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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 26, 2019 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." tonight, impeachment showdown. under fire, under scrutiny, the president releasing a transcript of his phone call with the president of ukraine. the president pushing back. >> it's a joke. impeachment for that? >> plus, inside-out. from early trauma. >> you said your childhood -- >> was done. >> so hollywood stardom and heartbreak. >> i felt like i could barely ti take a breath. >> demi moore, pulling away the curtains in a life few have seen in an intimate new memoir. but first, the "nightline" five.
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number one in just sixty
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here is abc's david wright. >> reporter: today at the un, president trump and ukranian president volodomir zelenskyy were all smiles. zelenskyy, a professional comedian, even cracked a joke! >> it's better to be on tv than on phone. >> reporter: a wisecrack about the phone call they had back in july. that call now the focus of an impeachment inquiry into whether trump pressured the foreign leader to do his political wet work. after hunter biden obtained a cushy spot on a ukrainian condition. asked about it point blank. the ukrainian president diplomatically demured. >> nobody push me, yes.
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>> noertin other words, no pres. >> reporter: for president, no pressure is the new no collusion. >> it's all a big hoax there was no pressure. it turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said i never knew you could be so nice. >> reporter: but trump did not have such nice things to say about speaker nancy pelosi and her decision to pursue an impeachment inquiry. >> she's lost her way. she's been taken over by the radical left. unfortunate lo unfortunately, she's no longer the speaker of the house. >> reporter: this five-page memorandum, at one point, zelinsky thanks trump for america's support for fending offer russian aggression and says he's ready to buy more missiles from the u.s. trump, i would like to you do us a favor, though. in snore spot, trump says there's a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped
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the prosecution. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. trump mentions the bidens by name at least three times during the call, and he repeatedly asked the ukrainian president to follow up with rudy giuliani and bill barr. >> everything accelerated today. when that phone call hit, washington lit up, and not in a good way. what the president has to argue is what they see in the transcript is not what they see in the transcript. >> far more damning than i or any others had imagined. what those notes reflect is a classic mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader. >> reporter: the crucial question is, is it illegal? >> it's right on the line. if they can prove he was knowingly soliciting something of value from a foreign national to influence the election, that cob
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could be a campaign finance violation. there's no official definition of what a high crime and misdemeanor is. >> reporter: it's important to note that the summary is not a verbatim transcript. it is hardly the last word. there are also questions about what exactly giuliani and barr did to follow up, and there's the complaint from the whistle-blower, from the intelligence community, a complaint that the inspector general found to be credible and of urgent concern. today members of the senate and house intelligence committees finally got a chance to review a classified copy of the whistle-blower's complaint. the trump administration finally handed it over after two weeks of defying a request from congress. tomorrow they'll graill the director of national intelligence. >> the whistle-blower was not on the phone call. they heard about the phone call from somebody else.
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>> reporter: abc news has learned of additional requests made by the trump administration before that phone call even took place. >> it has been a wild day here up on the hill. both sides not surprisingly were retreating to partisan corners. >> reporter: mitt romney appeared to be one of the only republicans to publicly question the president's conduct. >> if the president of the united states asks or presses the leader of a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature, that's troubling. >> reporter: most republicans are publicly standing by the president. >> i just think we need to get all the facts. i mean the president said i did nothing wrong. >> i also think we need to be measured in our analysis, and i think democrats' problem is they've gotten out over their skis over and over and over again. hysterical over things they didn't necessarily need to be hysterical about. >> reporter: impeachment is a sword that cuts both ways. >> we know house democrats have
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been indulging their impeachment obsession for nearly three years now, a never-end being impeachment parade. >> reporter: there's a danger for democrats of overplaying their hand, riling up trump's base just as we head into an election year. >> the republicans it's witch hunt, harassment. >> reporter: there's a danger of tarnishing former vice president biden. >> you're in trouble and in a controversy. i'm shocked. >> i've never been in a controversy before. >> reporter: sean hannity has been beating the drum on the biden story. >> it is a case crying out to be investigated. if it doesn't get investigated we just don't have equal justice in this country. >> reporter: now the impeachment process inevitably will give that story wider circulation and scrutiny. >> do you think is an impeachable, this instance is an impeachable offense? >> based on the material that they acknowledged today, it seems to me it's awful hard to avoid the conclusion that it is
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an impeachable offense and a violation of constitutional responsibility. >> reporter: the president's defense so far has been to point the finger at joe biden and accuse him, essentially, of the same thing. >> the problem with that is that as of today there's no credible evidence that biden did anything other than support the international community. and until they can present some evidence, which suggests that there's a link between what joe biden did and his son, there's no there there. >> reporter: so you see it as a false equivalent. >>s after today, it's a false equivalent. >> reporter: while the president may be in danger of being impeached, so far there's no danger he'll be removed from office. >> just so you understand, it's single grated witch-hunt in american history, it's a disgraceful thing. >> reporter: so long as republicans in congress have his back.
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>> what speaker pelosi did yesterday really was the worst we've seen yet. where she announced an impeachment inquiry, without any evidence. it ought to give every american grave concerns. >> reporter: today it was the ukrainian president who applied pressure to trump. >> can you give me your word that you will come to our great country? >> well, i'm going to try. and i know a lot of people -- >> reporter: president trump wouldn't make any promises. safe to say he has enough on his hands. at least for the next few months. at the end of the day, did they must laugh their asses off. >> reporter: president trump sounded down right dejected. >> people have said they don't know of one man with all the men they know or woman, that could handle what i've had to handle. >> reporter: this is only day two. david wright for "nightline" in new york. up next, one on one with demi moore, her journey of loss,
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>> reporter: she was once the highest paid actress ever in hollywood. demi moore cementing her place in hollywood history with timeless roles. now the actress exposing a side few have seen before in a raw and candid interview with abc's diane sawyer opening up about her painful past, private demons and ascent to stardom. >> welcome. >> thank you. >> this is -- this is my tree house. it's very serene, minus my seven dogs.
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>> reporter: a riot of dogs, most rescues. in the kitchen, and the big fridge is always stocked with juice and soda for friends and family dropping by. a beautiful house up in the hills above hollywood. the place conquered by demi moore when she was in her 20s. the young woman with the mysteries in her face. a husky voice and hit after hit. but we're here because she's ready to tell us about the life we didn't know. the one that seemed to be unraveling seven years ago. the husband she loved had left. her children weren't speaking to her. her former husband and friend had pulled away too. isolation, anguish. she weighed 102 pounds. >> is the ambulance on the way? >> reporter: at a birthday party, there were party drugs. synthetic pot, nitrous oxide. she used them. she had a seizure. >> is she breathing?
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>> everyone else was witnessing my body flailing. my daughter terrified that she was gonna see me die right in front of her. and -- and within me, i was in a place that was thinking, "wow, how did i get in here? isn't this interesting?" and then my very next thought was, "oh, i wonder if i can get out," and all of a sudden, i was back in my body. and i think it was a moment that i will -- was somehow being given a choice. and -- >> you think it was that close? >> i think certainly emotionally it was. >> reporter: demi moore is now 56, looking back at that devastating crossroads. >> i guess the fundamental question was how did i get here?
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i lost me. and -- >> what do you mean? >> i think the thing, if i were to look back, i would say i blinded myself and i lost -- i lost myself. >> reporter: so she set out to reclaim her life and in a new memoir, reaches out to anyone else struggling. she dedicates the book to the three daughters she loves and surprisingly to someone else. her own troubled teenage mother who never understood how to protect the little girl with cat eye glasses. >> you growing up. it is -- >> colorful? >> reporter: her mother and father both battle alcoholism. move the family constantly ahead of debt, infidelities, thunderous fights. she is 12 when her mother first attempts suicide. she writes, "i remember using my fingers, the small fingers of a child, to dig the pills my mother had tried to swallow out of her mouth." >> and it wasn't the last time. >> no. there was many, many times. >> you said your childhood --
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>> was done. yeah, life-changing moment. >> and then this stunning revelation that the man you loved as your father was not your biological father. and others in your family knew this? >> i made up about that that i wasn't wanted, or that i don't deserve to be here. >> reporter: when her father leaves, she is responsible for her unstable mother. as an anxious teen, she is taken by her mother to bars so that men will notice them. she's 15 when she comes home on key. she writes it was rape and a devastating betrayal revealed by the man's cruel question. how does it feel to be whored by your mother for $500?
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>> do you believe she sold you? >> i think, in my deep heart, no. i don't think it was a straightforward transaction. but she still -- she still did give him the access and put me in harm's way. >> reporter: so now look again at the mysteries inside the face of the teenaged girl who drops out of high school. leaves her mother's home and sets out determined to invent a future for herself. she's penniless, a little wild, running hard and signs up for acting auditions even though she has no training. >> i mean, i was figuring it out, like, by the seat of my pants, the school of fake it till you make it. >> scared to death? or with some confidence? >> i think it was more, the confidence was, i don't have
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anything to lose. i don't have anything to lose. i don't have anything, so why not? >> reporter: and then her lucky break. look at this. she is 19 years old walking through the door of general hospital. >> why don't we take a seat and relax. i promise this will be very painless. >> reporter: she knows she's in over her head and writes she's taming her fear with alcohol, then cocaine. there will be blackouts. moments of humiliation. like her parents. >> i don't have an off switch. i don't have the thing that says, "this is enough." >> reporter: then in 1984 she's asked to join the coolest young team of actors in hollywood. it's a movie called "st. elmo's fire." and the producer and director have given her a part to play she knows well. >> it's really late. let me drive you home. >> and waste all this good coke? >> i mean, i think the irony certainly was not lost on me. >> they came to you and said,
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"go to -- go to rehab." >> it's a profound gift that they gave me. >> reporter: she commits to sobriety and the pledge will last until she's in her 40s and falls wildly in love. >> you will be sober for how long? >> almost 20 years. >> reporter: it's time to head to her family room and look at some of the movies that caused a kind of earthquake in hollywood. she took chances. ghost was an expensive gamble about a combination of laughter and grief. >> we made pottery super sexy, that is for sure. right? >> reporter: and everlasting romance. in a few good men, she defies studio bosses. >> with the studio executive saying if there wasn't gonna be
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a sex scene, then you know, why was i in it? i love when tom's character says, "she has no point. she often has no point." >> reporter: and as the hits keep coming, she becomes highest paid actress ever in hollywood. a 12.5 million dollar salary on the movie striptease. and then a producer on "gi jane" as critics assail her nerve, her ambition. >> they called you gimme moore. >> there were some things like that. why shouldn't i? why shouldn't all women be paid equal to the quality of the work they're doing? >> reporter: our thanks to diane. and we'll have more from her sit-down with demi moore tomorrow night including the lessons learned from some famous
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marriages and the crossroads that changed her life. next, birthday wishes to an abc news legend. and clearer skin. man 2 vo: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 2 vo: ...with humira. woman 3 vo: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. avo: humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. man 3 vo: ask your rheumatologist about humira. woman 4 vo: go to to see proof in action.
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designed to save you money. switch and save hundreds a year on your wireless bill. plus get $250 back when you buy an eligible phone. call, click, or visit a store today. the juul record. they took $12.8 billion from big tobacco. juul marketed mango, mint, and menthol flavors, addicting kids to nicotine. five million kids now using e-cigarettes. the fda said juul ignored the law with misleading health claims. now juul is pushing prop c, to overturn san francisco's e-cigarette protections. say no to juul, no to big tobacco, no to prop c. >> reporter: finally, a very happy birthday to one of our
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own. the tour de force and abc news legend. barbara walters turning 90 years young today. thunrsste fe jmangnile alou evening anchorwoman here at abc nearly 45 years ago showing the world there is an art to the interview. the ground-breaker capturing generations of viewers with her hard-hitting questions to presidents, world leaders, and celebrities. we wish you a very happy birthday, barbara. that's nightline. you can always catch our full episodes on hulu. thanks for the company, america. good night.
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