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Speeches before Impeachment Vote; Trump's State of the Union Address; Chaos and Confusion in Iowa; Doctor Who Warned About Coronavirus Now Infected. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired February 4, 2020 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: At this hour we are still waiting for the results of the Iowa caucuses. So, while Democrats deal with the vote count chaos, President Trump is preparing to deliver his State of the Union address tonight.
What do we know about his message? CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live on Capitol Hill for us.
Good morning, Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, we do expect that the president is going to try to emphasize the positive, according to CNN sources, to talk about the economy and some of the progress, but he is working on his State of the Union Address for tonight. The big question remains whether or not he will actually address impeachment, whether or not he'll see this as a moment of vindication and even mention the very likely acquittal that's going to happen in the vote tomorrow in the Senate.
Meantime, it was yesterday we saw the closing arguments from the president's legal team, as well as the House impeachment managers.
Here's Chairman Adam Schiff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you, 100 percent. Not five, not 10 or even 50, but 100 percent. If you have found him guilty and you do not remove him from office, he will continue trying to cheat in the election until he succeeds. Then what shall you say?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: And, Alisyn, we do know that the votes are not there to remove the president from office. Very likely an acquittal vote tomorrow in the full Senate. We do know that senators, again, will be on the floor today making speeches, about ten minutes in length, of how they feel about removing the president or not removing him from office, as well as impeachment.
In the meantime, all eyes will be on the State of the Union Address at 9:00 tonight.
CAMEROTA: OK, Suzanne, thank you very much for that preview.
Republicans are urging President Trump not to focus on impeachment during tonight's speech, not even to bring it up. So what specifically will he say tonight? We have some reporting. That's next.
CAMEROTA: President Trump delivers his State of the Union address tonight and CNN has learned that Republican senators are urging him not to bring up impeachment. So what will he talk about?
Well, joining us now we have CNN political analyst Rachael Bade, she's a congressional reporter for "The Washington Post," and Anna Palmer, senior Washington correspondent for "Politico."
Great to see both of you this morning.
Our friends at "The Washington Post," Anna, have some reporting on specifically what the president will say. Here's what they report. The theme of Trump's speech will be the great American comeback, which is how he and his advisers see his presidency now after nearly six months of impeachment proceedings. Trump plans to present a vision of, quote, relentless optimism, as one aide put it, and to summon lawmakers from parties -- from both parties to work together on economic policies and other issue areas.
So, Anna, relentless optimism? Working together? What have they done with President Trump? I mean have his speech writers not read his Twitter account?
ANNA PALMER, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "POLITICO": I think this is the time where he's going to make the case to the country, much like he did in Iowa, frankly, in terms of what he has done for voters, what he's done for the country in terms of the economy. That is what his advisers want to focus on, particularly going into 2020.
I think the question is going to be, where do you actually find any ability for him to work with congressional Democrats. There doesn't seem to be a lot of alignment, particularly considering there's going to be an impeachment vote the following day.
CAMEROTA: Rachael, the president has just tweeted about Iowa, calling it a, quote, unmitigated disaster. So do you care to place a wager, both of you, of whether or not he will bring that up in the State of the Union?
RACHAEL BADE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, I wouldn't bet -- I wouldn't take that bet, or I guess I would bet that he would definitely bring up these investigations. I mean, look, politically, if he wants to reach those independent voters, those voters that could potentially help him in 2020, it would make sense to talk about what he's accomplished since he was elected in 2016 and what he could accomplish with four more years.
But this is President Trump. I mean, just think about it, a year ago he was up on the same podium warning Democrats, if you want to have legislation, you can't have investigation. And they totally, you know, didn't take that advice and investigated him on a whole host of issues. They're impeaching him now. But, you know, he's going to -- he's going to hit back. You can almost guarantee it. I mean it would be really uncharacteristic for him not to.
CAMEROTA: So you think he is going to bring it up? Just to be clear, because the unmitigated disaster he's tweeting about is about what happened in Iowa.
CAMEROTA: But, Rachael, you think that he is going to bring up impeachment?
BADE: I mean, who knows. You can't really predict this president. But, I mean, obviously, this is something that has -- it's been a cloud over his head for months and he's going to get acquitted on Wednesday and so he's gone off script before and, you know, much to his advisers' chagrin, but I would be surprised if he doesn't mention it.
CAMEROTA: Anna, what do you think?
PALMER: Yes, I think he's going to try to have a speech about -- that he's been vindicated, that, you know, he hasn't done anything wrong.
PALMER: As far as what happened in Iowa, I think it will be hard to see how exactly he weaves that in, in an eloquent way. But, you know, this fact of kind of issues with election counting and things like that, I could see something where he brings that up as well.
CAMEROTA: Hey, Rachael, let's talk about what Senator Joe Manchin proposed yesterday. He's trying to find some sort of middle ground between -- for the senators who feel that President Trump did something bad, he did something wrong when it came to Ukraine, but they don't want to deliver the ultimate penalty of removal from office.
He's trying to find some way to hold him accountable, I think. And so he's suggesting censure.
Is there any traction that that's gaining on Capitol Hill?
BADE: Yes, so we've talked to senior Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and most of them are really pushing back on this. It seems like Manchin, you know, for now, is a one-man show. He might get a couple of co-sponsors on his resolution, maybe some moderate Republicans like Suzanne Collins, who have said, you know, in the past that things that Trump has done do not live up to certain standards. I mean perhaps you could see something like this. But it would take the majority leader to put that on the floor and I really don't think Republicans -- most Republicans have any desire to vote on a censure right now, unlike back in the day when Clinton was impeached and a lot of Democrats said they didn't want to go on record saying, you know, what Trump did -- or what President Clinton did was wrong. We don't see a lot of Republicans who want that.
And I've even spoken to Democrats who sort of say, look, right now if moderate -- or moderate Republicans vote for Trump's acquittal, we can use that to sort of pummel them politically. And so they'd rather pummel them politically than get them on the record in support of a censure resolution that says what Trump has done is wrong.
CAMEROTA: Really interesting.
Rachael Bade, Anna Palmer, thank you both very much.
All right, John Berman is in New Hampshire and he is less clear about what he's doing there than he was supposed to be this morning.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I was here to meet the winner of the Iowa caucuses.
CAMEROTA: I remember.
BERMAN: Little did I know that there would be no winner, no loser, no results at all. The question I think we're asking this morning is, a, how does Iowa explain this, and, b, which candidates does this help and maybe hurt heading into New Hampshire? We will discuss that next.
BERMAN: This morning, chaos, confusion and also silence from Iowa as we wait still for results from the Iowa caucuses. Earlier this morning, I caught up with candidate Andrew Yang as he arrived here from Iowa to New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Do you have questions about the legitimacy of the process in Iowa when the results do come out? Are you going to wonder, hey, are these fair?
ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'll certainly take the folks in Iowa at their word. I mean I'm sure they would not have wished this kind of delay on anyone. And so, you know, like the data I'm sure will prove out. They have a record of most all of it. A lot of it happened in public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Joining me now, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Krystal Ball, co-host of "Rising" on Hill TV and author of the forthcoming book "The Populous Guide to 2020."
Paul, what does this do to the campaigns this morning? You've been in your fair share of campaigns. If you're running one of these presidential campaigns this morning, how does this impact?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the only thing the campaigns can do is move forward. They should be there with you in New Hampshire, as I saw you interview Amy Klobuchar earlier, they have to move forward because Iowa is about one thing, and that is the night of the caucuses, right?
This year, Democrats spent two years and $100 million all to lead up to that speech, that speech. Barack Obama, maybe one of the main reasons he became president is that he shocked the world, beat Hillary Clinton in Iowa in 2008 and then gave one of the great speeches of modern America.
That speech opportunity is gone, gone, gone. Look, today is the State of the Union Address. Tomorrow is the final vote on the president's impeachment. Wednesday and Thursday there are town halls here on CNN, going to make a lot of news. Friday, there's a debate. Tuesday, we're bag in New Hampshire for the New Hampshire primary.
So this thing is over. This is the longest, most expensive air ball in history.
BERMAN: Krystal, Paul Begala basically saying the Iowa caucuses are a caucus falling in the woods. The question is, does it make a sound? How to you respond?
KRYSTAL BALL, CO-HOST, HILL TV: Yes, I mean, I think that's exactly right. And a number of these campaigns, I would say Pete Buttigieg in particular, they were really depending on that Barack Obama path that they would win in Iowa and be able to pick up all this momentum and be able to gain ground, in Pete's case, with voters of color, even as he's trying to claim a victory that we don't at all know that he actually won. That path is now closed to him. So even though he may have had a good night, it's very hard to see how this translates for him down the road.
I mean the one thing that does seem clear based on the anecdotal data and the entrance polls coming out of this is that Joe Biden seems to have had an underwhelming night. So if anyone is happy about the fact that we don't know all the results today, it has to be Joe Biden because the headline could have been, is Biden's campaign on the rocks.
BERMAN: We don't know for sure. The thing is, we just don't have the official results. Anecdotally, you're right, there were some caucuses where Biden didn't meet the threshold where we thought he might have, but we're not sure.
BERMAN: And when the delegates all shake out, maybe he will do better.
But -- but to Krystal's point, Paul, the Biden campaign is the one that was very vocal overnight with the Iowa Democratic Party about being unhappy with the process. I'm holding in my hands here a letter -- a letter from the counsel -- the general counsel of the Biden campaign to the Iowa Democratic Party saying, we believe that the campaigns deserve full explanations and relevant information regarding the methods of quality control you are employing and an opportunity to respond before any official results are released.
Do you think this is something the Biden campaign will do if they don't do as well as they would like in Iowa to say, hey, there were questions about the whole process to begin with?
BEGALA: Yes. Anybody who does badly there can say that, can say, well, they screwed it up. This is the problem, there's -- there's another -- I do think that if, in fact, Vice President Biden -- if, in fact, he underperformed, then he's dodging a bullet, and that's lucky. But, again, he's got another primary in one week up where you are, so he's going to have to perform better there.
There's another winner, though, and this is absolutely clear, Donald Trump.
You used the words in the intro. Trump's brand is chaos. It's confusion. It's dark conspiracy theories. It's division. All of these things now being fed by the debacle in Iowa and you'll -- you see the Trump people are still going to start putting out -- oh, it's rigged, they fixed it, they -- any candidate who you like. So, you know, say you like Andrew Yang and you can say, oh, look, see, they rigged it against Andrew Yang. They -- of course, Vladimir Putin, who's Trump's great buddy, is also a great victor here because he wants to undermine faith in democracy. Frankly, so does the president.
BERMAN: Krystal, very quickly, you often rattle the Democratic establishment. It's something that you like to do, I know, on your show. Does this raise questions for you for the establishment, at least in Iowa?
BALL: Look, here's what I would say, if you are a Bernie Sanders supporter and you watched the way things unfolded in 2016, you don't exactly have a high level of trust with state party officials or the DNC. So when you see the final "Des Moines Register" poll that had Bernie Sanders up get spiked, and then you see a night where it looks like Bernie Sanders did very well, very possible that he even won outright, and now suddenly they don't know how to count, you can't blame his supporters for going in sort of a conspiracy-minded direction and not having a lot of trust in this whole process.
BERMAN: Look, one thing we can say for Iowa is, it's better to get it right and wait than get it wrong quickly. So we'll wait and see what and when they come out with results today.
Krystal Ball, Paul Begala, thank you very much for being with us.
BEGALA: Thanks, John.
BALL: Thanks, John.
BERMAN: So the Chinese doctor who warned about coronavirus but was silenced has now been infected. CNN is the only TV network who has spoken with him. That interview, next.
CAMEROTA: The number is up to 427 in terms of the people in China who have died and more than 20,000 are infected around the world from the coronavirus.
CNN's David Culver just spoke with the doctor who was silenced by Chinese authorities when early on he tried to warn people about the outbreak. And that doctor has now contracted the virus.
David Culver is live in Beijing with his extraordinary story.
What did he tell you, David?
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Alisyn.
Well, my team and I connected with him and he described his early attempts to sound the alarm, essentially, on what was then a mystery virus. Instead, he got called in by police.
Well, now, since his story has surfaced here, he has become a hero of sorts in the eyes of many Chinese citizens.
CULVER (voice over): In a matter of days, Dr. Li Wenliang went from treating patients to becoming one. The 34-year-old ophthalmologist diagnosed Saturday with the Wuhan coronavirus. But if action had been taken when he and others started sounding alarms, the severity of the outbreak might have been understood sooner.
Struggling to communicate, Li spoke with CNN briefly by phone. You can hear the hospital machines pulsing in the background.
LI WENLIANG, DOCTOR OF WUHAN CENTRAL HOSPITAL (through translator): I can barely breathe.
CULVER: It was back in late December when Li first warned friends on Wichat (ph) about a SARS-like disease going around. Li sent a group message saying that a test result from a patient quarantined at the hospital where he worked showed the patient had a coronavirus. But hours after hitting send, Wuhan city health officials tracked Li down, questioning where he got the information. Within days, they closed the suspected source of the virus, this seafood market, and they announced the outbreak. But instead of being praised, Li got a call from Wuhan city police.
With Li coughing too much and breathing too poorly to speak by phone, we asked Li by text, how did you feel when this happened? I felt a little afraid. Afraid I would be detained. Afraid my family would worry, Li responded.
He agreed to sign this document, admitting to spreading rumors online and severely disrupting social order. It reads, we want you to cooperate with the police and listen to our reminder and stop the illegal act. Can you do that? Li answered, yes, I can.
CULVER (on camera): In the weeks that followed, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission maintained that there was no obvious evidence for human to human transmission, no infection of health care workers and that the outbreak was, in their words, preventable and controllable. And, with that, the people of Wuhan continued about their normal lives.
CULVER (voice over): Then came a sudden jump in infections. China's central government took over, scrambling to contain a spreading virus with a rising death toll. Chinese state media first reported that Li was one of several whistleblowers silenced by police. Calls for Li and the others to be vindicated grew online.
China's supreme court even weighed in, adding, quote, it might have been a fortunate thing if the public had listened to this rumor at the time. But for many, including Li and his parents, it was too late. They all contracted the coronavirus. Li is now fighting for his life, alone in quarantine, but, online, considered a hero. Tens of thousands praising his attempts to sound the alarm ahead of what's become a global health emergency.
CULVER: After the Chinese supreme court made those comments in support of Li and the other whistleblowers, we did hear from Wuhan police. They released a statement essentially saying, look, the whistleblowers weren't fined and they weren't detained, they were simply questioned and let go.
Now, we did also reach out, CNN did, to Wuhan police, as well as the local health commission. Alisyn, they declined to comment.
CAMEROTA: David, your reporting is so helpful because we can see with our own eyes in those text messages how the Chinese officials are trying -- or were trying to suppress that important information from a doctor.
Thank you very much for all of your reporting.
Back here, no results yet from Iowa and no answers.
NEW DAY continues right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the