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EARLY START

CNN's Democratic Presidential Debate; Senate Trial Likely To Begin Next Tuesday; Two Missiles Struck The Ukrainian Jet Shot Down Last Week In Iran. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired January 15, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:03:25]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to CNN's Democratic Presidential Debate, live from Des Moines, Iowa.

Time now for closing statements. You each have one minute. Senator Klobuchar, let's begin with you.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump thinks this is all about him. I think it's about you. It's not about his resorts or his tweets or even his ego. It is about your healthcare. It is about your schools. It is about your lives and your future.

So if you want to do something about racial justice and immigration reform and climate change and gun safety, we need a candidate who is actually going to bring people with her.

I have won every race, every place, every time. I have gotten the highest voter turnout in the country when I've led the ticket. I have passed more bills as the lead Democrat than anyone who's in Congress that's running for President. I believe that we need a President that's going to look out for you.

It is easy to hurl insults. It is easy to draw lines in the sand and sketch out grand ideological sketches that will never see the light of day. What is hard is bringing people together and finding common ground instead of scorched earth. What is hard is the work of governing.

So if you are tired of the extremes in our politics and the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me. Join me at amyklobuchar.com.

BLITZER: Mr. Steyer?

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that Iowans are going to caucus within three weeks, and I want to tell you how I feel about the American people.

[03:05:06]

STEYER: Look, I played team sports my entire life. The bond between teammates is deep and emotional and full of love. And as far as I'm concerned, the American people are my teammates.

And if there's one thing I will not permit, it is someone to run down the field and kick my teammate in the face. And that is exactly what I've seen over the last seven years, traveling around this country, seeing these Republicans, led by Mr. Trump, basically kicking the American people in the face.

I am prepared to take on Mr. Trump on the debate stage and take him down on the economy. But I am asking for your support because I know that if I'm -- if I'm going to be a good teammate to you and give you absolutely everything, without any compromise, I need the support of you on caucus night so I can turn around and together we can take back this country and together we can save the world.

BLITZER: Mayor Buttigieg?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is our moment, this is our one shot to defeat Donald Trump, and to do it by such a big margin that we send Trumpism into the dust bin of history, too.

But we cannot take the risk with so much on the line of trying to confront this President with the same Washington mindset and political warfare that led us to this point.

If you are watching this at home and you are exhausted by the spectacle of division and dysfunction, I'm asking you to join me to help turn the page on our politics.

You're seeing the President boast about the Dow Jones, wondering whether any of that will ever get to your kitchen table. Join me.

If you're a voter of color feeling taken for granted by politics as usual, join me.

If you're used to voting for the other party but right now cannot look your kids in the eye and explain this President to them, join me.

We have a chance to change all of this if we can summon the courage to break from the past. That is why I am running for President. It is why I'm asking you to caucus for me on February 3rd. And I hope that you'll go to peteforamerica.com and join me in this effort.

BLITZER: Senator Warren?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So much is broken in this country. I sat here in the break and just made notes about many of the things we didn't get to talk about tonight: how the disability community is struggling for true equality; how gun violence and active shooter drills worry every mother in this country; how children are living in poverty and seeing their life chances shrink; how transwomen, particularly transwomen of color, are at risk; black infant mortality; climate change that particularly hits black and brown communities; people who are being crushed by student loan debt; farmers who are barely holding on; people struggling with mental illness. And yet I come here tonight with a heart filled with hope. And it's

filled with hope because I see this as our moment in history, our moment when no one is left on the sidelines, our moment when we understand that it comes to us to decide the future of this country, our moment when we build the movement to make real change.

Hope and courage. That is how I will make you proud every day, as your nominee and as the first woman President of the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Senator Sanders?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's been a good debate, but we haven't asked the major question. The major question is, how does it happen in the richest country in the history of the world that half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, trying to get by on nine to ten bucks an hour?

How does it happen that when the top one percent owns more wealth than the bottom 92 percent, half a million people are sleeping out on the streets tonight? How does it happen that in this great country we are the only major nation not to guarantee healthcare to all?

How does it happen that we have a childcare system which is dysfunctional, a criminal justice system which is broken and racist, an immigration system that needs reform?

This is the moment when we have got to think big, not small. This is the moment when we have got to have the courage to take on the one percent, take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite, and create an economy and create a government that works for all of us, not just the one percent. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Vice President Biden.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Character is on the ballot this time around. The American character is on the ballot. Not what Donald Trump is spewing out, the hate, the xenophobia, the racism, that's not who we are as a nation.

Everyone in this country is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. Every single, solitary person has to have in a position that, in fact, we treat them with decency. It's about fundamental basic decency.

[03:10:12]

BIDEN: We in the United States of America can put up with -- we can overcome four years of Donald Trump, but eight years of Donald Trump will be an absolute disaster and fundamentally change this nation.

We have to restore America's soul, as I've said from the moment I announced. It is in jeopardy under this President of the United States. We lead the world when we lead by example, not by our power.

We, in fact, have to regain the respect of the world in order to be able to change things.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in a position right now where we have to remember who we are: This is the United States of America. There is not a single thing beyond our capacity to do if we do it together. Let's go do it.

(APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: Candidates, thank you very, very much. That concludes the first Democratic presidential debate of 2020.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you, Wolf. That does it from our debate side in Des Moines. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Laura Jarrett. It's Wednesday, January 15th, 19 days to the Iowa caucuses. This is the last time you will see the leading Democrats on stage together before the first votes are cast.

A debate in Iowa live on CNN a light on personal attacks, heavy on policy, climate, free college healthcare, and especially foreign intervention.

The gravity of the moment is clear. The candidates addressing priorities as Commander-in-Chief, they denounced President Trump's dealing with Iran and other crises looming.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: ISIS is going to reconstitute itself. We're in a position where we have to pull our forces out. Americans have to leave the entire region. And quite frank, I think he has flat out lied about saying the reason he went after -- the reason he made the strike was because our embassies are about to be bombed.

SANDERS: Two great foreign policy disasters of our lifetimes with the war in Vietnam, and the war in Iraq. Both of those wars, were based on lies. And right now, what I fear very much is we have a President who is lying again.

WARREN: We have one general after another in Afghanistan who comes in and says, you know, we've just turned the corner, and now it's all going to be different. And then what happens? It's all the same for another year.

Someone new comes in and we've just turned the corner. We've turned the corner so many times we're going in circles, it's time to get our combat troops home.

KLOBUCHAR: Afghanistan -- I have long wanted to bring our troops home, I would do that. Some would remain for counterterrorism and training. In Syria, I would have not have removed the 150 troops from the border

with Turkey. I think that was a mistake. I think it made our allies and many others much more vulnerable to ISIS.

BUTTIGIEG: Not just conventional military challenges, not just stateless terrorism, but cybersecurity challenges, climate security challenges, foreign interference in our elections. It's going to take a view to the future, as well as the readiness to learn from the lessons of the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: The most anticipated moment of the night came between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they were asked about Warren's claim that Sanders told her privately a woman cannot win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We want to be clear here. You're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election.

SANDERS: That is correct.

PHILLIP: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?

WARREN: I agreed. Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have last 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women. Amy and me.

KLOBUCHAR: So true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: At the end of the night, a moment to make progressives cringe, Sanders tries to shake Warren's hand. She declines and they have what looks like a very tense exchange with Tom Steyer looking on.

JARRETT: A little bit awkward there. Well, an impeachment trial of a U.S. President, only the third in history is about to begin.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote this morning on a resolution to transmit Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. She will also name the impeachment managers who will prosecute the case.

The Senate trial likely to begin next Tuesday. Before proceedings move to the Senate, the House Democrats unveiled some new evidence supporting their case for removing President Trump from office.

Congressional Correspondent, Phil Mattingly has the latest from Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, just as the House of Representatives is about to vote to send the Articles of Impeachment over to the United States Senate, something we've been waiting on for the better part of the last three weeks, new information.

[03:15:10]

MATTINGLY: This information related directly to a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, an indicted former associate of Rudy Giuliani. Lev Parnas who has made clear through his lawyer that he wants to cooperate with House impeachment investigators, wants to turn over documents, notes, text messages, WhatsApp messages. Well, he's done that.

And now, those messages, all of that information is going to be part of the packet of information and evidence that House Democrats send over to the United States Senate for that trial.

Now, combing through the documents that we've seen up to this point, they include things like a previously undisclosed letter from Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney, to President-elect Zelensky of Ukraine making clear he wants a meeting with Zelensky to talk about a "significant issue."

This meeting, he says would take effect under the pretense of him being President Trump's personal lawyer, not as a member of the administration, however, in the letter, he makes very clear that he does have President Trump's acknowledgement and consent to ask for such a meeting.

All of this underscoring what we've seen several times over the past several weeks that there is a lot of information still out there about what was actually taking place inside the Trump administration, and obviously, outside the Trump administration, as it relates to its Ukraine policy and underscoring House Democrats push to have more of that information available and potentially witnesses come testify about that information when the trial stage hits in the United States Senate.

When all that's going on right now in the country and in the world, this is something everybody's going to be paying attention to -- guys.

ROMANS: All right, Phil, thank you for that. The documents from Lev Parnas raises many questions as they answer, but when intriguing text exchange shows former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko pushing for the removal of then U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

There were also cryptic texts between Parnas and a Republican congressional candidate implying the Ambassador's movements in Ukraine were being tracked.

Yovanovitch's lawyer called for an investigation saying the idea she was being surveilled is disturbing.

President Trump is expected to sign that Phase 1 trade deal with China this morning. This is a big moment for the President. Even if this deal is skinny on paper, we haven't seen all the text yet. Don't expect that to stop the pomp and circumstance. About 200 people are expected to attend. The deal, almost two years in

the making leaves tariffs on about $370 billion worth of goods. This trade war by the way has been costly.

Moody's Analytics says 300,000 jobs have been lost. American importers have paid an extra $46 billion in tariffs which raises costs for consumers and the manufacturing sector has taken a beating -- all of that from Moody's.

While signing is the focus today, last night's debate focused on China and NAFTA, including the divide between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who did not vote for NAFTA.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: Joe and I have a fundamental disagreement here, in case you haven't noticed.

[LAUGHTER]

SANDERS: And that is NAFTA PNTR with China, other trade agreements were written for one reason alone, and that is to increase the profits of large multinational corporations.

And the end result of those two, just PNTR with China, Joe, and NAFTA cost us some four million jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: PNTR to normalize trading relationship with China, four million likely an over estimate of the impact. Most estimates by the NAFTA had little have any impact on national employment levels, so the effect was uneven across regions and industries. In some places, there was a negative impact from NAFTA and that's something you're still feeling now.

JARRETT: Yes, well, not one, but two missiles struck the Ukrainian jet shot down last week in Iran. What does this mean for Iran? CNN is live in the Middle East.

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[03:23:01]

ROMANS: New video posted by "The New York Times" reveals two missiles striking a Ukrainian passenger plane last week. Iran admits its military accidentally shot down the jet killing all 176 people on board. It has not acknowledged the plane was struck twice.

Let's go live to Abu Dhabi and bring in CNN's Nic Roberson -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, what we heard from the Iranians is talk about just one missile hitting it. There was one brief statement from the President right after they announced this talking about missiles. But the narrative from Iran has clearly been about one missile strike of the aircraft. This new video reveals perhaps really horrific last moments for those

onboard. The second missile hits 20 seconds after the first one. So it seems to have been fired because the aircraft obviously didn't come down, which speaks to horrific moments on board that aircraft, everyone there.

This speaks also to the less than transparent nature of the investigation that the Iranians say that they're going to carry out and are carrying out.

And on top of that we've heard from the Ukrainian investigators today, saying they are now requesting the black boxes from the Iranians. They're going public with this request.

The Iranians are saying that they'll send somebody to Ukraine to check out whether the Ukrainians have the facilities to do this. But again, this undermines the sort of international faith in the investigation that Iran says that it's taking part in right now.

And on top of this, as well, we're now hearing a sort of escalating rhetoric from the Foreign Ministry in Iran, Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister pushing back on the Europeans calling the JCPOA, the nuclear deal into a dispute resolution mode.

The Iranian Foreign Minister is saying that the U.K. here is essentially giving in to United States' bullying. So the bigger picture here is Iran being less than honest and Iran pushing back on diplomatic efforts to resolve the current tensions.

[03:25:02]

ROMANS: All right, Nic in Abu Dhabi for us. Thanks.

JARRETT: Well, Senate Democrats believe they have 51 votes to pass a War Powers Resolution limiting President Trump's ability to take military action against Iran.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia says four Republican senators have signed on to his bipartisan resolution: Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Susan Collins of Maine and Todd Young of Indiana.

If true, it's a major rebuke of the President after he ordered the killing of Iran's top general. Senator Kaine says the Senate could vote on the measure next week. It would likely pass the House and be vetoed by the President with an override unlikely in either chamber.

ROMANS: All right, 26 minutes past the hour. More fallout from the Astros cheating scandal, the Red Sox manager is out of job.

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