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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Attorney: Trump Caught on Tape Demanding Ambassador's Firing; Soon: Trump's Defense Team Delivering Opening Arguments; Schiff in Closing Argument: "Give America A Fair Trial"; Dozens Dead, 1,300 Plus Infected by Coronavirus Around the World. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired January 25, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These house Democrats have made their case. The White House has been sitting back and watching, and now it's their turn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump tried to cheat. He got caught, and then he worked hard to cover it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying to build a circumstantial case for quid pro quo. That's going to be a tough sell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A piece of tape that appears to have a conversation between the president and Lev Parnas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Take her out. OK? Do it.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parnas has not just been blowing smoke. It would be a miscarriage of justice if the Senate shows no interest in what he has to say.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is a special edition of "New Day." It is Saturday, January 25th, 6:00 here in New York. And breaking overnight, the release of an explosive new audiotape that reportedly features President Trump speaking to Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas at a dinner in 2018. You'll remember these are the two indicted Rudy Giuliani associates charged with funneling Russian money to President Trump's political PAC among others. This is the same Lev Parnas the president says he does not know. But on this tape, Mr. Trump does know him and is telling him to get rid of then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That audio was obtained by ABC News. There is apparently a lot more of this tape. Lev Parnas' lawyer says the full recording is nearly an hour and a half long. We will play more of what has just been released for you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Again, the tape supports of version of events that Parnas has been speaking to and it refutes the president's claim that he doesn't know Parnas. In that, it is evidence to suggest the president is lying. It is the type of evidence that might be useful in, say, a trial, perhaps the type of evidence that nearly 70% of Americans say they would like to see in the impeachment trial of the president himself.
But our reporting this morning is that Republicans seem poised to defy public opinion and in a way, defy the evidence and vote against new materials, new witnesses in this trial. The House Managers finished their presentation late last night and this morning. The president's lawyers will begin their defense. That is what we're waiting to see. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux live on Capitol Hill with the very latest. This is a turning point in a way in the trial, Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, John. Yesterday really was kind of a frenzied day here on Capitol Hill. It was the third and final day for those impeachment managers to make the case that the president should be removed from office but it was also potentially their last opportunity to try to convince four Republicans to vote with them on their side for additional evidence and documents. That today is far from certain.
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REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): He is the first and only president ever to declare himself unaccountable. He is a dictator. This must not stand.
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MALVEAUX: The House Impeachment Managers finished their opening arguments against President Trump.
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REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): The president abused the powers entrusted in him by the American people.
REP. SYLVIA GARCIA (D-TX): No documents, zero, goose egg, nada, in response to over 70 requests. This obstruction of Congress is real and it's beyond -- beyond comparison. This president should be removed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: After presenting their case for 24 hours over the past three days, Democrats once again explaining the need for more witnesses and documents. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): So let us not be fooled by the argument that it will take too long or persuaded that the trial must be over before the State of the Union. This is no parking ticket we are contesting; no shoplifting case we are prosecuting. It is a matter of high crimes and misdemeanors.
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MALVEAUX: Lead House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff ending Thursday's session with this emotional plea to his GOP colleagues.
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SCHIFF: We in this fellowship of officeholders understand that most people don't is that real political courage doesn't come from disagreeing with our opponents but from disagreeing with our friends and with our own party. So I ask you, I implore you, give America a fair trial. Give America a fair trial. She's worth it. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Senate Democrats still need four Republican votes to approve including new evidence in the trial, but their options may be dwindling.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you concerned? You haven't gotten your message across to some of the most moderate Republicans you're going to need.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I think the message has gotten across very strongly.
We know we'll never get Trump. We know we'll never get McConnell. We know they'll pressure Republican Senators but four Republican Senators can step forward and say that we need witnesses and documents.
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MALVEAUX: Possible swing vote Senator Lamar Alexander says he's waiting to hear from both sides.
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SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): We're going to hear the president's arguments. We're going to listen to the answers to our questions, study the record, then we'll see if we need more evidence at that point. I'll make my decisions after I hear all of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: This morning President Trump's legal team will begin their defense. CNN learning they're planning to argue that no crime is actually alleged within the Articles of Impeachment, and the president wasn't granted due process in the House investigation. Trump's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, assuring the Bidens will be discussed in their arguments.
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JAY SEKULOW, OUTSIDE LEGAL COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think you'll see a -- I guess I would call it a trailer, coming attractions. We'll take whatever time is appropriate during that three hours, kind of lay out what the case will look like. But no, next week is when you'll see the full presentation.
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MALVEAUX: So just four hours away the president's lawyers will begin to make their case, outlining their case. They'll continue Monday and Tuesday but I have to say in actually questioning Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Lindsey Graham in these dueling press conferences yesterday, you could not hear a more different narrative, what you'll hear, than this morning. Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Suzanne, thank you very much.
Joining us now, John Avalon, CNN Senior Political Analyst and Elie Hoenig, CNN Legal Analyst and former prosecutor. Let's talk a little bit more about what we expect today. President Trump is not happy that this is beginning -- his side is beginning on Saturday morning because for him, as he's said many times, TV ratings are paramount.
They're the ultimate sort of expression of, I guess, power. So what I thought was very interesting is you hear his lawyers starting to speak in these terms, in these TV trailer, coming attraction terms, that this is a made-for-TV event. That's what Jay Sekulow was just saying. And what it sounds like they're also previewing is that it's going to be a Biden show for them.
And what I thought was funny Elie, they are -- they seem to be suggesting that had the Democrats not brought up the name Joe Biden they wouldn't have considered talking about it. Jay Sekulow, listen to Jay Sekulow, how he talks about -- they opened the door, I guess we're going to have to walk through it. Listen to this moment.
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SEKULOW: For the life of me, they've done it, and why they opened up the door as wide as a double door on the Hunter Biden-Joe Biden- Burisma issue, I guess they figured that was their way of getting ahead of it. We will address it.
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CAMEROTA: For the life of him he can't imagine why they would have talked about it. As he's saying, is it true that had they not brought it up, he wouldn't have been able to talk about it?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not at all. Not at all. It's as if they were going to be very focused and substantive and responsive until the Democrats said Biden, now it's going to be three days of Biden, Biden, Biden. But -but for real, buckle up though because this is going to be three days of uninterrupted defense presentation.
We just saw three days of uninterrupted House Manager presentations and in a regular criminal trial like I grew up doing, there's a steady back and forth. Right? It's opening exam - opening statement an hour, opening statement from the other side an hour. Each witness gets on. Examination - cross examination; it's like a boxing match back and forth.
This is three days essentially uninterrupted and in a real court if a party got up and went on a bender about Biden and how irrelevant it was, you would stand up and say, your honor, objection, this is irrelevant and if it's a judge would shut it down. I don't think that's going to happen here.
BERMAN: The defense team has a decision to make which is how bombastic to be because you know that's what the president wants. The president has been complaining over the last few days that the Republicans weren't out there defending him. Lindsey Graham was saying that he had a conversation with the president where Graham told the president that Adam Schiff had been doing a good job, the president didn't want to hear it.
So the question is do they come out guns a blazing all Biden, or do they quietly and slowly and methodically present their case? Now the Senators, particularly the Republican Senators, have expressed dismay whenever the Democrats get heated, the House Managers get heated. I'd be curious to see if that same level of dismay and shock exists if for instance Jay Sekulow goes nuclear.
JOHN AVALON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Spoiler alert, no. Let's make it real clear what's happening. First of all, they have an audience of one, his legal team even though they should be focusing on making sure they don't have four Republican defections on the question of witnesses and evidence.
They've basically announced in two tranches what they're going to do. First, they've got 171-page legal brief of the president's answers that make it very clear they're going to say that this is an unconstitutional impeachment, which is a nonsense term, that they -- the president did nothing wrong, again, in the face of all the evidence, that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress isn't a thing and doesn't apply, and then they're going to flip it and try, they say, to make Joe Biden the issue which is utterly irrelevant to the charges against the president.
And moreover, they are announcing they're pursuing to help the president politically in the 2020 election which is the whole reason the president asked a foreign government to interfere our elections by digging up dirt on an opponent in the first place.
BERMAN: Look, they'll be talking about the Bidens a week before Iowa which is more or less exactly what Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump wanted.
CAMEROTA: Yes, that is so - I'm so glad you brought that up that this entire scheme was based on the evidence and what witnesses have testified to in terms of the - in front of the House was to bring attention to something that they say the Bidens were doing and making controversial, and now they've gotten their wish. That's what we're about to hear.
AVALON: I'm sure they've gotten their wish, but they're going to play that through. The question is will any Senators be offended by the insult it objectively is to the process of impeachment, the body of -- separate but equal branch of the government. My guess is right now they seem all on board. They want a -- John Thune says just a different narrative. They don't want the facts, they don't want the truth; they just want a different narrative to hang their hat on. And so the question is at what point will someone wake up and say, actually, this is none of this is the way this is supposed to work?
HONIG: Speaking of Rudy Giuliani, too, I would love to see one of those counters on the TV of how many times the Republicans, Trump's lawyers, say the word "Rudy" or "Giuliani."
BERMAN: It will be virtually none.
HONIG: None. And he's the key player here other than Donald Trump and how many times they say the word, "Biden." It's going to be 1,000 to 1.
BERMAN: Let's talk about this. Let's talk about this because more new evidence came to light yesterday. This tape provided -- well, this tape of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman talking to the president in 2018 about the removal of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. We have a little bit more we're going to play right now.
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LEV PARNAS, RUDY GIULIANI ASSOCIATE: The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we've got to get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton Administration.
TRUMP: The ambassador [ bleep ]...
PARNAS: Basically walk around telling everybody, wait, he's going to get impeached. Just wait.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?
PARNAS: It's incredible.
TRUMP: Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out, OK?
TRUMP: Do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: OK, "take her out, get rid of her, get rid of her tomorrow." We don't know exactly who if Trump is telling Lev Parnas to get rid of her or Rudy Guiliani. It doesn't matter because he's having this conversation with Lev Parnas which lends credence to what Lev Parnas has been saying publically about the conversations that he's had with the president. I'll also say this is a year before - a year before Joe Biden entered the race so it doesn't seem that this conversation is designed to hurt Joe Biden. Maybe - maybe in some ways this evidence helps the president but it's evidence, Elie. It is evidence and it's new.
HONIG: It's evidence and two things to me. First of all it shows the president just lied his face off when he said I don't know this guy, Lev Parnas. I mean sure, they have ceremonial photos at fundraisers. Those could be out there. But now here we have him on tape at what appears to be a small gathering talking about affairs of state. Nonsense you don't know Lev Parnas.
The second thing is, this information evidence is going to keep on coming out throughout this trial, beyond this trial, and anyone who's going to vote no next week on having witnesses needs to live with that.
AVALON: That's the key point because the reality of distortion in the field only goes so far. The president appears to have not told the truth about how well he knew Lev Parnas. Here you got Lev Parnas offering a course of action to the president of the United States. The President of the United States then does a Robert de Niro as Al Capone impression, get rid of her, and by the way, I know the laugh on the tape. That's Rudy Giuliani.
BERMAN: Clearly Rudy Giuliani is in the middle of all this.
CAMEROTA: We didn't know if he was there. I mean I think that that's...
AVALON: That was Rudy's laugh. I'll ...
HONIG: That's what we would call a voice identification right there, someone who knows him.
CAMEROTA: But I also think that we need to remember that this wasn't always about Joe Biden. This was also about Crowdstrike and that the president had Rudy Giuliani or someone had planted the seed with the president that Ukraine was out to get the president and that something had happened in the 2016 election, and they had the server which sits in the DNC headquarters right now. You see all of that playing out where he's susceptible to this. BERMAN: Or you don't see it if you don't allow new evidence and
witnesses in the trial which may be the most important part of all this. You saw House Manager Adam Schiff's closing arguments last night. We're going play some of the final things that he said. We're going to talk about where the Senators are this morning. Remember nearly 70 percent of Americans say they want to hear witnesses. Are these Senators poised to defy public opinion this morning? That's next.
BERMAN: A little bit later this morning, President Trump's lawyers get their first opportunity to outline their defense. It will also be their first chance to respond to lead House Manager Adam Schiff's closing argument where he implored Republican Senators who might be on the fence about voting for witnesses to, quote, give America a fair trial.
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SCHIFF: Whether you like the president or you dislike the president is immaterial. It's all about the Constitution and his misconduct. If it meets the standard of impeachable conduct as we have proved it doesn't matter whether you like him. It doesn't matter whether you dislike him. What matters is whether he is a danger to the country because he will do it again and none of us can have confidence based on his record that he will not do it again because he is telling us every day that he will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: He also went on to say that America deserves a fair trial. That was a point he came back to again and again. Back with us, John Avalon and Elie Hoenig and - and Elie, nearly 70 percent of the American people say they want witnesses.
This was a big part of Adam Schiff's closing argument last night and there are signs that perhaps, Republican Senators are going to defy that public opinion.
HONIG: It seems to be such a fundamental, almost inarguable point that a trial should have witnesses and evidence. That is the essence of what a trial is. So if Republicans vote this down, I think they're taking a real risk politically and I think what Adam Schiff did really masterfully in that speech was step back and ask the broader question, if this goes the way it looks like it's going to go for Republicans, where does that leave us?
We have DOJ saying we will not indict as a matter of policy and that predates this administration. You have Donald Trump about to argue in the Supreme Court you cannot even investigate me while I'm on in office, and now you have him saying, and, if you try to impeach me, I can shut you down completely and there's nothing anyone can do.
CAMEROTA: So did Democrats accomplish - I mean given all of that it seems perhaps it was a fool's errand. Did they accomplish what they set out to do?
AVALON: Look, I think the problem is what -- is this fundamental question, what new information would cause Republicans to change their mind? That speaks more to the state of polarization in our politics and the way that people are not open to new information because they're deeply invested in group thinking, group blame, and partisan warfare.
But if the principles were being applied, especially if Republicans care about smaller government, imperial presidency, as they've said in the past, they would be concerned about the precedents being set. Do that I want a Democrat president using -- asking foreign powers to dig up dirt on a Republican rival. Do they want a Democratic president to totally refuse to hand over any new documents or witnesses keeping the president unaccountable to this co-equal branch of government?
The obvious answer is no. They'll say that they don't believe this when a Democratic president is in power but the precedent will be set and that's why this all matters so much. That's why it's worth pulling back for a second and say try to think big. We live in small times but let's try to be big. Let's look at history and the downstream implications of your decisions today because it's more than whether you're afraid of a nasty tweet or losing a couple of percentages in a closed partisan primary. There are bigger things at stake. The question is whether that will resonate, even when Republicans - even when all Senators took an oath for impartial justice.
BERMAN: I will say every time that the House Managers tried to make things big, you hear Republican Senators including on the fence going small, which is to say they would look at things in Adam Schiff's arguments to get outraged about. They were all kinds of upset last night after the closing arguments that Adam Schiff quoted a CBS News report that said the White House indicated their heads would be on a pike if they voted against him.
There were people -- Senators in the audience shaking, not true. But to me, and I don't know what you think Elie as someone who has argued before courts, is that something -- was that a misstep? Did Adam Schiff go over the line? If that is over the line it seems to me Republicans weren't really listening or they were looking for something not to like. If that's what offended them, Tom Carper, a U.S. Senator tweeted last night, if they're offended by that and not offended by all the other things and the arguments that were made, that tells you what's going on.
HONIG: M y advice to the U.S. Senate would be something -- we used to say in the Southern District of New York, do your job. Like do your job. Maybe your feelings are a little bit hurt by what was said, but there's such a bigger picture here. How about you focus on the evidence. How about you do your job to your constituents and the Constitution and maybe your feelings were a little hurt. Maybe it was harsh to use the pike analogy. Do your job...
CAMEROTA: I mean he isn't making that up.
AVALON: This is fake outrage, folks. If they're offended by that, if they paid attention to what the guy in the White House has been saying for the last three years, let's avoid the parts of (inaudible). It's like pearl clutching and say that this is really an excuse to sort of try to project and deflect. So when we get the, you know, what about- ism up the wazoo for the next three days and they try to project and deflect away from what the president's been credibly accused of and not answer the actual evidence, don't fall for the fake outrage play.
CAMEROTA: What about-ism up the wazoo. Alliteration is fantastic this Saturday morning.
AVALON: One of the many services we provide.
CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you both very much.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak is rising as the CDC reports a second confirmed case here in the U.S. We have all you need to know next.
CAMEROTA: We need to bring you this update that's developed overnight. Healthcare workers in China are warning they are dangerously low on medical supplies. The death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus has jumped to 41 people now and close to 60 million people in 15 different Chinese cities are on lockdown this morning. The disease is continuing to spread to countries around the world including the United States. So joining us with the important updates, we have CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and CNN International Correspondent, David Culver, who has been to the epicenter of the outbreak. So David, tell us what's the latest there.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Alisyn and we've been in touch with folks who are at the epicenter right now, within the city of Wuhan, healthcare workers in particular. My team and I here in Beijing, we touched base with them y phone including doctors at four separate hospitals.
They are portraying an increasingly desperate situation. They say they are lacking some significant supplies to carry out their duties including goggles, face masks, even those hazmat suits. Now one healthcare worker says it's like going into battle without armor, adding that they have resorted to keeping their hazmat suits on all day, avoiding eating and drinking, and in some extreme cases, wearing diapers to avoid having to go to the bathroom.
They just don't want to get rid of their suits, worried it may be the last one. Those are extreme cases, perhaps even isolated. We're not sure how widespread that is but nonetheless, disturbing to hear. Some of these images we're about to show you also rather disturbing. [06:30:00]
I'm going to show you this pharmacy. This is also within the city of Wuhan. You can see how crowded it is. Look at the folks who are working there, the employees. Imagine seeing this at your local pharmacy. They're covered in these hazmat suits from head to toe likewise concealing themselves for obvious reasons. They don't want to risk any exposure.
So what is the central government doing? Well, they're planning to build not one, but we've just learned two hospitals. The first going to be 1,000-bed hospital within the city of Wuhan. You can see in this video that state media released they've got bulldozers and front-end loaders clearing the lot there. They're planning to build a second one. Now the first is going to be done in six days, they say, the second one, about 15 days. The second one will have about 1,300 beds. They're also deploying medical personnel.
They've got about 1,200 civilian nurses and doctors who will be going down and another 135 military medical personnel who are going into the epicenter for all of this, the city of Wuhan. Alisyn, you got to put this in perspective. We talk about these new numbers; 57 million. This is now 15 cities. That's like combining the population of California and New York. That's how many people we're talking about impacted by this wide range of lockdowns.
CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh David and every day it seems to grow exponentially. Thanks to your reporting, we are aware of it. So Sanjay, what David has just described is obviously scenes from an apocalypse. I mean people having to dress in hazmat suits all the time, doctors taking to not eating or drinking for fear of taking off their hazmat suit. There's now another case in the United States, how do you see everything this morning?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean look, these numbers are growing. We -- we have some precedents to sort of understand how this -- how quickly a virus like this can spread. I mean we've seen this story before but we never know exactly what the new virus, exactly how it's going to unfold. So now in the United States, for example, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus; one in Seattle we've been talking about for some time and now a woman in Chicago.
You can see on the screen there. She's in her 60s. She traveled to Wuhan, returned to Chicago on January 13th. We also know that she had limited contact with people outside her home. This is important. These investigators have to recreate her life essentially.
She started developing symptoms and then ended up in insolation at the hospital. But Alisyn, let me tell you. So these airports are being screened. There's five airports now in the United States. They screened over 2,000 people now. So here in the United States, 63 people are under investigation currently in 22 different states.
I give you all these numbers just to give you an idea, again, of -- of how quickly this could potentially spread and the sort of resources that are necessary now to sort of keep on top of that. The number that I shared with you, those are clearly going to grow. There are many people under investigation. We're going to keep an eye on those. But then it's a question of what about their close contacts? How at risk are they?
Right now, what you'll hear from the CDC and this is the good news, is that the risk of that sort of transmission appears to be low -- the risk to the general population, low. And when someone is not symptomatic, coughing, sneezing, things like that, the likelihood of them spreading the virus is low. So that's the good news but you know, obviously they got to keep seeing how this thing could change.
CAMEROTA: That is good news that we will cling to this morning. David Culver, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much for this important update. We will check back with you obviously. John?
BERMAN: All right, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo loses his cool and his dignity when asked a simple question about Ukraine. An expletive- laden outburst after being asked the simplest of questions, next.
CAMEROTA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo erupted at a reporter. Mary Louise Kelly of NPR says that Pompeo went on an expletive-laced rant, yelling at her after the interview, and demanding that she prove that she could pick out Ukraine on an unmarked map which she did. Why did he have such an outraged response? Well, it was because she asked him a reasonable question that's on the minds of many people. Here is a portion of that interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY LOUISE KELLY, NPR CORRESPONDENT: People who work for you in your department, people who have resigned from this department under your leadership saying you should stand up...
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES: I -- I don't know - I...
KELLY: For the diplomats who were killed.
POMPEO: I don't know who these unnamed sources are you're referring to. I can tell you this...
KELLY: These are not unnamed sources. There is your senior adviser, Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer with four decades of experience who testified under oath that he resigned in part due to the failure of the state department to offer support to foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine.
POMPEO: I'm not going to comment on things that Mr. McKinley may have said. I will say only this. I have defended every state department official. We've built a great time. The team that works here is doing amazing work around the world.
KELLY: Sir, respectfully, where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch? POMPEO: I've defended every single person on this team. I've done
what's right for every single person on this team.
KELLY: Can you point me toward your remarks where you have defended Marie Yovanovitch?
POMPEO: I've said all I'm going to say today. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Joining us is retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. He's the former spokesperson for the state department and CNN military diplomatic analyst.
What I was going to say there, Admiral, was that -- that was the official interview which she promptly cut off because she asked him about his treatment of Marie Yovanovitch and why he's not standing up for her. Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left abruptly the room. His aide came back to the reporter and said, please follow me.
She followed the aide into the secretary's private living room at the state department where she says that he berated her, he went on this tirade yelling at her, and he demanded she show him where Ukraine was on this unmarked map. She did so. He then dismissed the map, and he said basically Americans don't give a blank about Ukraine. What do you make of this whole episode?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: That last part Alisyn, is the most worrisome for me. Here we are in the midst of an impeachment trial, which is all about our bilateral relations with Ukraine and the degree to which the president might have abused his power with respect to that relationship. Here's Ukraine in the midst of a hot war with Russians. Ukrainian soldiers are still fighting and dying as we speak and we have a fledgling government there in Kiev which is trying to get up on its feet and establish a good relationship with the United States and with the west and the secretary of state basically alluding to the fact that Americans don't care about Ukraine.
I would argue, frankly, that it's Mr. Pompeo's job, if that's true, to make sure Americans do care about Ukraine and they do understand Ukraine's place in Europe and in terms of -- in terms of the international order in the west. So I think that was -- the thing that was most disturbing to me. Now as for the way he treated Mary Louise Kelly, I've known Ms. Kelly a long, long time. You're not going to find a more professional reporter. There wasn't a single question she asked that wasn't fair. In fact, if would have been irresponsible for her not to ask those questions given the impeachment trial that's going on right now.
BERMAN: Full disclosure, Mary Louise Kelly was in my wife's rooming group in college. I've been friends with Mary Louise for more than 25 years. She won't come on and talk about this because she wants the journalism to speak for itself which is it does. When you listen to the questions and how measured they were, how fair they were, and how important they were. It speaks to Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State's state of mind that he can't handle those questions. Now Alisyn, describe what Mary Louise says happened after the interview. I want to play some sound of Mary Louise telling listeners what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: I was taken to the secretary's private living room where he was waiting and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked do you think Americans care about Ukraine? He used the "f" word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map, I said, yes. He called out for his aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked. I pointed to Ukraine, he put the map away. He said "people will hear about this," and then he turned and said he had things to do, and I thanked him again for his time and left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: People will hear about this is probably the only fair statement that the Secretary of State made. I just want people to think for a second about how grotesque and demeaning it is for the secretary of State to say "go get a map," and ask Mary Louise Kelly who has a master's from Cambridge in foreign policy to locate Ukraine on a map. She just got back from Iran where she was reporting on the missile strikes in Iran. So that's the Secretary of State's frame of mind. Admiral, you're right, the fact that he thinks Ukraine isn't important and announces it the week before he's going to go there, what message should the Ukrainians take from that?
KIRBY: I can only imagine that they're equally bothered by this. I mean, again, they're facing some tough times right now with respect to their own government now and the efforts they're trying to beat corruption, to stand up a stable government, and to -- to fend off continued violations to their territorial integrity by Russia and to have the Secretary of State sort of dismiss Ukraine like that and to assume that Americans don't care about that, again, I would argue that it's his job as Secretary of State to make them understand why Ukraine is important.
And I - and I do agree, I mean he tends to have an arrogant sense about him when he talks to the press as if he can control every aspect of an interview. And having been on the other side of the podium for much of my professional life, I can tell you you don't get to decide what questions you get asked. You might have a conversation with a reporter before an interview about the scope of it, what you want to focus on but they get to ask what they want to ask. You have to figure out how to respond to that and I think his responses were just unprofessional.
CAMEROTA: I think there's something else in terms of his behind-the- scenes - his mindset that we need to talk about because in public, he has these very sort of subdued, low key answers. And then in private that he becomes irate I think does tell us that he's not coping well with the Ukraine scandal, that he is flipping out in private about the Ukraine scandal.
I just think that juxtaposition that Mary Louise Kelly found is really important for Americans to know.
KIRBY: Yes, I think so, too. I think he's clearly obviously bothered by the way the story is going and the way it's reflecting on him and whatever personal ambitions he might have going forward.
BERMAN: Look, remember, he lied about it when Martha Raddatz asked - first asked him if he knew anything about the phone call, right? He had been listening to that July 25th phone call, and he tried to hide that to Martha Raddatz. There's history here in all of this. Admiral Kirby, thanks so much for being with us.
KIRBY: You bet.
BERMAN: So in just a few hours now, the president's defense team will begin its arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump. One of the attorneys gave an idea of what you can expect. That's next.
CAMEROTA: You can expect a storm system to bring snow, ice, and rain from the Midwest to the northeast this weekend. Let's get to CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, what are you seeing Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Unfortunately, some travel problems basically around that Great Lakes region as the system does continue to slide off to the east. We do have snow around the Green Bay area, even Chicago's Midway Airport reporting some light snow, even some poor visibility at this time. But that system is going to gradually push off to the east and as it does that, it's going to bring rain and ice and snow to even some cities who haven't necessarily had any up to this point.
You have winter weather advisories out for portions of the Midwest, as well as the northeast. The main concern for a lot of these areas in the northeast, however, is actually going to be the wintry mix. They're not just going to get snow. Some of these areas are going to get some ice and if that accumulates on the roadways, they're likely going to cause some pretty big problems there. Here's a look as that system continues to slide off to the east. So unfortunately Alisyn and John, you're likely looking at a pretty soggy day for many cities like New York and Boston for the entire day.
BERMAN: All right, Allison, thank you very much.
The VFW, right, the pre-eminent veterans organization in the United States, demanding an apology from the president. That's next.
BERMAN: Developing overnight, the VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars, is demanding an apology from President Trump for downplaying the injuries sustained by U.S. troops in the Iranian missile strikes. It comes after the Pentagon announced the 34 U.S. service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following those attacks. That's a much higher number that they reported and remember, initially they said there were no casualties in the attack; clearly now there were.
Back with us, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, also joining us Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, a CNN Military Analyst who served for many years in Iraq where all of this happened.
Sanjay, I want to start with you and just put up the numbers here about what we're now learning from the military about the casualties from this attack. Of the 34 U.S. service members with traumatic brain injury, 17 have returned to duty in Iraq; 9 are still being treated in Germany and 8 have been flown to the U.S. from Germany for additional treatment including at Walter Reed some of them. What does that tell you about the severity of the injuries?
GUPTA: Well, you know, first of all, people oftentimes, you know, talk about these injuries as concussions or getting your bell rung or even shell shock was an antiquated term. These are brain injuries and people can develop symptoms days, weeks, even months after the initial blast. So I think what this tells me and I think I'm sure the General, as well and no surprise, that some folks had suffered some pretty significant brain injuries here.
They may be dealing with concussive symptoms and then even post- concussive symptoms, symptoms that tend to linger: pain, insomnia, cognitive difficulties, dizziness. It's significant, John. It can be difficult to treat. It can really interfere with someone's way of life and you have to sort of then understand how to best take care of these patients. The ones that are flown to the United States now, they may be saying, look, they need more advanced therapy. They may need more prolonged therapy, especially with regard to occupational at therapy.
I take care of a lot of these patients. Patient's symptoms are minimized a lot initially and that's unfortunate because the more time you lose, the harder it is to make those gains afterward.
BERMAN: General Hertling, the VFW came out overnight with a statement that frankly surprised me that was critical of the president seeming to diminish traumatic brain injury as headaches. In a VFW statement it says, TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks. Why do you think they came out with that statement?
LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, because they know, John, this has been a malady, a trauma that the -- that the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs have been tracking for about 15 years now. They have changed their approach to this. In fact, military medicine has driven changes and more research by the Center of Disease Control and even by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
This is a big deal. As Dr. Gupta just said, you know, the initial treatment is a series of protocols that you look for. If there's not change in the -- in the military member, if - if - if things don't happen differently, it's an indicator of more severe things that have occurred inside the cranium.
And what's fascinating to me is we have known these kind of things for events, roadside bombs with relatively minor pressure compared to the kinds of pressure received from these ballistic missiles that struck. So you could have the kind of instances like vomiting or nausea or dizziness or slurred speech, but you could also have even as extreme things as fractured skulls that don't appear until later on, until more MRIs or CT scans are done. I don't want to get -- Dr. Gupta can talk to the medical piece of this but what I'll tell you, having experienced an explosion myself and seeing hundreds of my soldiers in Iraq have repercussions from these kind of injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Affairs now - excuse me, the Veterans of Foreign Wars now know how serious these kind of wounds are and it truly is the agent orange of this generation.
BERMAN: It's been something they've been dealing with now for decades which is why I think they were so upset. General Hertling, Dr. Gupta, thank you so much for being with us this morning.
BERMAN: The president's defense team lays out their case in just minutes. NEW DAY continues right now.