tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 28, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT
>> 13,000 ukrainians dead in this conflict. clarissa ward, thanks very much. >> thanks for joining us. we'll see you back tomorrow. i'm harpoppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. kate bolduan is next. hello, everyone. thanks for joining me. this morning a no-show, a standoff and possibly a glimpse into the rocky road ahead in the impeachment inquiry into president trump. despite a congressional subpoena, the latest key witness in the investigation did not show for a scheduled interview with house investigators. this morning, charles kupperman, most recently the deputy national security adviser to the president, working hand in hand with then national security adviser john bolton. importantly, kupperman was actually on the july 25th call
between president trump and ukraine's president that has sparked the whistle-blower's complaint. the white house ordered kupperman not to show up and so kupperman went to court, essentially asking a judge to decide if he should listen to the order from congress or the white house on this one. the chairman of the house intelligence committee leading the investigation none too happy this morning. listen. >> if this witness had something to say that would be helpful to the white house, they would want him to come and testify. they plainly don't. >> so what now? let's get to capitol hill first and foremost. phil mattingly is there. house democrats at least are talking about holding him in contempt of congress. what are you hearing? >> just listened to chairman adam schiff talk. republicans spoke as well. you can kind of view how democrats are proceeding through two tracks.
there is the legal track. they can hold him in contempt. they can also go the court related to the lawsuit filed by charles kupperman's lawyer on friday saying that the court needed to adjudicate a fight between two branches of government. democrats made clear that will not postpone, stall the inquiry under way. they've had nine witnesss, most of whom were subpoenaed and asked by the white house not to testify, come in and testify in those closed-door depositions. there will be more this week. i think the point democrats are making right now, and you hit on a key point when it comes to obstruction, if these witnesses choose not to come in, they'll go to court and figure out remedies but also use that as the basis for an article of impeachment related to obstruction. the key point is, yes, as they get closer to the white house, as they get closer to the president and individuals around the president they want to talk to, people like john bolton, mick mulray knee, rudy giuliani, others, they will use those if they choose not to comply as part of the future articles of
impeachment. but they won't slow down the investigation. it's been full speed for six weeks. >> if this is putting the brakes on it, i guess we'll see if it does at all. full speed ahead as you mentioned. is expected. week and what else- >> reporter: charles kupperman not coming in. he shares a lawyer with john bolton, who hasn't been subpoenaed yet but through testimony democrats have learned he had strong jfeelings against how ukraine was being dealt with. a national security-witness expected tomorrow. thursday is the official that everybody's really keying on. timorson is a current white house official. william taylor, who had the explosive testimony last week,
feels like six months ago, mentioned his name 15 times over the course -- and the whistle-blower, mentioned his name 15 times related to the ukraine call, the withholding of funding, relating to ukraine policy. he is still expected to testify. there are expectations that there will be multiple court battles going forward. by all accounts democrats are pushing forward and expect witnesses to come in for depositions. >> that definitely seemed to be the message this morning from adam schiff. thank you. over to the white house where president trump seems to be offering something of a new strategy on how he'd like to fight the impeachment investigation, essentially going against both republicans and his legal team, what they have all been advising. boris sanchez has more on this. what's the strategy now? >> reporter: president trump wants republicans to shift their strategy. it's interesting because as you noted for more than a week we've been hearing behind closed doors that the president's legal team,
aide,s, alleged visor, a number of republicans on capitol hill, they've been wanting the president to focus on the process that democrats are moving forward with this impeachment inquiry as a response. they want to suggest that democrats are not being transparent, that they're abusing the legal system to try and go after this president. for trump, that's not puenough. he wants them to focus on the substance of his call with the ukrainian president, something some are not eager to do because answering questions about quid pro quo can be sticky like we saw with mulvaney two weeks ago. the president is clear in his messaging. listen said before boarding air force one. >> i'd rather go into the details of the case tharather t process. the case is very simple. it's great. so quick. i had a great conversation with the ukrainian president. i had another conversation with
him also i think before that which was the same thing. it was nothing. >> notably, kate, president trump also conflated the substance of that resolution that lindsey graham cobbled together last week. the president said this would be a quick and easy defense because he's got some 50 republicans to sign on to theresolution without making a call to a single one. that resolution included nothing on the substance of his call with president zelenskiy. it focused on the process, the way the democrats are carrying out this inquiry. >> that was the whole point of the resolution that lindsey graham brought forward. boris, thank you so much. joining me now, cnn legal analyst, a top impeachment attorney, ross garber and david chalian. ross, let's start with the interview that isn't happening today when it comes to charles kupperman. you are an expert in this area. adam schiff this morning said that a private citizen cannot sue the congress to avoid a lawful subpoena. the white house, though, claiming constitutional a
immunity says that this kupperman can fight this and doesn't need -- and shouldn't go in. h who's right here? >> the answer is this hardly ever happen, so we're not sure. the position of community has been taken by white houses and departments of justice going back for quite a while. one federal district court has said that, you know, that immunity doesn't apply. chairman schiff raises what i think will be the first issue that the court will have to decide, can a court even get involved at this point. is it right for a court to get involved, because nobody's been held in contempt. also, there's a supreme court case called nixon versus united states that essentially says that congress gets to decide how to do an impeachment process and courts don't get involved. that might also be a hurdle here. it's not clear a court will get involved in this issue. >> that is fascinating to see. we're talking like in the next
hours we could be seeing, i don't know, the next kind of chapter or wrinkle in where this is going to go. let us see together. david, adam schiff seems to indicate we're full steam ahead. what democrats do is a big question because i see two competing scenarios here, that this person, kupperman, has important perspective, he was on the july 25th call, adam schiff says he can corroborate a lot of what they've heard so they want to hear from him. with but we've also heard the democrats have plenty to go on already. >> they do. no doubt. as you heard schiff say, part of this issueadjudicated, this battle between the executive and legal branches, is part of what schiff says he's building for a possible obstruction of congress article of impeachment to be voted out. so what is happening day to day
is still whether on the obstruction side or on the actual content side of what took place, the dems are still building a case. as you know, part of building this case is also going to be a public component to this in terms of trying to bring the american public on board in greater numbers in support of this effort. that's one of adam schiff's and nancy pelosi's goals. there will be a whole public component. that is another reason we're not seeing today on the house floor articles of impeachment being voted upon. >> exactly, david. ross, do you see this move by kupperman as an attempt from kupperman to avoid testifying to the committee? his attorney seems to paint it as he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. do you think it's one or the other here? >> what he could have done is just sent a letter. we've seen that from other witnesses. don mcgahn, the former white house counsel's lawyer when he was subpoenaed to testify. his lawyer sent a letter saying the white house has invoked
executive privilege and so, you know, obviously i'm not showing. so he could have done that. what i think kupperman's trying to do is say, you know, look, i'm trying to be responsible here. ive got congress telling me to show up. i've got the white house telling me not to. i need somebody to give me an answer, so, court, please tell me. it's a bit of a pr move on his part saying he doesn't have a dog in the fight, he'll do what he's legally required to do. i don't think this move probably surprised adam schiff very much. i think if anything schiff may be more surprised by the amount of cooperation wehe's gotten fr witnesses. kupperman could have written a letter. he decided to try to look like he's playing it straight and ask a court to decide. >> i also think, kate, he may be a canary in the coal mine. he's represented by the same counsel as john bolton, his
former boss. this is a pattern being tested that we'll see from multiple future witnesses. >> a great point. david, in the midst of all this, the president's former chief of staff, john kelly, offered up what amounts to -- it is an inherent criticism of the president and basically that the president isn't up to the job. let me, for viewers, play what john capitol hill said. "the washington examiner" political conference. >> i said whatever you do, still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place, i said whatever you do, don't hire a yes-man, someone that's going to -- won't tell you the truth. don't do that. because if you do, i believe you'll be impeached. >> sis he saying left to his ow devices that the president would break the law? >> right.
there are a couple pieces looking at what john kelly said. obviously a little self-serving no doubt, but it can also be true that he was indeed preventing here now that the president is being zeroed in on point here which is exactly that, that if you don't have the right people around you, you are going to end up doing something that is going to get you impeached. i don't think that is normal advice for presidents. but that is specific advice for this president in the way john kelly thought it was so important who was around this president because of his own behavior and actions. >> yeah. and the white house -- go ahead, ross. >> kate, it actually is something that i tell a lot of my clients. you know, folks who are in high-pressure situations with a lot of responsibility, they sometimes make bad calls and they depend on the people around
them. i think that may be a defense that we wind of seeing from the president here, that he was not trying to hide anything, he had his lawyers around him, his chief of staff, he wasn't doing this in secret. he was relying on the people around him. so i think what john kelly was saying here is that's okay so long as you have people around you who will tell you the truth, tell you like it is, tell you when something is a bad idea, when you shouldn't be doing something. that was part of his -- that was probably his main point here. >> very interesting. >> ross, thank you. david, thank you so much. a big heads-up, please pay attention to "catch john chalian." it's good stuff. thanks, guys. coming up, inside the operation to get isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi about what happened on the ground before the rain went down. plus, a new massive wildfire
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new video in just this morning of the u.s. military raid that killed isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi. this drone video, you can see the compound in syria where baghdadi was hiding out reduced to piles of rubble. from the ground, you get another perspective of what's left after that operation. what looks like pots and pans even among the debris, some children's toys. in announcing the operation's success, president trump detailed how al baghdadi was chased into an underground tunnel and according to the president blew himself up with a suicide vest, also killing three children who were with him. cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr is joining me with new details that are coming out of exactly what happened even before the raid went down. what more are you learning? >> v. >> reporter: we know the u.s. had looked at the intelligence for some time and was thinking about doing this mission at various points. it was scrapped, however, we're
not told why, but last week it appeared to have come together and they were ready to go tothe president and get his authority to go ahead and move with this mission. the president laying out a lot of detail. the key questions of course still to be formally answered and we don't know we'll get those answers, what was the intelligence that led them to know that when those commandos landed at this compound, baghdadi would be there? we are told that they had some information from iraqi sources who had captured and interrogated a colleague of baghdadi's. the syrian kurds also saying that they played a key role in providing intelligence and working the situation on the ground. with the withdrawal of u.s. fofrs forces from syria, he's got less boots and eyes on the ground that can get some of that vital intelligence. right now we are waiting to see if later today the pentagon does
decide to come out and conduct a formal press briefing and answer publicly some reporter questions with more details about what happened. how classified is this mission? well afsh well, a dog was hurt during the mission. he is back on duty. we asked if we could have the dog's name and we were told no, it's a classified mission, we can't tell you the name of the dog. >> al baghdadi is dead but isis is not. getting to kind of what barbara was getting at there, what hppens to isis in the aftermath, especially when you talk about the strategy the president has put forth or lack thereof on the ground in syria? josh goelzer joins us. thanks for coming in. >> thanks, kate. >> what does al baghdadi's death, having him removed from the battlefield, what does it mean for the global fight against isis now? >> this is big. isis has claimed to have a caliphate rested in part on
having a caliph and at least for now they have a caliph no more. eliminating somebody whose face, name, and voice were central to radicalizing people around the world in the name of isis, that is a big step for counterterrorism and a big step backward for isis. >> does this victory change your view of the president's recent moves, his order to withdraw u.s. troops from syria, which has been wildly criticized and condemned from washington and beyond? >> it doesn't change my view. if anything, this strengthens my view. let me tell you why. the elements that made this possible are precisely the elements that trump seems to be keen on giving away. having at least some limited u.s. presence on the ground, working with partners who can share intelligence, being able to stage this mission from iraq, all of those were instrumental to this extraordinary operation nam success, all of those are also threatened by the abrupt
moves made by trump first to radically draw down our own presence then to give into president erdogan of turkey. >> josh, do you think it goes too far to say that without -- that this move that the president has now ordered, u.s. troops out of syria, without the kurds, the relationship with the kurds on the ground, without active human intelligence on the ground, that this could not have been possible? there's no other way. if trump's view on what's needed in syria was in place, let's say years earlier. >> it sure seems that way. we have the syrian kurds telling us that they were instrumental to this success. we have even trump begrudgingly thanking them, last in the orders of though he thanked, and by all accounts it was an intelligence tip or some collaboration with the syrian
kurl kurds, and others, the iraqis, that made this possible. if you are spurring your partners kwhoushgs won't see these successes in the future. >> let me play how the president himself talked about the operation in vivid, sometimes graphic detail in announcing its success. let me play this. >> he died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way. he died like a dog. he died like a coward. >> some republicans have even spoken out to say they're uncomfortable with his language that he used in announcing it and what message it sends, how it will reverberate with friend and foe alike. what's the impact? >> i'm uncomfortable with it as well. this is certainly a moment to thank the americans and partners who are critical to the success,
maybe to take some pride in the achievement because it does make folks safer around the world to some degree, but to relish it, that seems to go too far and it does make me think that our embassies, our military bases, especially in the middle east, are probably on high alert today as they worry about at least the possibility of backlash from those sorts of remarks. >> josh, thanks for coming in. >> thanks very much, kate. >> still ahead, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry is a no-show today. what do democrats do now? one joins me next. people, our sales now apply to only 10 frames.
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president trump is in chicago about to take the stage to speak before the international association of chiefs of police in chicago. you see the event starting any moment now. we'll bring you any headlines that will be coming out as soon as they happen. back in washington, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry has now become the first to fight the subpoena coming from congress in court. former deputy national security adviser charles kupperman was scheduled to be interviewed by
house investigators on capitol hill, interviewed right now. he did not show up. kupperman is now potentially facing being held in contempt of congress for not appearing. what do democrats do now? joining me is a democratic congressman, a member of the house intelligence and oversight committees, committees involved in the inquiry. thanks for coming in. >> thanks, kate. >> your reaction to kupperman not showing up today. >> well, i think that as we mentioned in our subpoena to him, you know, not coming in would be considered a potential obstruction of the inquiry and any blocked testimony or testimony being withheld would be considered corroborative of the whistle-blower's complaint. there has been a parade of witnesses who have come forward, apolitical people sticking their necks on the line to tell the truth. that's what we would expect of him and others but obviously he's made a difference choice as
of right now. >> tactically, do you wait for a judge to rule on this? or do you think, you can move ahead with what you have without -- do not need to hear from him? >> i'm going to let chairman schiff decide our course with regard to him in particular. but there are other witnesses that are scheduled to come this week before us who are going to provide hopefully even more testimony to flesh out, you know, kind of the full extent of what happened with regard to ukraine and who was involved and who directed it. this is very important for us to find out asap. >> do you think -- he does share an attorney with john bolton, kupperman does. do you think how charles kupperman has reacted to it, the path he's taken, do you think that is a foreshadowing of how john bolton will respond if and when you ask him to appear? >> i'm not sure. i think based on press reports, mr. bolton has some very strong
views about rudy giuliani potentially running a shadow foreign policy, not necessarily in the best interest of the country but perhaps in the best interest of his personal clients who include donald trump and also potentially foreign actors. it will be up to mr. bolton to decide, but i hope that all witnesses who are subpoenaed come forward to comply with their duty. >> "the wall street journal" in speaking to ambassador gordon sondland's attorney is reporting that he, when he was speaking before the committees, he told the committees of the president's efforts to get ukraine, to investigate joe biden in exchange for a white house meeting amounted to a quid pro quo. is that your understanding of his interview and what he said? >> i can't comment on the specifics of his testimony except that if the press reports are correct, that a white house meeting was conditioned on political investigations of the president's domestic rivals,
that would be a big problem, and that would amount to that type of quid pro quo. >> he said i would not dispute what the attorney is saying in part. would you dispute what the attorney is telling the "wall street journal"? >> again, i don't want to go into the specifics of his testimony. as i said that day, you know, basically i left with the impression that mr. sondland was somewhat evasive on certain conversations and details. that being said, if for some reason he decides that he wants to supplement his testimony, i'm sure that the committee would want to potentially hear about that. but i'm not going to get ahead of my chairman in terms of what he may or may not do with regard to mr. sondland. >> can i get your reaction also as a member of the intelligence community to hearing the news that the leader of isis died this weekend? >> sure. i think that the world is better
off without his existence. he was a blood-thirsty killer. but i want to point out a few elements that were essential in capturing and killing him, which is our alliances, which unfortunately the trump administration has not been fond of including with the kurds. secondly, our intelligence community and the excellent information that they basically provided in identifying his location. again, a community that's under attack by the president almost consta constantly. and third, our presence in northern syria. we could not have done this without a presence in northern syria, especially in those areas where isis has collected. i'm very concerned that our pullout from northern syria basically means that isis is going to scatter and then pose another threat to us again. >> all valid concerns. after all this, this feels like a turn, but kind of isn't, it is somewhat related, the president appeared at the world series
game last night, and in doing so he was met, you could see it from the video, from the crowd, he was met by loud and sustained boos from parts of the audience as well as chants of "lock him up" were quite audible. what did you think of that? >> i personally don't want to see any president or candidate for president subject to those types of cheers. president trump unfortunately led those similar chants with regard to hillary clinton. i thought that was unacceptable then. i don't want to see any president or nominee or any candidate or politician subject to that type of chanting. but that goes to show how much unfortunately this president has contributed to the kind of debasing of our political rhetoric and his use of the term the other day human scum to describe republicans that would disagree with him with regard to this ukraine matter just goes to show that he's contributing to the very rhetoric that's being used against him as well. >> congressman, thanks for
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- hurricane-force winds are fueling an explosion of wildfires in california right now. we'll show you, this is a look at the biggest threat in los angeles county, the getty fire, still raging out of control. that is a terrifying scene to be driving past. it's just off the 405 freeway at the moment. it's burned 400 acres, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. at the same time, the largest of the more than dozen wildfires burning right now is in the northern part of the state in california's wine country. the kincade firing burning more than 60,000 acres and forcing more than 200,000 people from their homes. cnn crews are positioned throughout the fire zone as we speak. omar jimenez is in los angeles. dan simon is in the north. what are you seeing right now? >> reporter: we're along the 405
in los angeles and the entire hillside at one point was on fire. now it is a smoldering hillside because winds have been moving further back into this hillside right here. it's moved over the top of what we're seeing here and a helicopter just went into the clouds or the smoke behind there as they've been dropping in water and -- you know what, here, our photographer is going to come up. see this helicopter coming out of the smoke here. they've been dropping fire retardant over the course of this morning, coming in with round after round, trying to make sure that these flames don't creep onto the many cars you see driving along the 405. the road has not closed over the course of this. one of the big fears is the winds, the windy conditions we have seen over the course of the past few days that some of these embers could spread even as far as miles and start fires in
places there weren't fires to begin with. >> omar, thank you. stick with me. dan, how are concerns where you are? >> reporter: well, today it's a race against time, kate. right now the winds are calm, so hopefully fire crews will make some progress today. right now this fire is 5% contained. they reduced it. it was 10% over the weekend but the winds were so strong over the weekend, more than 90-mile-per-hour gusts, and that's really what has caused this fire to really spread. let me explain where i am, kate. this was a 150-year-old winery, the soda rock winery. it's just reduced to rubble really in an hour. all you ca see is this sort of stone facade in front of me. in terms of what fire crews will be doing today, water drops, 3,000 firefighters on the ground. also, kate, i should tell you, you have about 2 million people within this area that have lost power. so much consternation because so
many people are in the dark. we don't know when that power goes back on because the winds are expected to pick up sometime tomorrow night. kate? >> just need a break from this weather and it's not coming anytime soon. dan, thank you so much. omar, thank you. coming up, she was seen as a rising star in the democratic party. now katie hill is stepping down facing allegations of improper relationships. the story behind her resignation, what it means for her swing district. ♪ ♪ ♪ born to be wild...
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california congresswoman katie hill has announced she is resigning. she has been accused of having an improper relationship with a member of her congressional staff, something she's denied. it would be a possible violation of new house rules that ban such relationships. the house ethics committee opened an investigation into hill, and at the very same time, she had to admit to an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer before she took office. another important factor here is congresswoman katie hill says
her husband, who she is currently in the midst of divorcing, is out there trying to humiliate her by releasing intimate photographs, some of which have been published. speaker nancy pelosi, in reacting to hill's announcement, praised her work but added this. she has acknowledged errors in judgment that made her continued service as a member untenable. we have much more of the back story and what this means for her seat. listen. >> reporter: this was katie hill last january. >> from congresswoman elect to dropping the elect. how does it feel? >> it feels good. it's time to get to work, for sure. >> reporter: moments later she was sworn into congress. nobody had any idea her promise of tenure would be so brief. in a letter from her congressional office, representative hill announced heifer resignation, writing, this is what needs to happen so that the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the
brutality of hateful political operatives. hill's estranged husband is the man standing next to her. he has not replied after repeated requests by cnn. but he has a life built around cyber reputation. hill wrote, smear campaign built around cyber exploitation. having private photos of personal moments weaponized against me has been an appalling invasion of my privacy. as long as i'm in congress, we'll live fearful of what might come next. hill has admitted to a relationship with a campaign staffer, apologizing, calling it inappropriate. but she has alleged a separate charge, a relationship with a congressional staffer. a relationship with a
congressman in her staff violates ethics rules. some say personal issues don't matter in the trump era. >> i would rather have something than f our country. >> reporter: but politically, this may matter in the swing district. >> would we lose the seat to the republicans again? i don't know. i'm not saying we would. hopefully not, but it just doesn't help. >> reporter: california governor greg newsome has a few weeks to set a hearing. but katie hill is not saying she's stepping back because of the allegations of these relationships, she's stepping back because of the torture and the unknown horror of these photos being out there. and speaking to gop operatives, i've had conversations with people who have said they've seen dozens of these personal photos that have yet to be released. >> that is important to point out. thank you very much.
i really appreciate it. the pentagon snubs amazon over a major contract. amaz microsoft plays a role. coming up. that you hear the good news from real people... like us. i'm daniel. i'm casey. i'm julio. only chevy has earned j.d. power dependability awards across cars, trucks and suvs. four years in a row.
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it also has the highest growth in manufacturing jobs in the us. it's a competition for the talent. employees need more than just a paycheck. you definitely want to take advantage of all the benefits you can get. 2/3 of employees said that the workplace is an important source for personal savings and protection solutions. the workplace should be a source of financial security. keeping your people happy is what keeps your people. that's financial wellness. put your employees on a path to financial wellness with prudential. the pentagon picks microsoft over amazon for a massive government contract worth $10 billion to manage the military's cloud computing services.
with that, many people are asking since amazon was the long-time favorite to get this job, criticism of jeff bezos impacted the final call here. here's alison kosiks. >> it drives amazon's profits and it's been a leader in this space because of the thousands of government contracts that it has, so amazon losing the billion-dollar deal was a huge punch to the gut for amazon. one analyst calling it a game changer deal for microsoft, one of amazon's biggest competitors, and that it could have ripple effects for years to come. a source close to the situation says amazon may actually fight this decision in court, because the thinking is, president trump, who has made his animosity for ceo jeff bezos very, very clear and very
public, has had a hand in pushing amazon out of this deal. in fact, former secretary james mattis reports trump personally got involved in who would win the contract and last year actually directed mattis to screw amazon out of a chance to bid on the contract. this is according to website task and purpose. mattis declined, but in june, trump did say, kate, that his administration would review the contract plan because competitors claimed amazon had an unfair advantage. >> billions of dollars at stake here. thank you all so much for joining me today. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john containing. thank y -- john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. a national security aide defies a subpoena, telling congress he will not testify unless a judge decides if the impeachment proceedings are legitimate.