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EARLY START

Impeachment Trial Standoff; Christmas Forecast; Tragic Twist Caught on Video; 6-Year-Old's Warm Holiday Gesture. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired December 24, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:18]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We, at the very minimum, will require votes.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: The impeachment standoff will last into the New Year. What Democrats are demanding and why Republicans are not budging.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Dreaming of a white Christmas? Keep dreaming.

JOHNS: A new video of a confrontation --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'm getting out, I'm getting out.

(SCREAMING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of my leg.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: New video of a deadly confrontation between California deputies and a suspected carjacker. It turns out the man was driving his own car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLPI)

POPPY SELLIER, 6-YEAR-OLD: I want to make them happy and feel like they're at home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: She won her battle with leukemia. Now, a 6-year-old heads back to the hospital to spread some holiday joy.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is a special holiday edition of EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik.

Good morning.

JOHNS: Good morning. And I'm Joe Johns. It is Tuesday, December 24th, Christmas Eve, 4:00 a.m. in New York.

And I was just hearing from you that Santa is now consulting and getting ready to take off.

KOSIK: Yes. You know, Santa has gone high-tech. So, I'm following him on Twitter, the NORAD track Santa Twitter feed. And apparently at this moment, because he tweeted 56 minutes ago, Santa is in the reindeer barn, reviewing the flight plan with the reindeer, getting ready to take that 25-hour trip around the world.

JOHNS: I sure hope he achieves orbit.

(LAUGHTER)

KOSIK: We'll wait to see. We are going to keep track of all of his movements throughout the shows today.

JOHNS: Absolutely.

Now, turning to the news. Not much holiday spirit in Washington this morning. Congress seems headed towards a long standoff over the framework for a Senate impeachment trial. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warning Democrats will stand firm on their demand for more witnesses and documents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: We at the very minimum will require votes from all the senators on each of the witnesses and about each of these sets of documents. And I don't think my colleagues, Democrat or Republican, are going to want to vote to withhold evidence in such an important trial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: It would take 20 Republican votes to remove President Trump but only four would have to side with Democrats to compel witnesses or documents. At the moment, though, it's unlikely Republicans will budge. Congress is not slated to return to Washington until January 6th. Officials are prepared for several weeks without any resolution to this face-off.

Here's our congressional reporter Lauren Fox.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Both sides digging in in Washington over when and if the Senate impeachment trial will start in January. There's still questions looming as everyone is waiting on Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, to send over those two articles of impeachment. And Democrats still insisting on getting witnesses, even as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes it clear he needs Nancy Pelosi to send over those articles before he makes his next move.

MCCONNELL: Seems to me a rather absurd position to say after you've impeached the president, you won't send the papers over to the Senate for the impeachment trial, mandated by the Constitution. Look, we're at an impasse. We can't do anything until the speaker sends the papers over. So, everybody enjoy the holidays.

FOX: And there was more fiery back-and-forth in Washington on Monday. This as Chuck Schumer sent a letter to his colleagues arguing that they need to be negotiating witnesses now and not wait until the start of the Senate impeachment trial.

Of course, Republicans have been arguing what they are going to do is something very similar to what they did during the Clinton impeachment trial. You had the House managers make their case on the Democratic side, then the president's lawyers defending him on the Senate floor. Then you would make a decision about witnesses.

But all sides at this point digging in, no sign that the stalemate will break any time soon -- Joe and Alison.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: Lauren Fox in Washington, thanks for that.

House Democrats raising the prospect of impeaching President Trump again. The suggestion coming in a court filing from the House Judiciary Committee seeking to force testimony from White House counsel Don McGahn, the former White House counsel.

The committee says McGahn shed light on alleged obstruction justice by the president in the Mueller investigation.

[04:05:01]

That charge was not included in the articles of impeachment passed last week.

KOSIK: Earlier Monday, the Justice Department argued in its own filing, the House impeachment ends any urgency to tie up the McGahn case and that the courts should not get involved. That's even though Republicans argue Democrats should have gone to court to resolve impeachment issues. The McGahn case is expected to be heard on January 3rd.

JOHNS: Rudy Giuliani making some eye-opening comments defending his work digging up dirt on President Trump's political rivals in Ukraine. In an interview with "New York", the president's personal attorney talked about his associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The two served as Giuliani's conduit to Ukraine and pleaded not guilty To charges they illegally funneled foreign money into U.S. political campaigns.

KOSIK: The magazine's Olivia Nuzzi asked why Giuliani ever trusted the pair. He said this: They look like Miami people. I know a lot of Miami people that look like that that are perfectly legitimate and act like them. Neither one of them have been ever convicted of a crime. Neither one, and generally that's my cutoff point because if you do it based on allegations and claims, and you're not going to work with anybody.

JOHNS: Giuliani also expanded on his campaign to oust former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. He claimed without evidence she's controlled by Jewish philanthropist George Soros, who's often been the target of right-wing and anti-Semitic theories.

Giuliani told Nuzzi, don't tell me I'm anti-Semitic if I oppose him. Soros is hardly a Jew. I'm more of a Jew than Soros.

To be clear, there's Giuliani, a Roman Catholic, saying he's more of a Jew than a man who survived the Holocaust.

KOSIK: In response, the American Jewish Committee tweeted this: No, Mayor, you're not more of a Jew than Soros. You're entitled to your views and to denouncing his, but it's offensive to deny anyone's faith and worse to endorse classically anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

JOHNS: CEO Dennis Muilenburg is leaving Boeing after struggling unsuccessfully to right the company in the wake of two deadly crashes, the 737 MAX accidents killed 346 people that reveal a corporate culture that discounted safety concerns and treated federal regulators as little more than rubber stamps. Muilenburg had been with Boeing for more than 30 years and praised for bringing record profits and tripling Boeing's stock price. But the tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia were too much to overcome.

Cristina Alesci has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Joe, Alison, Muilenburg should have seen this coming. The company suffered a series of very public missteps since Boeing 737 MAX airplane was grounded. For the last nine months, Muilenburg has tried to get approvals necessary from regulators to get the planes back in the air. Instead, last week, the company announced it was suspending production of the 737 MAX, which was a huge blow for the company, its suppliers and customers.

And that comes on top of Boeing shifting its timeline for the 737's return several times throughout the year. Now, one of my sources telling me the board was very concerned about the feedback it was getting from customers and regulators about poor communication from Muilenburg himself. Bottom line: the board saying the problem boils down to a lack of confidence in Muilenburg's leadership. Muilenburg was called on Sunday night and informed of the board's decision to ask him to step down.

I heard that some people on the board were concerned about removing the CEO in the middle of trying to fix a problem with the 737 MAX. But ultimately, the board decided it was on the right track with regulators and now was a good time to make that change. Big picture here, Boeing is one of America's largest exporters, one of the largest domestic manufacturers. So, it's an important part of the U.S. economy.

In fact, some analysts estimate a production halt that lasts through the entire first quarter could knock half a percentage point off of GDP. Now, we'll see what happens from here. But the company is hopeful to get the 737 flying again in 2020 -- Joe, Alison.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating BMW. A source familiar with the probe said the SEC is looking into how the automaker reports its sales in the U.S. "The Wall Street Journal" reports BMW may have boosted its figures by having dealers register cars that had not actually been sold to customers yet.

BMW is not the first automaker to do that to have sales looked into by SEC. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay a $40 million fine for its sales reporting practices. The SEC said Fiat paid dealers to report, quote, fake sales.

A spokesman for BMW said the company is cooperating with the investigation.

JOHNS: The Pentagon has identified the U.S. service member killed Monday in Afghanistan as Army First Sergeant Michael J. Goble of Washington Township, New Jersey. The 33-year-old was assigned to the Army's 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The Pentagon is pushing back against the Taliban claim of responsibility for Goble's death. The Taliban says it targeted Afghan and U.S. force with improvised explosive devices. But the U.S. says the troops were inspecting a weapons cache when the explosives went off.

KOSIK: Tens of million of people are scheduled to travel this holiday week. The West Coast already dealing with a powerful storm bringing heavy rain and mountain snow. The probability of a white Christmas over the last 40 years or so, decent in the north, not so much in the south. This year dreaming of a white Christmas, maybe as close as you can get.

Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has your yuletide forecast.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, certainly going to be dreaming of a white Christmas here when you take a look where snow is currently on the ground. You've got to be in the higher elevations of the U.S. or northern tier of the country. That is about it. Of course, we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

where snowfall shifted to the south. High pressure begins to build in the wake of a very slow moving system off the southeastern coastline. So, we'll generally begin to see a warming trend across much of the eastern half of the United States. A drying trend as well as the system departs here off the Carolinas.

Left with quite a bit of rainfall on the immediate coast of Georgia and South Carolina. But beyond this afternoon and this evening, it's all but offshore. So, we begin to see that dry air weather pattern take shape. And then the western U.S., that's all the action is. The four corner states, portions of the high country of Arizona and to Utah, certainly to Nevada and areas of higher elevations of California, that's all where the wintry weather is. And that is about it when it comes to active weather over the next 24 or so hours.

Los Angeles, only 60 degrees. But Chicago, they will take 53 on Christmas Eve and pair of fours out of New York City with generally dry weather over the next few days -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOSIK: And our thanks to Pedram Javaheri.

JOHNS: He's still on the sidelines but Colin Kaepernick's new shoe is flying off the shelf for the holiday.

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[04:15:25]

KOSIK: An attorney for are the parents of two missing Idaho children down playing concerns about the parents' actions without addressing the welfare of their 7-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter. The lawyer for Chad Daybell and his Lori telling the "East Idaho News" he is in contact with the couple. The attorney said Chad Daybell was a loving husband and has support of his children in this matter. Lori Daybell is a devoted mother and resents assertions to the contrary.

Friday, police in Rexburg, Idaho, issuing a missing, endangered children alert, after deeming the death of Chad Daybell's former wife suspicious. The children, Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan were last seen weeks before Tammy Daybell was found dead.

JOHNS: Another tragic mystery in the backwoods of Michigan. A body found submerged in a flooded area near the town of Honor has been identified as 47-year-old Adrienne Quintal. She had not been heard from since calling a friend in October saying she was involved in a shootout with two men.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been hard searching for her, and even though we're glad to have some closure, it's been heart wrenching.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: A search by police dogs, friends and family had been hampered until recently by flooding in the area. Officials said initial investigation showed no signs of foul play even though there were shell casings and bullet holes at the cabin where Quintal was staying. The medical examiners waiting for toxicology results to determine a cause of death.

KOSIK: All right. We want to warn you. The video in this story may be disturbing. A California sheriff's deputy has been placed on leave after body cam video showed him violently removing a driver from his car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I'm getting out, I'm getting out.

(SCREAMING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let go of my leg.

(SCREAMING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: The officers were responding to report of a stolen car. After a pursuit, the Deputies Charlie Brown and Jason Little tried to pull David Ward out thinking he was the carjacker. It turns out Ward was driving his own car and had been the victim of a carjacking. He later died at the hospital.

The Sonoma County sheriff's office said Brown will remain on leave while the incident is being investigated. The officer's attorney says Ward is responsible for his own death because he took bizarre actions that left deputies thinking he was in armed carjacker.

JOHNS: No NFL team will hire him but Colin Kaepernick's new Nike shoe is flying off the shelves. The Kaepernick Air Force 1 x sneakers hit the market Monday and quickly sold out online. The sneaker also has a not so subtle message with the 81416 on the sole of the right shoe. The date marks the first time the then San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee for the national anthem. Kaepernick AF 1X sneakers retail for $110.

Eddie Murphy's return to "Saturday Night Live" was a ratings triumph.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDDIE MURPHY, COMEDIAN: My neighborhood has gone so much. It's gone something called gentrification. Can you say gentrification, boys and girls?

It's like a magic trick. White people pay a lot of people and then poof, all the black people are gone.

But where do they go, boys and girls? Back where they come from, of course. Atlanta.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Murphy's return after a 35-year absence was SNL's highest rated show in almost three years. Nearly 10 million people were watching according to Nielsen. The Eddie Murphy episode was the highest rated comedy on any network since "The Big Bang Theory" series finale back in May.

KOSIK: A 6-year-old former cancer patient bringing holiday cheer to patients at a Virginia hospital where she underwent treatment.

So sweet.

Poppy Sellier was diagnosed with leukemia around Christmas last year. She's now in remission. On Monday, the popular and precocious 6-year- old returned to a place most kids would not.

[04:20:03]

She came to Inova Children's Hospital bearing gifts.

Three hundred donated Lego sets for old friends old and new.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SELLIER: I just want to make them happy. Make them feel they are at home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She made it through, so I believe I can do the same. It's very hopeful and just makes me feel good about myself and my future.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a gift that keeps on giving -- gift of hope, gift of love, gift of compassion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: Poppy's mother says the kindness of other people helped her daughter heal and they wanted to pay it forward.

JOHNS: Christmas is not going to be the same this year in France. Notre Dame Cathedral, an icon of the holiday, closed for the first time in 200 years. CNN is there live coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Christmas spirit coming alive in Bethlehem. The city understood to be the site of the birth of Jesus, hosting its annual celebrations of Christmas parades, service and carols.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is there live -- Oren. OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joe, it's already filling up in

manger square behind me, right next to the Church of the Nativity as we build towards the crescendo of the evening, which is, of course, midnight mass. The square here behind me filling up a few hundred people. There's a long way to go until it's full, but there's, of course, still a long way to go until midnight mass.

All week they were calling for rain today. It is quite the opposite. There are only a few clouds dotting the sky. It's a beautiful day here. It's a festive and joyous occasion. You get that feeling looking down at the square here behind me.

[04:25:02]

Today won't be just a religious and spiritual celebration. It will also been an economic celebration. We've spoken to terrorism officials who say a lot of hotels in the area are booked and tourism numbers have been up here in Bethlehem all year, up some 15 percent which makes the city happy and everyone around here happy and all of that will add to the occasion here behind us.

As we build into this evening, of course, midnight mass is the highlight and that's what faithful are looking forward to. We're getting there. Although there's stale long way to go as the square fills up behind me. Christmas carols have been playing throughout the day.

And a short time ago, there was a rehearsal of the religious scouts coming through. That's building towards the highlight of this evening -- Joe.

JOHNS: Oren Liebermann in Bethlehem -- thanks for that.

KOSIK: Christmas tradition forced to change in Paris. For the first time in more than 200 years, the city's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral will not celebrate Christmas mass. The cherished landmark nearly destroyed by a huge fire back in April.

CNN's Melissa Bell is live for us in Paris.

And good morning to you, Melissa.

You know, those images of Notre Dame burning really just so memorable even from April. Walk us through what the reconstruction efforts where they are now and when you're hearing from officials when the reconstruction will end.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, remember that in the wake of that fire, you're right, it really captured the world's imagination. They really looked aghast as to what was happening as the flames engulfed this iconic cathedral. The French president has said that they plan to rebuild it within five years.

Now, that is actually looking pretty unlikely. You're right. No Christmas Eve mass here, the first time since the wake of the French Revolution when for a while Notre Dame was turned into a temple of reason. Since 1804 every Christmas Eve mass was held here and not now or any time soon, frankly.

You remember that on the night of that fire, those dramatic moments when the spire on the heart of the nave collapsed. Now, that spire had been being renovated. The scaffolding is still the threatening the structure. And that is why that giant crane has been put there to trying to pull out the bits of metal.

This is what the chaplain of Notre Dame had to tell us yesterday about when the reconstruction itself was likely to start.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FATHER BRICE DE MALHERBE, CHAPLAIN AT NOTRE DAME: Reconstruction will begin in a year's time more or less because the building is still fragile because of the scaffolding that's weighing on the walls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BELL: So picking out that scaffolding extremely difficult operation. In about a year's time, the actual reconstruction will start. But it's looking very unlikely that there's going to be a Christmas mass any time soon and that five-year deadline is look from here pretty hopeful -- Joe and Alison.

KOSIK: Amazing to see that cathedral now sort of encased in that scaffolding.

Melissa Bell, live for us in Paris, thanks so much.

JOHNS: You know, just recently there was a lot of reporting that the cathedral needed much more work before you could say it was safe, out of the woods and ready to move forward.

KOSIK: And there's the reason why it's going to take so long.

JOHNS: Absolutely.

All right. Back here in the United States. There's the impeachment impasse this morning, Democratic demands and documents for witnesses not moving any Republicans. The standoff will last into 2020.

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