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Warren Disappointed in Sanders; Royal Family Holds Summit; Oscar Nominations Announced. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired January 13, 2020 - 08:30   ET

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


[08:30:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Ryan, you cover the Sanders campaign, why did it deem necessary to send out this call script? And I'll only note also that in South Carolina Nina Turner, who works for the Sanders campaign, has put in an op-ed very harsh about Joe Biden. So fighting a two-front war here.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think there's a number of levels to this, John.

First of all, this is a campaign, right? This is the responsibility of these candidates to draw distinctions between one another and, for the most part, these Democratic candidates up until here the last few hours before the Iowa caucuses have really stayed away from attacking each other too directly.

What the Sanders campaign says about this call script is that this is essentially something they give to their volunteers. They're not supposed to direct this criticism towards Elizabeth Warren until someone that they're calling actually says that they're inclined to support Warren. And this is where they draw that -- this distinction.

I think what's been interesting is how quickly Elizabeth Warren jumped to kind of rebut this criticism and accuse Senator Sanders of trashing her and her campaign. This shows that both sides recognize that they're the top two in this CNN/"Des Moines Register" poll with just two weeks to go. And even though, for the most part, they've drafted each other throughout this campaign, trying to coalesce the progressive base, at some point they're going to have to stand on their own two feet and they figure the last two weeks before Iowa was the time to make that move.

BERMAN: It's interesting, Elizabeth Warren, in her response, seemed to make a direct play toward those Democrats who were unhappy in 2016, who felt that Bernie Sanders perhaps didn't do enough to help elect Hillary Clinton president and to play into the tensions that did exist back then. That's how Warren responded.

Rachel, these candidates are going to be on the debate stage tomorrow night. What do you think we will see with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders tomorrow night?

RACHEL STASSEN-BERGER, POLITICS EDITOR, "THE DES MOINES REGISTER": That's right.

BERMAN: And what do they need to do, do you think, in the next three weeks?

STASSEN-BERGER: That's right. In our poll, as you know, they were the top two, and we saw a lot of crossover support among their folks saying they're backing them. In fact, one of the things that was really interesting that we saw is that, for backers of Elizabeth Warren, Sanders was not necessarily the top second choice, but they were for Sanders supporters. And so I think these two campaigns are trying to figure out how to play with those numbers and get their supporters out and bring on some of the others.

We absolutely did see, when Elizabeth Warren was campaigning in Iowa, a very quick reaction, but we also saw a very quick Sanders reaction. Sanders, when he was here yesterday, said, look, Elizabeth Warren is a friend of mine. I've got hundreds of employees. She's got hundreds of employees. Sometimes people say things. You can't directly say that I am attacking Elizabeth Warren and you've never heard me say those words.

And so I think there's -- they're trying to do sort of a bifurcation of, here's what my supporters say, but here's what I am saying and you must listen to me.

BERMAN: One of the things, Rachel, and if you can talk about this, that Bernie Sanders has proven in 2016 and now, he's a tough target on a Democratic debate stage. And for some reason the other candidates don't choose to lean into him.

What do you expect to see tomorrow night?

STASSEN-BERGER: That's right. Well, one of the things that's been really interesting in Iowa is obviously Sanders did quite well here in the 2016 caucuses, nearly beating Hillary Clinton, although obviously she won the caucuses that year. And so I think we're going to see people trying to pick up some of his supporters, but not go too far because there's a lot of them here in Iowa. And so if you make the fans of Bernie get really angry, it's not going to help your campaign.

So I think there's going to be subtle attacks on him, sort of subtle promotions of thy self, but they're not going to say Sanders in bad and I am great. They're going to say, look, I'm just a little better. And I think we're going to see those subtle framing of the conversation on the debate stage tomorrow.

BERMAN: If we can put up the podium structure so you can see where the candidates will be standing and the six candidates that will be there.

And, Ryan, of course, what's so interesting about Iowa is the viability threshold. And the reason you have to be a little careful about going negative is you don't want to alienate the third, fourth, fifth, sixth place candidates because their supporters, if they don't reach 15 percent in every specific caucus, they go somewhere else.

NOBLES: Yes, that's absolutely right, John. You know, the structure of Iowa is so different than some of these other states that come further down the calendar. And I think the Sanders campaign, the Warren campaign, these campaigns that kind of understand the stakes here are very cognizant of that. And they know that perhaps even if Amy Klobuchar is not going to have enough support here to win the caucuses, that her supporters could still play a big role in who ultimately does win.

And the other thing that's important to keep in mind, John, as you look further down this Democratic contest, these Democrats are concerned about unifying the party against one central opponent, and that is Donald Trump. So even though they do want to draw these distinctions, they want to be very careful not to rough up the eventual nominee in any kind of significant way because while they're fighting amongst each other, Donald Trump is coalescing the Republican base, raising millions and millions of dollars, just waiting for the Democratic primary opponent to come out.

[08:35:14]

So there's a benefit to, at this stage of the race, from a strategic standpoint, and the Iowa caucus, to kind of hold each other harmless, but still draw those distinctions. And there's also a benefit down the road because ultimately what they want to see is Donald Trump removed from office.

BERMAN: Got to walk a tightrope and we'll see it tomorrow night right here.

Rachel Stassen-Berger, Ryan Nobles, looking like a scene from "It's a Wonderful Life" with the snow on your collar there, thanks very much for being with us.

You can watch the Democratic debate on CNN, in partnership with "The Des Moines Register," tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Don't miss it.

CAMEROTA: It's going to be a lot like "It's a Wonderful Life."

All right, meanwhile, royal drama. Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles and more all summoned with a face-to-face meeting with the queen to figure out what to do about Harry and Meghan. Max Foster brings us the latest in a live report, next.

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[08:40:00]

CAMEROTA: Queen Elizabeth is hosting an emergency meeting today to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell plan to step back from their royal duties. This will be the first time Prince Harry comes face-to-face with his grandmother, his father, and older brother since the announcement. Meghan Markle will call into the meeting from Canada.

Joining us now, CNN anchor and royal coordinator Max Foster, and CNN royal experts Victoria Arbiter.

Great to have both of you for this really significant day in Britain.

So, Max, I mean, we were joking before about not having, you know, a hidden camera there in the room, much as we all might like that. But just explain how is this going to go? Is it going to be emotional? Will there be angry words exchanged? Or is this all sort of a business meeting? What's going to happen in there?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I think certainly from, you know, the William, Charles, and queen side, there's a genuine will to get this resolved as quickly as possible. There are two elements to this. There's the family element, which obviously is very upsetting. There is a family crisis.

But there isn't an institutional crisis yet because those three are holding together the core of the royal family. As long as they're strong, the institution's OK. But they've got to find a way forward on this because Harry was a key member of that top team. He's clearly on the way out. How far is he going to go and what sort of terms will he go on? That's what they are discussing today.

So the palace teams and the governments of the U.K., and we think Canada, have set up a series of scenarios, a series of roles effectively that the Sussexs could phonetically take and the implications of those. They're all on the table. They're going to be discussed. There's hope there will be an agreement on one of them.

CAMEROTA: Victoria, the Duchess of Sussex, or as we call her Meghan here, is calling in via conference call. We're told she's in Canada. Why isn't she there in person?

VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: That's a very good question, Alisyn, and I think a lot of people are curious as to why she felt the need to run off to Canada as soon as this announcement has been made. Some people are saying, is it a little disrespectful that she's not there to meet the queen in person? But I think as well, Meghan is perhaps taking a step back and letting the key royal members of the family sort this out. She's going to trust Harry to be -- making sure that their best interests are taken care of. And there's a point where there's just too many cooks in the room as well, perhaps, and so leaving this to the key members.

I have to say, I've never known a meeting such as this to ever take place. Back in the '90s, when the queen was urging Charles and Diana to divorce, she was sending them letters. So this is really indicative of a royal family that's very keen to show the world they want to find the right solution, but they want to find a solution that's going to be viable for Harry and Meghan, but one that works for the monarchy, but also they have to address the fact it has to be a solution that works for the British public as well.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, I guess, Max, just generally speaking, of course the queen wants them to stay and perform their royal duties, but when somebody wants to leave, if Meghan and Harry want to leave, how could she force them to stay?

FOSTER: Well, you've also got to consider the dynamic between Harry and Meghan. There's some speculation that Meghan was -- some pretty solid reporting that Meghan does want out altogether, but Harry actually wants to keep one foot in. He has worked very hard toward this public role and he doesn't want to let go of it all together. So that's another debate I'm sure that's going on.

I think, you know, and Victoria's spoken before about how this idea of, you know, a hybrid role, partly private, partly public, hasn't ever really worked before in royal history. And that's something they're considering today.

The other thing they'll be -- also be considering is that the royal brand is up there in surveys very often, you know, up there with Apple, with CNN, with these big brands. It's a hugely valuable brand. It's been built up over a thousand years and it's been really built up over the last few decades by the queen. She's responsible for that brand.

To what extent will Meghan and Harry be allowed to take away that value and cash in on it when others can't? And they can't for very good reason. They don't want to compromise, you know, public interest and private interest.

So, will she be allowed to do that? That's a big debate as well today.

CAMEROTA: And, you know, Victoria, we were talking about how much we enjoyed covering the wedding, the royal wedding, and how much promise there was on that day. I remember being very poignant when the two brothers were in their full regalia and walking down in front of Windsor Castle and everybody had turned out on the streets and there was a feeling that the tragedy of their mother's death, they had somehow overcome it. And there was also a feeling of promise that Harry and Meghan were the new face of the royal family and they were going to be able to figure out this progressive, modern role.

And so how did it kind of deteriorate in this just year plus?

ARBITER: It's hard to believe, isn't it, we're bearing 600 days beyond that day. And anyone that was there or was watching on television, you could feel that sense of optimism.

[08:45:04]

The royal family had finally been propelled into the 21st century. Prince Charles was incredibly proud, escorting Meghan partway down that aisle. He made sure to take care of her mother. This was a royal family that had very much embraced Meghan.

Now, it's very easy to try and lay blame in any one party. Buckingham Palace has been criticized for not having a more public show of support for Meghan. Of course the media has been culpable. There's all these stories of the rift between Harry and William.

But I think we have to look at all parties in this scenario. Perhaps help was offered to Harry and Meghan and it wasn't the kind of help they wanted. So everyone has had a part to play. And that's why now everyone has a part to play in making sure they can find a solution that's going to work for the years to come.

CAMEROTA: And, Max, last, just about that rift between the brothers, this is what "The Sunday Times" is reporting that Prince William said, quote, I've put my arm around my brother all our lives. I can't do it anymore. We're separate entities. What can you tell us about that?

FOSTER: Well, I can tell you that the palace hasn't denied that report, which suggests that it's true, also from a very legitimate reporter and with some strong sourcing as well.

I mean I, behind the scenes, have seen how the brothers have moved apart. What's interesting and very sad and very sobering is to see it break out in the open in this way. So it will be extraordinary to see into that meeting today to see Harry and William come face-to-face. They haven't done so in some time. And there's a lot of distrust between them.

And then you've got Charles and the queen as well. Ultimately it's between Harry and the queen because she will decide what happens here.

But it's very sad from a personal point of view because you saw how these two brothers were actually forming almost a co-monarchy. The monarchy was being slimmed down, but it's being slimmed down to those two and they're going to share the burden together. You've got to remember here, for William as well, a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders today because he's losing a key part of the family. He's going to have to pick up a lot of those responsibilities with his wife and children going forward.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

Max, we know you'll bring us any developments as soon as they happen.

Max Foster, Victoria Arbiter, thank you both very much.

John.

BERMAN: So, moments ago, the nominations were announced for the 92nd Academy Awards. I have been poring over the list and I'm OK with most of it, but there are some gross outrageous. We'll tell you what they are, next.

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[08:51:32]

BERMAN: Moments ago, the nominations for the Academy Awards announced.

Joining us now to break down the nominees, the big snubs, the surprises, CNN contributor Nischelle Turner, host of "Entertainment Tonight."

Let us start with best picture, Nischelle.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Let's get to it. All right.

BERMAN: Let's throw it up. "Ford v Ferrari," "The Irishman," "Jojo Rabbit," "Joke," "Little Women," "Marriage Story," "1917,' "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," and "Parasite."

I will tell you, I am mostly OK with these.

CAMEROTA: Thank goodness.

TURNER: Yes, I don't think there's a lot to argue about in this category for sure.

BERMAN: What do you see?

TURNER: You know, the interesting thing is, people love "Parasite." It snuck in there. Unlike the Golden Globes, they have a rule there for the Globes that you can't be nominated -- a foreign language film can't be nominated for best picture, best comedy, best drama, that kind of thing. It has to be an English language film. But the Oscars do not have that same stipulation, so it did get a nomination for best picture this morning.

CAMEROTA: I hate when a parasite sneaks in there. But -- but let's talk about -- let's talk about best actress and what jumped out at you, Nischelle.

TURNER: Well, a lot of things. First of all, Scarlett Johansson is going to wake up really happy this morning because she's a double nominees for both best actress and best supporting actress, but she was nominated for "Marriage Story." Cynthia Erivo, also a double nominee this morning for acting in "Harriet" and also for best song. Saoirse Ronan is one of the Academy's favorites. Charlize Theron was phenomenal as Megyn Kelly in "Bombshell." And Renee Zellweger as "Judy," she was Judy Garland. And the -- the money on her to take home the Oscar.

CAMEROTA: Ah.

BERMAN: I think Saoirse should win there. So my outrage will be when the award is actually given not to Saoirse Ronan.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for preparing us.

BERMAN: She deserves it.

Best actor.

TURNER: It's Boston. It's a Boston thing.

BERMAN: Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Pryce. This is a little bit of a tour de force here.

TURNER: Yes, very much so. You know, I think one person who will wake up this morning kind of scratching their head is Taron Egerton. He won the Golden Globe for playing Elton John in "Rocketman." He did not get nominated this morning. A couple of other people that could have snuck in there, Christian

Bale, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy. None of those guys. But this was a very, very tough category. I mean it's got heavy hitters. Also Robert De Niro not in this category. His co-stars, of course, did get nominated for "The Irishman."

CAMEROTA: OK, best supporting actress. Take us through it.

TURNER: I mean this is a good category here. I think the money's on Laura Dern. She was nominated for "Marriage Story." Kathy Bates was a surprise this morning. The money is on her knocking J.Lo out of this category. A lot of people thought Jennifer Lopez would get a nomination for "Hustler." She did not.

Scarlett Johansson, there she is, double nominee for "Jojo Rabbit." Florence Pugh for "Little Women" and Margot Robbie in "Bombshell," who was phenomenal as well.

But, yes, I think Jennifer Lopez will be pretty upset this morning when she wakes up because not only did she give a good performance, she also mounted an impeccable campaign to get an Oscar nomination.

BERMAN: And best supporting actor, talk about Hollywood royalty here, listen to this category.

TURNER: I mean, right?

BERMAN: Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Brad Pitt.

CAMEROTA: And they're supporting actors.

TURNER: Listen, if those guys work really hard, they may have a future in this business, right?

Goodness me. I mean, listen, Brad Pitt has won everything so far this season. I think everyone feels like he's going to take this one home. But remember back to 2007, the same go -- people said going in for Eddie Murphy for "Dreamgirls" and he did not win that year. So anything could happen.

I think Joe Pesci and Al Pacino may split the vote for this one. So Brad may be safe here.

I think this one may be the closest thing to a lock that we're going to get.

CAMEROTA: OK. And best director. Take us through it.

TURNER: Wow. Well, there's no women. How about that.

BERMAN: Yes.

TURNER: Can I leave it at that? No.

Martin Scorsese was nominated for "The Irishman." [08:55:01]

Todd Phillips, a bit of a surprise for "Joker." Sam Mendes in "1917." Quentin Tarantino for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." And Bong Joon Ho for "Parasite."

You know, going in, I think Sam Mendes and Quentin Tarantino are the frontrunners here. Both of them won the Golden Globe -- their films won the Golden Globe.

But I tell you what, Greta Gerwig could have been nominated here.

BERMAN: Should have.

TURNER: Kasi Lemmons could have been nominated here. And also Lulu Wang should have been nominated here. And none of those women we saw them. So, once again, it will be hash tag director so male.

BERMAN: Yes.

Scorsese didn't need to be on the list this time. "The Irishman" wasn't -- wasn't that much of a thing.

TURNER: Yes.

BERMAN: Greta Gerwig, absolutely.

Nischelle Turner, thank you very much.

TURNER: Sure.

BERMAN: The "Joker" led the nominations, 11 nominations, the most (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: Yes. Wowie (ph).

OK, a big week on impeachment and Iran, of course. CNN has it all covered, next.

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[09:00:01]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Monday morning to you. It's going to be quite a week. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it will be. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. We're glad you're here. We're following two major stories this morning.

Nancy Pelosi --