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Giuliani Associate Implicates President Trump In Ukraine Scheme; House Sends Articles Of Impeachment To The Senate; Prince Harry To Make First Appearance Since Bombshell Announcement. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 16, 2020 - 05:30   ET




EARLY START continues right now.


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

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


ROMANS: 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?

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


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


ROMANS: It looked tense, it sounded ugly. What the rift between progressive senators means for the 2020 race. And gender politics at play there -- that hand that people are talking about.

JARRETT: That body language tipped everyone off --


JARRETT: -- that something had gone down there.

ROMANS: Yes, we went back and found the backup audio. Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarret, 30 minutes past the hour here in New York, and we start with this.

Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, he's naming names. He is directly implicating President Trump in the Ukraine affair along with a slew of high-ranking officials in Trump's inner circle. Parnas describing how he helped 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: And 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 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: A new revelation from Parnas also suggests the pressure campaign started long before Volodymyr Zelensky was elected -- the president of Ukraine. The previous president of Ukraine was also lobbied.


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

COOPER: The former president.

PARNAS: Former President Poroshenko.

COOPER: So what was your message to Poroshenko?

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


ROMANS: Parnas' information is key because under a new House resolution, impeachment managers have authority to submit new evidence at the upcoming trial.

All parties involved 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, by the way, with Anderson, airs tonight on "AC 360."

JARRETT: For just the third time in U.S. history, Americans will witness an impeached president facing trial in the Senate. Newly-named House managers who will prosecute the case delivering the articles to the Senate on Wednesday.

One notable change from the Clinton trial in 1999, CNN has learned the Senate impeachment resolution guarantees there will be a vote on whether to hear from witnesses. There's been growing pressure on moderate Republican senators who could shape the trial with votes on witnesses and other evidence.

ROMANS: A remarkable split-screen 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. The last time an impeachment trial began on Capitol Hill was over 20 years ago.


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

ROMANS: History unfolds in just hours.

CNN's Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill.


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 are 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: OK, Phil Mattingly. Thanks, Phil.

JARRETT: All right, thanks, Phil.

More ahead on all of this. Plus, 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.



COOPER: This is about 2020 to help him get the next four years.

PARNAS: That 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.

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.


ROMANS: He says he helped execute Rudy Giuliani's pressure campaign in Ukraine. Now, Lev Parnas is directly implicating the president and several of his right-hand men.

JARRETT: Let's go live to Washington and bring in Karoun Demirjian, CNN's political analyst and congressional reporter for "The Washington Post." Karoun, thanks so much for getting up --

ROMANS: Good morning.

JARRETT: -- this morning for us.


JARRETT: OK, so it seems like every week we get a new set of documents that sort of fill out the Ukraine picture here. And now, we hear from Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani. He's naming names. He's pinged everybody from Bolton to Mulvaney, saying that everyone knew what was happening.

He's also talking about how basically, this went back all the way to the previous administration --

ROMANS: Right. JARRETT: -- for Poroshenko -- so not just Zelensky, which shows how long it was.

I think the question here is for Mitch McConnell. I mean, doesn't this just mounting pressure make it impossible not to call witnesses in the upcoming Senate trial?

DEMIRJIAN: It puts new pressure on the moderate Republicans especially, and by extension, on Mitch McConnell because he is one who has to kind of balance his caucus and decide whether or not he's going to try to make a deal about those witnesses.

I mean, look, it's very significant that Parnas is basically saying Trump knew absolutely everything.

And potentially, even more significant, saying Mike Pence knew actually everything and he was in on this idea of you don't do these favors, you don't announce this investigation into Ukraine, we're going to hold things back, whether it's the meetings that we're supposed to be attending, the inaugurations, the diplomatic gestures or then, the aid as well.

And in one of the interviews yesterday -- that interview he did on MSNBC -- he said, you know, it's not just the military aid, it would be all aid.

And so these are very, very, very serious allegations. And, Parnas, because he's on the ground, does have some first-person experience and he says a firsthand witness account because he spoke with the president and was there when Giuliani was talking with the president, too.

And so this kind of goes to the -- he has become another one of these potentially material witnesses that never made it into the House's inquiry because he was involved in the Southern District of New York investigation at that time.

But, whether it's Parnas or Bolton or Mulvaney or others that the Democrats have named, it seems like they have relevant information if the Republicans want to hear it. But, of course, the GOP's argument to this point -- of course, these interviews started to come out last so we haven't talked yet --

ROMANS: Right.

DEMIRJIAN: -- to members again for their fuller reaction, but has been -- look, if the Democrats aren't confident in their case that's their problem. Why should we be hearing from more witnesses at this point? At least, that's what the leaders of the party are saying.

ROMANS: Well, why do you think we're hearing from him now?

JARRETT: Well, speaking of the SDNY investigation, I think people are wondering about why all of this is coming out. And, you know, it's worth noting the DOJ actually seized all of Parnas' materials -- his phones, everything. And only just recently, this week, did the judge approve him releasing it to the House committee. So I think that explains some of the timing here.

And, of course, now he's taking advantage of going on every single --

ROMANS: Right, right.

JARRETT: -- media station he can get to talk.

ROMANS: And we'll be hearing more.

This remarkable, Karoun, split-screen in Washington yesterday. You had the president signing his phase one trade deal with a lot of pomp and circumstance. I mean, he really rebranded that thing as something -- I mean, I would say bigger than it really was. But he had that moment and commanded the moment.

And then, Nancy Pelosi signing the articles of impeachment.

You know, I saw Trump at his event -- you know, 40 minutes of talking and thanking people for coming, and kind of working the room, right, for the cameras. It seemed like he was trying to be relaxed and control the narrative, but he doesn't have control of the narrative.

DEMIRJIAN: No. Look, this is -- I think you're probably going to see a lot of split-screens like this as the president tries to divert attention away to the fact that he's, right now, being -- he's under the gun in an impeachment trial.

But the president doesn't have full control of the narrative because things keep coming out about the impeachment because the trial is going to take on its course of its own as the presentations are made. And, yes, the president's defense will be part of that, but not the entire thing.


And then also, as we know, the president can oftentimes remain perfectly poised and congenial and charming for limited periods of time. But then he gets upset and then he starts to, you know, spew forth, whether it's before reporters in front of his helicopter or on Twitter.

And so, it's a long time for him to get there. We're talking at least two weeks, probably more, in the Senate impeachment trial. And so, can the president keep a smiling face that whole time? He's never really done that before so it will be a first.

ROMANS: He had some cracks about Jim Comey and he had some cracks about the hoax.

JARRETT: There were a lot of topics --

ROMANS: -- so --


JARRETT: -- that had nothing to do with trade. ROMANS: Yes, yes. He had some cracks in there.

JARRETT: Karoun, before we let you go I want to turn to 2020 and switch gears here a little bit, turning to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

CNN dug up the audio, of course, from the debate this week. And we knew from the body language that it was bad at the end of the debate -- their interaction -- but it's ugly. She says you basically called me a liar on national T.V.

Where do they go from here? I mean, they don't have any time to sort of repair this before Iowa caucuses.

ROMANS: Yes, let's play it. Let's play it so we can hear it all again.


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


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

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: Yeah, good, OK.


ROMANS: Tom Steyer walking in --

JARRETT: Trying to stay out of the way there.

How does this get resolved before Iowa?

DEMIRJIAN: I mean, I don't think it does. This is the thing.


DEMIRJIAN: When you start to take the gloves off and get rid of your non-aggression pact, then it can snowball. And they are competing against each other and they're competing against each other for some of the same parts of the Democratic electorate. I think that they have -- they have pitted themselves against each other -- the punches they're throwing right now. And yes, they have both -- they both feel like the other one has called them a liar and it's going to be this finger-pointing.

We'll see if this is something that they actually bring up with their supporters as they're campaigning or if they leave it to have just been settled in the news articles and the debate that followed.

But I think that we're looking down the stretch of not just Iowa -- I mean, these are both top-tier candidates. They may last several primaries beyond Iowa. That they are not going to be a big old bear hug like they were for the opening rounds of the debates.

And that people are going to have to start choosing.


DEMIRJIAN: Even the people that are attracted to both of them are going to have to make decisions and that's what primary season is.

ROMANS: That's what it is.

Karoun Demirjian, CNN political analyst and congressional reporter at "The Washington Post." Nice to see you this morning. Thank you.

JARRETT: Karoun, thanks so much.

DEMIRJIAN: Good to see you, too.

JARRETT: Well, 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 has now shelved a briefing planned for today for the House Armed Services Committee.

Lawmakers -- mostly Democrats -- continue to question the administration's justification for killing Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Senators, meanwhile, 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 vice -- Chinese vice premier Liu He inked the phase one trade deal, easing tensions, calling a ceasefire, and leaving the bigger issues for later.


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? China promises to buy an additional $32 billion in farm goods over the next two years -- $12.5 billion the first year, $19.5 billion in the second.

Now, the commitments don't go much farther than making up for what was lost during the trade war. Remember, $28 billion has already been spent bailing out farmers. That farm bailout is double the size of the 2009 auto bailout. 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 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: The deal also includes better protection for U.S. intellectual property and some inroads for U.S. financial services into China.

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.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Prince Harry set to make his first public appearance since he and his wife Meghan shocked the world by saying they're stepping back from their royal duties.

CNN's Max Foster is live for us in London. And, Max, I saw Meghan out and about at a women's shelter in Canada. What's Harry up to today?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And she had a big smile on her face, which is what all the papers picked up on despite all of the crisis the family's been through.

That's really why all the cameras are out in force as well at Buckingham Palace today where Prince Harry will appear to draw the teams for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. So everyone's out there to see how he's doing after all of this.

When will the couple be reunited? Well, actually, we don't know because I heard last night that Harry's actually got meetings next week which presumably is linked to the meetings that he's been having with the family. So, trying to work out how this transition will look out of these senior palace roles.

[05:55:06] Presumably, he'll be heading off to Canada at some point next week.

But we're expecting an announcement soon on an update on how those talks are going. We spoke earlier in the week about all the complications involved with transferring to Canada -- the tax implications -- you know, citizenship implications. So all that's being worked through as we go.

But we'll bring you the pictures of Harry as we -- as we get them here. We should be getting them a bit later on.

JARRETT: All right, Max Foster, as the palace turns. Thanks so much.

A record number of guns were seized at U.S. airports last year. TSA officers confiscated more firearms at checkpoints in 2019 than ever before in the agency's 18-year history -- almost 4,500 in total, a five percent increase from 2018. Eighty-seven percent of the firearms were loaded.

Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta topped the list of airports with the most weapons, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, George Bush International in Houston, and Sky Harbor in Phoenix.

ROMANS: All right. The Trump administration is lifting a hold on $8.2 billion in aid to Puerto Rico but is placing some severe restrictions on how the money is spent. The White House said it wanted to ensure the money was being spent properly.

Now, according to "The Washington Post," there will be a limit on wages paid to contractors working on disaster relief. They'll get less than the minimum wage of $15.00 an hour. And none of the funding can go to the island's notoriously frail electrical grid.

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

JARRETT: Jeffrey Epstein allegedly transferred underage girls to his homes 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 in the 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.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning.

Taking a look at markets around the world, narrowly mixed here this morning. And on Wall Street, Wall Street futures also barely moving right now.

It was a record day on Wall Street after the phase one signing. It doesn't take much to make a record these days. The Dow climbed just 91 points and that was enough to close above 29,000 for the first time in history. The S&P 500 also a record high. The Nasdaq closed up just slightly.

Some transparency here on the gender pay gap. 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, a slight improvement from the pay gap it reported in 2018.

Citi said the raw gap numbers are not adjusted for seniority, job title or location. When you adjust for all of that, Citi says women there earn one percent less than men.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research says that America's current 18 percent gender pay gap is going to take 40 years for women to achieve equal pay. For women of color, it would take even longer.

The transparency in these numbers I think is really important. I mean, once you start laying out that data and managers see what the -- what's really happening then you can address it.

JARRETT: Can address it, yes.

Well, imagine working as long as Bob Vollmer. Indiana's oldest state employee is retiring at the young age of 102.

He's a surveyor for the Department of Natural Resources. He joined the agency in 1962. He will report for work for the last time February sixth.

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 in retirement and he wants to visit some of the South Pacific islands where he served in the Navy.

ROMANS: Great for him.

JARRETT: I would be headed to the beach.

ROMANS: I think -- there's some people who just love to work and wanting to keep working. It keeps you going, you know?

JARRETT: Absolutely.

ROMANS: All right, that and your bills and college education and all that.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, January 16th. It's 6:00 here in New York. And the breaking news this morning, we're hearing for the first time from a central player in the scheme which ultimately led to the impeachment of President Trump.

An explosive new interview, which we're playing for you for the first time this morning on CNN, with Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani. In the interview with our Anderson Cooper, you will hear Parnas directly implicate President Trump in the monthslong effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Parnas says he personally told the Ukrainians they would not get military aid, be invited to the White House or get a visit from Vice President Pence if they didn't publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens.