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Tonight: Final Debate Before Iowa Vote; Russians Hack Company at Core of Impeachment; LSU Beats Clemson, Becoming College Football National Champs; Several Arrested in Iran Over Downing of Ukraine Plane; Air Quality Levels "Hazardous" in New South Wales. Aired 4:30- 5a ET

Aired January 14, 2020 - 04:30   ET

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


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Laura Jarrett. Twenty-nine minutes past the hour here in New York.

[04:30:01]

We're just hours from the final moments of the Democratic debate before voting begins in the Iowa caucuses.

Now, a peace between progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that stood for more than a year is at risk of crumbling. CNN was the first to report multiple sources saying Sanders told Warren during a private meeting in December of 2018 he didn't believe a woman could win the presidency.

Sanders quickly denied that. He said, quote, it's sad that three weeks before the iowa caucuses and a year after that private conversation staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Last night, Warren issued a statement. She confirms the account. Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate.

I thought a woman could win, he disagreed. Both sides struggling for control of the narrative. Warren said it happened, Sanders says it did not. Only one story can be true.

This is how a senior advisor to Sanders explained that on CNN last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF WEAVER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: I think their wires are crossed. It was a discussion about Trump, misogyny, sexism in politics, and the difficulty of running in the era of Trump for women -- the special challenges that women face in the era of Trump. But, you know, those conversations can sometimes get misconstrued, Chris.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Sunday, it emerged Sanders' surrogates were painting Warren as the candidate of the elites. All this just one thing to watch on the debate stage tonight.

For more, CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Des Moines for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, that's right. It is debate night here in Iowa, the final debate before the first votes begin in the 2020 presidential campaign, on the campus of Drake University.

Now, there will be six Democratic candidates taking the stage. They have debated so many times before. This is a different moment. You can feel that voters are paying more attention, at least in early voting states like Iowa, and the arguments and tensions certainly different as well.

Think of this as sort of a Venn diagram if you will and get out a drawing here. Bernie Sanders going after Joe Biden on foreign policy, making a case of judgment all sparked by the Iran controversy and, of course, Joe Biden's old vote for the Iraq War. At the same time, a new fight breaking out between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, all over electability.

As standing side-by-side on stage, what will their posture be?

Talking to both of their advisers in both campaigns, temperatures may cool a bit on that. They clearly do not want to alienate any progressive voters.

The other dynamic is this: Senator Amy Klobuchar trying to make her mark -- trying to get some momentum going into the final stretch here. She has been going after Pete Buttigieg -- his experience -- 37-year- old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana -- so she's started that argument. She's also been calling out other progressives in the race, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders -- calling for a reality check on some of their proposals.

Will she raise the word socialism? Will she say that Bernie Sanders will be tough to be elected against President Trump?

All of that is setting the stage here. The top four candidates bunched so closely in the race -- Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Biden. Amy Klobuchar, of course, far behind. Tom Steyer also on stage.

But this is the last big moment for these candidates before the impeachment trial is going to overshadow all of this -- so tonight, a critical moment here in Iowa. But three weeks from this morning, the winner and the losers will be heading to New Hampshire as the race goes on.

So, this is nearing the end -- Christine and Laura.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: All right, Jeff Zeleny there in Des Moines for us. And the top Democrats head to Iowa for a live CNN debate in

partnership with "The Des Moines Register" tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

ROMANS: I can't wait.

All right. New overnight, evidence that Russian military hackers successfully penetrated Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of President Trump's impeachment trial. The disclosure raises fears Russian intelligence wanted compromising information on Joe Biden. His son Hunter served on Burisma's board. The cyber security firm Area 1 says fake website setup by Russian intelligence tricked Burisma employees into giving up their passwords.

It's unknown how deeply the hackers accessed Burisma's network. No comments so far from the Russian embassy in Washington.

JARRETT: In just hours, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet with House Democrats. Sources tell CNN she may announce who will serve as impeachment managers as early as this morning. The managers essentially act as prosecutors in the Senate trial. A vote to approve the managers and send articles of impeachment to the Senate may take place tomorrow.

Key GOP senators say they're open to witnesses but not just yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I'd like there to be witnesses and be able to hear from someone like John Bolton. At the same time, I'm comfortable with the Clinton model, which is we hear the opening arguments first and then we'll have a vote on whether or not to have witnesses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: We know President Trump's defense team is mostly in place. Sources say the team feels confident after having to adjust after former national security adviser John Bolton offered to testify if subpoenaed. Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has been lobbying the president to join his legal team during the trial.

[04:35:01]

Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine are a key facet of the impeachment case.

JARRETT: New questions about imminent threat claim that President Trump used to justify the killing of a top Ukrainian general. State Department officials tell CNN they were not made aware of any imminent threat to four U.S. embassies and no warnings about four specific dangers were sent to a diplomatic outpost before the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

One senior State Department official describes being blindsided, and now top Trump administration officials are shifting their narrative again from imminence to deterrence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: President Trump and those of us in is national security team are reestablishing deterrents -- real deterrents against the Islamic Republic.

BILL BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It reestablished deterrents. It responded to attacks that had been already committed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump now insists imminence doesn't matter because of General Soleimani's horrible past. The president also found time to retweet this photoshopped image of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wearing Muslim clothing.

Two days ago, President Trump tweeted in Farsi to let protesting Iranians know how inspired he was by their courage. Of course, his travel ban prevents any of those people from seeking refuge in the United States.

JARRETT: And new this morning, several people arrested in Iran for their role in the shot down of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752. It's not known how many people were arrested or their roles in the disaster that killed 176 people.

CNN's Nic Robertson this morning is monitoring this from Abu Dhabi.

And, Nic, you know, President Rouhani saying he wants to take this very seriously and even setup a potential court potentially.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, he's talking about having a high judge and lots of experts, and that court is talking about accountability, is talking about never letting this happen again. There's been huge protests on the street. The government has had to use violence to stop and crush those protests. There were large numbers of riot police last night.

The protests didn't get up and running as we've seen over previous nights. And the night before, people had been shot on the streets, shot with live rounds of ammunition. And the government said while that wasn't live ammunition, the police were firing tear gas.

Be that as it may, Rouhani does seem to be sort of leading the charge against whoever may be -- they may determine they need to hold accountable for this. He's made this pledge it won't happen again. He said the world is watching and that they need this not just because the world is watching but also because Iranians want to do it.

So, you get the impression there that the leadership recognizes the domestic pressure they're under. But to that point, who exactly has been arrested, the semiofficial state news agency Fars hasn't said how many or who they are. Have they just arrested the guys who pushed the button that launched the missile? Have they arrested the commander who tried to check and see if this was as Iranian leadership has said was a missile? Has the arrest gone as far as the commanders who decided not to actually ground all the civilian aircraft that night?

So these are very significant questions. We don't have transparency on them, but the Iranians are going to be credible with this judicial process, which they're implying they want that credibility, transparency of course is going to be key and it's not there yet, Laura.

JARRETT: Yes. Well, Nic, thank you so much for staying on top of this for us. See you soon.

ROMANS: All right. The budget deficit is ballooning. The deficit passed a trillion dollars in calendar year 2019 for the first time since 2012, and since, the gap has only widened. When you look at the fiscal year, the first three months of this new fiscal year, the deficit has soared another 12 percent.

Where is the fiscal restraint in Washington? It has evaporated, it is gone. Where is this President Trump? Back in 2011, then citizen Trump slammed debt and deficits under President Obama. Trump rode into the White House promising to shrink or eliminate the deficit. Now the deficit has ballooned because of tax cuts and a two-year budget deal that increased federal spending, military spending up, health care costs are up, but what's coming in is not.

Usually budget deficits widen during economic downturns, but this economy is expanding.

It's not just the U.S., by the way. The world is drowning in debt. Data from the Institute of International Finance shows global debt grew to nearly $350 trillion in the first nine months of 2019. That puts the global debt to GDP ratio 322 percent.

So, a lot of jargon and numbers. That is essentially the highest level on record. Countries like New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway all have rising household debt levels. The debt to GDP ratios in U.S. and Australia are at all-time highs.

JARRETT: There's now a permanent stain on one of the greatest baseball seasons in recent memory. Houston Astros manager Jim Crane firing manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for using an intricate camera system to steal opponents' signs during their 2017 title season.

[04:40:02]

Hinch and Luhnow were initially suspended for one year without pay by the Major League Baseball, but the organization felt it needed to go a step further.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CRANE, OWNER AND CHAIRMAN, HOUSTON ASTROS: We need to move forward with a clean slate and the Astros will become stronger -- a stronger organization because of this today.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Both Hinch and Luhnow released statements accepting responsibility but emphasizing they did not orchestrate the scheme. More punishment is likely to come.

Major League Baseball's investigation found then Astros bench coach, Alex Cora was also deeply involved. He is now manager of the Boston Red Sox and is likely facing a long suspension when the investigation wraps up.

JARRETT: Let the good times roll at Louisiana State.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAME ANNOUNCER: Burrow from the pocket, launches to the end zone -- touchdown, Chase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: LSU capping an undefeated season, winning college football's national championship. A 42-25 victory over Clemson, the defending champs. LSU was led by Heisman trophy quarterback winning Joe Burrow. He threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another.

This is LSU's first national title since the 2007 season. Tigers fans have been up all night celebrating. Look at that. Good thing they're still on winter break there.

President Trump and the first lady attended the game at the Superdome in New Orleans and are received a very nice ovation.

ROMANS: And big chants of "USA, USA" there so a really great time there.

JARRETT: Good times.

ROMANS: Right.

All right. A battle brewing between the Justice Department and Apple. Should the tech giant unlock two phones used by the man who launched a terror attack on a naval air station in Florida?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:45:56]

ROMANS: Attorney General Bill Barr says last month's deadly shooting at a naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, was an act of terrorism. Barr says the gunman, Saudi Air Force cadet trainee, displayed extremist leanings and was motivated by jihadist ideology.

In an unusually high profile appeal, the attorney general wants Apple to help access two phones used by the shooter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR: This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that the public be able to get access to digital evidence. We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Apple says its response to the Justice Department has been timely, thorough and ongoing. It claims the Justice Department waited a month before disclosing the existence of a second phone.

JARRETT: Well, burn out could cause AFib. According to new research, deep, mental and physical exhaustion may actually put you at a higher risk for atrial fibrillation, the leading cause of stroke in the U.S. and Europe.

Many people living with AFib suffer sharp pains, palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. For others, it can be a symptom with silent killer. A new study in a European Journal of Preventative Cardiology concludes chronic stress and exhaustion could be a key factor in developing the disease.

ROMANS: Rising temperatures are being linked to an increase in injury deaths. Researchers study death rates to the U.S. from 1980 to 2017 to examine connections between abnormally high temperatures and mortality. They found about 1,600 more injury-related deaths in years that were consistently warmer that average. And 84 percent of those deaths involved men.

In warmer weather, driving performance deteriorates, alcohol consumption increases and more traffic coupled with people outside increases the risk of fatal collisions. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

JARRETT: Authorities in Texas say parents left their toddler in an unlocked running car while they gambled then found the car had been stolen with the child inside. Kimberley Hook and Anthony Blue told deputies they checked on their 16-month-old occasionally why they played in a gas mart. Officials say two teenagers noticed the running car and stole it. About an hour later, the child was found 20 miles away in Houston shivering in a onsie but unhurt.

(BEGIN VIEO CLIP)

KERRY CLOPTON, HPD: It's pretty chilly around here and there's a lot of wild animals around here so things could have ended up differently but the park came out here and located the baby.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: The suspected car thieves were spotted a short time later and arrested.

The parents and the suspects all face charges.

ROMANS: Everybody faces charges there.

All right. Police in Florida investigate explosions at three ATMs in the Tampa area over the past three months. The latest occurred this past weekend at a Regions Bank in Hillsborough County. Police believe all three explosions are connected, they're searching for two male suspects. Investigators have identified the type of explosives used by the suspects but they're not releasing that information.

JARRETT: New information shows the deadly Jersey City attack could have been much worse. FBI officials say the shooters had an improvised explosive device inside their rental van that could have killed people five football fields away. The attackers killed four people on December 10th, including three people inside a kosher market and a detective a short time later. Among the new details revealed by the FBI Monday, the attackers were not connected to any group, but they did leave behind a note indicating they were followers of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement and held anti-Semitic views.

ROMANS: All right. Just about 49 minutes past the hour. Dangerous driving conditions today in the central U.S. More than 42 million people under dense fog advisory from the Lower Dakotas to the Texas Coast.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys.

You do have quite a fog to work with here, with about 40 million plus people dealing with visibility under a quarter of one mile, dense fog advisories that includes areas around Omaha, OKC, down to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, even cross to state Charleston dealing with these conditions where really going to be dangerous going to roadways, and certainly flights could be impacted as well.

[04:50:06]

But notice some thunderstorms this morning across Shreveport, onto Jackson, northward into Memphis, and then work your way into say, the Atlanta metro area, 7 million people dealing with flood watches after several inches soaked the area.

But here we go, broaden out the perspective, notice quite a bit of wet weather in store for the next several days and work your way towards the north, Friday into Saturday, cold enough air in place, potentially we tap into at least some flurries. New York City just on the outskirts here of getting some light accumulations at best.

In Boston, a couple of inches possible, but it's interior New England where all the action is going to be packed for this weekend.

Highs today, Billings, two degrees for an important high. In Tampa, highs into the lower 80s -- guys.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JARRETT: All right. Pedram Javaheri, thanks, so much.

A Pittsburgh public library found it was missing $8 million worth of its rarest items. Nearly three years later a bizarre scheme has been uncovered. Turns out a library insider was selling the items to a local bookstore. This all happened at Pittsburgh's famous Carnegie Library.

Archivist Gregory Priore and bookstore owner John Schulman both face chargers. Prosecutors say their relationship dates back to 1992. An audit of the museum's rare items found hundreds of books, plates and maps vandalized or missing. Forty-two items were found later in a warehouse. Thirty-seven of them were listed for sale on the Internet.

ROMANS: Unbelievable.

JARRETT: It's crazy.

All right. Americans are falling out of its love with wine. I do not believe this at all. CNN Business has the details on what we're drinking instead, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:56:09]

JARRETT: Breathing is becoming a big problem in the Australian state of Victoria. Air quality levels dropping to hazardous as smoke from the ongoing brush fire crisis blankets the region. Across the country, thousands of devastated families are trying to figure out how to rebuild their lives.

Will Ripley has the latest from New South Wales.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Wingello, Australia, nobody imagined the fire could move so quickly. The front line was miles away from David Brugeman's (ph) home and store last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then we saw the sky got red, and we go, that's not normal. Then we heard the sound of the fire -- like a furnace, like a freight train right next to you.

RIPLEY: That familiar sound followed by a terrifying, almost apocalyptic scene. The Morton Fire so intense, it created its own weather, raining down fiery embers on this village of about 500.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it has exploding, fire everywhere. And I think, it hasn't gone for sure.

RIPLEY (on camera): And that picture you took thought you'd be the last you'd ever see of this place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For sure. I say, that's it. Gone.

RIPLEY (voice-over): A feeling shared by the fire captain, Mark Wilson.

MARK WILSON, FIRE CAPTAIN: It's different when it's your hometown. Like, I've been everywhere else, helped out everywhere else, but the emotions and everything kick in going, yes, this is my house, my friends, my loved ones.

RIPLEY: Wilson's team of volunteer firefighters battled throughout the night.

WILSON: It's a feeling like you're losing. You don't realize how much you have saved until the next day. We saved well over 80 houses that night.

RIPLEY (on camera): Even the most seasoned firefighters say it doesn't make sense how a house like this can be standing, the bushes are green and yet just a few steps away everything next door gone.

(voice-over): The fire danger is far from over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a fire at -- over (INAUDIBLE).

RIPLEY: As temperatures heat up, small fires reignite. How quickly could a small hot spot turn into a dangerous situation?

(on camera): But how quickly could a small, you know, hot spots turn to a dangerous situation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very easily because we've got a lot of unburnt trees on this property, especially the little blaze (ph) that picks up.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Here in New South Wales, Australia's hardest hit state, the fire season is only halfway through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the shop, there's no other shop here and we're at the center where everything is.

RIPLEY: Brugeman (ph) says he's doing everything he can to help neighbors who have lost everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought we should have lost about 50 houses and people dead. No one died, no one injured and we lost a dozen houses, but also taking care of now. It's a miracle. I call it this the miracle of Wingello.

RIPLEY: Nobody knows how long that miracle will last.

Will Ripley, CNN, Wingello, Australia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: Great reporting from Will. Thanks for that.

To business now. Let's get a check on markets around the world. At the moment you can see -- well, I would say this is higher performance except for Hong Kong there. You've got a slight upward bias to the markets. On Wall Street looking at the futures for today's trading session barely moving here. This is after yesterday, a record high for the S&P and the Nasdaq on

Monday, encouraged by reports during the trading day that the U.S. would remove China from its list of currency manipulators. After the closing bell, the Treasury Department released a statement confirming that.

At the close, the Dow up 82 points. The S&P 500 up close to 1 percent. The Nasdaq edged 1 percent higher.

Couple of factors this week, a small trade deal with China will be signed tomorrow and bank earnings -- expect banks to post record numbers. They have never made this much money before. JPMorgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo released their fourth quarter results before the opening bell.

Is America losing its taste for wine? Americans bought less wine for the first time in 25 years as baby boomers are drinking less and millennials are drinking things like hard Seltzers and cocktails and non-alcoholic beer.

END