tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 26, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
that's live tonight 11:00 p.m. eastern. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." our special coverage continues right now with erin burnett "out front." out front next, breaking news, a bombshell from the whistle-blower accusing white house officials of trying to cover up president trump's attempt to interfere with the election. plus the president lashes out, attacking the whistle-blower comparing whomever provided the information to a spy, and rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer defending his role with ukraine declaring he'll be a hero in the end. is he or will he actually be in legal trouble? let's go "out front." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. out front tonight, unprecedented and that is how the acting director of the national intelligence described the whistle-blower complaint today.
>> i believe everything in this matter is totally unprecedented. >> intelligence chief office capitol hill testifying moments after the whistle-blower's complaint was released publicly. maguire, longtime military career, 36 years, was picked for this job by trump and he was unable to defend trump's assertion that the whistle-blower is a political hack. >> you don't believe the whistle-blower's a political hack, do you, director? >> believe that as i said before, mr. chairman, i believe the whistle-blower is operating in good faith. >> well, then you don't have any reason to accuse them of disloyalty to our country or suggest they're beholden to another country, do you? >> sir, absolutely not. i believe that the whistle-blower followed the steps every step of the way. i think the whistle-blower did the right thing. i think he followed the law every step of the way. >> pretty clear, but tonight, trump is now going even farther on his attack on the whistle-blower. he is accusing him or her of
being a spy and in doing so, trump seems to admit that the shocking things in the whistle-blower's complaint are true. >> i want to know who is the person that gave the whistle-blower -- who is the person that gave the whistle-blower the information because that's close to a spy. you know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart, right? the spies and treason. we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> that is by execution. here's the whistle-blower report which has now been unclassified. you can read it. i just want to read a couple of crucial parts from it. this first, in the course of my official duties i have received information from multiple u.s. government officials that the president of the united states is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 u.s. election. so if you just stop, that sentence, right? that sentence cites multiple u.s. government officials who is
concerned, and trump is using his office to interfere in the u.s. election. it is ironic considering what his director of national intelligence told congress today when he was asked specifically what is the single biggest national security threat facing the united states of america right now. >> i think the greatest challenge that we do have is to make sure that we maintain the integrity of our election system. >> the answer could have been anything. it could have been extremism. it was elections. according to the whistle-blower complaint, the greatest challenge then would be protectioning the united states from its own president because he was soliciting foreign interference in an american election because here is how concerned white house officials were following trump's phone call with the ukrainian president according to the complaint. quote, in the days following the phone calls i learned from multiple u.s. officials that senior white house officials had intervened to lock down all records of the phone call. lock down was put in quotes. especially the official word for
word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the white house situation room. this set of akds underscored to me that white house officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call. continues, the white house officials told me they were directed, directed again, a quote, by white house lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization and distribution to cabinet-level officials and the complaint then takes it even further saying instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate system used to store classified information of an especially sensitive nature. one white house official described this act as abuse because the call did not contain anything from a national security perspective. it was sensitive from a political perspective and it was sensitive in that the president
of the united states broke the law and apparently it was wanot the first time this happened. the whistle-blower says and this is a crucial line. according to white house officials, this was not the first time under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed into this code-word level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive rather than security-sensitive information. it is stunning and you have to think about what is alleged here. pamela brown is out front at the white house tonight. the president consumed by this now. >> reporter: that's right, erin. here at the white house officials say the president is unhappy with the whistle-blower fallout. he believes it's unfair that it has distracted from his meetings during the u.n. general assembly this week and it was the president who wanted the ukraine call transcript and complaint released. sources say he believed it would de-escalate the information and there does seem to be second-guessing about whether it
was a good idea in the end. president trump did watch at least part of the acting dni's testimony today and in the wake of that, erin, he is directing his ire toward the intelligence committee chair, adam schiff, the whistle-blower and those who spoke to the whistle-blower, the president slamming schiff for not bringing up these unfounded allegations about joe biden and his son, going after schiff for saying that the whistle-blower was credible. the president claiming today on twitter that the whistle-blower had zero info and a known bias, but erin, a senior administration official tells me tonight that the white house including the president doesn't know the identity of the whistle-blower yet he continues to attack that whistle-blower and even maguire said the whistle-blower today did the right thing. the president also lashed out at the officials who spoke out against the whistle-blower comparing them to spies. one source telling cnn that the comments he made today were shocking and eerie. i did speak to a source close to the president tonight who was
pushing back on the idea that he's consumed with all of this. this person saying he's brought up a dozen other issues and he's made it clear on his public comments and on twitter that it's on his mind. certainly so, and overwhelmingly so. pamela, thank you very much. i want to go to denny hack, and he's on the house intelligence commitet and acting director of intelligence joseph maguire today. what was your impression of him? were you satisfied with his testimony and his answers? >> thought he torturously contorted himself to be able to rationalize the position he's taken, erin. the fact of the matter is when he was asked the question is it okay, not for this president, but for any president to pressure the leader of a foreign country to interfere in our election he finally, after two or three iterations coughed up that, no, it's not okay for that to happen. >> want to play that exchange, congressman, because it was an important one which you had with him. here it is. >> is it okay for a president to
pressure, any president, to pressure a foreign government for help to win an election? >> it is unwarranted. unwelcome. it is bad for the nation to have outside interference of any foreign power. >> thank you. >> by extension, it would be equally unacceptable to extort that assistance, as well. >> i mean, all i know is that i have the transcripts as you have. i have the whistle-blower complaint as you have, and -- >> i wasn't referring to the whistle-blower complaint, but if any president were to do this, and i accept your answer. i think it's beyond unacceptable, director. >> yes, sir. >> and i should note, congressman, when he did finally say it is unwarranted, it is unwelcome and bad for the nation after you had pushed him several times. he did eventually give you a very firm, clear answer.
did you feel that at the end of the day that he gave you real answers? that he said what he believed? that he was honest? >> i think he's in a lot of pain tonight, actually, and throughout all of this episode. this is someone who had a distinguished nearly 40-year career as a s.e.a.l. and a retired admiral of the united states navy, and i think he knows better, frankly, and i think he's in a lot of pain. >> according to the complaint which obviously discussed today at length, people in the white house appeared to try to cover up the president's conversation with zelensky, right? we just heard the crucial parts of that, right? they knew about it, and knew it was a problem and took it off the system where it could be seen and put it on another system. do you consider that a crime? >> i consider it a crime to solicit a foreign country's interference in our election, and i think the whistle-blower complaint indicated that that
was what was happening, and the official record of the telephone conversation fairly confirms it. so i do think a crime has been committed. not familiar enough with the laws with respect to how things are to be stored to suggest whether or not or conclude whether or not actually transferring it in a highly unprecedented way -- >> whether those were crimes. i guess my other question is obviously this alleges, multiple officials knew about it and multiple people were involved in this transfer. are you going to be able to determine, even if you're able to question the whistle-blower who those people are to call them as witnesses, because that's going to be crucial? are you confident you'll get their names and bring them in? >> the next time, erin, we'll be able to procure the appearance of the whistle-blower and those conversations are under way between the whistle-blower's attorneys and our staff and i guess i'd say i'm cautiously optimistic that we're going to be able to do that, but it is not yet confirmed. the work is under way. >> all right.
cautiously optimistic, i guess we'll take that as as good as it can be right now. i want to read one other thing for you, congress mid-caman bec this is very important. according to white house officials i spoke with, this was the whistle-blower, this is not the first time, in quotes, under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed under the codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive rather than national security sensitive information. that would mean that there are other times that transcripts were put there, other times, it would appear. are you trying to get those? do you have any idea how many? what they're involved with? are you going to get them? >> it would be nice to get them and i don't know if we'll get them, but i think the important thing is for us to put this in a broader context. this is not an isolated incident. people shouldn't look at the phone conversation itself as the alpha and omega of this affair because it started with the drawing and the sacking of the
u.s. ambassador to the ukraine, continued with the tasking of private citizen rudy giuliani to go over there and encouraging the manufacturing of dirt on the president's political opponent and it continued with the telephone conversation with the wi withholding of the aid until such time as somebody had agreed to play ball and a favor was exchanged for another favor. almost exactly those words so this has to be placed in the broader context, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was evidence of this above and beyond of what we heard about today. >> it seems that it could end up being crucial especially if you all are to get republican support. i appreciate your time, congressman hack. >> you're welcome. >> it is not a cover-up, a phrase from the watergate days. and now decades later. >> this is a cover up. this is a cover up.
>> plus rudy giuliani on a rant saying the whistle-blower is no hero. he is the hero. could his role in ukraine get him in serious legal trouble? and trump continues to smear joe biden. tonight the vice president swinging back. woman: what gives me confidence about investment decisions? rigorous fundamental research. with portfolio managers focused on the long term. who look beyond the spreadsheets to understand companies, from breakroom to boardroom. who know the only way to get a 360 view is to go around the world to get it. can i rely on deep research to help make quality investment decisions? with capital group, i can. talk to your advisor or consultant for investment risks and information. talk to your advisor or consultant unitedhealthcare medicare complete plans, (bold music) have a lot to take advantage of, like medicare's largest health care network.
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breaking news. the republican senate intelligence chairman richard burr just wrapping up a meeting with the acting director of national intelligence and the inspector general for the intelligence community vowing his committee will get answers after president trump pressured, ukrainian president to investigate joe biden and his son. this as the whistle-blower complaint, and i want to read this part, white house officials told me they were directed by white house lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which
such transcripts are typically stored and why instead the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature and the person says this was done multiple times. out front now chief political analyst gloria borger, david gregory, and former director of the national intelligence robert lit and ann millgrim. ann, you're with me. nancy pelosi says it was a cover-up. it was a cover-up. does this look like a cover-up to you? >> it does. one of the things that jumped out when i read the complaint. we knew a bunch of the other pieces and we did not know there was this effort to conceal the information and the reason i think it is so particularly damning is there is a process where the memos go, they actually went out of the way to take it out of the process and put it in another computer where it was more secretive and to me there's consciousness of guilt that the president did something
wrong. >> gloria, the complaint talks about multiple people. senior white house officials and white house lawyers making it very clear that the whistle-blower believes numerous people were aware of this. so could this just be the tich of t tip of the iceberg? but that is going to become crucial to hear from these people? >> it is, and i think this is the tip of the iceberg. we know that there were a bunch of people inside the white house who knew that this was very wrong. consciousness of guilt as anne is saying. so they decided they had to hide these conversations and i think, and i think you pointed this out before if you're going to get republicans what are the other conversations the president had and with whom that they also had to hide? were these conversations with putin, for example? were there conversations with other leaders that they thought were problematic and also, by the way, what did the vice president know? this has been a question of mine all day. the president told the vice
president you're not going go to the inauguration in ukraine. instead, i'm sending the energy secretary. did he tell the vice president why he was so upset? did hey tell him the real reason? i mean, these are questions that congress needs to get an answer -- >> or does the vice president live in a world of see no evil? ask about nothing and see no evil. >> does this mean again to the question of multiple and first to the cover-up and then the the fact th fact that there could be more transcripts and did someone do something that they felt was wrong and they talked to the the whistle-blower. this person researched this and went into detail. is there another john dean and a person who can turn around and say i can't do it anymore? >> you have a whistle-blower taking a courageous step and going this far. remember, what the inspector general deemed to be urgent and
credible and that's important because this is an independent lawyer who is looking at all of this and protecting this process, so presumably, this inspector general may or may not have spoken to others who were involved to try to rcorroborate this and that's where so much of the focus should be at the end of this day because you can focus on the whistle-blower if you like, or if you're a republican or the president you can threaten him and others, but it's the fact that there were others going to these great lengths to protect the president from himself that i think now becomes the heart of the matter. >> and bob, to that point. in the appendix of the complaint and there's some information in the appendix which is redacted and we can read in full. the whistle-blower claims and this is important. according to white house officials i spoke with again, plural, this was, quote, not the first time and this person was very careful to put in quotes as they told this person a direct
quote, under this administration that a presidential transcript was placed into the code word level system solely for the purpose of protecting. >> so, bob, let me ask you about the significance of that. that this was a process to protect him that had happened multiple times? >> that certainly seems to be the case that there were people in the white house who felt they had to essentially protect the president from himself. i'm going to be a contrarian and suggest that in this case the issue was not the cover-up, but the crime itself. the cover-up seems to be a bunch of underlings who realize they have a president who is prone to get in trouble all the time. there's no indication, and i suspect it's not true, that the president himself was directing that these things be removed from the system. >> fair point. >> so i think it's relevant to show that there were a lot of people in the white house who recognized that what the president was doing here was very iffy, but fundamentally here the real issue is what the president was doing. >> there's going to be a lot of
bloodletting, by the way. you had a president who was threatening these people. >> talking about executing a spy and the whistle-blower and the people who fed the spy information are his people. >> right. >> and you don't think he's going to go into the white house and try and line up a firing squad and figure out who are the people who talked to the whistle-blower? i mean -- >> right. >> this is going to be a real problem in the white house. >> to bob's point, i think it's worth worth amplifying this a little bit. bob, correct me if i'm wrong about this, most white house counsels are involved with national security more than people know in the sense that there are legal decisions that have to be made about actions that may be taken by a president or, you know, direct strikes on terrorists, for example and in this case if you're raising the spector of an investigation it's quite possible that not just underlings, but that the white
house counsel might know about the conversations or the desire of the president to have this investigation go forward. so that's where i wonder to what extent there was coordination or knowledge, not just people saying, oh, geez, there he goes again. we better try to protect him. >> i think the problem is that it's going to be a long time before we actually extract that information out of the white house given their willingness to fight anything to the bitter end. >> ann, how long are we talking about here. especially, it does seem like things are moving quickly. the subpoena list would be long including everyone in the counsel's office. unfortunately, i would be surprised if your staff weren't allowed and there are countless information about omb, the say
the department and the white house counsel's office and there is's lot of frgz and it needs to get quickly. the person who seems to be in charge of this and not the person rung the dni, but actually rudy giuliani who says this is a real hero now and that it's him, but is he in serious legal peril? could this be the end of the road for rudy giuliani on this? and trump continuing to make false claims about joe biden. is this a sign of desperation or is this a calculated strategy? our 18 year old was in an accident. usaa took care of her car rental, and getting her car towed. all i had to take care of was making sure that my daughter was ok. if i met another veteran, and they were with another insurance company, i would tell them, you need to join usaa because they have better rates, and better service. we're the gomez family... we're the rivera family... we're the kirby family, and we are usaa members for life. get your auto insurance quote today.
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the acting director of national intelligence refusing to address the role rudy giuliani has played in trying to help president trump dig up dirt on his potential rival joe biden. >> what is your understanding right now of what mr. giuliani's role is? >> mr. congressman -- congressman questioni quigley, the white house to commented on the president's personal lawyer. my only knowledge of what mr. giuliani does, i have to be honest from you, i get from the tv and from the news media. >> which is pretty stunning, and i know he's laughing, but he doesn't think it's funny. it's not funny at all and this is a personal lawyers free lansing on national security for the whole country. this is the big question here, could rudy giuliani be facing serious legal repercussions over this? >> the democrats think that he should for trying to coerce
essentially the help of the ukrainian government against joe biden and to help the president's -- president trump's campaign, but the issue is that the justice department has kind of already looked that the and they decided that there's nothing to see here and there's nothing further to investigate. they said the president didn't commit a crime. this was not a criminal legal violation, a campaign finance violation and so the book is closed as far as the justice department is concerned, at least for now. the question, though, is a big one which is what is rudy giuliani doing? who was he talking to? what role has he played in what the justice department has been doing? don't forget, erin, while the book is closed on this particular investigation the justice department is still doing an investigation into what happened in 2016, whether the ukrainians provided any intelligence that was used against president trump in the mueller investigation. so that is still very much alive, and i think the democrats will want to know whether rudy
giuliani was providing information that ended up as part of that investigation that is still ongoing. >> evan peres, and everyone is back with me. with just with what evan was saying, okay, the department of justice. it's trump's department of justice. it's his attorney general bill barr who is also implicated in -- in what the whistle-blower is saying and in the transcript of the call. ? yes. >> he would be the con one exonerating a co in the report. >> i'm an alum of the department of justice. i oversaw statewide criminal investigations and the idea that you wouldn't open this up into investigation is not plausible that on the face of the paper you wouldn't go further. barr has an enormous conflict. he needed to recuse on this and he should not have personally had any role. we don't know yet whether he did, and there's no question that he should be involved in any way, shape or form on this. >> so, bob, we have giuliani today also urging congress to
subpoena his phone records. no problem, i have some texts here showing my side of of it, and he's putting out a lot of bluster. nothing to hide. nothing to see her. >> do you think he should be worried? >> think he should be worried and we don't know a lot about rudy giuliani's conversations with people in the ukraine. we don't know about whether rudy giuliani was taking direction from the president on this or whether he was freelancing, but giuliani should be concerned that there would be serious inquiries from all of this and from what we know so far this is not particularly a savory set of transactions because rudy giuliani using the power of his office in a new and political way. ? lauren, i don't think he was arcing as at the behest, and to
be the president's henchman and fixer and instead of a private citizen, the real question to me is what about the secretary of state? >> right. >> we see outsiders being tapped as special envoys, think of george mitchell and his work in the middle east, but that's being tapped by the government to be a special envoy in the furtherance of administration foreign policy. that's not what this is and rudy giuliani's quite clear. he says oh, the state department knew everything i was doing and wanted me to do all of this stuff. so that's the question for pompeo. it was striking to me to hear secretary pompeo over the weekend carrying the president's water repeating all of these claims against former vice president biden. he's been stunningly silent since then over whether rudy giuliani is his guy and that's the question, is he your guy or not? >> i think they'll ask him to testify. bill barr, the attorney general released a statement saying i didn't know about any of this.
sthfs, you kno this is all news to me and remember the recusal and remember the last time what happened to an attorney general when he recused himself from donald trump. >> exhibit a, sessions? >> he got fired. so barr decided not to do that. i can't say that's the reason, but on its face, it seems to me when your name anies up in krgz like this and the president is turning you like a lackey. i would have concern about that and i wonder if the attorney s raised that. >> julian egiuliani said that i empossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and i'm not and these moron, when this is over, i will be the hero. >> the president is acting like
he's above the law and rudy giuliani freelancing for the president, they have to follow rules and there are all kinds of national security issues. >> this is military aid and this is foreign policy and a personal lawyer. >> you can't just have people walking around on behalf of the united states government and one of the parts of the whistle-blower complaint and the state department individuals who were trying to work with ukraine to basically say to them and help them navigate, how do you deal with giuliani who is out there trying to do all these things on the president's personal behalf. >> david, this comes and all of these troubling things are adding up. some republicans are speaking out about parts of this, not all, but parts. one republican sitting on the house intel committee defended trump in one part and slammed him for the phone call with the ukrainian president with the whole pushing him to investigate joe biden. here is congressman mike turner. >> i want to say to the president, this is not okay. it is -- that conversation is not okay, and i think it's
disappointing to the american public when they read the transcript. >> and retiring will herd, republican former cia officer today tweeting there is a lot in the whistle-blower complaint that is concerning. we need to fully investigate all of the allegations addressed in the letter. the first step is to talk to the whistle-blower. these are significant comment, david. >> again. mike turner defending in many way, but these are significant comments, aren't they? >> i think it's significant. it's still pretty careful, you know, to condemn. the difrnts difference is in the matter of interpretation and this is where it's getting so polarized and the democrats are saying it speaks for itself. it is so clearly corrupt and so clearly impeachable and others are saying this is crude and this is the president not being able to control himself, but not impeachable and that's where it sort of breaks down. it's sort of inconsistent with the republican view of foreign policy and national security let alone of letting a foreign
nation, inviting a foreign nation to interfere in our election. the bottom line is it's political expediency still on republicans and they want to see the investigation go forward because they have to be nervous about what else comes out here and the conduct is concerning enough. later, if they want to vilify the whistle-blower that will are will be difficult. >> i think a lot of republican can be -- >> the house majority leader and kevin mccarney and there's a few, sasse, and kevin mccarthy has said no one has raised concerns and that what you just heard between he and turner were public. i'll play kevin mccarthy here. >> a few of the members tweeted
out earlier and mike turner says he doesn't think the conversation is okay. are you concerned about the split within your own conference and have you shared any of those concerns with us? >> i'm not sure. i haven't had a member come to me yet, any challenge on this. >> gloria, he is, of course, completely sure what that person was speaking of. what's he doing here. >> what? me worry? republicans are fine. we're fine. this is a democratic issue. i would have to say that republicans are going wait and see what the polls show. as you know, the public has been largely opposed to any kind of impeachment, and there is an early poll tonight that shows that may be shifting, but we'll have to just see and republicans may get a little more spine if they see that public opinion is shifting because this is a story that's easy to understand, and easy to digest and the more the
president complains and plays the victim here, when it's pretty much in plaque and white the public may react negatively and it may not be of much difficulty for moderate republicans or moderate democrats as we saw or moderate republican senators to say, you know what? i can't go along with this. >> i also think kevin mccarthy is right. you know, maybe he missed those two comments today and maybe he's saying nobody walked up to me, but they're basically still holding the line around the president. >> some say -- people are saying different things behiend the scenes and it will matter whether you will come out and saying it or not. >> so what is the strategy with that and beto o'rourke says in you don't know why trump should be impeached you're just not looking. the presidential candidate is out front. with all day comfort for all day fun...
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>> tonight, president trump continuing to spread a misleading claim about the former vice president joe biden. here's what trump said today while arguing house intel chair adam schiff is ignoring biden's actions. >> he doesn't talk about joe biden firing a prosecutor, and if that prosecutor's not fired he's not going to give him money from the united states of america. >> and trump has said again and again that biden, you know, did this for a specific reason. he wanted this prosecutor fired
and held up the money for specific reason which was to protect his son from a corruption investigation. >> he wouldn't give, i think it was billions of dollars to ukraine, unless they fired the prosecutor who was looking at his son and his son's company. >> now, let's just be very clear, there's been absolutely no evidence that the former vice president did this, did anything wrong. out front now, democratic governor who sits on the house foreign affairs committee. i appreciate your time. not only are you a sitting member of congress, you were under the obama administration. when president trump said he got him fired to protection his son as a motive you were there. tell us what really happened. >> so here's what happened. the united states, the international community, we were giving a lot of support to ukraine in 2015, 2016, the imf
was providing loans. the united states was providing loan guarantees and that aid was explicitly conditioned on ukraine doing better in the fight against corruption. in late 2015 we realized that the main prosecutor, the chief prosecutor in ukraine was doing nothing about corruption. he had brought not a single significant corruption prosecution including against this company that joe biden's son was involved with. he wasn't doing anything about that either. so we decided, the state department decided, not joe biden, that for assistance to be provided that prosecutor needed to be replaced. the state department delivered that message, our embassy delivered that message, the european union delivered that message, the president of france delivered that message, the president of germany delivered that message, the international monetary fund delivered that message, the european bank for
reconstruction and redevelopment delivered that message. so i don't know, maybe trump thinks that the entire world was engaged in a conspiracy to protect joe biden and his son or maybe actually this was u.s. policy, european policy, international community's policy and the right thing to do. >> all right. so to be loud and clear, i'm not saying he didn't agree, but he did what he was told to do what the u.s. government decided to do. >> he was the messenger. >> to the point of why you would be joe biden because this is also important. you talked about the immense amount of aid that was going from the united states, right? so we know, obviously, that mick mulvaney was told according to sources about a week before this call that trump had with the ukrainian president to put aid to ukraine on hold and contextualize this for us, as a ukraine expert, can you tell us how important american aid is?
if you are president trump how much power do you have by ukraine by withholding that aid? >> hoax, my gosoh, my gosh, the. we have thousands of troops in europe who are there in part to deter russian aggression against ukraine and europe. russian aggression, attacks that are going on right now and that aid included javelin missiles which are anti-tank weapons designed to make sure that those russian tanks cannot invade ukraine and put our own troops ultimately in jeopardy and trump decided for reasons that are otherwise inexplicable to stop that assistance. >> one other question i want to ask you. "the washington post" spoke to the prosecutor that trump according to the complaint praised and this guy is also now a former prosecutor, but he told "the washington post" that hunter biden didn't break any ukrainian laws and this was the guy put in to investigate corruption and the investigation
of the company as you point out had gone nowhere and was dormant under the other guy. do you think this is a credible take? that this former prosecutor is saying hunter biden did not break any ukrainian laws, do you take that as credible? >> this is not about hunter biden. this is about the president of the united states, the current president of the united states basing our foreign policy on whether foreign countries are willing to help him politically, and it's not just ukraine. are we going to give a better trade deal to china if the chinese government gives trump dirt on elizabeth warren? where does this end? this is why this is so important to our national security and why so many of us including some republicans are concerned right now. >> all right. congressman malinowski, i appreciate you for coming on. >> thank you. >> tonight joe biden is speaking out after the hearing on capitol hill, the former vice president at a california fund-raiser saying president trump was trying to, quote, hijack an
election by asking the ukraine help for an investigation that trump would like to get foreign help to win elections. this as trump says biden and democrats are doing this just for politics. >> the democrats are going to lose the election. they know it. that's why they're doing it. >> out front now, 2020 democratic presidential congressman beto o'rourke. i appreciate your time. the democrats are going to lose, they know it. that's why they're doing this. is that what this is about for you? >> no. this is about the future of this country and saving our democracy at the moment that it's on the line. if we set this precedent that some people are above the law because of the position of power or public trust that they hold then any hope of being able to keep this republic, this democracy together is lost forever. so this is the moment, if there ever was one, for members of congress both republican and democrat to put the future of this country ahead of their
party, mr. political prospects and their in the next election. we have to hold him accountable. the house must move forward with impeachment. it's the only way that we get all the facts, the truth and justice at the end of the day, and that's what i'm interested in. >> so let me ask you about where this goes, though. the democrats in the house, as you know, of course, seem to have the votes to impeach president trump. but at this moment that does seem impossible in the senate. unless something changes dramatically, it's not going to happen there. so if your party impeaches trump in the house but he stays in office, are you worried this could be a huge victory for him? >> no, i'm not worried. and i don't think it will be a party that votes to impeach. i think it will be members of congress who see themselves as americans first before they're anything else. if you looked at the polling on impeachment around nixon at this point in the investigation, it wasn't the most popular thing in the country, and yet with the
advantage of hindsight we know that it was absolutely the right thing to do. and president nixon did the right thing and resigned before it moved to a trial in the senate. i'm calling upon those who are close to president trump right now, the same ones who tried to hide the transcript or the notes from this phone call, who right now are complicit in what the president is doing to advise him to do the right thing and to resign from this office. if we're talking about bringing together a very divided country, unifying once again around the great challenges that we have, then the most divisive president that we've ever had, one who is breaking laws with complete impunity right now tearing this country apart must step down. that's the right thing to do. but should he fail to do that, the house must vote to impeach, and that trial must be held in the senate. and i believe in this country, i believe in this country and i believe that we will do the right thing at the end of the day. >> so the president has been speaking out about you also this week on something that you've become front and center for him on the 2020 race, which is, you
know, your passionate stance on guns and a mandatory buyback of automatic assault-style weapons. he blames you for the lack of gun control legislation specifically, congressman. here's how he put it. >> i saw where this character from texas, i can't imagine he'll get one vote in texas, he wants to start confiscating guns. that's not a good thing. that's no good. it makes it actually much harder to make a deal when this beto o'rourke comes out and starts talking about confiscating guns. >> this beto o'rourke. what do you say to him? have you made it harder? >> in texas, 49% of my fellow texans support a mandatory buyback of weapons of war, ar-15s, ak-47s, weapons designed to kill people on a battlefield. only 46 oppose. and that's in texas, a proud but
responsible gun owning state. it's a majority across this country. it's not any one person. it's not any one idea. it's the fact that this president is deep in the pocket of the nra. there are other members of congress who are bought and paid for by the gun lobby. they need to get out of the way or do the right thing, pass universal background checks, red flag laws, end the sale of weapons of war. and yes, as long as there are more than 10 million out there, buy ever single one of them back. >> and you believe they're going to get this done and not get really too busy with this whole impeachment thing? >> nibble this country. i know that we are capable of doing two things at once. and the fact that we lose 40,000 people in this country to gun violence, that we've had these acts of terror like the one that you saw in el paso or midland, odessa or sutherland springs four in one state, texas alone, i know that this country is called to act. and those students who marched for our lives, those moms who
demand action, they're more powerful than the nra. they're going to force us to do the right thing while we still have time. >> congressman o'rourke, thanks very much for your time. i appreciate it tonight. >> thank you. up next, personally demeaning. the person leading the whistle-blower probe. the man who used to head that committee weighs in next. ♪
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new tonight, president trump attacking the chairman of the house intelligence committee, adam schiff, who led today's hearing. trump calling the investigation a scam, calling schiff, quote, little adam schiff, with ds. out front man, who used to hold schiff's position, mike rogers. also the host of "declassified: untold stories of american spice." chairman rogers, you were once the republican chair of this committee. >> yeah. >> what do you make of trump's choosing to do this today, sort of mock, try to make it light, make it personal in this way? >> you know, listen, it's hard to explain sometimes what the president does in circumstances like this. he would have been better off to kind of take the statesman role and talk about other things and try to move on past this particular event. but attacking it, he just fuels the fire for those people who think hey, there must be something here. those people are going to say
well, see? see the way he is acting? that must mean there is something to it, because he is so personal and so attacking on this particular issue. and, you know, again, i just -- this would have been the opportunity for the president to be statesman like in this, and he did have some legitimate questions. why was the whistle-blower report released today? normally, i have to tell you, as the chairman who got whistle-blower reports, i would never release the report until it was fully vetted and we had a chance to fully review it and make sure the information was accurate, and then we still might not release the report. >> so i want the turn now before we go to your series "declassified: untold stories of american spies." i know you have been working on this for a long time. it's been something you've put your heart into. the first episode looks at a plot to blow up the new york city subway system on the anniversary of 9/11. here is a clip preview for our viewers. >> while we weren't loving the idea of a car stop, we didn't
really have a choice. we can't just let him drive into manhattan and blow something up. the last thing you want to be responsible for is another smoking crater in your city. >> i mean, it gives you chills hear iing it. the plan to thwart that terrorist was put together in 15 minutes, as you show in this program. i mean, how often do last-minute plans like that go into action? that's incredible. >> well, you hope you never have to stop it that close to the event. and remember, the exciting thing about this episode is that it breaks it down from the beginning, how they found him, the fact that the guy travelled from the state of colorado with materials to conduct the act, and all of our law enforcement from local to u.s. intelligence to our fbi, even the nsa played a very important role in this, and all of that is talked about in this. it really does kind of look like a movie when you're done with it, the suspense of this, the nail-biting close call that this was for actually happening.
i mean, it was an operational al qaeda sponsored and inspired event, and they got it really at the last minute. >> all right. well, thank you very much. great to see you, chairman. and to all of you, you will have to see it. season premiere of "declassified" is this sunday night at 9:00. and thank you all so much for joining us. "ac 360" starts now. good evening. if the allegations of a whistle-blower are true, the country is now in a place it has not seen since watergate. that's how consequential, how historic this day has been, and that's how serious the allegations are in the formal complaint made public today. we should say again at this point they are only allegations, but they certainly paint a damning picture of a president abusing a power of his office for personal gain and abusing it once more to cover it up, allegedly misusing the system designed to guard the country's most sensitive secrets to instead conceal evidence
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