tv The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump CNN January 5, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
only at applebee's. a good sunday evening to you, i'm jim sciutto in washington. >> i'm poppy harlow in new york. we're gearing up for a major week in washington. we're happy to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is cnn's special report, "the impeachment of president donald j. trump." at this very moment the president is arriving back in washington. he's facing two trials, one in the senate for impeachment and the other is as commander in chief as soldiers deploy to the mideast amid new and increasing threats from iran. >> president trump has spent two weeks at his resort sheltered from day to day washington and surrounded by friends and advisers. it is apparent from his tweeter feed that the looming
impeachment trial is front of mine. he played golf as well. it's unclear when the senate trial will begin. speaker pelosi has yet to send over the articles from the house to the senate. if senator lindsey graham has his way, it could be days away from history. >> the sooner this trial is over, the better for the american people. so what i would do if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the constitution, i would work with senator mcconnell to change the rules of the senate so we could start the trial without her if necessary. >> we'll see if that happens. let's go straight to white hous and our congressional correspondent manu raju, thanks to both of you. kaitlan, let me begin with you and your reporting on how the president and his aides have been preparing over the holidays for the senate impeachment trial, however it comes to be. what are you learning? >> reporter: there are some
questions, poppy, whether they've been preparing enough for what's to come. there are still questions about what is even to come. president trump just got back to the white house a few moments ago. he didn't speak to reporters and instead went straight into the residence. he's coming back to a washington that's very different than what he was expecting when he left to go to florida two weeks ago. he and aides thought he would be coming back ready for this trial to start nearly immediately, and the president hoped he would be vindicated. now he's returning to a washington where the articles of impeachment have still not been sent over to the senate. there are still questions about what that trial is going to look like or when it's even going to start. and that has left questions still back here at the white house. one of those being, what is their strategy going to be. we've been told by multiple sources instead the white house counsel's office has been left to essentially draft multiple avenues of strategy right now because they don't know what that trial is going to look like. our sources are telling us that the biggest obstacle still facing the president and the biggest unanswered question is really who it is that's going to
represent him in this trial. we know the white house counsel pat cipollone is still expected to take the lead. the president has made clear he wants his outside attorney jay skek sekulow to play a big role in this. there are questions whether someone from the outside like a trey gowdy figure will come and play roles in that whether publicly or behind the scenes in the impeachment trial. pat cipollone, white house counsel, was initial expected to go down to mar-a-lago to help the president start drafting and making these decisions. but instead he and other white house attorneys largely were absent from mar-a-lago, stayed back here on the second floor of the west wing working from here, interviewing people who could play a role in that trial instead of going down there where the president was golfing multiple days, often seen with people like alan dershowitz, lou dobbs, senator lindsey graham, people like that who have been a big outside influence on trump.
>> and also big cheerleader for the president. manu, you cover the hill. the key demand from democrats is to get witnesses for this trial, particularly witnesses the white house blocked, witnesses we know that have been discovered by journalists who had direct knowledge of the president's involvement here. will there be witnesses in the senate trial? >> it seems unlikely. senator mitch mcconnell has enough of his conference in line. it doesn't seem like there are enough republicans to break with mitch mcconnell right now. chuck schumer wants four witnesses, mick mulvaney, john bolton, mike duffey mentioned in some of those emails you're referencing. what mitch mcconnell said is, no, let's wait 'til later, let's deal with the opening arguments first, then we can discuss witnesses at that point. that is something that democrats don't want to agree to because they believe mcconnell will move
quickly to dismiss the case or move to acquit the president without getting any witnesses to come forward first. as a result, what we're seeing is nancy pelosi withholding those articles of impeachment and waiting for the understanding of what that process will look like in the senate. and the big question is when nancy pelosi will in fact send those articles of impeachment over to the senate. now, one of her top confidants, adam schiff, house intelligence committee chairman, was on cnn's "state of the union" today. jake tapper asked when those articles would be sent over and he indicated they would not be held indefinitely. >> one success this has already had is flushing out mcconnell, showing he is working in cahoots with the president. both democrats and republicans are having to go on the record to say do we want the american people to hear the evidence, do we want a real trial, or do we want a coverup. it's clear from the president and mitch mcconnell, they don't want a trial anymore. they don't want witnesses. they don't want documents. they don't even want, jake, a
verdict. they want a dismissal. >> interestingly, he was asked directly what do you think those articles will be sent over. he said he didn't know because he said this is the speaker's decision. that shows you how tightly she's controlled every step of the way throughout the impeachment process result along. we'll get a better sense when she comes back to washington this coming week, when she talks to her members, how much pressure she's under, what signal she gives when she talks about this publicly. at the moment it's a guessing game here in washington. >> so quickly, and again, this could change, but that there are votes among republicans to call witnesses, but are there votes for dismissal? because that's a separate question. >> when they get to that point, will there be enough senators to vote to dismiss? you only need 51 senators to dismiss. that means if three senators decide to break ranks, that could lead to more pressure to bring in witnesses. so this is going to take some time to play out. >> thanks, manu, thanks,
kaitlan, we appreciate your reporting. former house counsel sophia nelson is with us, also former adviser to u.s. presidents, david gergen joins us. and cnn chief political analyst gloria borger. good evening, one and all, thank you for being here on a sunday night. gloria, let's rewind two weeks, because it seems like forever ago, before hopefully all of you got a little holiday vacation in, it did seem to many, i think, that speaker pelosi held the leverage, held more cards, says, you know, i'm not transmitting these articles you to in the senate until we get what we think is a fair trial. so much has transpired since then, including mcconnell saying, great, i don't want a trial anyway, then the strike on soleimani. does she go into this week with leverage? >> i think it's really not so much a question of leverage, poppy, as it is a question of what is she heading into. i think that she and chuck
schumer are working in tandem. i was just emailing with a democratic leadership aide, they're on the same page on this, they want the witnesses they believe they deserve. they also believe that the news that transpired over the last a couple of weeks about the question of the president's involvement in the holding up this money for ukraine can now be potentially explored. and so she didn't want to walk into a dark would mean. she wanted to put some lights on and say, what are we heading into. as schumer said earlier today, mcconnell could have called for a vote of dismissal if she had given him the articles and tried to get rid of it before christmas. they're trying to deal with the caucus, look at the terrain they're heading into. as manu was saying earlier, i don't think she's going to hold onto these articles forever. i don't think what's going on in iran is going to affect them one
way or another, affect her decisions or the democrats' decisions one way or the other. so they're taking a little bit of time, but i don't think they're going to delay it indefinitely. i think she knows at some point they've got to go over there. >> sophia, on the question of evidence and witnesses, the fact is, since the house impeachment inquiry closed, there has been new evidence, some from unredacted documents which show a direct line to the president, that this was under the direction of the president that this aid was withheld. politically, what risks are republicans at on their end for pushing away the possibility not just of witnesses but of considering new evidence that's been exposed since the close of the house impeachment inquiry? >> well, a couple of things. one, i think nancy pelosi was brilliant in what she did, i said this before the holidays and i'll stick with that position, she did force a process of sunlight. now we have those emails, we have that "new york times"
article you were referencing, jim, about mulvaney and bolton and pompeo and others telling the president, hey, you need to go ahead and send this aid, withholding this is not a good idea. and i think that what this is going to come down to is a few things. one, how much is the public actually paying attention, particularly in those senate districts that run for reelection in 2020, because that's really what mitch mcconnell is going to be looking at, the winds of public opinion, does it shift one way or the other in those districts where he has vulnerable people like collins and others? does he have to give them some wiggle room to vote with the democrats to allow some witnesses or do whatever? i think that's what they're looking at. to your point, every trial that any citizen in this country faces, and by the way, this is not like a criminal trial, this is different, this is a political trial. and i think that's a distinction that the american people need to understand. it's not like the trial if i did something wrong and i got indicted by a grand jury and i have to go and they do jury selection. it's very different. this is a political process. but i think republicans are going to have to walk a very fine line about motions to
dismissive, et cetera. i also disagree, i think they're going to get witnesses. i think they're going to get witnesses the way the senate handled the clinton impeachment, which is if they can survive these motions to dismiss, if the republicans don't have the votes, ultimately if they get that far, they may have to cave in to allowing mulvaney or bolton or others. i think they'll follow the clinton model and that's what, if you pay attention to mcconnell, he's backed off his really aggressive position and says, let's go to the clinton model and we can vote on witnesses later. don't be surprised if they get witnesses. >> they make an interesting point, but david gergen, the key difference, when schumer was asked this morning by george stephanopoulos, he said it's very different than the clinton trial this time around because those witnesses had already spoken, you had the starr report, et cetera. so he said this is different. on one side you have schumer saying that he thinks they will be able to get four republican senators on their side to vote
for witnesses. ideally for the democrats, they want that going into this thing. on the other side you have lindsey graham now saying he's going to lobby mcconnell to go ahead and start it without even holding the articles, without the articles being transmitted. that doesn't sound like anywhere near an agreement. >> no, they're very far apart at this point. i just have a different perspective on this, and that is that something dramatic has happened in the last couple of weeks and that is that the country is on the brink of war. we ought to take that seriously. i must tell you, in white houses i've been in, if you have two crises going on at the same time, it's hard to imagine and you can make big mistakes. for all those reasons i think it's important for the country for nancy pelosi and mcconnell to sit down and work this out to some reasonable agreement that allows something about witnesses or ensures some degree of
fairness about this thing and get it done. let's not play games of the kind that lindsey graham has put forward. i do think if we do not work this out what you're going to see is what we've been seeing the last two weeks, four weeks, actually, five weeks, from the iranians, and that is the north koreans and others are going to commit mischief and probe and try to find the weaknesses in the u.s. and try to push us. then you're worried about looking weak. it could have a larger conflagration. i really think the country needs to be seriously focused on what's going on in the middle east, get this other thing done in a reasonable way and move on. >> gloria borger, is there any constituency now on the hill, mcconnell, other republicans perhaps, to delay an impeachment trial in consideration of the fact that you have an international crisis at hand right now? >> no, i mean, look, everyone's just coming back into town. i have not heard that. and i would agree with david
that in a way, it's in everyone's effort -- in everyone's interests to get this moving, because you won't be have other issues that you need to deal with. you don't want to put off impeachment if you think it's not going to take forever. if it's going to take a week or two, then do it. i think it's also fluid right now. you're in a situation, as david pointed out, where you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow with iran. and congress has to react to that. you have congress reacting already to the president's tweet this evening about a response to potential iranian action. so there's a lot of issues they have to deal with. but i do not expect democrats to say, oh, never mind, we're not going to deal with this. they're just not going to do that. i do think, however, that timing has to be taken into consideration. maybe nancy pelosi hands them
over by the end of this week and they get going next week, and they can agree on witnesses, as david points out. you know, it may be in the best interests of the country for them to do something together when it comes to impeachment and how they're going to proceed. >> you know, and in all this we should not discount the possibility -- well, we know iran is watching events in the u.s., this as the president is arriving back from vacation. does iran look for opportunities in the midst of this to strike at what it perceives to be a vulnerable moment, poppy, right? the president standing on the senate floor on trial, is that when they strike? these are open questions at this point, but serious ones. >> absolutely, serious ones. you see the first lady, the president, their son baron, coming back to the white house after two weeks plus on holiday in mar-a-lago. thank you, all of you, we appreciate your expertise. we know it's going to be a busy week ahead.
ahead, the iraqi parliament with a critical vote to end the u.s. troops' presence in iraq. what does that actually mean going forward? we'll take you live to baghdad. and president trump says that his tweet should serve as official legal notification to congress of any future military action against iran. up next, i'm going to speak to a democratic senator, ben cardin, about whether that's sufficient as far as the constitution is concerned. cnn's special live coverage continues after a short break. i'm happy to give you the tour, i love doing it. hey jay. jay? charlotte! oh hi. he helped me set up my watch lists. oh, he's terrific. excellent tennis player. bye-bye. i recognize that voice. annie? yeah! she helped me find the right bonds for my income strategy. you're very popular around here. there's a birthday going on. karl! he took care of my 401k rollover. wow, you call a lot. yeah, well it's my money we're talking about here. joining us for karaoke later? ah, i'd love to, but people get really emotional when i sing. help from a team that will exceed your expectations. ♪
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the u.s. senate, back in session tomorrow. and majority leader mitch mcconnell said that nothing moves forward on the impeachment trial until the speaker of the house does her part, which is handing over articles of impeachment from the house. we want to speak to ben cardin, democrat from maryland, who will soon be sitting as juror in the
impeachment trial. thank you for spending time with us this evening. >> jim, good to be with you. >> your republican colleague, lindsey graham, said he would push for a rules change in the senate that would allow the impeachment trial to start without receiving the articles. do you consider that a serious threat? >> no, i don't. we need to come together, the majority leader and the democratic leader, with rules that are fair to all sides, to the house managers, to the president, that allows for the necessary witnesses to be heard by the united states senate. we needed to do that in a bipartisan manner to show that the united states senate is conducting a fair trial. so that's what needs to happen. i think the reason why nancy pelosi hasn't acted to date is because there hasn't been that assurance that we'll be hearing from the right witnesses that know what happened and that we have a process that can be signed off by both democrats and republicans. >> what evidence is there that you'll get what you want, those ones?
mitch mcconnell commands the majority. you would need four, i believe, republicans to break with their party to demand those ones. given that you -- unless you've heard from your republican colleagues that they're willing to do that, given that we haven't seen at least public evidence of that, is it time to send the articles over? it's just not clear what leverage the house speaker has here. >> i think we have to move forward, and i think nancy pelosi understands that. but the united states senate, its reputation is very much on the line here. we have an opportunity to show the nation that we will give the president his opportunity to present his defense, that the house managers will have their chance to present their case, and that the senate will act as an impartial jury. that's how we're supposed to act. how can you do that if you don't hear from the witnesses that have the direct information about the president's involvement with the president of ukraine? >> just so i'm clear, you say it is time to send them over. are you saying that this week
speaker of the house nancy pelosi should transmit them to the senate for consideration? >> we should get the articles this week but we also should have an agreement to have the witnesses necessary and the documents that need to be presented, both need to go together. i'm not suggesting that nancy pelosi act without knowing the circumstances in the senate. but we should act now. >> okay. i want to move on to iran because of course tensions are brewing there. you have an enormous amount of experience with foreign affairs. no one's going to say that qasem soleimani was a good person, he committed horrible acts responsible for 603 deaths of u.s. soldiers in iraq, many more wounded. but for next steps, do you believe president trump has a plan for where this standoff with iran ends? >> jim, i really don't. he certainly hasn't shared that with congress as he is required to do. we all understand in our national security interests we need to find a diplomatic way to
deal with the middle east. a war with iran is not in our national security interests. yet this administration has driven us further and further away from a possible diplomatic solution. the president has isolated america rather than isolating iran, when he pulled out of the nuclear agreement. so we're in really serious issues about america's national security. and that should be paramount. so no, i don't think the president has a game plan. >> he tweeted today what he said was legal notice that his tweets sh should amount to legal notice of future military action against iran. as a sitting u.s. senator, does his tweet qualify as required notice? >> absolutely not. the law is pretty clear about the consultation requirements by the president with congress. and the fact that the congress has sole authority on going to war and that there is no authorization for the use of military force authorized by
congress against iran. so the president does not have that authority. he's acting now on the statement that there is an imminent threat against the united states, yet he has not articulated that imminent threat. so no, the notification issues are not adequate. >> as you know, before i let you go, president trump, other officials, have implied or said straight out that there was a threat to u.s. forces in the region. do you believe u.s. forces are safer today than they were before soleimani was killed? >> i think there is a much higher risk of a confrontation with iran today than prior to his death. i think there is higher risk for our national security. as we're seeing, we're already sending more troops to that region. that's not the answer. the answer is to find a diplomatic answer and not to go to war. >> senator ben cardin, thanks so
much for joining the program tonight. >> thank you. all right. so the president is back in washington tonight. you just saw him arriving with his family at the white house. this as the situation on the ground in iraq becomes more perilous. the iraqi parliament just voting today to end u.s. troop presence there. what does that actually mean? we're live in baghdad, next. ncey says they can save you dollars. which makes it hard to believe, especially coming from a talking lizard. cheerio! esurance is built to save you dollars. and when they save dollars, you save dollars. so get a quote. when insurance is affordable, it's surprisingly painless.
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saying he was an imminent threat to americans in the region. poppy, i have to say, watching this here, it's a remarkably similar scene to when ayatollah khomeini died. it shows you how revered a figure soleimani was. >> the shadow commander, and for how long? for decades. iran vowing swift retaliation. the military adviser to the supreme leader saying today iran's response will be military and, quote, against military sites. >> you can be rest assured tonight that the u.s. commanders in the region are focused on force protection there. president trump is also threatening action, tweeting in part, if iran strikes any americans or american assets, we have targeted 52 iranian sites, some at a very high level and important to iran and the iranian culture. now, i spoke today to two senior officials serving in this
administration who say there is widespread opposition to attacking cultural sites and poppy, that's because, a number of reasons, one being, it's against international law. >> right, it violates the u.s. resolution that the u.s. agreed to a few years ago. our senior national correspondent arwa damon joins us from baghdad. arwa, the fact that today iraq's parliament voted to end the u.s. troop presence in iraq, can you explain to us what that actually means? >> reporter: well, it was a fascinating session in the sense that he did have quorum that was achieved. but that was mostly because shia parliamentary representatives went. the vast majority of sunni representatives did not. the iraqi prime minister was making the case that parliament should vote to end foreign troop
presence. he said that given all the developments that had taken place, iraq could no longer guarantee the security of foreign forces within its homeland and that they could not ultimately protect themselves. it clearly seems as if the government has made a calculation that given how much of a physical battlefield iraq is becoming already between the u.s. and iran, it is perhaps in iraq's best interests to ask foreign forces to leave since that is the easier option than trying to disentangle itself from iran both politically and militarily. what happens next? that is what we're going to have to wait and see. does the government actually take the move and ask foreign forces to leave? the prime minister spoke with the french president and already said that relevant iraqi government bodies were beginning to take those steps at this stage. >> arwa, you've covered iraq for a long time, and you know as well as we do that oftentimes
iraqi politicians will say in public, yeah, we want them to go, but in private, hey, please stay, the country needs you for security. we understand that president trump has just told reporters that the u.s. might sanction iraq if it does follow through on this threat. do you sense that now the moment is truly different, that there is a groundswell of political support there to follow through on a threat, let's be frank, iraq has made before but not followed through on in the past? >> reporter: the dynamics here have changed completely. even iraqi politicians who are pro the u.s. staying here are finding it very difficult to speak out in light of what happened. i mean, look, this targeted killing is not just being viewed as a violation of iraq's sovereignty. it's also being viewed as an act of aggression against iraq itself. that being said, prior to this parliamentary meeting, there were other proposals being put
forward, attempts that would perhaps see the u.s. stay here exactly because the country is still fighting against isis. and we all know what happened the last time the u.s. withdrew when the iraqi security forces weren't capable of handling the situation. isis came to be. this withdrawal, if and when it happens, is giving isis a win without isis having to actually do anything. there are great concerns about that. but right now, no politician really has the political capital to be able to stand up and say, hey, american forces should say, especially since so many now point out that president trump a while ago said that u.s. forces were here not necessarily for the fight against isis but to actually spy on iran. >> and we know the criticism that trump laid on president obama for withdrawing troops from iraq, of course that helped lead to the rise of isis with u.s. troops forced out. thank you, arwa damon.
poppy, you have to wonder if president trump would open himself up to criticism that he allowed the isis fight to be subjugated or stopped by the consequences of this. >> absolutely. we'll have more on that ahead. up next, a look at the last impeachment trial for a sitting president. wolf will join us to talk about his special report, "the trial of william jefferson clinton."
wolf blitzer is here to talk about his special on tonight. we have young viewers out there who don't remember the details. tell us how tonight's special will walk them through it but also connected to what's happening today. >> it's really timely because it goes through the impeachment trial in the u.s. senate of bill clinton. and many of the arguments , as you say, that democrats were making again, republicans are making now, and vice-versa. they decided when all was said and done that they would open the formal trial in the u.s. senate with arguments from both sides. the house managers in that particular case, the republicans, would make their case why the president of the united states who had been impeached in the house should be convicted and removed from office. and the president's lawyers made the opposite argument that yeah, he did some bad things but it's not worthy of being removed from office. and they decided to hold off on the sensitive issue of witnesses
until after the opening arguments and then they decided they would call some witnesses and republicans wanted three witnesses, basically, but they would do it in private and then release excerpts of course of the trial. >> so crucially, they did allow witnesses in the trial then. >> right. >> different potentially from what we see here. folks who often say, no time has been more partisan than today, and there's a lot of evidence that have, but remembering covering that impeachment, it was pretty darn partisan back then as well. >> it was very partisan. i was the cnn white house correspondent so i covered it from day one, in january of 1998 when we first heard the name monica lewinsky, until the following january, 1999, when there was a real senate trial. it was intense. >> was it fundamentally different from today? there were folks from each party who went to the other side, in effect. there were democrats who voted for clinton's impeachment in the house and there were republicans
who voted against it. is today fundamentally different in that it's purely by party line? >> it's much more partisan today, although it was pretty partisan then as you'll see in the one-hour documentary tonight. for those of us who lived through it, it will bring back a lot of memories. you lived through it, i lived through it, we remember a lot. for those who didn't pay tens n attention then or weren't born yet, they'll learn a lot about how this unfolds. >> i remember reading the starr report live on the air. >> i had to do that. my mom wasn't very happy with some of the words i was using. >> there was some colorful language. wolf blitzer, we're looking forward toe that tonight, 9:00 eastern time. >> it's going to be a fascinating report. that is ahead. also, of course, congress comes back to work on capitol hill this week. with impeachment at an impasse, will speaker pelosi transmit those articles of impeachment to the senate or will senate
republicans move forward with a trial without them? that's next. . and your mother told me all her life that i should fix it. and now it reminds me of her. i'm just glad i never fixed it. listen, you don't need to go anywhere dad. meet christine, she's going to help you around the house. the best home to be in is your own. from personal care and memory care, to help around the house, home instead offers personalized in-home services for your loved ones. home instead senior care. to us, it's personal.
this week congress returns from recess to a changed world. the u.s. is now staring down the potential for war with iran. while at the same time, the impeachment standoff picks up pretty much right where it left off. one senator republican, josh hawley, will try to use the impeachment stalemate as grounds to push it aside and vote to dismiss the articles if they're not sent over from the house. now iran threatens to overshadow all of that. louisiana republican mike johnson is with me, good evening, thank you for joining me. >> hey, poppy, great to be with you. >> let me get your reaction to something the president said literally a few moments ago on air force one, reacting to iraq's parliament voting to basically expel, to try to push out all u.s. troops from the ground in iraq. the president just said on air force one, quote, if they do ask us to leave, we will charge them with sanctions like they've never seen before, quote, it will make iranian sanctions look
somewhat tame. is that a good idea? >> we are awaiting a briefing to congress when we get back and we're looking forward to getting all the information. of course the president is privy to all the intel that we as members of the house don't have yet. he has the full scope, the full picture. look, i'm not sure exactly what's going to develop with that. we saw and watched with interest what iraq did today and those developments are important. we have to be very careful about our actions going forward because we don't want to further destabilize that region. these are -- >> or further sanctioning iraq, would slapping sanctions potentially harsher than on iran, on iraq, would that in your opinion destabilize the region? >> it depends on how they're administered and how much they are. there's a lot of information we don't have and won't until we
get back to washington and get intel briefings. i'm looking forward to that and other members are as well. in the meantime i trust the president is doing the right thing. >> congressman, do you believe, as secretary of state mike pompeo has argued, that the world is safer today because qasem soleimani has been taken out? >> i heard that statement, and i agree with it. look, soleimani was a known terrorist, a murderer. he killed thousands of people, hundreds of americans. and when the secretary of state and our intel says that he had further attacks planned on americans and others, i think that it's beyond dispute that we are a safer world without him in that position. of course there are consequences, of course there's fallout. we'll deal with that as it occurs. i think a strong america is good for the whole world. and we have shown that we're strong on this issue and i think that's welcomed by most americans. >> i ask you because history has shown us that often when you take out the head of a terrorist organization, that the threat does not something away.
and we now have the state department that has ordered all americans to leave iraq immediately. we have thousands of additional u.s. service members going to the region after soleimani was taken out. and you have dhs bracing america for the very real likelihood of a cyber attack from iran. so how is that a safer world this sunday night as you and i are talking, how is it safer in this moment with those responses? >> iran has been effectively on the attack against the u.s. for 40 years. they've been chanting "death to america" in the streets. the interesting development there, though, is that the people are now turning against that. there's been a great tide, an uprising that i think has been welcomed in the west that we've seen that develop. and i think there is a lot of instability on the ground. we've always been at odds with iran.
taking out soleimani, because we had the intel that showed he was plotting further worse attacks, look, i take the secretary of state, the president, at their word. i think it was a necessary action. and of course we have to deal with the fallout from that action. we'll see what happens. >> the president overnight tweeted that if iran strikes americans or american assets, the u.s. has targeted 52 iranian sites, some at a high level and important to iran and iranian culture. here is how senator chris van hollen responded to that. listen. >> you just heard the president this morning talk about targeting iranian sites including cultural sites which is in fact a war crime if the president was to carry that out. >> do you agree with him that it would be a war crime? it certainly would be a violation of the u.n. resolution
2347 that the u.s. and the whole security council agreed to two years ago. would it be a war crime? >> i agree with what secretary of state pompeo said this morning clearly on the morning talk shows. he said we are going to follow the law. we'll follow international law -- >> you know, i saw all of those interviews that he did but i'm just asking you, do you believe that as a violation of that u.n. resolution, it would be a war crime. >> look, i don't know. i think it depends on the circumstances. it depends on which sites. it depends on, you know, the conditions. and i don't think that we can make that call as a hypothetical. i think it really is a hypothetical question about a hypothetical set of facts that we don't know. i do take great solace in what the secretary of state says. our state department is committed to following the law. i think we will. >> i don't know how hypothetical it is given that it is a statement from the president. but let's move on to the other development, which is what's going to happen in the senate this week. is there going to be an
impeachment trial of the president, will speaker pelosi hold on to the articles, do you believe the senate should hold an impeachment trial for the president? >> i do, i agree with the sentiments said on your program this evening, i've been watching what's said. these are consequential times, delicate times. i think impeachment is a huge distraction from this hugely important issue going on in the middle east. i think we should put the trial behind us. i hope that nancy pelosi will transmit the articles over there. remember that the language of the resolution that they passed, the single party impeachment that they passed through the house, said that it had to be exhibited in the senate. it's not an if/or proposition. i think it's time to do that. >> you would like the trial to start. the final question would be, as you know, a recent "washington post"/abc poll showed actually about two in three republican voters want the president to allow his aides to testify.
and i wonder if you're among the 64% of republicans in this country who want to hear in a senate trial from mick mulvaney, from john bolton, from duffey, from robert blair. do you want to hear from those witnesses? >> i don't have any problem with that, i don't think the white house does either. there's nothing to hide here. they have an ironclad case and they're ready to try it. and look, i think the sooner we get to that, the better. >> i'm sorry, what did you say? you don't think the white house has an issue with it? the white house is blocking this. >> no. no, they're not blocking the witnesses at a senate trial. that hasn't come up yet because it hasn't been -- >> they have blocked them throughout the house investigation. but you do want to hear from them in a senate trial, is that what you're saying? >> poppy, we can talk about why the white house has not turned them over in the house proceeding. it was a sham. and i can go through all the details of that, you don't want to belabor the point tonight, i know. what i'm suggesting is that leader mcconnell is right to say we should follow the only real
precedent that exists in the modern era and that's the clinton impeachment trial which senator schumer voted for, those rules which says that you decide which witnesses to hear after the first two stages of the trial. each case or each side puts on their cases, the senators and then you determine what, if any, witnesses are needed and under what circumstances. that's the only procedure and the only precedent that exists, and that's the one that ought to be followed. i think it's very reasonable for leader mcconnell to take that position. >> we'll see what happens. everyone's going to be back on tuesday. thank you for being here. we'll be right back. >> thanks, pop. >> you got it. so you can quickly check the markets? yeah, actually i'm taking one last look at my dashboard before we board. excellent. and you have thinkorswim mobile- -so i can finish analyzing the risk on this position. you two are all set. have a great flight. thanks. we'll see ya. ah, they're getting so smart. choose the app that fits your investing style.
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! all right. as congress returns from vacation, how are voters across the country actually viewing the impeachment of the president and the impending senate trial? >> cnn national correspondent miguel marquez has been covering the story and has found that in voting states they are paying less attention than here in washington. >> reporter: impeachment barely a blip on the radar for some democrats here. >> do you and your colleagues, your friends, do you talk about impeachment or politics? >> not particularly. it just depresses us. >> reporter: do you follow impeachment closely? >> not so much. i watch videos here and there, but i wouldn't say i'm an avid listener. >> reporter: many republicans here view it as pure politics
and a rallying cry. >> do you think it will motivate for republicans to come out? >> yeah, for sure. >> it's a waste of government money. they just wasted 29 million on that mueller thing. so now what are we going to waste, more money? >> reporter: the grand canyon state and its 11 electal votes now a full on battleground. once reliably red, it's now trending purple. bested hillary clinton by only 3.5 points. and democrats flipped a house seat and a long-time republican senate seat. arizona not only a battleground for president. >> i am listening to my constituents. >> reporter: but in 2020, another epic senate race that could decide control of the chamber. >> i have decided that i'm launching a campaign. >> reporter: republican incumbent martha mcsally and her likely democratic challenger mark kelly have already raised tens of millions of dollars, and the race could be the most
expensive senate contest of the cycle. christi black, mom to angela and luke, left the republican party in 2016 because of donald trump. >> i definitely didn't feel like his moral character was that of a president. >> reporter: now an independent, she plans to vote democratic in 2020, but is concerned impeachment will tip the balance. >> i worry more that it will fire up the republicans, that maybe people who are feeling a little more wishy-washy, not feeling real confident with president trump, that they will feel a renewed sense of wanting to defend him. ♪ >> reporter: steve ellis, i.t. consultant by day, musician by night, voted for obama in 2012 and trump in 2016. does he have your support in 2020? >> uh, no. ♪ >> reporter: he says he will vote democratic in 2020, but
thinks impeachment is only fueling an already angry and divided country. >> get it done and move on because i don't think anything positive is going to happen out of it either one way or the other. and it just makes us as a country look like we're a little unstable. >> reporter: impeachment not changing many minds but raising questions and concerns about how it will play with voters in battleground states. now, most people i spoke to said that they don't think it's truly going to change many minds. if you liked donald trump going into it, you're still going to like him. if you didn't like him, impeachment's not going to change much. but they do say there is a small number of people in the center who are going to go after hammer and tong. arizona and wisconsin, those 11 electoral votes could be critical to which party takes the white house. back to you guys. >> well, no question it's a big issue. we don't know how it's going to
affect people's minds when they step into the voting booth. >> thanks, miguel. still ahead, senator lindsey graham gives the house speaker an ultimatum of sorts, or, quote, take matters into our own hands. let's be honest, every insurance company says they can save you dollars. which makes it hard to believe, especially coming from a talking lizard. cheerio! esurance is built to save you dollars. and when they save dollars, you save dollars. so get a quote. when insurance is affordable, it's surprisingly painless. when insurance is affordable, you sureyes.ut this? [ suspenseful music playing ]
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