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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  November 21, 2019 7:00pm-7:34pm +03

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and i saw him sit back slightly like this he'd been well moving forward like i am to the table and for me that was an unmistakable body language and it caught my attention and then he looked up to the clock and you know i says what show of trouble does rest in any case again i was sitting behind him and basically said well you know it's been really great to see you i'm afraid i've got another another meeting and do some and say who his agreement on this white house meeting was with in that particular juncture i don't believe so it was a lead to which i'm sure you'll want to talk about that he did say most specifically what did he say later let's say he said that he had an agreement with the chief of staff mulvaney. in return fall investigations this meeting would get scheduled and was he specific at that point later about the investigations that he was referring to he said investigations and. now did you have a conversation with embassador bolton after the subsequent meeting with them bassett or son i had
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a discussion with ambassador bolton both after the meeting in his office a very brief one and then one immediately afterwards the subsequent meeting so the subsequent meeting after both meetings when you spoke to him and relayed to him what ambassador sunland what did ambassador bolton say to you well i just want to highlight 1st of all that. the bolton wanted me to hold back in the room immediately after the meeting again i was sitting on the sofa with a colleague right we're just in that 2nd meeting what what did yesterday was he was making a very strong point they wanted to know exactly what was being said and when i came back and related to it to him he had some very specific instructions for me and i'm presuming that that's what was estimated as instrument specific instruction was that i had to go to the lawyers to john eisenberg a senior counsel for the national security council to basically say you tell isenberg ambassador bolton told me that i am not pos of this whatever drug deal
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that mulvany and sunderland cooking up. what did you understand him to mean by the drug deal of a knee and sun when we're cooking up i took it to mean investigations for a meeting. did you go speak to the lawyers i certainly did. you relate everything that you just told us and i don't more precisely and then them all the details of how the meeting it unfolded as well which i give a full description of this and i looked over 14 deposition mr holmes you have testified that by late august you has you had a clear impression that the security assistance hold was somehow connected to the investigations that president trump wanted. how did you conclude that how did you make reach that clear conclusion. sir we've been hearing about. the investigation since march months before and we've been.
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present selenski had received a letter congratulatory letter from the president saying he'd be pleased to meet him following as an operation in may. and we had been able to get that meeting and then the security hold came up. with no explanation. and i'd be surprised if any of the ukrainians you said it earlier we discussed earlier you know sophisticated people. when they received no explanation for why that hold was in place they would have drawn that conclusion because the investigations were still being pursued her and the hold was still remaining without explanation correct so this to you is the only logical conclusion that you could reach correct sort of like 2 plus 2 equals 4 exactly chairman i yield. that concludes the majority questioning we're expected to have a vote so i think fairly soon this we appropriate time to break and we'll resume with the majority 45 minutes people before they leave could allow the witnesses to
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leave 1st and if committee members could come back up promptly after votes. all right as you saw i'm chairman schiff there say they're going to take a break now because there are they're still legislating the needs to go on there's votes that need to happen so the. so the guests are now leaving the witnesses pardon me so that is dave holes who is a foreign service officer a career diplomat also that is dr fiona holmes who is a russia expert and they made pretty powerful statements and have been questioned as you saw by the democrats there will follow up with questioning by the republicans when they come back let's just give you a taste of what dave hall said he talked about realizing that there was basically
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a different type of policy that was happening with ukraine let's go ahead and listen to what he had to say beginning in march 21000 the situation at the embassy and in ukraine changed dramatically specifically the 3 priorities of security economy and justice and our support for ukrainian democratic resistance to russian aggression became overshadowed by a political agenda promoted by former new york new york city mayor rudy giuliani and a qadri of officials operating with a direct channel to the white house. ok we'll be speaking to our white house correspondent kimberly how good an a moment 1st let's get to heidi castro who is outside the chambers where. i think the top line and i think you probably agree is dr fiona hill basically with a warning to the committee about what russia's goals have been about how they are still being effective and what their goals are which is to deal
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idjit demise the u.s. presidency that's that's what she said and also testimony from from mr holmes about basically how the official policy of the u.s. towards ukraine had basically been hijacked for lack of a better word what else did you hear. that's right and hill dr hill really put this in the big picture context of all of this and warning as you said is a great description of how she phrase this she said specifically to the committee members she said russia is watching and the things being discussed in these hearings the ways the partisan ways that these questions are being phrase in particularly trying to highlight these conspiracy theories that ukraine somehow was involved in election meddling in 2016 she said that plays right into russia's hand and that what's happening now is as her worst fear that russia had so this just
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scored within the 2 political parties in the u.s. and that russia may be using what state said now as ammunition into further election meddling in the year 2020 stars the merits of this case the democrats are trying to build for the possible impeachment of president trump. it is the david holmes the kiev embassy staffers that's really delivering the bigger news on that front because he was a witness to a phone call between the u.s. ambassador. edu gordon saleh and president trump that occurred on july 26th this is the day after trump had spoken with the president of ukraine on the phone explicitly asking for investigations into joe biden and just let me set the scene for this overheard call so the day after the fall is a lenski. holmes was meeting with his alinsky as
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a follow up he said that the president of ukraine said 3 times that trump had brought up sensitive information on this call sensitive issues were his words that which he later understood meant these investigations into biden and then afterwards as the u.s. officials were sitting down for a light inch he was surprised holmes says because some when the ambassador to the e.u. pulled out his phone and in the middle of a lunch on a patio restaurant in kiev he dialed the number for the president of the united states and this is what holmes said he overheard. basser silence phone was not on speaker phone i could hear the president's voice through the ear piece of the phone the president's voice was loud and recognizable and a better song and held the phone away from his ear for a period of time presumably because of the loud volume i heard
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a bass or song and greet the president and explain he was calling from kiev i heard president trump and clarify that a better song was in ukraine vasser song replied yes he was in ukraine and went on to state the president's alinsky quote loves your ass i then heard president trump ask so he's going to do the investigation better song replied that he's going to do it adding the president's alinsky will do anything you ask him to do. and holmes put all of this into perspective as well he said that beginning in early march he felt that his work on behalf of u.s. policy toward ukraine was being overshadowed by this shadow campaign led by the president's private attorney rudy giuliani holmes also testified that he had a clear understanding that a visit for the linsky an oval office meeting with trump was conditioned on ukraine delivering investigations into bided and then further he said that it was also his
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clear impression that the security aid $400000000.00 from the u.s. to help ukraine defend itself against russia he said was quote likely intended by trying to pressure ukraine to launch those investigations which gets right to the heart of this impeachment inquiry whether or not president trump was withholding that aid for his own political gain you know heidi one thing that the white house's has consistently said as have republican members of this committee they keep saying this is all hearsay there's no one with the firsthand account of course people that do have firsthand firsthand accounts rather white house is forbidden them to testify but but david holmes said that he realized you know what i do have a 1st hand account i heard this conversation and it's pretty powerful what he said i was there. that's right and he said that he had actually alerted his superiors at the embassy immediately after this conversation took place on the
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restaurant patio and then in retrospect as he was watching these hearings on full then he heard republicans attacking the inquiry saying that all of this evidence was secondhand that's when the light bulb went off in his head and he said well actually i have firsthand information and he brought that back to the attention of his boss ambassador bill taylor which is what got homes. into the hot seat in the 1st place for him to tell the story in person and it begs the question just how much more firsthand information is out there that investigators are simply unaware of you know it we could be these lower level staffers the have that information a possible smoking gun that still republicans would argue has not been established it directly implicate the president and perhaps the bigger question is as you alluded to richelle is that there are certainly people who would know definitively what the president's thinking was on this and they are the acting chief of staff of
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the white house and ambassador john bolton himself and both of those individuals and of course rudy giuliani i should say so those 3 individuals have all not complied with requests to tell their stories to these investigators ok castro live at capitol hill heidi we'll come back to you right now we're going to go to our white house correspondent. kimberly the the testimony so far from russia expert dr fiona hill i think could be described as really a stark warning she laid out what she says the goals of russia have been what she says they still are and how this relates to to ukraine and to the u.s. presidency she said that russia wants to deal it in my eyes the u.s. presidency regardless of who who would have been their president and that they want
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to paint ukraine in a bad and a bad light because the goal is to drive away between the u.s. and its allies it seems that russia at least from what we can see has it has been effective in that regard how do you think that this will be received by the white house. well i think the headline here from dr fiona hill's testimony is not only sort of her expertise but the swipe that she took at the president she was very clear in denouncing what she says is a false narrative that she believes has been perpetuated by president trump and also by some members of the committee namely the republicans she fact at one point which was particularly powerful spoke to republican members of the house intelligence committee accusing it of up promoting politically driven false hoods i believe is the phrase she used for domestic political purposes it as is what she's saying is that they have been perpetuating a sort of
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a argument that has been put forward by what she says are russian security services that ukraine in fact meddled in the 26000 us election when the united states from multiple security services in multiple tiers of the u.s. government has conclusively proven that it was russia that meddled in the 2016 us election she goes even further to really issue a very stark warning that it is dangerous to perpetuate this narrative because she says that russia is prepared to act again in 2020 right now russia's security services their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 alexion we're running out of time to stop them in the course of this investigation i would ask that you please not promote politically diverse. interests. so what really she say here if she's taking a direct swipe at president trump is that for domestic political purposes you have
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to remember the background of all of this rachelle was when the president was being investigated for potential collusion between his campaign in 2016 and russia so he would very much have an interest in perpetuating along with republican allies the notion that perhaps it was you crave that was actually involved so this is somebody with expertise at the highest levels of the u.s. government countering the president directly and she also said she also said kimberly that president trump did dismiss the expert advice that he got that made it clear that russia was responsible for meddling in the u.s. election and can really if we go back to helsinki when president was up there at a podium with latimer putin he has said publicly that he has disparaged the intelligence community publicly and it seems that what dr fiona hill is saying is
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is this is dangerous and it's still happening. yes and there's no question that that is something that already the united states seems under prepared for moving forward to the 2020 us elections but sort of looking on the spotlight today and the president's actions as we saw last week as we've seen even in the last few hours this is a president that defends himself directly in real time and we saw the president in advance of these hearings and he even during these hearings once again tweeting repeatedly in his defense one of the latest tweets he in fact tried to discredit some of the testimony coming from the foreign service officer david holmes trying to say that he doesn't have these types of conversations that have been characterized as being very loud we heard from not only the ambassador song lindh the day previously but also today about these telephone calls the president injecting himself into the testimony here we also had him characterizing the
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democrats as human scum calling these hearings the most unfair in american history never in my wildest dreams did i think i would be associated with the ugly word impeachment but that is exactly what is happening right now these are impeachment inquiry investigations soon there will be a vote in the house of representatives then later a trial in the u.s. senate that is exactly what's going on but we see this president continuing to fight back even in the face of very damning testimony. ok can really help from the white house kelly will get back to you let's talk a little bit more about the testimony of david holmes the foreign service officer who actually worked at the embassy in ukraine he testified about when it became clear to him that the so-called 3 amigos of course led by ambassador saul and the ambassador to the e.u. he testified yesterday he was also in charge if ukraine policy which seemed to be something that through mr holmes said here's the moment he realized that they were
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running ukraine policy well basser songlines mandate as ambassador as the accredited ambassador to the european union did not cover individual member states let alone non member countries like ukraine he made clear that he had direct and frequent access to president trump and chief of staff in that movie and portrayed himself as the conduit to the president and misrule it for this group secretary perry investor son learned about leader style themselves the 3 amigos and made clear they would take the lead on coordinating our policy and engagement with his alinsky administration robinson would have burned as assistant professor of the department political science at howard university he is in washington d.c. thank you very much for your time so what mr holmes described there this basically shadow u.s. policy in regards to ukraine is that normal. that is not
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normal there are a few points mr holmes made that suggested that this is unusual one is what we just heard that gordon song was acting outside of his normal jurisdiction effectively taking more interest in ukraine than a normal ambassador to the european union would another point we see is the so-called 3 amigos at the center of which was mr song land but also secretary perry acting in ways to vance the president from personal interests mr holmes has suggested rather than a consistent us foreign policy interests towards ukraine that mr holmes and the american delegation had been advancing prior to mr songlines involvement. and in fact let me get this here mr holmes described official u.s. policy in regards to ukraine to be promoting peace economic growth and anti corruption so that's what he and the other staff are working towards and
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at one point chairmanship if. juxtapose that the fact that on the surface the us is supposed to be fighting anti corruption but that seem to be at odds with rudy giuliani promoting the the personal interests of the president how does that undermine policy. well mr holmes and to some degree dr whole point it out is that giuliani was urging ukrainians to investigate hunter biden joe biden's son which. both mr holmes and dr hill suggested was done for political reasons this was seen as sort of derailing american foreign policy making better yvon of it was removed it seems at the behest of mr giuliani in part because she was seen as an obstacle to the investigation that giuliani and song one wanted one thing that came out of songlines testimony yesterday that's particularly damning is suggesting that a number of white house staffers knew about this sort of shadow foreign policy
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effort and were involved in it including. chief of staff more veiny but also secretary of state pompei oh and the vice president and the president himself that's pretty damning it's serious ok so what is spin testify what the testimony that has come out is that there was this quid pro quo multiple witnesses have said this that the president's lunch he would not get a meeting at the white house with president trump and they would not be released if he did not make an announcement not necessarily actually make an investigation but make an announcement about an investigation into the company and the bidens and let's let's break that down a little bit so this aide had actually been approved by congress even having said that the president has a lot of latitude when it comes to foreign policy. and was he really what the scene with this rights to hold aid that had already been approved.
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so the president has wide foreign policy authority him for a long time has the concern is why the president would withhold this and it's again that justification that makes all the difference $391000000.00 for javelin anti-tank missiles was promised by congress to ukraine and what these hearings are pointing out is that the shadow foreign policy then took that promised aid and made it contingent on a public announcement by evidently ukrainian president selenski that there would be an investigation into hunter biden joe biden's son that's the part that's a bit unorthodox and i was struck by something that russia expert dr fiona hill said she said the the impact of the successful 2016 russian campaign remains evident today she's speaking of the russian campaign the goal to interfere in the u.s. election she says our nation is being torn apart truth is questioned are highly professional
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and expert career foreign service is being undermined is is what she's saying on display right now. one thing that's come out of this is that there are a series of career foreign service officers mr holmes today dr hill and also people like lieutenant colonel vandeman. dedicated members of the armed services and intelligence operations that are pretty unnerved by the trumpet ministrations evident attempt to run a shadow foreign policy in opposition to sort of american foreign policy goals so that's one thing that came out another thing that dr hill pointed out is that this effort by donald trump essentially to adopt a russian initiated and now just credited conspiracy theory of ukrainian intervention in the 2016 election continues to undermine foreign policy again
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trumps sort of repetition of these debunked russian claims dr hill is worried it is undermining not only american foreign policy towards ukraine but also domestically the security of american elections and domestic policy generally that's pretty weighty stuff i mean we're describing the u.s. president. basically using russian talking points how concerning is that. dr hill said something. to that effect she wanted to sort of dispel any partisan ideas that trump is say a russian puppet or giving a direct russian talking points which he said instead is that while trump had sort of adopted these theories it's not clear that he is operating on behalf of russian foreign policy she doesn't want to make those kinds of allegations but merely to point out that in order to do really u.s.
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foreign policy by chasing these theories peddled by russia he is sort of affected foreign policy in a negative way so it's not quite that she's saying he's going to rush again i don't know if it has derailed him not necessarily saying that he's doing it because they are telling him to but the fact is the same thing he's still repeating things that have been debunked by his own intelligence community he is doing that and that has been the consistent message and also. essentially resisting the findings from by part part of bipartisan findings from senate intelligence and from the house democratic and no minority of the intelligence committee and in that doctor was pointed out he is undermining u.s. essential intelligence and congressional findings yes ok robinson you were burned stay close will all get back to you we're going to go right back now to capitol hill though we're our heidi to castro and let's just tell people we're on
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a break right now heidi and kind of remind the viewers where we are we've had testimony this morning from dr fiona hill who's a russia expert who was involved in ukraine policy and also from foreign service officer david holes and they have both testified and they have been questioned by the democrats they're all there on break right now when we come back they'll be questioned by the republicans. david always had a really link the opening statement tell me more what you see is some of the top lines or. well sure 1st of all getting to the accusations that are at the heart of this impeachment inquiry against president trump is the question of whether there was this quid pro quo between him and the ukrainian government of course that means whether or not trump used it in a sense bribery as the words that democrats have been using to try to get something of value to him and only to him back from the ukrainians and that thing of course is the investigations into joe biden and joe biden son and on that question home
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said that it was clear to him that yes there was a quid pro quo but the one that was clear to him was the that the precondition for the president of ukraine to get a coveted visit to the oval office with trump which would be a great photo op for that newly elected president that was what was being dangled as the reward for ukraine in exchange for getting the statement that would damage the bidens however holmes goes on to say that it was also clear to him that. i want to be careful with these that with his exact wording he said that it was his clear impression that the security aid for ukraine was also quote likely intended by trying to pressure ukraine for those investigations and why those specific words matter so much for shells because that is exactly what you expect republicans to 0
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in on now that it's their turn to question these witnesses we saw with yesterday's testimony from ambassador saleh that when he said he presumed that this was the president's intention to withhold the aid for the investigations we saw time and time again the republicans attacking silence for his presumption asking him well what made you think that the president himself never said it did he and some admitted that no the president never said. those words to him directly so expect some of that line of defense from the republicans but another thing we're watching is how republicans will now question dr fiona hill who we just saw describing the fear she has that it's russia who will ultimately benefit from the divide in the united states between the 2 parties that's dredging up what she calls these conspiracy theories that ukraine had been plotting against in the 2016
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presidential elections that is a line of questioning that republicans and particularly ranking member of a new union is has asked every single one of these witnesses in these public hearings he starts off his questioning by going through these what he claims are lists of facts ukraine did this study that were you aware and he's on the exact same script with all of these witnesses so it's interesting to see whether he does that again with dr fiona hill even after she directly warned not him by name but certainly the republican members of this committee saying that dredging up what she calls these fictions quote are harmful even if they're deployed for purely domestic political purposes so that that kind of puts everything in a broader perspective to see how russia might in fact benefit from this heidi that's a great point that when the when the testimony in the questioning picks up that's
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a great point to see based on the things that dr hill has already said we'll have to see if the republicans change their tactics when it comes to her because a lot of the questions that they have asked have been front ended with things that have just been debunked and she's kind of made it clear that these things are not true so when we come back we'll have to see if they change their tactic their line of questioning with her right heidi we're going to move on to some of the day's other news but we'll get back to you in the room that were saying there they are on break right now. the impeachment hearing chairmanships called a break as if there were votes that needed to to happen but when we when they get back to questioning we will take you back there and at that point the republicans will begin questioning dr fiona hill and dave holmes who worked at the embassy and ukraine in the meantime let's take a look at some of the day's other news. so
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the impeachment inquiry also to featured during need to bait among the democratic presidential candidates the hopefuls in atlanta not surprisingly the u.s. president was criticized by all 10 candidates taking part but one of them cautioned fellow democrats about becoming too obsessed with trump. we are the person to lose not only a pathological loyal here's likely the most corrupt president in the modern history of america but we cannot simply be consumed by donald trump to go to if we are going to water we're going to lose the election american people understand that the congress can walk and chew gum gone at the same dog. we should deal with trumps corruption but we also have to stand up to the working families of this country. senator bernie sanders their syrian activists say at least 12 people have been killed by a missile strike at a refugee camp the white helmets group says it happened in
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a problem it's near the turkish border it's blaming the government and russian forces the group says another 8 civilians were killed in separate raids in the province china says it's ready to retaliate after the u.s. house of representatives passed a bill calling for human rights to be held in hong kong the legislation has already been approved by the senate and now goes to president trump beijing is accused washington of interfering in its internal affairs and fund an american diplomat in beijing and on kong about 100 student protesters are inside a campus university surrounded by police sir clark has the latest. police have sealed off this entire area around polytechnic university and we believe up to $100.00 people are still barricaded up inside i've been out we had a few people the 1st they left voluntarily surrendered and were arrested as a result of the last few days we've had more than 1000 people leave this campus and of course a wrist now at the moment round this particular area we have huge traffic congestion down here is a cross harbor tunnel it's been closed since last wednesday and it's
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a major tunnel connecting hong kong island and cow learn now also we've had in the u.s. the passage of the hong kong human rights and democracy act of cost the senate you know you know honestly yesterday and today it was the house of representatives passed the hong kong. government has responded to that it's told us to stop meddling in hong kong the thing is it also says that this particular passage of this bill since the wrong message to the call them the violent protests this bill requires the state department in the us to certify that hong kong is protecting and respecting human rights in hong kong and also if this bill does get passed by donald trump it could also introduce sanctions on the hong kong government. elected president go to buy a right to pasta has been sworn in sworn in rather his brother as prime minister mahinda rajapaksa has served as both prime minister and president twice before going to buy raja pasta has vowed to be tough on security issues following the
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easter suicide bombings in april. and as was at the prime minister's office as he arrived to take over. basically the rajapaksa is have gotten down to business just behind me.


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