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Hala Gorani Tonight
Last Presidential Debate Before Iowa Caucuses Airs Tonight On CNN; Protests Erupt In Beirut Tonight; Iran Nuclear Deal May Expire In 35 Days; Cybersecurity Firm: Burisma Breached By Military Hackers; Hours Away: U.S. Democratic Candidates To Spar In Debate; Tense Moments As Protesters Demand New Government; Sources: Duchess Didn't Dial In To Crisis Meeting. Aired 2- 3p ET
Aired January 14, 2020 - 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 HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London on this Tuesday, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, we are only hours until the last Democratic debate before the first primary votes, just as Nancy Pelosi gets ready to set the impeachment
trial in motion.
Also, a Ukrainian company that employed Joe Biden's son gets hacked: Are Russians looking for dirt on the Democratic frontrunner?
And the Harry and Meghan saga continues. Find out why the duchess of Sussex was not on the royal crisis call.
It is another huge day in U.S. politics, with critical developments involving both President Trump and the Democratic candidates battling for
the chance to replace him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just set the stage for the final phase of Mr. Trump's impeachment. She says House lawmakers will vote tomorrow,
Wednesday, on sending articles of impeachment to the Senate where the president will face trial.
Several Democratic presidential candidates will be jurors in that trial, including some of the ones running for president, Bernie Sanders and
Elizabeth Warren. They are among six top Democrats getting ready to square off, just hours from now, in a televised debate that you can watch right
here on CNN.
We'll go live to the debate hall in just a moment. But first, more on the news that Nancy Pelosi is finally making her move. She withheld those
articles of impeachment for weeks, you'll remember, as a tactic to try to stop what she calls a cover-up effort in the Republican-led Senate. It was
all about being able to call witnesses before the rules of the trial were determined.
Lauren Fox joins me now, live from Capitol Hill. Why did Nancy Pelosi go ahead and decide that now is the right time?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, Hala, a nearly month-long standoff, finally coming to an end. We expect tomorrow. Now, Nancy Pelosi
had long said she wanted to extract a fair process out of the Senate's impeachment leaders.
But what we know is that she really didn't get any major gains from this. Essentially, she's going to send over those House impeachment managers
tomorrow. Then they will actually physically march those articles of impeachment over to the Senate, there will be a procedural swearing-in of
both the chief justice and U.S. senators, shortly after either Thursday or Friday.
TEXT: Next Steps Expected This Week: House managers selected; House votes to formally send articles to the Senate; House managers hand-deliver
articles to Senate lawmakers;
FOX: Then there's going to be a brief public pause where you'll expect that House managers and the president's defense team will have to file
TEXT: Next Steps Expected This Week: Briefs prepared by lawyers on each side; Chief Justice Roberts sworn in as trial's presiding officer; Senators
sworn in as jurors
FOX: Then, next Tuesday, we expect that the Senate impeachment trial could formally get under way with the House managers making their arguments, and
of course the president's defense team making theirs. That's likely the first time we'll see sort of the public pomp and circumstance that you
would expect from the Senate impeachment trial -- Hala.
GORANI: And how long is a trial like this expected to last? Because this hasn't happened often in U.S. history. Could it be weeks?
FOX: Well, Hala, I think that's the number one question on a lot of senators' minds, especially those who are anxious to get back on the
presidential campaign trail. You have to remember, people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they're going to be sitting in the chamber,
likely without cell phones, unable to talk for days and perhaps weeks.
Now, it's still unclear exactly how long this trial will take, but we expect that the House managers will have a few days to make their
presentation; the president's defense team will make their presentation; there'll be some time for senators to have questions.
And then of course some of those anticipated votes, whether or not lawmakers want to have witnesses. If they do, if there are four Republicans
willing to cross the line across party lines and vote with Democrats on witnesses, then this could stretch perhaps even longer than a month.
But if lawmakers say, you know what, we've heard enough, this could be all over in less than two weeks -- Hala. Still unclear.
GORANI: All right. Yes, Lauren Fox, still many questions surrounding this process. Thanks very much.
Let's bring in CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart in New York. And Joe was press secretary during the Clinton administration.
And you were press secretary the day after President Clinton was impeached, and you held a news conference, which is not something -- or briefing, I
should say -- which is not something that we're getting from the current White House. What do you think is going on now in the White House, as the
Senate prepares to hear this case?
JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think primarily, they're trying to figure out what defense they're going to use. A lot of the
defenses that the Republicans in the House used have been debunked.
And they're caught in a little bit of a bind because the one defense that I think had some power to it was that you haven't -- there's no one that has
firsthand corroboration of what the president did except for the president --
LOCKHART: -- you know, the transcript of the call. But you can't use that argument but then say we shouldn't have witnesses. And that's the central
part of this.
You know, I think the one thing that I take exception with, what Lauren said, is I actually think Pelosi got a lot out of this last month. She
changed the narrative of --
GORANI: How so?
LOCKHART: -- she changed the narrative of what the trial is. Before, it was, is the president going to be exonerated or not, will he be removed or
not. And that was a foregone conclusion.
In fact, what we now have is an argument over whether it's going to be a fair trial or a cover-up. And during that time period, John Bolton said he
was willing to testify. And now, according to reports -- multiple reports - - there's anywhere between --
LOCKHART: -- four to six Republicans who are feeling the pressure and have said they're open to witnesses. That's a lot.
GORANI: Yes. Is that because some of these Republicans -- and I imagine that would be Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate's
strategy, or at least his hoped-for outcome, is that some of these Republican senators, in states where the notion or the idea of calling
witnesses is popular, will feel under a certain amount of pressure to support that idea.
LOCKHART: Yes. There's five or six Republicans who are up for re-election this year, ranging from Colorado, Maine, Arizona, and there are now
multiple polls out, showing that 70 percent of the American public want to see John Bolton testify, want live witnesses. They see it as a cover-up if
they don't. These -- that 70 percent, they're voters. So these Republicans are under pressure.
And then you've got some people who are institutionalists like Mitt Romney, Lamar Alexander from Tennessee, who's retiring, so you know, there's a
little bit of he doesn't care, he'll do what he thinks is right. So it's -- you know, it is not a foregone conclusion that they're going to wrap the --
be able to wrap this up quickly.
GORANI: Yes. But -- and Lauren was mentioning that obviously, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are sitting senators, they'll have to take part
in this whole process. They're campaigning to be the Democratic nominee.
Potentially -- I mean, even though they support the idea of impeachment -- this could harm them politically, especially with Joe Biden still very much
LOCKHART: Yes. It is a very tough circumstance for the three sitting senators, Warren, Sanders and Klobuchar, which heightens the importance of
tonight's CNN debate. This -- you know, they --
LOCKHART: -- will -- they have between tonight and whatever they do tonight and probably through this weekend, and that's really the last time
they'll be able to go out there and campaign, except on Sundays.
Because under the Senate rules, this trial starts every morning at 10:00 a.m. and it goes Monday through Saturday, six days a week. And, you know,
as Lauren was saying, they don't have phones, they can't speak, they can't give speeches from the floor. So it's just -- you know, among other things,
really heightens the drama of tonight's debate.
GORANI: And do they have to sit through the whole thing or can they peel off and campaign for a little bit and then come back, how does it work?
LOCKHART: No, they -- again, under Senate rules, they are required to be in the chamber for those eight hours every day. I mean, of course they can
take a break and go to the bathroom or go, you know, take an emergency call, but it is not optional.
It's not like a Senate vote, where you can make the political judgment of, well, I'm just not going to show for that vote because I've got something
more important to do. As as senator, they are required and if they're not there, theoretically the sergeant-at-arms is supposed to go get them and
drag them back into the room.
GORANI: All right. Well, we'll see if that will become necessary.
LOCKHART: I don't think so.
GORANI: We're seeing a live feed -- right (ph) (INAUDIBLE). We're seeing a live feed from Des Moines, Iowa for that very, very important -- as you
mentioned, Joe Lockhart -- CNN Democratic presidential debate. What do you expect to see tonight? What does each candidate need to do, particularly
LOCKHART: Well, I mean, this debate, the "Des Moines Register" debate in conjunction with CNN this time, is really, traditionally for people in
Iowa, the real kickoff of the Iowa caucuses. It's three weeks, it starts a sprint toward the end.
Again, for Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren, they really have to score tonight because they're going to be in Washington for much of the next three weeks,
I believe. I think that Warren and Sanders will, early on, figure out how to put their differences aside and turn their attention to Joe Biden and
His task is to make sure that he keeps looking forward and doesn't spend all night defending his Iraq vote.
For Klobuchar, you know, and for Steyer, they need a breakout moment. They need something that says, wow, we need to take another look at them. I
think Klobuchar's much more likely to have that tonight. But if she doesn't, then I think she's in trouble.
GORANI: Yes. Thank you very much, Joe Lockhart. Really appreciate having you on the program.
And I want to show our viewers the latest Monmouth poll for Iowa. Biden, the frontrunner, with 24 percent; Sanders at 18 percent; Buttigieg -- Pete
Buttigieg -- at 17 percent and Elizabeth Warren -- and again, this is for Iowa -- among likely Democratic caucus-goers, 15 percent.
And Bernie Sanders, who's in second position in Iowa, is touring the stage right now, is taking a look at where everybody will be standing and how
everything is set up there on the stage.
And in Des Moines is where we find Leyla Santiago. And she can join us now with more of a preview on what to expect. Our viewers around the world,
Leyla, will be able to watch this debate on CNN. Tell us what to expect.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, a few things you want to look out for on the stage. As was mentioned earlier, that tension, that
rising tension between Senator Bernie Sanders as well as Senator Warren, given the last 48 hours, the exchanges that they've had and the pretty big
We're going to wait and see exactly how they handle that on the debate stage. I imagine people will be watching their every move, from the moment
they step out to how they shake each other's hand at the beginning.
You also want to watch out, foreign policy, how Biden handles that and how the rest of the Democrats on stage respond. Right now, in the latest
Quinnipiac poll, it showed that 51 percent of voters are not happy with the way that President Trump handled Iran. So they will likely play to that.
And then a few more things. I know we've talked about impeachment and the impact that could have, especially for the three senators -- Senator
Klobuchar, Senator Warren and Sanders -- you know, as a result of that, you may see Klobuchar being a bit more aggressive because this could be sort of
her last big chance before she goes straight to D.C.
She typically has a lot of events in Iowa, so she's the first one to tout that she's been to 99 of the counties, all of the counties here in Iowa.
But really, in the last few days, she's been pretty silent as she's been preparing for the debate stage, tonight, here in Des Moines.
And one more thing that I want to point out. And that is, where we started months ago -- with such a diverse group of candidates -- and where we are
today, six candidates on the stage, two are women. Andrew Yang, not on the stage. So really, quite a difference from what we started almost a year
GORANI: Right, yes. It's been a while, when we had to actually have debates in two parts over two days, there were so many contenders. Thanks
very much, Leyla Santiago.
Well, six -- as Leyla mentioned -- Democratic candidates will take part in the next presidential debate, hosted by CNN and the "Des Moines Register,"
coming up in just under seven hours, 9:00 p.m. in New York, that's 2:00 a.m. here in London and the middle of the night in Europe and the Middle
East. But we will be, of course, breaking it down for you and analyzing all the important moments on CNN the following day.
Now, to Lebanon, with an economy in shambles, no real government, effectively. Protestors are calling for a week of anger, and this is what's
going on today.
Demonstrators blocked highways and marched to the home of the man designated to be prime minister. They are not letting these elected
leaders, or in fact these appointed leaders, off the hook. Hassan Diab was appointed last month, he hasn't taken office. The protests began last fall
over the country's crumbling economy.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Beirut, which -- where what started as a financial crisis has turned into a political crisis. And you're wearing a gas mask, I
see. Talk to us about what's going on where you are.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes (ph), Hala, we are on Hamra Street, which is Beirut's equivalent of Fifth Avenue. And
right behind me, we have protestors who are breaking the windows of the bank of Beirut because much of the anger here is focused at the banking
system, which many people blame for the country's economic woes.
What you've seen in Lebanon is the local currency, the lira, has lost 60 percent of its value since these protests broke out 90 days ago.
Increasingly, many people saying they don't get paid at all or they're only getting half salaries. The economy is in basic freefall.
And after weeks of relative quiet, what we're seeing now, Hala, is what is being described as a week of rage. And that's definitely rage going on
behind me, as they're breaking the windows of the Bank of Beirut.
And if we just swing around here, here's another bank that was attacked by the protestors as well. And some of the banks, we see that they've spray-
painted the slogan, (INAUDIBLE). In other words, "The banks are thieves."
Now, just down the road from us are Lebanese riot police who have been firing volley after volley of tear gas at these protestors here in the
heart of Beirut, and it doesn't appear that, even though it's about 9:30 at night here, that these protests are going to be coming to an end any time
soon -- Hala.
GORANI: And, Ben, who are the people -- I mean, I can see that they're demonstrators, but the crowds are quite thin. Who, by and large, are the
demonstrators right now who are doing things like breaking windows and venting their anger that way?
WEDEMAN: Well, let me first explain. Earlier in the day, we were at another march, other demonstration where it was very much a middle-class,
middle-aged people protesting outside the home of Hassan Diab, the designate (ph) prime minister.
Now, it's predominantly mostly young men in their late teens and 20s. And of course, they're the ones who are feeling the pinch more than any because
the unemployment rate is very high, there's very little chance of many of these young men and women getting a job. And therefore, this may go some
way to explain why they are going beyond peaceful protests and marches to something a little more active than that -- Hala.
GORANI: And you're wearing a gas mask, why? Are authorities responding with tear gas? What's going on on the side of the authorities trying to
control the crowd?
WEDEMAN: I think I've lost Hala. I've lost Hala.
GORANI: Yes. Ben, can you hear me?
WEDEMAN: Here, can you just check this?
GORANI: All right. That was Ben Wedeman there, on Hamra Street, central Beirut, really, with a lot of commotion all around him, protestors. He
mentioned the fact that they were not representative of the larger crowds earlier in the day, where more middle-aged people and a more diverse crowd
was marching to the home of the prime minister-designate.
But protestors tonight, much younger, angry young men, smashing windows of the Bank of Beirut and other storefronts as well. We lost communications
there with Ben, but we will get back to him if we can, a little bit later in the hour.
Still to come tonight, it appears Russia has done it again. This time, the company at the center of Donald Trump's impeachment drama is targeted. What
the hackers are look for, next.
Plus, Iran under more pressure. The President promises action over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner while the nuclear deal hangs
by a thread. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Iran is taking action after last week's mistaken shootdown of a Ukrainian airliner. The government says it has arrested several people over
the disaster, which killed 76 passengers and crew and prompted days of protests.
President Hassan Rouhani today called it an unforgivable error and said a special court will investigate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): We have never had such an event taking place, so I wish to once again sympathize with the
bereaved families of the victims. And I announce that we will duly (ph) follow up in order to detect all aspects of the event and punishing those
responsible. And also, giving assurances to the people that such an event will not happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And Iran is under new pressure. Britain, France and Germany are now accusing it of breaking its commitments under the nuclear agreement,
and began a process that could end the deal, which is already, by the way, pretty much on life support.
Let's get some more insight on all of this. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in Abu Dhabi and Nina dos Santos is here with me.
What's likely to be the reaction of Iran, with these European countries making these statements -- Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: We already have an indication from Javad Zarif, the foreign minister. He has described them as
a strategic mistake, as a wrong step. They've also been described as, you know, essentially unhelpful.
He's saying that the -- Zarif is saying that there's no legal basis for doing this. And also, I think the Russians are weighing as well, and saying
that they don't see this -- they don't see this as an appropriate and the right measure to be taking at the moment.
So the first indications are not very helpful. The reality is, Iran's in a tough position so they are saying they are going to consider this further
and get back with their response.
GORANI: And, Nic, we have Nina here with us as well. And the U.K. prime minister, Boris Johnson, has some interesting ideas about what kind of deal
he believes would actually get the support of the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: The problem with the agreement is that from the American perspective, it's a flawed agreement,
it expires. Plus it was negotiated by President Obama, and it has made -- from their point of view, it has many, many faults.
Well, if we're going to get rid of it, let's replace it and let's replace it with the Trump deal --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK --
JOHNSON: -- that's what we need to see. And I think that would be a great way forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, does he want a Trump deal? Is he playing to Trump's ego? Does he think that's the one kind of gimmicky name he could give to it that
would get Trump's support?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think he's probably betting on the fact that if you put the name "Trump" in, the United States' president
might be a bit more amenable to this kind of deal --
DOS SANTOS: -- but we don't really know what a so-called Trump deal on Iran would actually entail at this point.
Hala, what we do know is that part of the issues the the current administration in the United States has always had with the JCPOA, the Iran
nuclear deal, is that they feel that it focuses too much on the whole issue of nuclear proliferation, trying to curtail Iran's ambitions, nuclear
And with the 2015 accord, it had appeared as though the Obama administration had tried to do that in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump's administration then abandoned that in 2018, and the bad blood started.
Effectively, what we know so far is that the E.U.'s three power statements (ph) -- Germany, France, the United Kingdom today -- basically gives this
deal only 35 more days on life support. You heard Boris Johnson say, well, that's all good and well as long as we've got something to replace it with,
something that the United States might be more amenable to --
DOS SANTOS: -- could (ph) be (ph) something that would involve curtailing the proxy militia activities that Iran has funded in other countries
allegedly, and also curtailing ballistic missile programs as well.
GORANI: Right. Well, Boris Johnson thinks -- or hopes and is saying -- that it's highly probable the U.K. will get a trade deal with the E.U.
before the end of the year, so he's a very optimistic man when it comes to deals.
And I want to ask you, Nic Robertson, about these arrests related to the accidental shoot-down of the Ukrainian airliner that killed so many
innocent people. Who has been arrested?
ROBERTSON: That's the problem, we don't know. And this is the key here, transparency. Iran is under huge pressure from the British government,
Ukrainian government, the Canadian prime minister, the Swedish prime minister.
You name the international leader, they've been telling Iran, if you want to do this right by the victims of this crash, you need to have a
transparent investigation. There needs to be clarity, investigators need to get full access.
Well, if you're going to have a transparent investigation, you're going to put people on trial and hold them accountable, then you need to begin by
starting to say who you've arrested and what you arrested them for.
And so far, we don't know if it's the people that pushed the button that fired the missile in the air, that brought down their aircraft; or was it
their commander, who called up higher command and said, can we do this; or was it the commanders at the very sort of outset, if you will, who didn't
make the call, saying, ground all civilian aircraft.
So while Rouhani, President Rouhani is saying that the world is watching us, the government is accountable, that we'll make sure that this won't
happen again, the sort of confidence measures to bring the international community to believing that that's the case, they're not there yet. Maybe
we're going to hear more in the coming days, but at the moment, those facts are absent.
GORANI: And Nina, quickly with you, Europe has been trying to salvage this Iran nuclear deal since the U.S. walked away from it. Now they're choosing
to tighten the screws and put the pressure on. Why?
DOS SANTOS: Probably to capitalize on the sense of urgency here, essentially, strike while the iron's hot after, of course, Iran has had to
admit the shooting down of this Ukrainian Airlines plane. And also after, of course, somebody who has allegedly been linked to so many of these proxy
militia activities in other countries -- Qasem Soleimani -- has now been out of the picture, if you like.
But there have been a couple of things that Iran has been doing over the last year or so that have agitated and irritated the parties who have
signed onto this JCPOA.
Back in May of 2019, Iran said that it was no longer going to be exporting, selling off its enriched uranium or its hard water. That concerned people
because it meant that Iran could start stockpiling enriched uranium.
And then also, Iran, back on January the 5th -- so this is about a month after the E.U. powers voiced their concerns about some of these issues --
Iran abandoned its restrictions on centrifuges and the level of enrichment of this nuclear (ph) material --
GORANI: By the way --
DOS SANTOS: -- that's really the clinch pin (ph).
GORANI: -- I understand, Nic, you're not 100 percent in agreement with Nina on this?
ROBERTSON: I think Nina and I are both on the same track. I kind of see it perhaps through the immediacy of the prism of what's happening here, the
view from within the Middle East, let's say, and the view of the United States' allies in the region.
Look, I think there's a great concern in this region that no one knows what the United States' next plan is, that there's this (ph) 12 (ph) points that
they want Iran to sign up to, that they keep heaping sanctions on Iran. But there's no sense that the United States has a real plan to go forward here.
I think what -- the way I would read this is, is that the E3 -- Germany, France, United Kingdom -- are really trying to take the diplomatic
initiative here. Because if they don't start a diplomatic track, then the only way that this is going -- and this is on an escalating trajectory of
tensions between the United States and Iran since President Trump came to office.
There are little plateaus, like last week after the Iranians fired their response and those missiles missed U.S. troops, that was a kind of a little
plateau. But the tension graph, if you will, is going up. And the Europeans are taking the initiative to try to find a diplomatic route.
Nobody knows where it's going to go, nobody knows how many steps it can take. It will likely lead to the U.N. Security Council, or perhaps crash
(ph). But if they don't do this, then the other alternative is to wobble on as it has been, and stagger towards the next military confrontation.
GORANI: All right. Nic Robertson and Nina dos Santos, thanks very much.
So if you're a U.S. citizen in Egyptian custody and those who support you say you are being jailed on spurious charges after a sham trial, would the
United States come to your rescue? Well, in the case of Mustafa Kassem, they did not. The U.S. department official, though, who was asked about it,
calls the death of this American citizen in Egyptian custody "needless, tragic and avoidable."
Fifty-four-year-old Mustafa Kassem died of heart failure after a hunger strike. He'd been held for years in a Cairo prison, arrested while visiting
family in 2013 as part of a crackdown on protests against a military coup.
Kassem denied any role in the demonstrations and had pleaded with Donald Trump to intervene in his case. No comment from the White House on Mustafa
Still to come tonight:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've never said a negative word about Elizabeth Warren, who is a friend of mine. We have
differences on issues, that's what campaign is about. But no one is going to be attacking Elizabeth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Once friends, now, are they rivals? Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren take the the debate stage very soon, but it's what he reportedly
said in a private meeting that has Bernie Sanders on the defense.
And looking for an end to the U.S.-China trade war? Washington has closed the currency front. But which massive economy is actually winning the trade
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Cybersecurity researchers say Russian military hackers have attacked the Ukrainian energy company at the heart of the Trump impeachment
scandal. A top American Democrat says it appears the Russians are at it again, with an eye towards helping President Trump.
"The New York Times" first reported the story, their Washington correspondent spoke to Anderson Cooper about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NEW YORK TIMES CORRESPONDENT: The fear here is that what they're looking for is the same kind of dirt that Donald Trump wanted from
Ukraine when he pressed them to open an investigation into Burisma, and that, you know, you're looking at a repeat potentially of 2016 when the
Russians will get some dirt like they got on John Podesta's e-mails and then weaponized that, used that to spread around to create embarrassment to
kind of help their guy in this case, Trump. And hurt the Democrats.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, it's remarkable. It is essentially, according to your reporting, the same playbook that the Russians ran
against Democrats four years ago and it's now happening again.
ROSENBERG: It sort of looks like it. And, you know, look, I think one of the things we all have to remember here is that disinformation such as is
this is only really effective when it's based on something real. And when you just put out a fake story, there's an ample amount of evidence that
people tend to dismiss it at this point. People are dumb.
When you take something that's real, you spin it, you create an echo chamber to kind of blast it around the internet and amplify it, that can
have an effect. And the Russians know this and it looks like they're looking for that real information to use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Matthew Rosenberg is a New York Times reporter who reported this story.
Hadas Gold is here with me.
How did they -- what do we know about how these hackers broke into the servers, the Burisma servers?
HADAS GOLD, CNN MEDIA AND BUSINESS REPORTER: So this information is from Area One, which is a cybersecurity firm. And they say that they noticed
that starting in November that essentially the same tactics were used on the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign are being used
on Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.
Pretty much what they do is they make these e-mails and they send it to employees of the company that look like the actual log and their e-mails
might be coming from their employer.
They then send them to pretty much a dummy website that looks like your exact log in you would use to log into your employer's system. We all have
these systems from our workplaces that sometimes you have to log in again once you get to the web browser. You might get e-mails from them.
And so pretty much what happens though is by entering in their information, they're just giving away their passwords and usernames to the system, to
the internal systems.
Now, it's not clear what they were looking for, or if they found anything. All this company says they see is that they saw these dummy sites set up
and that's how they figured out that it was likely this Russian military hacker unit, GRU, that we've heard so much about from the 2016 election who
was behind it.
Now, we can probably make some assumptions perhaps about what they might have been looking for because November, when they started doing this, that
was when all of this talk about impeachment, about the Ukraine, the connection between Ukraine and the Bidens and Donald Trump asking for an
investigation into all of this.
So you can imagine that there might have been some information there that maybe somebody was looking for, maybe the Russians were looking for that
could potentially help them.
Now, of course, the Biden campaign has come out and saying that this proves that both Donald Trump and Putin understand the true stakes of the
election, that Putin obviously sees Joe Biden as a threat. So they're using this to try to paint, again, the picture that Joe Biden is the one that the
Russians don't want to be elected president.
GORANI: And how did they trace this back to the Russians? How do they know or how could they point fingers at the GRU, for instance?
GOLD: Well, first of all, it's the telltale signs. It's the exact same method as was used in the 2016 election against the DNC and against the
Clinton campaign. So that's one thing.
And one thing that cybersecurity experts say is that the Russians tend to once they have a system, they tend to just stick with it and use it over
and over again.
And actually what's really amazing is that this isn't some super sophisticated crazy hacking system. They're pretty much creating dummy
websites and using social skills. Tricking people into making them put in their own information. This isn't some intense hacking system. This is
literally just human error.
GORANI: But if you're -- I mean, if these -- if these e-mail addresses look exactly like e-mail addresses that are familiar to you, how can you tell --
like if I get an e-mail from at Hadas, you know, blah blah, blah, blah.com, and I'm used to seeing your e-mail address, could that be some way to trick
GOLD: So often these phishing attempts, the e-mail address looks similar but might be off by just one letter, maybe one punctuation point, something
like that looks very different. And so cybersecurity experts say, always be wary of everything you get. Most places will not send you a link to then
And you should always -- if you do get a link like that in an e-mail, go to the website on your own. Type in the address that you know on your own. And
then when you do potentially get a link and you open it up, look at the web address and see does it match what you're used to seeing? Most of the time
we just do things automatically. We don't even think about it. And that's where a lot of people get into trouble.
GORANI: Yes. And some of these banking scams, for instance, they really send very believable and legitimate-looking text messages, for instance,
where they ask you to provide. But I guess it should be a red flag. Log into this website or click on this link. That right there should be a red
GOLD: Always go independently. And what we're seeing more and more, these hacking attempts, they're sophisticated. What they're doing is they're
preying on our own human errors and our own human mistakes.
GORANI: Hadas Gold, thanks very much for that.
The Chinese Yuan strengthened today top its highest level in months after the U.S. removed China from its list of currency manipulators.
Here's where the Yuan stands right now. U.S. president, you see it there up only a tenth of a percent now, but it had gained a little bit earlier in
the day. And Donald Trump and senior Chinese officials are expected to sign an initial deal tomorrow.
Take a look at U.S. markets. Stocks open slightly lower Tuesday, earnings reporting season kicked off today. There was some disappointment which
explains the levels. Investors are also keeping an eye out for details of that phase one trade agreement with China.
And let's go to Paul La Monica in New York. But why aren't we seeing more enthusiasm on the markets now that we're approaching a phase one signature?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN DIGITAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think that the phase one deal has pretty much been priced into the stock market at this point, Hala.
There's been obviously a lot of optimism about the fact that the U.S. and China have reached a bit of a detente in their, you know, tense trade,
talks over the past year or so.
But it is good news, I think, that the U.S. and China have, you know, agreed in the sense that the U.S. is taking China off the currency
manipulation list. Because China has often been accused of trying to keep the Yuan low in order to boost imports -- boost exports, excuse me, and
make their goods more valuable to other countries.
Now that the Trump administration seems to be walking back those tough talks about China and devaluing its currency, that let the Chinese currency
float at a more reasonable valuation, and it's actually going up.
GORANI: All right. Paul La Monica, thanks very much. We'll talk again after the deal is signed or after phase one is signed, I should say. We're still
not talking about a final deal yet.
Back now to one of our top stories. Just hours from now U.S. democratic presidential candidates will hold their final debate before the first
voting contest in the nation, the Iowa caucuses. With so much at stake, we can expect some sparks to fly in this debate hall in Iowa.
Many viewers will be watching to see if Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders spar over a controversial 2018 meeting that is making
headlines this week.
M.J. Lee has that story.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's bring out my friend, Bernie Sanders.
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In December of 2018, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were getting ready to launch
their presidential campaigns.
The two friends knew they could soon be competing for the democratic nomination in 2020 when they met privately at Warren's Washington, D.C.,
The pair believed tearing each other down could hurt the progressive movement and agreed to avoid attacking one another. Warren telling Sanders
she would be a strong candidate to beat President Trump by making a case about the economy and earning broad support among women.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that there are certain number of people who would like to see a woman elected, and I
LEE: Still, Sanders told Warren he did not believe a woman could win, according to four sources, two people Warren spoke with directly and two
others familiar with the meeting.
Sanders himself forcefully denying the characterization as ludicrous, saying in a statement to CNN, "It's sad that three weeks before the Iowa
caucus, and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened. Do I believe a woman can win in
2020? Of course. After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by three million votes in 2016."
FAIZ SHAKIR, SANDERS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I don't believe Elizabeth Warren has commented on it or said it directly, it is because it is a lie. Bernie
Sanders has always fought and stood for women.
LEE: The details of this conversation surfacing amid revelations first reported by Politico that volunteers for the Sanders campaign were given
scripted talking points criticizing Warren and suggesting her supporters are elitist.
SANDERS: I have never said a negative word about Elizabeth Warren, who is a friend of mine. We have differences on issues. That's what campaign is
about. But no one is going to be attacking Elizabeth Warren.
LEE: Warren responding over the weekend that she was disappointed that Sanders sent out volunteers to, quote, trash her. And her campaign is now
fundraising off of the report.
WARREN: We need someone who will excite every part of the Democratic Party, someone that every Democrat can believe in.
I hope Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction.
LEE: With only three weeks until the Iowa caucuses, the Sanders campaign is going on offence, lobbing attacks against Joe Biden. Sanders senior
campaign adviser, Jeff Weaver, releasing a statement targeting Biden's record on the Iraq war writing, "It is appalling that after 18 years, Joe
Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq war."
And Sanders national co-chair, Nina Turner, penning a South Carolina op-ed, bashing Biden's record with African-Americans, claiming Biden has
repeatedly betrayed black voters to side with Republican lawmakers and undermine our progress.
GORANI: All right. A quick look at the debate hall there. Live pictures coming to us from Iowa where this time, it's Elizabeth Warren. Senator
Warren getting a tour of the stage. We saw Bernie Sanders a few minutes ago doing the same. And just getting a feel for the stage and checking out the
podiums and the layout.
Six Democratic candidates will take part in tonight's presidential debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines register. Coming up at 9:00 p.m. New York
time, 2:00 a.m. here in London.
All right. I believe we can go back to Beirut where there were some tense and, in some cases, violent moments in Downtown Beirut. Hamra Street which
is usually a very busy commercial street.
And I can see there were protesters smashing windows, Ben, earlier. What's going on now where you are?
WEDEMAN: OK. We're a little further up the street near the Banque du Liban, the central bank of Lebanon which earlier was the site of an attempt by the
protesters to break through the barriers outside.
But now, we are hearing a bit of smashing of windows up Hamra Street where they're continuing to break the windows of the banks. But behind me are the
riot police who are guarding the approach to the central bank.
Up these streets on my left is where there were protesters who were throwing rocks and fireworks at the police, and you can still hear some of
those rocks coming in. The police were firing a lot of teargas to try to keep them back. But certainly, this is the first time we've seen this kind
of violence in this part of Beirut since these protests broke out 90 days ago.
Lebanon, in addition to be in the process, its economy of collapsing, is politically paralyzed. The government is just a caretaker government.
There's nobody really running the country.
And many of the people you speak to will tell you that the problem in Lebanon, at the moment, is that there's no government to deal with
Lebanon's financial and economic crisis, and, therefore, you have this chaos. Chaos on the streets. Chaos in the economy. Chaos in government.
Chaos in politics. And no apparent attempts being made to resolve any of Lebanon's problems. Hala?
GORANI: Yes. Is that teargas that I'm hearing ...
WEDEMAN: I'm getting a lot of interference. Yes.
GORANI: Is that teargas that I'm hearing being fired behind you? Yes?
WEDEMAN: Yes, that is correct. That is teargas. It is incredibly thick with teargas on this street at the moment. It's like a fog. And if it weren't
for these masks, I don't -- we just really wouldn't be able to function at the moment.
But yes, they've been firing teargas now for at least the last two hours in this normally busy commercial district. Now turned into a battlefield.
GORANI: And what are the protesters doing now as a result of all this teargas being fired their way? Are they retreating? Are they advancing? And
I see the riot police behind you.
WEDEMAN: They're keeping -- the protesters are sometimes moving forward, sometimes trying to confront directly the riot police. Other times moving
back, but they are throwing lots of rocks, lots of rocks, fireworks, bottles in the direction of the riot police.
Now we're following the riot police up Hamra Street. You see the protesters are aiming their lasers at the riot police as they're protesting. This is
the furthest we've seen the riot police come on this road. There you can see somebody's moving. The bench that was normally on the sidewalk now in
the middle of the road. Excuse me. Are you there, Hala?
GORANI: What are the lasers, Ben? What are the lasers that the protesters are using?
WEDEMAN: It's the same sort of lasers we've seen in Egypt, in Hong Kong, and elsewhere. It's a -- the use of the lasers is intended to disturb the
visibility of the police and make it difficult for them to see what's in front of them. You hear him. I think we're about to see -- they're about --
yes, go ahead.
GORANI: I'm just seeing a lot of activity there among the riot police. Just wondering what they're saying to each other.
WEDEMAN: I think the officer in charge is telling his troops to move forward, and that is what they're doing. And right -- they're firing
teargas, and right up the street with a couple hundred meters -- excuse, Christine, you're walking on the teargas.
Just 50 meters ahead of the riot police are some of the protesters who don't seem to be particularly worried about the riot police who honestly
are outnumbered at the moment by the protesters.
So as you can see, the police are trying to move up Hamra.
GORANI: It doesn't appear from these images like there are that many riot police officers. I'm counting maybe a couple dozen. Are there more behind
them or is this it?
WEDEMAN: Well, let me explain sort of the situation. This is one group of riot police on this part of Hamra. There are more up the streets around the
central bank, and there are others in other parts of Beirut, because even though we are at this probably the most violent of the protests, there are
many protests going on down in the central part of the city near Martyr Square and the road that runs adjacent to it.
So, really, what we're seeing is that the riot police simply do not have the resources to try to reestablish order, let alone, maintain it,
maintaining is probably something that's no longer possible.
In fact, here, let me -- let me show you something else. Here, we are inside the bank of Beirut where there's the remains of the glass that was
the facade of this bank, and this is not the only bank that was attacked by the protesters.
And as I explained to you before, many people here in Lebanon blamed the banks for the financial crisis that Lebanon finds it's in. Lebanon had what
essentially amounted to a pyramid scheme, attracting foreign investments in dollars at very high interest rate. The problem was it was a pyramid
As long as they were bringing money in, they could pay money out, but for the last few years, nobody has been putting money in Lebanese banks and the
pyramid scheme is collapsing much to the detriment of ordinary Lebanese who have put their life savings in banks like this. Hala?
GORANI: Ben Wedeman, thank you very much for that coverage. We'll continue to monitor what's going on there and get back to you if -- in the -- in the
next few hours as well. So I'll just let you go now and we're going to take a quick break on CNN and we'll be right back with a lot more from Lebanon
and all our other top stories after this.
GORANI: On Monday, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was expected to call into Queen Elizabeth's crisis meeting from Canada, but sources say she didn't.
CNN Royal Correspondent, Max Foster, has the latest from outside Buckingham Palace.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, royal sources told us that the Duchess of Sussex was expected to dial into this big royal meeting
(INAUDIBLE) but they didn't feel it was necessary in the end, neither the duke or the duchess, in fact, so they went into this meeting clearly
knowing what they wanted and they got what they wanted out to it too because the Queen says they are now in this period of transition out to
their sitting royals and splitting their time between the United Kingdom and Canada.
But now the real work begins. The complicated work as the queen describes it. And Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister spoke to this in an
interview with Canadian T.V., where he talked about early say discussions about the levels of engagement from the royal couple. How involved will
they be in public life?
And off the back of that what sort of security costs, for example, will be required for them? Will the Canadian taxpayer have to pick up that bill or
very complicated issues that need to be worked through in Canada?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: There's still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussex's themselves as to what
level of engagement they choose to have, and these are things that we are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in
that as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Also they raise a cabinet general in Canada, a Canadian whose job it is to represent the queen in Canada. Does that role conflict with the
one that Harry is trying to carve out for himself in the country? These are all things that need to be worked through.
Though the Queen does want an update on initial discussions in the next few days. So we wait to hear. Hala?
GORANI: Max, thanks very much.
Everyone seems to want to talk about this story. Even people who aren't normally interested in the royals. And that kind of a talker, as we call it
in the news room, makes for great fodder for late night comedians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan dropped the banger in mash that they would step back as senior royals and work to
become financially independent. But like many millennials who move out, they will stay on the queen's Verizon family plan.
JIMMY KIMMEL, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Let me get this straight. Royal family is upset that Harry and Meghan want to move out and become financially
independent. Isn't that every parent's dream? To not have their 35-year-old kid still living with them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Thanks for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay tuned for "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."