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Royal Family Holds Summit; Six Democrats Face Off in Debate; NFL Playoffs Down to Four; Tour of Iraq Base Hit by Iran. Aired 6:30- 7a ET

Aired January 13, 2020 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It is an historic day in the U.K. Queen Elizabeth is holding an emergency summit with the royal family following Prince Harry's bombshell announcement that he and Meghan Markle want to step back from their royal roles.

CNN's Max Foster is live at the queen's estate where this summit will happen shortly.

So what's going to happen today, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, the way it's going to play out today is that you've effectively got, for the first time, the queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry meeting in a room, face-to-face, to discuss this very controversial issue within the family. And what you've got is all their teams' advisers have been working with governments in the U.K., and presumably in Canada, to try to work out the series of scenarios that might play out. So, effectively, a series of different roles that the Sussexs could carry out and all the implications there.

I think the feeling on the non-Sussex side is that this is a very complex issue which taking into account all sorts of different considerations, which perhaps the Sussexs haven't thought through properly. So all of those scenarios are going to be presented today, Alisyn, to the couple and the duchess will be dialing in from Canada. And then they'll have to work from there. So it could go on for some time. If they don't get some sort of result tonight, though, it would suggest there's some sort of impasse.

But what I will say, Alisyn, is this. What I've been interested in today is that "The Times" had this very interesting article from a very reputable reporter talking about a source close to the Sussexs, suggesting some quite incendiary things. And one of them being that Prince William has effectively been bullying the Sussexs. Now, this was only in "The Sunday Times" and -- or in "The Times," rather, and people haven't necessarily picked up on it because it was so sensitive.

But actually, just before I came to air, I've just heard from the Cambridge's spokesperson saying this. Despite clear denials of false story around in the U.K. newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge, for brother who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.

So what they're going is quashing the story, but also we're talking about the story as a result. It just does show the amount of tension and speculation, though, about this historic meeting taking place behind me.

CAMEROTA: (INAUDIBLE). Things are not getting better in this family dynamic yet.

And so they had also been reporting, and maybe it's the same thing that you're referring to, about how William, Prince William, has expressed, I think openly, that he's sad about this. That he's sad that there's this severing of his close relationship with his brother Harry.

FOSTER: I think what's interesting about that is that there's obviously been a breakdown in that brotherly friendship over time. We've had indications about that behind the scenes for some time. But now it's basically out in the open. And there's a bit of a -- you know, there's a PR battle going on here as well. I think Prince William and Prince Charles and the queen don't want this to be seen as a big breakdown in the family because they care about duty above anything else. They want to protect the monarchy and they want to protect their interest within the British system as well, so they want to show that actually above all we want to keep this institution together and the family relationships a due matter.

The problem is, there's been lots of briefing and counter briefing behind the scenes and it's getting a bit complex. But there will be more off the back of today as well.


It's very interesting that the duchess will be calling in from Canada, for example. Who will she have in the room there? We don't think anyone else will be in the room here, apart from the key royals, but who's advising the duchess on the other side? It would be very interesting to be a fly on the wall or to have that dial in number, wouldn't it?

CAMEROTA: Yes, it would, Max. And if anybody can do it, it's you.

But, very quickly, only in ten seconds, why isn't she there in person?

FOSTER: I'm sorry, I missed the last bit.

CAMEROTA: Why isn't Meghan going to be there in person? Why this conference call?

FOSTER: Well, it's a big -- it's a big, big question, why did she go back to Canada after returning to the U.K.? We just don't know. We've not being given any guidance on the duchess apart from she's in Canada. Not where she is, whether Archie's with her. They've been very quiet on that front.

We may find out a bit more later. But last week I was being told she could be back this week. Now I'm being told we just don't know when she's going to return.

CAMEROTA: OK, Max, please keep us posted when anything develops at the scene where you are of that awkward family meeting.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The conference calls are awkward to begin with.


BERMAN: This -- this one feels like the worst conference call ever. Who's going to run it when it doesn't work? You know, Meghan, can you unmute your line, please, if you have something to say.

All right, six Democratic candidates will face off in CNN's debate tomorrow night in Iowa. Who is up, who is down in that state which will caucus three weeks from today? Next.



CAMEROTA: Tomorrow night, six Democratic president candidates will face off at CNN's Iowa debate. It is the final debate before the caucuses, which reportedly are now 21 days away.

BERMAN: They are 21 days away.

CAMEROTA: I feel like you told me they were happening this week.

BERMAN: It's -- they are. Three weeks is basically this week.

CAMEROTA: No, I -- I --

BERMAN: It's basically three hours.

CAMEROTA: I need a calendar.

BERMAN: It's on.

CAMEROTA: Let's get to the state of the race with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.

Hi, Harry.

I'm sorry when you see mommy and daddy fighting.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: One minute with me will only feel like three weeks.

In any event, look, here's the deal, folks. You know, we had a new CNN/"Des Moines Register"/Media Com Iowa poll that came out on Friday night and what did it show? A very, very close pack in the top four. Sanders at 20 percent, Warrens, 17, Buttigieg, 16, Biden, 15. The noticeable trend lines here are -- look, Sanders is gaining, September 11, November 15, now 20. Warren fell off between September and November, but stabilized. Buttigieg really fell off between November at 25 percent after only 9 percent in September, to 16 percent now. Biden pretty steady at 15.

BERMAN: You talk about the Sanders trend line. It is the trends that seem to be somewhat important here.

HARRY: The trend line is important. And why is Bernie Sanders gaining in this race? It's because he's getting his base back. He feels like Stella getting her groove back.

Take a look here, Sanders support among 2016 Clinton supporters, very minimal, zero, two, four, basically nil. But among his 2016 supporters, look at this, he was only at 25 percent in September, 39 percent in November. 44 percent now. So basically, you know, in this dozen candidate field, more than that, if he's able to hold on to even half of his supporters from 2016, he very well may win these caucuses.

BERMAN: It's a really good stat. Sanders is doing well among Sanders supporters.

ENTEN: He's -- that's actually right, and that's all you need in a great field like this.

CAMEROTA: What does history tell us about Iowa?

ENTEN: So the big question is, how predictive are these polls right now? And this slide gives you a good indication of that. So I looked at where the Iowa caucus winners were polling, three to four weeks before the caucus. Here's their polling average with undecideds allocated proportionately. Here's the result. And this is the key column here, the difference column. What do we see here going back since 2000? The median difference between where they were polling and the result, the winner, was six points. So there's still the potential for a lot of movement.

Some years the polls were right on, but other years, take a look here, the polls really weren't close at this point.

BERMAN: The median difference is six points. There's five points separating the top four, just to give you a sense. Any one of them could win.

ENTEN: Could easily win this thing, absolutely.

CAMEROTA: OK. And what about if you're -- which candidate you're considering?

ENTEN: So I think that this is important, right? You know, delegates are allocated only if you get 15 percent or more. So caucus goers reallocate themselves if a candidate is below -- if their candidate is below 15 percent in an individual caucus. So I looked at those who are either the voters right now who are undecided or supporters of a candidate below 15 percent. Who are they actively considering? And this, I think, is important because Buttigieg and Biden were not necessarily at the top in the top line numbers, but here in the actively considering, they're well above Warren and Sanders. So if you're looking in that caucus process, right, where they go to their corners and then they have to go to a different corner if their candidate's under 15, Buttigieg and Biden may be the ones to gain from that.

BERMAN: Well, we're talking about Bernie Sanders. He's at the top of this most recent poll. Where do things go for him after Iowa?

ENTEN: Yes, so this is important. So, here we go. Can Sanders do well beyond Iowa? That's the question. Look at this. This is a Harry's poll average of New Hampshire.

Look, he's at -- right at the top of that field as well. Basically in a tie with Sanders -- with Biden and Buttigieg at 21 percent. And those candidates and non-incumbent primaries when they won Iowa and New Hampshire, three or four, it's a small sample size, but three or four of them went on to win the nomination.


How about African-American voters?

ENTEN: So what's a reason to believe maybe Bernie Sanders won't go on to win the nomination just because he won Iowa and New Hampshire? So black Democratic primary voters nationally, look here, Sanders only at 20 percent. Biden, well ahead at 48 percent. That's in a recent "Washington Post"/IPSO (ph) poll. And if you look at black voters since 1984, the last five times, look at this, in a Democratic primary, they picked the winner.

BERMAN: You say only 20 percent. I think the Sanders campaign would look at this and say, you know what, we're the only candidate besides Joe Biden that's anywhere with African-American voters.

ENTEN: That -- that is -- that is a fair argument, but we're going to have to wait and see whether African-American voters change their mind based upon how Iowa and New Hampshire went.

CAMEROTA: And I will be doing a voter panel this week with that very demographic.

ENTEN: There we go.

CAMEROTA: How about that?

BERMAN: Talk to me about Twitter quickly.

ENTEN: Very quickly. You know, we always talk about the fact that the Twitter primary, don't pay attention to it.

We asked folks in Iowa, are you a regular Twitter user or not? If you're a regular Twitter user, look, Warren way ahead. Biden only at 7 percent. Not a regular Twitter user, Biden doing significantly better. Warren doing significantly worse.

CAMEROTA: Very interesting.

Harry, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Great to talk to you.

BERMAN: All right, up next, exclusive interviews with U.S. forces stationed at the Iraqi base that was hit by Iranian missiles last week.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going across the gravel, looked out to like the eastern sky and I see this just orange streak. So I start sprinting, yelling incoming, getting everybody kind of warning. And then it hit.


BERMAN: We'll show you where the soldiers hid out and what's left of that base, next.


BERMAN: Four teams left standing in the quest for the Super Bowl after a thrilling weekend of playoff football.

Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report" from New Orleans, site of tonight's college football championship.

This promises to be awesome, Coy. But the games this weekend, oh, my.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: So exciting, John. Oh my is right.

The Chiefs, they haven't been to the Super Bowl in 50 years, but now they're just one win away, but it took a comeback of epic proportions.

Let's watch.

Down 24-0 to the Texans in the second quarter, reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes yelling at his teammates, do something special. Well, the Chiefs began one of the greatest comebacks in NFL playoff history. Mahomes throws three passing touchdowns in a three-minute span and just like that here come the Chiefs. Magic Mahomes throws for 321 yards, five touchdowns. Travis Kelce had three. Damien Williams ran for three as well. Kansas City reeling off 41 unanswered points winning 51-31. The first playoff team ever to win by 20 after trailing by at least 20. They host the Titans in the AFC title game next Sunday.

In the NFC, the Pac is back. Green Bay handling the Seahawks wire to wire. Aaron Rodgers connecting with Davante Adams eight times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. That's more yards than any Packers receiver in playoff history. And how about that Pac defense, on the attack, sacking Russell Wilson five times. Green Bay wins 28-23, reaching the conference championship for the third time in six years. They play at San Fran next Sunday.

Now, the college football playoff national championship is here tonight in New Orleans. Clemson and LSU, Tigers versus Tigers, SEC versus ACC. And LSU has the Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. They're the team of destiny playing 60 minutes from their campus in the same stadium they won their last title back in 2007. Now some people say SEC is king, but not right now. Clemson are the defending champs led by Coach Dabo Swinney, and his Tigers are hoping to win their third title, Alisyn, in the past four years.

CAMEROTA: OK, Coy, thank you very much for all of that.

Now to weather.

There was wild and deadly weather. Severe storms and tornadoes killed at least nine people across the United States. In the south, at one point, nearly 350,000 customers were without power this weekend. More rain is forecast today in the southeast that could lead to flash flooding. And, meanwhile, three dozen cities set record highs over the weekend.

BERMAN: All right, now to a CNN exclusive.

The tensions between the United States and Iran appear to have cooled for now, but U.S. troops stationed at Al-Assad Air Base in Iraq are still on high alert days after the Iranians struck the base with ballistic missiles.

CNN's Arwa Damon is the first journalist to tour the base and get an exclusive glimpse into what it was like during those potentially deadly attacks.

Arwa joins us now live from Baghdad.

Arwa, this is a remarkable look inside.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is. And let's just warn our viewers that there is some pretty intense language off the top of this story. But going there really gave us an idea of just how potentially lethal these attacks could have been.



DAMON (voice over): American forces are not used to being on the receiving end of this kind of fire power. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) another one. Another one.

DAMON: They are usually the ones delivering it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I'm not going to lie, I was scared at the moment. But it happened and it's something that we were ready for. Ready as can be.

DAMON: Ready for some sort of ground attack by Iran's proxies. Ready for mortars and rockets. But this base is not equipped to defend against ballistic missiles.

On any other night, some of the 2,500 troops and contractors would have been in the areas hit.

LT. COL. TIM GARLAND, U.S. MILITARY: The ballistic missile reporting started to come in a couple hours before the event. And so at that point we were -- we were really scrambling on, you know, how to protect against that. And so it really came down to dispersion, you know, putting space between people and then also getting them into hardened bunkers just to -- just to provide that protection.

DAMON: At 11:00 p.m., those who could started to hunker down in bunkers built by their former enemy.

DAMON (on camera): This is a Saddam Hussein era bunker.

LT. COL. STACI COLEMAN, U.S. AIR FORCE: It is. So we felt it would be somewhat safe in here because it was designed to take, you know, some kind of hit or it was built for, you know, ballistic missiles.

DAMON (voice over): At 1:34 a.m., the first missiles hit.

COLEMAN: And these doors, every time one of the missiles hit, the doors would kind of sink in.

DAMON: Dozens of troops were still out in the open, holding their positions to protect the base. There was still the threat of incoming rockets, mortars and a ground assault. Pilots were still at their stations operating drones.


CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER MIKE PRIDGEON, U.S. ARMY: As I was running -- going across the gravel, I could -- looked out to like the eastern sky and I see this just orange streak. So start sprinting and yelling incoming, getting everybody, kind of a warning. And then it hit. So, yes.

DAMON: Flames swallowed up the drone team's living quarters. Some 30 troops would have been sleeping here had they not been ready. Others rushed around the base as missiles came down, looking for anyone who may have been injured, checking on the base's defenses.

Along the base perimeter, young soldiers on their first tour fought the instinct to flee and stayed, manning the guard towers. SPEC. ERIC KNOWLES, U.S. ARMY: It was definitely scary at first, but

we both knew we had a job to do, manning the tower and keeping eyes front. So we had to do that more than anything, focused on that, try not to focus on everything behind us.

DAMON: When one strike hit too close, they vaulted into the back of a truck and held their position there.

It was a night unlike any here had experienced, hunkered down for about two hours, unable to fight back. Some crammed into bunkers that weren't built to withstand missiles like these.

DAMON (on camera): These kinds of small bunkers exist throughout the base, but they're meant to protect against rockets and mortars. The ballistic missiles that were fired are about 3,000 times more powerful than that. The blast from this one knocked over a four ton t-wall. But if that hadn't happened, those who were sheltering here probably would not have survived.

DAMON (voice over): Come daybreak, fear of finding out who was killed or wounded was eclipsed by the joyous shock that no one was.

DAMON (on camera): It's like what are those reunions like when you kind of see someone who you're close to and you realize that you're both OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a warm feeling deep in the heart that all your friends, your family here is OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just felt like forever since I'd seen my guys. And, you know, there's a lot of hugging and a lot of tears and a lot of -- it's just -- it's just a great feeling knowing that all your people are OK.

DAMON (on camera): And this is where you used to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, thus is my room. A little bit more open floor plan now. But, yes, my bunk was right in the corner right there. And this is my neighbor up here. Everything's obviously gone. It's -- just happy no one was inside, you know?

DAMON: It's kind of freaky looking at it like this, isn't it?

PRIDGEON: Yes. It's surreal. I'm not bothered looking at it, it's just, you know, it's a reminder the threat still exists.

SPECIALIST KIMO KELTZ, U.S. ARMY: That, you know, we have each other. We had each other that night and we'll always. It's a brotherhood that will never break because of it.

DAMON: Does it change your perspective on life?

COLEMAN: It does. It does. It could -- you know, it could be over in a, you know, in an instant. It really does. And it really makes me value -- value mostly my team. DAMON (voice over): The base is still on high alert. The dining

facility is open, but people eat elsewhere to avoid a large crowd gathering.

The military says they are ready for what may come next. Iran's proxies on the ground continue to vow revenge. Even for those who have seen war before, this was unlike any other battlefield experience. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness that comes with being under ballistic missile attack, to be at the mercy of the enemy, one that could strike again even if it's not like this.


DAMON: And, Alisyn, there's been quite a bit of speculation and analysts saying that perhaps Iran was trying to avoid U.S. casualties. Well, talk to anyone on that base and they will tell you that that most certainly was not the case.

CAMEROTA: Arwa, I mean, your images, we just would not have been able to see that. I -- it was so much worse than what I had imagined in my mind's eye in terms of the aftermath. And when you talked about that wall, that that's where they were sheltering and had that heavy cement wall not fallen, who knows what would have happened. I mean that reporting is just really vital for us to see.

BERMAN: Yes, no question, the missiles hit with deadly force wherever they were aimed at.

Arwa, terrific reporting. Thanks so much for being with us.

CAMEROTA: So Iran, impeachment, and Iowa. It's a big week ahead.

And NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Angry blowback for the downing of Ukrainian passenger jet gathering momentum in Tehran.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is remarkable to see people pouring back out on the streets knowing they may risk their lives.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Top national security officials struggle to explain President Trump's latest claim.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe it would have been four embassies.

MARK ESPER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: What the president said is what I believe as well.