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EARLY START

Final Day of Opening Arguments for Dems; Democratic Hopefuls Pulled Off From Campaign Trail for Impeachment Trial; China Plans to Build Dedicated Pneumonia Hospital in Wuhan. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired January 24, 2020 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:30:35]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats turn to obstruction of Congress today after a powerful presentation on abuse of power at the Senate impeachment trial.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Growing concerns about the deadly coronavirus. It is spreading now beyond China. Why health officials are not ready to declare an emergency.

JARRETT: Gripping testimony at the Harvey Weinstein trial. Actress Annabella Sciorra with vivid details of the night she says the producer raped her.

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

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans this Friday morning. It is 31 minutes past the hour here in New York.

And today will be the third and final day of opening arguments for Democrats in the trial to impeach and remove President Trump from office. House managers on Thursday made the case the president abused his power. They tried to convince skeptical and tired Republican senators the trial needs more witnesses and documents.

Republicans have said a lot of what they're hearing is repetitive, but at least one admits some of this is fresh. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana telling "The New York Times," quote, "I've learned a lot. Everybody has. Senators didn't know the case. They really didn't. We didn't stay glued to the television. We haven't read the transcripts."

JARRETT: Democrats not shying away from a topic Republicans have tried to use against them. House managers repeatedly mentioned Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son, position on the board of the Ukrainian energy company at the heart of GOP conspiracy theories. Democrats also displayed elaborate exhibits. Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler using a 1999 clip of Lindsey Graham to make the case an actual crime is not required for impeachment. At the time Graham was a House manager in the Clinton impeachment trial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It's a high crime. How about if an important person hurts somebody of low means? It's not very scholarly. But I think it's the truth. I think that's what they meant by high crimes. It doesn't have to be a crime. It's just when you start using your office and you're acting in a way that hurts people, you committed a high crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Senator Graham was not in the chamber yesterday when that clip was played.

ROMANS: Now CNN has learned the president's allies are lobbying behind the scenes pushing wavering Republican senators to oppose any witnesses. A source tells CNN the effort includes calls not only from Capitol Hill but also identifying people back home the senators trust and then getting them to call the senators.

Democrats have seven hours, 53 minutes left to open their case. Today they'll move on to article two, obstruction of Congress.

Senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny has more.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, Democratic impeachment managers begin making their last case in their opening arguments against President Trump. It was after a long day on Thursday about going after abuse of power which is laid out in the article one impeachment.

Now throughout the day, the Democratic managers led by Chairman Adam Schiff made the case that President Trump is an ongoing threat to the nation. It was no mistake, they argue, withholding that political aid from Ukraine and they listed through a chronology of events spanning the months throughout the summer into the fall a series of bad judgments and also intentional bad behavior.

But it was at the end of a long day of trial as senators, all of them, were sitting in their seats when Chairman Schiff implored them to do what's right and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIFF: And you know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country. You can trust he will do what's right for Donald Trump. He'll do it now. He's done it before. He'll do it for the next several months. He'll do it in the election if he's allowed to.

This is why if you find him guilty you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: So those powerful words certainly hung heavy in the chamber, but it's unclear if Republicans enough will join Democrats to call for new witnesses or new evidence.

[04:35:03]

Certainly no one is showing their hands to that point. But the final day today for the Democratic managers to make their case. The president's lawyers begin making their case in a shorter session on Saturday -- Christine and Laura.

JARRETT: Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

Well, the president's legal team is ready to present their defense, suggesting it won't even need the allotted three days to do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY SEKULOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: We're going to use a sufficient amount of time to not only defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case. We're going to do it in an appropriate manner. We're not going to try to run the clock out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Four GOP senators could force the chamber to call witnesses. Now they're not saying much. They're mostly waiting for the Democrats to finish their opening arguments before committing to a vote which could come as early as next week.

And just 10 days to the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic field is basically split up between those on the campaign trail and the impeachment trial.

CNN's Ryan Nobles is in Washington.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: OK, Laura and Christine, imagine you're running for arguably the most important job in the world and then less than two weeks before voters begin to cast their ballots in the first big contest of that campaign, you're stuck in a room where you can't talk, can't use an electronic device, you're not allowed to communicate with your campaign staff, and oh, by the way, that room is about 700 miles away from where that first contest is taking place.

That is the scenario that four U.S. senators running for president face as they continue to serve as jurors in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet and Amy Klobuchar, they've been forced to get creative. They've sent their spouses out to headline events in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as some high-profile surrogates. They're hosting tele-town halls. They're doing live stream events with their supporters.

This is all happening in these rare moments when they aren't sitting in the Senate chamber. And when possible, they're doing TV interviews, some national, some local with the goal of getting as much face time with potential voters as possible, like Senator Elizabeth Warren. She did an interview with our Dana Bash during one of the short breaks in the action. And she tried to make the argument that she's focused on the job at hand, not her campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is my responsibility to be here, but I know what's going on right now back in Iowa. And that is that this grassroots movement that I've spent over a year building is active, and so people have really said if you've got to be pinned down in Washington for the impeachment, and that's where you should be, then we're just going to redouble our efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: But, listen, there's still some anxiety. One high-level campaign aide said that the most frustrating part is that the schedule is so fluid. They don't know what is happening so it's impossible to even plan for campaign events when the impeachment trial does provide an open window.

And keep this in mind, while this trial dominates TV screens across the country, the senators may be participating. They're in the room but they're never seen on camera. The cameras only trained on the impeachment managers and the president's lawyers -- Christine and Laura.

JARRETT: Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for that report.

Chinese officials planning to ramp up efforts to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus by building a dedicated pneumonia hospital in Wuhan by the middle of next week. Much like one quickly built during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Dozens have died in China and nearly 850 people have been infected worldwide. But the World Health Organization says coronavirus hasn't spread enough overseas for it to be considered a global health emergency.

CNN's David Culver is live for us in Beijing.

David, what more can you tell us about what you're hearing from officials?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, so the reality is, Laura, the WHO's decision to hold off on calling this a global emergency is based on they recognizing that it does spread from human-to-human, and that's something Chinese officials confirmed within the past week but they don't know how readily infectious it is.

And so why does it matter that they didn't characterize it this way? Well, that could impact how much attention it gets internationally and funding. And money right now is something that could help with handling what is a widening epidemic here and growing concern for a lot of folks. And I want to show you some of the images that are surfacing on

Chinese social media. Now we've not been able to independently verify them but we've had producers going through them and listening to the dialect. They've been able to see that they do seem genuine. They show, for example, tents being set up outside one hospital. That shows the overflow that they're dealing with, the influx of people that they're having to put together these tents.

And you mentioned the hospital they plan to build in less than a week. That's part of that. They also show a woman who's shouting, trying to get a line of patients in order and trying to get them calm, but it seems that's a little difficult given that they're likely lining up to be tested for the virus, and they're shoulder-to-shoulder, so that's not ideal settings.

And then you see one video that shows a man from his hospital bed looking up and seeing his whole medical team in hazmat suits.

[04:40:06]

Likewise, very disturbing to see especially for that patient, but that's also the reality for those health care workers is that we're learning they're more and more concerned even knowing that they have to go back home, there's not a quarantine place for many of them to go after they're treating these sick patients so they're concerned that they're spreading that. That's something we're hearing likewise surfaced on social media.

And Laura, for the context that we made when we were there about 24 hours.

JARRETT: And we should also mention the Centers for Disease Control has increased travel precautions for Wuhan to the highest possible level.

David, thank you so much. Stay safe.

ROMANS: All right, President Trump has set his sights on his next trade target.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to do China first. I want to do Mexico and Canada first, but now they're all done. And now what we do is we are going to do Europe, and I had a very good conversation and I would be very surprised if I had to implement the tariffs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: "We're going to do Europe." At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump renewed his threat to hike tariffs on cars made in Europe to 25 percent. Tariffs would hit the heart of the European industry making cars produced by Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler more expensive for Americans. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, met

with Trump in Davos. She told German news agency DPA, an agreement could be reached within weeks. Now, Trump has used tariffs as a hammer in trade talks before. The threat may be enough to bring Europe to the negotiating table. Auto tariffs would be another blow to an industry that has been slammed by Brexit.

JARRETT: A new Trump administration rule banning so-called birth tourism goes into effect today. The State Department will no longer issue visas to women believed to be traveling to the U.S. specifically to gain birthright citizenship for their children. How the rule will be enforced will be mostly up to the discretion of visa officers. And State Department officials have struggled to explain how exactly that will all work. The rules say screening officers can't directly ask women if they are pregnant unless they can cite a specific reason for doing so.

ROMANS: How are they going to enforce that? That'll be interesting.

All right, powerful testimony in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial. Actress Annabella Sciorra describing in terrifying detail how the former Hollywood producer barged into her Manhattan apartment more than 25 years ago and raped her. The "Soprano" star had trouble catching her breath at times telling the court Weinstein gave her a ride home and later forced his way into the apartment. She says she tried to run into a bathroom but, quote, "he kept coming at me. I felt overpowered because he was very big."

JARRETT: The actress went on to describe how she kicked and punched Weinstein, trying to fight him off until he held her arms above her head on the bed and raped her. Sciorra telling the court she confronted Weinstein about the attack at a dinner in New York weeks later, and he told her, quote, "That's what all the nice Catholic girls say. This remains between you and I." In their cross-examination Weinstein's lawyers played a video of

Sciorra telling David Letterman in 1997 that she has a bad reputation for lying to the press. She -- her encounter with Weinstein happened too long ago to be charged but prosecutors are using her testimony to establish a pattern of behavior. Weinstein is accused of raping and sexually assaulting young women and actresses over the course of decades.

ROMANS: All right. The founder of Amazon was hacked. Now does Jared Kushner have reason to worry over his WhatsApp relationship with the Saudi crown prince?

[04:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JARRETT: A U.N. investigator is warning people like Jared Kushner to replace their phones because of their frequent contacts with the Saudi crown prince. The U.N. report this week uncovered evidence linking Mohammed bin Salman to the hacking of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos' cellphone. CNN has previously reported that Kushner, the president's son-in-law

and senior adviser, and the Saudi prince used WhatsApp to communicate, raising concerns that sensitive national security information may be vulnerable to hackers and hostile governments. The White House is downplaying the warning calling the Saudis a partner and ally.

ROMANS: I'm no expert but I would say you need an MBS burner phone if you're --

(LAUGHTER)

JARRETT: If you're going to talk to him?

ROMANS: If you're friends.

All right, the United States has declined the United Kingdom's request to extradite Anne Sacoolas. She's the wife of an American diplomat who struck and killed teenager Harry Dunn in Britain last year while driving on the wrong side of the road. A State Department spokesman says granting extradition would set a troubling precedent for diplomatic immunity. Sacoolas claimed immunity and left the country after the incident.

A spokesman for the Dunn family says they won't stand for the decision warning their next move will be, quote, "ferocious."

JARRETT: All three Americans who died fighting Australian wildfires from the air have now been identified. Pilot Ian McBeth, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan were water bombing bush fires in New South Wales when their C-130 tanker plane went down. All three men were military veterans. No word yet on the cause of the crash.

ROMANS: Just such a shame. Just trying to help that awful situation.

All right, "Cats" was a box office disaster and Universal may be wishing it was a distant memory. CNN Business has the details next.

[04:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: A photo from the 2017 Women's March that had been censored in a display at the National Archives has been replaced by now the unaltered original version. The image features demonstrators holding signs that say "God Hates Trump" and "Trump and GOP, Hands Off Women." Archivist David Ferrero is taking responsibility for -- originally he blurred those photos. He said he wanted to avoid accusations of partisanship and complaints about inappropriate language in a family friendly museum.

JARRETT: Well, a Texas high school student's hair could keep him from his senior prom and graduation. DeAndre Arnold says he wears dreadlocks to embrace his family's history and culture in Trinidad. DeAndre's mom says her son has always complied with the school's dress code but after winter break DeAndre was suddenly suspended and told cut the locks or face the consequences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEANDRE ARNOLD, BARBERS HILL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: They say that even though my hair is up and also I follow the regulations that if it was down, it would be out of dress code. Not that I'm out the dress code but if I was to take it down I would be out of the dress code which doesn't make any sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[04:55:02]

JARRETT: DeAndre's mom says she's reached out to the aptly named Barbers Hill school district, but they have not responded.

A big win for American Coco Gauff at the Australian Open. She defeated reigning champion Naomi Osaka in straight sets. The 15-year-old heads to the fourth round tying her best showing at a grand slam. You might remember Gauff was brought to tears in September when Osaka defeated her at the U.S. Open.

And a scary moment for the world top men's player at the Australian Open.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw it, it looked pretty hard. My goodness, hit her right on the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Rafael Nadal hitting a ball girl in the head with that return. There was an audible gasp from the crowd. Nadal called it one of the scarier moments he's had on the tennis court. The young girl taking it all in stride. Nadal rewarded her with a kiss. He went onto win the match in straight sets.

She looks OK.

ROMANS: She looks all right.

Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning, taking a look at markets around the world. There's some positivity this morning. Chinese markets closed early ahead of the Lunar New Year. European markets opened slight higher, bouncing here. The backdrop, though, here still caution over the spread of that coronavirus and what it's going to mean for travel and international business.

On Wall Street futures right now also leaning a little bit lower about -- only about 0.2 percent. Stocks were mixed Thursday erasing losses after the World Health Organization calmed some fears around the coronavirus. The Dow fell 26 points. Small gains for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, enough for the Nasdaq to hit a record high.

Uber is laying the groundwork to bring its self-driving cars to the nation's capital. Three mapping vehicles with cameras and sensors will spend a few weeks driving around the city collecting data. Uber wants to test its autonomous cars in D.C. later this year but hasn't committed to an exact timeline. It has completed mapping in Dallas, San Francisco and Toronto but the self-driving cars only operating right now in Pittsburgh where the self-driving team is based.

Universal may be wishing "Cats" was just a memory. The film was a catastrophe at the box office making just $60 million worldwide since it opened in late December. Universal's revenue fell 21 percent from last quarter and its box office revenue declined nearly 60 percent. That has a lot to do with "Cats." The film cost $100 million to produce and lost the studio at least $70 million.

Things look better for Universal in 2020. "1917" exceeded box office expectations and has picked up 10 Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Director.

And I apologize for the cat puns --

JARRETT: You got like three in there.

ROMANS: I got three in there. If you have -- viewers, please, on this Friday morning impeachment zone, please send us your cat puns for the catastrophe of "Cats."

JARRETT: You've got to have more than that.

ROMANS: Yes.

JARRETT: Well, during that Senate impeachment trial Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn spent hours attacking Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman on Twitter. Remember he's a National Security Council aide who testified on the Ukraine scandal. Blackburn questioning the patriotism of the Purple Heart recipient.

Well, while you were sleeping late-night shows jabbed Blackburn and a number of other Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE-NIGHT HOST: According to reporters in the gallery Senator Burr has a fidget spinner. Rand Paul has quite the sketch of the capitol going and Marsha Blackburn is reading a book. That book? "Chicken Soup for When You've Sold Your Soul." And it's a fine book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah?

COLBERT: It's a fine book.

SETH MEYERS, LATE-NIGHT HOST: Republicans today criticized Democrats for making repetitive arguments in the impeachment trial and compared it to the movie "Groundhog Day." Democrats are repetitive? Trump has tweeted witch hunt so many times they're going to build his presidential library in Salem. JIMMY FALLON, LATE-NIGHT HOST: I read than more than 11 million

viewers have tuned in. Yes, the ratings are huge. And Trump's torn. He doesn't know whether to worry about it or take credit for it.

I have the biggest impeachment ratings in history, much better than Bill Clinton's ratings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: So apparently the fidget spinners are all the rage. They have them in all different colors. Senator Burr hands them out but then he wasn't using them. Everyone else was.

ROMANS: And little secret desk drawers of candy.

JARRETT: Yes. There's lots of candy and lots of milk.

EARLY START continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIFF: Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Democrats turn to obstruction of Congress today after a powerful presentation on abuse of power at the Senate.

END