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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Coronavirus Outbreak in China Spreads; Prince Harry to End Royal Duties; Davos to Focus on Climate Change This Year; New York Times Endorses Both Warren And Klobuchar; Trump's Legal Team Calls Impeachment Process A "Charade"; No Incidents At Pro-Gun Rally After Threats Of Extremist Violence; Remembering The Liberation Of Auschwitz; Prince Harry Expresses "Great Sadness." Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 20, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London on this Monday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, the impeached president's defense team lays out their case. We'll tell you what's in the brief that Donald Trump's lawyers filed just a few
Then, spreading from human to human faster than first thought: should we be worried about coronavirus?
And Prince Harry gets back to business, but with a heavy heart. He expresses sadness over his family's decision.
Less than 24 hours from now, the world will be watching as the historic impeachment trial of Donald Trump gets under way. And while there's still a
lot of uncertainty over the format, the U.S. president's final defense strategy is now pretty clear. His lawyers just filed a brief, arguing that
abuse of power is not an impeachable offense.
House Democratic lawmakers who will serve as prosecutors responded almost immediately, calling the president's arguments chilling and, quote, "dead
Let's go right to Capitol Hill for the latest. We're joined by CNN's Phil Mattingly. So talk to us about the day -- about this impeachment trial eve.
How are both sides preparing?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what you're seeing, Hala, both in what the White House released, the 110-page kind of
fulsome -- its most fulsome defense of the president's actions up to this point, and its most fulsome, I think, indictment of what they believe is,
as they said in the filing, a charade in terms of these two articles of impeachment, is really the road map of what you're going to see, live on
the Senate floor, in the days ahead.
It's really the first opportunity we've had to get a full sense of what the White House legal team's defense will be when they take to the Senate
Now, as you noted, House Democrats laid out their trial brief this weekend, had another response to the president's team today and have made clear
where they stand on the two articles of impeachment, have made very clear that the president's assertions up to this point are dangerous for the
office and for the country. And I think you're going to see a lot of this back-and-forth going forward.
I will note, one of the interesting elements of the White House brief is that they essentially say, related to the first article of impeachment --
abuse of power -- that it is within the president's right to do what he did, to ask Ukraine for something even if it involves a political rival
because they believe that is his power within his right to control U.S. foreign policy. And they make clear that they believe the Democratic theory
that they say is just that, a theory that isn't accurate. So I think you're going to see a lot of this over the course of the next couple days.
You hit a key point, Hala, we don't exactly know how the Senate trial is going to be structured. We have some ideas, we haven't seen the final rules
actually become public yet. But pay attention, both sides are going to get 24 hours to lay out their arguments, and you are getting a taste of those
arguments in these two briefs that we've seen up to this point.
GORANI: All right. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much, live on Capitol Hill. We'll be looking more into this upcoming trial a little bit later in the
Now, to this health story. China says the number of people infected by a mysterious respiratory virus has more than tripled over the weekend. There
are now 218 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus -- virus. Most of them in Wuhan, where the outbreak originated.
So far, three people have died -- this is a very serious condition -- four other cases have been reported outside of China, and scientists say the
virus is getting stronger and is being spread by human-to-human contact.
And that is especially worrisome as hundreds of millions of Chinese are expected to travel this week for the Lunar New Year holiday, and then
airports around the world are not taking any chances. They are screening passengers for symptoms. Remember the days of SARS for instance?
Now, officials in China think they know where the virus originated. And a warning, some of the images in this story are graphic. Here's Kristie Lu
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barricaded and guarded by police with masks, Chinese authorities have traced a new deadly virus
back to this seafood market in the city of Wuhan. They say a new strain of coronavirus originated here and put an entire region on edge.
CNN has obtained this video, filmed inside the market, showing that more than seafood was on offer for sale. Images of the market from early
December, taken by a concerned customer, indicate it was apparently selling other live wild animals including skinned birds, snakes and raccoon dogs,
sparking concern that the virus might have been transmitted from animals to humans.
CNN has not independently verified this footage, posted on Chinese social media site Weibo, which has since been deleted by government censors,
according to the poster. When CNN contacted the market, they would not comment.
STOUT: Now the School of Public Health here at Hong Kong University is a leading authority in the study of emerging viral diseases.
STOUT (voice-over): Professor Leo Poon is a virologist at the university, and was among the first to decode the SARS coronavirus.
LEO POON, HONG KONG UNIVERSITY: I would believe that this Wuhan outbreak was caused by animal virus, and then the animal actually carried this virus
and spread to humans.
What we know is causing pneumonia and then they don't respond to normal antibiotic treatments, which is not surprising. But then in terms of
mortality, SARS killed 10 percent of the infected individuals.
STOUT (voice-over): Between 2002 and 2003, SARS infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774 in a pandemic that reached 37 countries.
Officials say the new virus was first detected in Wuhan on December the 12th. Some of the initial patients were employed at the seafood market.
Hundreds of kilometers south of Wuhan, at this market in the southern city of Qingyuan, wild animals are crammed inside cages: mallard ducks, rodents,
even porcupines to be sold for consumption. It's not a unique sight in markets across China, where both animals and humans are in close contact.
This footage, not independently verified by CNN, is from Hong Kong broadcaster i-CABLE, filmed on the 6th and 7th of January as the new strain
No indications any disease is lurking here. But according to the World Health Organization, scenes like this point to the potential risk of a new
POON: These animals, we don't know their history, we don't know what kind of pathogens or viruses that they are having in their body.
GAUDEN GALEA, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REPRESENTATIVE, CHINA: -- that (ph) now would interface with the animal world, there will always be the
danger of spillover. As long as people eat meat, there is going to be some risk of infection.
STOUT (voice-over): The coronavirus that causes SARS was traced to the civet cat, a wild animal considered a delicacy in parts of South China.
After the SARS outbreak, China outright banned the slaughter and consumption of civet cats in 2004.
Local authorities in both Wuhan and Qingyuan tell CNN they don't know anything about the sale of illegal animals at such markets, and there are
no open investigations.
But 15 years after the ban, in this market in southern China, civet cats are seen lying inside cages and this stall-keeper says he is selling them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this wild?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's wild.
STOUT (voice-over): Ready for purchase. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Well, we've just learned that the World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, in a couple days, to decide whether
this coronavirus outbreak is an international public health emergency.
Our Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. So do we know how many of the people who became sick actually went to these markets
that Kristie Lu Stout told us about in her report?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Hala, we don't have an exact number. But what's important to remember is that we do know that
it has spread person-to-person.
Let's take a look at that map that shows where this virus has been. Most of the cases are in Wuhan, but there are cases in other parts of China. There
have been a few cases in Thailand and Japan and Korea. And so we know that some of these people did not visit that market, so they did not get it
directly from the animals, they got it from a person.
And one of the -- really, when I talk to experts, they've said the most stunning thing is that according to a Chinese health official on Chinese
media, one sick person infected 14 health care workers. That is not good news. If that is correct, that means that this truly is infectious.
So we know that it can spread person-to-person. The trick is how easily does it spread person-to-person? And we just don't know the answer to that
right now -- Hala.
GORANI: So that being said, then, are officials concerned? We all remember SARS, we all remember these outbreaks. Are officials concerned that this
could be another SARS?
COHEN: Yes, there definitely are those concerns. Let's take a look at those numbers. So there are two cousins, if you will, to this new
coronavirus. One is called MERS, which is Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome, which isn't as well-known but is much more recent. So about 2,500
infections, 858 deaths over the past seven years or so.
And then SARS, which you mentioned, more than 8,000 infections -- and this was in sort of the 2003, 2004 time range -- and 774 deaths. That is
precisely what the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that's what they are trying to avoid. And it really, to a great
degree, hinges on the question, how easily can this be transmitted person- to-person.
So SARS, for example, did transmit person-to-person. You know, fortunately -- if you can call it that -- it was a little bit difficult. It was people
who are hugging and kissing who gave it to each other, people who were sharing forks and knives. Your likelihood of getting it from just passing
someone on the street, it wasn't that kind of action that was giving it. So what -- that was spreading it, rather.
So in this case, we just don't know, can you get it if you just hug or kiss someone, you know, what kind of contact do you need in order to spread
person-to-person. Because we do know that it does spread person-to-person.
GORANI: All right. Well, we are going to keep a close eye on this. Thanks very much for that.
Well, let's move on to the news everyone is still very much talking about here in the United Kingdom. And that is, of course -- you guessed it -- not
Brexit, but Prince Harry. And he made a surprise appearance at a summit in London earlier today -- earlier, I should say, attended by the British
prime minister and the leaders of 21 African nations.
But within a few months, his official royal duties will come to an end. That follows an announcement by Buckingham Palace, this weekend, that Harry
and his wife Meghan would no longer represent the queen.
On Sunday, Harry expressed, quote, "great sadness" about his decision to step back from the royal family. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after
so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always gotten it right. But as far as this goes, there really was no other option.
Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Anna Stewart joins me now, live from Buckingham Palace. We're not used to hearing royals really just kind of spill the beans in
this way. I mean, Harry is really saying some very personal things during a time of -- an incredibly tumultuous time for his family and the royal
family as an institution. What's behind this decision to be so candid about his innermost feelings?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It's not the first time from Prince Harry. And actually, the last couple of weeks, you're right, has been some
unprecedented in terms of hearing the royals speaking about their feelings, whether it was the queen's disappointment, Harry's great sadness or Prince
William, speaking to friends that were leaked to newspapers, talking about his feelings as well.
Prince Harry clearly wants people to know how difficult a decision this has been for him, and that this new agreement that has been reached, with him
stepping down as a working member of the royal family, isn't actually what he or his wife, Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, actually wanted.
They wanted a more hybrid role within the royal family but with some added independence. And he says, there, that it simply wasn't possible. So it's a
huge regret for him to have to take a step back, particularly I think from some of those military appointments.
It's not what the queen wanted either, she wanted them to remain as senior members of the royal family. So it's not a win-win here. As you said,
though, a very heartfelt speech there.
GORANI: All right. Anna Stewart, thanks very much.
And we will also be talking about this a little bit later. Bonnie (ph) Greer (ph) will be joining me to talk specifically about how the tabloid
press has treated Meghan and whether or not this would be an opportunity for the couple to maybe have a quieter life.
Still to come tonight, it's that time of year again. The world's richest people will be tackling some of the world's biggest problems in Davos.
We'll talk about that.
And in Iraq, anti-government unrest turns deadly again. Thousands hit the streets, fed up with corruption and fed up with poverty. We'll be right
GORANI: Well, as the U.S. Senate prepares for the historic impeachment trial, President Trump is heading off to Davos, Switzerland for the World
Economic Forum. He'll deliver a special address tomorrow when the conference kicks off, hoping perhaps to shift the attention, maybe, a
little bit more on Switzerland and a little bit less on Washington, D.C.
The other headliner, Mr. Trump's adversary? Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Well, one has to wonder if they'll interact, cross paths,
whatever. They are likely to have very different messages, though. I'm pretty sure we can bet on it.
Richard Quest is in Davos, right in the middle of the action. And you spoke to the founder of the World Economic Forum about what to expect this year -
RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes. I mean, everybody's attention is on Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg, for the simple reason that this year at
Davos, the usual agenda of economic stuff isn't quite so important. There's nothing burning on the agenda.
However, what is burning, of course, is the climate. And when I spoke to Klaus Schwab, he made it quite clear why the environment is the number one
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KLAUS SCHWAB, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM: The world is in a status of emergency. And certainly, the time is running out to address
those issues, so we cannot just talk about those issues, we have to find fast solutions, so that's what we are doing this year.
QUEST: Hasn't the world always been in a state of emergency?
SCHWAB: Yes, but the time pressure to act hasn't been as great as it is now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And, you know, Klaus isn't just speaking hyperbolically (ph). If you look at what's actually happening here, you've got CEOs, you've got
government leaders, you've got people coming here with real commitments on what they're going to do about climate change.
And so when Donald Trump comes in tomorrow, he will find an audience much more on Greta's side. So he'll have to probably come with something of his
GORANI: But did they -- did they fly in on their private jets? Because last year, that was obviously something that raised eyebrows, you know,
flying in to talk about climate change on your private jets.
But the other thing is, Oxfam released a new statistic. I mean, the wealth inequality on this planet is just mind-boggling. The 26 richest people on
the planet own as much as the poorest 50 percent. So 26 people own as much as 3.8 billion in the bottom half of the world. Is there any talk about how
to address this inequality?
QUEST: Constantly. I don't think CEOs come here --
GORANI: But are they doing --
QUEST: -- without being aware of it.
GORANI: -- are they willing to pay a wealth tax? Because that's the big question. Are they willing to pay a wealth tax?
QUEST: No. Some are, some aren't. But it's -- but it's -- they're not willing to pay a wealth tax. It's not because they're frightened of their
own fortune. Many of the people here have got so much money, they've got more money than God and they can't spend it in several lifetimes.
If they don't want a wealth tax, it's because they don't believe that will actually improve the lot of those at the bottom. It's a nuanced argument,
perhaps. But, Hala, here in Davos, there is a sea change. It's not just the rich and the elites, there is a broad base and the agenda is extremely
GORANI: And what about Greta Thunberg? Because she makes a point of traveling to places without using air travel. Do we know how she's getting
QUEST: Well, assuming she's come from her native country, it's won't be that difficult. A boat over the water, and then a couple of train journeys
and you'll soon be up the mountain. I don't -- you could even drive if she was so minded.
So I can imagine, yes, I took a plane trip from London and there are lots of people here who all did -- most people here took a train -- a plane
trip. But I'm guessing Greta didn't find it too difficult to get to Davos without air travel.
GORANI: Let's think of ways to offset your carbon footprint, Richard, later, when we can chat about it. Thanks very much, Richard --
QUEST: Oh, Hala Gorani --
GORANI: Well, you know. That's (ph) got to --
QUEST: -- oh.
GORANI: We'll see you in London, we'll give you reusable bags or something. We'll see you at the top of the hour, before that, on "QUEST
MEANS BUSINESS," from Davos.
QUEST: We will.
GORANI: Let us turn our attention now to Iraq. There is a deadline for leadership change that has arrived. At least three people were killed in
widespread protests today. Take a look.
Activists burned tires, they clashed with security forces again in several cities, demanding that the government name a new interim prime minister. A
U.N. official tells CNN, security forces used tear gas and live ammunition, once again, to stop the demonstrations from spreading to other places.
Also, hundreds were injured in clashes between anti-government protestors and security forces in Beirut over the weekend. Demonstrators called it a
week of rage, and it follows months of mostly nonviolent demonstrations over the government's failure to save a faltering economy.
Staying in the Arab world, the internationally recognized premier of Libya is warning of catastrophe unless foreign powers lean on renegade general
Khalifa Haftar. Haftar's forces closed some oil facilities, disrupting production and sending prices higher.
His actions came as world leaders tried to broker a ceasefire in Libya. CNN's Nic Robertson breaks it down for us.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): As leaders met in Berlin this weekend, one demand for Libya.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: First, we need to have a ceasefire.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The reality? It would have been easier several years ago. The long road to this summit, strewn with lost opportunity, a
lack of international consensus and a worsening conflict.
Turkey, the latest regional power to escalate the stakes, vowing to send its troops and already helping hundreds of Syrian fighters get at Libya's
GUTERRES: Until now, we have an escalation of the Libyan conflict with some foreign interference. Now, we were (ph) facing the risk of a true
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The route of this crisis and the overthrow of Dictator Moammar Gadhafi, 2011. Gadhafi's forces were poised to crush
Libya's Arab Spring uprising. After disagreements, the U.N. backed NATO to intervene. French jets stopped Gadhafi's advance.
In the following weeks, British and French jets pounded Gadhafi's (INAUDIBLE) Army, but not U.S. forces. President Obama contributed only
what the Europeans could not: surveillance and midair refueling. His message? Libya was Europe's problem.
And when Gadhafi was killed, again, no consensus for what next. Europe took its eye off the ball, tribal divisions opened up, Islamist militias took
control of the cities.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and a colleague were killed in Benghazi. Diplomats began to draw down. ISIS and al-Qaida found a foothold. The U.N.
helped create a Government of National Accord, but it had little local buy- in.
International airstrikes, the only real point of western consensus, routed ISIS. But meaningful help rebuilding the country was in retreat. Waves of
migrants began using Libya as a launchpad to reach Europe. Oil flows fluctuated. Libya was a failing state, fertile ground for regional and
global power plays.
In the chaos, General Khalifa Haftar, a retired secular commander who'd lived in the U.S. for many years, took control of Benghazi, planning to
purge the country of Islamists and install himself as a ruler. He got Russia's backing and Egypt's and Saudi's and the UAE's.
By now, President Trump was in the White House. He had no clear strategy, and neither did the Europeans except stop the migrants and steady the oil
flows. Deals were struck with the U.N.-backed government, and the capital's Islamist militias profited.
Haftar ramped up his offensive to take the capital, Tripoli. Civilian casualties escalated. The offensive stalled. But, still, no international
consensus on how to stop the bloodshed, until this weekend's summit. And even that, barely papering over divisions. Nic Robertson, CNN, New York.
GORANI: Egypt's president is in London for a U.K.-Africa summit amid fresh questions about the country's human rights record. Activists say Abdel
Fattah el-Sisi has cracked down on freedoms since he took power six years ago.
Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Sisi in Berlin and he says that he expressed outrage over the death of an American
citizen, detained in Egypt. Scott McLean has more.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Family gatherings can get awkward, and the diplomatic variety are no exception.
For the cameras, it's all smiles. But at the U.K.-Africa investment summit, the presence of this man, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, should
make plenty of leaders uncomfortable.
Sisi's trip to London comes after a week of bad headlines. Last week, four staff members from a Turkish state news agency were detained at their
office in Cairo. They were later released on bail.
Anadolu said in Egypt, the outlet was described as a terror cell, not a newsroom. That was just a day after the death of 54-year-old Egyptian-
American Mustafa Kassem, who was on hunger strike six years after being arrested.
He was convicted in a mass trial with hundreds of others, accused of being a spy and for taking part in anti-government protests, which he denied.
At a weekend meeting in Berlin, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed outrage at Kassem's pointless and tragic death. But for the
cameras, the pair were cordial. Sisi even joked about President Trump's chances in 2020.
ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI (?): This is a done deal. An assured win --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will see.
MCLEAN (voice-over): It's not new for Western leaders to happily rub shoulders with dictators, but many describe Egypt under the Sisi regime as
especially repressive, a place where human rights are routinely ignored and dissent is barely tolerated.
MAYA FOA, DIRECTOR OF REPRIEVE: Lots and lots of young people, of people who have been tortured, innocent people are all being swept up in this
system of mass trials, this repressive system. And they're being systematically sentenced to death by the hundreds.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Sisi's government has vehemently denied the allegations. Egypt receives over a billion dollars in U.S. military aid
each year. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy says the U.S. has failed to use its leverage to force Sisi to behave.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): We have influence. We are not using it today. The long-term consequence of this kind of repression is not good for the
United States, it is not good for our allies.
MCLEAN: On-stage at the investment summit, the leader of America's most important ally discussed Egypt only once.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: The monorail trains that will shortly be conveying citizens through the streets of Cairo, that
great and growing city, will be made here. The monorail trains will be made here in the U.K.
Celebrating economic success was clearly on the agenda. Downing Street would not say whether Sisi's dismal human rights record would be as well.
Scott McLean, CNN, London.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, we'll check in on the Democratic race for the White House and see who "The New York Times" just endorsed. A hint? It
says, quote, "May the best woman win." We'll be right back.
And extremists threatened a pro-gun rally in the U.S. state of Virginia. This is not a war zone, by the way. This is just people, demonstrating in
Virginia. CNN is on the ground, where protestors some of them openly carrying weapons, surrounded the capital building. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, it's a national holiday in the United States honoring civil rights hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But instead of taking the day off,
top Democratic presidential candidates are joining MLK commutations in South Carolina. Elizabeth warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders all made
appearances in the southern state that holds a crucial primary election next month.
The New York Times, by the way, speaking of the Democrats has announced the tightly coveted endorsement in the Democratic race, and this year, it is
breaking with tradition in a big way.
Let's bring in CNN White House Reporter, Stephen Collinson.
So, Stephen, it's breaking with tradition in two ways. Tell us what they are.
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, very interesting, Hala. The whole point of choosing a nominee in the primary race is to get a
single candidate to take on the president. And this tradition of newspapers picking who they want to win goes back a long way in American politics.
But then New York Times has basically sat on the fence. It can't decide whether it wants the realist version of politics which it says is
represented by Minnesota's senator, Amy Klobuchar or the more radical version which is put forward by a champion of the left, Elizabeth Warren,
the senator from Massachusetts.
This is the central argument in the Democratic race and the New York Times had basically said while it can't decide, so it's picking one person from
each side. Of course, voters starting in less than three weeks' time in the Iowa causes, in the nominating race, don't have that luxury.
And, of course, it's choosing two women candidates. This has been a big subtext of the race whether America will finally get his first woman
president, following Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016.
What's very interesting though is that the Times, it doesn't really mention that fact in its endorsement articles. But it just basically says that
these are the two best qualified candidates. They make the best case and they just happen to be women. So that kind of historical illusion is a
little bit off to one said.
GORANI: Right. I just -- I'm guessing it's a man who wrote it. Because for women, it is a big deal.
But I was going to say what's the ask -- what's the point of an endorsement if you're not endorsing one person? I mean, isn't it kind of -- what's the
point? I don't understand.
COLLINSON: Exactly. I mean, that's -- the odd thing about this is that the Times presumably wanted people to consider its arguments that these are the
best two candidates. All the discussion today as well, why couldn't the New York Times decide? After all, as I said, that's what a voter is going to
have to some -- come to some conclusion about, which side of this democratic race do they want to, you know, pursue.
And the other question is, how much does the newspaper endorsement matter, anyway, these days? You know, back in -- even recent history when media was
less diverse, a newspaper endorsement was a significant thing. It could move votes. People did listen to their newspaper to think about what they
want to crystallize the arguments.
There's not much evidence, honestly. It's a nice headline for Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, but apart from that, it's pretty unlikely that a
voter going to the caucuses in Iowa in two weeks' time is suddenly going to think, oh, the New York Times said I should go for one of these two
characters and then they would do that.
So it's kind of a bit of a historical and that cronyisms to be honest.
GORANI: Yes. And interesting, anyway, they're not endorsing the front runner, Joe Biden. So there's that as well.
Thanks very much, Stephen.
Let's talk more now about our top story. Donald Trump's legal team is laying out his defense less than 24 hours before his impeachment trial
Our next guest wrote the book "How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives." David
Priess is chief operating officer at the Lawfare Institute and he's a former CIA intelligence officer.
Thanks for being with us. Let's talk a little bit about these big names that are joining the president's defense, Ken Starr, of course, Alan
Dershowitz as well. I wonder -- and they're controversial individuals. Why pick them? What do they bring to this for the Trump side?
DAVID PRIESS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, LAWFARE: It sure seems like the president has picked them because they are must-see T.V. These are people
who are names, they are known, they are people who can make the case for the president. Not necessarily the best legal case. Although, both of them
can argue legally, a Harvard law professor in Dershowitz's case, and a former solicitor general in Ken Starr's case.
But really, the presidential argument throughout this impeachment trial looks like it's going to be the House doesn't have the right to bring these
charges at all so we don't even have to break down the facts.
As such, these two seem to have been added to the legal team because the president likes seeing them on television and thinks they'll be able to
keep his base rallied in support of him.
GORANI: And by the way, speaking of Dershowitz, you know, during the Clinton impeachment trial, he had a very different position -- different
position on what is an impeachable offense than he does today. Let's listen to Dershowitz now and then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE TEAM MEMBER: Without a crime, there can be no impeachment.
Certainly doesn't have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust, and who poses great
danger to our liberty, you don't need a technical crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And obviously this is highlighting just how political of a process it is. Does it matter at all, these contradictions?
PRIESS: I frankly don't think it does. Listen, we are in an era now where what the president tweeted seven days ago seems like ancient history.
So going back 20 years to what Alan Dershowitz played side by side like that, it is crushing, the hypocrisy is just apparent.
However, Ken Starr also used to argue the opposite side of some of the questions that the president's legal team will be arguing in the Senate
trial. For example on issues of executive privilege, that is going to be troublesome if there is a hardly give and take between the House managers
and the president's team, pointing out the arguments that they made previously that were strong arguments, perhaps, at the time, and why are
they now weakened because you've taken the opposite point of view.
The real issue though is going to be, does it appeal to a very small group of senators? Primarily, the four Republican senators that will be needed to
get the Democratic senators to a vote of 51 senators, which means they can call witnesses, they can change the rules of the trial as they go. It's
going to be a really tough one to see whether, in fact, these people on the president's legal team make it more likely or less likely for those
Republican senators to go with the Republicans or the Democrats.
GORANI: You know what I find interesting, is the polls in the last few months reveal that support for impeachment and removal of the president has
actually gone down since the hearings in the House of Representatives among Republicans but also overall.
So for those who believe that the president did commit an impeachable offense and would like him removed, how do you explain that this whole
public process, where all this evidence was laid out had the opposite effect on public opinion?
PRIESS: Well, I would say maybe a small effect, but poll by poll, it doesn't change much, that is the statistical significance of the polls from
the beginning of the impeachment process to the end have been very, very close.
The more telling number, in fact, is the presidential approval ratings which seem to be mired somewhere in the low 40s, poll to poll. If that
somehow goes up during the impeachment trial as President Clinton's did during his impeachment trial, then that in a sense is a signal to the U.S.
senators to think twice about the implications of the impeachment.
But if the president's approval stays the same or even drops during the impeachment trial from the floor that it's been at for a long time, then
that tells you more than people's perception of the actual charges.
GORANI: David, during the hearings, the president's approval rating ticked up. And I take your point that it's within the statistical margin of error.
But the fact that there was not an increase, really on any level, during those hearings for the idea of removal of impeachment, and not even among
independents, I thought was interesting. Is it fatigue? What is it? Are people just thinking, OK, enough already. I don't have the mental energy to
follow this anymore?
PRIESS: Right. There may be many people who identify as independents, that is not Republicans or Democrats, and then in the poll they will identify as
such. But that's not the same as saying they're undecided on the issue of whether President Trump has violated his oath and should be in office.
It may be very well that even those independents already have their mind made up and thus, the polls aren't going to move much either way, because
we are much more solidified in our positions. Could something happen at the trial to change that? Frankly, it's possible, especially if witnesses do
come forward. But it's going to take a lot to change people's minds at this point, because people are so well-established in what they believe.
GORANI: Also, you get the sense, you know, that these witnesses that could be called, it's not this Perry Mason moment where you have witnesses in a
courtroom taking the stand. I mean, these are all depositions potentially that would be read out or played out.
I mean, you're not going to have this kind of big Hollywood moment. I imagine that the president would want, for sure. I mean, he was in reality
television. He'd love that.
So does it -- does it seem to you as though Americans have kind of heard what they need to hear to make their mind up at this stage?
PRIESS: The case that's been presented in the document that was released yesterday by the House managers does make a very compelling case and it
does it in an organized and structured format of why there really is no more testimony needed.
That said, they realize politically that not all of the senators are with them, and, in fact -- as a matter of fact, right now, more than half aren't
with them. So I think having some form of documentary evidence presented or some form of witness testimony presented would allow them to move that ball
forward just a little bit and frankly, that's all they need, at least to get to the issue of getting more witnesses and more production.
GORANI: So, David Priess, if I ask you to kind of look into the future, what is your expectation? Because this almost -- this is so rarely happens
in America, the impeachment trial of a sitting president. How do you see things unfolding here on trial eve?
PRIESS: Yes, having looked at the history of the impeachments before, it is a very high bar to remove an impeached president, and it should be. Two-
thirds of Senators present need to say the president should be booted out. And that was put that way for a very good reason which is that it's a big
deal to get rid of a president.
If I were putting my money downright now, I would say it's not there. I don't see the president being removed. However, wildcards can happen, more
so on the president's side than in the trial itself. We haven't had a president before who was live tweeting during his impeachment hearings as
we saw late last year, and is almost certainly going to be trying to, he thinks make his case better, but perhaps maybe making his case worse by
live tweeting during the actual trial.
He is the biggest wildcard here, and I can't rule out that he will do or say something that could actually turn the tide.
GORANI: OK. David Priess, thanks very much for joining us.
In the U.S. state of Virginia, gun rights advocates protesting new gun measures before the state's lawmakers took over an entire city block. The
governor reacting before the event to online threats from extremists declared a state of emergency. Many standing outside a security perimeter
were armed. Heavily armed, flak jackets, helmets.
Nick Valencia is outside the capitol grounds in Richmond, Virginia.
So I mean, to international viewers, they see these types of -- this armor that they are wearing and the assault rifles and they're wondering why are
they dressed in this way if they're just protesting for their right to actually carry firearms?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The optics have to be disturbing. You know, at the very least to our international viewers, just to see that this
kind of thing happens on the streets of America. But, you know, this is what they were demonstrating for to be pro-Second Amendment.
They feel as though that their rights are being infringed upon, that this newly elected Democratic legislature is infringing on their liberties, that
this is the first step towards taking their way, their guns outright.
You know, we want to be clear that this event happens every year. It's hosted by a pro-Second Amendment group here called the Virginia Citizens
But why this is different this year is because according to the governor, there were credible threats of violence. Hala, leading up to this week, we
saw seven suspected Neo-Nazi members arrested by the FBI. Some of whom, according to the FBI, were on their way to this event to cause harm.
Some of the proposed legislation that is being put on the table by the Democrats has angered a lot of Second Amendment supporters which is why you
saw them come here heavily armed with their long guns, sort of flexing their muscles, so to speak. Some of it includes universal background
checks, you know, limiting one firearm for every 30 days giving localities the ability to ban guns in certain areas.
And it really angered a lot of people. So much so that the governor worried this was going to be a magnet for extremism. You know, I mentioned those
arrests. There was a lot of anxiety that this could potentially be something similar to what we saw in Charlottesville in 2017. You all
remember what happened there.
But I have to say there was never any moment where this felt like it was out of control. The demonstrations were peaceful. There's no crowd
estimate, but it looked like from our crew's vantage point that there was thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands that showed up here today to, you
know, to demonstrate for their right to carry. Hala?
GORANI: All right. Nick, thanks very much. Nick Valencia.
Still to come tonight, remembering the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. One survivor wants to make sure the
world never forgets, what happened there, we will have a report, it will be coming up.
GORANI: Next week marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. More than a million people were murdered there.
Melissa Bell spoke to one of the Auschwitz survivors, and we warn you the report contains graphic images.
ZIGI SHIPPER, AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU SURVIVOR: The screaming at night was just unbelievable. We still didn't understand why they didn't kill us and be
finished. Why did we have to suffer so much?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Zigi Shipper was only 14 when he arrived in Auschwitz Birkenau in the summer of 1944.
Now 90, he spends most of his time speaking about what he saw, like the moment the doors of his cattle train opened onto the camp. Some went
straight to the gas chambers. For the others, the suffering was just beginning.
SHIPPER: The guards came over to them and asked them to just put their baby down. She wouldn't do it. So they tried to rip that baby out of her arms
and if they didn't succeed they shot the woman and sometimes the baby as well. Why kill babies? Why don't you give them enough food? I ask the
children when I speak, I ask the grown-ups, tell me something -- have we learned? And everybody says no.
BELL (voice-over): But these pictures had shocked the world 75 years ago. They were captured by Red Army soldiers as they liberated Poles, Russians,
Romas, homosexuals, and Jews. Ninety percent of the 1.1 million people who died in the camp were Jewish.
BELL (on-camera): This is both the scale and the depth of human suffering here that are really hard to fathom. However, what happened behind these
fences is still within living memory, but only just.
With Auschwitz marking the 75th anniversary of its liberation and with the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks both in the United States and in
locations here in Europe, the question is whether collective memory can ever last longer than a single lifetime?
BELL (voice-over): These schoolkids are being shown around by Ginette Kolinka, a 94-year-old French survivor of Birkenau.
Isn't it difficult to come back, asked one student? No, she replies, my feelings never made it out of here.
NOLWENN JOURDAIN, STUDENT: Hearing it from people that have lived it that were -- like this was a living hell. They were tortured. You really have to
be tolerant and accept people as they are because nobody deserves this.
BELL (voice-over): It is that message of broader tolerance that drives Zigi to speak as often as he can about what he saw.
SHIPPER: I said whatever you do, don't hate. Hate is the worst thing you can do. Never mind what nationality they are, what religion -- to me,
everybody's the same. We are just human beings.
BELL: And yet, anti-Semitism in the United States is at near-historic levels according to the Anti-Defamation League. And worldwide, anti-
Semitic attacks rose by 13 percent in 2018 according to Tel Aviv University.
SHIPPER: It's not for me that I'm worried -- for my children, for my grandchildren, for my great-grandchildren.
But you know, we mustn't give up. You've got to think it will change. You've got to -- but we need the people to do something about it and that's
why we speak. We must not forget.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
GORANI: So Prince Harry described himself as sad after he told the British Commonwealth that he and his wife, Meghan, are stepping back from their
royal duties. The Queen had a big say in all of this, of course.
Joining me now is playwright novelist critic and broadcaster, Bonnie Greer. She's written about the historic nature of this multicultural couple.
So what's your -- So Harry says he's sad. But he kind of got what he wanted. Right? He's broken free from the family. He's moving mainly to
Canada with his beautiful bride and their lovely son.
BONNIE GREER, AMERICAN-BRITISH PLAYWRIGHT: Beautiful baby, yes.
GORANI: And -- so why -- what's the sadness about?
GREER: He's leaving home. I mean, this is where he was -- this is his, it's his grandmother who he obviously loves, who adores him. Because you could
tell by the kind of messages sent out the last couple of days. I mean, those are the most personal things I've ever seen her send out, and
basically she loves adores him. He loves his granny. His father is leaving, his brother. I mean, he's leaving home, the guy is exiling himself, I mean,
GREER: I mean, we can all say, oh, you know, he's going to Canada. He's exiling himself. He's never lived anywhere else. She's lived other places.
That part of Canada is her thing. I mean, she's a west coast girl through and through.
GREER: And he's going to join her. He's going to be with her, all exile with their baby, and...
GORANI: It's tough -- it's tough to make a marriage work when everything falls into place, right? But then when you have all this drama and tension
and leaving your family and what you know behind, it's not that easy.
GREER: Well, it's got to be hard, and the -- and the media in this country, not everybody, of course. Not everybody. But there's certain breakfast
television shows, certain tabloid press that have really been really nasty.
GORANI: They've laid into Meghan.
GREER: They really have. There have been racist undertones and all kind of stuff. And I just think he probably thinks I'm out of here. You know,
really, I'm going to go with my wife, I'm going to have my life. And I mean, I've followed him most of his life. I'm old enough to have seen when
he was a little guy.
And, you know, you watch him grow up. He's made his mistakes in public. I mean, we weren't teenagers in public. I mean, he...
GORANI: Thank god.
GREER: No, really. That's how I think.
GORANI: I thank God I wasn't a teenager with social media was around.
GREER: Certainly. And, you know, he's following his mother (INAUDIBLE) down the street. He's fighting with paparazzi when he's a teenager. He's in the
military and then he can't stay because he's a danger to himself and others so they pull them out of there. He's trying to find out what he wants...
GORANI: But what is he doing in -- on the West Coast of Canada?
GREER: He probably chills out, and they probably figure out what they're going to do in terms of their charities.
And I'll tell you something, Hala, what's really, really crazy is that this country is going on a new chapter of its life in Brexit. I mean, what an
incredible two ambassadors they could have had --
GREER: -- in this couple and if they...
GORANI: Do you think they were driven out or was this a plan...
GREER: Oh, absolutely. She fled.
GORANI: So you're saying that if she had been white, that this wouldn't have happened?
GREER: Oh, no, probably. You know...
GORANI: Do you think it was a racist kind of an attack from her or was it class base...
GREER: Thank goodness she wasn't French or German, right? I mean, you know, there are, you know, undertones. This country doesn't like foreigners, kind
of. So that wasn't helpful for her.
GORANI: The Brits would say, well, no, you're really making -- you're generalizing?
GREER: Well, no, they're not really. It's a rough time right now. She's very American, she's very West Coast. She's not going to come in like --
you know, she's not Catherine who is an English girl.
So she had to learn a lot of things in public really, really fast. She made a few faux pass, but that's normal stuff. But there are certain aspects of
the press which prey on this family anyway, which you're totally obsessed with this family anyway.
Can you imagine all the stuff that's going on in the world and these big papers headline this couple? I mean, it's just completely crazy.
GORANI: Well, it's been an obsession here in the U.K.
Have you seen the movie "Parasite?"
GREER: Oh, that's a good title. Have you seen the movie "Get Out?"
GREER: So, well, there you go, you know.
GORANI: But "Parasite" has made history. It's a Korean thriller. I am absolutely dying to see it. It's a historic moment in the world of film.
Here is a -- next of the clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the actor goes to -- Parasite.
GORANI: So this is -- sorry, Bonnie. This is the moment when the cast of "Parasite" learned that they took top prize at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild
GREER: Oh, the SAG.
GORANI: Yes. It's the first foreign language film win for Best Ensemble.
GORANI: So that's how they made history.
GREER: That's incredible.
GORANI: It's a South Korean film. It deals with issues of greed and class discrimination, and there you have it.
GREER: So, Hala, this is the great thing. We had --
GORANI: You got five seconds.
GREER: Oh, we had in this country a really multicultural couple. They're gone.
GORANI: They're gone.
GREER: Out of here.
GORANI: But "Parasite" won Best Ensemble.
GREER: There, SAG, won (ph), well done.
GORANI: I'm Hala. Bonnie, thanks so much. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.