tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN December 19, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST
senate. >> this is an administration that does things his way. that's his call, i guess. thanks for joining us at "inside politics." see you back here this time tomorrow. don't go anywhere. brianna keilar starts right now. have a great afternoon. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn washington headquarters. a man who once called the impeachment of a president an embarrassing horror show and president trump is unleashing his anger. now a standoff erupts between speaker pelosi and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell over whether the house will even give the senate the impeachment articles. plus the president's pattern of attacking veterans who have passed away along with their families escalates when he suggests that a late congressman is in hell. and among the events, the republicans are comparing this impeachment to pearl harbor,
witch trials and the crucifixion of jesus. we again with the headline, closing out the decade, president trump impeached. the news across the nation is one of two ways, either a party hell bent on impeaching a president they view as deplorable, or as a speaker of the house just seeing impeachment as a way to make history. either way nancy pelosi has made history and she's bringing president trump with her. as for what happens next, right now it's unclear. the impeachment articles would normally go to the senate where a trial would take place and the president would either be convicted or acquitted. but speaker pelosi isn't committed to doing that. >> when we impeached the president, immediately everyone went on to the next thing. the next thing for us will be when we see the process that's set forth in the senate. then we'll know the number of
managers that we may have to go forward. our founders, when they wrote the constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president. i don't think they suspected that we could have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the senate at the same time. >> senate majority leader mitch mcconnell says democrats are not really calculating here. actually, they're scared. >> it looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second-guessing whether they even want to go to trial. they said impeachment was so urgent it could not even wait for due process, but now they're content to sit on their hands. >> senior congressional correspondent manu raju is on capitol hill for us. manu, you pushed speaker pelosi on her plan. why do democrats see withholding the articles of impeachment as being leverage for them? >> reporter: well, the democrats believe they can push majority
leader mitch mcconnell to agree to something they consider a fair trial. that's what they hope. they acknowledged privately that almost center is not going to happen. they're not going to get what they wanted, which is what chuck schumer initially laid out, which was to get four live witnesses to come before the senate, including mick mulvaney, john bolton, but what the democrats are also signalling is that it's probably only a matter of time now before they send over those articles of impeachment. there is a process that needs to play out, and it first starts with chuck schumer cutting a deal with mitch mcconnell over the rules of the senate, then the house can act and take the formal steps in sending over the articles of impeachment. that could take some days to play out. in talking to democrats who are coming out of a caucus meeting with morning with nancy pelosi, they made clear they do expect eventually those impeachment articles to be turned over. >> i think it has to be sent in due course, and the speaker has to make that decision with input
from other people. >> it can't drag on forever. if this now starts some long process, that's not good. so i want it to go over, but i think it's right to ask for the process and what it will look like when it hits the senate. >> na last congresswoman significant because she's a freshman democrat from a swing district, and she made it very clear she would give the speaker some time to work this out but doesn't want this to drag out indefinitely. the speaker suggested as much today in her press conference. i pushed her on that as well, whether or not she could -- what -- her requirement is demanding a fair trial. is that still her demand is turning over those articles? she did not go that far, saying she only hoped there would be a fair trial. brian brianna? >> manu, thank you for that report. at the moment the president was being impeached, he was holding a merry christmas rally in michigan, a state he is going to need to win if he wants to be reelected. the rally was one of his longest
ever, and it was also one of his angriest. this is a list of just about everyone and everything that he attacked during his two-hour speech. it includes his usual targets like democrats and the media, but also event security for being too polite to a protester. in an onturn, which is arguably the most controversial moment of his president, the president criticized dishwashers. >> the dishwasher, right? you press it. remember the dishwasher, there would be an explosion. five minutes later you open it, the steam pours out. now you press it 12 times. th women tell me again, they give you four drops of water. >> women tell him, he says. joining me now from capitol hill is oregon democratic senator jeff merkley. i want to ask you not about what we heard the president say at his rally but about what's going
on with impeachment. the house speaker has not committed to sending these articles of impeachment over to the senate. do you think that she should? >> i think what she did was to draw attention to the fact that we have a very bizarre and unacceptable situation in the u.s. senate. when we take an oath, not just our oath of office, but we have to take an oath before this trial, it is an oath to do impartial justice, do impartial justice. and we have a majority leader who has gotten up before the cameras and said, i will not be an impartial juror. if you cannot be an impartial juror, you cannot take the oath, and that's bit czthe bizarre pl we're at right now. >> it does sound like the expectation is eventually the articles head over to the senate side, but do you think that it would be a possibility? do you think it would be okay if the house held the articles indefinitely? >> i don't think the house has
any chance of that happening. there is a rhythm to this. she's pausing, the speaker is pausing and saying, let's pay attention to the fact there is not a commitment to a fair process for a trial, that that is a violation of our constitutional framework of checks and balances. never before have we seen a situation where the leader of the senate says to the public, i am in partnership with the president who is accused of high crimes and misdemeanors. so you have a deep, challenging situation of a constitutional breakdown. for her to pause and say, pay attention and let's hope the senate can fix this, this is very, very important. what's important here? fairness. absolute fairness to the president as a defendant and to the process. full facts before the public. what do we have at the moment? we have a president who is locking up the documents,
locking up those who work in his administration who would testify, and then the majority leader. >> part of that, the democrats want the senate to have more witnesses, they want these administration witnesses. should they have just waited for the courts to decide whether these trump administration witnesses have to testify? wouldn't that have dealt with this very issue democrats are having? >> my understanding of the house dialogue is that it might take up to a year to get the courts to be able to deliver the decision that would supply the witnesses. that certainly is unacceptable. so they had to make the decision, what do we have before us? do we have sufficient information to make this judgment on an indictment? and they said yes, and i think they were absolutely right in that evaluation. but now we're talking about a trial. and we are talking about a trial where the democrats and republicans together should fight for fairness. we take an oath of impartiality. we try to set everything aside,
list ton the exact charges that come frlt houom the house and t exact evidence that bears on it. the president thinks that he did nothing wrong. he should be volunteering to expedite the process of getting us the documents and the witnesses. if senator mcconnell thinks the president did nothing wrong, he should, in fact, be expediting the process of getting those witnesses and standing together as a u.s. senate charged with a very important moment in our history, the judgment, the fair and full judgment of whether the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. >> mcconnell, like speaker pelosi in the house, holds the cards in the senate. what do you see the role of democratic senators to be in this? >> well, certainly we are going to stand for our constitutional responsibility of country before party. and every senator should be asking the question, what would i do if the same information,
the same conduct was regarding a president of the other party? what if this was a democratic president who had solicited for an intervention in 2020 elections? what if this was a democratic president who had obstructed information that would be delivered to congress? if we can't say we would act in the same way regardless of party, then we're not being impartial. we're trying to persuade our colleagues that they should uphold their oath to the constitution and their oath to this trial, to be impartial jurors. we're going to fight for facts and fairness and our responsibility under the constitution. >> do you think democrats will be unified in the senate? >> i don't know the answer to that. and i shouldn't know the answer to that. the very reasons that i'm laying out, that each senator should come forward, look at the exact charge and the exact information brought to bear.
we will then see. i just think that in our -- >> it sounds like it's a real possibility that you may lose at least a democrat. i wonder, in that vote, if you can't keep your caucus together, how do you convince the american people that they should see things your way? >> well, at this moment, to convince the american people they should see it our way in my mind is the exact partisanship we have to set aside. we have to come to this and say, we have a responsibility not to play 2020 positivelitics, not t what is the poll going to be after this is done, but to say what is the exact defense, what is the evidence and does it rise to the level to merit expulsion? and so i, for one, and i think many of my colleagues share this feeling, is that we have to take off for whatever partisan consequences there might be and
fulfill our constitutional responsibility. >> senator merkley, thank you for coming on. we appreciate it. >> thank you, brianna. good to be with you. a disturbing attack against a late congressman and a veteran suggesting that john dingell is in hell. his wife, congresswoman debbie dingell, responds. plus the president once said impeachment would be a horror show and an embarrassment. as his past views take on new meaning, we'll look at the tape. the president and first lady saying invoking their teenage son to politics is off limits, the president invokes his teenage son in politics. this is cnn live coverage. for effective, non-addictive relief. salonpas lidocaine. patch, roll-on or cream. hisamitsu.
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and welcome to the family. the chevy family! get the chevy employee discount for everyone today. at the same time president trump was being impeached by the house of representatives, he was hold be a campaign rally in michigan where he not only doubled down on his impeachment defense, he called out president obama in an effort to shift the focus. >> remember obama 28 times. 28 times you can have your doctor, you can have your plan. it didn't work out that way, did it? i think we should impeach him for that. let's impeach him.
for that, for the irs scandal, for the guns. remember the guns he was giving to anybody that wanted them? he gave guns to the worst people in the world and then they didn't have them registered right, not too good. impeach him. why didn't the republicans impeach him? >> cnn's crystal lizza is joining us right now, and chris, it's important to note not too long ago, he called nancy pelosi an impressive person. >> donald trump tends to say one thing when it suits him and one thing exactly opposite when it no longer suits him, and this is a classic example. luckily or maybe unluckily for him we have the receipts. let's talk about donald trump and george w. bush in
impeachment. >> i think she's a very impressive person. i like her a lot. but i was surprised that she didn't do more in terms of bush and going after bush. it was almost -- it just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach bush and get him out of office, which personally i think would have been a wonderful thing. >> impeaching him? >> for the war. for the war. >> because of the conduct? >> he lied. he got us into the war with lies. >> that was 2008. by the way, a sign wolf blitzer never ages. let's go to 2018 during the obama presidency. donald trump, private citizen, are you allowed to impeach a president -- talking about obama here -- for gross incompetence? then we have him talking more about barack obama and impeachment and embarrassments here. >> do you think obama seriously wants to be impeached and go through what bill clinton did?
he would be a mess. he would be thinking about nothing but. it would be a horror show for him. it would be an absolute embarrassment. it would go down on his record permanently. >> oh, it will go down on his record permanently, except the him we're talking about here now is donald trump, not barack obama. brianna, back to you. >> you're right, wolf blitzer does not age. i rely on his glasses to tell me, you know, which year it is. that's the only way i can tell with that video. >> he's the best. >> chris, thank you so much. so are you. a congresswoman who lost her husband this year and now the president is suggesting that john dingell is in hell. hear how the gop is responding. plus, republicans compare the president's impeachment to everything from jesus' crucifixion, the attack on pearl harbor and the salem witch trials. we'll discuss.
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went from impeachment to investment, jobs to jabs, toilets to dishwashers to democrats. he attacked debbie dingell and her late husband john who died earlier this year. >> she called me up, her husband was a congressman fior a long time. i didn't give him the b treatment, or the c or d. she said, my husband would be so happy. he's looking down. i said, it's okay, don't worry about it. maybe he's looking up, i don't know. >> let this sink in. the person the president is smearing is former congressman john dingell. he served 55 years in the house of representatives. he was one of the first veterans of the world war i who served congress, an icon across
michigan. >> by the way, i didn't call him, he called me to tell me he was lowering the flags, and that meant a lot. but john dingell earned his burial in arlington cemetary because he's a world war ii veteran, longest serving member in the congress. he loved our country. i think we should take a lesson from this and all respect each other, period. we need more civility in this country. some things should be off limits. and you know what, we're all human beings. michelle obama said, when they go low, you go high. i don't want to politicize my husband. i don't want to politicize his death. it's something i'm really grieving over. this thanksgiving was hard, christmas is harder, and i'm going to do a good job for my
district. >> joining me now to discuss is colorado congressman diana degette. thank you for coming on. >> thank you. >> you presided over yesterday's historic impeachment debate. i certainly have many questions about that. but first i want to get your reaction to the president suggesting that john dingell is now in hell. >> well, i want to say john dingell was my mentor. john dingell was my friend. he's a large part of why i've been successful in congress. he was a lion of the house. he passed most of the our environmental laws, the clean air acts, the drinking water act, he was author of the affordable care act. and you know what? it's not even worth saying how low that was, what president trump said. i'm not even going to dignify it with a response. my prayers and love go out to debbie and john's whole family in this holiday season. i'm close friends with debbie, and it's hard for them.
and for a president to go to your district and say something so low and demeaning, it's just not worth discussing. as debbie said, they go low but we're going to go high. >> i wonder what you think -- i understand you don't want to address what he said about the former congressman, but there was some insight, i think, into perhaps his thinking on how he approaches things when he does something for someone. do you think, listening to him, that president trump expected debbie dingell to vote against impeachment because he had lowered flags to honor her husband? >> i really don't -- i couldn't possibly begin to guess what's in the president's mind. but the fact that he would go there against somebody who was a world war ii veteran, who was in the house, longest serving member of the house and somebody
who was so successful legislatively in their own district, it's just wrong. and, look, donald trump does this to lots of people. that's his default. and i just think we need to go to a better place. that's one thing when i was presiding yesterday over the debate, i told the speaker i would make sure that we had a level of decorum in the house that was benefitting this very solemn occasion, and i think we achieved that on both sides of the aisle. >> and yesterday you were sitting there. you were at the front of the house chamber with this seat to the impeachment of president trump, this view to the impeachment. i wonder, how was this different from the clinton impeachment which you witnessed shortly after becoming a member of congress? >> well, to me this was very, very serious. because what the president did, trying to influence a foreign
country's affairs in order to impact his own reelection campaign, i used to be a constitutional lawyer, and i researched it. it is very, very -- it's the most serious thing that's happened in any of these impeachments, and so it was really a solemn day. with the clinton impeachment, what he did was wrong, but it didn't have an impact on his official duties as president of the united states. so i thought both of the proceedings were different. but i will say yesterday i did feel, for the most part -- not everybody, but for the most part, people on both sides of the aisle really, really understood that this was a somber occasion, and acted accordingly. i thought it went smoothly, i thought it was a strong debate. i disagreed with my republican opponents, but i thought that they were respectful, for the most part. >> congresswoman degette, thank
you so much for joining us. >> thank you. one person who backs the president against his impeachment is vladimir putin, and he's completely using all of the president's talking points in doing so. plus tonight the 2020 frontrunners face off in the final debate of the year on cnn. and the new blow to obamacare will play a big role. not actors, who've got their eczema under control. with less eczema, you can show more skin. so roll up those sleeves. and help heal your skin from within with dupixent. dupixent is the first treatment of its kind that continuously treats moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis, even between flare ups. dupixent is a biologic, and not a cream or steroid. many people taking dupixent saw clear or almost clear skin. and, had significantly less itch. that's a difference you can feel.
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president trump is now the third u.s. president in history to be impeached. the house voted on him for abuse of power and obstruction of congress, and now the senate will decide whether that happens. but before a trial, nancy pelosi has to send over the articles of impeachment, and she says she's not going to do that until a clear path of the trial is outlined. we have three people here to talk about impeachment. you were working on the clinton
impeachment on opposite sides of the aisle, yon different committees. i just want to gauge all of you as you saw the speaker hedge on whether she's sending over the articles, what was your reaction? good idea? >> personally, no. i thought it interjected another layer of politics. if you're in the middle and you're still trying to figure out, is this thing for real, is it not for real, is it just political, for me this just drips and looks like more politics. i'm trying to shape the narrative i want you to believe in. they would have been better off do the impeachment, make the vote, send the articles, and then they can make any comments they want of what it looks like, but for nancy pelosi to hold them back until we have some leverage. >> i disagree with mike. i think nancy pelosi is smarter than we're giving her credit for. i think it's strategic and i think she's trying to get some leverage in a process where the
judiciary chairman, graham and the leader mcconnell have been clear they're not going to be impartial jurors, that they want this over, they don't want to have witnesses and i think she's trying to leverage it. if she holds the articles, that means he remains impeached without his day in court, if you would. yeah, there would be a backlash but it's a good strategic move, i think. >> i'm going to split the difference. >> please. >> i applaud what she's trying to do, which is she's trying to honor the constitutional process. she's an institutionalist the way sophia is and perhaps mike is. but i think she has limited leverage. what she did last night was a little ad-libbed. she has limited leverage because i don't think she'll be very persuasive to mcconnell. mcconnell is happy to say, keep your articles of impeachment and we'll just sit over here. we're not anxious to have a trial. the poll numbers are not breaking favorably for democrats, they're breaking against them. what she has to be careful of is
the message. in the house she said we need to get this done relatively quickly and we nedon't need to call witnesses. now she's saying we need to call witnesses. those two are a little contradictory. but to most of the public, and the game the republicans are playing now is the public is exhausted by this now, they think it's politics by other means, they are trying to drum the tribalism that has become american politics, ilt's the palestinians versus the israelis. it's this culture of contempt we're talking about. republicans are playing the cynical game. that's what nancy pelosi has to drive for. it's the institutionalists versus anti-institutionalists. >> that's a tough road. >> remember there is an obstruction of article congress for a reason. they won't hand over documents. they could have argued it in the judiciary.
they chose not to do that and they chose to pursue this path. i take exception a little bit to you saying she doesn't want to call the witnesses. i don't think that's true. i think they would have loved to have bolton and mulvaney and all these people testify, but the president made clear that wasn't going to happen. >> you're making two different arguments. you're making an argument on the merits and you're making an argument on the limits they had given the schedule. i'm talking about how it came across to the public. on one point she said it needs to be done quickly, we don't need the witnesses. now she's trying to persuade mcconnell. with the poll numbers kind of stuck at 47-47 right now, maybe breaking up a little against the democrats, i'm not sure that's going to be highly persuasive. i think the democrats have to make the best case they can to get more witnesses, get more information on the table. >> i love this counter-intuitive sort of role reversal we're having. >> i've been enjoying this. we should let them go. >> i'm not going to let you off
the hook. as you're looking at this and nancy pelosi is making this decision -- and it seems like, you know, articles are probably going -- they're going to head to the senate. no one' spoken to thinks they're being held indefinitely or anything. but to julian's point, are democrats losing the public on this? are they losing public opinion? and if they are, how do they shape an acquittal in the senate that appears just like it's going to happen? >> average folks are looking at this as a political event. they're not looking at it as a constitutional crisis. they're not spending every day all day. i think they are exhausted by this. quick story, ifls in at la was . coming out of the hotel tlfrk,
was a debate between the valet and the doorman. one said, trump has to go. the other said, i want to keep trump. he said, my 401-k is up $8,000. think about that. and so he saw a very different view of what was happening, and this is two people, really similar circumstance, not a democratic, by the way, that trump would normally get, and that's what you're seeing magnified a kos tcross the coun. so when they do political things, americans see that. even though i said publicly i think it was wrong what the president did, they don't have a chance to get there because their lives are not centered around it. this is going to make a mark on the country. >> the audible grown when you were saying the 401-k thing, people care about their 401(k)s
and how they're doing economically -- >> it's just sad we care about judges and 401(k)s versus anything that can happen. that's a dangerous place to be. let's talk about hours after being impeached, president trump got some support not from within his own party but from vladimir putin during his annual news conference. let's listen. >> translator: this is just a continuation of the internal political battle. one party that lost the elections, the democrats, is now trying find new ways by accusing trump of collusion of russia. but then it turns out there was no collusion. this can't be the basis of the impeachment. now they came up with some pressure on ukraine. i don't know what is the pressure, but this is up to your congressmen. >> what did you think of that? >> he's a trained kgb officer. he's engaged in information
operations against the united states. everything he does is calculated. that is not necessarily even for domestic consumption here in the united states, that's for around the world. russia goes -- america is broken. look at america right now. they're broken. that's why you need to engage in the kind of activity that we're trying to do in your neck of the woods, wherever that is. they're very active, the russians are very active in latin america, the middle east now, and they're spreading this message. america is broken, they're not the great world leader, they've been knocked off their pedestal, and what you saw vladimir putin do is just feed that fire. i would argue coming to an informational operation near you 2020, that's the same messaging that the russians will engage in again in american politics. >> all roads lead to putin, quoting nancy pelosi. that's all i'm going to say. she keeps saying it. >> final word, mike. >> putin a year ago expressed his love for the communist system who reagan was famously
responsible for tearing down. the fact that republicans associate themselves with this nonsense is absurd. the case for impeachment, the factual case is very, very strong. the evidence laid out is very strong. the big question is why are we stuck at 47-47? i think the answer is the public square is starting to die and that should be very troubling for all of us. we have stopped listening to each other. we have become like the palestinians and the israelis. we have nothing but contempt for the other side's point of view, and that's very, very difficult. you see it in impeachment now. the process is breaking down. american politics are broken. we can't come together . in '98 and '74, there was a public square. the public rendered a verdict. now it's completely split the way the electorate is. there is something fundamentally wrong in american politics. >> julian, sophia, mike, thank you for this discussion. i really appreciate it. the first lady and the
president said their son was off limits in political discussion. the president actually just put his son right into the political discussion. we'll talk about that. plus tonight marks the final debate of the year among the 2020 democratic frontrunners, but the biggest topic likely won't be impeachment. it's going to involve former president obama. give your family the chance to discover theirs this holiday season, with ancestry. billions of problems. sore gums? bleeding gums? painful flossing? there's a therabreath for you. therabreath healthy gums oral rinse fights gingivitis and plaque and prevents gum disease for 24 hours. so you can... breathe easy, there's therabreath at walmart.
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here we are just hours away from the final democratic primary don't of 2019 where seven presidential candidates now are going to be taking the stage in los angeles. this is the smallest group of candidates to square off yet. cnn's mark preston joins us now from l.a. mark, the smaller group means more potential actually to be heard, to have a heated moment. what do you expect tonight? >> reporter: well, there's three things, brianna. i'm certainly looking forward to tonight. see if this actually happens. an extremely important debate, final time you'll probably hear from the candidates until we get into the new year when all eyes focus in on iowa. let's talk about 2020 and beyond first. tonight there's going to be a real disagreement, difference,
debate about the direction of the democratic party. is liberalism going to win out over centrism? you'll see joe biden former vice president in the middle of the stage flanked on bone sides by bernie sanders and lv elizabeth warren. you wonder what that debate will look like? number two. the pointed attacks. will we see the attacks from bernie sanders and elizabeth warren at joe biden? see pete buttigieg trying to go after elizabeth warren or bernie sanders? you'll see joe biden certainly against the field. amy klobuchar as well, lg willi to take it to anybody on the stage. thought pete buttigieg will get in it. that's not t and still needing to do better making sure there's enough gasoline to make the next debate. of course, that's on cnn next
month in iowa. amy klobuchar needs a moment to try to broaden her appeal beyond iowa. pete buttigieg a moment tonight could help add more credibility to his campaign, which has slowly and steadily gained traction as we've seen other the fall out. look at the rest of the field. there's elizabeth warren does she need a moment? does bernie sanders or joe biden need a moment? not necessarily, brianna. they are pretty well set where they're at. of course, they want to have a great debate performance tonight, but it's not do or die for them. >> i can't believe we're end of the year and all this will get so real next month and these debates matter so much. we'll be watching. thank you so much, mark preston. don't forget. you can watch tonight's debate that's right here on cnn startistart ing at 8:00 p.m. eastern. soon we expect the president to meet with the democrat whom is set to switch parties. plus, speaker pelosi's
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the third u.s. president ever impeached, but the hours of partisan jabbing he saw on the house floor may pale in comparison to what's coming next in the senate trial. that is once we get to the senate trial. the next step is for speaker nancy pelosi to send those articles of impeachment to the senate. but after majority leader mitch mcconnell and judiciary chairman lindsey graham made clear they will not be impartial, fair jurors, speaker pelosi says house democrats may hold to on those articles a little longer. >> impeach the president immediately, everybody's on to the next thing. the next thing for us will be when we see the process that is set forth in the senate. then we'll know the number of managers that we may have to go forward. our founders when they wrote the constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president. i don't think they suspected that we'd have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the senate at the same time. >>