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NEW DAY

Outbreak Declared Public Health Emergency As Cases Near 10,000; Big Questions Ahead Of The Iowa Caucuses; Trump, Bloomberg release Dueling Super Bowl Ads; What Happens If There's A tie Vote On Witnesses?; 64 U.S. Service Members Diagnosed With Brain Injuries After Iranian Strike. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 31, 2020 - 06:30   ET

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


[06:30:00]

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know back 2009, the H1N1, Ebola, you can see the list there, but this public health emergency now sort of gives a signal to countries all over the world. But you know, look taking this seriously, it may affect travel, it may affect trade, countries need to be aware of what is happening certainly in China. I do want to point out something that I think is always important, comparing flu numbers to this Coronavirus. In the United States, if you look at flu, so far this year, it's already led to more than 8,000 people dying, millions of people have been infected. Within China, you look at the numbers, it's 171 people who've died, you know, close to 10,000 now that have been infected.

My point is, flu is a much bigger deal than the coronavirus is here in this country. And still, Alisyn, less than half the country takes a vaccine. We wish we had a vaccine for the coronavirus. We have one for flu. Flu is a much bigger deal and yet half the country still doesn't take the vaccine. It's one of those great ironies here. Maybe that'll change with all this. The vaccine is being developed for coronavirus, but that's still a few months away.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: That's really important context, particularly for people who are so alarmed by what's happening. If you haven't gotten your flu vaccine, you should think twice about all of this. But thank you. We'll check back with you, Sanjay.

GUPTA: You got it. Thanks.

CAMEROTA: Because the death toll in China from the coronavirus continues to rise. At least 213 people have died, nearly 10,000 cases have now been confirmed. And new scrutiny this morning about how China is handling this outbreak. CNN's David Culver has been covering this for us for weeks. He is live in Beijing. So, what's the latest there?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Alisyn. You heard Sanjay mention this global health emergency that the WHO has now characterized China to be under. What's interesting with the coronavirus in particular and how they're designating this, is we're starting to see China, this country of 1.4 billion people becoming isolated. And we're seeing even to the north with Russia, cutting off their Far East border. There's calls in Hong Kong to seal off the border, as well. Flights either being cut back or cut off altogether to and from Mainland China.

And so, in state media, what you're seeing here is they're using WHO's recommendation not to impose travel and trade restrictions on Mainland China. So, they're trying to get that message across. But perhaps more importantly, as we've been watching and monitoring some of the flagship newscasts, for example. It's not that they're not covering this, it's that they're only emphasizing specific parts. They're showing the hospitals being built, these deployments of medical personnel, we're seeing some patients being discharged and been handed flowers. And so, they're showing a very positive and the heroic side of all of this.

But what we're learning, talking to people who are on the ground within the lockdown zone within the city of Wuhan, within Hubei province, the epicenter of all of this is that there are dire needs. There are shortages within the hospitals. They're on the front lines here, and they say that they feel like they don't have the armor despite video being showed of all the supplies coming in, they feel like they're not getting it. I will point out that social media here in China and independent media, which does operate pretty freely at times, usually it echoes what the party says. But here, they're actually doing investigative reporting, too, and they're revealing some of these desperate situations. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right. Getting the truth from there is so important, David, which is why it is so important to have you there. David Culver for us. Thank you very much. So, it is possible that today's witness vote could end in an historic tie. What happens then? Chief Justice John Roberts and the Constitutional Twilight Zone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:35:00]

CAMEROTA: We are three days away from the Iowa caucuses, and CNN Politics Reporter and Editor at Large, Chris Cillizza is here with his three big questions going into Iowa. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Good morning.

CAMEROTA: OK, here are the three questions of yours as I understand it, and you can expound on them.

CILLIZZA: OK.

CAMEROTA: Number one, how much does organization on the ground matter? Number two, who's the second choice for the nonviable? And number three, will we have a clear winner? What are the answers?

CILLIZZA: It's always easier, Alisyn, by the way, to answer the questions you wrote yourself. So, I know the answers to these. OK. So, let's start with organization. So, obviously, Iowa is a state that candidates spent months and months and months and months building organizations. We know that Elizabeth Warren is widely regarded of the best organization. When I say organization, identify voters, turn out voters on the day of the caucuses. It's a labor-intensive process. You got to go to your local school or gym or whatever and wait around and caucus. It takes time. You got to find your voters and ID them. The question is, is it worth a point? Elizabeth Warren's best organizations or twos or five, that could make a gigantic difference.

Now, question two, where do the nonviable candidates' support goes? Again, it's a complicated caucus process. A lot of people don't know this. You go into let's say your local gym. Everybody goes with their candidate. Literally, you walk over, you stand with your candidate. If your candidate doesn't have 15 percent support in that gym, in that particular caucus, you're asked to re-caucus, you can go join a candidate who has 15 percent or more support. Where do the candidates who are going to have more than one percent support but less than 15 percent support? Where do their supporters go? I'm talking about in some caucuses, it's going to be Amy Klobuchar, senator from Minnesota.

In a lot of caucuses, it's going to be Andrew Yang supporters. Do they go to Bernie as Yang has suggested that they go somewhere else? That stuff makes a huge difference. You want to be the first choice, but you also want to be the second choice of people who are behind a nonviable candidate. Now, last one, are we going to have a clear winner? Let's remember, this is a very complicated reporting process. We will get three, three different numbers from the Iowa Democratic Party. We will get, number one, how many delegates each of the viable candidates got that corresponds with how many people voted for them or caucus for them?

[06:40:02]

We will also get -- first time in history, we will also get the raw vote of the pre-nonviable candidates being eliminated. And then, the raw vote of the after the nonviable candidates were eliminated. And the supporters sort of branched out and went to the viable candidates. So, there's a lot of ways to parse these numbers that I think allow a number of people to declare victory, potentially. And I think that could really complicate things in terms of the whole very cliched, three tickets out of Iowa, meaning if you have to come in first, second, or third. Well, three tickets based on what number?

BERMAN: Yes, we will know who got the most votes --

CILLIZZA: That's right.

BERMAN: -- in Iowa on the first ballot. We have never known that before.

CILLIZZA: Never. We've never --

BERMAN: And that could be very different than who gets the most delegate equivalent. Absolutely, you could get two different winners or maybe even three. All right, Chris, the Super Bowl, I'm told is Sunday night. Most people not watching because the Patriots aren't in it, but if you do watch --

CILLIZZA: Well, that's certainly not true. BERMAN: If you do watch, you're going to see something we've never seen before, ever, which is not one but two political ads here. I got to say it must be nice to be that rich.

CILLIZZA: Yes, it's a remarkable thing. Michael Bloomberg who is, you know, worth $60-1/2 billion dollars according to Forbes and Donald Trump whose campaign has raised, you know, massive mass amounts money, $100 million on hand, at the end of last year, are both dropping somewhere between $10 and $11 million, not for an ad campaign, for an ad in these -- in the Super Bowl. Trump mostly talk about his economic record. Bloomberg with a longer ad about gun control. Look, these are sort of vanity buys, in some ways, John and Alisyn. I don't know that you're going to persuade a whole heck of a lot of people with a single ad. It's basically to show you can do it. It's an intimidation play. I can do this and no one else can.

CAMEROTA: Well, that -- those will be very interesting to see at the Super Bowl. And I'm sorry, what were you saying that how nobody will be watching?

BERMAN: You can't -- you're going to freak out. Use that in your head and --

(CROSSTALK)

CILLIZZA: And it matches her outfit. It's incredible.

CAMEROTA: Don't think anything is by accident, OK, Chris Cillizza?

(LAUGHTER)

CAMEROTA: Hair, indestructible. Thank you, Chris Cillizza, very much.

CILLIZZA: Go non-Patriot teams!

CAMEROTA: Ouch.

BERMAN: All right. It was nice having you as part of NEW DAY.

CAMEROTA: All right, back to what's going to happen today. If Senator Lisa Murkowski votes in favor of witnesses, we could see this historic tie. What happens then? We break it down at the magic wall, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:45:00]

BERMAN: So, we are waiting to hear from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. How will she vote on witnesses? If she votes yes, in all likelihood, that means the Senate will be tied 50/50. So, then what happens? Joining us now is Elie Honig, CNN Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor. It gets interesting fast.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does. This is like law professors dream although the outlook is not good for Democrats. So, let's start with the witnesses themselves. Who is on the Democrats list? These are the four administration witnesses Democrats have been pushing for all long. Bolton, Pompeo, Michael Duffy, and Robert Blair.

Of course, the most emphasis has been on John Bolton after the New York Times' story about his manuscript, where he said Trump told him directly the foreign aid was tied to the investigations. Now, Republicans have said, Oh, we don't want witnesses. But if we're going to have witnesses, we have our own wish list, the Bidens, Adam Schiff, and the whistleblower. Now, if this was a normal criminal trial, you would have a judge going through each of these witnesses and deciding relevant or not relevant. If relevant, they can testify. If not, they can't, but of course, we're in a different arena here. We are in the United States Senate. Now, what's the breakdown? 53 Republicans hold the majority, 45 Democrats plus two Independents who caucus with the Democrats. So, as often happens in the Senate, it's going to come down to a numbers game.

Now, we got some new news on where some of the potential swing Republican Senators stand. Susan Collins announced last night she will be a yes. Which gets the count of 48 for witnesses. Mitt Romney has not committed but he looks to be leaning yes, 49. Lamar Alexander, the big news just a few hours ago, is a no, and that really puts Democrats in a tight spot. That's why all the focus is on Lisa Murkowski. If she's a yes, it's 50/50.

CAMEROTA: Surely this is spelled out explicitly in the Constitution.

HONIG: Oh, surely not. The Constitution is a wonderful document, but it does not answer all the questions, but let's --

BERMAN: And don't call me Shirley (ph).

HONIG: So, the constitution tells us, normally, the Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless they be equally divided. That's in a normal vote. But impeachment is different. The thought is the Vice President can't preside, he's got a conflict of interest. He may want to protect his guy, the President, or he may be hoping the president gets pushed out so he takes over. So, in an impeachment case, the Constitution tells us that when the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. So, John Roberts, can he break the tie? Absolutely, he can. In fact, there is precedent, as we mentioned before, Chief Justice Samuel Chase. Could you have identified him out of a lineup, honestly?

CAMEROTA: Easy.

HONIG: Easy. Chief Justice Samuel Chase, when President Johnson was tried in 1868, he actually did weigh in and break two ties. So, there is some precedent here. Is Roberts likely to do it? He's taken a very passive role so far. It's possible, it's not likely.

BERMAN: I think it's very unlikely. And remember, Murkowski has to vote yes. And she knows that if she votes, Yes, she's putting all this pressure on John Roberts. So, this actually could be weighing on her as she considers whether to vote yes.

HONIG: And to be clear, if John Robert says, I'm not touching this, and it's 50/50, the motion fails. We will not have witnesses, if it's --

CAMEROTA: Which I think is a really important part -- point because, normally, with a tie, one side doesn't lose.

[06:50:03]

HONIG: Right.

CAMEROTA: Normally, with a tie and one side win -- normally with a tie, it's a tie.

HONIG: Yes, you need a majority, 51 would be a majority. Now, there's a -- there's a great sentiment in the public here in favor of witnesses, right? Polling has shown 70 to 75 percent of the populace wants to see witnesses. It's a trial. That seems to be a natural reaction. But here's some of the arguments and we will hear debate today that you'll hear against witnesses. Argument number one, it's just going to take too long, we don't have enough time. Here's what a couple of leading Republicans have said about the issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are things that you can't do from the standpoint of executive privilege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd be here for a very, very long time. And that's not good for the United States.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): We don't need to prolong what's already taken five months of the American people's time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HONIG: So, that's the first argument, we don't want to be here forever.

CAMEROTA: But couldn't the Chief Justice speed it up?

HONIG: He could. Adam Schiff has said if there's a dispute over executive privilege, I'm going to take it directly to the Chief Justice. Argument number two, the House should have done all of this, but that is really undermined by our history. We've had 15 prior impeachment trials, all of them have had witnesses. And the last argument is what we were calling the Dershowitz argument, we'll now call the Lamar Alexander argument of, even if it's bad, it's not impeachable.

BERMAN: All right. Elie Honig, thank you very much. Just one other point of the Chief Justice, if for some reason he did weigh in and break the tie, it wouldn't be one of the biggest stories involving the Supreme Court, ever. It would be, you know, Bush-Gore level action by a Supreme Court Justice. That is how big it would be. And he's got that weighing on him.

CAMEROTA: Right. And as we know, Chief Justice Roberts doesn't normally like that level of limelight. HONIG: It's going to be historic no matter what. But if that happens, this day will go down forever.

CAMEROTA: It's another historic day. Elie, thank you very much for walking us through all of that.

HONIG: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, as the impeachment trial wraps up, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo coincidentally, he is in Ukraine. And he just said something that plays such a central role in this trial, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:00]

CAMEROTA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Ukraine this morning. He just wrapped up a meeting and news conference with President Zelensky, who of course, is a central figure in President Trump's impeachment. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is live in Kiev with more. So, what did the Secretary of State say?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Alisyn. Yes, the Secretary, of course, before this visit kind of set himself up for a bit of a difficult time here in Ukraine, when he seemed to indicate in an -- after an interview with NPR, that perhaps Americans don't care that much about Ukraine. Certainly, trying to perceive things a little bit different as he was on the ground here. And really, what we noticed, Alisyn, was that the Ukrainians were trying to make this as easy as possible for the Secretary of State. They were talking about the fact that they don't want to get involved in anything that has to do with the impeachment proceedings that are going on in the United States. They kept repeatedly saying they need bipartisan support from the U.S., and it's something that is very, very important to them.

Now, the Secretary in the press conference was asked whether or not a White House visit for President Zelensky was dependent on investigations into Burisma and the Bidens was quite interesting because he said, absolutely not. Let's listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: There's no condition of the nature described for President Zelensky to come to Washington and have that visit. It's just simply not the case. We'll find the right time. We'll find the appropriate opportunity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PLEITGEN: So, the Secretary of State there. One of the interesting things that he did not say, Alisyn or was that he didn't actually mention a date for when such a visit could take place. He was just saying that that will happen when the time is right. So, really, President Zelensky is still very much up in the air when he's going to be able to come to Washington and have that visit. Another thing that he's -- the Secretary is going to be doing later today, which is also quite important. He's actually going to be visiting the U.S. Embassy here in Kiev, of course, he's going to be taking a lot of questions there after that embassy went through some turmoil with the removal of Marie Yovanovitch. And, of course, the role that Secretary of State Pompeo played with that to this day, not apologizing to her for the way she was treated in that, John.

BERMAN: No. And banning an NPR reporter from the trip for asking the question about his reaction into the removal of Marie Yovanovitch. Frederik Pleitgen in Kiev, thank you very much.

So, developing overnight, the Pentagon has now raised the number of U.S. service members injured in the Iranian missile strike. Again, again, sources tell CNN the number has jumped to 64. And you remember, at the beginning, officials, including the President, said that no one was injured. Let's bring in CNN's Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon. It's astounding Barbara that every day we talked to you and the number grows.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: We have been here before this week, haven't we? You know, what's happening is people are undergoing these medical assessments. And what we know is that these symptoms begin to emerge over time, and we are told it could take up to a month for symptoms to emerge. The numbers therefore could go up again, but right now, as of today, as you and I are talking, 64 diagnosed cases of mild traumatic brain injury, concussion symptoms, if you will, as a result of that Iranian missile attack. Of the current 64 cases, 39 have returned to duty. So, that is very good news, and perhaps an indicator of the sort of less than severity that these are mild brain injuries. That is what the Pentagon is telling us.

But, of course, the real question is, what now? The Defense Secretary Mark Esper, defending the President's comments, saying that the President understands these injuries. But the Vice President still, yesterday saying this, that there are no casualties. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks to the skill and heroism of our military on the ground, despite their missile attack, no American casualties and Iran is standing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: Factually incorrect. There are 64 people injured and have been treated for these injuries as a result of what Iran did.