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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo

House Judiciary Committee Set To Take Over The Impeachment Probe Of President Donald Trump; UK's Chief Rabbi Has Strongly Criticized Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Over His Handling Of Allegations Of Anti-Semitism; Thousands of Israelis Rally In Support Of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Central California Fire Has Burned Almost 2,000 Hectares And Zero Percent Is Contained Yet. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired November 26, 2019 - 17:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks to all of you for joining us today. You can follow me on Twitter @EricaRHill. Tweet the show @TheLeadCNN. Our coverage

on CNN continues right now.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight on THE BRIEF, after months of stonewalling investigations, President Trump claims he wants his aides to testify. So

why aren't they?

Also at this hour an earthquake in Albania has left more than 20 people dead and hundreds more injured. We have the latest on the rescue efforts.

And charges of anti-Semitism on the Labour Party are rocking the U.K. election. Jeremy Corbyn says he won't apologize.

I'm Hala Gorani . Welcome to the program we're at the CNN Center in Atlanta. The next big date in the U.S. impeachment inquiry is now on the

calendar. The House Judiciary Committee will begin public hearings on December 4th, middle of next week, calling legal experts to explain the

constitutional grounds for impeachment.

That committee also wants to hear from former White House counsel Don McGahn, but he is now appealing a court ruling compelling him to testify. A

judge struck down the White House claim of absolute immunity for its top aides yesterday, saying, "Presidents are not kings."

President Trump is pushing back on the ruling with a new explanation for his administration's blanket refusal to honor congressional subpoenas. He

tweeted that "He'd love for top aides to testify, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo," but says, "he is fighting for the rights of future

Presidents, protecting them from scam investigations."

Well, Pompeo was asked to respond to that today.


REPORTER: The President tweeted just a short while ago that he'd encourage you essentially to testify in the impeachment investigation. Is that

something you're considering?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: When the time is right. All good things happen.


GORANI: Well, let's bring our Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju. What's happening exactly next week, because we had witness testimony for

several days. What are the Democrats trying to achieve?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well they're trying move pretty quickly here on these impeachment proceedings announcing the first

hearing that will occur next week in the House Judiciary Committee. That would actually begin the process of voting on articles of impeachment.

This committee, of course, is critical. That's the one that will actually vote to begin the process of impeaching this President. What we're going to

see next week is the House Intelligence Committee, which has done this investigation over the past two weeks - two months that will issue a public

report. That will detail the findings of that investigation.

Investigation, of course, into the President's handling of Ukraine policy whether or not he abused his office in any way in pushing Ukraine to move

forward on investigations that could help him politically. That report will be out in the beginning of next week.

Then the House Judiciary Committee will move to have its first public hearing and will look at the evidence that has been gathered, allow expert

witnesses to weigh in on the constitutionality of impeachment, whether or not this fits the case of impeachment.

That'll be the first in a series of public hearings before that committee, before a full vote would happen in the House before - in the committee. And

then that would lead to a full vote in the United States House, which would make President Trump the third president American history to get impeached.

But, of course, Hala, it requires the United States Senate to remove the President from office. That requires a vote of a two thirds majority in the

Senate, and that looks unlikely for now with Republicans in line with the President. Hala.

GORANI: All right. Manu Raju, thanks very much. Well Democrats are facing some pushback from moving ahead on impeachment without witnesses and

documents blocked by the White House.

They say their public hearings have already produced a massive amount of evidence of wrongdoing, and yet, a new CNN poll finds public opinion has,

in fact, not moved at all since before the impeachment hearings began.

Take a look at this graphic. 50 percent of Americans think President Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Well, that is the exact same

percentage as in October before all this public testimony took place.

Now let's move on to Albania, a tragedy continuing to unfold in that country. At least 23 people are dead now after a powerful earthquake struck

a major port city at a magnitude 6.4. It was the strongest quake to hit Albania in 40 years. The destruction reached Tirana, the capital, and other


Albania's Prime Minister's office says 45 people have been rescued from collapsed buildings. More than 650 people had to be treated for injuries

and we still don't know how many people are missing, because as is always the case with these earthquakes, a lot of people end up buried under the


Earlier reporter Blendi Salaj described what the quake felt like.


BLENDI SALAJ, JOURNALIST A2: The Prime Minister came on with a video message. She called for support and for people to stay strong. Albania does

not get as many earthquakes. We're not used to this. We had one on September 21st. We thought that was the big earthquake.


But this morning was far stronger. And it - I mean, it shook everybody out. So we've been feeling very depressed for the moment. But we're trying to

get these people out of the wreckages to take care of them. And there's been a big outpouring of support.

Kosovo's special rescue teams have come. People are coming from Italy, from Greece and other countries in support of Albania. It's a hard time for the

people here. But we're going to get through it. And it looks like with international support, we're going to be able to make it.

I mean, it's - it was a Tuesday morning. People were trying to go to school and get about their days like they usually do. But everything changed in a

matter of seconds. And it was about 30 long seconds, I should say, because that - I mean the shakes where - you felt like you were on the Titanic. It

was like a huge boat and it was really scary.


GORANI: That was Blendi Salaj who lives in Tirana. He was talking to us about escaping from his own home in Tirana. He is from our CNN affiliate

A2. Thanks for that report.

To U.K. politics, British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is fighting back against accusations that he's not doing enough to address anti-Semitism in

his party. This comes after the U.K.'s Chief Rabbi wrote a blistering op ed in "The Times Newspaper," saying a Labour government would be dangerous for

Britain's Jewish community. Phil Black explains.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): These banners aren't settled and the feeling behind them isn't new. Many British Jews

don't trust Jeremy Corbyn.

So when Jeremy Corbyn gets up and says anti-Semitism is abhorrent. Has no place in our society, you simply don't believe him?

JONATHAN FREEMAN, PROTESTER: I don't believe him. That's it. The words or there action has not been there for a long time.

BLACK (voice over): The Labor leader probably shouldn't have been surprised. This might come up on the day he wanted to talk about peace

between races and religions.

Far more damaging than the protesters' screams were the British Chief Rabbi's carefully chosen words published in a national newspaper.

Ephraim Mirvis argued Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister. "The claims that the party is doing everything it reasonably can to tackle anti-Jewish

racism and that it has investigated every single case, are a mendacious fiction. It is a failure of culture. It is a failure of leadership. A new

poison - sanctioned from the top has taken root in the Labour Party."

In response, the Labour Party quickly condemned anti-Semitism. But Jewish concerns about Corbyn stem from his past. He's been accused of getting too

friendly with known anti-Semites. This video is a famous example speaking.


JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Speaking I've also invited friends from Hamas to come.


BLACK (voice over): He was referring to a group who openly committed to killing Jews. He later expressed regret for the comment. And as a Labour

leader he's accused of allowing a permissive culture that's failed to stamp out anti-Jewish hatred.

STEPHEN POLLARD, JEWISH CHRONICLE: At best, Jeremy Corbyn doesn't care about anti-Semitism. I think it's worse than that. I think he's actively

complicit in it.

BLACK (voice over): Stephen Pollard edits the country's biggest Jewish newspaper and recently dedicated the front page to a message for non-Jewish


POLLARD: When you cast your vote bear that in mind - bear in mind the fact that one of our ethnic minorities in this country regards one of the party

leaders, Jeremy Corbyn, as being a racist.

CORBYN: Anti-Semitism in any form is vile and wrong. It is an evil within our society.

BLACK (voice over): After years of repeatedly condemning anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn, still hasn't persuaded the people who care most about this

issue. And if many Jews don't believe him, few will vote for his party when a country chooses its next Prime Minister in just over two weeks. Phil

Black, CNN London.


GORANI: Just a few hours ago the BBC. The BBC's Andrew Neil gave Jeremy Corbyn a chance to respond to these concerns from the Jewish community.



ANDREW NEIL, BBC HOST: Eighty percent of Jews think that you're anti- Semitic. That's quite a lot of British Jews. I mean wouldn't you like to take this opportunity, tonight, to apologize to the British Jewish

community for what's happened?

CORBYN: What I'll say to - is this. I am determined that our society will be safe for people of all faiths. I don't want anyone to be feeling

insecure in our society and our government will protect every community--

NEIL: So no apology.

CORBYN: --against the abuse they receive on the streets, on the trains or in any other--

NEIL: So no apology for how you've handled this?

CORBYN: --or any other form of life.

NEIL: I'll try one more time. No apology?

CORBYN: No, hang on a minute, Andrew. Can I explain what we're trying to do?

NEIL: You have and you've been given plenty of time to do that. I asked you if you wanted to apologies and you haven't.

CORBYN: Andrew, I don't--


GORANI: There you have it Jeremy Corbyn. Voters will be able to have their say on all the candidates when Britain heads to the polls on December 12th,

and of course, we will have special coverage of that important evening.


Israel's embattled Prime Minister may be struggling to hold on to power, but thousands still turned out in Tel Aviv to show their support for

Benjamin Netanyahu, just as he awaits prosecution on corruption charges.

Critics are demanding Mr. Netanyahu's resignation. But, as our Paula Newton reports, supporters are calling that coup attempt to.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are certainly several thousand. Benjamin Netanyahu's supporters here, some of them certainly

bussed in from Netanyahu's strongholds, not here from Tel Aviv. But having said that there aren't tens of thousands, right?

And the issue here is that - it is an image of that groundswell of rage of people claiming that this is a coup. That the indictment that has been

brought down is in some way, shape or form unfair.

What is also crucial was that you failed to see a lot of his ministers here. There was one certainly who spoke, his culture minister, saying that

the Likud Party has to stay united. And why did she say that? She said that because Benjamin Netanyahu faces certainly a challenge from within his own

party it's from Gideon Saar, who continually says that, look, the Likud needs to stay in power. And the way to do that is to get rid of Benjamin


I want you to hear, though, right now from what - one of Netanyahu's supporters and what he thinks that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What he done? This is really wrong, because you cannot go against the leader. Bibi Netanyahu is the only leader. He's been

selected by the - all those people here selected Bibi Netanyahu to be the Chairman of the Likud Party. And that is very highly wrong what's he doing.

He will pay a price of - political price and he won't go - and if he will run--

NEWTON: There is still a lot of uncharted territory to go through here yet, though, before we understand. Now just what happens with Likud, they're

going to have a primary in the next few weeks. Netanyahu is hoping that he actually emerges from that party primary stronger than ever.

But we could be headed very likely to the third Israeli election in less than a year. And still a very strong political stalemate that has taken

hold. This country is fractious right now. And polls show that even if they did have another election today this country would still not be able to

come together and form a new government to really decide on who should lead this country. Hala?


GORANI: Thanks. Paula Newton. German police are asking for help as they search for stolen treasures. They've released pictures of precious jewelry

snatched during Monday's break in at the Green Vault Museum in Dresden. Dresden's Historic Royal Palace and they've put a tips portal on their


The thieves escaped with treasures dating back to the 18th century and considered part of Germany's cultural heritage. There are fears that they

may cut the pieces up, so the gems can be sold more easily, destroying the artifacts.

A section of Central California is under threat from another fast moving wildfire and firefighters are battling to get it under control.


GORANI: Imagine the terror of driving through those flames you see on your screen there. The fire has burned almost 2,000 hectares. The fire chief

says they're facing some of the toughest possible conditions anywhere in the world.

Our Nick is on the ground. Here's what he saw.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is where the flames are, no structures have been destroyed yet. But as I say 600 firefighters trying

their hardest - coming from all over Southern California, trying their hardest to keep it that way, to keep this fire as under control as they

possibly can.


GORANI: Nick Watt, thanks very much. Rain in the forecast could help firefighters. But they're concerned it could weaken the ground, causing

some dangerous rock slides.

In the United States, now I bring you this story. Three men are walking free for the first time in their adult lives. The number of years is

staggering that they spent behind bars - 36 years in prison convicted of a crime, authorities now say, they didn't commit.

They were charged with the murder of a teenager back in 1983. The Baltimore State's attorney says that the evidence that would have proven their

innocence at trial was intentionally concealed. Now, the men though belatedly, are savoring their freedom.


ALFRED CHESTNUT, RELEASED AFTER WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT: Oh, man, I've been always dreaming of this - for this day. I've been dreaming of this.

RANSOM WATKINS, RELEASED AFTER WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT: Had to put it like this, we went through hell. It wasn't easy. You see us out here, we're

smiling. We're happy that we're free, but we got a lot of--

ANDREW STEWART, RELEASED AFTER WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT: Too many people are losing their lives in prison. They don't deserve it, and we got to do

something about it. Right now.


GORANI: Well Baltimore officials say another suspect in the case has died. The city has no formal system of compensation for people wrongly convicted.

When we come back, abandoned by America, CNN goes into Northern Syria to see what happens after U.S. troops pulled out and the Turks moved in. We'll

be right back.



GORANI: A look now at the life of a displaced person moving from place to place, often without any warning. Basic things like children going to

school, a regular job or a roof over your head are almost unimaginable.

The Kurds of Northern Syria thought that life was behind them. And then the U.S. pulled out of northern Syria and the Kurds are back on the run. CNN's

Clarissa Ward went into that part of the country and shows us a people who feel abandoned.


CLARISSA WARD, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Class should be in session now. But here in Hasakah, the school has become a temporary

shelter for displaced people.

In one classroom we meet Ibrahim Hassan, the Kurdish father of five tells us he was forced to flee his home in Ras al-Ayn with his children when the

Turkish military operation began. This is what remains of his house. Ibrahim says it is one of many in his Kurdish neighborhood that was

deliberately ransacked by Turkish backed forces.

IBRAHIM HASSAN, DISPLACE SYRIAN KURD (via translator): They took everything. And after they took all our belongings, they set it on fire

burned at all.

WARD (voice over): Just days before the offensive began Ibrahim's children had posed smiling with U.S. troops patrolling the area. He says America's

presence gave him a false sense of security. Then suddenly they were gone.

HASSAN (via translator): Since America betrayed us, every time I look at these photos of my children with the Americans, I want to erase them.

WARD: Do you feel that you trust the Americans? Definitely not.

HASSAN (via translator): Now we hear and we see on television America saying that they're only here for the oil. Why did Trump do this? You've

betrayed all the people.

WARD (voice over): It's a sentiment we found shared by many here. Nearly 200,000 people have been displaced by Turkey's offensive. Hundreds of their

homes have been damaged or looted.

Local authorities are now trying to move them out of the schools so the class can start again and into hastily built camps like this one.

Conditions are bleak and resources are scarce.


Because of the security situation international aid agencies have had to pull out, leaving Kurds with no one to rely on but themselves.

WARD: So she is saying it's really difficult here, because it's very cold, especially at night. They don't have enough food. They don't have

electricity and the water is good.

WARD (voice over): Camp organizers say there are 3,000 people living here now, with more arriving every day.

WARD: Almost everyone in this camp is from the town of Ras al-Ayn. And Ras al-Ayn used to be around 75 percent Kurdish. Now, though, we're told there

are just a handful of Kurds left. And the people here believe that the ultimate goal of this Turkish offensive is to essentially push the Kurds

out of this area completely and change the ethnic makeup of it forever.

WARD (voice over): Turkey has done little to alleviate their fears. As the Kurds have poured out of these areas, Arabs have been bused in. The Syrian

refugees, who Turkish authorities claim, are originally from these areas.

After more than eight years of civil war this part of Syria is full of stories of people forcibly displaced. In the Christian village of Al-

Nasarah (ph), we find more families from Ras al-Ayn, sheltering in the ruins of a destroyed church.

Will you try to go home, I ask these women? There is no home to go to they replied.

ISIS cleansed this area of Christians when it was in control. They have yet to return. Now the village provides refuge for another people. They are

forced from their homes with no sense of a possible return.


GORANI: And Clarissa Ward joins me now live from Northern Syria. I want to ask you about these reports that U.S. fighters and their Kurdish allies are

once again collaborating in their battle against ISIS. This a few weeks after Donald Trump, the President of the United States, announced that

American forces were gone from that part of Syria and that they wouldn't be back. What's going on?

WARD: Yes, I think there's a sense of whiplash here, Hala, or certainly it would appear to be mixed messages. President Trump, as you mentioned, said

that it was time for U.S. forces to pull out. That the only reason to stay was to secure the oil that ISIS had been soundly defeated.

But now the U.S. military appears to be saying, no, the U.S. is going out on patrols with its Kurdish partners, trying to take out the remnants of

ISIS. There are of course a number of sleeper cells still operational throughout these parts of the country.

But I would have to say that too many Kurds who have been living through nothing short of misery for the past nearly two months, many of them will

say this is really a day late and a dollar short. And there's a sense that they will have real difficulty taking the U.S. at its word once again,


GORANI: All right. Clarissa Ward thanks very much.

When we return, another stark warning on the climate crisis as the U.N. tells countries they are not doing enough to keep Earth's temperature from

rising to dangerous levels. We'll be right back.



GORANI: Well, it's one of the defining issues of our time. What can we do to save our planet. There's an alarming new U.N. report that features a

bleak warning, we are not doing enough. It says, "To meet targets made in the Paris climate agreement" that the U.S. walked away from, of course,

"countries need to reduce their emissions at five times their current rate." Meteorologist Tom Sater explains. Tom?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hala, this report is one of several that are going to be released this week before the U.N. Climate Crisis Meeting that

we have in Madrid next week. But it's alarming where. We're in need of a rapid transformational change how we're dealing with our CO2 output in the


These are billion dollar disasters across the world, just from 2017, that we know deal with a change in our climate. And here we go all over the

world in 2018 from far forest fires and typhoons, to heat waves and droughts around the world. We've got to do something quick.

And it all has to do with our CO2 output that has been increasing every single year. In fact, the UN's Gap Emissions Report 10 years ago told us

all about this. But the report goes on to say, in the last 10 years we've done absolutely nothing in our CO2 output. It's actually been growing every

year, and we know it correlates with the global temperatures in the air and the waters across our entire planet.

So what the report is telling us is several things. Remember the Paris agreement. We had to limit our warming of the planet and limit that to a

temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius. We could get to 2. By then it's a tipping point. We're not going to be able to change. Right now we're

on track to see an increase of 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. Some scientists in other reports put it close to 4.

So here's what the report says. Global emissions now need to be cut by 7.6% every year for the next decade if we're going to be able to do anything

about this. 78 percent of our CO2 emissions are from the G20 countries. 5 of those G20 countries have set a goal to do that by the middle of the

century. However, only two have passed legislation, so more needs to be done.

An alarming report, but we'll hear more as the week progresses and we look forward to Madrid. Hala?

GORANI: All right. Thanks Tom. CNN has launched a global initiative to engage communities the world over in making a difference to protect the

future of our planet. It focuses on the positive contributions being made to create a sustainable future. Visit for more


I'm Hala Gorani. "WORLD SPORT" is next.