION: Do you have a video of, uh. Prime Minister Trudeau talking about you last night?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he's two-faced.
CORDEN: Two-faced. Trump's like, if you're going to trash somebody, do it like a man, you know, at 3:00 a.m. on Twitter.
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": As for Trump going home early, guys, I think they hurt his feelings. Yes. It's like -- it's like Trump was at a sleepover and all the other kids turned on him, you know, and now he's just there like, mom, I know it's a day early, but can you come pick me up from NATO?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: I hear you laughing.
BERMAN: No, it's a lot like -- NATO is a lot like a sleepover.
CAMEROTA: Yes, he's lucky he didn't wake up with just one eyebrow.
All right, meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to make a statement this morning about the impeachment inquiry.
NEW DAY continues right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. And we do have breaking news. An announcement a short time ago from the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
She will make a public statement about the impeachment process later this morning. This is unusual. This is not something she has done since she launched the whole impeachment inquiry. What will she say? We don't know.
CNN has learned that the speaker has been gauging the pulse of the Democratic caucus behind the scenes. It could be that she wants to lay out the schedule, how exactly she plans to proceed from here.
This is what we know already. Next week the House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold another hearing with staff attorneys from the Intelligence Committee that would set the stage for a vote on articles of impeachment, and a full House vote on impeachment perhaps before Christmas.
CAMEROTA: And there are new details this morning about how the White House plans to defend the president against a Senate impeachment trial. White House lawyers met behind closed doors with Republican senators yesterday, that they -- they talked about calling live witnesses.
So this follows a day when the House heard from four legal scholars, three of them making the case that the president's conduct does amount to impeachable offenses. One asked --