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Rudy Giuliani Associate Naming Names in Ukraine Scheme; Senate to Decide Trump's Fate After House Delivers Articles of Impeachment; Prince Harry Makes First Appearance at Rugby Event; Rain Brings Relief and Risks to Melbourne. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 16, 2020 - 04:30   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": This is about 2020 to help him get the next four years.

LEV PARNAS, INDICTED ASSOCIATE OF RUDY GIULIANI: That was the way everybody viewed it.


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight an associate of Rudy Giuliani implicates President Trump and top aides in the Ukraine scandal. Will it force Mitch McConnell's hand on witnesses at the impeachment trial?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: History today on the Senate floor. A hundred senators will take an oath for the impeachment trial. We'll tell you what to expect.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you called me a liar on national TV.


JARRETT: It looked tense, it sounded ugly. What the rift between progressive senators means for the 2020 race.

ROMANS: That was some gender politics right there.

JARRETT: There's so much at play there.


JARRETT: Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour this Thursday morning here in New York. We begin with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. He is

naming names. He is directly implicating President Trump in the Ukraine affair along with high-ranking officials in Trump's inner circle. Parnas describing how he helped to orchestrate Giuliani's plot to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

He tells Anderson Cooper the effort had nothing to do with corruption. It was all about keeping the White House.


COOPER: That's not how you personally viewed it, that this is about 2020, to help him get the next four years.

PARNAS: No, it was the way everybody viewed it. I mean, there was -- that was the most important thing is for him to stay on for another four years. And after Rudy would speak with the president or would come from the White House, I was the first person he briefed.

COOPER: So, Giuliani knew everything you were doing?

PARNAS: Everything, Anderson.

COOPER: You're saying Vice President Pence knew?

PARNAS: Well, I don't know if the vice president knew everything we were doing. I'm sure he was --

COOPER: He knew about the quid pro quo.

PARNAS: Of course, he knew. Everybody knew.

COOPER: Bolton?

PARNAS: Bolton.

COOPER: Mulvaney?

PARNAS: Mulvaney. Bolton, I don't think agreed with it. I think Bolton is a very important witness because I think between me and Bolton we could fit in all the dots I think because I was on the ground there and he was over here. I mean --

COOPER: And you'd be willing to testify?

PARNAS: I would be very willing to testify.


JARRETT: And new revelation from Parnas also suggests the pressure campaign, well, it started long before Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president of Ukraine.


PARNAS: So the first quid pro quo again was when we met with President Poroshenko. That was --

COOPER: Former president.

PARNAS: Former President Poroshenko.

COOPER: So what was your message to Poroshenko?

PARNAS: Poroshenko if he would make the announcement that he would -- that he would get -- Trump would either invite him to the White House or make a statement for him but basically would start supporting him for, you know, president.

COOPER: So that --


JARRETT: Parnas' information is really key here because under a new House resolution impeachment managers have authority to submit new evidence.

The president has repeatedly tried to distance himself from Parnas and his business partner despite pictures of them together. You can see right there. All parties have denied pressuring Ukraine. But acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney did say last year quid pro quos happen all the time in foreign policy. Mulvaney is one of several witnesses Democrats want to hear from at the trial.

Parnas' full interview with Anderson Cooper airs tonight on "AC 360."

ROMANS: For just the third time in history, Americans will witness an impeached president facing trial in the Senate. Newly-named House managers who will prosecute the case delivering articles to the Senate Wednesday. One notable change from the Clinton trial in 1999, CNN has learned the Senate's impeachment resolution guarantees there will be a vote on whether to hear from witnesses. There's growing pressure on moderate Republican senators who could shape the trial with votes on witnesses and other evidence.

JARRETT: A remarkable, really remarkable split screen moment Wednesday, President Trump signing his long-promised phase one trade agreement with China hours before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed impeachment articles designed to remove Trump from office. Just look at that. What we will see on Capitol Hill today has not happened in over 20 years.


REP. HENRY HYDE (R-IL): With the permission of the Senate, I will now read the articles of impeachment.


JARRETT: History unfolding in just hours. CNN's Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill for us.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine and Laura, after months of closed-door depositions, of public hearings, of House votes, of House Democrats deciding to hold onto the two articles of impeachment for a number of weeks, here's the bottom line. This is now in the Senate's court. The Senate is now responsible for two articles of impeachment and for deciding whether or not to remove the president of the United States.

What happens on Thursday is this. At noon, you're going to see a very similar procession. All seven House managers bringing those articles back over again. At which point when they reach the Senate floor they will go to the Senate floor and start to read those two articles of impeachment. After they are completed, right around 2:00 p.m., the Supreme Court -- the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, will come from the Supreme Court and be sworn in to preside over the Senate impeachment trial.


After that, all 100 U.S. senators will be sworn in for the trial as well. Here's some kind of interesting tidbits to keep in mind here. These senators, over the course of however many weeks this trial takes, are not allowed to speak during the trial. They are not allowed to have electronics inside the Senate chamber during the -- during the trial. They are not allowed to have any type of reading material outside of the scope of the trial itself.

They are locked in and they are going to be watching the presentations from the House managers, from the president's defense team. Questions from any senator that wants after that point in time. It is going to be a lengthy process. Many senators have told me they believe it's going to be an arduous process, but it is a historic process nonetheless.

One of the big questions, of course, going forward is, will there be enough votes to subpoena documents or to subpoena witnesses? How do you get to 51? A simple majority of the 100-member Senate is all it will take to essentially dictate any which way this trial wants to go. Democrats have made clear they want to hear from witnesses, they want documents subpoenaed. They only control 47 seats in the chamber. That means they need at least four Republicans to join them in that effort.

Four Republicans at least have opened the door to the idea of witnesses. Will they follow through with votes and who would they actually vote for to come testify? That remains an open question -- guys.

ROMANS: All right, Phil Mattingly, thank you.

That icy post-debate encounter between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren sounded just as intense as it looked.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.


WARREN: I think you called me a liar on national TV.

SANDERS: No, let's not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion.

WARREN: Anytime.

SANDERS: You called me a liar. You told me -- all right, let's not do it now.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to get in the middle. I just want to say hi, Bernie.

SANDERS: Yes, good, OK.


ROMANS: OK. So after the debate CNN found the audio on backup recordings from the candidates' microphones. The Sanders campaign declined to comment. The Warren camp did not respond to our inquiry.

JARRETT: The exchange capped days of escalating tension between the progressive senators. On Monday Warren confirmed a CNN report that Sanders had told her privately in 2018 a woman could not win the presidency. Sanders denied saying that including on the debate stage.

Big picture here, the two Democrats are basically out of time to repair this rift in public before votes are cast. Both are back in Washington for the impeachment trial. That's expected to last about two weeks. So the senators may not be back on the campaign trail again before the Iowa caucuses.

And the Trump administration abruptly canceling four classified congressional briefings on the Iran crisis. The State Department called off two briefings on embassy security and the use of force on Wednesday. The FBI also canceled a counterintelligence briefing and the Pentagon was scheduled to brief the House Armed Services Committee about Iran today but that's now been shoved.

Lawmakers, mostly Democrats, continue to question the administration's justification for killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Senators appear poised to rebuke President Trump in the coming days by voting for a war powers resolution to limit his military options in Iran.

ROMANS: All right. The deal is signed. President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He inked the phase one trade deal, easing tensions, without addressing some of the bigger issues.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families.


ROMANS: What's in the deal? Well, China promises to buy an additional $32 billion in farm goods over the next couple of years, $12.5 billion in the year one, $19.5 billion in year two. Now these commitments, if you do the math, don't go much further than making up for what was lost during the trade war. Remember, $28 billion has already been spent bailing out farmers. Taxpayers bailing out farmers.

The pledge by China to buy more farm products is part of a broader $200 billion package which includes manufactured goods and energy exports. In exchange the U.S. agreed to cut tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese goods and cut those tariffs in half.


TRUMP: We're leaving tariffs on but I will agree to take those tariffs off if we are able to do phase two.


ROMANS: Now the deal also includes better protection for U.S. intellectual property. U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer said this is, quote, "a massively good first step." He said, are we in an ideal spot? No. Trump says the next round of negotiations will start soon. And he said that he would go to China for those.

There's a lot of hard work here. On the one hand, look, this president and this team, Robert Lighthizer in particular, managed to extract some promises from the Chinese that have not been done before. On the other hand, this is exactly what the president said he would not do. Sign a small narrow deal. He two years ago said he was going to fix the whole thing. We still have a lot of work to do.

JARRETT: Well, and you probably called it first, right?


JARRETT: The White House releases $8 billion in aid to earthquake ravaged Puerto Rico, but certain conditions were placed on the money first. We'll tell you what and why.



ROMANS: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam banning all firearms for the area around Monday night's big gun rights rally in Richmond. Gun rights advocates organizing the rally promised a peaceful day to address the state legislature, but it sparked a much larger grassroots movement that has drawn interest from gun owners and militias around the country.

Governor Northam says intelligence indicates out-of-state militias and hate groups have malicious plans. There are fears it could spark a similar situation to the deadly violence in Charlottesville in 2017.

JARRETT: The Trump administration is lifting its hold on $8.2 billion in aid to Puerto Rico, but it's placing severe restrictions on how the money is spent. According to "The Washington Post" the administration plans to limit the wages paid to contractors working on disaster relief to less than $15 an hour. That's minimum wage. And none of the funding can go to the island's notoriously frail electric grid.


Puerto Rico is reeling from a series of recent earthquakes. Hurricane Maria in 2017 and corruption crisis that led to a governor resigning last year.

ROMANS: Jeffrey Epstein allegedly transported underage girls to his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands and forced them into sexual servitude from 2001 all the way to 2018. That's according to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of the Virgin Islands. The suit alleges Epstein used a system of private planes, helicopters, boats and vehicles to bring young women and girls to his island residence on Little Saint James. The lawsuit targets Epstein's estate, several LLCs and corporations controlled by Epstein as well as unnamed John and Jane Does.

JARRETT: A college rower who just set a world record last month has been killed in a crash. Holy Cross sophomore Grace Rett had just turned 20 years old. Her team van was carrying 11 students and the head coach when it collided with a pickup truck in Vera Beach, Florida on Wednesday morning. Six students and a coach remain hospitalized with injuries. Last month Rett broke the world record for longest continual indoor rowing. Two days and 14 hours.

ROMANS: All right, a 68-year-old California woman found alive in her car buried in snow after a week-long search. A sheriff's office helicopter found Paula Beth James' vehicle Wednesday near Butte Meadows. Unclear how long she was in the area. Authorities say she was visibly cold when they discovered her. Temperatures this week reached below 30s. James' family says she suffers from dementia. She is now conscious, talking, and being treated at a medical center.

JARRETT: The world of professional wrestling is mourning the loss of one its greats. Rocky Johnson, he was 75. Johnson was a WWE Hall of Famer and the father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He retired from pro-wrestling in 1991. Dwayne Johnson followed in his father's footsteps as "The Rock" before going on to become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.

ROMANS: All right. Step aside Tom Brady, there's a new GOAT to be reckoned with. Ken Jennings crowned the greatest "Jeopardy" champ of all-time after winning an epic champions' tournament. Jennings was the first to win three matches against two other "Jeopardy" mega stars, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was it like when you knew you had it clinched?

KEN JENNINGS, "JEOPARDY" GREATEST OF ALL TIME" CHAMPION: I just remember feeling shock. I have never -- I have been in a lot of these "Jeopardy" super tournament and I had an amazing talent for finishing second. So I have no idea what to do when you actually win. It turns out you walk over and stand by Alex.


ROMANS: The two runners up honored Jennings by hoisting him on their shoulders. Jennings took home the $1 million grand prize. Rutter and Holzhauer each won $250,000.

JARRETT: It's nice they can all be friendly.

ROMANS: Yes. Friendly competitors.

JARRETT: Well, Indiana's oldest state employee is retiring. Bob Vollmer is 102 years old. He's a surveyor for the Department of Natural Resources and plans to report for work for the last time on February 6th. He joined the agency in 1962. The World War II veteran says his body is finally telling him it's time. Bob plans to do a lot of reading and farming and retirement, and he wants to visit some of the South Pacific islands where he served in the Navy.

ROMANS: Nice. That'd be a nice trip.

JARRETT: Can you imagine?


JARRETT: 102 and still working.

ROMANS: Wow. Citigroup is making moves in closing its gender pay gap but it still has a long way to go. CNN Business is next.



ROMANS: Prince Harry making his first public appearance since he and wife Meghan shocked the world by saying they're stepping back from their royal roles.

CNN's Max Foster live in London. So we'll see him this morning, what, watching kids play rugby? Is that the event?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so it's the draw for the 2021 World Rugby League Cup. So he'll be appearing there. He's big on rugby. Obviously we're all keen to see him. We saw the duchess in Canada yesterday with some pictures. She had a big smile on her face. Will Prince Harry be smiling? Does he look well? I mean, they've been through a lot of trauma within the family obviously recently.

You're watching their video that was released yesterday as well when he was talking about the next Invictus games which is sort of like a Para Olympics sport for former military members. But the world's media certainly out in force at Buckingham Palace to film Prince Harry today. Everything he does is pretty historic. Is he going to meet up with the rest of his family? Well, not immediately.

I was told last night that actually he'll have some more meetings in the U.K. next week which presumably are linked to this transition out of the royal family. We're told earlier in the week that the Queen wanted some sort of decision from everyone involved within days. So courtiers and government officials working very hard on a plan as agreed on Monday at the Sandringham summit.

We should hear something by the end of the week. If not, it might be an announcement related to what's happening next week with Prince Harry's meetings. All a bit of a mystery right now but obviously all eyes on Prince Harry.

ROMANS: And the two remain on different continents. I mean, that's interesting.

FOSTER: They do. And it's interesting to see the duchess carrying out her own engagements organized on her own immediately after this.

ROMANS: Right.

FOSTER: So a sign of things to come I think.

ROMANS: All right. Max Foster, thank you, in London.

JARRETT: Rain brings some much needed relief to fire ravaged Australia after days of air pollution kept choking Melbourne. But the rain also comes with risks like flash flooding and landslides.

CNN's Will Ripley is live in Melbourne. Will, it seems like they just can't get a break.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Laura, because it's undoubtedly a good thing that we have had clear skies, much better air quality here in the city today. But the same wind that is blowing the smoke away from us now could change direction and blow the smoke right back here in the coming days. And we know that with two weeks of tennis play for the Australian Open and the fact that temperatures are expected to rise back up, we also know that those lightning strikes from the storms that have moved through have triggered grass fires in these areas that still have a lot of fuel left on the ground.

Well, obviously you put all of that together and you have the recipe for potentially very hazardous air here once again. The kind of air that caused a tennis player to collapse earlier this week and in fact there was a British player who lashed out against the organizers of the Australian Open on Twitter saying that, you know, how is it that the city of Melbourne told people a couple of days ago that they should keep their animals inside and yet tennis players were told that they should be playing outside, exerting themselves physically for two, three, or even more hours.

And he's getting support from other players as well who say that something needs to be done to make sure that people's health is not at risk as they come here to Melbourne, Australia which is trying to host, you know, one of Australia's most important sporting events of the year while at the same time this country deals with a wildfire crisis that continues to escalate. A hundred fires or more burning, many of them still out of control. And firefighters have been trying to get a handle on things. But the rain that fell, it simply was not enough, Laura, to even, you know, come close to stopping this wildfire risk from escalating in the coming days and weeks.

JARRETT: Yes. It's just terrible. Will, thanks so much. See you soon.

ROMANS: All right. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. A look at the markets around the world. Mixed performance really, narrowly mixed performance on Wall Street. You've got U.S. stock index futures up just slightly this morning.

It was a record day on Wall Street after the phase one signing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average just takes a third of 1 percent to hit a record high. Closing at about 29,000 for the first time in history. The S&P 500 also hit a record and the Nasdaq closed up just slightly.

All right, Citigroup still has some work to do in shrinking its gender pay gap. Globally female employees at Citi earned 27 percent less than men did in 2019. That's a slight improvement from the pay gap it reported the year before. Now Citi said the raw gap numbers are not adjusted for seniority, job title or location. When adjusted for all of that, women at Citi earned about 1 percent less than their male counterparts.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research says the 18 percent gender pay gap in the U.S. at that rate it will take 40 years for women to achieve equal pay. For women of color it would take even longer.

I applaud these companies, by the way, for making this data available because the transparency is really important.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing there, C-3PO?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taking one last look, sir, at my friends.


ROMANS: A tear in the eye of a droid. 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker" is lucky number seven for Disney. The final installment of the Skywalker saga hit $1 billion at the world wide box office, making it the seventh movie Disney released last year to hit that milestone. $7 billion films, it's just incredible. Disney had just an amazing 2019, made over $11 billion worldwide. It's going to be a galaxy far, far away before we have another "Star Wars" movie. The next one hits the theaters in 2022. You can binge the "Mandalorian" while you wait, and I highly recommend that one.

JARRETT: You've got a houseful of boys, aren't you?

ROMANS: We are hooked. We are hooked.

JARRETT: While you were sleeping late-night hosts got their final shots in on impeachment before the Senate is sworn in.


JIMMY FALLON, LATE-NIGHT HOST: Maybe it's just me but the impeachment sort of feels like "Grey's Anatomy." Every time I see it my first thought is, is that still on TV?

JAMES CORDEN, LATE-NIGHT HOST: The House Democrats, they didn't just e-mail these articles. No, no. They dramatically walked them over in a formal procession. Here's the actual video from this afternoon. Look at this. You just know there's someone at the back going, we're really doing this? We're going to go -- we're walking this the entire way? That's --

STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE-NIGHT HOST: Yesterday the House Intelligence Committee released materials that they got from Parnas that have been described as a trove of ridiculously incriminating impeachment evidence. That's pretty bad because when it comes to Trump crime the scale goes incriminating, very incriminating, ridiculously incriminating, and Rudy on Merlot. Yes.


JARRETT: OK. The trial hasn't even started yet and they're going to have this much fun? We are in for it. Buckle up.

Thanks to our international viewers for joining us. Have a great rest of your day. For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.