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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo
Trump To Meet With NATO Leaders Amid Rising Tensions; So Far, Trump Is Not Scheduled To Meet With PM Johnson; House Judiciary Committee To Draft Articles Of Impeachment; Unrest In Iran: At Least 208 Killed In Protests; U.N. Climate Change Conference Opens In Madrid, Accuser Virginia Giuffre Speaks Out About Prince Andrew; U.K. 100 Years Since First Female MP Sat In Parliament. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired December 02, 2019 - 17:00 ET
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BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF, Donald Trump arrives in London to meet with NATO allies as the alliance faces new
challenges. Back in Washington, the impeachment inquiry enters a new critical phase and a deadly crackdown in Iran, scale and scope not seen in
Live from London I'm Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to the show. We begin with a big week for U.S. President Donald Trump at home and on the world stage. He
just touched down in Britain literally moments ago for a NATO meeting.
While back in Washington another hearing is planned for Wednesday as lawmakers prepared to decide whether Mr. Trump should be impeached for his
dealings with Ukraine. The President is none too happy about the timing of it all. Listen to what he said just before he left the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats - the radical Left Democrats, to do nothing. Democrats decided when I'm going to NATO - this
was set up a year ago. That when I'm going to NATO that was the exact time. This is one of the most important journeys that we make as president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Meantime, the President may not be any happier dealing with his NATO counterparts. CNN's Max Foster tells us why things could get tense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As President Trump departed for the U.K. ahead of the meeting, marking NATO's 70th anniversary, he didn't
strike a celebratory tone.
TRUMP: Now we're going to London and it will be NATO and we're meeting with a lot of countries and they're going to have to do a little more burden
FOSTER (voice over): Trump's criticism of the Transatlantic Alliance, which has overseen the longest stretch of peace in Europe in centuries, is no
secret. He's publicly accused other members of not paying their fair share. And on more than one occasion suggested the U.S. withdraw altogether.
TRUMP: I'll see NATO and I'm going to tell NATO you've got to start paying your bills. United States is not going to take care of everything.
FOSTER (voice over): That waning commitment from the U.S. to the alliance has left it brain dead according to French President Emmanuel Macron. The
two leaders will meet, for a no doubt, testy bilateral meeting in London on Tuesday.
No one-to-one yet confirmed though between Trump and his host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Trump and other leaders arrive as the U.K. is
gripped by election fever. The last time the President was here he spoke favorably about Boris Johnson.
TRUMP: So I know Boris. I like him. I've liked him for a long time. He's - I think he'd do a very good job.
FOSTER (voice over): This time a senior administration official insists Trump is cognizant of not wading into other country's elections and Johnson
seems to be playing down his personal bond with his American counterpart too. A recent Pew survey found 70 percent of Brits had no confidence in
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, we have very close relationships and friendships with the United States at every level of
But what we don't do traditionally - as loving allies and friends what we don't do traditionally is get involved in each other's election campaigns.
FOSTER (voice over): A source tells CNN that NATO isn't calling this week's meeting a summit in in order to avoid putting out a communique at the end,
which Trump may not sign, like he did at the G-7 meeting last year. Max Foster, CNN London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: We'll have more on what's next for NATO and what's at stake later in the broadcast. I'll be joined by Thomas Gift of University College
London to discuss that.
Now back in the U.S., an important shift is happening in the push to impeach President Trump. The investigation is wrapping up and the
prosecution is beginning. At any moment, Members of the House Intelligence Committee will get their first look at the report on the investigation into
the President's conduct with Ukraine.
Just a short time ago Republicans released their own report claiming the Democrats never proved bribery or extortion by President Trump. And then on
Wednesday the House Judiciary Committee begins work towards drafting articles of impeachment.
Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler has invited the White House to take part in Wednesday's hearing when four law professors will testify about the
constitutional grounds for impeachment. But the President's lawyers say they will not attend. And President Trump says the timing of all this is
designed specifically to embarrass him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: All you have to do is look at the words that the Ukrainian President - that he just issued. And you know it's a hoax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The words President Trump is talking about there come from an interview Ukraine's President gave to TIME Magazine. He said "I never talk
to the President from the position of a quid pro quo. That's not my thing. I don't want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand we're at
war. If you are our strategic partner then you can't go blocking anything for us. I think that's just about fairness. It's not about a quid pro quo.
It just goes without saying."
With the process of impeachment moving to the next phase we thought it would be a good time to look back into the past in an effort to understand
So I took a trip into the archives, which I always enjoy, to examine the history of impeachment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The words you've heard a lot about recently "articles of impeachment" an investigation in the House that can lead to a trial in the
Senate. As the fate of the Trump presidency is debated in Congress, let's take a walk through the history of impeachment.
The first impeachment trial took place all the way back in 1868 and involved this man, Andrew Johnson. The 17th President was a Democrat and
took over from Abraham Lincoln as President in 1865. He was impeached after dismissing the Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
Congress had passed a law barring the President from firing Cabinet officials. He was impeached by the House of Representatives, but acquitted
in the Senate by just one vote. He went on to serve the remainder of his term, but didn't run for re-election.
Just over a century later it was this man's turn. But it's worth remembering that although the term impeachment is mentioned in the same
breath as Richard Nixon, he was never actually impeached. Before the House of Representatives was able to conduct a vote on whether or not to impeach
him, he resigned.
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at all. Therefore,
I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.
NOBILO: Nixon faced possible impeachment on the grounds of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress in relation to the
Watergate scandal. While Nixon was never impeached, Bill Clinton was.
It came about after a four year investigation by Kenneth Starr that began with a look into possible financial crimes and finished with a 445 page
report that included details of President Clinton's relationship with an intern, Monica Lewinsky.
The House of Representatives impeached him in 1998 with charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. But he was acquitted in the Senate and served
out his term of office. So Three Presidents, two impeachments and as of yet zero convictions. As things stand with the Republican majority in the
Senate, this case looks set to follow a similar pattern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: And CNN will have special coverage of the impeachment proceedings all week. On Wednesday we will bring you all the latest news and expert
analysis as the House Judiciary Committee moves to start drafting articles of impeachment.
NOBILO: We're just now seeing live pictures which you can see there on the corner of the screen of President Trump. Here we go. President Trump and
first lady Melania Trump arriving. They've touched down at Stansted Airport just outside London in Air Force One.
President Trump arriving for a NATO meeting with his fellow leaders. He's going to be staying at Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S.
Ambassador in the United Kingdom. You see him there greeting the - I think the Ambassador, there are some other figures greeting President Trump and
his wife Melania as they get off Air Force One.
We're going to keep our eyes on that for you and let you know if President Trump decides to speak. But for now, we'll go back to some of our
So Iran is experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution some 40 years ago. The protests started over a major increase in
fuel prices. And now some are calling for a new revolution.
But the government isn't giving it, and groups say hundreds of protesters have been killed. Though it's hard to tell exactly how many. I asked Sam
Kiley to tell us what he's been able to find out.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, Amnesty International has just said - just in the last few hours that they believe
at least 208 people have been killed in these demonstrations that extend right across the country as far as Shiraz.
And also in the north and into the deep South where we've seen politicians that represent the southerners, where there have been reports of a very
high number of dead, actually almost being strangled inside the National Assembly when he was trying to draw attention in mid to late November over
an alleged massacre that occurred in his area just a few weeks ago.
This is, though, a story that is emerging very slowly because the Iranian regime has cut the Internet almost complete completely. It's back to some
extent at the moment. But mobile phones are still heavily restricted. And getting any accurate, seriously good information out of that country at a
time they're not allowing the international media in is proving very difficult.
But it's very, very clear in the geostrategic sense that the more pressure that President Rouhani, who until now has been seen as a reformist, comes
under from the street. The danger is that there could be a much harder line response.
And any celebration that could be done in Washington D.C. by the Trump administration who would claim that these calls for democracy and an end to
the rule of the theocracy that has been in power since 1979 is a direct consequence of the sanctions that the United States has imposed risks
actually an equal and opposite backlash.
There are a number of proxies around the region in Yemen in Iraq, of course, the Damascus regime in Syria and of course Hezbollah in South
Lebanon that can be used as levers to exercise any kind of response to what they see in Tehran as international interference and pressure.
NOBILO: Sam Kiley there for us. In neighboring Iraq, parliament has accepted the Prime Minister's resignation, but that hasn't fully appeased
the protesters. They are demanding an end to government corruption.
Though the effort has often been deadly. Nearly 400 demonstrators have been killed by security forces since October. In the Shia city of Hilla people
are focusing their anger not on Iraq's government, but on Iran's widespread influence. Arwa Damon explains.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They cry for those they love, for those they never met, for the agony of loss today
and that of Iraq's painful past. The sorrowful lyrics, a traditional Shia mourning hymn, told from the perspective of the martyr saying farewell to
This is Hilla, the predominantly Shia capital of the Province of Babylon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is me from the oldest civilization in the world - from Babylon. We love our country. We love life. So we made this photo
DAMON (voice over): Our presence prompts an address in English. Those who are here starved to get their message out to an international audience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need all the world to support us to stop crimes against innocent people.
DAMON (voice over): Those crimes reflected in this living piece of macabre art and along the walls leading to the protest grounds.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): After all the blood that was spilt we won't let that go. We won't give up, 22 year old Tabarruk Fadeel (ph) vows.
DAMON (voice over): She's a recent college graduate and this is about her future. It's a future without the chains of Iraq's sectarian political
parties, without the toxic influence of Iran and other outside powers.
Students of all ages are on strike forgoing their education until their demands are met.
DAMON: They want to start over. They want a do over when it comes to Iraq's democracy project. And it really is this generation that is forcing about
DAMON (voice over): But few places are as calm as this where there is an agreement with the police to keep the peace.
DAMON: This is the local provincial council that has been shut down at the request of the population. I mean, they've basically gotten rid of the
local government here.
DAMON (voice over): They also torched the local offices of all political parties, a reflection of the outrage felt towards the political elite and
their outside patrons.
But just a 45 minute drive further South in the holy Shia City of Najaf, the bloody repression against those who dare revolt continues. In the last
few days at least 20 people have been killed, more than 500 wounded.
Check if my son is thirsty, I will drink after him. I'm worried he died thirsty. His father utterly beside himself cries out. And this little girl,
just five years old, was killed by a stray bullet when she was standing in front of her house.
Najaf is where Shia political power lies and Iran's influence is more prominent. But even here there is no more tolerance left for the status
quo. Protesters have already burned the Iranian consulate and more recently attacked the shrine of a once revered Shia cleric whose family is now
entrenched in Iraqi politics.
Despite the crushing pain, there is hope and determination, a strength even in sorrow that those who swear is more powerful than any sectarian force.
Arwa Damon, CNN Hilla, Iraq.
NOBILO: The U.N. Climate Change Conference is underway in Madrid. 25,000 delegates from 200 countries are discussing how to meet benchmarks for
emissions reductions set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the urgency of the global
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: Climate change is no longer a long term problem. We are confronted now with the global climate
crisis. And the point of no return is no longer over the horizon. It is in sight and hurtling towards us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of U.S. Democratic lawmakers were in attendance Monday, even though the Trump administration
has begun pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement and they had a strong message from Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): By coming here we want to say to everyone, we're still in, United States is still in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Still ahead on the brief, is NATO really braindead as the French President claims it is. I'll talk with a political scientist about where
the alliance at its 70th birthday.
NOBILO: In the NATO debrief, earlier we told you that leaders are gathering here in London this week. As the alliance turns 70, it's marked by
divisions. In fact, French President Emmanuel Macron recently described NATO as braindead. U.S. President Donald Trump has insisted members pay
more for their security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You have to step up. You have to pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: And then there's Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently ignored warnings and went outside NATO to buy a missile defense system from Russia.
So where does this leave NATO now? Is the alliance fraying or is it to emerge stronger than ever. I'm joined by Thomas Gift of University College
London for this discussion.
Thomas thanks for being with us.
THOMAS GIFT, POLITICAL SCIENCE LECTURER, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Thank you, Bianca. That comment that Emmanuel Macron made that NATO was
experiencing a brain death. What did he mean exactly?
GIFT: Well, it was really in reference to kind of abandoning a U.S. leadership. And so I think that NATO really stands at a crossroads right
now. And it's not just NATO, but it's the whole rules based order that's defined the international community since at least the Cold War.
Donald Trump, I think, has been a big part of fraying a lot of these relations with Western allies. He's talked about the obsolescence of NATO.
He's also talked about the possibility of the United States extricating itself from the alliance.
He's kind of walked back those comments a little bit, but I still think that it's very fair to say that relations are highly strained. And you can
kind of see this through his kind of general antipathy or hostility toward multilateral organizations and general international context. So, of
course, we've seen him disengaged from the Paris Climate Agreement--
NOBILO: We were just talking about--
GIFT: Exactly - the Iran nuclear deal the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We saw, of course, his actions in Turkey. So I think that this is all part of
a broader narrative.
NOBILO: And if we look back over the 70 years of NATO's existence and compare President Donald Trump's behavior, not just his rhetoric, but his
actual actions to those of other US Presidents before him.
How much does it depart from the usual standard of U.S. behavior? Have all the U.S. Presidents got frustrated by carrying too much of the burden
GIFT: Well Donald Trump certainly isn't the first to say that other countries should pay their fair share, so to speak. And they also have
shied away from kind of saying that these other countries have been free riding on U.S. military expenditures.
We have seen increases in the a lot of military budgets by various countries in recent years and so you may attribute that to Donald Trump or
you may just say that this is part of a general trend. But still only eight of the 29 countries, Bianca, actually have reached that 2 percent of GDP
target for military expenditures that they've been set.
And so Donald Trump has really, kind of, pushed this issue and it's been kind of a key precept of his agenda toward NATO.
NOBILO: What do you think his key objectives would be at this meeting in London given the context, given what's happening back home in the United
States. I was even saying just a few moments ago the fact that Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are taking a completely different line on climate
change to the Trump administration, just lot of divisions back home. What would be a win for him?
GIFT: Well, as simple as it sounds, I actually think that it would be for these meetings not to make too many headlines. I mean what we've seen in
the past with Donald Trump at these big international summits is that he has created a lot of turmoil and they haven't always ended kind of with the
And so, I think what Donald Trump should try to do, of course, he may not do this, just kind of lower the temperature in the room a little bit. Try
not to fray any relations any more than they are. That may not seem like a very ambitious goal, but for Trump on the international stage, I think that
that would be considered a success.
NOBILO: Have you detected any alterations in his behavior throughout his presidency, especially regarding his levels of diplomacy? Perhaps, like for
example, when he came over to the United Kingdom earlier in the year for the state visit.
Some people were surprised that in most situations he did sort of toe the line when he was supposed to, especially when the Queen was involved,
because we understand that he does have reverence for her. He's talked about that before.
So do you think that's possible that he appreciates the fact that the U.K. election is next week and he needs to be very careful? He is going to
Buckingham Palace tomorrow. Do you think that's sunken in now?
GIFT: Yes. Those are great points Bianca. You know, I think the one defining characteristic of this President is that he's highly erratic. And
so you never know exactly if he's going to follow the rules, so to speak, or kind of break them dramatically.
It does seem to be the case that he understands, at least in this situation, that Boris Johnson, who's largely seen as an ally of President
Trump, would prefer that he not engage or not kind of endorse the president explicitly.
Of course, Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party has said that Boris Johnson is kind of the world's leading sycophant to Donald Trump.
Boris Johnson wants to shake that reputation certainly. And so with Trump coming into the U.K., not particularly popular, certainly Boris Johnson
would hope that Donald Trump would stay true to his word.
NOBILO: Certainly, Thomas Gift, thank you very much for joining us.
GIFT: Thanks so much, Bianca.
An interview set to air on the BBC could have more consequences for disgraced royal Prince Andrew. For the first time his accuser, Virginia
Giuffre, is speaking out in detail about her alleged sexual abuse. She says that she was a victim of sex trafficking by Jeffrey Epstein and forced to
have sex with Prince Andrew when she was just 17. When asked if the photo of the prince in her is fake. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIRGINIA GUIFFRE, EPSTEIN'S ALLEGED VICTIM: People on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses like his arm was elongated
or the photo was doctored or he came to New York to break up with Jeffrey Epstein. I mean, come on, I'm calling B.S. on this, because that's what it
is. He knows what happened. I know what happened and there's only one of us telling the truth. And I know that's me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: In response to the interview Buckingham Palace says, "It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or
relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary, is false and without foundation."
And THE BRIEF, returns marking the first woman to sit in Britain's parliament, 100 years ago this week.
NOBILO: We finish tonight by taking a quick trip back in time, a century to be precise, to a seismic event in Britain's parliament. That's what Nancy
Astor took her seat on the famous green benches, the first woman to ever do so.
She stayed on as an MP for decades. But she wasn't the first woman to be elected. That was this lady, Irish Republican Constance Markievicz, who is
a Sinn Fein candidate refused to take her seat. Astor's milestone was commemorated with a statue in Plymouth and not without controversy.
The Campaign against Anti-Semitism said that even though she was a trailblazer for women in politics, she held appalling anti-Semitic views.
Fast forward to today, in the last Parliament there where 211 female MPs and in next week's election 1,100 women are standing. But some of the tone
and tenor has proved stubborn. Many female MPs have just stood down, prompted by threats and abuse, which have disproportionately affected
female and ethnic minority employees, so a long way to go yet.
That's THE BRIEF. I'm Bianca Nobilo and "WORLD SPORT" is up next.