tv S.E. Cupp Unfiltered CNN September 28, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
welcome to "unfiltered" special coverage. road to impeachment, what a week. if you're feeling overwhelmed, a little exhausted, maybe even a little confused, that's understandable. the bombs went off in rapid clusters this week. they're still exploiting even today. news that president trump pressured the president of
ukraine to investigation joe biden's son. boom. the white house releases a rough transcript of a phone call confirming the recount. boom. the house hears testimony from acting dn aismt joseph maguire, who calls the situation unprecedented. boom. the word that comes to my mind is seismic. secretary of state mike pompeo has been subpoenaed. we have a member of one of the committees who subpoenaed him in just a minute. it just got real. the dam has broken, and we all need to prepare ourselves for what will le a constant flood of new revelations, important revelations, as this process unfolds. we must also be prepared for the
flood of misinformation, misdirection, obfuscation, distraction, that will come from the president and his supporters. to that end, trump is calling for congressman adam schiff's resignation, calling him a sick man. he's called for the whistle-blower and the people who gave him information to be treated as traitors and handled accordingly. he tweeted earlier today -- can you imagine if they do nothing democrat savages, people like nadler, schiff, aod plus 3, and many more, had a republican party who would have done to obama what the do nothings are doing to me. oh, well, maybe next time. here's the teem. through all of it, you just have to trust your gut and common sense. there's been a lot of spin the whistle-blower complaint and the transcript of
trump's phone call with ukrainian president zelensky. he says we're almost ready to buy more jaflens for defense purposes. the next words out of trump's mouth. i would like you to do us a favor, though. trump's republican defenders says there's no explicit quid pro quo, but common sense the military aid is dependent on whatever favor he's about to request. he urges zelensky to investigate the bidens. on monday trump shrugs off the news, saying why would you give money to a country you think is corrupt? common sense says trump himself right there, was tying the military aid to the investigation of biden. trump defenders are spinning the call and the allegations in the
whistle-blower complaint as, quote, nothing more than a collection of thirdhand accounts of events and cobbled together press clippings. that's according to the white house press secretary stephanie grisham. when the white house admits it directed the call transcript to be locked down and filed in a separate classified system where few people could see it? that sounds like there's plenty improper. to a lot of people that sounds like a cover-up, in fact. guys, trump is hoping we are too stupid to put these pieces together. he's betting he can gaslight his way through this, create enough confusion and chaos that we get too tired and overwhelmed to see it as clearly as it really is. but this isn't complicated. it's pretty darn crystal clear whether this results in his impeachment is another story. i've been very hesitant to jump on that bandwagon thus far.
simply because there wasn't enough there, and impeachment is generally bad for america, but we have crossed the rubicon. there's simply no way around opening an inquirinquiry. it is the right thing to do, and right now. this week the congressman joins me now. nancy pelosi is now willing to go down the road, but she wants to keep it narrowly focused on ukraine and the whistle-blowers complaint. does that strategy make sense to you? >> you know, s.e., it does. this behavior is so egregious. remember, i'm one of 92 new members of congress. we just took other oath of office nine months ago. we are very mindful of that right now. i think in light of the facts that are coming out in rapid succession over the past few days, we have no choice but to do what the constitution requires us to do to uphold the rule of law.
i think this specific example is one that should be pursued. it is so egregious, and i think we should do it expeditiously, because that's also in the country's best interests. >> that's what i want to ask you about next. leadership further said they want it wrapped up by the holidays. i don't blame them. do you think it's possible, though, given just the voluminous amounts of news uncovered this week alone, we're likely to get a whole lot more. >> i think the answer is absolutely. we have a number of committees that have been doing investigations for some months now. i have right next to me the whistle-blower's report and the summary of that transcript. those two items alone, s.e. are so clear in the wrongdoing. i do believe on some level the president may not even know what he did is wrong, but ignorance is no defense. >> yeah. >> and i think we can conclude this quickly and we should. we have a lot of work to do in
congress. those of us who just joined the 106th congress came here to do good work. this is not what we wanted to do, it's sad for america, but it's good for the constitution and the rule of law. >> the committee has issued a subpoena to mike pompeo for various documents. if he refuses, what then? what is the plan? >> well, then he'll be held in contempt. this is obstruction. this is one of the grave issues we are facing right now. congress is a co-equal branch of government. the documents were requested two weeks ago with no response. we have five depositions forthcoming next week. there's a lot of smoke, s.e., and our responsibility is to investigate it, draw out the facts, and then proceed on principle. that's exactly what we intend to do. >> yeah, i agree. however, there were some complaints even among democrats that hearings with people like cory lieu want douse can i were
unhelpful to the cause, kind of look like a circus. do you think democrats need to be careful with the way these hearings are conducted, even if just to avoid the perception this is partisan or just meant to embarrass certain trump allies? >> yeah, i agree that was unfortunate. no one wants to see that behavior in our congress. i would like to see forth coming hearings shown as broadly as possible. in fact, i'm one who favors letting professionals do the questions in those hearings so this is not partisan. i think that would be in the best interest of our congress and hopefully restore some trust in an institution that certainly needs more of it. >> the house, as you know is going on a two-week recess. you're in a swing district. when you go home, what do you expect to hear from your constituents? how do you plan to talk about impeachment with them?
>> i've been listens for many months to constituents, a growing chorus from my district and beyond. my district is an affluent, highly engaged district, and a lot of republicans are sharing their perspective that we have no other choice. despite the fact that it's a distasteful pursuit. in fact i spent the morning calling constituents of mine who have registered their grave concerns. i'm listening to everybody, speaking with everybody who wishes to do so. that's our job. representation begins with listening. at the end of the day, it is the constitution and the rule of law. we have to abide by that. it's not just for this president. it's for the president's seat and the future and that's what we have to be focused on. >> i'm going to talk over the course of the rest of the hour about potential political consequences as a result of doing this. i really appreciate you coming
on, congressman. thanks for speaking with me night. >> my pleasure. thanks. the gravity of an impeachment investigation can't be overstated, nor can the political risk. someone who worked closely with nancy pelosi will talk to me about the path forward, next. i see you found the snacks. mmm, delicious! i need this recipe. everyone thinks i made them, but it's actually d-con. what was that? judy? d-con. mice love it to death.
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none of us, my colleagues will agree, came to congress to impeach a president. this is not a cause for any joy, that we have to go down this path. it's a difficult decision that make. but we have that obligation. because in the actions that were taken but undermine the constituti constitution. perhaps one reason she was hesitant, impeachment has consequences, not just for the subject of impeachment, but for the impeaching party.
right now the polls is trending in pelosi's favor. according to the latest marist poll, 49% approve of an impeachment inquiry, up from the quinnipiac polloff before the announcement showing that 37% support. that's an improvement, but still not a majority. that's why democrats are fielding questions like they. i would vote no right now, because we haven't seen all the facts. we have to presume that people are innocent, don't we? >> you have to worry about the political ramifications of moving forward. >> manu, at some point you have to toss the political calculations out the window and do what's rite for our republic.
he was the chair of the house democratic caucus. to rep cartwright's point, at some point the political calculations goods tossed out the window, but let's talk about what some of these are likely to be. >> your thoughts on that? >> well, i don't think you could base a decision as to whether or not to move forward on impeachment. how it affects the president or affects the democratic caucus at this point. >> i think nancy pelosi was reluctant to come to this. often i hear her talk about the pressure she was under back in '06 the pressure to bring impeachment. she said repeatedly we will not put the people through that.
we're not a banana republic. we don't want to use impeachant every time you want to remove someone. you don't think there's any concern that impeach meant will have the effect on trump? just that is it a concern among some democrats? >> we won't know until the facts are fullyunder stood. >> so what the president was engaged in is more than troubling. there's certainly evidence here. so regardless as to what the political outcome, this is not a good thing for our country,
period, but it is good in the sense that we are upholding to the rules of the constitution itself. >> right. >> that was meant to deal with issues just like this. >> i think we can both agree that opening the inquiry is the right thing to do. i'm trying to gauge whether or not some of these political consequences, and if they're real, are going to, you know, affect this s process. >> was the effect down ballot in more moderate districts, maybe who are up for reelection. >> i think that's a great point you raise, s.e. it wasn't the pressure from the left here that i think moved tro process forward. i think it was those, maybe those specially seven democrats who took a courageous stance early this week, and they said
that they believe we needed to move forward with an impeachment inquiry. it was those folks on the front line, now that we're facing a different it's not about my seat. it's about the country. i think republicans even have to admire that, those who put aside their own personal politics. we all want to win again, right? and there's nothing wrong with losing if you're doing that to uphold the principles that you hold dear. do you think democrats are willing to pursue it even if it costs them the white house? >> i think democrats are prepared to take this to the american people, let the facts speak for themselves. if there have been many things
that have happened over a period of time i think nancy pelosi, she really had no other choice at this point in time. >> i just want to give you one last question, a chance to respond to trump's latest tweet, calling jerry nadler, adam schiff, the squad including alexandria ocasio cortez democratic savages. >> i've known many people, jerry nadler for 35 years, ada many schiff as well. these are some of the finest people you would ever meet. it's typical for this president to use that tactic, to object fuss indicate, to throw covers over what is happening. it won't hooks.
these professionals know the law, especially when it comes to ada many schiff, a former federal prosecutor, they know how to move this case. joe crowley, thank you for coming on tonight. >> thank you, s.e. there's no place that's far enough to escape the impeachment aftershocks. it's something 2020 candidates are learning a hard way. later on republican lawmakers are once again privately concerned. don't get mea started. here! here! here! here! being here matters but the cold and flu keeps some students from being here up to 60 million days every year. introducing 'here for healthy schools' a new program from lysol, dedicated to curbing the spread of illness in classrooms by teaching healthy habits and partnering with a smart thermometer company. learn about our mission at lysol.com
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the impeachment inquiry to be sure will not only hang over the reelection efforts, but for the democrats, too. but not so fast. there will likely be landmines for them, too. chief among them, how to answer questions about trump's skull sa scurrilous comments. >> would your vice president's child be allowed to serve on a board of a foreign company? >> no. >> why not? >> i don't know. i would have to go back and look at the details on the plan. >> do you think there would be a problem on that? >> i would have to go back and look. >> after she realizing she may have implied that the role of
hunter biden was improper, she used her second opportunity to shift it back to trump. >> just very quickly, obviously the president has gone over joe biden and he son, do you think hi dealings should be off-limits in this case? >> i believe this issue is about donald trump. that's where we need to keep ou. ukrainian prosecutors found no evidence of any wrongdoing by hunter biden. why didn't warren just say that? let's discuss with my panel, alice stewart and democratic strategist, also a cnn political commentator, hillary rosen. alice, shouldn't biden's proponents defend him? >> they should, if they want to follow president obama advice
and not engage in a fire squad. what i expect to see, they will be dropping bombs, setting landmines and joe biden will be the collateral dam. he nonhas to deal with answering questions wrong to he -- while he's spending time doing that, he's not on the campaign trail talking about health care, about education, about what they're going to do with regard to immigration. that's a big detriment to him. meanwhile, the other candidates can point at trump, not answer questions on biden, and talk about issues that the american people are concerned with. >> hillary, i think a fair question, though, every biden is, will biden administration permit your son or daughter to take positions of influence either in the white house, the government or foreign entities, where there may be conflicts of interest? i view that as a question more related to trump's decision to
do just that, and less to hunter's involvement off board of a ukrainian company. is that a fair question of biden? >> at the time, of course, it wasn't a conflict of interest. ukraine was an ally, this is a legitimate company, so there wasn't an issue. the issue became what happened later when people made a deal of it. look, i think that the -- joe biden has had a bit of an open book about this. reporters have been on this story for a very long time and have found nothing. you had the obama state department back him up in terms of their own interest on this issue, so i don't think this is an issue of whether there's anything there. i think it's really more an issue of whether this constant drumbeat by president trump scares the other candidates a bit and encouraging them to just keep their mouths shut instead of fighting back on vice president biden's behalf.
that will hurt him, i think, but the really bigger problem i think running for president, they want to be talking about health care. they want to be talking about what's wrong with donald trump's, you know, economic agenda. they want to be talking about education. all of the energy will get sucked into washington right now, and not iowa or new hampshire or south carolina. >> that's another landmine to navigate, yeah, finding ways on the campaign trails in debates to bring the story back. that will be hard to do. alice, there are other landmines here for the democrats. one will be pushing the house democrats further than they're willing to go, getting ahead of the inquiry process. that's sort of the flip side of not wanting to talk about impeachment, and i think for folks like warren and bernie, who have been out in front of the impeachment, that might be a risk for them. >> the risk is setting a left of expectations that they possibly
cannot meet. this is what happened with the mueller report. they set the expectation. we thought there would be a huge ballshell, and if they get ahead of their skis and have everyone anticipating this is going to be end all and be all and a true smoking gun with regard to an impeachment, if that level isn't met, they're going to be the party of the boy who cried wolf. that will backfire, and that's going to turn off a lot of independents, and also democrats putting their fate in the process playing out. at the end of the day i think the best advice is slow down, take a look at the facts and let the facts lead to the ultimate decision. >> what if this goes as quickly as pelosi and some democrats want it to and, you know, just a few months, maybe six months before the election we learn impeachment was unsuccessful maybe? how does that affect democrats on the trail? >> first of all, i think you see
the two leaders on the trail over the last 24 hours say that this should be a nonpolitical process. neither vice president biden nor elizabeth warren that is said, you know, this calls for impeachment. they said it calls for a serious investigation, and it should be a nonpolitical investigation. i think that the speaker is trying to move this along, so that no matter what happens, there is time between this inquii inquiry and election to level set back. the problem is i don't s white house giving over these documents very easily. i don't see their witnesses cooperaten. >> sure. >> i think the more that nancy pelosi says we want to move faster with this investigation, the more they will slow walk everything. >> yes. >> to try to dare the democrats to go forward without all the facts. >> i think you're right. >> i think that's the stalemate we'll come up against when it comes to thanksgiving our christmas. >> great.
alice stewart, hillary rosen, thank for you joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> take care. i'm talking to the maen who has correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections. his most recent forecast in light of the impeachment news? that is next. thanks to move frea i keep up with this little one. see the world with this guy. and hit the town with these girls. in a clinical study, 4 out of 5 users felt better joint comfort. take the ultra challenge. try move free today.
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what is in store for the noise now that house democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry? there's some 10 million first-time voters who were not alive in 1998, the last time a president was impeached. president nixon faced an inquiry and articles of impeachment were drafted, but he resigned before the full house voted. what's going to happen next? house speaker nancy pelosi has broken with precedent, said the committees already investigating the president are now doing so as a formal impeachment iniey. she's instructed the house intelligence committee to take the lead and focus narrow will i on the whistle-blower's complaint and the phone call with ukraine. whatever information is gathered will form the basis for any articles of impeachment that would be drawn up by the judiciary committee, sort of like a grand jury indictment.
the committee would vote and if 3ru6d would send it to the house floor. it takes a simple majority to approve articles of impeachment. if that happens, the process would move to the senate for a trial. senators then become the jurors, and supreme court chief justice john roberts would preside. in that chamber, it would take a super-majority, meaning 67 senators to remove trump from office. so 20 republicans would have to vote to remove the president to get to that number, which currently stands at zero. with me now is alan lichtman who has correctly predicted the last nine elections. he's also the author for "the case for impeachment." these things, though, they aren't usually fast the impeachment for president johnson was -- how long do you think this one will last? >> there should be no timetable
on impeachment. >> okay. >> the critical thing here is to get all of the facts ute, however or short that might take. given the obstructionism of the trump administration, i don't think it's going to be quite as quick as the democrats say. >> right. >> also, they say it's focused on the ukrainian matter, but the whistle-blower complaint revealed something that may be far more significant, and that is that trump put in this top-secret system conversations with two murderous dictators mbs of saudi arabia, and vladimir putin of russia. what he said to them may be much more damning than what he said to the ukrainian president. >> these impeachment inquiries have a way of bringing out other information. >> that's right. >> i've seen countless articles comparing trump to nixon, and countless more saying don't compare trump to nixon. when it comes to their respective impeachment prospects
and environments, how do you think they stack up? >> i think they're very similar, but let me say, richard nixon started at 67% approval. the impeachment process drove it down even before the release of the smoking gun tape, to 24%. trump is starting at had 2% or 43%. even a small hit would be disastrous to him. and the nixon impeachment was disastrous, at least in the short term, for the republican party in addition. some ofs articles that the judiciary economiee voted against nixon that led to his resignation could be repriced this time. abuse of power and obstruction of justice, and, of course, contempt of congress. those three are all in play. >> so impeachment, whenever you -- it's invoked, as you know, is a dark time for politics, what do you expect the
mood to be like over the next few months? >> i think people are way too hysterical about the process. the framers put impeachment into the constitution advisedly. as a legal respect peaceful means of dealing with a rogue president. they expected there to be rogue presidents. when andrew johnson was impeached, we had just fought a civil war. people thought my god, the civil war would occur again. nothing of the kind happened. even though he was acquitted, he stopped obstructing reconstruction. the impeachment of nixon was good for the country. it removed a threat. everybody said the impeachment of bill clinton would weaken the presidency, but the presidency emerged stronger than ever. so it's not necessarily the catastrophe that the conventional wisdom says it is. you say democrats would lose in 2020 if they didn't impeach
trump. so do you think impeachment will help democrats? >> absolutely. everybody gets that wrong. the reason i've been able to predict elections since 1984 is my keys to the white house system, which measures the strength and performance of the party holding the white house. trump would have to lose six keys to be defeated. right now he's only down three keys. the impeachment would nail now as only the third president ever to be impeached, the scandal key. it could trigger other keys like a real challenge to his renomination or a third party. let's not forget after the clinton impeachment, the republicans won the presidency in 2000, an election the democrats should have easily won otherwise. >> professor, we will have you on i'm sure again to weigh in. thanks for joining me tonight. my great pleasure, s.e. we're in a historic moment that will shine a spotlight not just on trump, but on republicans as well. that's next.
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this has been an eventful week for both president trump and congressional democrats. largely m.i.a., the republicans. while there's been an effort to circle the waggens around white house supporters, a number when asked on thursday, said they hadn't even read the whistle-blower complaint, a nine-page document concerning the national security and election integrity of our country. my 5-year-old's bedtine stories are longer. james lankford, john hoeven la mark xaurt, rob portman, joni ernst, and offering a courageous no comment, tom cotton. some mitt romney, for one said the call was deeply troubling.
what will republicans do? with me now is former spokesman for the rnc, tim miller. thank you so much for courageously stepping away from the clemson game. >> it was a good finish i missed. my bedtime reading is also longer than nine pages. >> don't even get me started. look, the time for reckoning is upon the gop. republicans who did not support this president were concerned about these very kinds of things. so republicans who did support this president will now have to answer to them. how do you expect this to go? do you expect republican lawmakers to turn on trump? >> no, of course not. as you said in the intro, senator romney's statement that this was troubling in the extreme was frankly mild, but he was the most aggressive of everybody, and the president
immediately had childish tweets making fun of him. these gee are petrified of getting a mean tweet that their constituents will read that will be on the local news. and this will happen up until the last second. there would need to be the silverest of bullets to get any of these folks to switch, in my view. >> jeff flake says at least 35 republicans fluors would vote -- well, it isn't, at least not as it currently exists. who if anyone do you predict might have the courage to break their silence? >> i don't know, maybe ben sasse? how could you say that. he was the only other one that put out a statement. richard burr, he did an honorable job overseeing the intel committee during the mueller hearings, so you could see somebody like that, think being retires, switching.
i think there are at least a dozen that would vote against it in a silent vote. i honestly would rather get rid of those guys and bring in trumpers. to me it seems worse that you can't be honest with your constituents with something as serious as the president committing these sorts of atrocities in serious foreign policy issues. what is the point of being in the senate if you can't be honest with your constituents where you stand on something this serious. >> the point i've been making over the past week, while a republican party will be accountable for what they do, so will individual republicans. it's not like their names get expunged and all we talk about is the effect of this on the party. do you think some republicans in congress are aware of how history might judge them for this moment? >> you know, no. i really don't think that they
do. i think they feel like people have short memories. i was asking the texas tribune reporter, what he thought about why ted cruz, who donald trump was so belittling too, why he wouldn't use this moment to stand up for the constitution and get some revenge on donald trump. they guys are all short term. they're looking at the next re-election or 2024, every senator wants to be president. they don't want -- >> they're getting on the wrong side of history. >> but the ones who do feel that way left. and you look at speaker ryan, a lot of folks retired. i think it's sad that not more people who understand the historic tim miller, thanks for joining me. appreciate it. >> you too, s.e. >> dr. sanjay gupta searchs for cbd in his special report "weed
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earlier today about democrat savages and democrat do-nothings. he also seriously complained of presidential harassment. life comes at you fast, doesn't it, mr. president? i'm old enough to remember when he made a cottage industry of harassing president obama. from 2011 to 2016, trump went on countless talk shows and news outlets as well as twit tore challenge obama's legitimacy as president and questioning his workplace and american citizenship as well as his religion. there were nolos to which trump would not sink in this endeavor. he even grotesquely used the untimely and tragic death of loretta fuddy in a plane crash to boost his conspiracy tweeting how amazing the state health director who verified copies of obama's birth certificate died in a plane crash today. all others lived. >> hypotheticals to yes, harass the sitting president all of the
way to give harbor to birther, islam phones and bigots who would conveniently turn up to support his presidential run. it had nothing to do with his policies and had nothing to do with national security. they were just for the sake of ginning up the racist base of personal support. that's harassment. so spare us the pity party, mr. president. all right. that's it for me. wolf blitzer continues cnn's special live coverage from d.c. stay right there. here! here! here! here! being here matters but the cold and flu keeps some students from being here up to 60 million days every year. introducing 'here for healthy schools' a new program from lysol, dedicated to curbing the spread of illness in classrooms by teaching healthy habits and partnering with a smart thermometer company. learn about our mission at lysol.com
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♪ ♪ welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is cnn's special coverage. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. there are major developments on several fronts in the ukraine scandal this saturday evening, but most importantly we are also on the verge of an historic turning point. many house democrats have their way donald trump will become only the third u.s. president to be impeached. they're pushing for a full house vote by thanksgiving just two months from now. a majority of house members now back the impeachment inquiry formally launched this