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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  September 30, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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flown there in two jets contracted by the saudi government, this claim by the crown prince doesn't carry a lot of weight. >> no, it doesn't. ben wedeman, thank you. thanks for joining us this hour. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, erica, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. a big day ahead for the trump impeachment inquiry. democrats plan to interview several witnesses behind closed doors. plus raw anger from the president himself, tweeting out at the white house whistleblower. the president trying to keep republicans in line that many are having a private nervous about where this is heading.
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> . the former white house aide painting trump clueless about north korea's paranoia. >> it remains unacceptable for north korea to have deliverable nuclear weapons. >> so is so-called romance diplomacy the best way to get to that point? >> i'm not going to comment on that. >> okay. then -- >> nice try. >> okay. >> back to that story a little bit later, but president trump today very much aware it is a big week ahead in the house impeachment inquiry. on twitter a tome of presidential complaints, many of them wandering far from the facts, going after the bidens, the whistleblower and house chairman adam schiff. the president demanding he get to meet his accuser, that being the whistleblower, and calling schiff a criminal. first the big week ahead. democrats gathering the building
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blocks for their impeachment inquiry, mostly behind closed doors. this week key house committees will depose two people you've likely never heard of but who are crucial potential witnesses. the former ambassador to ukraine, maria yavonovich. she was recalled from her post earlier this year. and adam volcker. he suddenly resigned his post on friday. this friday the attorney general michael atkinson will also testify behind closed doors. they will work to secure that testimony, but we don't have a date for that yet. moderates and democrats hoping this week to build some foundations here, althoughwe won't see it. >> they're expecting more subpoenas to come out this week. adam schiff made it clear last night, speaking to "60 minutes" that he plans to issue a subpoena fto rudy giuliani for documents. the question is do they bring
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rudy giuliani in to testify in a public setting. that decision has not been made yet. there are a number of document requests the democrats plan to make in the days ahead. they say what the whistleblower pointed out is simply a road map for their investigation. adam schiff talked to two other house committees demanding depositions from five state officials as well as documents from the state department by friday. we do expect volcker to come in front of the house panels by thursday. the question is will the others come guaforward or will the whi house take steps to block the whi democrats' efforts? they do not plan to derail their investigations, just block house subpoenas, refusing to comply. this time i'm told by democrats
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they plan to use that for evidence off obstruction by congress which they believe is an impeachable offense, so watch as the intelligence committee continues to investigate even as the rest of the congress is on recess, john. >> a busy couple hours ahead as we learn about the subpoenas. come back if there's more. with necessary, kaitlan collins, paul kane with the "washington post," and the "wall street journal." i get the sense from my in box this morning that everybody realizes this is real. the tone has changed in the last 48 hours. manu mentions these subpoenas. paul, i want to start with you in the sense that i lived through the last impeachment. there are big names here. will they subpoena mike pompeo? will they get rudy giuliani in the chair? but if you're building a case, or what impeachment is is a political trial, sometimes it's the impeachment we don't know much about publicly who will give you the clues, if you will, the crumbs, if you will.
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the ambassador and kurt volcker, democrats believe, can take us beyond the president's call. they believe this was going on weeks and months in advance and that the former ambassador and the former special envoy know all the critical pieces, a, about what rudy giuliani was doing, and b, how much government resources went into this. >> absolutely. they played a role into hearing from the state department, hearing from rudy giuliani who wants to come over and meet with these people, helping set the meetings up, and they know where the pressure points were, especially relating to the $400 million in aid in military and state department aid that was held up that is also a piece of this. so that's sort of the first stumbling blocks they have to get through. and eventually, you know, the mysterious whistleblower might come and testify, and at that point, what threads get pulled out, we're still really waiting
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to see. >> where we are at the moment is this is still, for the large part, a democrat-led enterprise. there are no republicans so far jumping on board. there are republicans saying there are questions to be answered here, but most of those republicans also say they don't see this as an impeachable offense. as we watch this play out, the question is how does it play at home? how does it play in america? we'll show you some polling later in the program about how this impeachment is growing in support with the public. if you're a house democrat and you're home this week, especially if you're from a contested district, speaker nancy pelosi saying focus on the facts, focus on the president's own words. try not to get caught up in the politics. >> do you have any anxiety at all about any of the stuff we're talking about or anything that we're not talking about impacting your ability to hold control of the house in 2020? >> it doesn't matter. >> it doesn't matter. >> our first responsibility is to protect and defend the constitution. >> i hear you. >> it's an interesting week. we're going to spend a lot of time on the details here in
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washington. but it's also an interesting week for the politics of this as most house democrats, intelligence committee here doing some work. most democrats are at home. >> i think the politics are interesting because the pressure that democrats are facing right now is basically to show this isn't political, you know. and as they keep hearing from republicans who really aren't defending the content of what's at play here but really that they're trying to say that democrats are doing this for partisan reasons. it puts pressure on democrats to make sure they're doing it in a narrow, focused way, bringing up things like the constitution, saying they're just investigating, they're not outright calling for impeachment, at least some of the moderate democrats so far. >> and one of the questions has been, you see some people say, let's assume -- and some people do assume now that nancy pelosi has given the blessing of calling this an impeachment inquiry -- that the house doesn't think it will get that far. then the question is, if the
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house kbeecimpeaches the presid what would happen with the senate? some say they could table it. mitch mcconnell saying, no, that's not how the rules work. >> if the senate ruled related to impeachment, it would take 67 votes to change, so i would have no choice but to take it up. >> that's from cnbc this morning. washington needs to prepare not only for the likelihood, i would argue, that the house would impeach, but mcconnell is going to have his own difficult issues. >> i think that signals with the white house they have to actually start practicing and coordinating a specific war room response type effort t. the president and his aides have been rejecting that idea over the weekend, but now that you have more visible cracks, they might have to go forward. there tends to be this inertia inside the white house. it's understaffed and the different waring factions can sort of lead to their own
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inertia. but there is definitely sentiment among the president's aides that they need to get in line in their smear campaign. they need to do more than smear yavonovich and volcker. >> he's sending a signal there that i don't have a choice, mr. president. i don't have a choice, mr. president's team. and right now he's not happy because the white house kept telling him there's nothing in this ukraine transcript. well, then release it. they released it. and there's a lot in the ukraine transcript. katy, do they send it to the white house? they are nervous about where this is going, number one, factually, because they're worried about what kurt volcker and the ambassador will say to the committee. and number two, they're worried the president's team is not prepared for this. >> and there's worry in the thinking of the president and his aides and allies.
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his aides and allies have been pushing him to have this team, and also people have urged him to bring in additional lawyers. they say rudy giuliani is not doing enough to help you. if you watch him on the sunday shows, they say he needs somebody else. he thinks he actually does need that and he's actually potentially in trouble here. people are frustrated because they don't think he realizes the implications of this and what he's facing. right now it's been six days since nancy pelosi announced she was launching this formal impeachment inquiry, and people inside the white house think they really squandered that opportunity, and that is evident in the fact they're relying on these republicans to go out and defend him, and if you watched him on the sunday shows, they really struggled to justify what the president said during that call to ukraine. that is where they are right now, trying to give in to the president. this is real, this is serious, and you're going to need help with this. >> do we have timetable? we heard democrats say we'd like to have this over by
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thanksgiving. we also know they want to depose witnesses. if the administration says they're not going to court, they'll put that in an instruction impeachment article. but they have to show they're in good faith with negotiating. >> i think that goes back to what else comes up? this week in the testimony and ultimately the whistleblower, does it open up other lines of inquiry, other phone calls, other pressure points with using the white house to try and push for intervention in 2020? if not, if it stays within the facts as we know it, they probably can get this done by thanksgiving or early december. that would fit the 1998 timeline. >> other phone calls, i was mentioning the inbox, and other phone calls are the nature of other concerns. if you have any questions on today's big stories, impeachment 2020, tweet us at "inside
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politics "snooch politics." we might air them before the end of the show. up next, the president reaches you one tweet at a time.
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it is misleading at best. in another tweet president trump writing, the fake whistleblower complaint is not holding up. the secondhand description of the call is a fraud. the president says in his tweet this has not been backed up. actually, the whistleblower complaint very accurately describes the ukraine call that was released later. the whistleblower complaint very accurately describes that the conversations followed over here were put in a top secret server instead, breaking procedures. what is evident to me is the president is very transparent. his mood is very clear. >> yes. that's safe to say. and that's why you're seeing the president vent essentially on twitter, but a lot of that is also what he was saying prooifrtprooifr privately. he was railing on the phone all weekend to the people who know the whistleblower and the people
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who gave the whistleblower information. when you read through the complaint, you see this person spoke with a lot of people. multiple times they say i spoke with several officials, multiple officials, dozens of officials. you get a grasp of just how many of these people the president spoke to. the president has long been skeptical of the intelligence committee. from day one when he entered the administration, he felt they were working against him. this is essentially feeding those fears and he's got allies in his ears also backing that up. that's why you're seeing the president say what he is on twitter. >> i think it's important to note every time we can as the president says this is partisan or this is deep state or this is democrat tfr democrat, it was a trump-appointed whistleblower who looked at it deeming it to be credible. tom bosser was on television yesterday saying, we wouldn't have to be here if the president only would have listened to us when we told him most of what he
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thinks about ukraine is hogwash. >> it is not only a conspiracy theory, it is debunked. greg wrote a piece in the magazine saying, the five ways to impeach oneself. the third way was to hire rudy giuliani. i am deeply frustrated with what he and his legal team are doing and repeated that debunked theory with the president. it sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again. let me repeat again, it has nova lid -- no validity. >> tom bossert went on to say he didn't think there was anything impeachable here. if you're leaning on a foreign government to give you aid, when you have someone in the white house that's saying, we repeatedly tried telling the president to get off it, it helps the democrats make their case. >> yes, and if you look at what rudy giuliani is doing, is that
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really legal work? is that something a lawyer does or is he really just an opposition researcher digging for dirt on potential opponents? it's troubling to senate republicans, the sort of traditional types, several of who are on the senate committee, richard burr, marco rubio. they see this and they have long been on the moscow side of this argument. they're the ones to sort of watch in the next few weeks or months if there is going to be any sort of crumbling between senate republicans over this issue. >> beyond that, what rudy giuliani says is the pro-russia side of this. putin always said ukraine did this, not russia. that's been completely debunked. then the president on the call is asking for this crowd strike server. it's a wacky conspiracy theory at best. >> it's a different reaction than what we saw in the mueller report. you're seeing the president adopt a playbook saying it's the
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swamp. but then the mueller report kind of stretched out, the expanding scope of it. with this it's getting harder for people to sympathize with that messaging and you're seeing some of his own former administration officials speaking un. >> just read the transcript. it's troubling. is it impeachable? that's for the house to decide. and as for rudy giuliani, there is no love loss for current republicans who have to go home and answer to voters. >> people close to the president are just like, he keeps putting this stuff in the president's ear and people -- there's nobody around to block offer access to the president now, so basically what they say is the president, if you drop something in his ear, he'll keep coming back to it and coming back to it, and that key person is closer to the president than ever. and when bossert says this is a conspiracy theory he keeps
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parroting, that is really the underlying thing, how close the president is whether it's on fox news, whether or not rudy giuliani can then go and whisper. it's an underlying theme of this entire situation. >> it's a constant of the presidency. >> he uses his office to spread those theories and uses his twitter to spread those theories. it's like a feedback loop that is troubling. >> but it's also important to remember, he's been shown hard evidence that it was russia that meddled in the election. secretary of state pompeo, one of the closest people to the president who has been entangled in this ukraine scandal is the one who pushed that the president is responsible. he gets intelligence briefings on a near daily basis, almost. it's not like the president doesn't know and hasn't been shown the evidence that it wasn't ukraine, it was russia, but time and time again he listens to the opposite. >> he chooses to live in a
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parallel world. his son eric says, don't worry, this is great. >> my father is doing great. he's the greatest fighter in the world. when you look at our fundraising numbers right now, in the first 72 hours since the impeachment came up, my father raised $15 million in small dollar donations. 15,000 new donors who had never voted to a political campaign ever before. people are rallying behind him. >> it doesn't mean people supporting the president aren't giving money, but impeachment of a president should be about raise morging more money for a campaign. he said things are great, so don't invest in the early polls here. cbs poll, congress opens an impeachment inquiry. 55% say necessary, 45% say unnecessary. the president wanting ukraine to investigate joe biden and his
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son hunter. 91% say that's serious, 32% say it's not. >> that's the flip side of a year ago when you asked people. the democratic side was kind of low while conservatives were ready to rally up and fight impeachment. now you've seen those numbers sort of flip around. if he can intoxify this biden part, it's going to hurt biden. the republican party, are they rallying behind the president? we'll look at their words. great riches will find you when liberty mutual
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some of the president's top allies are defending him on tv. much ado about nothing, they say. >> this is a phone call between two presidents, one that just got elected. congratulations, we're very generous of the ukraine. countries like germany should do more. by the way, i heard this guy was fired. maybe he was fired because of joe biden's son, hunter. can you look into it? thank you very much. we're not going to have an
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impeachment based on hearsay, not as long as i'm around. >> they are trying to look into the meddling by russia so it does not happen again. >> look, if democrats want to impeach because rudy giuliani talked to a couple ukranians, good luck with that. >> a whole lot of deflection there, and in the case of leader scalise, no, he wasn't asking about russia, he was actually parroting the conspiracy theory that russia had nothing to do with it on the call with ukraine, but that's what they got, right? >> they're trying everything they can to deflect, to dodge some of these questions, and as i was saying earlier, as these investigations keep going and more comes out, if anything else comes out, it's going to be harder for them to come up with a cohesive messaging point, and that's why we're seeing the president tweet out everything he can, from fox news clips to the drain the swamp rhetoric that we've seen in the past from
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him. >> and grant's point that it's hearsay, it's hearsay. that's true, it's hearsay, but that's why you have an investigation. kaitlan files a complaint to me, i file a it to john, and john then goes and interviews other people about that complaint. that's what you are supposed to do. that's the purpose of an investigation. >> some of their reaction focuses on the content. it's top level only, sort of. the behavior was great tfr, it a perfect phone call, but to your point no commentary on an investigation deemed credible. >> it makes me wonder how closely they even read the transcript of the letter, because house minority leader on "60 minutes" said, wait, you added a word. and frank capelli said, no, it's in the transcript. he said, that's in the transcript? so they're not even reading it closely, one of the most scrutinizing parts when they did release this transcript.
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this is the white house's defense. they're going to send these republicans you just saw on tv to defend them. that's not going to be a viable defense. those appearances yesterday didn't do anything to tamp down the speculation, the scrutiny, the calls for his impeachment yesterday. if that's going to be their strategy going forward, people in the white house say they will not be successful with that. >> and you'll see again, as the additional witnesses come in and you get more facts, maybe there is no "there" there. but if there's facts supporting this went on for months and these are things giuliani did and said in these meetings, then those explanations are not going to hold up. there have been some republicans who are mad about certain pieces of this. i don't mean this as a criticism, they're mostly in the likely suspects group. people have been critical of the president before. for example, the president tweeted out on sunday, if the democrats are successful from removing the president from office which they'll never be, it will cause a civil warlike fraction in this nation from
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which our country will never heal. the president is adam kissinger. a more moderate republican said, i never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a president. this is beyond repugnant. the president's tweet is keep the base loyal. attack the opposition. people have been critical of the president for tweeting too much in the past. >> kissinger, i know him well. he's still in the national guard. he's a very proud military person who takes this national security issue very seriously. does it spread to other people, unusual suspects, if you will, and once that happens, then you know that it's really spreading. for now, it's still limited between those who will be
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critical and those who won't be, but they might email you in the morning. >> you get a lot of private stuff. you get a lot of private stuff. do they step forward? the private stuff is, i need to see answers here. they're just worried about -- they look at the transcript and they think, if there's more, i don't like that. jeff flake, former senator, he left because the president was going to support a bribery challenge against him. he said this yesterday, my fellow republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve reelection. trust me when i say that you can go elsewhere for a job. but you cannot go elsewhere for a soul. >> we've heard him say this before, and i think he tried reaching out to the senate and that didn't work, so i don't think an op-ed is going to make his case warm, but if more facts
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come out, if they do, it will be critical to see if other republicans join in. for now it's the usual suspects. >> the longer the republicans wait to say anything or do anything, the more often you have somebody like stephen miller coming out and accusing these diplomats and career intelligence officials as deep state operatives. that's what's stepping into the breach and informing the public and shaping their opinions, when you don't have republicans willing to say, hey, let's bear out all the facts in public. you might be hearing that in private, but when they're not saying anything, it's the white house stepping in and saying these people are all unamerican and deep state. >> we'll continue to watch this one and we'll come back a little later to the biden factory. next, private citizen john bolton calls it as he sees it about north korea, and his assessment is pretty sobering.
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that's simple. easy. awesome. call, visit, or go to the topic today is political radar. former security adviser john bolton talks about how critical the situation in north korea remains, in his view.
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he told the audience in washington the nuclear threat continues every day. he's skeptical, but he still hopes there's time for a deal. >> north korea has, in its judgment, for well or ill, finished testing and can produce nuclear warheads and long-range ballistic missiles. that's not an encouraging sign, that's a sign to be worried about. he will never give up the nuclear weapons. our policy should be that we do not accept it, we will not accept it. >> striking to hear that from a guy who just a couple weeks ago worked at the white house. we knew he disagreed with the president, we knew he was more skeptical, more hawkish about north korea than the president. but if you read between the lines, he says, the president has got this wrong, because the president keeps telling the american people, we're good. >> he basically disagrees with every facet happening inside the white house. yes, it's john bolton, we knew
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he felt that way from the time he entered the white house as the security adviser, even though he walked the line with the president. it's only been two weeks since he left the administration, though. to see him break so far from trump and say they shouldn't be pursuing a third summit when the president sounded open to it, saying he doesn't think kim jong-un is going to ever voluntarily give up his weapons, something he said when i was in the room with a lot of force in his voice, was really stunning to see. and the other thing that he said was he went back to touting that label for denuclearization. the president said, i can't believe he did that, he really set back our talks. john bolton says he stands by that and can speak in unvarnished terms now that he's out of the white house. joe biden says this ukraine story is all about donald trump. but is it?
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. the biden campaign today says people who repeatedly lie should not be allowed to television news programs to smear the former vice president. the campaign does have a point p. president tru.
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president trump and rudy giuliani keep smearing joe biden and his son. there is zero evidence to support it. zero. president trump joe biden is being challenged by elizabeth warren. >> he doesn't want to face the ballot box so desperately. donald trump is reaching out to a foreign country trying to manufacture dirt on the opponent he most fears facing at home. >> you touched on this a bit earlier. kate bedingfield, others in the campaign, are correct. you cannot connect the dots for joe biden. however, this is a test for biden because his son was, as many other people in washington are, a consultant. if his name were hunter doe, he might not have had the access he had. how big is this issue?
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>> so far in the reporting, they have not uncovered anything that looks illegal. but it looks like that old standard definition in washington, what's legal is really what's troubling to people. he got hired, got put on the board of this gas company, and as you said, if his name was hunter walker, would he have done so? so that doesn't look good in this moment of where democrats, especially, are fighting back against sort of corporate interests. >> and within the populism of the democratic party, it's an excellent point. just to put it in the context of reality, ivanka trump is getting trademarks for development. rudy giuliani, as he pushes this, has a lot of international clients, some of them who you would not want at the dinner table. so this is not unique. it's swampy. it's swampy, it's not unique. nikki haley, the former ambassador to the united nations, and a former governor who has a future in politics to
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be determined, tweeted to kamala harris. she said, leave joe biden out of this. and kamala harris said, leave joe biden alone. are you telling us that the inquiry into joe biden was ethical and moral? even if joe biden did absolutely nothing wrong, was he the best person to send to ukraine to talk about corruption? or should they have found somebody else? >> nikki haley chose that framing so she's not really being supportive outright of the president but she's also not being supportive of the impeachment inquiry. she's sort of taking middle ground here. it was suggested she went after kamala harris on this issue because moet dst democrats are saying the same thing harris is saying. they don't want to go too far in
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using this to attack biden in any way. it's interesting that she chose harris in particular. >> it's more interesting to me that nikki haley decided at this moment that she wanted to be part of the conversation. ambition and politics are funny things. we'll see how that happens. let's look at some reactions from democrat. massachusetts senator warren suggested that she would consider barring biden's children from serving on boards of foreign companies, the very kind of business arrangement trump has used in unfounded attacks accusing biden and his son hunter of corruption. senator bernie sanders, who in 2016 defended hillary clinton against attacks over her use of a private email server as secretary of state, sidestepped a question about whether the biden controversy makes him a weaker. >> it's about his personal life,
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about i see had stahis standingy and how it's affected his father's political life at times. it will be interesting to see what democrats do with it going forward. that's really a larger test that we've seen. they struggle to fight against each other, attack each other, but also maintain this clear vision that donald trump is going to be their main opponent, and that's been a balancing act between the two of them and continue clearly to still be one. >> i think what democrats have also learned in just these last few months is that attacking joe biden doesn't really help them and attacking him for something donald trump is raising really isn't going to help them. that's the calculation they're all making for now as we're seeing senator warren and some of these other candidates pick up some momentum against joe biden if they change that calculation. we saw senator warren just this weekend. she didn't even mention impeachment, the inquiry, at all on the stump this weekend. so if she starts to lean into that at all, whether she brings up joe biden or donald trump
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more directly on the campaign trail, that will be something to look out for. >> in the debate in a couple weeks, we'll see what that looks like. just ahead in a new interview, hillary clinton says president trump is obsessed with her. find out why she believes that, next.
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let's close. quick lightning rod. go around the table with our great reporters, including this from hillary clinton. >> i believe he knows he's an
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illegitimate president. he knows. he knows that there were a bunch of different reasons why the election turned out the way it did, and i take responsibility for those parts of it that i should, but it was like applying for a job and getting 66 million letters of recommendation and losing to a corrupt human tornado. so, of course, he's obsessed with me. i believe that it's a guilty conscience insofar as he has a conscience. >> we talked about this off air. does the democratic nominee in 2020 want hillary clinton speaking at their convention in -- >> milwaukee, wisconsin. hello, hello, hello. >> or do they want her to come out swinging -- >> in the middle of impeachment week?
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>> to be determined. >> let's get to a couple twitter questions. for anyone at the table, what percentage of public support, if any, do you consider would be enough to change the political calculus of impeachment for the gop in the senate? where would it have to go? >> if public support shot up to where that's what they were hearing. i mean, i don't think it's going to happen, but if it did, republicans would change their mind. they go with their base. that's why they've stuck with donald trump for so long. it's not because they agree with what he says or does, it's because those in their party believe in donald trump. >> i've seen centrism mentioned instead of impeachment. how would that go? >> they could vote articles of impeachment to the senate, and
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hatch tried to do that. they could vote to overturn it, but there is -- >> a lesser penalty if you want to try that. >> yes. thank you for joining us. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great day. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now with his presidency in peril, the president demands to meet the whistleblower, agrees with comparisons to a civil war and asks that the house intel committee chairman should be arrested for treason. congress subpoenas the secretary of state. could the president's lawyer be next? plus the president attacks the whistleblower. the anonymous official is now concerned for their safety. it's not just ukraine. why would the white house also hide conversations with vladimir putin and the


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