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EARLY START

Last Phase Of House Impeachment Begins Today; Boeing To Suspend 737 Max Production; Tornadoes Tear Through The Deep South. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 17, 2019 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: -- people are dead and damage is widespread as dozens of tornadoes rip across the south.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BURROW, HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: I'm up here for all those -- all those kids in Athens and in Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The Heisman Trophy winner emotional about his hometown and people got the message. Wait until you hear how.

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

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. Great player, better person. Five thirty eastern time on a Tuesday.

We start in the nation's capital where President Trump is one day from joining a very infamous club. He will be just the third president to be impeached by the House.

Today marks the beginning of the end of impeachment proceedings in the House. Lawmakers on the brink of a momentous vote on two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstructing Congress. Today, House leaders plan to begin bringing the articles to the floor, setting up a historic final vote tomorrow.

Here's congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Dave, here we go. This is the end, more or less, of the impeachment effort in the House. This is the official start to what you are going to see on the House floor tomorrow for those final votes on the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

You've seen the closed-door depositions, you've seen the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, you've seen the House Judiciary Committee kick the articles out of the committee along party-line votes.

Today, you are going to see a meeting of the Rules Committee and why this is important, guys, and it will seem kind of in the weeds and certainly divisive at times. But this will structure the debate for the actual articles of impeachment on the House floor. How long each side gets, who the managers will be, how it will actually be structured. Those are the things we'll find out today.

Obviously, everything leading up to tomorrow -- the final floor vote on those two articles of impeachment. It's supposed to split down party lines.

Over the course of the last three or four days, you've seen a number of the most at-risk frontline House Democrats start to come out in favor of impeachment, kind of underscoring the fact that House leadership knows they will have the votes to pass the two articles of impeachment.

And the other thing you can be sure of, House Republicans remain very united, almost certain to all vote against the articles of impeachment.

Basically, this is now set and this is now moving. Pay attention to what happens today because it will tell you how it's all going to play out on Wednesday -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRIGGS: All right, Phil Mattingly -- thanks.

Breaking overnight, Rudy Giuliani revealing details about his role getting Marie Yovanovitch removed as envoy to Ukraine. In an interview with "The New York Times," Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, confirms he briefed President Trump a couple of times earlier this year about Yovanovitch to set her removal in motion.

According to the "Times," Giuliani told the president Yovanovitch was hampering investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump and that she was impeding Giuliani's attempts to defend the president. No mention of corruption in Ukraine.

ROMANS: Yovanovitch is a 33-year veteran of the Foreign Service. She testified Giuliani orchestrated a smear campaign against her to have her recalled.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: The shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Giuliani also further implicates Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He tells the "Times" after he brief Mr. Trump, the president told him to either discuss it with Mike or turn it over to Mike.

Pompeo has suggested he was unfamiliar with President Trump's attempts to pressure Ukraine but he was on the July 25th call where President Trump raised the idea of investigating the Bidens.

BRIGGS: Meanwhile, a devastating setback for Boeing. The company plans to suspend production of its 737 Max fleet starting in January as it waits for the plane to be recertified.

The 737 Max was grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes that killed 346 people. That has cost major financial and reputation issues for Boeing. Right now, there are about 400 of the planes in storage.

ROMANS: Until last week, Boeing was hoping to get certification to fly again before the end of the year but the FAA rejected that idea.

Boeing has been building 42 of these jets a month since the grounding. They keep building them to prevent hardship for their suppliers and layoffs for their own workers.

The company's stock price down more than four percent on Monday.

And if you have that -- you know, if you stop making that plane that is going to have a hit on growth. This is a big company with a lot of influence in the American economy.

BRIGGS: Perhaps not just our economy but around the world.

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: Six thousand supplies in 100 countries.

Odds of developing lung disease can be even higher for vapers than smokers. Alarming new research ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:38:48]

BRIGGS: A tough Tuesday ahead for President Trump no matter how it's sliced. This week he is set to become only the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. Today, Democrats bring articles of impeachment to the House floor, setting up a historic final vote tomorrow.

ROMANS: Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood, live in Washington. Good morning.

Certainly, this is history we're watching being written here today and the president joining a sort of infamous very, very small club of leaders. And the appetite from voters is what is so interesting here. We just

polled -- interesting CNN poll -- Trump should be impeached and removed from office. What caught our attention here is how this has moved among Democrats from November to today.

What does this tell you?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, certainly, the partisan lines have been drawn at the beginning. There are certainly -- even more people are getting locked into their positions.

Support for impeachment not just in the CNN poll but across a number of other polls really has remained static. It's divided the country almost exactly in half.

And so that's something that the White House has pointed to as a good thing. They think that there's no longer a risk that we're going to see some sort of major shift in public opinion heading into the Senate trial. So in their eyes that makes their task a little easier in that they're not trying to shift public opinion back from the brink.

[05:40:11]

What House Democrats did with those televised hearings did not pay off in terms of a public opinion shift. And so the White House sort of knows that the country is now where it was when this process started, so that has given White House officials some comfort.

Democrats are pointing to these polls, showing look at the number of Democrats in the base who are supporting impeachment. It's the overwhelming majority.

ROMANS: Right.

WESTWOOD: So they are rest assured that their constituents support what they're doing here.

BRIGGS: The White House -- Republicans in the House and Senate have said from the very beginning it's -- they're pointing out there were no crimes committed by the president. But then, if you read this 658- page report from the Democrats, it actually outlines two crimes that they say the president not only broke but he met the standards for criminal bribery and federal wire fraud.

Why, then, not include those in the articles of impeachment?

WESTWOOD: That's a question that a lot of congressional Republicans have been asking, particularly on the point of bribery. They have noted that a quid pro quo, bribery -- whatever word Democrats have used that has been a central part of the argument that they have been making against President Trump since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry.

And that in their public rhetoric they've used that word a lot, but it did not appear in the articles of impeachment -- one for obstruction of Congress and one for abuse of power. Bribery didn't appear in there. And so, Republicans have been asking if the evidence was so strong in favor of bribery, in particular, why weren't those included in the articles of impeachment?

But, of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- she had a really difficult task keeping as many Democrats in the fold as possible when it comes to this impeachment vote. So she really tried to keep those articles of impeachment as narrow as possible with the most airtight case possible.

Because in just a couple of weeks the House managers -- which we may learn their identities today -- will go before the Senate and have to defend every word of those articles and back it up with evidence, and that could be difficult to do in the case of bribery.

ROMANS: It seems like how this plays out is that a quick impeachment in the House, a quick acquittal in the Senate. That's, at least, how many Republican leaders would like it to be.

But there are these GOP senators to keep an eye out for. I think it takes four senators to start shaping the demands for Mitch McConnell and how this looks in the Senate.

BRIGGS: Witnesses, in particular, right?

ROMANS: Absolutely.

What do you make of these wild card senators -- the GOP senators to watch and how they might shape what happens in the Senate.

WESTWOOD: Well, I think when Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, sent his letter on Sunday night and then came out and defended it yesterday, that move seemed to aim squarely at these senators right here to put pressure on them to perhaps break with the majority leader. Like you said, it would only take four to thwart Mitch McConnell's plans when it comes to the structure of the Senate trial.

And to try to get them to support something that's maybe a little lengthier -- something that has a little more meat to it than what Sen. Mitch McConnell has thrown out there as a likely possibility, which is a trial that has no witnesses -- that just has a presentation from the House managers, a presentation from President Trump's defense team, and then perhaps a vote to acquit.

And so, Chuck Schumer seems to be trying to pick off some of these moderate senators to try to have some more leverage when it comes to voting on the procedures for the Senate trial. But that gambit doesn't seem to be working.

We saw Susan Collins come out yesterday and say it was unfortunate that Schumer chose to lay out a list of demands publicly before he sat down with McConnell to try to arrive at some sort of bipartisan agreement. And you have some of those other moderate senators -- like Mitt Romney, who Democrats hope will be a pickup -- not biting with Schumer's move.

ROMANS: Meantime, we're watching the former cabinet secretaries of President Obama and some of them, five now, are lining up behind Joe Biden for the presidency. Jack Lew, the former Treasury secretary, the most recent to join John Kerry, Ken Salazar, Hilda Solis, and Tom Vilsack to support Joe Biden.

But you also have the president -- the former president Barack Obama giving a speech where he talked about how women -- the world would be better off if women were running all of these countries and that the old guard -- the old men need to step aside. That's a little bit of a contradiction.

WESTWOOD: That's right. A lot of people were interpreting Obama's comments there as perhaps some sort of veiled slight at Biden, although some Obama advisers pointed out to a colleague of ours that Obama has been making similar comments about women needing to be in more positions of power for years.

But certainly, people reading into the fact that Obama hasn't explicitly thrown his support behind Biden and Biden has said he doesn't want it, and the fact that some former Obama advisers like Austan Goolsbee and a couple of lower-level Obama aides have thrown their weight behind other candidates, namely Pete Buttigieg.

So certainly, the Obama cabinet -- the former Obama officials -- they are not all lining up behind Joe Biden and it just tells you a lot about how wide open that this race remains.

[05:45:03]

BRIGGS: This we can agree on. More women in power is a good thing, right?

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: I can agree with you both on that and I assume you do too, Sarah.

Sarah Westwood live for us in D.C. this morning. Thank you.

All right. Meanwhile, lawmakers have agreed to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 in a sweeping new spending bill, according to multiple people involved in the talks.

The plan also repeals three health care taxes designed to pay for the Affordable Care Act. The medical device tax, the health insurance tax, and the Cadillac tax on high-cost employer plans all face bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill.

And for the first time in decades, the spending bill also includes $25 million for gun violence research.

ROMANS: All right.

Many of the 2020 Democratic candidates want big companies to pay more taxes. You'll have an idea why with this next news. We all know household names like Amazon, Chevron, Halliburton, and IBM, but unlike your household, those megacorporations paid no federal income tax last year.

They're among nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies to pay an effective tax rate of zero for 2018. That's according to a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Now, 2018 includes the first year following those big tax cuts championed by President Trump.

The report also found that among those Fortune 500 firms, 379 paid an effective income tax rate of just over 11 percent -- 11 percent of their 2018 income. That's about half the statutory tax rate of 21 percent.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:51:00]

BRIGGS: More than two dozen tornadoes tearing up the Deep South. At least three people have been killed. Most of the tornadoes reported in Mississippi.

In Guntown, Mississippi, several homes and churches were damaged. No one was killed. The town's mayor calls that a blessing.

There was one fatality reported in Louisiana. A woman in a mobile home killed in Vernon Parish.

And in Alabama, a husband and his wife were killed on a road in Lawrence County.

ROMANS: A new study finds vaping is linked to a higher risk of serious lung disease like chronic bronchitis, asthma, and COPD. The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at 32,000 Americans who smoked, vaped or have had a lung condition. It found the odds of developing lung disease was about 30 percent higher for vapers than non-vapers.

The study authors say they were a little surprised to find evidence of lung disease in the short three-year study. They say if they came back in another five years they'd, quote, "probably find bigger effects."

BRIGGS: After Purdue Pharma paid out $600 million in opioid fines, its owners, the Sackler family, withdrew more than $10 billion from the company. A new audit in court documents shows the withdrawals from 2008 to 2018 were more than eight times as much as the previous decade. That all happened as the opioid epidemic was worsening.

There's growing concern a large chunk of Sackler's wealth may be held overseas and that would put it out of reach for plaintiffs suing them and Purdue for allegedly misleading doctors and patients about OxyContin.

Purdue says the audit shows, quote, "extreme transparency."

ROMANS: Some quick-thinking Good Samaritans rescuing a toddler and helping capture an Amber Alert suspect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

POLICE OFFICER: Get on the ground, now. Hey, go down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Officers moved in to arrest Victor Magana, wanted in San Jose for stabbing his girlfriend and kidnapping their 2-year-old daughter. Hours later, alert customers at a gas station nearly 200 miles away on California's central coast spotted Magana's car and called police. Now, some also physically penned him in until officers arrived.

The toddler's mother is in critical but stable condition.

BRIGGS: He was pushed out of the military for being gay. Now, more than 60 years later, the U.S. Navy is building a ship named for slain LGBT icon Harvey Milk. The USNS Harvey Milk was announced in 2016. Construction finally began Friday at a San Diego shipbuilder. The new oiler ship will resupply fuel to other ships at sea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, SPACEX LAUNCH: Five, four, three, two, one, zero -- ignition, liftoff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: A successful satellite launch by SpaceX. The goal, to bring the digital age to isolated island nations between Asia's southern coast and Australia.

Singapore-based Kacific is betting the region is starved for Internet access and people are willing to pay for it. More than 80 percent of the population in the region lives in remote rural areas with no broadband.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIAH CAREY, SINGER: Singing "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: It only took a quarter of a century. Mariah Carey's 1994 holiday hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" landing in the number- one spot in the Hot 100 for the very first time. The self-proclaimed queen of Christmas -- the song has already earned her over $60 million in royalties.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NFL ANNOUNCER: For another mighty mark. Will he get it here? Yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Drew Brees taking his place in the history books. The future Hall of Fame quarterback breaking Peyton Manning's career

touchdown record with that five-yard pass to Josh Hill in last night's 34-7 trouncing of the Colts. He now has 541 career TDs. Brees went 29 of 30, breaking the record for single-game completion percentage -- 307 yards and four touchdowns.

[05:55:08]

Tom Brady tweeting about it. He says he's just behind Brees with 538. And those two could be dueling for a couple more years.

A lot of hungry kids will get some help in Ohio after an emotional speech from Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. The LSU quarterback held back tears as he talked about his hometown of Athens, Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURROW: I come from southeast Ohio. It's a very, very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average. And there's so many people there that don't have a lot.

And I'm up here for all those -- all those kids in Athens and in Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. And you guys can be up here, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Those words inspired one Athens resident to create a fundraiser for residents living under the poverty line. He set a goal of $50,000. Well, donations now topping $324,000.

ROMANS: Wow, good for him.

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

A look at markets around the world, a mixed picture right now but stocks look to have found their footing here. Stocks in Europe tried to climb, especially London because of the Boris ounce, before fading a little bit. That Boris bounce following, of course, the election of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We'll see if that holds.

And just take a look at the S&P 500. It has been on a tear this year. We only have eight trading days left in the decade. This has been blockbuster -- 25 percent this year alone for the S&P 500.

OK, some not so good news if you're expecting Amazon orders before the holidays. The online retail giant has pumped the brakes on third- party sellers using FedEx's ground delivery to ship prime packages. That could hit small businesses and lead to higher prices.

We're getting this information from an internal e-mail obtained by "The Wall Street Journal." The e-mail reportedly says FedEx's delivery performance prompted the decision. FedEx says the decision only affects a small number of shippers.

Netflix just released new numbers showing just how fast it is expanding in regions around the world. The data shows Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as one giant region, has more than doubled in subscribers since the start of 2017.

Now, it's the first time we're seeing a breakdown like this. Netflix trying to convince Wall Street to focus more on its growth outside the U.S. as it faces stiff competition from rivals at home.

BRIGGS: From streaming wars to "Star Wars." The original "Star Wars" saga comes to an end when the "The Rise of Skywalker" opens Friday.

While you were sleeping, Jimmy Kimmel gave young fans a chance to ask tough questions of the cast and director, J.J. Abrams.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALE CHILD: I'm wondering how the force works and how -- and how it's so powerful.

J.J. ABRAMS, DIRECTOR, "STAR WARS: THE RISE OF LUKE SKYWALKER": I don't know.

FEMALE CHILD: Hey, Rey, can you really do a backflip or are you just a liar?

DAISY RIDLEY, ACTRESS, "STAR WARS: THE RISE OF LUKE SKYWALKER": Um, um, um, I'm a liar.

MALE CHILD: How old is Finn? Does he like being a storm trooper or a bad guy? What's his favorite color?

How old is he? Does he wear glasses or not? How old is he in real life?

Does he like shopping? Does he go to Gucci, Nordstrom or Macy's? Or does he just go to normal stores and buy food or does he go to other places?

JOHN BOYEGA, ACTOR, "STAR WARS: THE RISE OF LUKE SKYWALKER": (Laughing).

MALE CHILD: Lando, I have a question for you. Everyone else calls Chewbacca Chewbacca but you call him Chewbakka. What does that mean and what's the reference behind that nickname?

BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, ACTOR, "STAR WARS: THE RISE OF LUKE SKYWALKER": I was just mispronouncing his name. It's as simple as that. And for a long time I didn't know whether to Han Hon or Hun.

IAN MCDIARMID, ACTOR, "STAR WARS: THE RISE OF LUKE SKYWALKER": Master Solo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Master Solo.

BRIGGS: Han, right? ROMANS: Han.

BRIGGS: Han was --

ROMANS: Han, Han.

BRIGGS: I've been mispronouncing that my whole life. Those kids are sorely disappointed.

ROMANS: I love it.

BRIGGS: They got no answers.

ROMANS: I love it. May the force be with them all.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: This is the official start to what you are going to see on the House floor for those final votes on the two articles of impeachment.

BRIGGS: The White House and President Trump's top allies are concerned about a handful of Republican senators whose views on impeachment remain unclear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sometimes you look to the moderates and think that they're going to behave differently. But in the end, they usually end up going with the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the president's got a defense, this would be the moment for him to present it.

REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): All these hearings down in the basement haven't presented any direct evidence to show that the president was involved in any crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calling witnesses for the Republicans is simply opening up a Pandora's box.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, December 17th, 6:00 here in New York.

END