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Quest Means Business

F.B.I., Justice Department News Conference on U.S. Capitol Riot; Deutsche Bank Cuts Ties with Donald Trump. Aired 3-3:15p ET

Aired January 12, 2021 - 15:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Good evening to you. Any moment now, the U.S. Justice Department and the F.B.I. are to give

an update on the various charges and events stemming from the deadly attack on the Capitol Building last week.

Their news conference will begin in Washington shortly. It's our intention to bring that to you live. We will take it in its entirety, probably

because it's the first briefing of any kind that we've had from Federal law authorities since last Wednesday's violence.

Now, it's already been a dramatic day of events. Deutsche Bank has cut its business ties with President Trump; in doing so, removing one of his major

sources of personal funding for him and the Trump Organization.

And in the United States, the country's vaccine strategy is going through a complete overhaul, too. There are bottlenecks causing concerns and the idea

now is to release all the vaccines in storage to the states and remove any part of them -- so that anybody can get them -- get into the arms as fast

as possible.

We'll begin with the politics in Washington.

Now, President Trump, who at the moment is in Texas, where he is inspecting the wall. There you can see the President, it's part of the wall. It looks

like he's just written his name on the wall. The President has been railing against impeachment, as he is now back resuming public schedule.

In Texas, he is due to speak and we'll monitor what he is saying to see what it is that is relevant -- the new wall that has been built between the

United States' southern border and the northern border of Mexico.

Before he left, the President lashed out at congressional Democrats, warning them that their impeachment push is dangerous in his words, and

causing tremendous anger.

Meanwhile, House lawmakers are preparing for two votes tonight. Firstly, a last ditch attempt to get Vice President Mike Pence to remove Mr. Trump

from office using the 25th Amendment that you've heard us talk about.

In the highly likely event that that will fail. Then the second action, the House will almost certainly impeach Mr. Trump for inciting an insurrection.

The President is denying that he riled up his supporters. In fact, he says he never wanted violence.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So have you read my speech and many people have done it and I've seen it both in the papers and

in the media, on television. It's been analyzed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate.

And if you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level, about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland

and Seattle and various other places. That was a real problem.


QUEST: Jeremy is with us. Jeremy diamond is in Alamo, Texas where Donald Trump is speaking.

He denies. He says it was entirely appropriate and we get the old Trump rubric. Many people thought, other people have said -- I'm not sure which

those other people are.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, He even went further than the many people that he usually says. He said, everybody to a tee,

thought that his remarks at that rally last week were appropriate. And that is just a flat out lie, Richard, as you know.

If everybody to a tee thought his remarks were appropriate, he wouldn't be the first President in American history on the verge of being impeached for

a second time, and he also wouldn't be facing calls for his resignation, including from some Republicans, a number, a handful of Senate Republicans

who have even begun speaking out, saying that they believe that he should either resign or that they would even be open to considering Articles of

Impeachment against the President.

You wouldn't be seeing the wave of resignations that we have in the senior ranks of this administration, including two Cabinet Secretaries in just the

last week. So all of this is to make the point that the President when he says that his remarks were entirely appropriate, according to everybody,

that's just not true.

And we know that people believe that he is responsible, at least in part for helping to incite this riot that we saw take place at the Capitol last

week that resulted in the deaths of several people, and so that is kind of where things stand now.

Now, you also heard the President reject violence today. He did say that he wants to see no violence, but in the same breath, you also heard the

President say that he believes that impeaching him for a second time is very dangerous, so seeming to raise the specter violence should he be

impeached. So that is also remarkable.


DIAMOND: Now, the President is here, near Alamo, Texas, he just arrived to tour the border wall, where he is going to try and shift the conversation a

little bit. He is going to try and shift the conversation away from what happened last week, away from these calls for his resignation, impeachment,

the talk of the 25th Amendment, and instead try and focus on one of what he sees is one of his signature accomplishments, which is the construction of

more than 450 miles of border fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That goal, though, is short of the thousand miles of border wall that the President wanted to see which he campaigned on. And also, of course, we

should note, Richard, since we're here that the President fell short on another promise, which is to have Mexico pay for that border wall

construction. Instead, it was billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer funds that helped pay for this.

QUEST: That said -- that said, what sort of reaction does he get there?

DIAMOND: Well, the President was greeted at the airport by about 50 to a hundred supporters of his, so there's no doubt that there is a contingent

of heavy support for the President in this area.

And in fact, we should note that especially in this area in the Rio Grande Valley, this is an area where the President actually over performed versus

2016 with Latinos. This is one of the areas in Texas where you saw that demographic turnout for the President in ways that they haven't for

Republicans in the past, so that must be noted.

That being said, the President's visit here is highly controversial. You are seeing both a caravan of supporters coming to greet the President as he

arrived at McAllen Airport, just near the border wall where we are.

And you also have seen protest as well coming here to protest the President touting his border wall. Of course, his immigration policies have been a

hotbed of controversy. And his visit here is not only a reminder of the border fencing that is behind us that he helped get built, but also, of

course of his hardline immigration policies, including those child family separation policies, which, you know, we know there are still children who

were separated from their families who have not yet been able to be reunited with those families back in Latin America.

QUEST: Jeremy, thank you. Jeremy is in Texas. The other picture you see on your screen there is the F.B.I. and the D.O.J. news conference that we will

be going to as soon as it begins. It was meant to start at the top of the hour. But whilst we wait for that, we will continue with our evening agenda

of business and economics.

Deutsche Bank says it will no longer do business with the President or any of his companies. You'll recall of course, that Germany's largest bank was

a lifeline for Donald Trump, after a series of bankruptcies in the 1990s when other financial institutions deemed him too risky.

According to "The New York Times" Deutsche has lent Donald Trump and his organization more than $2.5 billion over the years. This loss of funding is

brutal for the Trump Organization, which has been built on debt.

The clearest sign yet the money faucet feeding the Trump Empire is being rapidly shut off or shut down. Social media has banned for example, you've

got Twitter, Facebook, all cutting off the megaphone that's fueled the rise. E-commerce, you've got the loss of Stripe which has stopped

processing payments to the campaign. Shopify, closing the Trump Organization stores, payment system and the key business partners, the PGA

has pulled a major golf tournament from Trump Bedminster Golf Course.

As for the banks, well, there you are, the pipeline there closed down. Signature has closed off Trump's personal accounts, and now Deutsche won't

lend any money.

By the way, if you think you know, we've got debts, Trump owes $240 million, and that's due in two years' time while the investigations


David Enrich is with me. He is the business investigations editor at "The New York Times." How good to have you, sir. You also wrote the book, "Dark

Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump in an Epic Tale of Destruction." Excellent to have you, sir. Now, let me apologize in advance. If the D.O.J.

news conference begins, then I will have to be somewhat impolite and interrupt you so that we can go to it. So do forgive me in that case.

Now back to Deutsche. Once again, day light, dollar short. They've decided to do this like all of the rats leaving the sinking ship, but they've done

it late.

DAVID ENRICH, BUSINESS INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, they've certainly come to this realization that Trump is toxic for

their brand, I think a little bit belatedly. And, you know, this has been a 20 year journey for Deutsche Bank, which has been, as you mentioned, the

only mainstream financial institutions willing to do business with them.

And they are finally essentially pulling the plug on that relationship with one big caveat which is that he still owes the bank well over $300 million

that's due in the next few years and they are fully expecting to get that money paid back, so they are certainly going to be keeping his accounts

open and the phones being answered there until that money gets repaid.

But beyond that, I think, there certainly will not be any more loans going from Deutsche Bank to Donald Trump.


QUEST: Will they get their money back, do you think?

ENRICH: It's a good question, I mean, Trump -- if Trump defaults on those loans, Deutsche Bank has the right to pursue his personal assets, and so

that's a pretty big deterrent to Trump defaulting.

On the other hand, history has shown time and time again with Trump that he views litigation and the court system as a way to kind of pursue -- to

protract these business disputes and avoid paying 100 cents on the dollar.

And so I think it's anyone's guess certainly, as you said, his business empire is really not crumbling, but certainly under a lot of stress. And

it's even more stressful because in the past couple of weeks, he has become really radioactive, I think, even in the United States. And so it's going

to be much harder for him to come up with the 300 plus million dollars to repay those debts when they're due.

QUEST: His business empire was never as profitable or good or gold plated, as he ever said it was. And that's it. You know, is it right though that

people like Shopify should close down things like the Trump organization's ability to sell, and those sort of things?

ENRICH: I don't know if it's good or bad. I mean, that's not really my position to say one way or the other. I think it's understandable in the

sense that all of these companies, whether it's Shopify or Twitter or Deutsche Bank now are under -- they're just getting tremendous criticism

and face the very real prospect that their brands are permanently tarnished by their association with the President.

And, look, these are private companies. They have the right to run their businesses as they see fit. And in the same way, Trump has the right to run

his business as he sees fit. And so from a business perspective, I do understand why they are severing ties. I'm sure Trump sees it as unfair,


QUEST: As "The New York Times" did when they did that excellent reporting on the Trump finances and the way in which the money has basically been

squandered and lost his inheritance that he got from his father, in some shape or form has been squandered and lost.

The golf courses, for example, which lose money, can you -- is it sort of - - is it a realistic -- how realistic is it that he goes bankrupt in the next three years?

ENRICH: Well, it depends what do you mean by "goes bankrupt"? I mean, I think there's definitely always a real possibility with Trump that he will

use the American bankruptcy laws to reorganize his business and get out of -- to wriggle out of some of his debts. He's done that in the past with his

casinos in Atlantic City.

And, you know, I think it's obviously bad itself, it would be -- it would further tarnish the Trump brand, on the other hand, he is facing -- he has

a very, very acute debt crisis that is going to be looming over him for the next several years and I'm not quite sure how he gets out of that.

On the other hand, all it takes is in either finding a buyer to purchase some of his assets or a cash infusion from some other investors or some

other country. And you know, one thing with Trump is that we've learned over the past five years to never have fully think that you've counted the

guy out because he does often find a way for better or for worse to prolong a situation and not make it nearly as clean and simple as we might have


QUEST: David Enrich. David, thank you for joining us. David Enrich from "The New York Times".

ENRICH: Thank you.

QUEST: You can see there, somebody has come to the podium for the Department of Justice. Don't worry, this is, I'm assuming is housekeeping

matters. It is not the main event, which of course will be the U.S. Attorney, the acting U.S. Attorney, Michael Sherwin, and the F.B.I.,

Washington field officer leader, Stephen D'Antuono, who will be coming there and giving their press conference, which will be the first time we've

heard from the Federal government sort of -- I mean, yes, Donald Trump, to some extent leads the Federal government but the Federal government in

itself is a reaction away from the President.

The first time we've heard about what litigation, what prosecution, what investigations are being followed.

While we wait for that, it is a good moment, I think that we perhaps take a look at the markets and see how the markets are trading because the

uncertainty -- well, there you are. There you have it. Now, if that doesn't show you a bit of uncertainty, I don't know what does.

I suppose, one argument, I can hear you saying, well, Richard, if it was real uncertainty, the market will be down, and it would be down much

harder. But now let's go to the news conference to hear from the U.S. Department of Justice.