tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 11, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
military officers were reluctant to appear alongside the president at public events because they were worried he would make political partisan remarks. erin? >> all right, barbara. thank you very much. thanks to all of you for joining us. i'll see you back here at 9:00 for our presidential town hall with joe biden. ac 360 starts right now. good evening. today began what may be the most daunting week in the history of the trump administration. facing public testimony by officials from the state department, the president orchestrated the shakedown of another country for political gain. on wednesday they will open the doors to the public to what has until this moment been a closed door process. president trump has repeatedly demanded transparency in the house impeachment inquiry. this week he is getting his wish though he certainly doesn't see it that way. this week three witnesses who have worked intimately with ukraine policy will testify. behind closed doors they've already testified to what they
believe is an attempt by the trump administration to bribe ukraine for an investigation into the biden clan. also to the machinations the personal attorney rudy giuliani to accomplish this fete. so that much we know we can expect from open testimony. what we don't know is how the witness testifying publicly may influence the american voters if it does so at all. we also don't know what the white house and the president's supporters will do on capitol hill. a mountain that has gotten larger with the release of more closed door testimony in just the past few hours. we don't know because so far the reaction has been a smattering of everything from nothing to see here to the white house is too incompetent to hatch an extorsion scheme. that last one came from senator lindsey graham who like a president has been all over the map on this one. his latest defense came over the weekend. here he is making a statement about process and the identity of the whistle-blower.
>> if they don't call the whistle-blower in the house, this thing is dead on arrival in the senate. >> now the house intelligence chairman leading the public inquiries, adam schiff, says the testimony they've already received corroborates the whistle-blower's account making it in schiff's words, redundant. they were saying this person was invalid as a witness. in the words of congressman jim jordan and matt gates, this person had, quote, no firsthand knowledge. that was one argument. then there was the defense that acting chief of staff mick mulvaney trotted out. the message, we did it, so what, everyone does. >> to be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo. funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happened as well. >> we do -- we do that all the time with foreign policy. >> he later included the now infamous line get over it just for good measure. hours later he walked the whole thing back, blamed the media,
saying he didn't say what he was saying on camera right there with you is interesting for lots of reasons, which is a slightly revised version of that argument is now once again being made by some of the president's supporters. president trump did it, his phone call and actions were bad but they don't rise to the level of impeachment. >> i think it is not a good practice for us ever to ask a foreign country to investigate an american, i don't, but did the ukrainians call for an investigation? no. did the president hold up aid? he released the aid, as he should. i don't see it as impeachable. >> i believe it was inappropriate. i do not believe it was impeachable. >> that last person you heard there was mack thornberry. president trump doesn't like that argument because he said his phone conversation with the ukraine president was perfect, his word. a few hours after congressman
thornberry showed you president trump tweeted this. don't be led into the fool's trap that is not perfect, that is impeachable. no, it is much stronger than that. nothing was done wrong. joining us is jim acosta. we're entering this historic week. talk about the white house strategy to deal with everything that will come out of the hearing. is there a strategy or just whatever president trump wants to tweet on any given moment? >> reporter: it's a little bit of both, anderson. we just obtained the trump campaign talking points heading into the hearings. it is a critical week in the impeachment inquiry. according to the talking points, one of them says the facts are on our side. democrats would beg to disagree. it says the whistle-blower has no first-hand knowledge of the call. this is sounding familiar and that other witnesses in the inquiry so far do not have firsthand knowledge of the call. anderson, we have heard much of that before repeated right at
their house and they're repeating the same talking points over and over again in the hopes that it will stick. in terms of other points that they will be hammering home, the president will be holding a press conference with the president of turkey so we'll hear more about that then. he did tease out earlier this evening what he plans to do at some point this week. he's going to release the transcript of his first call with the leader of ukraine. the problem with all of that, anderson, the president may not have sought a quit pro quo. that's not relevant. what's relevant is what happened on the july 25th call. >> right. which is not public. the lieutenant colonel said that's not an exact transcript, which we already knew that, but vinman had knowledge what it was word for word, comment for comment. >> we should point out what happened on that call has been corroborated over and over again by other administration
officials who have gone in to testify and as you mentioned in that opening to your show, mick mulvaney walked into the white house briefing room and said we do this all the time. the other thing we should point out, anderson, i just spoke with a source close to the white house a short while ago who objected to the president continuing to say that his phone call with the leader of the ukraine was perfect. nobody really is echoing that message on behalf of the president. it doesn't seem that anybody here in washington except for the most partisan of partisans feels that the president's phone call with the leader of ukraine was perfect. the other thing to point out, there is some nervousness inside trump world, inside trump's camp. i talked to another source close to the campaign who said, listen, if any republicans defect in this upcoming process, it damages a key message for the white house. they believe this is a partisan white house and it was just democrats voting in the house
impeachment inquiry that nancy pelosi held. if any republicans defect, that is big news in this inquiry and very bad news for the white house. >> jim acosta. congressman ro khanna joins me now. thanks so much for being with us. in today's transcript release we learned that a person named laura cooper, the pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for russia, testified that ukraine was very much aware of their military aid being blocked and that a statement unfreezing the aid and how critical is this to the case that you're presenting to the american public? >> it's absolutely critical. it goes to the pressure that they were facing and they actually didn't want this revealed because they felt that their relationship with the united states was at risk. here, anderson, is the important part. laura cooper, the career officials at the state department, the defense
department sounded the alarm bells. they knew this was wrong policy. they alerted the white house. they said, you can't withhold this aid that congress has appropriated. it's illegal. yet their warnings went totally unheard. >> it's also interesting because this was one of many arguments. it can't be a quid pro quo because they didn't know about the holdup of the aid or the whole plot which now we know they did from multiple people. >> exactly. they were embarrassed by it. they didn't want to admit that the president had that kind of leverage on them and make them look weak and question the relationship with the united states. they were just hoping that this situation would resolve. they knew what a breech this was
of our legal system. >> there was a lot of hype in the leadup to the mueller hearings and those did not work out as many of them say, going on wednesday? >> the difference here is this story is so simple and most people around the country know what happened. the president withheld aid from zelensky because he wanted zelensky to dig up dirt on joe biden and announced that protecttivelily. what's going to come out in the testimony by a few key witnesses is this wasn't just one phone call, this was a concerted effort for months to try to get dirt on joe biden. the case is simple and most people are going to understand what's going on. >> it's being reported that they will focus on the conspiracy theory that ukraine entered into
not russia and push unsubstantiated claims about the bidens. is this going to end up being a tale of two hearings? republicans are going to be asking on those things and democrats are going to be focusing on the president's actions and giuliani's actions? >> the republicans are desperate to come up with some defense. they started by saying there is no quid pro quo, now they can't dispute that. then they said there may be a quid pro quo but it's not impeachable. that seemed laughable. now they're saying let's say it was ukraine that was actually possible is because they don't have any facts that exonerate the president's actions. they're going to have to at some point explain to the american people why the president kept asking zelensky on biden. why did biden's name keep coming into the situation?
>> none of them had direct action with the president, both john bolton and mick mulvaney did. doesn't the public desearch to have that final piece of the puzzle? wouldn't that make your argument. there is no reason for john bolton not to testify. it's a shared delay tactic. we're not going to delay for months because john bolton is not willing to -- so he owes the american people an explanation about his judgment of whether there was illegal conduct. that has never been protected by executive privilege. same thing with mick mulvaney. >> congressman, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. still ahead tonight, we're going to examine president trump's own defense.
his latest unfounded, untrou. excerpts from "anonymous." president trump said he withheld military from the ukraine to battle corruption. where we all want more energy. but with less carbon footprint. can we have both? at bp, we're working every day to make energy that's cleaner and better. and we see possibilities everywhere. to make energy that's cleaner and better. t-mobile's newest most powerful signal is here. experience it with the amazing, new iphone 11. and right now, t-mobile has the best deal on iphone. get 4 lines of unlimited with 4 iphone 11 included for only $35 a line.
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welcome to fowler, indiana. home to three of bp's wind farms. which, every day, generate enough electricity to power over 150,000 homes. and of course, fowler. at bp, we see possibilities everywhere. prior to wednesday's first day of public testimony, president trump clearly appears unhappy with the witness testimony he's heard about so far. today the president called the transcripts, quote, doctored. and he said, quote, republicans should put out their own transcripts. we should point out that no republicans who have sat in on these hearings have questioned the validity of the transcripts which have been released nor have any of the witnesses whose words make up those transcripts so you can add this lie to however many other thousands of lies he has told. the weird thing is, it sort of seems normal. the sky is blue, the earth is rund, the president of the
united states is lying. kind of pathetic. joining me is jeffrey toobin, jenn sake and cnn senior political communicator david axlerod. so this latest round of transcrip transcripts, they certainly to be very consistent. i'm not addressing the notion that it's doctored because that's so ridiculous. >> what's remarkable is now he has more than a dozen people who have talked about the issue of the american relationship with ukraine. there was one issue on the book where the congress authorized and the president signed $391 million goes in military aid and rudy giuliani was conducting a separate foreign policy which
said there would be no money and no meeting with the president and potentially no meeting with the vice president unless he started going after joe biden's son and the 2016 conspiracy theory. i mean, every witness says the same thing. >> david, i mentioned this at the top of the broadcast but i just want to put it back up on the screen. president trump tweeted this weekend, republicans don't be led into the fool's trap saying it is not perfect, it is not impeachable. nothing was done wrong. it doesn't leave congressional republicans many places in search of a cohesive defense. lindsey graham is still now focusing on the whistle-blower which is really largely irrelevant at this point because so many other people confirmed what this person who apparently had no firsthand knowledge said. >> yeah. no, they're really between a rock and a hard place. they've got on the one hand a president who's very, very popular with their base and who
is more than willing to take out people who dissent with one tweet so they have that on the one side and then this very stubborn fact pattern on the other. so what they have is a defense in search of an argument. they've been auditioning different arguments. i've said here before, anderson, i think ultimately where the senators are going to land is, yeah, he did something bad but let's let the people decide we're close to in election. i think that's probably -- if you're not going to vote on the facts, that's probably the best you can do. clearly he's not going to like that. someone has to say to him, hey, you have to leave us a little wiggle room here because you're squeezing us into an impossible place. >> jenn, if he decides, you know, that a senator is saying that defense, it wasn't great but it's not impeachable is not good enough or is insulting to hm personally, will they fold
and parrot whatever he wants them to parrot? >> i think some of them may. you have representative lee zelden who will echo whatever he says on twitter. there's a range in the senate and the house of republicans. in addition to what david said, they've been suggesting that ukraine -- they got the assistance so what's to see here. nikki haley sort of suggested that as well. that's true. does it mean that a president of the united states should be holding back military assistance in exchange for, you know, an investigation into a political opponent? no. that's what democrats will argue. you can see some semblance of an additional bullet point they can add. they're in an untenable place. if donald trump keeps tweeting and pushing them to argue on his behalf, they're not going to have anywhere to go. >> can i be the master of the obvious for one second? >> yes. >> who calls their own behavior perfect? have you ever met anyone like that? it's like that's how trump talks. that's not normal.
i mean, it's just -- i mean, the idea -- and he lies all the time. well, i -- >> it's not even behavior. it's conversation. >> it's so surreal that we sort of pass that by because that's the way he talks. >> it's surreal that he's calling the transcripts which republicans were in on and which all these witnesses have read before they were released, that he's calling those doctored and nobody blinks an eye. everyone is like, oh, yeah, no, that's totally normal. it's not normal at all. >> anderson -- >> yes, go ahead please, david. >> i want to go back to something that jenn said. ambassador hailey made the argument, yes, the money flowed. it seemed like it flowed after the white house got an inkling that there were people who were blowing the whistle on this whole caper. secondly, she said that the
ukrainians -- well, that was the main point. >> but, also, david, what's important about that, "the new york times" did reporting in the ukraine about how close the president came because all of his advisors are saying, look, we desperately need this aide even though our whole programming. >> they were about to move forward. it was reported that they were about to move forward when this whole thing blew up. >> yeah. >> so the haley argument doesn't hold up either. this goes back to the fundamental dilemma. they don't have a great place to land. >> one of the things that surfaced which was released tonight is that mick mulvaney had put a hold on lethal aid to
ukraine and the reena cording to the reporting is he was worried russia would react negatively. that is stunning in and of itself and it undermining the idea that some trump accolades have been pushing that nobody's -- and the president's been pushing that no one's been tougher on russia than donald trump which is just patently false. >> you know, i think as you said, anderson, it raced some big red flags here. it's important to remember there's been a debate about increasing assistance to ukraine is because russia has been assisting and so isn't the rain in the first place. in 2017 katherine cropped the
same transcript. she talks about the paper process. it's linked to reporting that porashenko may have put a hold on manafort's -- some of the investigations involving manafort in order to get this assistance. there's more to dig in here.t to the earlier point that we've been discussing, it means that this discussion with ukraine about quid pro quos is ongoing. they certainly know. >> and, in fact, allowed at least one potential witness for mueller to be able to leave the country and go to russia. jeff is going to stick around. coming up, more breaking news. cnn has obtained excerpts from the book. it's called "a warning."
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breaking news tonight. cnn has obtained some exclusive excerpts from a soon to be anonymous white house official. the book is called a warning following a year of op eds. writing about the ukraine affair, quote, those of us who have seen these reckless actions wanted to slam our heads against the wall. and about acting white house chief of staff the author
writes, despite telling them he was not interested in the job, he angled to get it. he saw opportunities. star kelly confided in two months ago and this, quote, mulvaney brought a new approach to maximizing it. the only concept with the troph. he may be less terrible if he can swing it. if not, that's okay, too. anonymous writes, quote, given enough time and change he will abuse any power he's given. no external force to wrongdoing. his presidency is finally
jeopardized. joining me, gat i got ouf. it. david, i mean, first of all, the kwoelg quotes from this person are pretty incredible to hear. this person, though they think as far as we know and did whatev whatever, this person is not doing that. >> that's true. each person is totally disaffected but for whatever that is odd. is hanging on in there. doesn't want to be identified. what's missing from the book or any incidents of what have happened versus this vast overview of what we've known.
we've known that the white house is going to become a snake bit you many now snakes are in there. that's one thing. the president always abusing him. then again there's no concrete example. given where we are, the book is going to have a big impact. this is a rehash from very disaffected person that confirms this house is full of third graders, apologists or even site. >> what's interesting is i was interested how far our knowledge wrote an op ed a year ago. to david's point, a lot of this
isn't surprising. because they're insisting on remaining anonymous, they aren't putting together any fell in low. >> it weakens the moral clarity that they claim to be exuded. >> yeah, i think -- i certainly would have hoped and i've only read the excerpts. there would be specifics and new information. if you are somebody who hasn't followed the news and you wanted to get a pretty accurate synopsis of what's going on in the white house. you will be nodding your head and you say, yeah, yeah, yeah, i didn't see that. >> i -- when they saw explicitly that the president really does go out of his way to harm states
that didn't vote for him. >> he provides only an example of something that we already knew where he went to deny funding. the way he writes it is if this is a regular occurrence that he sort sort of as one tidbit which is interesting. i wanted more. i wanted more examples. >> david, we're getting this excerpt at the same time. i don't think it's a coincidence that nikki haley is out promoting her time. former secretary of state, rex tillerson and jeff kelly asked her to, quotes, safe the country. she went to trump and told him about it, but the -- what she doesn't really address is the
fact that the second of state and chief of staff that they needed to reach out to her to do something about it. >> i totally agree. that was a really eye opening set of comments. i don't understand why she was doing that. people thought she might wind up on a ticket with trump if he wants to put a woman on there and dump pence. she might be a candidate. i don't know why she would go out there and do that in those circumstances. anderson, the publ -- the firestorm still concerns the president. >> david guergen and kirsten
powers, thank you so much. the white house said in part, if this person has been inside white house meetings, he is acting like a spy. this person is a gutless coward who doesn't have the spine to put his or her names to breaking news. i have to go work on it. details of that coming up. and i always had in my mind that one day the family car could compete in rallies and racing when the mini actually came out i said this is the one to do it.
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welcome back. before we move onto the next story i want to correct something i said. i called nikki hailey u.n. secretary when she was u.n. ambassador. acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney said he will not join a lawsuit by charles cupp cupp cupp cupperman. tonight mulvaney said he plans to file a separate plea over that. i want to know how they define every presidency. back with me is jeffrey toobin. jeff, this is complicated. it's confusing a little bit. can you explain why would he have wanted to have joined this lawsuit? >> i have to say this is a
baffling situation. just step back. the democrats have said they are not going to court to force anybody to testify. if you are not -- if you don't come in to testify in response it a subpoena, they're going to let you go. their view is, we have enough. we're not going to delay by going to the courts. bolton, and mulvaney are not being able to play. either way, is this the first for chief of staff? >> absolutely. it's the first. none of this makes sense. not much of what mick mulvaney does makes sense to me. he first made the result of ans treatment. he's got another problem which is he walked into the white house press briefing and blurted out the truth, which was that
this was a mafia-style shakedown of a country in return for political dirt. i was reminded of michael kinsley, a gaffe. i can't make sense of this either. my best guest is at the end of the day i think he wants to avoid testifying. this is a game delay. this is buying time and just trying to see if he can avoid -- >> jeff, the cupperman lawsuit, if the judge has given a date of, what, december -- >> december 10th. so there's no chance that that would be resochd -- if he's forced to respond. they said we are doing two weeks of hearings. this week and next week. then the case moves along to the
judiciary committee, which is going to have a whole different set of witnesses or no witnesses at all. so the idea that these lawsuits will continue. i expect they will be dismissed as moved quickly. >> it's also odd, chris, that he wanted to join cup permancupper. as a white house chief of staff, the entire structure of the white house is different from any other white house structure. >> these are bizarre bedfellows to say the least. mick mulvaney has been as white house chief of staff a guy who's really become a lap dog for donald trump. he's become a fixer. really the new michael cohen. there's no command that he wouldn't execute no matter and
this is a guy who wants to testify. mull vain be any scheme along with rudy giuliani so it never made any sense. these are bizarre bed fellows. that shows he's in a very dangerous place. if he were to go and testify under ooet and try to do what he did with chris wallace, you know, essentially walk back the truth that he accidentally blurted out on national television, i think he -- halderman wound up in prison for perjury, obstruction, conspiracy. mulvaney could be headed in the same direction. >> just on bolton, is he just trying to cover himself for a future career in, you know, conservative politics or con ser va tir insteading ahead of where he has to testify? >> i can't do his mental state. he dote have a difficult legal
system. >> if doe miss steck fly and some of the conversations between bolton and the president. however, the way to do that is to negotiate an answer about what you will talk about and what you won't. the idea of going to court in advance is something -- i'm not aware it's ever been done before, but in any case by going to court he has effectively made the decision not to testify. >> the book is "the gate keepers." thank you very much. donald trump jr. gets heckled. turns out, it wasn't a bunch of liberals shouting. who forced him to leave?
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donald trump jr.'s book promotion tour got noisy over the weekend. he and his girl friend were at ucla promoting his new book. he got heckled. he thought they were liberals doing the taunting. it turned out they were conservatives, his father's supporters, didn't like there would be no time for a q & a session. take a look. >> name a time where conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus. it doesn't happen that way. we're willing to listen. >> q & a! >> we're willing to listen. >> q & a! q & a! >> see what i mean? that is the problem. the reason oftentimes it doesn't make sense to do the q & a, it
not because we're not willing to talk about the questions, we do. it's because people hijack it with nonsense looking for a sound bite. you have people spreading nonsense, spreading hate to take over that room. >> no rkno, you're not making y parents proud by being rude and discourteous. respect the people around you so that they can hear. you don't play, you don't play by the same rules, let me tell you something. i'll belt you engage and go on online dating because you're impressing no one here to get a date in person. >> that didn't really work either. eventually trump jr. and kimberly gilfoye left the stage. why are the trump supporters heckling trump's son? >> these were far right
activists speaking out about donald trump journalist and charlie kirk, an activist. there's something about what the trump movement stands for in the trump age. you have these young people who call themselves america first. i view that as a slogan as to way to say we are white nationalists, we want to see a white state, we want to preserve our white christian identities, a lot of times are racist, white anti-fo f anti-phobes. >> they feel what they want from the trump movement is not enough? >> they want more. >> it's part of what trump as brought. you start to play with these types of fires and you can't contain it. >> the president needs every
supporter he can get. typically the president and his allies are unwilling to back away or resist these kinds of really fringe, really extreme supporters, the kinds that tried to hijack that event at ucla. i asked donald trump jr. for comment today, he didn't want to comment. the president allowed this permission structure for hate and division in the country. when you do that, you get these extreme elements showing up, trying to answer and ask questions and interrupt. >> i don't think anybody should be shouted down, whatever their politics are. interesting he was thinking they're all liberals. >> and it was a lot of real right-wing conservatives. >> less than 100 days for the iowa caucuses. also new poling from new hampshire, which will host the first primary in 2020. we'll have that next.
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hampshire, the first state to hold a primary in the 2020 presidential race. elizabeth warren behind biden and buttigieg and sanders behind him. and the first test for the candidates with the iowa caucuses now less than a hundred days away. first major poll to show biden with a lead in new hampshire i think since july, they're clearly i guess glad about that. how big a deal is it? >> well, it's one poll so you don't want to overread it too much, anderson. remember, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are the senators of next door to new hampshire in massachusetts and vermont. the fact that vice president biden is able to have this narrow lead in this poll right now with, as you mentioned, just less than a hundred days until we get to in a new hampshire primary, is not insignificant. those next door state senators
have not sort of overtaken and dominated this race in some way that keeps him out of the mix. he's been resilient there. >> the rhetoric between biden and warren has heated up. they seem much more willing to point out their differences. >> no doubt about that, anderson. we are in a new phase, especially of that relationship in this race between vice president biden and senator warren. they have sharpened their attacks against each other. i wouldn't say it's gotten nasty but it's clear we are in the beginning of the end phase of this campaign season. >> and obviously mayor pete buttigieg doing well in that latest poll as well. he certainly sees himself i guess in the same kind of lane as vice president biden. >> each does. he also likes to sharpen his differences from sanders and warren as the more moderate centrist approach here to the primary, and he seems to be hoping and banking on that perhaps biden falters a bit and that he's there to make the case that he's the one that can unify
some of that liberal wing and that moderate conservative side of the party. but biden is not falling too fast right now so it's a battle of those top four at the moment. >> david chalian, thank you very. i want to hand it offver to eri for the cnn town hall with former vice president joe biden. good evening from iowa, welcome to cnn democratic presidential town hall with former vice president joe biden. i'm erin burnett. we are live at burnel college, just 84 days from the iowa caucuses when democratic voters will get their first day in the 2020 election. as the contenders go all in here in iowa, former vice president biden is here to make the case he is the best candidate to defeat president trump. tonight he'll take questions from iowa democrats and