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THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO

U.S. President's Defense: Abuse Of Power Not Impeachable; Trump Heads To Davos; Venezuela's Guaido To Attend World Economic Forum; China Reports 218 Cases Of SARS-Like Virus; At Least Three Killed In New Iraq Protests; Libya Summit: Oil Prices Jump After Haftar Disrupts Production; Australia Storms: Heavy Rains Force Delay Of Australian Open; Prince Harry Expresses Sadness At Change In Royal Role; No Incident At Pro-Gun Rally After Threats Of Extremist Violence; U.K. Police Record Rise In Homophobic Hate Crimes; Parasite Makes History With SAG Awards Win; U.S. Remembers Civil Rights Icon Martin Luther King Jr. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired January 20, 2020 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF. Donald Trump's legal team lays out its defense for the impeachment trial and calls the proceedings a

charade.

The scientists say the coronavirus is getting stronger and spreading from person-to-person.

And homophobic hate crimes are on the rise in U.K. and London. We'll speak to a woman who's trying to use her unexpected platform for good.

Live from London, I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. On the eve of this historic impeachment trial, lawyer for Donald Trump are calling for

his immediate acquittal, arguing that the case against him is a constitutional travesty.

We're now getting our most detailed look yet at the U.S. President's defense strategy only hours before the Senate convenes. Mr. Trump's legal

team filed a brief today, arguing abuse of power is not an impeachable offense. House Democratic lawmakers who serve as prosecutors called that

argument chilling and dead wrong. Democrats were accusing Senate Republican leaders of trying to rush the process to prevent damaging evidence from

surfacing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): We have essentially the head of the jury saying he's working with the accused and his attorneys. That he's going to

do everything he can to block relevant witnesses that would get at the truth, e-mails, documents, and now we won't even tell us what the rules

are. And so, I think, that they've been scrambling for some time to try to figure out how to make this happen as quickly as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: A new CNN poll just released finds it a majority of Americans do want the Senate to call new witnesses; 69% supported and 26% are opposed.

But, overall, public sentiment on impeachment appears pretty evenly split. Just over half of Americans surveyed want the Senate to remove Mr. Trump

from office.

Let's bring in CNN's Senior Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju. Manu, good to see you. There's still so much uncertainty at the moment about the

format of the Senate trial. And it's only getting away in a few hours from now. You've got some new reporting for us?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, because Mitch McConnell, the senate majority leader has not yet released

the text of that resolution that will detail exactly how that will play out tomorrow and from the days ahead.

But we are expecting a contentious debate right at the start, because what Mitch McConnell is going to ultimately provide unveil will almost certainly

is what he's been indicating, and not include a guarantee for witnesses to testify and not have a guarantee for documents be produced up front. That's

what Democrats have been demanding.

So watch for the beginning of tomorrow's session for that fight to really take shape. And Democrats tried to amend the McConnell resolution with

their language. It could be hours of debate on the floor.

Now, the Senators also have the opportunity to go into closed session. 51 Senators could vote and have a private debate on the floor if they so

choose. We are hearing at the moment they're going to begin in an open session, but they may ultimately close the doors and shut out the

proceedings from the public.

Now, also the Republicans are hoping to wrap this up quickly. Get it potentially done by the time of the State of the Union. What they're trying

to do is condense the number of days in which opening arguments can be given on both sides. And then after Senators get a chance to ask their

questions, they'll be another fight over bringing forward witnesses. And if Republicans in the White House prevail, then ultimately, the President

could be acquitted potentially by the time of the State of the Union in early February, Bianca.

NOBILO: Thanks Manu. Manu Raju there for us in Washington.

NOBILO: CNN will follow every second of the drama as Donald Trump's impeachment trial gets underway. You can watch all the action unfold

tomorrow from 3 pm here in London.

U.S. President will not be in Washington today for the start of his impeachment trial. In the next hour, he's heading to Davos in Switzerland

for the World Economic Forum, where he's scheduled to speak on Tuesday. However, in a gathering of some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful

people, Mr. Trump may find himself the odd man out, Richard Quest told me why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: Bianca, there's no doubt that it will be all about Donald Trump, at least in the first part of the day

when he gives his speech. He'll be here and there'll be an element of a victory lap about it, having got two considerable trade deals under his

belt - the China phase one and the USMCA. He will trump it of that that no one has any doubt.

But on the question of the environment, he could well be out of line with the thinking here now, at Davos. The environment and the existential nature

of the debate has moved to the top of the agenda. And shortly after the President will speak, Greta Thunberg will be giving her own address and

we'll be here, and the two will be juxtaposed.

And anyway, even if Donald Trump is here, with a victory lap, with maybe some promises on the environment, he will not be able to ignore the fact

that his presence is in opposition and juxtaposition with what's happening back in Washington. The moment and day that he is with the elites of the

Swiss mountain, his trial for impeachment is being held in the United States Senate. Now that's something he won't be able to avoid with a few

good words, Bianca.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Thanks to Richard Quest there.

[17:05:00]

And also yet as to whether President Trump will meet with the President of Venezuela's National Assembly, Juan Guaido, while the two are in Dallas

this week. Guaido met with the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just a few hours ago, and he confirmed that he'll be meeting European leaders at

the World Economic Forum.

U.S. and dozens of other nations recognize Guaido as Venezuela's interim President over the disputed leader Nicolas Maduro. Pompeo also promised

additional support for Guaido.

Health officials in China say that a new strain of the coronavirus is quickly becoming a regional epidemic. More than 200 cases are now

confirmed. And some Asian cities airports are using thermal imaging to identify passengers who may be infected. Doctors say this strain can spread

from person-to-person and fears are now heightened because hundreds of millions are traveling for Lunar New Year. I asked Senior Medical

Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen about the spike that we're seeing in cases.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The number of cases of this mysterious virus out of China more than quadrupled over the weekend.

On Friday, we were told about 45 cases. Now we're told about 222 cases.

As you can see from this map, the vast majority are in Wuhan. That's a city in China, where it's believed this all started at a seafood and meat market

with a virus jumped from animals to humans. But now there are cases in other parts of China, as you can see, and also cases in Japan and South

Korea and Thailand.

Now the big question is, does this virus spread person to person? And the answer is yes. The vast majority of these cases are believed to be among

people who did visit that market. But we know that some of these cases, those people did not visit the market. So that means that the virus is

capable of being spread from person to person.

Let's take a look at what officials are trying desperately to avoid. They're trying to avoid two cousins of this becoming like MERS or SARS,

which are cousins of this new coronavirus. In MERS about 2,500 infections and 858 deaths, that's over the past seven years. And for SARS, more 8,000

infections and about 774 deaths and that was all back in about 2003-2004. That is what the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease

Control is trying to avoid.

And so they're having an emergency meeting on Wednesday, and they're going to come up, hopefully, with plans to curtail this virus. The first piece of

good news is that they mapped the genome for this virus very quickly, really in just a matter of weeks.

That wasn't the case was SARS. That's one of the reasons why it's spread to dozens of countries in Europe and Asia and North America. The fact that

they mapped this so quickly so they can test for quickly is a piece of good news. Back to you. Bianca

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBILO: Elizabeth Cohen for us.

There are mass demonstrations across Iraq today, activists clash with security forces in several cities, demanding the government name a new

interim Prime Minister. An Iraqi human rights official told CNN security forces used tear gas and live ammunition on the demonstrators. CNN's Arwa

Damon has more on this spreading anger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Earlier in the day protesters in Baghdad went out and they were trying to block off using

burning tires, and so forth, some of the main roads through the capital to try to, as they were saying, prevent government officials from moving

around the city, reaching their offices. Because they want to try to put pressure on government from all aspects that they can.

There is an overriding concern that the government, as it so often does, when it comes to these kinds of major decisions and moves, stall. This

government - successive Iraqi governments are quite experienced when it comes to trying to stall. And what these protesters want is a new Prime

Minister name so that the process can move forward.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBILO: In Libya, oil production plummeted and prices jumped onto a renegade general orchestrated a blockade. Commander Khalifa Haftar's move

came just before world leaders tried to broker ceasefire in the war torn country.

Sparked by the 2011 overthrow and killing of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the conflict has effectively become a proxy war. Key powers met in Berlin at

Sunday summit and committed not to interfere in the conflict and to uphold an arms embargo. And the embargo to be meaningful the U.S. will have to

impose sanctions in response to violations. Libya's opposing sides remain far from agreeing on a ceasefire.

Australia has been experiencing devastating bushfires. But take a look at this. Melbourne, storms moved in battering the city with rain and hail as a

relief for firefighters and people who live there. And CNN's Will Ripley tells us how the bad weather interfered with tennis' first grand slam of

the year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Day one of the Australian Open, outdoor tennis play suspended in Melbourne. Not because of bushfires

smoke, because of severe storms, pounding parts of Australia with golf ball sized hail, pelting Parliament House in Canberra, knocking birds out of the

air, hurling debris through the streets of Sydney.

[17:10:00]

Rain coming down in buckets, despite the damage and dangerous flash flooding, heavy rains also bring welcome relief, cutting last week's

extreme heat in half, washing away heavy bushfire smoke that briefly gave Melbourne the world's worst air quality.

The bushfires, so intense last week, we saw this massive smoke plume from our plane. Dozens of flights canceled. Hazardous air casting a cloud of

uncertainty over one of Australia's most important sporting events. Some tennis players complaining they were forced to play for hours outside in

dangerous conditions, even as tournament organizers insisted they were taking every possible precaution to keep people safe.

RIPLEY: What a difference a week makes, smoke filled skies now feel like a distant memory. Now heavy rain and low clouds are obscuring the Melbourne

skyline. This is the kind of extreme weather Australians are used to, welcome relief from the raging inferno plaguing this country for months.

Australia rocked by an unprecedented bushfire season. Entire communities ravaged, more than two dozen people killed, thousands more left homeless.

Millions of animals falling victim to fire and extreme heat, coupled with historic drought. Those still alive struggling to survive, like this young

koala desperate for water. The eucalyptus trees that provide moisture decimated by drought and fire.

Some areas so dry, massive dust storms are enveloping entire country towns. The Australian Government, spending millions to prevent more animals from

dying or even going extinct. Australia is bushfire season is not over yet. This week brings badly needed rain. Next week and beyond, nobody knows.

Will Ripley, CNN, Melbourne,

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBILO: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan may have reached a deal of over stepping back in their royal duties, but the prince says that he feels

great sadness over no longer serving the Queen. In just months, the couple will be living a very different life with no royal titles, and no funding

either. But for now, as Anna Stewart told me earlier, there's still quite a lot of work to be done.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Bianca, it was back to business with Prince Harry Monday at the U.K.-Africa investment summit where he had a few

meetings with African leaders and Boris Johnson, the U.K. Prime Minister.

He will have further official royal engagements in the coming weeks before this big transition, at which point, he will cease to be a working member

of the royal family and will give up the HRH - His Royal Highness title. Speaking at a charity of event on Sunday, Prince Harry expressed great

sadness at reaching this decision.

PRINCE HARRY, THE DUKE OF SUSSEX: The decision that I have made for my wife and I step back is not what I made lightly. There was so many months of

talks after so many years of challenges, and I know I haven't always got it right. But as far as this goes, there really was no other option.

What I want to make clear is, we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen,

the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible.

STEWART: Prince Harry also made clear that this was his decision, perhaps speaking to the British tabloid press who have suggested that his wife

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had masterminded this move. It's clearly not an agreement that is exactly what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted,

nor is that what the Queen wanted. She wanted them to remain senior members of their royal family. However, it may mark the end of a tumultuous couple

of weeks for the royal family and a start of a new chapter in royal history. Back to Bianca.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBILO: Thank you, Anna Stewart.

A carefully watched pro-gun rights demonstration in the U.S. State of Virginia passed without incident on Monday. The state's governor declared a

state of emergency due to fears of violence by White Supremacist. Many of the pro-gun advocates for carrying firearms and dressed in tactical gear to

protest gun control laws proposed by Democratic lawmakers.

[17:15:00]

Still to come on the program, London is a city that's often associated with being progressive, but lately we've been seeing more hate crimes. We'll

talk with a woman who experienced one firsthand and hear why she says her story was misrepresented.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: Homophobic hate crimes here in the U.K. are on the rise. In 2018 and 2019, British Police recorded more than 14,000 of them in England and

Wales. That's a 25 percent jump from the before. Even in London where people proudly celebrate LGBT rights, there's been a huge jump and

homophobic crimes.

And one attack last year sparked national outrage. You might remember this disturbing image to women, beaten bloody by a group of teenagers on a

London bus. The pair were in a relationship and they were attacked for it. Christine Hannigan is one of the women pictured here. And she says that her

experience was made more challenging by the media's portrayal of the event, and that the story of most hate crimes, homophobic or otherwise, aren't

being told at all.

So in tonight's "Debrief," I asked Christine how she feels that the media sensationalized her story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE HANNIGAN, VICTIM OF HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK: Well, it was. The picture was used by a lot of politicians, celebrities, and news outlets whose

values are totally contrary to mine, and so being used in a narrative that was lacking nuance, but was just generating outrage for the sake of outrage

to make money off of it. It was extremely frustrating.

NOBILO: Do you feel that you and Melania had a disproportionate focus on your story, because of what you look like?

HANNIGAN: Absolutely. I think that our story got so much traction and such a disproportionate amount of attention, because we meet a lot of criteria

of who the most valued people in society are. And so--

NOBILO: Tell us what those criteria are?

HANNIGAN: We are - neither of us are disabled, we're educated, we are conventionally presenting in terms of our gender and just how we look,

we're White. Yes, we're very privileged and so in the same way that that permeates through all society. We received a disproportionate amount of

compassion for that.

NOBILO: Do you feel like not just the media coverage, but the police response was informed by all these characteristics?

HANNIGAN: I think that the police response was informed by the media response. So the time--

NOBILO: --pressure on the police to act.

HANNIGAN: Yes. So kind of one and the same there.

NOBILO: Now, when I heard that the homophobic attacks in London was surging, that there's 55 homophobic attacks a week, and especially which,

perhaps naively, I thought had a reputation for being more tolerant and progressive than many in the world. And the fact that the rise of

homophobic attacks is 22% on last year - 122% on 2011, that shocked me. I mean, is that just clueless and naive? And how did - how are people missing

this?

[17:20:00]

HANNIGAN: Because it's not reported. And if you have victims who are maybe are homeless or are from other categories of society that, frankly, don't

get a lot of attention or just basic human dignity and sympathy, a lot of it is going to go under the radar.

And so, I think, perhaps to the mainstream press it was news, but if you asked any gay person, they would probably be like, yes, this is this is not

uncommon. And so, I think, what happened to us it wasn't unusual, but it was treated as this ridiculous outrage, but maybe it was just because of

who we are. That it maybe haven't happened to people who looked exactly like us as often.

NOBILO: What do you attribute to driving this increase in hate crime and how do you in these organizations identify and measure that?

HANNIGAN: I think that hate crime is on the rise, because there are a lot of people in power like the Prime Minister of this country, the President

of the United States, all of these far right leaders who are getting elected on every continent. They are emboldening people who have these very

hateful sentiments and they are - they're normalizing it.

And so, to look at hate crime - to first of all, to segment it out by homophobia or Islamophobia, racism, misogyny is kind of counterproductive,

because it's the same - it's all coming from the same place.

NOBILO: And if you could give a message - this is a tough question, perhaps--

HANNIGAN: Yes.

NOBILO: --- to those who harbor intolerant attitudes and would perhaps perpetrate hate crime. What would you say?

HANNIGAN: Don't. A lot of times there's a lot of discord sort of amongst us and there is a lot of very divisive rhetoric to make us all seem a lot more

different from each other than we are. But when we look at who is in power, where inequalities lie. The majority of us have a lot more in common than

people in power who benefit from selling these divisive narratives.

And so, get educated. There is a wealth of information on the internet about anything that you could possibly imagine to fight hate, and that it's

not your Muslim neighbor or your gay coworker or the random person you pass on the street who is making life hard for you, because scapegoating

frequently is a narrative into the youths. It's the systems above us that are really, really keeping people down. And so get smart on those systems

and the structures that are oppressing everyone before you just channel your outrage to another person just trying to make it in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: When THE BRIEF returns, a civil rights icon remembered. The United States is mocking Martin Luther King Day. We'll take a look at his legacy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:25:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the actor goes to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parasite.

NOBILO: An historic moment in the world of films. That's the moment when the cast of Parasite learned they took top prize at Sunday's Screen Actors

Guild Awards. It's the first Foreign Language Film win for the Best Ensemble. The South Korean film deals with issues of greed and class

discrimination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Millions of people across the United States pausing today to remember the legacy of one of the 20th Century's best known figures. Martin

Luther King, Jr., the Baptist preacher from Atlanta, who became a civil rights icon and inspired a generation.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced stop at the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington earlier in recognition of the

holiday. Luther King made his name During the Civil Rights battles of the 1950s and 60s, a turbulent time seeped in division.

So how does the family of Dr. King see his message in the 2020s? His daughter says this, "When we are not diligent and attentive, people with

injustice in mind will, with great diligence and attention, destroy what's been built and try to reverse progress."

That's everything for the show tonight. I'm Bianca Nobilo, and "WORLD SPORT" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END