Return to Transcripts main page
Hala Gorani Tonight
Pegasus Airlines' Accident In Istanbul Points To Pattern; Coronavirus Spread Continues; Sanders And Buttigieg Likely Frontrunners After Iowa; Romney Says He Will Vote To Convict Trump; At Least 120 Injured As Plane Skids Off Runway In Istanbul; Businesses Facing Huge Losses As China Fights Virus; Cathay Pacific Asks Employees To Take Unpaid Leave; First Lady Charged With Killing Husband's Previous Wife. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 05, 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 and welcome, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, we have two major breaking stories: one in Washington, and one in Istanbul. We are two hours away from a historic impeachment vote in the
U.S. Senate. You see a live shot there of the capital, coming in to us from the nation's capital.
And we are watching live, as well, as investigators try to understand why a passenger jet skidded off the runway in Turkey.
We begin with breaking news out of Turkey, after that airplane veered off the runway in Istanbul, broke into three pieces, caught fire on the way
down. Take a look at the dramatic video. The governor of Istanbul says the plane skidded as much as 60 meters. You can see that part of the plane is
in flames there, the weather also bad, we understand, over Istanbul at that time. Then it fell another 30 to 40 meters.
Here's the amazing part. All 179 people on board appear to have survived, 179 passengers on this Pegasus flight, including two children and four
Now, ambulances and rescue crews swarmed the scene, shortly afterwards. And look at this, this is what the plane looked like when the flames were out.
So you can clearly see, it is in three pieces, the nose of the plane, completely just cut off from the body, the main body of the airplane, and
then a crack there at the very end, close to the tail. So three distinct pieces.
Officials say at least 120 people were hospitalized. Jomana Karadsheh is live now from Istanbul. And, Jomana, just first of all, the miraculous news
here that no one died, no fatalities. What more can you tell us about this accident?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, Hala, this is what we're hearing from the Istanbul governor, this is what we're hearing
from the airline. They're saying that there are no fatalities. So far, they say, according to the governor, 120 people have been hospitalized.
But so far, this rescue operation is still ongoing, nearly four hours since this incident took place. They are slowly trying to evacuate those injured
who are still on the plane. As you mentioned, according to the latest figures that we got, 179 people were on board that flight. That included
four cabin crew on there.
Now, it's unclear what caused this to happen. As you said, we're starting, slowly, to get this official information coming out, we know that an
investigation is ongoing.
The latest information in the past few minutes, from the Istanbul governor, he says that basically the plane, upon landing, skidded for about 50 to 60
meters, and then it dropped, it slid off the runway, somehow, by about 30 to 40 meters, into this area where we're seeing it, where you're seeing
that plane, basically, that snapped into three pieces, that stunning -- those stunning images that we are seeing, the video of the plane.
Now, the questions, Hala, that are being asked is, what actually caused this? This is what investigators are looking at. Was this human error? Was
this a technical issue? Was this an issue with the runway? And also, was weather -- did weather play a factor in all of this?
It has been an incredibly rainy and windy day here in Istanbul, so this is -- you know, one of -- this is one of the things that they'll be looking
at. There were thunderstorms taking place around that time.
But it's also worth mentioning, Pegasus Airline, this budget airline, this is not the first incident where they've had a plane skid off the runway.
There was one incident that took place at the same airport, this is Istanbul's second airport, Sabiha Gokcen, another similar incident took
place, but of course not as dramatic as this, there were no casualties in that incident in January, and there were others that took place before.
So there's a lot of questions right now, what may have caused it. We understand that the airspace around Sabiha Airport, that flights that were
supposed to be landing, taking off from there, have bene diverted to the main airport, Istanbul Airport -- Hala.
GORANI: Sure. Now, one thing you said struck me. There are still people on board this plane? Authorities are telling you this is a rescue operation?
Do we know how many? Do we know how badly they're injured, if they're injured? And do we know why, four hours after this incident, there are
still people inside that airplane?
KARADSHEH: The information is really trickling out, really slowly, Hala. We're just getting this drip feed of information coming out from the
officials. I mean, the airline itself, Pegasus Airline, it took more than three hours for them to release a statement. Not much information in that,
other than saying that there were no fatalities and that the injured have been evacuated to hospitals.
Now, it's unclear how many people remain inside the plane. But according to the governor, they say that you've got these -- these rescue workers, these
first responders who are still on the scene and they're trying to get people off the plane, any of the injured who are left in there. It is
unclear how many are on there, what kinds of injuries we're talking about. So we'll have to wait and see if we get any more information on that from
these authorities here -- Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul.
Now, weather radar showed a line of thunderstorms -- Jomana was alluding to those -- moving through the area around the time of the incident.
Meteorologist Tom Sater joins me now. What was the weather like? Jomana was saying there were thunderstorms.
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Hala. I -- with first responders on the scene, you can assume the investigation's already under way. It wasn't just
thunderstorms. We went back and looked at the data. Before, about an hour, even two hours before this plane was arriving, and then at the time of
Infrared satellite imagery, when you look at infrared, these bright colors of purple here, these are the higher colder cloud tops. We've got the spin
right here, it's a classic comma shape. So you've got an area of low pressure, and then its associated cold front, moving right through
When you go back and you look at the flight path, a couple of interesting things here. We're going to get in closer. You can see, start down to the
south in Izmir. As it made its way up toward the airport, it looked like it was going to be able to just get right on into the airport and not have a
problem at that point.
But closer inspection shows, he comes out and is most likely put in a hold patter. This could be maybe to clear other aircraft. When he comes out and
circles here, he's not in the rain. But coming back around, he's now flying directly into a cold front. That cold front is so close to an area of low
pressure, that spin, that it's got to be a little stronger.
And so as he comes in, even to get a little bit closer, we're going to be able to show you a little bit more. When you take a look at the radar, this
is one minute before the plane was arriving. So he comes up, he's circling here, out of the rain, but then drives -- or flies back into the rain shaft
and along that cold front.
Now, he's riding along the strong winds that are hitting the ground and pushing out. However, the direction is important. Two hours before landing,
here's the runway, moving up toward the northeast. Winds were coming in, they're feeding that front, coming in from the southeast.
At the time, however, of the landing, the winds shift dramatically and they pick up in speed, from a good 33 kilometers per hour to 69. So these wind
shifts, at the time of landing, most likely with the loss of visibility, down draft and this heavy rainfall, most likely caused -- or at least was a
part of the issue. No doubt they're looking at this in their investigation. Terrible weather.
GORANI: All right, thanks very much, Tom Sater.
CNN's safety analyst David Soucie joins me now. So, David, when you hear a reporter say they're still trying to get people out of this plane that
broke into three pieces, what does that tell you?
DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, the evacuation process, you have to weigh the differences between the risk of leaving them in versus the risk
of taking them out. And when you take passengers out, remember that -- where that front part came apart and the back tail came off, those are
shards of metal --
SOUCIE: -- They're extremely sharp, extremely difficult to get people in and out. So it's best, sometimes, to just triage in the aircraft before you
take people out. So rest assured that those passengers that are still in that fuselage, are being cared for. It's just that the risk of taking them
out versus leaving them where they are is higher.
GORANI: So they might -- so obviously they might be OK, it's just that getting them out might be too dangerous now and they need to sort of
prepare an orderly and safe rescue?
SOUCIE: Exactly right, exactly right. Because just -- like, I said, just the wires, they need to make sure electricity is turned off, there's no
electricity left in there and there's several batteries throughout the fuselage, a lot of power could still cause damages and injure people.
GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about that video that emerged of the plane skidding off the runway. Before it lands, you can clearly see a ball of
fire, you can clearly see flames on the plane. We're running it again, here, for our viewers. When you see this footage, what does that tell you?
SOUCIE: Well, it actually is -- it appears to me to be happening at the point of impact, not in the air. It appears to happen at the point of
impact, which indicates to me a hard landing or dropped landing, which means that the landing gear can probably not stand that.
It would go right through the landing gear, the landing gear goes up through the wings and causes fire and causes damage to the aircraft. So at
that point, the aircraft is pretty much uncontrollable and just sliding down and letting the energy dissipate as it runs down the runway.
So it's a horribly -- it was a horrific thing for the passengers to go through. And, you know, the fact that there's no injuries is testament to
how good the training was at the airport, the fact that they were there immediately and dealt with this issue immediately, it's just a miracle that
no one was hurt or injured -- killed at this point.
GORANI: Right. We understand there are injuries, we don't know how severe. It appears as though the preliminary information is that -- I mean, we -- I
saw video of walking wounded, just a good number of people actually getting to the airport terminal on one of those buses that transports passengers.
Yes -- oh, apologies, David, we're going to go to Senator Mitt Romney, who is speaking about the impeachment trial in the Senate and -- to get a sense
of which way he's going to vote, to convict or to acquit. Let's listen.
Apologies, in fact, he just finished. OK, so that was a very short appearance there, a very short appearance in the Senate.
So, David, let me get back to you. What causes a plane to break into three pieces like this, generally speaking?
SOUCIE: Well, generally speaking, it is -- it would be a hard landing with a follow-on drift off to one side or the other. So what this is indicating
to me is that this -- in light of the fact that the wind had shifted, that there was a wind shear in the area at the time -- and I don't know if this
airport is equipped, like most American airports are equipped, with wind shear detection systems. So I don't know if that was in place on this
airport yet or not.
But what happens there is, basically, everything is relative to the wind speed, it's not -- it doesn't care what's happening on the ground, it's
relative to the wind speed. So if you have a 30-knot change in that wind speed, which was indicated earlier by the previous person, he said that it
was 30-some, I think it was 39 knots' shift in the wind speed.
So that would have sped the aircraft up -- the ground speed up, to where it was beyond the reasonable landing speed of the aircraft. So at that point,
the pilot has a couple of choices: to make the go-around and just try it again, or to try to put it down on the ground to try to dirty up the
aircraft and pull back the speed and get it on the ground as hard or as quickly as can.
And at that point, the landing gear could have failed. It appears as though it did because you can see that the engines are causing those sparks, that
the engines and metal is sparking off of the runway as it goes forward. Then as it twists, as the aircraft starts to turn left, you can see it
slides to the left a little bit.
And at that point, is when it breaks into pieces and shears -- it's actually designed to shear at those two places if it's not going to -- if -
- because if it stays whole, then it can cause further damages to the passengers. So it absorbs that energy or that inertia and breaks at those
two spots. So it's really designed to do that in this case, and evidently it worked if there has not been any fatalities.
GORANI: David Soucie, thanks very much.
I was telling you that Mitt Romney announced whether or not he would vote to convict or acquit the president of the United States in his impeachment
trial. Mitt Romney said, "The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust." Romney says he will vote to convict Donald Trump.
He is one Republican senators, the Democrats needed four in order to assure the conviction -- or I should say -- not to assure the conviction, you need
a supermajority for that. But the Democrats needed four to obtain witnesses to appear within the context of this trial, they failed there.
And in terms of the conviction of the president and the removal, that would have taken, of course, a two-thirds majority, which is certain -- almost
certain not to happen.
Let's talk about the Wuhan coronavirus. It's continuing its rapid spread in China and beyond. In fact, the World Health Organization says in the past
24 hours, we've seen the most cases in a single day since the outbreak started, back in December.
There are nearly 25,000 reported cases, the vast majority are in mainland China. At least 494 people have died, almost 500. China is racing to open
new makeshift hospitals and bring in much-needed medical supplies. Nearly 60 million people are living in lockdown in Hubei Province, the epicenter
of the outbreak.
In Japan, nearly 4,000 cruise ship passengers are in quarantine in Yokohama Bay, and health officials say 10 of those travelers have tested positive
for the coronavirus. More than 1,800 more people are stuck on another ship, docked in Hong Kong.
Well, Dr. Richard Dawood is the medical director at the Fleet Street Clinic. He's with me now. Talk to us a little bit about the fact that today
was the day with the most infections reported since the outbreak began. That has to be worrying, right?
RICHARD DAWOOD, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, FLEET STREET CLINIC: Well, I think the number is bound to rise on a daily basis. This is a moving target at the
moment, we're seeing lots of cases.
I think one of the reasons for the big rise today is that the Chinese, kind of catching up with some of the underreported cases over the past days. So
I think this is a statistical thing. But, yes, we're going to see cases rising, particularly in Hubei Province and in China.
More than two thirds of the cases that have been tallied so far in China are in Hubei Province.
GORANI: So would you call it relatively contained at this stage, or is there a real risk of this becoming a worldwide --
DAWOOD: Well, this is -- it is relatively contained. The number of cases that has been recorded, confirmed out of China is still pretty small, it's
under 200. So -- and the number of locally transmitted cases beyond that, again, is still well in double digits. So it's alarming and requires
cautious monitoring of what's going on --
DAWOOD: -- but it's not yet grounds for a global --
GORANI: Panic, right.
DAWOOD: -- panic. I think that one of the things that can be very alarming is seeing images of people wearing masks and --
GORANI: Yes. But are they right to weak masks? Do those work, or not?
DAWOOD: Yes, probably not so beneficial to wear masks --
GORANI: Why not?
DAWOOD: -- you know, so -- masks work when you are in close contact with an infected person, perhaps in a medical setting or when giving care. But out
in the street, they -- you know, in a well-ventilated environment, you're not really at risk from the kind of droplets that would be prevented by a
So it would work, perhaps, within one meter of distance, but the idea that you could be out in a public space or in a park --
GORANI: Sure. Very -- very briefly, if I told you I was going to China today, what would you tell me to do?
DAWOOD: Well, I would tell you to listen very carefully to advice from public health authorities that, you know, which is changing and being
refined over time.
I would probably advise you to be pretty cautious about going to Hubei Province. But if you were going elsewhere in China and you were cautious
and followed simple basic hygiene precautions -- I mean, the key precaution with this is actually hand-washing and, you know, a moderate amount of
social distancing, not getting too up-close and personal in a confined space with anybody, especially if they are showing signs of being sick or
GORANI: Sure. Dr. Richard Dawood, thank you very much for joining us.
Still ahead, after months of dramatic revelations about Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, it all comes down to this. The U.S. president is now
one vote away from being acquitted in his impeachment trial. We'll have more on the breaking news that a single Republican senator has dissented,
deciding to vote to convict the president. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Welcome back. The outcome was never in doubt, but a vote less than two hours away on Capitol Hill will still go down in the history books. The
Republican-led Senate is set to acquit Donald Trump, bringing only the third ever impeachment trial of a U.S. president to an end.
But a moment ago, the U.S. Senate Republican from Utah, Mitt Romney, spoke ahead of the vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump. Was he going to vote
to convict? Let's get some perspective now from CNN political commentator Michael Smerconish. He's the host of "SMERCONISH" here on CNN.
And Mitt Romney has announced he will vote to convict, saying that the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of power. Your reaction to that,
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know that it's that much of a surprise because he had really telegraphed which way he was going
throughout the course of the impeachment process.
Hala, as you know, thus far, he's all alone. There was some speculation that one or two of his Republican colleagues would come to the same
decision. But thus far, that has not been the case and the most important detail, as you know, is that the vote will fall far short of the two thirds
that would be required for the president's removal.
GORANI: Yes. Let's talk a little bit about what happened, also, at the State of the Union, the theatrics, the reality show that we witnessed there
with Donald Trump who, after all, is an ex-reality show star. But also Nancy Pelosi, perhaps, you know, using some of the tactics used by the
president himself, tearing up that State of the Union speech very obviously behind him when he was done.
What -- what impact is this going to have on the race?
SMERCONISH: I don't know that it will have much of an impact on the race. They clearly don't like one another. When he entered the well of the
Senate, she extended a hand; he rebuffed her. And then at the end of the speech, as you point out, she tore up her copy of his remarks.
You know, obviously, he looks at her as the person who initiated the impeachment process that, even though it won't lead to his removal today,
cements him in the history books with just two of his predecessors who have that blemish on their record.
You're right in saying last night was all about the theatrics, each side playing to their respective base. And what's amazing to me is that against
this backdrop, the president has recorded his highest approval numbers since taking office.
GORANI: Yes, 49 percent is the latest Gallup poll, highest approval number since taking office. Not just since the impeachment proceedings began.
This has got to be worrying for the Democrats, especially after the debacle in Iowa with the Iowa caucuses results delayed. We still don't have a full
picture of what happened there.
And, by the way, we're showing our viewers that 50 percent disapprove, 49 percent approve and 1 percent, no opinion. Why is he doing well in the
approval ratings right now (ph)?
SMERCONISH: When you delve into the internals, as you've started to do, you'll see that the approval rating for his handling of the economy is
really what's propelled those numbers.
What's stunning to me is that this survey had to have been in the field during a low point in terms of the impeachment process. In other words, all
of these allegations were being advanced against him. And at that moment, telephone operators from Gallup are asking people whether they approve or
disapprove of the president.
It might suggest that some Americans looked at the process and think that it was unfounded and never should have been brought against him. But we're
a very polarized dug-in country, as evidenced by the essentially 50-50 split.
GORANI: And let's talk about Iowa and Pete Buttigieg, looks like he's kind of on top. In fourth position -- currently at least -- Joe Biden, who's
nationwide, the frontrunner. I mean, what -- tell international viewers what Pete Buttigieg, who is the mayor of a city in the United States, so
not a senator or a governor, not someone with a very long political career, is doing so well. Does he need to be considered the frontrunner now?
SMERCONISH: So you may have just answered your own question when, in setting it up, you said, why is a guy who's a small-town mayor and an
outsider and really doesn't have, on paper, the credentials as the others, why is he doing so well?
I think that's probably part of his appeal, is that he's not part of the status quo. Yes, I would say that you'd have to regard both Buttigieg and
Bernie Sanders as the frontrunners.
There are a number of stories to take out of Iowa, not the least of which is that the presumed frontrunner in the national surveys -- Joe Biden,
former vice president for eight years -- came in fourth. That's going to present him with a financial dilemma that will really harm his fundraising.
Next week, we go to the New Hampshire primary. If Biden doesn't come out of New Hampshire in the number-one or number-two position, he's really behind
the eight ball as we head toward two more states and then an enormous day, which is March the 3rd.
Hala, I think I would say this. This campaign has been going on for a year. Some of us are very fatigued by it already. But it's the next 30 days that
are really going to matter because by the time people's heads hit the pillow on March 3rd, 40 percent -- it's literally 38 -- of the Democratic
delegates to the convention will have been selected. So this is crunch time.
GORANI: But last question. What the Democrats want now -- Democratic voters, certainly -- is they want someone who can beat Donald Trump. And
the, you know, sort of -- I guess the analysis that I heard most often in the last year is, you need someone who's in the center, who's kind of an
establishment guy who can take on Donald Trump.
If you go too far to the left, you will, you know, maybe anger or not include the kind of traditional mainstream Democrats. So that -- by that,
meaning someone like Sanders or Warren.
So who is best positioned to take on Donald Trump at this stage?
SMERCONISH: Well, the person that you just described is Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. And your international audience should know
this, that if they were in any corner of the United States, they would be seeing Bloomberg commercials incessantly.
In other words, he's not running in four states, the early states; he's running a national campaign, spending more money than has ever been spent
in an American election, hiring more staff than have ever been engaged.
And, Hala, here's what's key. He is saying, I'm hiring 2,000 people to take my shot, and I am guaranteeing their wages through the November election.
So that if I'm not the Democratic nominee, I'm creating this apparatus and I will leave it in place for whomever Trump's opponent is. He is the X
factor, you know, he is the biggest quantity that is unknown right now.
GORANI: How is he polling? How is he polling, though? We haven't seen --
SMERCONISH: Well --
GORANI: -- him in a debate.
SMERCONISH: -- I mean, he is polling well. In national surveys -- in national surveys, he has vaulted into fourth position.
SMERCONISH: Now, it gets complicated because, you know, this nomination process is done on a state-by-state basis. But according to the metrics,
whether it's endorsements, whether it's the way in which he has been able to get a significant share of that -- that support already, he's doing
GORANI: All right. Michael Smerconish, as always, a pleasure. Thanks very much.
Up next, we will hear Republican Senator Mitt Romney's full statement on impeachment. Hear the harsh review he has of the president's behavior.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, in just half an hour, the U.S. Senate will vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump. An hour and a half, I should say t. The
results all but a foregone conclusion. He's expected to be acquitted because of Republican control of the Senate and also because you need two-
But just moments ago, one prominent Republican, former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, the senator from Utah, spoke ahead of the vote. He
came out strongly against Mr. Trump. Let's listen to what Romney said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): The Constitution is at the foundation of our republic success. And we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to
defend it. The constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both Houses of our Congress these many days. We have labored to
faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other's good faith.
The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I
am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am.
I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own
party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.
The House managers presented evidence supporting their case and the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the president's team
presented three defenses. First that there could be no impeachment without a statutory crime, second, the Bidens' conduct justified the president's
actions, and third, that the judgment of the president's actions should be left to the voters.
Let me first address those three defenses. The historic meaning of the words high crimes and misdemeanors, the writings of the founders and my own
reason judgment convinced me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they're not
statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office.
To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress
powerless to remove such a president defies reason.
The president's counsel also notes that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the
Ukrainian prosecutor general. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company, actually, under investigation, the vice
president should have recused himself.
While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong. With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his
father's name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that in neither of the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the
president's counsel that a crime had been committed, the president's insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain
other than as a political pursuit. There's no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.
The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our Democratic instincts, it
is inconsistent with the constitution's requirement that the Senate, not the voters try the president.
Hamilton explained that the founders' decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to the voters was intended to minimize to
the extent possible, the partisan sentiments of the public at large.
So the verdict is ours to render under our constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave
question the constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a
high crime and misdemeanor.
Yes, he did. The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that
government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president's purpose was
personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.
What he did was not perfect. No. It was a flagrant assault under electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an
election to keep one's self in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine.
In the last several weeks, I received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded in their words that I stand with the team. I can assure you that
that thought has been very much on my mind. You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80 percent of the time.
But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence
that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end? It would, I
fear, expose my character to history's rebuke. And the censure of my own conscience.
I'm aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision and in some corners, I will be
vehemently denounced. I'm sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these
consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded of me?
I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton, not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he
might say could raise reasonable doubt and, thus, remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.
Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our constitution was inspired by providence, and convince that freedom
itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character.
As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We've come to different conclusions, fellow Senators, but I trust we've all followed the
dictates of our conscience. I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact,
be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision just as the president's lawyers have implored.
My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate. But irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children,
that I did my duty to the best of my ability. Believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to
future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial.
They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong. Grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at
best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And there you have it. Republican senator, Mitt Romney, one of two senators for the state of Utah on the Senate floor there. Announcing that
he will vote to convict Donald Trump. Romney, as far as we know, so far, the sole Republican dissenting, breaking away from his party, saying that
Trump is guilty of an act of appalling abuse of power. Saying that he's aware that this will not lead to the president's removal.
You need a two-third majority in the Senate for that to happen, but that he's doing what he believes to be right. And said that what the president
did with regards to withholding that military aid to a U.S. ally, Ukraine, was, quote, grievously wrong.
And just a little programming note for you, we will rejoin our colleagues at CNN USA in just about 20 minutes and the vote on whether to acquit or
convict the president of the United States happens at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. That's about an hour and 20 minutes from now.
There was also a question surrounding Doug Jones, who's a Democrat, but who's a Democrat from the State of Alabama, whether or not, he would break
away from the Democrats from his Democratic colleagues, and vote to acquit. He has announced that he will vote to convict as well.
Again, not enough to remove the president from office, but here a symbolic act by the senator from Utah, Mitt Romney. All right.
All right. We'll have a lot more at the top of the hour on that.
I want to get you caught up on our breaking news from Istanbul, where all 179 people on board reportedly made it out alive, which is by the way a
miracle, if you see the state of the passenger jet which skidded off the runway and broke apart into three pieces. Here's what's left of the Pegasus
Airline flight. Just three large charge chunks.
Let's take another look at that landing. And you can see flames on the plane from the plane, 120 people were injured. But as I mentioned, though
it's hard to believe, everyone on board that plane reportedly survived. The investigators are now looking into what went wrong.
This is the second time in as many months that a plane has skidded at Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
CNN's Arwa Damon tells us now that there are some serious concerns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): The questions that many are going to be asking is, how safe is it to land at
Remember, Istanbul is trying to position itself as an aviation hub, as a travel hub given, you know, where it's located on the globe. And this is
going to be very understandably concerning for many passengers.
This particular flight was doing a fairly regular run, multiple flights a day take place between Izmir and Istanbul, that was the route that it was
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Well, some safety questions there, of course. Aviation analyst, Peter Goelz, used to be managing director of the agency that
investigates plane crashes in the United States, and he joins us now from Washington.
Peter, you had an opportunity, I'm sure, to see that video of that terrible landing of the Pegasus Airlines flight. You see flames coming out of the
plane and then eventually it ended up breaking into three pieces. What are your thoughts, your initial thoughts here?
PETER GOELZ, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, I think -- I think there's two things, Hala, we need to look at. One is it appears as though the pilot
landed too hot and too far down the runway. And he just ran out of runway as he was trying to break the aircraft. And that occurs sometimes when
you've got tailwinds that are gusting. It's a little tricky sometimes to land a plane when you've got tailwinds pushing you faster than you want to
But I think the real point though, Hala, is that everyone got out safe, safely, and they got out safely because of the design of the seats. These
are 16G seats, as they call it. These are designed to stay in place and protect the passengers even in difficult and terrible landings such as
this. So this is a real testament to the robustness of the aircraft.
GORANI: And I believe we do have images and even still images of the seats as they're seen, because you have the plane. It's just remarkable. The
entire nose of the plane came off. And you can see a row of seats. And you think to yourself, how did anyone survive that? Our reporter, Jomana
Karadsheh, in Istanbul was saying that this is still, by the way, an ongoing rescue operation, that there are people still on board the plane.
What does that tell you?
GOELZ: Well, it simply says, you know, these planes, if you're -- if you're in an aircraft that's going to have a difficult landing and then you buckle
your seatbelt extremely tightly and assume the brace position, you may survive, and you're likely to survive. And you're likely be able to walk
away from that accident.
And I think it's a real a testament that the design of the aircraft, the safety of the seats, and of course the rescue folks from the airport that
got there quickly to put out the fire.
GORANI: And everyone is absolutely glad that the plane -- that this fire did not cause an explosion. But there were questions about why that didn't
happen. Is it because this was a plane coming in on landing and it had used up most of the fuel that it had to fly on board, to fly from Izmir to
Istanbul? Is that possibly one of the reasons?
GOELZ: Well, it probably had less fuel on board. But also, what it means is that the fuel tanks which are located primarily in the wings of the
aircraft and then directly under the center of the aircraft were probably not breached. And then that the fire came from collapsed landing gear and
the hydraulic fluid and oils that run that sort of thing.
But still, you know, if you're in a tough landing, if you keep yourself buckled, you may get out. In fact, you're likely to get out.
GORANI: What would it have been like for people on board? I mean, I can imagine how terrifying it is. But I do wonder. I mean, do you realize at
every stage of the landing that something is going dreadfully wrong? What is it like then inside the aircraft?
GOELZ: Well, my guess on this, Hala, is that the passengers were expecting a perfectly normal landing, probably a little rough because of the storms
in the area, and that the pilot say came in fast, that a gust of wind or prolonged gust of wind carried the aircraft too far down the runway. And
then he made the decision to try and land instead of doing a go-around.
My guess is the passengers didn't really understand that they're in a tough situation until they went off the end of the runway.
GORANI: Peter Goelz, thanks so much. Really appreciate your perspective.
GOELZ: Thank you, Hala.
GORANI: Elsewhere in Turkey, rescue workers are searching for bodies of dozens of people feared buried alive by two separate avalanches. At least
38 people are dead. Many of them, the rescuers themselves.
The first avalanche happened Tuesday night. That one killed five people. As teams were trying to get to victims, another avalanche descended around
midday Wednesday, killing 33 more. Another 53 people were hurt. Weather conditions there are hampering further rescue efforts.
Still to come, tonight how the Wuhan virus is impacting the global economy. Some huge brands are shutting down their Chinese operations completely.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: I want to return now to the other major international story we're following, the global fight against coronavirus. While the lives lost and
people sick are the major headline in the virus story, it's also having a significant impact on the lives of ordinary people, because it's having a
significant impact on the global economy.
The parent company behind luxury brands like Versace and Jimmy Choo, says it's closed about two-thirds of its stores in China and obviously employees
who work in those stores are affected. The ones that remain open are barely doing any business at all. It expects to lose more than $100 million of
Chinese business this quarter.
Disney says its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong could remain closed for at least two months. Imagine all the employees there and the families they
support. The shutdowns that could cost the company $175 million will also impact ordinary people in that part of the world.
And Hong Kong airline, Cathay Pacific, is asking its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave in coming months. Cathay has cancelled 90
percent of its flights to Mainland China.
Let's get more on how this is all impacting the global economy. Our business correspondent, Clare Sebastian, is there. So talk to us -- with us
in New York. Talk to us about these brands. Because China is really a big driving force in terms of these luxury brands, profits, their revenue.
There's this new emerging middleclass there. There's Chinese people with money now to spend on these big luxury brands. And if that side of the
business is suffering, it's really going to hurt them a lot.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala. Many of these businesses have actually been expanding in China only now to see this
stoppage. Capri Holdings, which as you say, is the owner of Versace, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, all very popular brands in China, they say that 150 of
their 225 stores in the country are still closed.
And as you mentioned, seeing much reduced traffic at the other ones. Those 225, by the way, that's about 17 percent of their global store base. So
this is not an insignificant part of their business. And they are saying that revenue for the full year and for this quarter will be lower.
Store closures, Hala, also affecting brands like Nike, like Adidas, also heavily dependent on China.
And there's a sort of double whammy for some of these companies. Nike, for example, produces about a quarter of what they sell in China. So we are
seeing supply chain impacts as well. That's impacting companies like Airbus which has a final assembly plant in Tianjin, which is also closed. Hyundai,
the South Korean carmaker is suspending some of its production lines because of disruption to supply of parts from China.
So this is rippling through a whole variety of different businesses and big multinational companies having to make difficult announcements to the
GORANI: And, Clare, Cathay Pacific asking its employees to take unpaid leave. How is that going to work?
SEBASTIAN: Yes. That's sort of the first of its kind of announcement that we've heard where personnel are being directly impacted, Hala. They are
being asked, all of the 27,000 employees of Cathay Pacific have been asked to take three weeks of unpaid leave between March and June of this year.
So they won't all be taking it at the same time. Cathay says it has to try to preserve cash as this crisis unfolds. The last time they did this was in
2009 after the global financial crisis. They also did it during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
And don't forget, Cathay is already struggling and it's already decided to cut capacity this year after they were impacted to quite some degree by the
pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong last year. So a very difficult time for that company.
GORANI: All right. Difficult for the employees. I guess the only very small silver lining is they're not layoffs. This is unpaid leave. So hopefully
they'll be able to get back to work and make a living very soon.
Thanks very much, Clare Sebastian.
Still ahead, a first lady accused of murder. We have the story that captivated Lesotho. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Well, now to a new story that sounds like the plot of a story. A first lady in Africa is accused of murder, and not just murdering anyone
but the first wife of her husband, the prime minister.
The killing happened more than two years ago. But the first lady of Lesotho has just been arrested and charged. This is a shocking turn of events and a
gripping story for the region.
David McKenzie is following it from nearby South Africa.
What do we know about these charges?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are extremely serious charges, murder and attempted murder, Hala, of the first lady of
Lesotho. The tiny mountain kingdom which is surrounded entirely by South Africa.
And it's in South Africa where that first lady appears to have been hiding for several weeks after the initial arrest warrant was put forward by the
police in Lesotho. You saw those extraordinary scenes in a courthouse in Maseru, in the capital of the first lady.
Now, she's accused of and now charged with the killing of the former first lady, as you said. Just days before the inauguration of her husband, the
prime minister for his second term. She then formally married the prime minister, Thomas Thabane, after the death of the previous first lady.
So it has gripped the mountain kingdom, and certainly more details are going to come out as this trial commences.
GORANI: So what happens next for her? What happens next in the case?
MCKENZIE: Well, surprising to some, because she was on the run for several weeks, she has been granted bail. The state has a certain amount of time to
really put more details to the charges. We tried to get a hold of the first lady's lawyer to -- without much luck. And she hasn't entered a plea at
Now, one of the key bits of evidence the police say is the cellphone of the current prime minister. They said that was used in conjunction with the hit
on the former first lady which happened outside her home just days before the inauguration.
Eight other people have been charged in this murder, but those names haven't yet been released. It's striking to see a first lady in this
context of this region facing any kind of criminal charges let alone murder, Hala.
And the key will be whether any more information comes through with those more robust charges we believe will be put through in the next few days.
GORANI: All right. David McKenzie, thanks very much.
David Cameron's police bodyguard is under investigation after reports emerged that he left a loaded handgun and the former British prime
minister's passport in the toilet on a commercial flight. The British Airways' flight from New York to London was delayed Monday.
Witnesses say a passenger found a gun in the toilet before takeoff and alerted the crew. They also found passports for both the bodyguard and the
former British prime minister.
Metropolitan police say the officer involved has been removed from duties.
All right. Thanks for watching, everyone. Stay with CNN. Coverage of the Senate impeachment trial begins next. And in an hour's time, the Senate
votes on the articles of impeachment. All of this will be broadcast live on CNN. Stay with us.