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Senate To Vote To Acquit President Donald Trump Today; Some Democrats Call For End of Iowa Caucuses; 10 Passengers Infected With Coronavirus On Quarantined Cruise Ship. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 5, 2020 - 05:30   ET

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


[05:30:00]

MARGARET TALEV, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Waiting for action in the Senate.

And this idea of preexisting conditions where the president's plan is going to be to tell everybody that he's committed to preserving those protections even if the record of the administration says something different.

Just -- he understands what the message needs to be and last night was a preview of how he will campaign on it.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Charlie, I want to quickly talk about what's going to happen today. There will be this vote in the Senate of whether to convict or acquit the president. It sounds as though all Republicans will vote to acquit him of the bad behavior that they say they witnessed and was proven surrounding what he tried to do with Ukraine.

But many Republicans have said publicly that they're quite sure that he has learned his lesson from this experience. Here is Sen. Susan Collins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I believe that the president has learned from this case.

NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS ANCHOR, "CBS EVENING NEWS": What do you believe the president has learned?

COLLINS: The president has been impeached. There has been criticism by both Republican and Democratic senators of his call. I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Charlie, do you think Sen. Collins is right?

CHARLES DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, (R) FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, SENIOR POLICY ADVISER, DLA PIPER: Well, I'm not so sure that the president has this (ph). He's expressed no remorse. He still says this is a perfect call, he did nothing wrong.

Frankly, I think that the president -- I think that the Senate, immediately upon his acquittal, somebody should move to censure him. That might get some Republican votes. But I really don't think he's learned a whole lot.

Like I said, right after -- right after the whole Mueller investigation ended, Mueller gave his testimony. The first thing the president did is he solicits a foreign head of government, Zelensky, to get involved in the 2020 election. So, he didn't learn anything from the Russian election -- from the Russian Mueller investigation. I'm not so sure he's learned much from this whole Ukraine fiasco.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The problem with censure is Susan Collins says she's against it. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi both say it's not something they're interested in doing because they just don't think it's going to go anywhere in the Senate.

Charlie Dent, you did write an interesting op-ed -- everyone should go read it -- on that subject. But I don't know what the future is for it.

Charlie, Margaret, thank you very much for being with us.

CAMEROTA: All right. It's been two days since the Iowa caucuses and we still don't know exactly who won. Is it time to get rid of the caucuses altogether? We discuss that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:37:04]

CAMEROTA: OK, breaking overnight, more results released out of Iowa. With 71 percent of precincts now reporting, Pete Buttigieg maintains a narrow lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

But, the possibly even bigger story is the chaos of the caucuses. Some Democrats are now calling for the Iowa caucuses to be eliminated altogether.

Our next guest disagrees. She thinks Iowa should keep the caucuses. Kathie Obradovich is the editor in chief of the "Iowa Capital Dispatch." She joins me now. Kathie, great to see you again.

I'm going to let you make your case for why we should keep this crazy process. But first, I'm going to make the case against the Iowa caucuses. Here's what people are saying.

They're a mess. OK, number one, they're a mess. That even with the technical difficulties they take too long for busy people to participate. You have to devote hours of your night to being a part of this.

Number two, they're not a true reflection of people's choices because if your first candidate doesn't reach this arbitrary number threshold, you then abandon your first candidate -- your first choice and go with somebody that wasn't your first choice.

Number three, they did not inspire a high turnout. And number four, they don't work. They required such technical contortions that the whole system broke down.

Your case?

KATHIE OBRADOVICH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH: OK, so, first of all, it was a colossal screwup. I absolutely admit that. There was no excuse for what happened. I'm glad -- I was glad to see that the Iowa Democratic Party chair apologized for how they handled the results.

However, they can fix those problems. A lot of those problems were imposed on them by the Democratic National Committee when they required the Iowa caucuses to release more results. And I will also argue that the Iowa caucuses should not be as important as they are because they just can't handle the glare of this instant information -- real time results demand of the media.

CAMEROTA: Yes?

OBRADOVICH: But, the Iowa caucuses -- so, listen, the Iowa caucuses are probably the only way that somebody like a Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets on the national stage. If you go to something like a rotating regional primary, you go to something like a national primary, or you say you're only going to have primaries, the only kind of candidate who can really compete in that environment are people who are already rich and famous, you know.

What Iowa does in this process is it tests the establishment candidates and Joe Biden really got tested this time. If the establishment candidates can survive Iowa, a lot of times they are a lot stronger going forward to the nomination --

[05:40:01]

CAMEROTA: OK.

OBRADOVICH: -- and to the presidency.

CAMEROTA: OK.

OBRADOVICH: But the other thing is that the kind of candidates who come out of Iowa, a lot of times are alternatives to the establishment candidate. And somebody who may not be getting any kind of consideration if he did not or she did not have to come through a grassroots and less expensive process than you might get in other states.

CAMEROTA: OK, you make a compelling case about that and I think that that's an interesting dimension that not a lot of people talk about.

But what they do talk about -- and another strike on Iowa -- is that it's just not representative of the country as a whole. It's not representative of the melting pot that is America. Iowa is 91 percent white. So why should they set the stage for the rest of the country?

OBRADOVICH: So, how do you explain -- how do you -- how do you explain that Iowa was the place that launched Barack Obama to the presidency? He, himself, says that without Iowa, he would not have be -- he would not have been president.

Being 91 percent white does not mean that Iowans would not support a candidate of colors, would not support diversity in the party. The lack of diversity in the field at this stage is right at the feet of the DNC and its debate rules.

So, you know, I don't think that -- you know, Iowa, yes, we're not demographically representative of the country. Do you know what state is? Illinois. Illinois, four years ago, NPR did a study. Illinois is the perfect representation of the country.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

OBRADOVICH: Let's start -- let's start the presidential nomination race there with their reputation for clean politics and transparency. It just wouldn't work.

CAMEROTA: You made a twist. You made a twist there. We thought it --

OBRADOVICH: There's more to it than just representation.

CAMEROTA: Got you. You're -- we were following your logic and then it veered off, and I take your point.

Here's the next strike against Iowa. One hundred seventy thousand people, roughly, turned out to caucus in a state of 3.15 million people. So, it seems like even Iowans are tired of this caucus process.

OBRADOVICH: So, the caucus process, it was never designed to be a quick hit. It is designed to be a situation where you sit with your neighbors, talk face-to-face, work out problems, decide what your party stands for, and build the party. That process is not for everyone and it was never really intended to be for everyone.

I think the Democratic Party made excellent strides toward expanding access to the caucuses by adding more than 80 satellite caucuses not just in Iowa but around the country and around the world. I thought that was a great experiment that the party shot down -- the Democratic national party shot down an idea for virtual telephonic caucuses so even more people could participate.

But that's -- but that's part of the reason that Iowans are so informed about the candidates -- the people who participate. This is a test of people who are really paying attention, not just somebody who goes in and pulls a lever because they like a T.V. ad. And again, that affects the quality --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

OBRADOVICH: -- and the kind of candidates that you get going forward. CAMEROTA: OK. Kathie Obradovich, you have made a compelling case for keeping the Iowa caucuses on a day when that is not a popular, necessarily, position. Thank you very --

OBRADOVICH: It's hard to defend, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Well, you did --

OBRADOVICH: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: -- you did it. Thank you very much, Kathie. Talk to you soon -- John.

BERMAN: All I can say is you just lost your invitation to the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. And, Kathie, shouldn't go to Chicago anytime soon after that.

CAMEROTA: It sounded like it was going to be a glowing recommendation and then it just veered right off the rails.

BERMAN: She dropped the hammer there. I didn't see that coming at all.

All right, thousands of people now quarantined on a cruise ship off Tokyo after 10 people onboard tested positive for coronavirus. The latest, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:48:09]

BERMAN: Developing overnight, more than 3,000 people on a cruise ship near Tokyo -- they're under quarantine, including 400 Americans. Ten people onboard that ship have tested positive for coronavirus.

The death toll in China is now nearing 500, with more than 25,000 cases reported around the world. That number almost certainly will go up.

CNN's David Culver, who really has been in the middle of all this, live this morning in Beijing with the very latest -- David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, John. Good morning to you.

I'm going to take you, first, back to that cruise ship that you mentioned. This all started with one man who was in Hong Kong -- confirmed case of coronavirus. And then, this gives you an idea of what authorities are doing. They traced back where he was and they found out that 12 days prior he was on that ship, so they quarantined the ship -- 3,700 people.

We know that they have done health screenings -- at least one phase -- for all passengers and crew members.

Ten people, as you mentioned, have been tested positive with the coronavirus. We know nine are passengers; one's a crew member -- and among them is an American. They've been taken off that ship. They've been taken ashore in Japan where they are being treated in hospitals right now.

But it's possible that the rest of the passengers and crew will remain on that ship in quarantine for another 14 days.

Meantime, I'll bring you back here to Mainland China and tell you what they're doing as they step up this containment effort. We know more and more cities are going under these lockdown scenarios. This, as they're trying to build more capacity within the health care system, particularly opening up more hospital-like facilities.

Now, in addition to all the hospitals that they have within the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province, they built two more -- rapid construction -- one within six days. The other one is about to open just a few days later. They're going to hold -- combine some 2,600 people.

[05:50:00]

But that's not all. They're now opening up three more field hospitals. And you're looking at images of these. They're not looking like the most accommodating of scenarios. It's rather desperate, in fact.

And you can see how close the quarters are. They're going to hold 4,300 people, Alisyn, all together -- and they're being set up in stadiums and exhibition halls.

CAMEROTA: Oh my gosh, David. Just bed after bed, rows and rows and rows of those cots.

CULVER: Yes.

CAMEROTA: It really paints the picture of how this is not being contained yet.

David Culver, thank you very much --

CULVER: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- for all of your reporting.

And there's another flight full of Americans who were trapped in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. That will arrive in California this morning.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov is live at the Marine Corps air base in Miramar, California with more -- Lucy.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, guys.

That's right, we are expecting those two evacuation charters to arrive in the next few hours right here in California. Both planes will be landing at Travis Air Base, bearing about 300 Americans. The Travis Air Base is closer to San Francisco. One of the planes will then refuel and then make its way here to the Miramar Air Base near San Diego.

Folks will remain at those bases -- those American passengers will remain in quarantine for about 14 days in hotel-like accommodations. They'll be getting medical checks, food, water so that folks can make sure -- that the authorities can make sure that no one is actually infected with this virus.

Now, it has not been at all an easy process for Americans to get out of the city of Wuhan. I've actually been in touch with one family. The father is right here in San Diego. His wife and two young babies, one year old and three years old, had been trapped in the city of Wuhan.

They described a nightmare situation in trying to get in touch with U.S. authorities to get on one of those evacuation flights -- getting the runaround from the State Department, from the local embassy. Lack of information, lack of transparency about how to actually get on those flights.

For nine days they were in limbo before the family finally secured seats on that plane. He said that he lost days of sleep and 15 pounds in the process.

But he got emotional when thinking about the millions of Chinese citizens who are still trapped in the city of Wuhan. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN BURNETT, AWAITING FAMILY'S ARRIVAL FROM WUHAN: And for us, this will be over soon -- (crying). For the people of Wuhan, those are people --

KAFANOV: They don't get flights out.

BURNETT: They don't get flights out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: In some ways, it's the foreign nationals who are the lucky ones. They can get out, in some cases. The State Department says two more flights are expected out of China later this week. They're like to be the last -- John.

BERMAN: Lucy Kafanov, listening to him was really, really moving. It's the fear of the unknown that can be overwhelming and you could see from that man how difficult it was.

So, the chaos in the Iowa caucuses giving the late-night comics plenty of fodder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Last night, Iowa was supposed to kick off the 2020 election. Instead, they kicked democracy right in the old hanging chad.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CAMEROTA: Hanging chad is funny.

BERMAN: He is never not funny.

CAMEROTA: The hanging chad is always funny.

BERMAN: We'll have much more of your late-night laughs, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:57:55]

CAMEROTA: All right. The comics turning the Iowa caucus chaos into comedy gold. Here are your late-night laughs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TREVOR NOAH, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL "THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH": The app that the Democrats commissioned to make vote counting easier ended up malfunctioning and screwing up the entire night.

And I guess -- what do expect? I mean, the average age of the party leadership is like 85 years old, right? What do you they know about apps? The only thing they know about apps is that you get one for free with the early bird special -- that's it.

SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": And hey, what was the name of the company that built this app anyway, vote tracker, my caucus pal? Shadow? People already think this process is shady. That's like releasing a dating app called ax murderer.

COLBERT: All through the evening, every district was officially reporting at zero -- or as Tom Steyer would say, I'm tied for first.

We've known for the last three years that this is the most important election of our lifetimes and on day one, the Democrats down in Des Moines shake it. They can't even count farmers holding their hands up in a high school gym.

What is happening? Where are we? Is this hell?

KEVIN COSTNER, ACTOR, FIELD OF DREAMS: It's Iowa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: "Field of Dreams," yes.

Look, it's not even that the jokes write themselves, they're not necessary. They're just not necessary at this point because it is what it is. I mean, it's so clearly a cosmic joke.

CAMEROTA: A little comic relief, a little levity never hurts. OK, maybe it does hurt this morning.

BERMAN: We do have actual results -- not complete results, but some new numbers from a count overnight out of Iowa. CAMEROTA: Real numbers.

BERMAN: Real numbers.

NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With more than 24 hours since the crucial Iowa caucuses, we still do not have a clear winner.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We came out of Iowa knowing it is a tight three-way race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in the process of making sure that we get these results out.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It validates for a kid somewhere in the community wondering if he belongs, that if you believe in yourself and your country, there's a lot backing up that belief.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: To say the union is deeply divided, that was on display tonight.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Their economy is the best.

END