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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 3, 2019 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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there are a lot of new developments, new revelations. so, we want to put some of them on the screen to get us started and try to keep track of it all. these stories are breaking fast and often. "the new york times" just within the last hour reporting, and i'm quoting from it now, two of president trump's top envoys to ukraine drafted a statement for the country's new president in august that would have committed ukraine to pursuing the investigations sought by mr. trump into his political rivals. there is also new reporting as well that president trump ordered the ambassador to ukraine removed because the president's allies, including lawyer rudy giuliani, said she was interfering with the president's efforts against biden. also, late word that kurt volker, the president's special envoy for ukraine, told house investigators today that giuliani was warned about the ukrainian sources of the biden allegations that he was peddling. the message to giuliani, that he was being fed, quote, untrustworthy information. additionally, cnn has learned
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that volker told house investigators he warned ukraine's leadership not to interfere in u.s. politics. this was after the call with president trump at the end of july. in other words, he told them not to do what the president and giuliani and later the vice president pence and others were pressuring them to do. there is yet more reporting from volker's appearance today. text messages, including one from the top u.s. diplomat to ukraine at the time telling american colleagues, quote, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance to ukraine for help with a political campaign. and finally, on top of all that, there is new word tonight of another whistle-blower, this time at the irs, alleging political interference involving the president or vice president's tax returns. all of this at the end of a news day dominated by president trump openly doing what he has loudly denied doing in private and what he says was his perfect phone call with the president of ukraine. today, the president standing on
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the south lawn of the white house, president zelensky of ukraine and china's president, as well, to criminally investigate joe biden and his son hunter. >> mr. president, what exactly did you hope zelensky would do about the bidens after your phone call? exactly. >> well, i would think that if they were honest about it that they would start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens. and by the way, likewise china should start an investigation into the bidens. >> there it was. a u.s. president openly pushing two foreign governments to criminally investigate his leading political rival. just within the last couple of hours, cnn has learned about a call between presidents trump and xi, a call that was stored in the same code word classified system as that call with the ukrainian president. so let's begin with that. cnn's pamela brown joins us. so talk to me about what you've learned about this call. >> well, anderson, we have learned that during this phone
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call with chinese president xi back in june, president trump raised joe biden's political prospects as well as those of senator elizabeth warren, who by then had started rising in the polls. this is according to two people familiar with the discussion. so it shows the president mixing foreign policy with domestic politics. and in that call, anderson, trump also told xi that he would remain quiet on the hong kong protests as trade talks progressed. now sources tell me, anderson, that the president believed that china would not be able to reach as good of a trade deal with biden or warren as it would have with him, because he was fearing that they were going to hold out until after the election to strike a deal. now, the white house record of that call, we're told, was later stored in that highly secured electronic system used to house that now infamous call with ukraine's president and which helped spark the whistle-blower complaint that has led democrats to open an impeachment inquiry. white house secretary stephanie
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grisham said to cnn, we're not going to start commenting with every conversation president trump has with world leaders, other than to say his comments are always appropriate. >> has there been reaction from china about this call in june or what the president said on the south lawn today? >> there has been quite a reaction, anderson. after the president boldly called on china to investigate the biden allegations, we're told that chinese officials were basically sent into scramble mode. one of them, a diplomat, saying, this is quite chaotic. we do not want to get into the middle of u.s. politics. now, one trump ally outside the white house described receiving a message from chinese government officials asking, hey, is president trump serious when he suggested china open an investigation into biden? the response, investigating corruption is an easy way to earn goodwill with trump. now, the chinese did not immediately clarify if they would be launching an investigation or if they would make it public if they do. there is no evidence, we should note, anderson, that the former
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vice president received money from china. and last week, one of hunter biden's lawyers told "the washington post" that he hadn't received any return or compensation on the account of the investment or his position on the board of directors. so his lawyer basically dismissing these allegations. but it is significant that in the wake of the impeachment proceedings by the democrats because of the president's call with ukraine, the president called on china to investigate biden, and now we're learning that in june, the president raised biden in the conversation in the context of domestic politics. anderson? >> pamela brown, appreciate it. a lot to get to. we should note that just moments ago, presidential candidate and senator elizabeth warren tweeted her reaction to pam's reporting, saying, and i want, "trump can say what he wants about me, but it's outrageous any president would sell out the people of hong kong behind closed doors. the president must see the transcript of trump's call with xi and we need a leader who will stand up for our values."
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now more new reporting, this from "the wall street journal" on the role that rudy giuliani and others played in the president's order to remove the ambassador to ukraine, the one whom he later bad-mouthed on that call to ukraine's president. joining us for that reporting is michael bender, who shares the "wall street journal" by-line on the story. she also a cnn political analyst. michael, you'd lave out what you learned about the president's involvement in the removal of the ambassador. just explain the latest information that you have. >> sure. the headline on this story and the news that we were chasing on this is that president trump is the one who, in fact, ordered the removal of the ukrainian ambassador earlier this spring. and the reason he did that was that he was getting information from rudy giuliani and others outside the administration that the ambassador was anti-trump, was talking poorly about the president, and was also blocking rudy giuliani's efforts to push ukraine to investigate joe biden, who is obviously a 2020
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presidential candidate and a potential rival to mr. trump. >> we should point out, president trump, he didn't deny it, but he said that he didn't remember if he had her removed or somebody else did. but rudy giuliani doesn't deny that he was bad-mouthing the ambassador, career professional to the president. he told you and your colleagues that he told the president that his supporters were concerned about the ambassador, as well. is that right? >> that's totally right. the president was asked why he wanted the ambassador out earlier today, and he said he couldn't recall -- he couldn't remember if he recalled her or someone else. i'm not sure what he meant there. maybe he -- the ambassador never talked to the president and never talked to, actually, mike pompeo, either. so i think if he's talking than direct, direct conversation, that's definitely true. but we have sources around the administration telling us that it was in fact the president who was adamant about removing her.
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and not only that, but rudy giuliani tells us in our story that he reminded -- this has been going on for awhile. his investigation, his pursuits in the ukraine have been going on for a while. he says he reminded the president in the spring that the president in fact had wanted her out. and that set off a cascade of phone calls that included mike pompeo and rudy giuliani talking about how to get rid of the ambassador. >> so is there any indication that secretary pompeo did anything to defend the ambassador, who, by all accounts, really hadn't done anything wrong other than apparently not supported this idea of investigating the bidens? and did he push back against this? >> well, that's a good question, and two important points there. as we also say in our story, no one from the white house or the state department or anyone in government can say -- point to any actual proof that the ambassador yovanovitch was a
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problem. when rudy giuliani goes on television, jody venn nova and some of these other allies, they never have information to point to say she was a problem. as to the question whether pompeo defended her or protected her, giuliani says that he talked to mike pompeo to tell him that the state department was protecting her, that the president had wanted her out for the better part of a year, and she wasn't out. how she was protected it's unclear, but i can tell you with certainty that at the end of the day, mike pompeo agreed with the president and agreed that she had to go. >> michael bender, fascinating reporting. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. joining us now is cnn chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin, former state department spokesperson and obama white house communications director jen sake, david gergen and maggie haberman. maggie, you and your colleagues
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at the "new york times" have reporting about the president in the ukraine. what is it? >> our understanding is there was a draft of a statement that was done by the ambassador of ukraine, gordon sondland, in addition with kurt volker, the state department official who was on the hill today testifying behind closed doors about this whole issue. the statement was presented to staff, to the ukraine president zelensky, as something he could say publicly that they would investigate this company that hunter biden had worked for and commit to investigating what they believed was involvement by the ukraine in the 2016 elections, or what they believed could exist. ultimately the statement was never issued. but it does, again, show a desire to try to bend foreign policy to the president's political needs. and i believe that this is something that came up on the hill today. >> so this is the -- the u.s. ambassador who is involved in this, this is the person who replaced the ambassador who had been removed by president trump? >> right. and gordon sondland was a big
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contributor to the president, was somebody who -- you know, there were text messages about this statement that they were drafting that they were hoping to get zelensky to issue publicly, because it would be a commitment, basically, to an investigation that hadn't been made previously. >> and the text messages -- i'm not sure if -- there has been so many different stories today. i'm not sure if it's "the times" that has them, but i saw text messages from this, and i guess volker was one of the people on the text messages, which is how they came out, in which it seems to indicate the current ambassador was concerned, essentially saying that this is -- they're holding up aid in order to advance, you know, an attack against the president's political opponent, and the ambassador to the european union essentially said that's not the case, and let's take this discussion offline. >> correct. and excuse me. i should be clear.
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sondland was the ambassador to the eu, and i misunderstood you before you were talking. and he said yes, let's not continue this back and forth over texts. said there is no quid pro quo and was explicit about this. but again, it is still going to raise questions about why the aid was being held, what the goal was in getting this statement in front of staff to president zelensky in the hopes that he would actually make a public concession that would then be appeasing to the president and to rudy giuliani. >> david, i mean, this reporting, does it make it seem like the president's personal political agenda is essentially under pressure being promoted by certain members within the state department, at his urging, including the ambassador to -- the new ambassador to ukraine? >> absolutely. the president's pressure for this result is ensnared in now one official after another, one cabinet officer after another. it does go in the state department. i think standing back from today, i must tell you, anderson, there are not many
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days in washington that one can call historic, even though they may be eventful. but today's came darn close. this is a -- calling out and inviting china, our chief rival to interfere in our elections by opening an investigation that would further donald trump's political interests, to bring china into the middle of this after bringing russia in. remember, during the campaign telling the russians to go ahead and hack hillary's emails. >> right. that was said to be a joke. that was said to be a joke according to his supporters. >> yeah, bad joke. but then telling the russian officials in his office that he didn't really care whether the russians were interfering with our elections. to tell that about both of our chief rivals in the world is so deeply offensive to the spirit of the constitution, to what hamilton was talking about in federalist 68. what madison said in his notes,
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that they believe that the gravest threat that could be posed to the united states by a foreign power would be to interfere in our elections of a president. and here the president is just doing this cavalierly, openly. he is sort of daring the house to impeach him. >> right. and jeff, what's fascinating about this, vice president pence during the election, during the debate, he looked at the camera and a sort of said with great solemnity, of course it's absolutely impossible to in any way think that it's okay for a foreign power to interfere in an american election, now seems completely on board with it because his boss wants him to, and he's going along with it. >> well, the fact that the vice president is a toadie is not -- is not news or a surprise. but what really is extraordinary here is that the -- i mean, david i think got to it. the facts are increasingly not
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in dispute. basically, the president has acknowledged that it is official u.s. government policy to encourage, demand that ukraine assist his political campaign by finding dirt on joe biden. i mean, that's just increasingly clear. and the question is, what are the consequences of that. is the president going to be impeached? is he going to be removed from office? because the facts increasingly are not really in dispute. the only thing that's in dispute is, what are the consequences? and i still think that's very much up for grabs. >> well, i mean, you haven't really heard anything from republicans in any way, saying, wow, that's really outrageous. the president appealed to china. jen, as if china has a great legal system and a strong unbiased investigative levers of
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government. the idea that -- >> exactly. >> -- america is appealing to china to investigate an american citizen and company, the whole thing is -- it's nuts. >> it is completely bananas, nuts, every fruit or vegetable or nut you can think of. you know, i think that's a really important point, anderson. because in this case, the lessons that trump has learned, you know, when he made that, he calls it a joke, but when he made that call for those emails, to find those emails, we know now from reporting and from the mueller report that the russian intelligence agencies were listening and within hours -- >> they sprang into action. >> they sprang into action, right? and so the lesson he's learned is that this works. and he's also learned, as jeffrey said, there aren't really consequences. as it relates to china, he went out there overtly today. i think we're all still a little bit in shock about this, and called on china to look for dirt on biden, publicly. china, as you said, they don't have the same standards of free and fair elections.
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they don't have the same values that we have as united states historically or at least that we've had historically. what's to stop them from doing this? and next week there are negotiations. they have every reason to do this. >> that's the thing. trump's supporters will say look, there is no quid pro quo with china here, but yes there is, and it doesn't even need to be stated. there are negotiations, incredibly high level, incredibly important negotiations going on over trade. and the message to china is, you know, you do me a solid here, investigate biden. who knows how -- maybe it will grease the wheels here. >> exactly. they're coming next week. these negotiations, there is a great deal of money, tariffs on chinese goods, not to mention how much this is impacting farmers and agriculture in the united states. but the chinese want these negotiations to go well. they want these tariffs to go away. they have every reason to listen to what the president of the
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united states is saying. >> yeah. >> and try to deliver. >> and david gergen, just very briefly, the message to china which is to jen's point, there are things that matter about farmers and he's essentially saying, i might give china a break on some things that affect american farmers if it helps me in my election against joe biden. we've got to take a quick break. we're going continue this discussion. we should note representative eric swalwell, house intelligence committee member told reporters they plan to release the evidence tonight they got from kurt volker. so stand by for that. stay with us. more ahead, including new reporting that rudy giuliani was warned that some of what he was peddling was based on dubious information from dubious characters. also, a member of the house intelligence committee on ambassador volker's lengthy deposition today.
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can't imagine doing it any other way. this is caitlin dickerson from the new york times. this isn't the only case. very little documentation. lo que yo quiero estar con mi hijo. i know that's not true. and the shelters really don't know what to do with them. i just got another person at d.h.s. to confirm this. i have this number. we're going to publish the story.
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[ slow dance♪music plays ] sfx: record scratch music (plays throughout): [ 'watch me walk' by spencer ludwig ] yo dj, can i put in a request? ♪ don't have no sass about this ♪ ♪ i'm on my way i'm on my way ♪ ♪ can't take no class about this ♪ ♪ i'm on my way i'm on my ♪ like this! ♪ this is a moment you plan for. to start your investment plan, find an advisor at sfx: [ mnemonic ] the impeachment inquiry's first witness just wrapped up more than nine hours of testimony to house investigators behind closed doors. as we mentioned at the top, what he said today is a big part of a
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tidal wave of breaking news. "the washington post's" rachael bade and her colleagues delivered a major chunk of it. she joins us now. rachael, you are reporting ambassador volker, the one who is testifying today, apparently told rudy giuliani. what have you learned? >> yeah, anderson, so we've been up here for nine hours. he testified for nine hours in front of the committee today, and we're starting to see sort of the pieces of the puzzle really come together about ukraine, the state department, giuliani and trump and how it all fits together. kurt volker, i'm told, number one, he testified that he warned giuliani that the people he was hearing from in ukraine were sketchy figures and he needed to be very careful with this sort of information he was getting on biden. any sort of suggestion that biden might have done something wrong when it came to his son and foreign policy. he said you shouldn't believe them. they can't be trusted. he also warned the ukrainians, don't get involved in u.s. domestic politics, because this is going to end up bad for ukraine. this is a guy who is a long-time diplomat and really cares about
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the u.s.-ukrainian relationship. and he was concerned that the politics were really going hurt the relationship. so, he warned them, be careful. you can't be seen as infringing in the election or that's going to be bad for ukraine in the long run. but it sounds like those warnings that he gave giuliani were ignored, and we're just learning, of course you just talked in your previous segment about this "new york times" story reporting that there was a draft statement that he was part of, where zelensky, the president of ukraine, was actually going to announce this investigation. so, clearly, he lost this battle in trying to get giuliani to sort of back off and try to keep distance from this investigation. >> right. from my understanding of your reporting that the conversation with zelensky about don't get involved in american politics, that came short -- i think in early august or after the july -- the end of july phone call that president trump had. and correct me if i'm wrong. and then this -- this ultimatum or this kind of draft document, they were going have zelensky
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kind of announce the investigations. i assume that came also in august after the phone conversation. >> so the timing is still a little unclear here, but it seems to me that the warning from what i'm hearing from these sources that were in the room came much earlier, that zelensky -- i'm sorry, kurt volker was trying to tell the ukrainians not to get involved and giuliani that he shouldn't be pursuing this information. but listen, we just had some interesting news coming out of the committee. we saw eric swalwell, who is a democrat from california, he came out and just told us that the committee now has evidence from volker that there was basically a requirement that zelensky put out a statement saying that he was going to investigate biden in order for zelensky to have a face-to-face meeting with trump. and that is significant because ukraine, when zelensky was first elected in early may, a big part of the u.s. promise, or negotiations with ukraine, was that they would have this face-to-face meeting. they were really looking forward to that meeting.
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trump kept delaying it, and at the same 250i78 time, the military financial assistance was suspended. so now eric swalwell, and we're going to hopefully be learning more about this in the next couple of minutes here, says they have proof from volker that there was some sort of requirement that zelensky put out a statement saying they would investigate biden in order to have that bilateral meeting. >> which is the definition of a quid pro quo, i believe. that's incredible. rachael bade, we'll be looking for that. appreciate your reporting today. david gergen, what do you make of this? >> i think it's more quid pro quo. anderson, before we went to the break, the point i wanted to make about the president's relationship with china, he's not only, you know, asked them for this -- for help on the investigation, but remember, and elizabeth warren put out a tweet on this tonight, he basically has told the chinese that he would not -- he would stay quiet
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during the hong kong protests. he would not call them on the human rights violations that might occur there. that is a big deal for the chinese. xi has that in his pocket. he owes trump. so i think there is a lot of horse trading going on behind the scenes, and this is clearly the way trump does business and clearly his own personal interests come way ahead of the nation's interests. >> yeah. everyone stick around. there is a lot more to unpack, including more on the volker testimony and questions about who else may be involved in this. we'll be right back.
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sometand with theall screen xfinity stream app, which is free with your service, you can take a spin through on demand shows, or stream live tv. download your dvr'd shows and movies on the fly. even record from right where you are. keep what you watch with you. download the xfinity stream app today and get ready for xfinity stream tv week. watch shows like south park and the walking dead october 7th through 13th. more now on kurt volker's testimony and reports he
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provided copies of text conversations regarding internal battles by diplomats about military aid. this portion of the conversation i'm about to read was obtained by abc and fox. it occurred september 9th, two days before the aid was released. it begins with william taylor, who is the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine at the time. he writes, i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. gordon sondland, the u.s. ambassador to the eu responds, bill, i believe you are incorrect about president trump's intentions. the president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind. the president is trying to evaluate whether ukraine is truly going adopt the transparency and reforms that president zelensky promised during his campaign. sondland then asked to take it offline. quote, i suggest we stop the back and forth by text. congressman mike quigley is on the intelligence committee. his staff were among those that interviewed the source of those texts, kurt volcker. congressman quigley, i'll get to
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the texts in a minute. your take on rachael bade's reporting that volker testified a meeting between ukraine's president and trump was contingent on the ukrainian president agreeing to make a statement regarding the bidens. >> i want to make clear i have read the text multiple times now. i was not there for mr. volker's testimony. but i can confirm that the u.s. held up -- used the power of the president to coerce ukraine to investigate biden and to also create something of an alternative universe as it relates to the 2016 election. and i think the big concern that the ukrainians had was having a white house meeting. i think that came before talk about military assistance as well.
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>> so -- excuse me -- the timing of this, is this before the president's phone conversation with ukrainian president in july -- the end of july? >> look, this is all happening just before and just after. i think the bottom line when you read these texts is it basically substantiates every aspect of the whistle-blower's complaint, that the president of the united states coerced a foreign power to help himself politically, and he used the justice department, and now we're learning the state department, to have him carry out that deed. >> it also, from all the reporting that's been happening today, appears that he got rid of the ukrainian ambassador because of concerns she was not on board or willing to help or was trying to obstruct in some way, according to giuliani, their efforts to get the ukrainians to help interfere in the election. >> that's exactly right. i think before today, it was unclear whether or not, though,
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what the crystal clear reasons were for the ambassador leaving. i believe she'll have an opportunity to tell us directly next week, but i believe today's reporting detailed the fact that she was kicked out because rudy told the president of the united states she wasn't helping with the ill deeds. >> it seems like her testimony is going to be very -- is going to be critical given all the emails that must have been flying about her future, about concerns, you know, and mike pompeo may even have had or whatever hand he had in getting rid of her, as well. are you sure she's going to be allowed to testify? >> i'm not sure of anything in terms of who's going to testify and when, who will be allowed and whether things have to end up in court. i understand it's -- we're trying to get her in next week, and i think that would be extremely helpful. there is no guarantees the way this process is going. but remember, i think she left
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in may. so she may have a whole body of information as to why she was pushed out and what if anything took place prior to her departure. and maybe she knows from others what took place in follow-up in the emails and the texts that we're reading about today. >> if there was any question about whether or not there was a quid pro quo, which obviously with ukraine it's pretty clear there was, though many republicans on the hill, for some reason, are not willing to see that, the president today saying on the front lawn that he wanted the ukrainian president to investigate biden and that he's a now asking china or wants china to do the same thing, given the fact we're in the trade dispute and negotiations with china, isn't that inherently you're asking for a favor from china not known for their legitimate investigations on anything. >> sure.
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>> isn't that the definition of a quid pro quo? >> look, it's a lot to handle. let me just mention my republican colleagues' statements today saying there's nothing here. if there is nothing here, why did they hide it so much? i think what's happened today after seeing these texts and the republicans still saying there is nothing here, i think if you're going to support this president, you have to live in his alternative reality. what you're alluding to with the rest, the bottom line is i said it some time ago. this president never does anything wrong once. we're now hearing about the calls besides ukraine, the russian dealings before, australia, and now with china. it is disturbing to me that he calls anybody else treasonous and a traitor. at the very least in a colloquial sense, what he has done is treasonous. he has sold out who we are as a
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country. he has threatened our national p security for political gain. at the very least what richard nixon did was damage domestically. he didn't spread this kind of foul deeds to the rest of the world, bringing in our allies and our adversaries. >> congressman mike quigley, i appreciate your time. . thank you. >> any time. thank you. >> another member of the administration who has questions to answer tonight is mike pence. the vice president's role may be larger than he cares to let on. he seems to be acting as if this is all new to him. it's not. more on that just ahead. as a cio, you want to move your business forward. but when your team is always dealing with device setups, app updates, and support calls... you can never seem to get anywhere. that's why dell technologies created unified workspace, powered by vmware. ♪ a revolutionary solution that lets you deploy, manage, support and secure all your devices from the cloud. so you can stop going in circles,
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as we absorb all the breaking news tonight about how extensive the trump administration's effort was to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 elections, vice president pence included, i want to quickly play something that the vice president said on the subject during the 2016 campaign. >> now y'all need to know out there, this is basic stuff. foreign donors and certainly foreign governments cannot participate in the american political process. >> well, seems pretty obvious. back with us jeffrey toobin, jen psaki, david gergen and maggie haberman. maggie, what do you make of vice
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president pence's position in all of this? obviously, he's usually just golly whiz, it's not right for a form power to interference in the election. that was back then. >> i think mike pence think his political future rise and falls on president trump. i think you're going to see him stick to the president very strongly on this. it is notable to me that mike pence is so far -- it's possible i've missed someone, but from what i've seen, mike pence is the only elected republican official who supported what the president said earlier today on the white house lawn, which was suggesting that china should investigate the bidens. he's the only one on record endorsing that view. i think that there are still things we don't know about what the vp's interaction was with the president in terms of ukraine, in terms of what he was aware of. i suspect there will be more facts that come out over time. but right now as this is playing out as amed like people around m
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were trying to distance him from president trump, and there was talk about him sort of going on an extended tour of i'm not sure where. >> traveling often. >> traveling often. that seems today to have shifted where he is very front and center now. i can't imagine that played well in the white house, those reports, you know, according to people around the vice president that he was going to distance himself. >> i bet not. and as maggie referenced, you know, i think vice president pence knows that without donald trump, he'd probably be an unemployed former governor in indiana, or meahe'd be doing something, but he wouldn't be in political office. so his paswe have seen the note transcript from july. we all know that now. and we had a meeting with
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zelensky in september. so he is either the most uninformed and least inquisitive vice president in history about his portfolio, or he's not telling the truth. and i'm sure as maggie said, we will learn more soon, because it just doesn't make sense. >> jeff, you know, it's easy to get lost, and there is so much happened today. the silence, though, from republicans. when you had jim jordan coming out on television after i guess listening to volker essentially saying nothing he said supports what the whistle-blower said. that seems completely at odds with what democrats who have been in that, you know, listening to him for hours are saying. >> well, and i think it's fortunate for the president that congress is not in session this week, because they all do seem witness protection program and staying away from microphones. i think the china comment is one that's really going to present a lot of problems, even for
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republicans, because i mean, putting mike pence aside for the reasons that jen and maggie have said, he's in a separate category. but i find it even hard to believe that even the president's most ardent supporters say to themselves or say out loud, you know, it's a good thing to go to the leader of china and say investigate former vice president. put that in the mix. you know, maybe our tariffs should be -- give them a break on tariffs if they agree to investigate the vice president. that strikes me as so outside the known universe of political opinion in the united states that i think even the president's supporters are going to have a hard time with that one. >> david gergen, it's important to point out china has one of the most advanced spying programs on the united states, both trying to get government secrets, and there have been a number of cases of former intelligence officers who have
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now been arrested and convicted of selling secrets to china, or trying to, but also technological secrets. they've cost u.s. corporations billions of dollars. and the fact that the president is reaching out to that group, to those guys and saying, yeah, you know what? use your powers and investigate joe biden, it's stunning. >> it is, and i think that jeff's comments just now were right on target. this is so blatant. it's as if the president is trying to normalize a president of the united states asking a foreign power to do a political favor for him to help him in his elections. i mean, he is doing it now so openly and cavalierly, he must be -- there's got to be some strategy or some thought behind this. i'm not sure it's a strategy, but there is an impulse behind this that if i say i'm cavalier
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about it, maybe my supporters will say what the hell, a lot of people do this, or not that big a deal and that sort of thing. it is a big deal. it's a very grave offense. and it's playing fast and loose with the country's national interests. i don't think this is going to go away quickly. there was one other piece of news today anderson, i thought was interesting, and that is some news organization found that biden has been called. what they tried to investigate is his call on a prosecutor to be fired. it turned out there were three republican presidents -- senators at the time who favored the firing of that prosecutor. >> right. although one of them i saw seemed to have forgotten they ever held that position. >> yeah. >> funny how that happens. thanks, everybody. up next, more breaking news. a new report on another whistle-blower complaint, this one alleging improper interference with the audit, the retain audit of president trump's or vice president pence's tax returns.
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and how does it make a case for impeachment? we have a republican and he's going to make the case that everything today doesn't change the calculus and there is nothing impeachment in it. we're going to have tests on both sides, you get to decide. well, not you. you'll be home doing something else. >> no, i'll be, you know, at hole watching, coughing. chris, thank you very much. see you in about five minutes. coming up next, breaking in on yet another whistle-blower complaint. imagine a world where
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least one political appointee from the trump administration had attempted to improperly interfere with the annual review of either president trump or vice president's income tax returns. now, according to the "washington post," administration officials dismissed the complaint as flimsy because it's based, they say, on conversations with other government officials, not necessarily direct-hand knowledge. some congressional democrats who have seen the complaint the "post" says, have flagged it to a federal judge. they are also discussing whether to make it public. as you know, house democrats are locked in an ongoing legal battle with trump administration officials over release of the president's tax returns for the past six years. following chris don't miss "full circle," our new digital news show, you can catch it streaming live weeknights or weekdays at 5:00 p.m. eastern time at or you can watch it there later on demand anytime. all right. the news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris?
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>> you are a workhorse. feel better, my friend. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." once again there's news on our watch and the devil is in the developments. what do you say? let's get after it. this day started with a power play from potus, but the power shifted quickly in a flurry of reporting fueled by trump's own special envoy to ukraine, revealing just how many were troubled by his solicitation of political advantage from ukraine. the solicitation and how much damage control was going on. so let's get perspective on both sides and what the day's events mean. first, congresswoman mikie sherrill from new jersey is here. representative, welcome to "prime time." good to have you. >> thanks so much for having me, chris. >> all right. you've got a benefit and a burden. first the benefit. all this new information on how troubling the call was to people
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in key positions. reporting that multiple officials prepared a statement for the ukraine president announcing the investigations this president wanted, our president wanted, the implied deal, sign it or no meeting with trump. the concern from others that he was asking ukraine to interfere in an election. volker, the special envoy, and others trying to slow it down, trying to dissuade giuliani. the ambassador getting tossed for trying to do the same, reportedly. what matters to you and why? >> well, what matters to me is what's mattered to me from the start. the fact that we have a president of the united states who withheld critical security aid from an ally, shortly thereafter called that ally, the ukrainian president, to pressure him to investigate someone who is trying to run against him for the presidency. so in other words, you h