tv Inside Politics CNN November 11, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing this veterans day with us. a critical new impeachment chapter. public hearings this week plus a rare holiday court hearing to help determine if the president's chief of staff and former national security adviser can be compelled to testify. plus the president draws a line for fellow republicans. do not, he says, say that quid pro quo in ukraine was wrong but doesn't warrant impeachment. but some republicans are making that case. the key now is whether public hearings cause even more gop t
jitters. joe biden goes to iowa. it comes as he holds a strong national polling position but struggles in some of the early states. >> are you trying to win the primary by talking about the general? >> the reason i'm running is because of the general. i'm not running against anything having to do with the character even of the candidates are running. what i'm doing to trying to make the case that trump is a gigantic impediment to this country moving forward. >> we begin this hour and this week on capitol hill where democrats and republicans alike now preparing for the impeachment inquiry to go public in realtime with two days of public hearings later this week. wednesday the witnesses are bill taylor, the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine, as well as george kent, the senior state department official. friday is the former u.s.
ambassador to ukraine, marie yavonovitch. we have their transcripts to the private depositions. all of them worried that the president was putting political vendettas ahead of u.s. policy goals. the president is very aware of the mistakes and taking this week to warn his republicans. don't be led into the tools trap of saying it was not perfect, but it is not impeachable. no, it is much stronger than that. federal courts are closed for veterans day, yet judges will hear if an active chief of staff can join a lawsuit asking them to rule on whether congressional impeachment rules must be honored. john bolton and mick mulvaney, of course, have firsthand knowledge of key impeachment inquiry events. lauren fox joins me live up on capitol hill.
lauren, normally a day off for veterans. is it quiet or busy up there? >> reporter: there is a sense of ca calm, and this is in a blockbuster week of public hearings on wednesday and then on friday where america will hear testimony of bill taylor, george kent and marie yavonovitch. one democratic senior aide told me it was even bigger than what they did for the mueller testimony, in part because they feel like the public is on their side. they've been releasing these transcripts day after day. they've had multiple leaks coming out of these depositions, and this is just building for public hearings. they have to have a big moment in these hearings to keep the movement going ahead. democrats behind the scenes preparing questions, preparing rebuttals for the republicans, and promoting a strategy in realtime to try to build all of
this as the country, of course, will be watching. john? >> lauren fox with a very busy week up on capitol hill. here with me in the studio, margaret telev with "axios," carla and post with "positive lit -- politico. what are they doing to get ready not only when they have these three key witnesses in the chair, but also for people at home. you need to pay attention to this. >> people think they know the information already, so when it comes out, it's not surprising, i think, to democrats. the real challenge is going to be capturing the public interest right out of the box, honestly, and say here's why we think this is serious, here's the accusations against the president and why they're
important. i think they are prepared. i think they've gone back, looked what they did wrong with mueller and they're trying to correct that. >> here's the reason they have the line-up that they have. they feel bill taylor, who is first up, will be a really compelling witness. they'll only have about two weeks of public hearings so they can keep this ball rolling forward. >> the president understands the big stakes this week. he has mostly public unity. you hear privately criticism about what happened than you hear publicly. these are two republicans on the sunday shows. both are retiring, not running for reelection next year. they make the case a lot of what people say privatie inly now publicly. >> if you're getting a political rival used in a public campaign, i think most republicans have said that would be a violation of the law. >> i believe it was inappropriate. i do not believe it was
impeachable. >> the challenge for the president is to keep it to a few handfuls who say that. if that momentum grows, even if a big number of republicans come out ask say, it's not impeachable but it's wrong, a, it angers the president. and b, it puts pressure, whether it's in the house or the senate, for some republican to stand up ask say, i move to censure, to block impeachment. >> some see this as a slippery slope. the republicans who are making this point see it as their best compromise. they're personally deeply offended at what the president did. this is like where they meet him in the middle. the president sees this as something that can dampen enthusiasm before his election effort, or something that could make it okay for other republicans to step out and have a stronger stance.
>> i just think those two witnesses that are retiring are saying they're not even voting for impeachment. you had william hurd in the interview say he wanted to call out mr. biden that the hard-core trumpees want. i found that hard to believe since he's exiting, since he's leaving. the democrats probably won't get anyone else to testify, firsthand account that trump told them personally to do xyz on ukraine. what they're going to be presenting now they'll be presenting in public, but they probably won't get any more proof than they have now, so if republicans arcen't willing to open the door now, they're not going to get impeachment. >> the judge knows what week it is. the judge knows public hearings
are starting. the judge could have waited until tuesday, he could have waited until friday, he could have waited until next month. mick mulvaney is trying to join a lawsuit brought by john bolton's deputy, first, then joined by john bolton essentially saying, we've been subpoenaed by the deputy. judge, tell me, do i have to testify? the president says no, the courts say yes, let mick mulvaney decide. if this judge rules on the power of a congressional subpoena, it could put them in the witness chair and both of their lawyers say interesting things. bolton's lawyer last week, ambassador bolton was involved in what you already have of testimony as well as relevant meetings and testimony that has not been discussed so far. then mick mulvaney trying to join this lawsuit which the president of the united states is one of the defendants in the suit, mick mulvaney saying, both
in his capacity as the acting white house chief of staff and as the director of the office of management and budget, mulvaney met with and advised president trump directly on a frequent and regular basis and implemented president trump's plans. including stopping the aid to ukraine before they gave in to investigations. >> bolton looks like to me he's trying to be forced into the hearings, that he kind of wants to testify, has things to say, but he wants to be ordered to do it. i know the courts have a hearing today. the courts still grind pretty slow in these kind of cases, and the democrats seem to be on a quick timetable. i don't know if there is enough time to get decisions to force bolton to do this. >> it's fascinating in the sense that if you believe bolton's assista assistant, fiona hill, saying they cooked it up to something
akin to a drug deal. >> they may say something different if mulvaney and bolton were forced to testify. the consensus seems to be that mulvaney is trying to slow down the process and that bolton doesn't really want to testify. but both of those things could be wrong. we don't really know what's in their heads and here are some complicating factors. mulvaney, on one hand, is a staunch supporter of the president, and on the other hand, has always known when you're chief of staff in this white house, you're part of the team until you find out from twitter that you are no longer part of the team. which is why he built up his own team. mick mulvaney has to protect himself and that may be part of what's going on. john bolton has a lucrative book deal and wants to put details in this book that may not be out already. also he's probably trying to indemnify himself by putting that in the book and saying,
hey, i tried to talk about that with republicans. >> the democrats will move forward if not, but i think having an evening hearing tells you the judge wants to stir things up a little bit. the state department officials at the center of this week's testimony. as we go to break, the president pausing this morning to honor american veterans. >> this morning no fewer than 35,000 patrons line the streets of manhattan. we began a tradition that began one century ago. we must hold with supreme vigilance our sacred observation to care for those who have borne the battle. in fact, tremfya® was proven superior to humira® in providing significantly clearer skin. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection
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and their rates, call or go online today to request your free decision guide. oh, and happy birthday... or retirement... in advance. an interesting new twist today from the secretary of state mike pompeo. you may remember he failed in an effort to keep state department officials from cooperating with the impeachment inquiry. this week's public witnesses bill taylor, george kent, marie yavonovitch on state department officials. now his advice is get over it and tell the truth. >> i hope everybody who testifies will speak truthfully and accurately. when they do, the oversight will have been performed and i hope america will see what took place there. i was part of ukraine's policy. we were very clear. we wanted to make sure the corruption that had been existing in ukraine for a long
time was reduced. the president had the capability to do that. >> i get it. they have to testify. you might as well tell them get it over with, tell the truth. the part about the corruption, his words may have always been about that, but read the transcript. the president says, biden. we need a favor. the president is not talking about deep, systemic or legal corruption. this is about biden. >> he'll say, oh, we always hold up foreign aid or make sure you have good democracy in these countries we're supporting, elts. but clearly this is bs because they have to look specifically at -- he was asking about the bidens. he was asking about investigations that helped the president politically in 2016. pompeo is saying be truthful, because behind the scenes, he was telling people not to go.
there is a little nuance there. we found out in these transcripts that the state department, while telling people not to show up last week or previous weeks, never gave advice about subpoenas. if they got subpoenaed, the state department never told them not to show. >> you're right. at the white house, let's make it more personal. the president of the united states, when he's watching these hearings next week, it will be interesting to see how the president reacts. you mentioned the republicans are debating how to do this. the lead witness happens to be a vietnam war veteran, so you don't question the character of these witnesses. this is someone who served for a long time. listen to rand paul here. the president dropped the whole argument about quid pro quo. you asked the ukraine president to do something and everybody does it. >> that would be saying that everyone tries to manipulate
ukraine for their purposes. obama tried it, trump tried it, they all tried it, to get them to start an investigation. >> the democrats he mentioned there, melendez, murphy and biden, would tell you, no, they were asking ukraine to clean up its borders, to have a judicial system that works, not to investigate domestic political rivals. >> and that's a big difference. this is also, as rachael pointed out, to make it seem as though multiple presidents have done it, that the u.s. does it on a regular basis, and that's just not accurate. we've already seen republicans try to attack the witnesses, attack their character, so it remains to be seen whether or not they think that will be an effective strategy during the actual hearings. we expect that they will attack a lot of democrats' process,
still, continue to call it a sham investigation. but, again, democrats are pretty hopeful that they can effectively sell this as these public hearings start. it won't be any new information, but that finally the public will start to tune in and see things that they haven't before. >> but can republicans just stir up enough dust, raise enough doubt, distract? to rand paul's point, everybody does it, as one of his arguments there. hunter biden, not going to testify. then it goes on to have a former dnc staffer who is not involved in this at all. it is if you have a republican conspiracy theory in your head about who meddled in the election in 2016. necessarily lee ohr goes back to the steele dossier. the democrats are going to say no to just about everybody on the republican witness list, to what end? >> i think you'll see a lot of republican efforts to disrupt
and distract. they're going to try to do a lot of things to grab headlines, make it look partisan. this witness list obviously reflect that. it shows no seriousness, really, in trying to refute what the democrats are doing. i think that's just how it's going to play out, especially in the house. i think if it gets to the senate, you'll see a different kind of proceeding, but the house guys, you know, they added jim jordan to that committee for a good reason. he's been good about getting out there and trying to divert attention from what the democrats say is really happening. >> but there are three witnesses on the list, all diplomats, all involved in this policy. if the president can call and get a difference of opinion here or different facts. we shall see. up next, nikki haley is back her own stories of disarray in the white house. again, as we go to break, it's a very special day across the
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it's from a top official who says she resisted efforts to undermine presidential authority. nikki haley's new book is "with all due respect: defending america with grit and grace." there is this excerpt about haley's time as ambassador of the united nations. she said, kelly and tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren't being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country. >> when they said that to me, they should have said that to the president, not asking me to join their sidebar plan. it should have been go tell the president what your differences are ask quit nd quit if you don what he's doing. but to undermine the president is a very dangerous thing. it goes against the constitution and it goes against what people want and it's offensive. >> what do we make of this?
timing is everything in politics. i know the book publishing is on a schedule, but the week of impeachment she pops up. number one, it does confirm chaos in the administration. number two, she's taking the president's side here saying if you disagree, you're supposed to go tell him you disagree, you're not supposed to undermine him. but? >> overwhelmingly, republicans and many democrats think nikki haley has a good chance of being the first female president. probably not in 2020, but these are the things you say when you're trying to distinguish yourself from the people who broke with the president but also trying to clear a lane for yourself to have differences of opinion with the president, and consistently, both while she was inside the administration and throughout her exit and departure, she has managed to keep this politically, managed to keep this lane for herself where she is still a darling of many fans of president trump but also respected by people who have issues with trump inside the republican party. she's been a shrewd politician and that was a shrewd interview. >> to that very point, number
one, on other issues, she said she disagreed with the president on the shooting in charlottesville, for example. other areas where she could be a mainstream republican. she told npr, it's not a practice of ours to ever ask a foreign country to investigate an american. so there she's saying what the president did was wrong. but on impeachment, she said this. sdp >> you're going to impeach the president for asking for a favor that didn't happen and giving money and it wasn't withheld? i don't know what you would impeach him on. the ukranians never did the investigation and the president released the fuchbnds. when you look at those, there's just nothing impeachable there. more than that, i think the biggest thing that bothers me is the american people should decide this. why do we have a bunch of people in congress making this decision? >> it's a stunning response or
logical reasoning that she's trying to give. impeachment doesn't need -- the act doesn't need to have been carried out for congress to impeach a president. if they find his conduct unbecoming, which is the act of asking for this favor, then the house can proceed as they see fit. haley's -- as margaret said, what haley is doing is very obvious. she is positioning herself to rise as a potential replacement to trump, whether he's there for all eight years if he's reelected or not. >> available if and when they need someone. >> what's interesting to me about this book and the excerpts is like she could have done that, positioned herself in both camps without throwing a knife at john kelly. i think that was particularly interesting. and if you remember back, you know, when she was accused of getting talking points wrong on a sunday show regarding syria, i guess it was kelly's position to
go out and defend her when other people in the administration said she was confused and sort of threw her under the bus. clearly there's still some sour grapes there, because she's basically accusing kelly of not treason per se, but saying he's undermining the president. i thought it was interesting she's going after him while trying to balance these camps. >> nikki haley throws ex-trump officials under the 2020 campaign bus. to your point about john kelly, here's what he said to the "washington post." mr. kelly said, quote, kelly said that if providing the president with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across government so he could make an informed decision is working against trump, then guilty as charged.
her view is do it. >> it's such a delicate act she's trying to perform heere t stay on both sides of it, it will be hard to maintain it. she basically did confirm what we all talked about for two years, that there was this movement within the white house to hold the president in check. i think that sometimes when you try and do it this calculatedly, it blows up on you later, and she may come to regret later some of the things she said. >> to margaret's point, she is the only person i can think of who has managed this balance. stay on the president's good side, occasionally criticize the president, keep an affinity with the base and the rest of the party. as we go to break again, we want to take you to arlington national cemetary. vice president pence attending today's veterans ceremonies. this is from last hour. ♪
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topping our political radar today, a top republican ordering the united states to send a message to the turkish president. your comments aren't welcome here. cheney's demand targets members of erdogan's security detail who she called thugs because they clashed with protesters outside the turkish embassy back in 2013. the latest billionaire pushing back against elizabeth warren and her proposed wealth tax. a tweet saying diamond proposed
something that worked in an interview. >> you jumped in and said something this week about her, that she was vilifying successful people and having harsh words for wall street bankers. >> what i was commenting on is anything that vilifies people, i just don't like. you should vilify nazis, but you shouldn't vilify people who work hard to accomplish things. i think in american society we're just attacking each other all the time. tulsi gabbard today demanding an apology from hillary clinton. she suggested she might have been a russian asset on a podcast last month. she asked the former secretary of state to retract her comments in public with an on-camera statement. joe biden hoping to connect with voters in iowa, hold be two town halls. you can see one of them tonight on cnn. interesting position. strong in the national polls but falling behind in some of the
national states, especially iowa and new hampshire. how worried is he? dana bash caught up with him this weekend. >> if here in new hampshire you don't come in first or even second, do you feel confident that your candidacy can survive? >> first of all, i think i'm going to do better in both places than that. >> let's just say hypothetically. >> i'm not going to go there. >> smart not to go there. it is interesting because you do have this odd dynamic in the race with this bloomberg, i might get in the race late scenario, and you have sanders at the top nationally, and you have elizabeth warren one of the top candidates. >> what does it have on nevada, what does it have on south carolina? do voters see a weakened joe
biden? >> i do think if you come from behind the pack, what happens in early states might not be important if you can catch up later. but if you start at the top, there is a sense of momentum. but one of the things that bloomberg has looked at that biden may also be looking at is how compressed and expedited that super tuesday schedule is. when you have these states literally a month after iowa, after new hampshire, maybe the other states matter just a little less, but you wouldn't want to bet on it. >> the four or five states have fewer than five delegates, and then bam, you get up to the percentage quickly. tonight with joe biden live from iowa, 9:00 p.m. eastern only on cnn. next a democratic division over another candidate, mayor pete buttigieg. $9.95 at my age?
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credentials don't measure up to theirs. among the candidates, senator amy klobuchar. >> i'm the one from the midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again, and that's not true of mayor pete. that's just a fact. i'm focusing here on my fellow women senators, senator harris and myself. maybe we're held to a different standard. >> that resume question, just one of two weekend controversies circling the mayor. a los angeles times reporter misquoted buttigieg talking about the failures of the obama era. that turned out to be an uncorrect quote and they corrected it today. buttigieg trying to move on and stay on message. >> i appreciate that fact got
cleared up today so it's not a focus on veterans. if we continue to reach voters with the right message, then that's how we're going to win. >> senator klobuchar have a point? >> i mean, there is no question that female candidates have to deal with a number of things that male candidates don't, you know, from mysogeny to just different standards that women have, questions about elect ability for women or minority. that being said, buttigieg is rising for reasons. he seems to have latched onto this unifying message that people feel as though he's pulled from obama. he also has this new generation field him because he is a young candidate, so he's playing into that. but the big question is he's struggled a lot with minority voters, with black and brown voters, and can he make inroads there. because if he doesn't, he can't really survive. >> as you jump in, a couple
interesting perspectives. david axelrod was the top strategist for obama back in 2007-2008. he said this. it is a natural thing when a young candidate comes along and has success for other candidates who feel like they've been toild in the vineyards to resent it. she worked in the clinton white house, worked on the hill before that, she was responsible for hillary clinton's campaign in 2016. she retweeted the story about amy klobuchar's point. this is 100% true. it doesn't mean buttigieg is not a worthy candidate. it means we should push ourselves to see same potential in promising women as we do in promising men. >> there are two things going on here. you have some jealousy, which in that quote people were getting to right there, buttigieg was one of the lower tiered
candidatesme candidates. he really was able to stand out in the debates and has soared in iowa, so clearly people resent that, given his lack of experience, perhaps, here in washington. at the same time, klobuchar's point about she's a battle-tested candidate, these are things that she is going to be trying to point out to voters to say i am the better candidate. i have won in republican districts. i have won in districts that pete buttigieg has never even tried to win. there are points on both sides of this, but of course you have to think about jealousy, of course, factoring some of that, too. >> i think that it shows that democratic voters are looking for something new, maybe not something from washington, and i think she does have a point, but you just kind of have to live with it. he has caught on a little bit and is rising, and the fact they are all turning on him and criticizing him like this is a bonus for him. one thing about that misquote, transparency has its problems. i feel bad for those reporters.
they're recording hours of mayor pete and have to go through it again and listen to it, and obviously that quote got mishandled. it struck a cord because he is trying to be obama in some ways and seeing him criticize him was false. >> if women voters had the same reaction that amy klobuchar did, then it's going to be a problem that mayor pete has to work on. if they don't, then it won't be. >> at least 50% in early primary states, more than 60% of the democratic electorate will be women as we see that play out. we're also getting closer to the balloting which is why many are on edge. it's hard to run for president. when we come back, another republican announces he's going home. is that ireland...1953? how did you know? mom...that was taken at the farm. it was in this small little village. in connemara? right! connemara it is.
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another house republican headed for the exit today. representative peter king says he will not seek reelection in 2020. he becomes number 22 for the amount of representatives that have left. he said this is about time with his family, not any worry about losing. he was hoping his daughter could run for the seat, but she recently moved out of state. he announced, in the coming weeks and during the next year, i intend to vote against president trump's impeachment and will support the president's bid for reelection. a very smart statement from congressman king to keep himself
out of the twitter feed, to make sure he said, this is not about you, sir. this is a big number. again, how much of it is the minority, how much of it is having to deal with trump every day or a combination of above? >> a combination. i talked to pete king a week or so ago. it was clear he was not happy with this impeachment. he, of course, voted against the articles of impeachment against president clinton, so he was one of the few republicans who did that. it's tough being a minority, but i think he's just decided it's time to move on. you can't do much in the minority. he was a guy who liked to get things done. reporters were crying today because pete king was really good at dealing with the media, always available and a great guy. >> they don't want to be in the minority. some of them also don't like answering questions about the president. others just believe things other than the president. they're in trump's republican party now, but they're more
traditional republicans. one of them who is now gone, charlie dent, who is a cnn contributor, put it this way. >> pete king's seat will likely be a competitor's seat for republicans to defend. in part because they're tiring - frustrated with the current political environment and the president's conduct in office, and i think you have to still watch out for more. look what happened this week in elections. those elections sent a bad sign. they don't bode well for 2020. >> he's dead right there will be more. he's talking about last tuesday. when you look at the kentucky suburbs, the virginia suburbs, pick your spot, that had elections this year, president trump was getting hammered in american suburbs. >> it's a number of things. it's not only fears that they will not win back the house. i've heard a lot of republicans say they think trump could possibly lose in 2020, and i heard a quote somewhere along the lines of we think we're in the wilderness now, imagine us losing the white house. we're going to be in a worst
position we are right now. and the tweet thing, you can't overstate how much republicans hate having to answer for the president's controversial tweets. one of the republicans i interviewed just after his announcements, paul mitchell in michigan and a trump district, a very conservative area, one of the tweets that led him to retire was when trump came out and made a racist comment about those four liberal women in the house, saying they should go back to their countries of origin, even though they're all americans. that's what led him to go home, have a conversation with his wife and say, enough is enough. i'm done. >> it is an interesting count counterpoint to nancy pelosi's decision to get behind the impeachment inquiry. there were so many comments from democrats, including her, that going aggressive on this could hurt their hold on the house. there is still some concerns among democrats that it could hurt their bid for the white house in 2020, but this seems to bolster the idea that the thought is it will not cost
democrats the house majority. >> i just want to put the numbers up before we lose this. if you go back to the last congress, the republicans started in 2021. minority now with 197 to start this congress in retirement. >> democrats are excited about king retiring. i love this conversation. i'm sorry, brianna, i'll give it back to you tomorrow. brianna starts right now. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now, a monumental week for the fate of the presidency. the republicans are mounting their defense with public hearings set to begin in two days. it's a surprising move by white house chief of staff. why mick mulvaney is trying