Return to Transcripts main page

EARLY START

Articles Of Impeachment Underway As Speaker Pelosi Instructs Judiciary Committee To Take Next Steps; President Trump Setting Sights On Senate Trial; Joe Biden Clashes With Voter At Iowa Town Hall. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 6, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:31:14]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The president's actions made it necessary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: History in the making as Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has House Democrats drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a hoax, it's a hoax. It's a big fat hoax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Facing the very real prospect of impeachment, the president and his allies look ahead to the trial in the Republican-led Senate.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Good morning. Good morning, everyone. Happy Friday, 5:31 Eastern time.

We start with the president now closer than ever to impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has officially directed the Judiciary Committee to lay out the charges against the president in articles of impeachment.

Just hours ago at live CNN town hall, Pelosi said the Constitution and the facts are now clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: This is a very sad day, I think, for our country. It's something that I would have hoped we could have avoided, but the president's actions made it necessary. You cannot violate the Constitution in full view.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: So here are the next steps in the process.

The White House has until 5:00 p.m. this afternoon to decide whether they'll participate in a hearing on Monday. Lawyers from both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees will present their findings from investigations into the president. Monday's hearing sets up a judiciary vote later in the week, with the vote of the full House possible the week before Christmas.

Congressional reporter Lauren Fox with more from Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Dave and Christine, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, making it clear that Democrats are moving forward with impeaching the president.

PELOSI: The president leaves us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.

FOX: Now, what we do know is that next week is going to be another explosive one on Capitol Hill. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold another hearing, this one to discuss that 300-page report from the House Intelligence Committee, all revolving around that July 25th phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's President Zelensky.

We also know the Democrats are going to have to be drafting those articles of impeachment, and we have a sense of the direction that they going. They are looking at whether or not the president obstructed Congress by the fact that he wasn't moving forward or allowing witnesses or information to be revealed to the Intelligence Committee.

We also know that they're looking at the abuse of power charges against the president. And there is a debate within the Democratic caucus about whether to broaden this out to include anything in the Mueller report. We know that that could potentially come in the form of an obstruction of justice article of impeachment.

Now, all of that will have to be voted out of the House Judiciary Committee. Then, the week after, they would vote on the House floor about whether or not to impeach President Donald Trump. If that's the direction Democrats are wanting to move it would make President Donald Trump the third in the history to be impeached.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Lauren, thanks for that.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this scathing answer to a reporter at her news conference yesterday. As she was leaving that news conference, a reporter from the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group tossed her a final question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES ROSEN, REPORTER, SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP: Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?

PELOSI: I don't hate anybody.

ROSEN: Rep. Collins said -- the reason I ask --

PELOSI: I was raised in a Catholic house. We don't hate anybody -- not anybody in the world. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone.

I was raised in a way that is full -- a heart full of love and always pray for the president, and I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time.

So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump seized on the moment with a tweet accusing Pelosi of having a, quote, "nervous fit" and lying about praying for him.

[05:35:05]

Pelosi was asked about the reporter's question and the president's response at CNN's town hall last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: The word hate is a terrible word, and so for him to say that was really disgusting to me.

The president is a master at projecting. When he calls somebody else nervous, he's the nervous one. When he suspects that somebody's not praying, he's probably not praying.

But I do pray for him because he is the President of the United States and I pray that God will open his heart to meeting the needs of people in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, after months of trying to stop impeachment in that Democratic House, President Trump, his aides, and his allies have accepted that it's all but certain now. They are turning their attention to his trial in the Republican-led Senate.

The White House signaling it will try to turn the tables on Democrats. They aim not only to stop the president's removal but to turn the Senate trial to his political advantage.

Boris Sanchez with that angle at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Dave and Christine, with impeachment likely a foregone conclusion, the White House is focusing on the Senate, announcing a robust defense of President Trump. Sources tell CNN that the White House counsel is going to try to use this as an opportunity to bash Democrats and score political points.

The president tipping his hand a bit on Twitter Thursday, writing that he may compel some prominent Democrats to testify. He writes, quote, "We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi, and many more testify and will reveal for the first time how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to clean the swamp and that is what I'm doing."

Trump later tweeting that it is a good thing that Republicans have never been more united. Of course, Trump is going to lean on Senate Republicans to guide this Senate trial in a way that is favorable for the White House and to potentially call up that roster of witnesses he says he would like to hear from.

Notably, the White House counsel Pat Cipollone, members of his staff, members of the White House communications team have been meeting with Senate Republicans more and more frequently for weeks trying to iron out strategy and messaging and to fix problems before they potentially pop up.

This agreement, like whether that whistleblower whose complaint led to this impeachment process should testify. Still, plenty for the two sides to iron out.

The president, though, sounding confident. He was asked on Thursday if he believed that impeachment would be a stain on his legacy. Listen to what he said.

REPORTER: Are you worried, sir, about the stain impeachment might have on your legacy?

TRUMP: No, not at all. It's a hoax, it's a hoax. It's a big fat hoax.

SANCHEZ: One more note. While we've been hearing from sources that President Trump has struggled to grasp the reality that he likely will be impeached by the House, White House counsel Pat Cipollone has been preparing for a potential trial, hiring dozens of attorneys for what is likely to come in January -- Dave and Christine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: All right, Boris. Thank you for that.

And a lot more ahead here on this historic impeachment inquiry, including the Democrats' new dilemma whether to include the findings of the Mueller report in the articles of impeachment. We discuss, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:42:18]

ROMANS: The House moving forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump, a historic step likely to make the president -- this president -- the third in U.S. history to be impeached. What can we expect now in coming days?

BRIGGS: "Washington Post" congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian is a CNN political analyst and joins us live from Washington. Happy Friday, Karoun. Good to see you.

ROMANS: Hi, Karoun.

KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: You, too -- hi.

BRIGGS: All right, so let's check out these next steps in the process.

Today, 5:00 p.m., is an interesting deadline -- whether or not the White House will cooperate in a Monday hearing. Karoun, any expectation that they'll participate in anything in the House?

DEMIRJIAN: No, I think at this point the White House has clearly signaled that they don't want to be involved in this. I mean, they have yet to issue their official refusal but I think the White House is pretty much considering a fait accompli that they are going to be impeaching him in the House. It is majority rule in the House and the Democrats do seem to, in large number, believe that the president should be impeached.

And they've got their eyes on the Senate and how to better defend the president in that forum in which the Republicans are in charge. And there have to be votes taken about which witnesses and what format goes forward. I think the president's team feels like they have a better shot at mounting a defense that works and that works for the public in that place.

ROMANS: The dilemma for the Democrats now is whether to include anything from the Mueller investigation. There were what, those 10 potential obstruction episodes sort of outlined in the -- in the Mueller -- the Mueller report. Do they include some of those? That appears to be sort of their dilemma right now as they prepare these articles of impeachment.

DEMIRJIAN: Right. I think that what Democrats want to do is they want to establish if the Ukraine incident or series of incidents, which they find to be reprehensible and rising to the level of impeachment, are not isolated. That it's part of a pattern of obstruction.

And their whole argument for why they've been moving so quickly through this is that they believe that the president welcomed foreign interference in the last election and that he solicited it for the upcoming one. And thus, they had no choice but to move faster than the courts did to just expedite this process in a way where we're looking at them having this final vote before Christmas because they don't want to leave this a hanging open question before the next election.

To kind of make that supported point in the articles of impeachment would require bringing in some other chapters of the Trump story and the grievances they have against the president. But they haven't settled on doing that. And that would require expanding the focus, which has been acutely on Ukraine --

ROMANS: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- this whole time.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, it's not entirely clear what the Republican strategy is. We talked about whether or not they'll cooperate in the House, then it moves to the Senate.

And you heard Jonathan Turley say that well, we need to slow down.

DEMIRJIAN: Right.

BRIGGS: And then, Donald Trump gets on Twitter yesterday and says if you're going to impeach me, do it now -- in a sense, speed it up.

What will the Senate defense look like for the Republicans?

DEMIRJIAN: I think the Senate defense is going to -- first of all, I don't think that they're going to let it trickle deeply into 2020. I think that we'll see some action on this in January.

[05:45:01]

I think also the question is how much can they countercharge and counter-narrate what happened here to what the narrative is that the Democrats put out?

Republicans in the House and the Senate seem to be interested in interviewing the Bidens and to --

ROMANS: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- potentially interviewing the whistleblower. And to interviewing potentially, you know, Adam Schiff and other people that they believe were steering a politicized impeachment investigation to the House.

They want to paint the president as not having been doing anything wrong, but just trying to clean up the messes that are more affiliated with Democrats and expose the quote-unquote "deep state." But to take those steps requires complete -- or near-complete cooperation from a Republican or some sort of handshake agreement with the Democrats because they do have to pass these motions in order to get this stuff actually to the Senate floor.

ROMANS: Well --

DEMIRJIAN: That is potentially a little bit elusive.

ROMANS: But, you know, they would like to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Congressman Adam Schiff. I mean, obviously, they want to take the narrative and turn it around as an indictment against the Democrats and Joe Biden.

DEMIRJIAN: Right, and that has been the countercharge. I think they -- in order to protect the president, they have been saying that it is the Democrats and their affiliates who have been doing things wrong and that's why things need to be cleaned up. That's why there is corruption in Ukraine, et cetera.

This has been the counternarrative of the same event pattern that has been examined for the last two months in the House.

BRIGGS: All right. I want to talk about this moment with Nancy Pelosi -- between her and reporter James Rosen from Sinclair.

He asked her if he -- if she, in fact, hates the president. Here's what Nancy Pelosi said on exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone.

I was raised in a way that is full -- a heart full of love and always pray for the president, and I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time.

So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Much debate about whether that question was appropriate. That aside, was that a good moment for Nancy Pelosi?

DEMIRJIAN: Yes, it was a raw moment and it was a very real moment for her. I mean, she does pray quite a bit and others have said that she does pray for the president, so that's true.

But to have her take that stance of basically don't insult me by saying I hate the president here and that my motivations are somehow vile, I find -- she finds certain things that the president has done to be fairly abhorrent but she's not willing to go that far in and say that this is about animus against the president.

She's pitched this entire impeachment -- this entire impeachment chapter as a matter of necessity --

ROMANS: Yes.

DEMIRJIAN: -- because she thinks that it's important to uphold their responsibility -- the House's responsibility under the Constitution to balance the powers and call the president's actions into question.

It's a politically dangerous, testy thing. Dangerous is too strong, potentially. But the country is pretty split on whether they want --

BRIGGS: Yes.

DEMIRJIAN: -- to see impeachment happen or not, so it's not like it's a clear winner for her to do on any other front.

ROMANS: And she told our town hall last night that she simply didn't -- doesn't have any other choice. Whatever the politics are she doesn't have any other choice. She said, "You cannot violate the Constitution in full view." So, here we --

BRIGGS: She caught some fire for 79 and that much is clear.

ROMANS: We are watching history unfold, no question.

All right. Karoun Demirjian, have a nice weekend. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day.

BRIGGS: Thank you.

DEMIRJIAN: You, too. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

Dramatic moments at an Iowa town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You're a damn liar, man. That's not true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Joe Biden gets into a heated exchange with a voter, next.

BRIGGS: First, fighting wildfires with satellites.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 2018, California's notorious Camp Fire spread at a rate of 80 football fields per minute.

As wildfires grow larger and become deadlier, it's essential to detect them as early as possible before they spiral out of control. And one startup says it's found a way to spot them just minutes after they spark.

CLYDE WHEELER, APPLIED SCIENTIST, DESCARTES LABS: From the image we can capture in space to us producing an alert it's about nine minutes, start to finish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Descartes Labs' artificial intelligence technology scans thermal imagery from NOAA satellites to look for what the company calls heat anomalies.

WHEELER: And we basically seek out these hotspots by modeling what the earth would look like if there wasn't a fire there, and then comparing that to the image that we get from the GOES-16 and 17 satellites. And if you notice a big discrepancy, then that's a pretty good indicator that there's a fire there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The company says it has already pinpointed exact locations for 4,700 fires and is currently testing a wildfire alert system with the local forestry division in New Mexico.

Of course, to really make an impact, the technology will need to integrate with firefighting authorities that can respond to the fires on the ground.

WHEELER: It's all about making sure that less fires slip through the cracks and go on to become these massive megafires.

MARK JOHNSON, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, DESCARTES LABS: There's lots of different ways you can apply this A.I. technology in scale and try to monitor the earth and try to stop problems before they become much, much bigger.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[05:54:41]

ROMANS: Welcome back.

Former Vice President Joe Biden getting into a heated exchange with a voter at a town hall in Iowa Thursday -- listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MERLE GORMAN, RETIRED IOWA FARMER: But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience for, absolutely nothing, in order to get access to the public -- to the president. So you're selling access to the president just like he was. So you've got --

[05:55:10]

BIDEN: You're a damn liar, man. That's not true. And no one has ever said that.

GORMAN: Don't yell at me. I saw it on the T.V.

BIDEN: You've seen it on the T.V. No, I know you do.

And by the way, that's why you're -- I'm not sedentary. I don't --I get up and -- oh, let him go -- let him go.

Look, the reason I'm running is because I've been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done. And that's why I'm running.

And if you want to check my shape on, let's do push-ups together, man. Let's do -- let's run. Let's do whatever you want to do.

(Applause)

Number two -- number two, no one has said my son has done anything wrong. And I did not, on any occasion -- and no one has ever said it -- not one --

GORMAN: I didn't say you were doing anything wrong. I said --

BIDEN: You said I set up my son to work in an oil company. Isn't that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack.

GORMAN: That's what I hear on the -- on MSNBC.

BIDEN: Oh, you don't hear that on MSNBC.

GORMAN: The hell I didn't.

BIDEN: You did not hear that at all. What you heard -- look, OK, I'm not going to into an argument here, man.

GORMAN: I don't want to, either.

BIDEN: Well, yeah, you do. But look, fat (ph) -- look, here's the deal -- here's the deal.

GORMAN: It looks -- it looks like you don't have any more backbone than Trump does.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, let the guy talk -- let him talk.

BIDEN: Any other questions?

GORMAN: Yeah, all right. I'm not voting for you.

BIDEN: Well, I knew you weren't, man. You think I thought you'd stand up and vote for me? You're too old to vote for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Oh, retail politics, Iowa style.

Biden will be joined on the -- on the trail today by former Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who just endorsed him.

All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this Friday morning -- jobs day.

Trade headlines still dominating global markets here. Everything looks like it's moving a little bit higher to end the week.

On Wall Street, also a bit of positive tone -- not much, but a little bit higher there. Stocks closed slightly higher Thursday. The Dow closed up 28 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished up just a bit. A pricey milestone for health care in 2018. New data shows American households spent more than $1 trillion for the first time, up 4.4 percent from last year. Overall health care spending rose to $3.6 trillion. That's a little over $11,000 a person.

The cost of health care has been a key issue for Democrats on the campaign trail. Some want to strengthen Obamacare; others want to scrap it in favor of Medicare for All, essentially eliminating private insurers and expanding government-run Medicare for everyone.

All right, a key economic report. The November jobs report comes out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, about 3 1/2 hours. The Labor Department -- the labor market, rather, is expected to have found its footing again. Economists estimate 180,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate to stay at 3.6 percent.

Something to watch for in this report -- manufacturing. That sector has been struggling. It's in a contraction for four months in a row -- a mild recession there in manufacturing.

This is the very sector the president sought to favor with his tariffs and his tough trade talk. It is shrinking because of the higher cost of tariffs and slowing global growth.

BRIGGS: A special day for a young man in Michigan. Five-year-old Michael Clark wanted his friends to be with him as his adoption was finalized, so he brought along his entire kindergarten class. They waved hearts and cheered him on during the courtroom ceremony.

The judges were all impressed by the love in the room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTICE STEPHEN MARKMAN, MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT: It was just a great tribute to Michael that he had so many of his classmates here. And so many said he was their best friend, too.

JUDGE PATRICIA GARDNER, 17TH CIRCUIT COURT FAMILY DIVISION: Never have I experienced that before and it was loads of fun. And the kids were into it and supporting their best friend and the family of Michael as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: That is awesome. Michael also had a chance to meet with Santa. And if you caught it there, had a heck of a chair dance as he was celebrating his adoption, so --

ROMANS: Loved his chair dance, loved his chair dance.

BRIGGS: -- good stuff.

ROMANS: I need one of those holiday necklaces that glows.

BRIGGS: We need some heart signs behind us, too.

ROMANS: Yes, we do. All right.

BRIGGS: Wouldn't that work?

ROMANS: Have a great weekend, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Here's "NEW DAY."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is almost certainly on a path to be impeached by the House.

PELOSI: We should introduce articles of impeachment. This is a very sad day for our country.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Friday, a deadline for the White House to respond if they want to participate in the upcoming proceedings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody should be participating and that means the White House should be participating.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: If you're going to do something as serious as impeaching a President of the United States, you can't rush it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we wait for an election to settle this, then we will have waited too long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, December sixth. It is 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins me this morning.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you, my friend.

BERMAN: Almost the weekend.

HILL: Almost.

BERMAN: Almost.

HILL: Not there yet.

BERMAN: All right.

END