Return to Transcripts main page
Hala Gorani Tonight
Lawmakers On Capitol Hill Prepare For First Public Hearings; Republicans Lay Out Defense Strategy Before Public Hearings; Former Bolivian President Morales Accepts Asylum In Mexico; Israeli Forces Kill Islamic Jihad Commander; Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Recovering After Brain Operation; U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments On DACA Immigration Law; Two Officials To Testify Wednesday In First Public Hearings; President Trump Remains Popular With Many Russians; Gearbox Provides Workspace For Entrepreneurs, Inventors; Instagram Testing Out Hidden "Likes" In Select Markets. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 12, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, strategy sessions ahead of live
testimony in the impeachment inquiry, the four points Republicans plan to hammer home.
Then, Bolivia's ex-president says Mexico saved his life as Evo Morales claims political asylum there. And later that social media endorphins
rush, likes will be hidden from some users' Instagram feeds, depressurizing the platform or missing the point? We'll discuss.
This hour tomorrow we will be watching history unfold in Washington. The public impeachment hearings that could determine the future of Donald
Trump's presidency will be underway with two key witnesses taking questions. With so much at stake, both Democrats and Republicans on
Capitol Hill are holding last minute strategy sessions.
CNN has obtained a memo of Republican talking point that outline the counter argument for impeachment. Republicans want to raise doubts about
everything, even the inquiry itself which they put in quotation marks while Democrats want to keep things simple. They will argue that Mr. Trump's
dealing with Ukraine amounts to abuse of power and they have been using different words like extortion and bribery.
Diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent will be the first public witnesses. Lead house investigator Adam Schiff says others will be announced this
week, possibly including some witnesses requested by Republicans.
President Trump and his defenders have been shifting the goal posts for weeks as they try to fight off the impeachment, that Republican memo is now
giving us new insight into exactly what the strategy will be.
Let's bring in Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill and Jeremy Diamond is in New York where Mr. Trump does spoke about the economy. And, Phil, talk to us
about these key defenses that is the GOP plans to use.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, let's start with the top line. And first you're seeing a shift right now from
Republicans. You remember quite well that for much of the last couple of months, it's been about process, angry about how Democrats have run their
impeachment inquiry, not so much on substance. That is shifting.
You mentioned that 18-page memo. That memo I obtained last night from Republican staff, it was drafted by Republican staff for members to
utilize. And really it serves as a 30,000 foot defense of the President why they don't believe he's been involved in an impeachable offense. They
mentioned four specific points that they believe work in his favor.
First, on that July 25th call between President Trump and Zelensky, there was no evidence of conditionality, no evidence of anybody saying that one
thing had to happen for another to occur. The second is that they believe that during that call there was no actual pressure.
Neither President Trump nor President Zelensky had said they are pressured because of that call. They pointed the fact that the funding, the
assistance funding, security assistance funding that was withheld by the US was done without the Ukrainian knowledge. So they couldn't be holding it
over their head because that hadn't actually occurred.
So you have these several points that kind of serving as top line. Now, you're talking about the hearing itself. There's also a different strategy
on that phone. When I've talked to members that are going to be in this hearing on the Republicans side, their primary goal, kind of as you noted,
poke holes in the witnesses, make clear that there are points that the witnesses say they believe to be true that they don't have direct knowledge
If, of note, the two witnesses you're going to see tomorrow, Republicans are going to rely on the fact that neither of them had direct conversations
with the President, neither receive direct orders from the President, and therefore everything they are operating off of is hearsay. Now, look, you
know well Democrats believe that none of what I'm saying right now, Republicans are going to say is true or tracks with reality, but that's the
baseline of where you see Republicans are going at least as we head into this first hearing.
GORANI: And, Jeremy Diamond, the President tweeted today that he would release the transcript of the first phone call he had with President
Zelensky of Ukraine. Now, when he said he was going to release the transcript of the second phone call, people assumed that there would be
nothing in it. It turned out there is a lot to go over.
In this case, do we have any notion, any idea what could be in that first phone call that the President is eager for us to read the transcript of?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, as you mentioned that tweet from the President, what he's -- what he was trying to do is say,
look this is the much more important call. And the reason that he is saying that, of course, is because by all accounts that we have heard so
far, it's a fairly innocuous call.
And it did not provoke the kind of concerns from National Security Council officials from Intelligence officials that the July call did.
Alex Vindman, the lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council who was the -- is Ukraine country director at the National Security Council, he
described that first April call as fairly germane, and said that US officials were quite happy with how the call went very much in contrast, of
course with that July call. So the question is why is the President releasing this.
And it does appear, you know, it's hard to look at it as any other way than distraction, in an effort by the President to divert attention from these
public hearings, to divert attention from the core allegations that he is facing not only about his conduct on that July call with the Ukrainian
President but also about the mounting evidence that we have seen from numerous currents and former administration officials about a broader
pressure campaign carried out by the US government.
GORANI: And we talked, Phil, about Republican defense strategy. The Democrats are starting to use words like rather quid pro quo, which is by
the way hard to pronounce, and not everyone maybe familiar with that term. They're using terms that are a lot more understandable, extortion, bribery,
not innocuous words. Why are they going in that direction?
MATTINGLY: Yes. And the words of one member who told me yesterday, if we want to make something simple or at least digestible for the American
people, maybe don't do it in Latin. And so that's been one of the things they've been focused on.
Look, the reality for Democrats is they had into the hearing is this. They believe that the transcripts show that what they heard behind closed doors
is enough to pursue articles of impeachment. What that they had heard behind closed doors is enough to convince the American people they have a
solid case here.
And so what they are going for according to members and staffs I've been talking to is, essentially, let them speak, let the witnesses speak, career
state department officials, career Pentagon officials. People who know these institutions, who have been in the government for a long period of
time, let them paint the picture of what they saw. And when they do that, the case will be made for itself.
I think one thing that a lot of people are concerned about is hearings over the course of the past three years are even longer or have turned into
circuses or partisan fights back and forth. They're made for Youtube campaign moments. The goal for Democrats is to avoid that at all costs.
Let the witnesses talk. Lead them down the direction that they believe they were led to during these depositions, and that should sell the story
itself. That's the goal at least. We'll see how that plays out starting tomorrow.
GORANI: Yes, certainly. And, Jeremy, briefly, do we know if the President will be watching tomorrow? Has he said either way?
DIAMOND: You know, he has not said either way. But if the past is prologue then certainly he will be because we know from, you know, the --
all of those public testimonies during the congressional investigations and to Russia interference, the President was fixated on those public hearings,
some of them by his former officials, his former attorney Michael Cohen for example.
The President was perched up in the residence of the White House or in the dining room off the Oval Office watching TV. And that is something that is
concerning for White House staff, because they know that when Trump is watching it, it is -- he is fixated on it. And that is kind of what
dominates the entire atmosphere at the White House. Hala?
GORANI: And we know that's when he likes to tweet as well even more than usual. Jeremy Diamond and Phil Mattingly, thanks very much to both of you.
Bolivia's former president is no longer in Bolivia. He is now in Mexico. He was granted political asylum there. Evo Morales arrived in the Capitol
just a short time ago. And when he stepped off the plane, he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVO MORALES, FORMER BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The President of Mexico saved my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP )
GORANI: Well, Morales abruptly resigned as president on Sunday after weeks of protests over disputed election results and growing pressure from the
military in Bolivia. This photo shows him on board that flight to Mexico holding the Mexican flag. Morales claimed he was forced out in a coup but
the country's opposition has denied that and said it was a fight for democracy and peace.
Bolivia's former leader earlier shared this image of himself sleeping on the floor. It was the first night after he stepped down as President and
his last night in his home country before fleeing to Mexico.
Let's go to Matt Rivers who joins me now from Mexico City. And Evo Morales said he's -- he felt like his life was at risk. Did he expand on that?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He definitely believes that he is the victim here without question, despite there being organizations like
the organizations of American state who said it was Morales himself along members of his government that help commit election fraud several weeks ago
that showed Morales winning in a very close race over his opponent, Carlos Mesa. It is very clear that Morales, the former Bolivian president,
believes that he is the victim. He calls what's happening a coup.
And frankly, he is joined by other prominent governments and political figures across the left spectrum of the political ideology, that the
government here in Mexico certainly believes that it was a type of coup.
You have other leaders in Cuba, you also have people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin, and the UK also calling it a coup.
But on the side, you have a lot of people who's saying well that lies the fact that there had been weeks of peaceful democratic protests against
Morales that he himself actually resigned the office. He wasn't forced out. He wasn't arrested. So there -- it's really not a black and white
issue but Morales clearly believes that he is a victim here and that's why he took off to Mexico.
And here's a little bit of what he had to say in case you were thinking that he would just fade into the dark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORALES (through translator): We are here safe thanks to Mexico and its authorities. But I also want to tell you sisters and brothers, as long as
I'm alive, we'll continue in politics. As long as I'm alive, the fight continues. And we assure that the peoples of the world will have the right
to liberate themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: Now, meanwhile, back in Bolivia, Hala, they are trying to figure out who's going to run the country. Both legislative chambers will meet
today. They will take a look at the formal resignation of Morales and his vice president to make those officials. They will also try and decide on
who the interim leader will be.
And then, if they go through all that, they have to begin the process of deciding when if there will be a new round of elections in Bolivia to
choose a democratically elective leader.
GORANI: So, what does the future holds for Evo Morales? I mean, is he open-ended now staying in Mexico?
RIVERS: It's a great question and it's one we don't really have the answer to. I mean, he definitely want to continue. He wants to continue to play
into Bolivian politics. There is some questions here as to his official status in Mexico. So, obviously, he was granted political asylum. But
should he take on the official title of refugee?
There are some sort of a legal terminology here that might prevent him from ever returning to Bolivia. But this is all early days at this point, Hala.
We know he wants to stay involved. He's not one to shy away from the lime light.
You saw his Twitter feed. He's been very active. He's going to continue to have a say in Bolivian politics, how he affects what happens in Bolivia
Does he ferment more unrest among his supporters? Does he challenge any new interim leaders that may be selected? Does he call any new elections
that might be set illegitimate? That's what we're going to have wait and see to see. Even though he is in Mexico City, what kind of an effect will
he have on the domestic politics in Bolivia and what will happen in that country over the next several weeks, months and maybe even years.
GORANI: All right, Matt Rivers in Mexico City.
Tensions are rafted along Israel's boarder with Gaza. Israel targeted and killed the senior commander of the group Islamic Jihad. Our senior
official say seven people we're killed in Gaza.
In response, 200 rockets were launched at Israel. The leader of Islamic Jihad warned Israel will pay a "high price." While Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said he's country will do whatever it takes to defend itself. Oren Liebermann joins me now live with more on what happened today
and what could happen in the future as a result of the increasing tensions. Oren?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this all started early this morning with the targeted killing or assassination of Islamic Jihad leader
Bahaa Abu al-Ata. Israel says he was a ticking time bomb, someone who is planning to carry out an in the immediate days here attacks against the
state of Israel, someone who would also launch rockets in recent weeks and months against the state of Israel. And that, they say, is why they acted.
That led to the developments we've seen.
Where this goes from here? At this point, Hala, is a much, much more difficult question.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Bahaa Abu Al-Ata was carried through the streets as a martyr. The senior Palestine and Islamic Jihad leader killed early
Tuesday morning when Israeli military struck his home.
AVIV KOCHAVI, IDF CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF (through translator): This man was a live ticking bomb. Even in recent days, he worked and planned
attacks and was meaning to carry them out.
LIEBERMANN: The response came quickly, the idea of accusing Islamic Jihad of firing more than a 100 rockets into southern and central Israel. During
a televised statement, Islamic Jihad's leader warned Israel that it will pay a high price. Sirens sounding as far away as Tel Aviv and beyond.
The traffic camera picked up this rocket landing on the road south of Tel Aviv. There seemed no clear way out of the fighting.
LIEBERMANN (on-camera): That indicates this isn't over yet. As of this point and we just heard a loud explosion behind us. You can see there a
plume of smoke. I don't know which way that fire was coming.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): A mattress factory in Sderot near Gaza was hit by a rocket as small poured into the sky.
AVI BARSSESSAD, SDEROT FACTORY OWNER: We are staying like 15 years in the same situation. It's catastrophe. It's catastrophe because they affect on
us. It's terrible.
LIEBERMANN: But this wasn't the same situation.
Israel blamed Islamic Jihad for the rocket fire in an unusual move, not pointing the fingers at Hamas. Analysts in Gaza say Hamas is far more
interested in calm than Islamic Jihad.
MUKHAIMER ABUSADEH, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, AL-AZHAR UNIVERSITY: Over the past many months, the Islamic Jihad have tried to provoke Israel many times
which wasn't in the interest of Hamas who is responsible for the well-being of 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, and has to take care of their daily
LIEBERMANN: This maybe part of a wider move against the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. Syria's state-run SANA News Agency said, Israel targeted a
Islamic Jihad leader there as well.
Akramal Azuri (ph) survived but his son was killed. Israel would not comment on a foreign report.
LIEBERMANN (on-camera): In a few moments we were standing here as that story run, there were actually red alerts here in Ashkelon, just a few
miles north of Gaza and interceptions of about four or five, I could hear exactly above our head. So the response that Islamic Jihad's military wing
had promised could very well be starting now as we head into your evening hours, which of course are some of the sensitive hours between Israel and
Now, Hala, the key question is, does Hamas get involved in the picture of the fight. If it does, this could certainly escalate. If not, there is an
offer of de-escalation, if Hamas or Israel are in a political situation to take it. And that depends very much of what's going on at that time, as we
wait to see how this develops.
GORANI: All right. And we'll get back to you, of course, if there are developments, Oren Liebermann in Ashkelon, thanks very much.
Still to come tonight, a former US president under goes a brain operation, the latest on Jimmy Carter's condition. And some Hong Kong streets, take
on the look of a battlefield. The warning from police clashes with protesters are showing little sign of calming. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Former American President Jimmy Carter is recovering in an Atlanta hospital following a brain operation. He had a procedure to relief
pressure on his brain caused by bleeding, likely the result of some recent falls. Carter had several health scares in recent years including brain
and liver cancer and he is 95. He's the oldest living former American president.
He does still maintain an active lifestyle, though you may want to rest after all these scary incidents. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now live with
more, he's our Chief Medical Correspondent and a practicing neurosurgeon at Emory University.
What are doctors doing? What is the operation aiming to achieve?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What has happened is that he -- President Carter developed pressure on his brain because of a blood
collection. And I can show you an image of this.
You'll see when you have blood like this on the upper right corner, it's pushing on the brain. It that is just outside the brain but within the
skull as you can see there.
And the goal of the procedure you might guess, Hala, is simply take that pressure off. Let me show you for a second here. I just have a skull
model, I can try and demonstrate for you first. I can -- it basically involves over here in these areas where that blood collection is. It
involves opening up the skull in a couple of areas, finding that fluid that is causing that pressure and draining it. That's essentially what the
That was what was performed this morning here in the east coast of United States. And it took about an hour, an hour and a few minutes. He's
recovering, just as long as expected. And as you mentioned, he is recovering, but needs to observe for a couple of days to make sure that he
continues to recover well.
GORANI: How does that blood pool there in the first place?
GUPTA: Yes. You know, it's interesting. Probably as a result of these falls that he had last month, what happens and there was a picture of him
where he hit his for head and he had to get 14 stitches, he had a black eye. A fall like that can cause some minor tears in blood vessels in that
area that you're looking at on the screen.
And slowly, slowly that blood starts to pool and accumulate. So this wasn't something that happened over night, this is something I probably
started for President Carter a couple of weeks ago. And then when there's enough blood in that area, it start to put pressure on the brain. That's
when someone might start to have symptoms.
So if it's on the left side of the brain, for example, someone may start to feel weakness on the right side of the body. They may have speech
difficulties, things like that and then they go to the hospital.
GORANI: Right, right. And he's been active. We've even seen him a few weeks ago nailing nails into, you know, a home construction project.
Should he not be doing that anymore? I mean, he's 95 years old, obviously there are risks even for much younger people if you lead this type of
lifestyle, construction sites and the rest. Should he just put his feet up now, do you think?
GUPTA: You know, I don't think so. I mean, you know, partly that just him and, you know, obviously he's going to need to be a bit careful. But one
thing I say about these procedures, and the reason that we take care of these types of things is because, we -- the hope is to restore someone back
to their way of life and be able to do the thing that gives them joy, you know.
So, I think, that, you know, he's definitely going to have to take it easy a bit. He said he's not going to teach Sunday school this Sunday. That
shouldn't have come as a surprise to anybody. But my guess, Hala, is that we'll probably see him being active again. I mean, I hope to, actually.
You know, he's quite inspirational.
I mean, you know, five years ago, four years ago in 2015, people thought he's going to die of the cancer that you mentioned. I interviewed him at
that time, it almost felt like it is a good by interview. By the end of year, by December, he was basically declared cancer-free. So, you know,
he's had some challenging health conditions but he's still pretty robust for 95 years old.
GORANI: And that was -- and possibly it is his active lifestyle that's helping too.
GORANI: I mean being active keeps you healthier, and so you're recovery period presumably is shorter, even when you are in your 90s.
GUPTA: That's right, it feeds itself. And I-- I've talked to a lot of people and I've obviously talked to him, and it's one of those things just
like you say if he was not allowed to be active, that probably far more detrimental for his health in some ways than if he was.
GORANI: Yes. All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.
GUPTA: Yes, thank you.
GORANI: Well, it was a passionate day at the Supreme Court as the court read arguments on a major landmark immigration case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI (voice-over): Protesters turned out chanting "Home is Here." The court heard arguments about the Obama era policy called the Deferred Action
for Childhood Arrival Program, DACA, the Trump administration had been trying for years to end the program.
What it is, it allows 700 undocumented immigrants to stay in the country because they were brought by their parents when they were children. And
so, the idea being it's not their fault that they are there illegally, and they've only known one country, most of them, so, you know, allow them to
stay. The Trump administration says no.
Ariane de Vogue joins us now from Washington. What side has the upper hand here in this case, Ariane?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN US SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right. Hala, it was over an hour and a half of arguments. And the justices really struggled with
how the Trump administration The future of 700,000 DREAMers is on the line, many of them were in the courtroom and many of them stood in line for two
days and it rained early this morning to get in there.
Crucial to this case was the rational that the Trump administration provided to end this program. And the liberals on the court, those four
liberals, they thought that Trump administration had not provided the proper rational and the law required more.
But, of course, what's key on this court that's divided by four between conservatives and liberals is Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett
Kavanaugh, they were more difficult to read.
When the liberal justices said, look how many people have come to rely on this program, not only individuals but businesses, schools, some of the
states. You can't just terminate a program involving that many people without giving them a recent explanation. At one point, Kavanaugh pointed
out something we have seen before. We saw in the travel ban that after a court had blocked the program, the administration had come forward with a
memo with more rational.
So we'll see how much that means to Kavanaugh and to Chief Justice John Roberts, because they'll be key on this. When they decide this, it's going
to come down just as the presidential election heating up.
GORANI: So that's how long it would take to get a ruling just so about a year. And what if, by the way, what if the Supreme Court rules that DACA
is not legal, do then the 700,000 DREAMers have to leave the country? I mean, what were the tangible consequences of that be?
VOGUE: Well, first of all to your first question, the justices would deliberate and they taken this now. We expect the decision maybe in the
next few months, probably this spring, so that's when it would come out justice.
And remember how important this has been to Trump, immigration has been such a cornerstone of everything that he has argued for. But to your other
point, if the DREAMers don't prevail here, if the Supreme Court says that the way that the Trump administration terminated the program was OK, then
their hope is that it would move to Congress because Trump keeps saying, look, once this is over, we'll go to Congress and we'll get a deal.
But think how vulnerable a lot of these DREAMers feel like because when they applied for the program, they turned over a lot of their personal
information. The government has that now. And it's not as if they feel like this particular Congress is getting a lot done. So they're very
nervous if they lose here, possibility that they would go, actually would move to Congress.
But one more thing, it wouldn't be that everybody would be deported at once because the administration has phased it out, and there are some people who
just got their renewals, so it would be gradual. You would gradually lose your work authorization.
GORANI: All right, Ariana de Vogue, thanks very much.
VOGUE: Thank you.
GORANI: A stark warning from Hong Kong police as protesters and officers face for yet off another day. Police arrested about a dozen people and
fired teargas after protesters took over a major downtown intersection. The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been another major flash point
today, a number of schools are close, traffic is a nightmare and police say they are running out of patience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KONG WING-CHEUNG, HONG KONG POLICE SPOKESMAN: Hong Kong's Rule of Law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse, as masked rioters recklessly
escalate their violence under the false hope that they can get away with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Hong Kong Leader Carrie lam says the disruptions are selfish acts, the turmoil is now in its 6-month.
A lot more to come tonight, the countdown is on to what could be a very pivotal day in the Trump presidency, as key official get ready to testify
publicly, we'll break it down with our legal analyst.
And Russia is keeping a close eye on the impeachment inquiry, President Trump remains a popular figure in Moscow. A live report from the Russian
capital, what are Russians saying about all of this. That's coming up.
GORANI: Let's return to the U.S. impeachment's inquiry. There's news of the infighting at the White House over the administration's response.
The Washington Post is reporting that the chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, is leading the effort not to cooperate with House Democrats, and that Mulvaney
is blaming the White House council for not doing more to rein in officials who agreed to testify.
Here's Suzanne Malveaux's report on what we can expect on all of those public hearings start tomorrow.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The impeachment countdown ticking closer to public hearings tomorrow.
First, the public will hear from top diplomat to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and deputy assistant secretary of state, George Kent, Wednesday. The former
U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, testifies Friday.
Their testimony is expected to detail explosive claims, alleging President Trump pressured Ukraine to launch investigations for his political benefit.
So how will this week's hearings work? House Intelligence Chair, Adam Schiff, and Republican ranking member, Devin Nunes, will lead the Sessions.
They'll have 45 minutes each to question witnesses, with staff lawyers likely playing a big role. All other committee members will get five
minutes each to do the same.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our strategy is to focus on the facts.
MALVEAUX: Meanwhile, House investigators releasing three more transcripts from their closed-door depositions, including former Ukraine aide,
Catherine Croft, revealing the summer hold on assistance wasn't the first time the Trump administration delayed military aid for Ukraine.
Croft telling lawmakers that in 2017, then-budget-director, Mick Mulvaney, held up plans to send missiles to Ukraine, saying he was concerned that
Russia would react negatively, despite claiming all of the policy agencies were in support of providing the equipment.
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): What's Mick Mulvaney doing making that decision when he's the head of OMB is extraordinarily unusual?
MALVEAUX: Croft also testifying Mulvaney was involved in Ukraine policymaking this year, working alongside Trump mega donor turned U.S.
ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. The claim corroborating former top Russian advisor, Fiona Hill's testimony.
And according to Croft and Laura Cooper's testimonies, Ukraine was aware about the hold on security assistance earlier than previously believed.
Cooper, the only Pentagon official to testify in the inquiry so far, recalling a conversation with then-U.S.-envoy-to-Ukraine, Kurt Volker, in
August, saying he gave, "A very strong inference that there was some knowledge on the part of the Ukrainians."
In that same meeting, Cooper says Volker explained, "An effort that he was engaged in to see if there was a statement that the government of Ukraine
would make that would somehow disavow any interference in U.S. elections." Adding, "The path that he was pursuing to lift the hold would be to get
them to make this statement."
GORANI: That was Suzanne Malveaux reporting.
Let's break this all down for you. Our next guest says that the testimony of the opening witnesses is key, CNN legal analyst, Michael Zeldin joins me
now from Washington. He's a former federal prosecutor and served as Robert Mueller's former special assistant at the Department of Justice.
So what is -- what do you mean by that that it's -- what's key is the testimony of the first witness, that he has to capture the interest of the
people listening to him out of the gate?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, two things. First, is that he has to lay the foundation for what is the Democrats' theory that Trump behaved
in a way that was personally beneficial to him and not in the national interest. And he has to do it -- you know, I don't want to say
theatrically in a movie sense, but compellingly so that people will watch.
Because as we saw in the Mueller case, people are not reading the Mueller report, people are not reading these 2,000 plus pages of transcripts. They
want to see the movie.
And so for the Democrats to be successful, they have to have a good witness who can tell a compelling story that'll keep viewership ongoing, because
that's their only hope of moving the needle.
GORANI: But that doesn't depend on them or their strategy, it depends entirely on whether or not the witness is compelling, right? it's out of
ZELDIN: Well, they control the questioning of the witness. So like in a trial, you can be a terrible lawyer and you could have a great witness but
the witness doesn't get his chance to shine because you're a terrible lawyer.
Here, the Democrats control the narrative, they get to ask the questions, they get to put the story together through the mouth of the witness. So
really, they have a lot of opportunity to have this witness shine more so than you would in the normal five minutes at a time format that we've seen
historically in types of investigations.
GORANI: So there's been closed-door testimony, there's been the release of the transcript. We have a very good sense of what Bill Taylor, among
others, or probably say publicly tomorrow.
So what is the - what is the use for the public testimony? How does it change things that we now all get to see and hear these witnesses for
ZELDIN: So my view is that the American public, generally speaking, is not fully informed about what happened here, that is the president of the
United States may have asked the president of Ukraine to do him a personal favor, investigate the Bidens and that the benefit for them would be, if
they do that favor, they get military aide in a White House meeting.
I think the facts that underlie that are not really well-known to the American public. And these public hearings will be that opportunity for
the American public to be informed about that so that they can make an informed decision about whether this is an impeachable offense or not.
GORANI: Well, the Republicans are saying, you know, a lot of these witnesses are never Trumpers, that they have an agenda against President
Trump. The Republican defends also includes the idea that these funds, the military aide, the funds were lift -- were released on September 11th,
before a deadline to do so, and therefore, this proves that there was no quid pro quo.
What do you make of that defense? Because that's one of the four key points.
ZELDIN: Right. So the two things. First, it's just factually untrue that these people like Taylor and the others are never Trumpers. They're career
people who have served in the administrations of Democrats and republicans and that defense will fail.
With respect to they got the aid in the end, really isn't availing either. You know, if you attempt to rob a bank and never get the money, it doesn't
make it not a crime. The fact that they had this pressure campaign, according to Democrats, which they ultimately relinquished when Congress
became aware that the money was frozen, doesn't mean that they didn't endeavor to create this quid pro quo relationship with the Ukrainians.
GORANI: Yes. Ultimately though this is a political process, the Democrats control the House and all likelihood, there will be an impeachment. But
this is a long process that would involve a Senate trial. And most likely, there you will not have a conviction.
What would then be the point of holding this impeachment inquiry, this impeachment probe for the Democrats politically?
ZELDIN: Well, politically, this is dangerous for the Democrats. If people feel that they have overplayed their hand and that this is part of a
calculated political effort to undermine this president and this has been ongoing since his election, then they will suffer at the polls.
If, however, they believe that the Democrats have brought forth a compelling case of impeachment, impeachable offenses and the Senate just
chooses not to convict, then it'll be the proper thing for people to say Democrats did what the constitution requires that when the president of the
United States abuses the powers of his office, he shall be impeached and that's what we did.
And if these Republicans choose not to see the evidence and to convict, that's on them, and then they'll suffer the political consequences of not
having a conscience instead of -- you know, just an affiliations of political party.
GORANI: Yes. Well, we'll see how the public receives this. As you said, this is the opportunity for Americans for the first time to hear directly
from these witnesses.
Michael Zeldin, thank you so much, as always.
ZELDIN: Thank you very much.
As Washington gears up for public hearings, Russia is watching all this political drama play out with interest and alarm sometimes. The U.S.
President remains popular with Russians who see him as sympathetic to their country.
Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, even joked about the 2020 elections at the Paris Peace Forum today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The presidential elections are coming up in 2020. So, how is Russia getting ready for that?
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We'll resolve the problem, don't worry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Our Matthew Chance have been taking the polls of the people in Russia. He joins us now from Moscow.
What is, "We'll resolve the problem, don't worry" mean? You know Sergey Lavrov. I'm afraid I didn't completely get the joke there.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm not sure I did either. I mean, he often speaks very cryptically.
But I mean, certainly what I can tell you, Hala, is that there is an ambivalent attitude in Russia towards. Yes, this impeachment inquiry has
it's gather's pace.
You know, on the one hand, you know, Russians are sort of, you know, sitting back and watching this political chaos in the United States with a
certain satisfaction it plays in at the Russian narrative that the west in general, in the U.S. in particular, is in chaos and Russia by comparison is
stable and strong. There's a certain amount of glee that's been expressed back at this whole process.
On the other hand, President Trump is a figure who is broadly sympathetic to the Russian world view. He's been an outspoken advocate, for instance,
in rehabilitate -- to rehabilitate Russia on the international stage, calling, for instance to be brought back into the G7.
And so, you know, there's a growing sense of alarm in Russia that as this impeachment inquiry unfold, this sympathetic American president could be
CHANCE (voice-over): In the burger barns of downtown Moscow, Trump is a favorite on the menu.
Yes, please, the Trump burger. Great. What's in it? What's in the Trump burger?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the -- like Angus beef.
CHANCE: Angus beef.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And --
CHANCE: And bologna.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no.
CHANCE: OK, good.
And the president's like the burger, it is popular, with Russian diners.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. This is so wonderful man because this is special, he has special hair.
CHANCE: You love his hair?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. This is so strange but I like this -- he's strong and funny.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I'm telling the truth, and Trump will have an impeachment, another president will be like much more strict for Russia.
CHANCE: Much more critical of Russia, right.
CHANCE (voice-over): The truth is many Russians see President Trump as a rare friend in the White House or it'll be lost if he's impeached.
On Russian state television tightly controlled by the Kremlin, support for Trump and the impeachment battle is absolute.
After all, it is Russia they sometimes joke they got him elected. Allegations of election meddling are officially denied, but often
referenced even on series new shows with a wink.
Have you lost your minds that you want to remove our Donald -- asks the host of this weekly current affair program?
CHANCE: They say Trump is weakening the United States, says one of his guests.
Yes, he is, and that's why we love him, he adds. The more problems they have, the better for us. It's no secret. Some Russians are taking pleasure
at the political discord in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect American --
CHANCE: Impeachment, according to Republican members of Congress in a recent open letter to the Wall Street Journal is what Vladimir Putin wants.
But the fast-moving impeachment process maybe too chaotic even for the Russian president. He wants crippling sanctions lifted, arms control deals
and a working relationship with the White House. Virtually impossible, he says, in such a toxic political environment.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): How can we cooperate with them when they are so engaged in their domestic political
global affairs? Obviously, this is always the case during an election campaign. But this domestic political race has gone a little over the top.
I don't think it's ever been like this in the history of the United States.
CHANCE: Like Russia itself, its views on Trump and his possible impeachment are complicated and contradictory.
They relish the chaos but crave stability and have little time for opponents of their American friend.
CHANCE (on-camera): What about people who say he's not a good president, he should not be president, what do you say to them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is so boring people. This is people who think on this (INAUDIBLE), because this is president like --
CHANCE: All right. We'll talk about -- talk about cryptic answers, not quite sure what she meant with the hand gesture there.
But I think that reaction sort of underlie of just how much affection there is in Russia, both on the official level on the -- and on the level
(INAUDIBLE) towards President Trump, and how, you know, sorry they would be if this impeachment process ends in the U.S. president being kicked out of
GORANI: All right. Matthew Chance in Moscow, thanks you very much.
Coming up, Instagram is testing the idea of hiding how many likes your posts get. Will you like that or not?
GORANI: Well, as business and investment booms in -- on some parts of the African continent, one company in Kenya is helping local entrepreneurs take
their ideas to another level.
In this edition of Innovate Africa, we look at Gearbox which provides workspace for engineers, artists, and even inventors. Take a look.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just outside Nairobi City Center, a manufacturing revolution is underway.
KAMAU GACHIGI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GEARBOX: Gearbox is a space that enables people who have ideas to come and actually make them amount of
We put machines together and provided people access to a membership model, so that they can come in and share this platform for the purpose of making
GIOKOS: 3D printing laser cutting, metal working, these are just a few of the tools available here to take an idea from conception to production.
GACHIGI: We like to describe our machines as consistent with the fourth industrial revolution. And also to make a circuitry, electronic circuitry
and we're hoping to be able to expand more into biology as well.
GIOKOS: Kamau Gachigi came up with the idea of Gearbox while teaching engineering at the University of Nairobi.
GACHIGI: The very first version, I guess, of gearbox was at the University of Nairobi where we set up what's called a Fablab. And it was a great
success. In fact, a lot of them ended up developing products that could earn money.
GIOKOS: Today, the co-working ecosystem helps companies from energy, technology, to wearables get their product to market faster and cheaper.
GACHIGI: The model that we apply is a little bit like a gym. So you come in and get a membership and that allows you like $100 a month can allow you
access every single day, $40 a month can allow you access two days a week for that month.
You design whatever you need to cut out of a shape of metal on the computer and then you send that to the machine and the machine will, exactly and
precisely, cut exactly what it is that you've designed.
Through examples and through like shared information around success of certain individuals who have had really interesting innovation. It
inspires others to be able to sort of think outside of the box and be more bolder.
I think of Roy Allela who was inspired by the fact that his niece was born deaf and mute, and he developed a system that allows people who are deaf
and mute to be able to use gloves and he has some sensors on the fingers.
And as they sign, his system, using artificial intelligence is able to interpret the signals into speech. And as they sign voices speaking out
everything that they're saying.
Our vision is for a mushroom industries and localities across the country and across the continent. That really is our goal to make
industrialization a grassroots type of phenomenon on the continent.
GORANI: And we'll be right back.
GORANI: For months now, Instagram has been testing out the idea of hiding likes from its platform in some countries. And now, the social media
service is about to do the same for a portion of users in the U.S. starting this week.
The company CEO says the move is aimed at depressurizing the platform especially for younger users.
Our business reporter, Hadas Gold, joins me here in the studio.
How is this idea playing out?
HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Well, there's been some interesting reactions out there from different types of celebrities, for example, Cardi
B., the rapper. She said she's not happy with it. And she had an interesting note.
She said if Instagram is trying to reduce the sort of harmful content on its platform, then the likes is actually not the place that should be
focused on. They should be actually focusing on the comments, which is where you get a lot of the racist abuse, the things like that that she said
she has experienced.
Other celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and Tracee Ellis Ross, praised it, said it would be helpful for people's mental health. But how this will
work is essentially if you're one of the people who are going to be tested this on, you'll get a message on your Instagram, saying that they're
testing out a new way to show likes and then you'll still be able to see how many likes you yourself or, for example, your dog get it on their
But that will be public. All people will see is maybe some of their fellow friends and comment, they all selected as well, but they won't see the
total number. Everything else will pretty much look the same.
But I mean, this social media influence has rely so much on this, right? It's like their entire self-worth, social media self-worth rests upon the
number of likes, because it tells you how popular you are.
GOLD: Yes, that's a big question. A lot of these influence or these are the people who sell posts to get it sponsored through ads with different
companies or products or something like that.
They're particularly concerned about this, because they're worried that if you can't see the number of likes regarding on a post, maybe a company
won't want to advertise with them, maybe something will somehow change the algorithm and they won't get as much engagement. They're worried about
But Instagram is saying they're doing this for people's mental health. They say, we want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share,
not how many likes to get.
What I find interesting though is that the social media companies, a few years ago, do you remember when they launched these likes, you could heard
something. It was all about engagement. It's all about getting you more involved, keeping you on the platform as long as possible. And now,
they're starting to backtrack some of these because they're criticized on hos it's affecting people's mental health.
GORANI: Well -- but the comments remain, right?
GOLD: Exactly. That's an issue. The comments remain.
Now, Instagram has trialed some new products that they say are going to try and prevent people from it, for example, posting bullying comments. But
obviously, you will still be free to do so if you want to.
And other people say the whole element of social media is what's the issue here, because it's showing the sort of not real reality of this sort of
filter image of what life is like, and that is what they're saying is actually affecting people.
GORANI: Well, it's really interesting. It'll be interesting to see. I mean, if -- I don't know about you. But, you know, on Instagram, if I post
something, I do look at the number of likes because it tells me what people are interested to see (INAUDIBLE)
GOLD: So if you get no likes, that will affect how you feel about it as well.
GORANI: Hadas, thanks very much.
Hadas, did you ever watch "Jeopardy" when you are in the U.S.?
GOLD: I did.
GORANI: I watched "Jeopardy" from the first probably show. I'm older than you. And I have a very big soft spot for Alex Trebek. And he's normally
unflappable. But a kind message from a contestant on jeopardy clearly got to him. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX TREBEK, AMERICAN-CANADIAN TELEVISION PERSONALITY: What is we love you -- that's very kind. Thank you.
(INAUDIBLE) 1995. You left with five bucks. OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, oh, gosh, that really got to me, I have to say when I saw it online today. That contestant bet most of his money to share that touching
message of support after Trebek told contestants that he was reentering treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Initially, he announced his diagnosis back in March. He's gotten a tremendous outpouring of support from fans. That was lovely, Hadas.
GOLD: He was lovely. He's such a nice guy.
GORANI: I know. He's such a nice guy and we really, really hope that the treatment that he's getting this time certainly will be the treatment that
he needs because he made that announcement initially in March and that he was feeling better and now he's reentering a treatment program.
So best wishes to Alex Trebek and thanks to all of you for watching tonight. There is a lot more ahead after a quick break.
I'm Hala Gorani. From the team and myself, thanks for being with us this evening.
After a quick break, all your business and stock market news on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Richard is in London.