tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 3, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
>> and i'm jim sciutto. news continues at. hour with kate bolduan starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. thank you so much for joining me. facing impeachment for asking a foreign government to investigate his political rival. president trump stood outside the white house and asked two foreign governments to do just that. honestly, seriously, this is what just happened. >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens because how does a company that's newly formed and all these companies -- and by the way, likewise, china should start an investigation into the bidens. because what happened in china
is just about as bad as what happened with -- with ukraine. >> let's not breeze nost onepas one. this is ant angry out burst. this is a real ask coming from the president of the united states. now one question that at least i have is why does he keep saying that the whistleblower account of the call was inaccurate? he just basically repeated it essentially plus some, and what does the president's party do now? also happening right now is the first official to testify on the charges leveled by the whistleblower in that explosive complaint against the president is on capitol hill at this very moment. career diplomat kurt volker testifying before three congressional committees who are investigating the allegations that president trump used the power of his office to ask a foreign leader for help digging up dirt on a potential 2020 rival. in other words, what the president just did on camera. let's start right there. cnn's jeremy diamond is at the white house. let's start with the president. jeremy, what just happened?
>> reporter: well, kate, what we just saw there was the president of the united states saying -- confirming indeed that he wanted a foreign country in this case ukraine, to start a, quote, major investigation into his political rival, the former vice president joe biden. and the president, of course, went beyond that. not only confirming what was in the whistleblower complaint, confirming what is at the core of democrats impeachment inquiry, but also now saying that he wants china to also investigate his political rival joe biden. and, again there are kind of goes to what we've seen the president do time and again. we saw it as well during the mueller inyearry where the president says these things outloud and tries to normalize by what he's doing and signaling to his supporters if he's saying it in this way it's acceptable we saw the president once again slamming the former vites president joe biden.
his response to the president saying it's not going to destroy him and he's not going to go anywhere. kate. >> beyond his political analysis, let's stick on what's coming out of president's mouth at this moment. great see you. thanks so much, jeremy. here with me now is joe lockhart, former clinton white house press secretary. and former new jersey attorney general. and special senior correspondent. appreciate you being here. jamie, trump on camera now this morning heading out of the white house not only asking for ukraine to investigate joe biden but now adding china into the mix. reports of him doing this, making that ask, was enough for house to -- to push house democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. what does this mean now? >> i think we have to start by saying each time this is not normal. we also have to say there is no
evidence of wrongdoing by joe biden and hunter biden. as jeremy just said, i think what we're seeing here again is very similar to his reaction during the mueller investigation. what were john kelly and mattis and everyone quoted as saying? erratic, unhinged. this is outrageous and it is going to simply add for the democrats more evidence on their side. the articles of impeachment, this is a political battle that this is an abuse of power. >> fraand from your perspective what do you think just happened and what this means for where we in this obviously very clearly historical moment? >> so just start with the beginning point, which is that, you know, i prosecuted a lot of cases in state and federal co t court, this is what we call an admission. all the conversations are we talking about hearsay, secondhand information, the
president of the united states just essentially doubled down on what he had said and we've already read the memorandum of the conversation. >> this is i think what you guys are saying is so key. it's all of the defenses or attacks on credibility essentially that have been happening in the lightning -- the light years that have happened in the past week, can all go out the window now. the president just stood there and said it and said and you know what, china, let's add that to it as well. >> and what's really important is you don't have to trust the whistleblower, you have the president himself saying it. so it really changes the conversation. >> okay. so, joe, saying it on camera instead of on a classified phone call with a -- with another foreign leader and a phone call of which the notes of which are moved to a secret server, the fact that he's now just saying it on camera, does it make it different? does it make it, i don't know, better? does it make it worse? >> i think what it does it
signals a change in his strategy and the white house strategy. the strategy they had been pursuing was completely unsustainable. the president admitted to something and then they tried to discredit the people who were accusing the president of something he admitted to. a second grader could figure out that that argument wasn't going to work for very long. so what he's done here, he's done this in the past. he's basically going out and saying, i did it, i'd do it again and there's nothing wrong with it. and this is not a legal case. we have to remember, this is a political case. so i think what you see the president doing from now till this is resolved saying that there's nothing wrong with it, there's nothing wrong with it, it was a perfect call, there's nothing wrong with asking a foreign government root out corruption so that he's telling his people. the problem with this is this puts republicans in congress in a terrible position. you can't with a straight face if you're a serious member of congress who has any respect for the rule of law and the traditional norms of the presidency defend this. but the president doesn't care
pelt doesn. he doesn't care what he does with anyone around him. this, as opposed to yesterday there are was strategic. it may not be great strategy, but i think did he this very much on purpose. >> jamie, what are your sources saying about the white house -- about a white house strategy? >> so we're hearing that they are trying to get the white house strategy together. and i was told by multiple sources that jared is now involved in it. but the reality, as joe said, is the republicans on the hill are not going to want to carry that water. that is not good for them. and let's just talk about his tone for a minute. this is not something -- we've seen him say, oh, i was joking. there was nothing joking, that's not at a rally there is no way to interpret it any other way. one source said something interesting to me about jared coming on board. the person said, the most helpful thing for messaging would be for trump to stop
tweeting and having -- and having press conference dollars like this. >> for goodness sake. >> and the point is, no one is going to be able to stop tweeting, no one's going to be able to stop press availabilities like this. there is one person at the center of this strategy, and that's donald trump. >> and this just -- that's just reality. even if the white house wanted to make a strategy, there's no way donald trump was going to allow it. >> correct. >> i love that anyone in the white house would want him to stop tweeting. they've been wanting that since january 21st. >> but that's how they develop strategy in the white house, as posed to getting together the way previous presidents did and getting a strategy together and getting president to buy in and going and executing it, they wait for his tweets. they wait for him to go out on the lawn. and then no bhaert they've said previously, they run in behind it and try to say what the president said. >> one interesting part of the evolution that led to what just happened with the president as he was leaving the white house is yesterday he wouldn't answer
that question. this was everything that jeff mason was trying to get to, right? he wouldn't answer the question. i don't know if he was caught off guard, whatever. we have the moment from yesterday, let's replay it just not only to jamie's point to hear the tone bit of this, but just listen, please. >> the question, sir, was what did you want president zelensky to do about vice president biden and his son hunter? >> are you talking to me? >> yeah, it was just a follow-up of what i just asked you sir. >> are you ready? we have the president of finland, ask him a question. >> i have one for him i just wanded to follow up on the one i asked you. >> it you hear me. >> yes, sir. >> ask him a question. >> i will. >> i've given you a long answer, ask this gentleman a question. don't be rude. >> no, sir, i don't want to be rude, i just wanted you to have a chance to answer the question that i've asked you. >> i've answered everything. >> you guys are -- the commentary has the sound bites running is what you guys need to be hearing this. joe, what were you saying as you're watching this play. >> i don't know if right in that
moment he realized oh my goodness, my strategy isn't going to work. but certainly when he walked off and replayed it in his head, he realized he was stuck. so that's why you saw him go out and pursue the question again today so he could answer. way he did. i mean, it is a terrible answer. but it is an answer that he mentally can get behind and then go out to these rallies and talk about how it's protecting america to ask foreign countries to interfere. >> jamie, is it -- it seems similar to -- it's a -- i don't know. it's different. it's different. it's not the same. his approach to it is the same, which is i'm angry and that's what got me re-elected. it's us against them, it's us against them. and it seems a different -- i guess it doesn't really matter because this is actually different. he is facing an impeachment investigation over what he has said, what he has asked. and when you see this now play out in this moment, is this
exactly why republicans in large part are staying is 90 they don't know what's going to come out of the investigation or, 2, what's going to kouxt tcome out president's mouth? >> donald trump's default position is fight. he's happy in this place. he's comfortable in this place. >> this is his most comfortable place. >> this is his most comfortable place. but there were two things that were interesting there. one was, i couldn't help it, there was the robert de niro moment where he said his least favorite actor, you know, are you talking to me? it sounded like a mobster. the tone of of it was just very peculiar. but i did -- he likes to answer questions and the fact that he dodged that one, that he didn't go there, there was something that he thought was dangerous that he was going to say if he answered that question. and so he punched back.
it's exactly what republicans are worried about. it's exactly why for the most part other than lindsey graham and a few others we are hearing crickets from capitol hill. >> and so this isn't -- i mean, what we heard from republicans after the george stephanopoulos interview he said i'll take a look at any dirt that any foreign government cooks up against a rival, and he said, sure, i'll take it, when that happened republicans were this should never happen, there should be a law against this, we're absolutely that is not okay. i mean, republicans could not -- i can't -- i'm sure we'll see -- i stutter because i'm going to use my words against me because i'm sure they will defend what he said. but it's saying please -- this is russia, can you hear me on steroids again. >> it is. >> does it make a difference that this isn't a call from july, this is happening right now? >> i think there are a couple things that make a difference. the first is russia can you hear me? please go get secretary
clinton's emails was when ways presidential candidate, not the president of the united states. so there's an implicit i'll cut a deal with you if i'm elected president. but today he is the president of the united states and he has the power of presidency and one of the things that i think pebble people were objecting to universally is this krumtion corruption. i'm going to leverage my presidential power in exchange for a personal and political benefit. the fact that he sits as president today strikes me anne's credibly different. the fact that he's now doubled down and repeated it shows that this is his world view that he thinks he can use and abuse his office in that way and that is very telling. >> in his mind, he doesn't think this is wrong. >> no, but i think the most -- >> it doesn't matter. >> what he's playing into now, which i think will be very power for democrats if they actually hit it right, both on capitol hill and on the campaign trail is this idea that the government is -- it's using his argument against him, that it is rigged, that it's corrupt, that it's
just the insiders in the swamp. what he's basically doing is showing that he's even more corrupt than what he was running against. that's how they democrats have to frame this as opposed to any other strategy. >> obviously getting caught in the weeds. >> yes. >> so it's just 11:14, let's see what happened by 11:16. don't laugh, jamie, you're sitting here with me. stay with us. we have more to discuss including the first witness named in the whistleblower's complaint an ex special envoy to ukraine is speaking now at this hour. that critical testimony and what that could reveal. stay with us. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms
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right now in the impeachment inquiry, the first official named behind the whistleblower behind is behind closed doors answering questions. kurt volker. manu raju is there. what's happening? >> reporter: well, right now we have not heard from the members or the staff who are in there. it this has been going on for about an hour and 45 minutes not one's yet to emerge from this closed-door interview that's
happening in a secure location here in the capitol. it's being launch and driven by the house intelligence committee which is investigating impeachment, taking the lead on the impeachment inquiry. some republicans have voiced objections that that panel is not the right one here on capitol hill that should be doing this. but nevertheless, adam schiff's committee has significant questions about volker's name that was raised in the whistleblower's complaint about volker trying to deal with meetings, arranging meetings for rudy giuliani and with ukrainian officials about the concerns about what the president raised in that phone call with the ukrainian president about investigating his political rival, joe biden. now, in that whistleblower plan complaint, it says that volker was trying to navigate the different messages coming out of the trump administration as far as what they wanted the ukrainians to do as well as giuliani pushing noor investigation. so we'll ultimately learn about any concerns he may have had with what rudy giuliani was
doing, how he approached this issue. all the extra communications that he had had on this matter. we're also told that dozens of documents have been turned over to capitol hill as part of this interview. so the members, staff, and they're undoubtedly going through those documents asking him questions, a detailed timeline in the could carry on for several more hours here, kate. >> kind of duff tailovetailed i. yesterday they met with congressional staffers and one member of congress and handed over documents that included some from rudy giuliani, some that rudy giuliani had given to the state department. what can you tell us about that? >> yeah, that's right. rudy giuliani acknowledged to cnn last night that some of these documents originated from him, he passed along to the white house which then passed along to the state department, that mike pompeo and the state department told us that they then provided to the inspector general. what this document is is a roughly 40 or so pages of
allegations, many of them unsubstantiated, attacking joe biden, raising questions about joe biden. similar things that we've been hearing from rudy giuliani over some time. but also including allegations that democrats are continued calling a smear campaign against the former ambassador to ukraine who was frauld her post back in may. this is the inspector general came to deliver this to the hill believing cohen wap impeachment investigation. democrats and republicans going through this, we'll see if it does anything to the investigation or as one democrat that was in that briefing said yesterday, is it just a distraction? >> thank you so much. we'll see what comes out if we do learn anything from this testimony kurt volker. jamie and ann and joe is still with me here. ann, from your perspective, what are the questions that you would have that vel coolker should be facing and answering when he's
behind closed doors? >> there's so many and i think he's going to spend a long time in there. first of all the documents are really important. giuliani held up his phone, he read some text message dollars ba messages with volker. i want to to go through everything about his communications with the ukrainians related to biden or the company. there's another piece of that this that i'm curious about. there's a part that says the ukrainians had knowledge that the money was being withheld and so that's something i would want to know from volker, how did the ukrainians know that? and also that they were told in sort of a pregame of the president's conversation with zelensky that the president wanted to talk about biden and this investigation into biden. so i am very curious to know who made that call to the ukrainians? was it the white house? was it state? what knowledge does volker have of know of those actions?
>> and he's no longer someone that works for the state texas department who would be testifying would do anything short of telling the truth. but he resigned when this came out. is he a private citizen and he has agreed to come on to capitol hill to answer all of these questions. from your source what's are you hearing that could be coming out of this? >> i know several people who have worked with him closely over the years. they say he's a great guy, very experienced, a straight shooter. to ann's point and those questions, what i'm hearing is that the concern is that he was in the middle of many of those questions because he was the special envoy. and what we don't know whether there is anything legally that he did, but that they are concerned that it will be very at least politically embarrassing because he was trying to navigate dealing with
rudy giuliani, who at the president's behest was involved here. and that volker was right in the center of that. >> there's one more fees, tpiec which is pompeo piece. and to volker's point is he in the middle. people who are squeezed in the middle are often looking to their superiors on how to handle something, so that will be an important part of this as. >> if you're in the white house, joe, right now you know volker's testifying, what are the conversations behind closed doors about what is going to be coming out? >> well, one of the interesting things about volker is he is going to give a roadmap to the committee of who else to talk to. he's going to be able to tell -- >> even if it leads to more questions. >> even if he does nothing else, he'll say in this meeting these ten people were in. pompeo was in this meeting, pence was in this meeting, mick mulvaney. i think what the white house has to do is figure out a way to get ahead of this. and the democrats and pa laos sand schiff and they've been very smart the way they've done this.
they've taken it out of the normal committee struck you're, which is important. and second they're doing their fact finding behind closed doors so it can't be impeached and muddled by, you know, congressman collins or jim jordan. and then they will present committee staff work. which i think is critical to doing this. so what i would do if i was in the white house, not that they want my advice, figure out what their exposure is and put out information on their own terms. and put it out in the best way they can, accepting that some of it is problematic and then leaving it. because if they leave it to the committee to reveal what volker said and what the -- >> it looks worse. >> it will look terrible. they won't get a chance to rebut it, really. >> i can just sty jay to joe's point, the republican sources i spoke to on the hill this morning are worried about exactly this. there is no state department lawyer in there with them. they don't know what is going to come out if the do.
it does not give them -- and the fact that pelosi and schiff have kept it away from a normal structure of an impeachment inquiry and they're calling all the shots, the republicans are at a big disadvantage in dealing with exactly the kind of information joe talked about. >> now i'm all the more curious to see what comes out and what we can learn out of this hours' long meeting. thank you so much. really appreciate it. coming up for us, a former u.s. ambassador will be join meg on the extraordinary developments of the morning. the president asking ukraine and china to investigate joe biden, one of his political rivals. stay with us. new pasta and grill combos starting at $9.99. only at applebee's. yof your daily routine.lf so why treat your mouth any differently?
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the impeachment inquiry under way right now. the first witness named in the whistleblower's complaint is speaking to three house committees this hour. it's kurt volker. he was the u.s. special envoy to ukraine until last week when he resigned his post. the whistleblower complaint says that one day after the president's call with ukraine in july, volker and another u.s.
official met with president zelensky, ukraine's president in the what's in the complaint. based upon multiple readouts from these mettings were meant to mean by various u.s. officials, ambassadors reportedly provided advice to the ukrainian leadership about how to navigate the demands that the president had made of mr. zelensky. those demands of course include pushing ukraine to investigate joe biden and his son. according to the complaint, volker had been working to quote unquote contain the damage caused by rudy giuliani's involvement and giuliani is trying to put this all on volker releasing the text messages between the two of them. giuliani says it shows he was working at the direction of volker and the state department. now kurt volker is having his say. joining me now is a former nato ambassador to nicholas burns. he's one of the 300 national security officials who signed the letter saying the president's ukraine actions were serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings. mr. ambassador, thanks for being here.
>> thank you, kate. >> first, i have to ask you, i do want to ask you about kurt volker, but i do have to ask you about what the president just said this morning outside of the white house. for you, for our viewers, once again, let me play this for you. >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens because how does a company that's newly formed and all these companies if you look -- by the way, likewise, china should start an investigation into the bidens. because what happened into china is just about as bad as what happened with -- with ukraine. >> so, yes, i'm asking ukraine and now i'm asking china to investigate a political rival. what do you say to that? >> you know, kate, i have to say, i mean, we've never had a president in the whole history of the united states going back
to 1789 who invited one of our strongest adversaries, in this case china, to intervene and interfere in our election. the president is asking this morning china, an authoritarian dictatorship to investigate former vice president joe biden who i'm supporting in this campaign. that is corruption. no prior president would ever go there. it's legally wrong. it's morally wrong. and the president has to hear that from people on capitol hill, especially from republican senators and republican members of the house. his own party. this is unprecedented. if anybody thinks that inviting this dictatorship in beijing to investigate a distinguished american is a good idea, they should speak up because it's a terrible idea. he's corrupting our discourse and dividing us from one another. today is a new low and there have been a lot of lows in this trump presidency, thousands of
them. today is one of the worst things he's ever done to our democracy. i think that's the way i see it. i worked for five presidents, republican and democrat, none of those presidents would have come close to what the president did this morning. >> wow. i mean, ambassador, there are -- the president has said a lot of things over very short period of time. but what i'm hearing from you is this is a stop and listen moment what the president just did. >> it sure it. it sure is. the president's own security strategy cites china and russia as the two greatest adversaries of the united states that all of our attention and resources and effort as a country must be to contain these countries and blunt their power. that's the national security strategy of the trump administration. and now the president calls on xi jinping to investigate someone who is completely innocent, vice president joe biden. and what the president said this morning are complete lies.
i have to use that word about an american president. he's lying to the public about vice president biden's record. it's wrong do this. i think if you just talk to individual americans and take off the name trump, should any american be calling on china, a dictatorship to intervene in our democratic elections, i would think that 99.9% if not 100% of americans would say no. and yet the president, our leader, just said that this morning. i think it disqualifies him. he should impeached by the house there the should be an inquiry by the republicans and democrats. i don't think he's fit for office based on what he said about china and ukraine. >> wow. mr. ambassador, one thing we often here is don't -- don't take his words seriously, focus on his actions. the president is clearly making the ask here. should it matter if ukraine -- let's focus on china if the china two anything to act on this ask he made this morning?
>> there is an american law that makes it indefensible, legally wrong to invite a foreign government to intervene in american elections. this false distinction between the president's crazy words and the president's actions, these are by his defenders, that's a false distinction. if the president of the united states announces on the south lawn of the white house that he wants china to intervene in our election, it's an action, it's an open invitation to the government of china to do that. you know how they'll do that? they'll use their cyber means. they'll use their black arts and intelligence operations do this. exactly what vladimir putin did to us in 2016. the american people don't want that. and so it is simply wrong to suggest don't worry about what the president says. when he speaks, especially on a network like cnn, it's spread worldwide live. that's what people around the world hear including the chinese people. >> ambassador, the impeachment
inquiry is under way. what do you -- what do you say to -- but it is a political process, right? and i do wonder what your message is in this moment, then, to not democrats, but to republican lawmakers? and i know that what you're saying is this goes far beyond plaiks politics. but impeachment inherently and what we're looking at is a political process and question. what is your message to them this morning? >> i would say it's a constitutional process as well, it's in the constitution. it's the checks and balances that we have on the president of the united states as the people of the united states and through our elected representatives. i'd say that. number one. number two, it shouldn't be taken lightly. i actually think speaker pelosi was right not to open up an impeachment inquiry during the mueller investigation over trump and the russian government. but if you read the summary, the july 25th phone call, and now listen to the president this morning on cnn what he said, in
my view, these are impeachable offenses. the president has abused his power in openly inviting two governments to zbooen intervein election. i'd say to republicans and independents, people who don't like the democrats, we have to think about our country first. our country's democracy, our self-respect, is at stake. we as americans on a nonpartisan base vis to stand basis have to stand up to that question. the congress has continue to quire and they have to investigate. if the congress doesn't investigate these charges, then the congress isn't fulfilling it's constitutional duty to the american people. >> ambassador, thank you so much for coming on. we fully intend to speak much more about kurt volker who is testifying right now before closed doors, but we'll have that conversation on another moment. you did have another opinion piece that you put out this morning in the "new york times." speaking about -- >> i did.
>> -- what all of this has done about to the state of morale at the state department and state department officials, diplomats abroad. it's worth a read. thank you so much for coming on, ambassador. really appreciate it. >> thank you, kate. >> wow. coming up, you're not going to destroy me. that is former vice president joe biden. that is his response now speaking directly to president trump. new much stronger, much more forceful statement that than we have heard yet from joe biden in the face of everything we've been talking about with regard to the president. we'll be right back. hey there people eligible for medicare.
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trump not only asked ukraine once again to investigate joe biden, one of his political rivals, the president of the united states stood outside the white house, we'll repeat again, and asked china, one of america's most powerful adversaries do the very same, inviting china, asking china to interfere in the u.s. election. now, before this morning the former vice president joe biden struck back at the president. and his most forceful words yet. listen to this. >> now let me make something clear to mr. trump and his hatchet men and the special interest funding his attacks against me. i'm not going anywhere. [ cheers and applause ] >> you are not going to destroy me and you're not going to destroy my family. i don't care how much money you spend, mr. president, or how dirty the attacks get. >> that was before this morning. joining me right now is cnn
political reporter arlette saenz. arlette, have you heard from the campaign this morning in terms of what the president is now saying? >> the biden campaign hasn't commented yet on president trump's latest calls for investigations into biden. but last night you did see from the former vice president his most forceful, fiery response when it comes to this trump and ukraine matter insisting that he's not going to be backing down amid these allegations. one thing that biden and his team have repeatedly pointed to is that there's zero evidence of wrongdoing on the bidens part, as president trump has alleged. but what biden was also able to do last night was once again frame this as a fight between himself and the president. you've seen him to do this from the start of his campaign. and the biden campaign sees that as an asset when joe biden is able to go up against president trump. take a listen to how he framed it last night in reno, nevada.
>> the truth doesn't matter to donald trump. it never has and it never will. which is why i don't think the american people are going to believe him. the american people know me and they know him. i'll put my integrity, my whole career of public service to this nation up against his long record of lying, cheating, and stealing any day of the week. the idea of donald trump attacking anyone's integrity is a joke. >> and, kate, we actually just got a statement from deputy campaign manager kate bettingfield. i'm going to read from that. she said what donald trump just said on the south lawn of the white house was this election's aye equivalent of his russia if you're listening moment from 2016. a grow terrific choice of lies over truth and self over country. the white house itself has admitted that donald trump tried to bully a foreign country into lying about the domestic
opponent he's afraid to look in the eye next november. donald trump is flailing and melting down on national television desperately clutching for conspiracy theories that have been debunk and dismissed by independent credible news organizations. they added donald trump is terrified that joe biden will beat him like a drum. so that response just coming in right now to us, kate. >> fascinating and obviously fast moving. one difference between russia are you listening and then and now is donald trump was a private citizen then. donald trump is the president of the united states saying that now from the south lawn of the white house. arlette, thanks so much for being here. thanks for reporting. coming up for us, president trump continues to attack the whistleblower who sporkd this impeachment inquiry. next, a former whistleblower joins know discuss. great riches will find you when liberty mutual arked this impeachment inquiry. next, a former whistleblower joins know discuss. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you?
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>> sure. and it only got worse from there. the president not only continues his complaint on the whistleblower who revealed his phone call with the ukranian president, but it's getting even worse the angrier the president gets. >> the whistleblower wrote not that conversation, he wrote a vicious conversation. in other words, he either got it totally wrong, made it up, or the person giving the information to the whistleblower was dishonest. and this country has to find out who that person was, because that person is a spy, in my opinion. >> but after this morning with the president on the south lawn, what exactly did anybody make up? what does this mean for the person behind this complaint, though? and what does it mean for any person who considers speaking up to expose wrongdoing? joining me right now is patrick eddington. he's a former cnn analyst who became a whistleblower. he revealed dangerous agents in
the gulf war. thank you for joining me. when you hear the president's comments there, what do you think? >> kate, it's great to be with you, and what i think is the president looked and sounded like a cornered animal. that's really what he looked and sounded like, quite frankly. at this point i'll just repeat what i've said in other forae. we need to have complete facts, we need to have a full investigation. that means documents from cia, fbi and the state, and you need to have witnesses who have any kind of knowledge of any goings-on with the president and foreign officials. i hope that mr. trump, who hasn't taken whistleblower calls seriously in the past, that he takes this seriously. i haven't seen anyone make an accusation like this against the president of the united states. >> you can also say that anyone
making an accusation has not faced the withered criticalization by the president. people say don't take his words seriously, and people don't in certain circumstances. but from your perspective and what your life experiences taught you, what is the real impact of a president's words like this? >> certainly within the intelligence community, at least up to this presidency, folks who work there take what the president says deadly seriously. folks have to remember at the end of the day, if you're a federal employee, you're not taking an oath to an individual. you're taking an oath to preserve and respect the constitution of the united states. right now i have no reason to believe that this person we're discussing here, this still anonymous whistleblower, did anything other than what they believed was upholding their oath to respect the constitution
of the united states. i don't think the president is alone in that activity. we're seeing evidence that mike pompeo may be engaged in that activity. whether the attorney general is involved in this kind of activity, i hope they investigate that as well. >> adam schiff and speaker pelosi yesterday when they were holding that press conference said they would do everything in their power to protect the whistleblower's identity. do you think that they can? >> it's going to be really difficult to do that, i think, over time. i think -- for one thing, folks in your business are out there trying to determine who this person is. the "new york times," of course, has already reported that this person allegedly is a cia employee. the no"new york times" had that from three sources who asked for
an anymo anonymi anonymity, and it's out there. i think it's a lot easier to keep the lid on if it's in a certain department, but the pressure is going to be enormous for this person to come forward, because we're practically talking about overturning an election, and that's unique. >> patrick, thank you so much for being here. i really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. i want to get to 2015 victims of a mass shooting. let's go over to cnn's stephanie elam. she's got more on this. stephanie, what are you learning? >> reporter: this is basically two years, almost exactly, from when the las vegas shooting happened, kate, and what we're learning from mgm resorts is they have a settlement agreement with people who were injured, hurt, and for families of members who have lost their lives because of the shooting. they're saying now they've resolved these pending lawsuits, and now they're looking at a settlement that will be between 735 million and $800 million, depending on the number of
plaintiffs that want to be a part of this. this would end all of the other litigation that is out there right now. they're saying this whole process should be done by late next year. they're also noting, too, that while it ends all the pending litigation as far as mgm is concerned, the settlement is not an admission of their guilt. and now part of the reason why this has become an issue is because of the fact that when the shooting happened, the shooter was actually in the mandalay bay resort & casino across from this venue where 22,000 concert goers were sitting there enjoying a three-day festival of country music. that shooting was in mandalay bay resort. that hotel is owned by mgm. this is part of the reason why the settlement has been there. we've known this could possibly be in about the $800 million range, but obviously when you take a look at what some of the people who have been affected by this have to say, particularly robert egglet, who is one of the lawyers for plaintiffs, he is saying at this point this is a
good resolution for these people who have been affected by the worst shooting that we've seen in modern history in america, kate. >> 58 people killed, hundreds -- hundreds -- injured in this. >> hundreds. >> stephanie, thank you very much. i really appreciate it. thanks so much for joining me, everybody. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing this busy news day with us. an impeachment witness being questioned on capitol hill this hour. kurt volker resigned as special envoy to ukraine just last week. he knows details of rudy giuliani's search for 2020 election dirt. plus, the president's anger is raw and very public. in contrast, the vice president's team is working frantically but behind the scenes to try to shield him from any ukraine backlash. and if you think maybe, just