tv Face the Nation CBS December 15, 2019 8:30am-9:00am PST
captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington where in this week before christmas the house is set to impeach president trump as well as have a major trade agreement and fund the government. but the senate is already preparing for a trial of the president in the new year despite leader mitch mcconnell saying there is no chance he'll be removed from office. saturday the president assumed his role as commander-in-chief, enjoying the annual army navy football game insphiladelphia. president trump clearly enjoyed his time out from the whoas of washington and his historic work week. >> this has been a wild week. >> brennan: "wild" is putting it mindly. >> ms. deming? >> d.u.i. >> brennan: house democrats charged the president with abuse
of power and obstruction of congress. the brawl in committee set the stage for an even uglier debate on the house floor later this week. >> the idea that donald trump was leading an anti-corruption effort is like kim jong-un leading a human rights effort. >> the president of unite states mexico canada shook down a foreign power to get involved in our election. that's wrong. >> we get it. you don't like him that. doesn't mean you can banish him from the marketplace. you can't send him out of his businesses and say he can't hold a position of honor or trust. you don't get the right to do that. the people of this country do. we live in a republic. i'm just sick of this. congressman johnson is not alone. senate republicans are planning for a quick trial in the new year, although the president may need some convincing. >> i could do... i'll do whatever i want. look, we did nothing wrong. so i'll do long or short. i've heard mitch. i've heard lynn say. i think they are very much on agreement on some concept.
i'll do whatever they want to do. it doesn't matter. >> brennan: we'll get judiciary committee chairman lindsey graham's thoughts on a trial. the number-two democrat in the senate, richard durbin, will also weigh in. then the administration makes big progress on two major trade agreements. we'll talk with u.s. trade representative robert lighthizer. plus new polling in the 2020 super tuesday states. could former new york mayor michael bloomberg's strategy work? all that and more is just ahead on "face the nation." good morning, and welcome to "face the nation." we begin today with the chairman of the senate judiciary committee, south carolina republican lindsey graham. he joins us from doha, qatar. senator, good morning to you. the president has said he's heard you out on the merits of a
short senate trial, but he's going to do whatever he wants, he says. should republicans in the senate really be taking their marching orders from the person being investigated? >> you know, i understand the president's frustration, but i think what's best for the country is to get this thing over with. i have clearly made up my mind. i'm not trying the hide the fact that i have disdain for the accusations and the process, so i don't need any witnesses. the president can make a request to call witnesses. they can make a request to call mike pence and pompeo and hunter biden and joe biden. i'm ready to vote on the underlying articles. i don't need to hear a lot of witnesses. >> brennan: but the president says he wants, he would love those individuals to testify. he says he wants evidence. he wants the make his case. why are you opposed? >> well, i tell the president, somebody's ready to acquit you,'d sort of get out of the way. you start calling the witnesses the president wants, and they're going to start calling mike
pence and secretary of state mike pompeo, i don't think that's good for the country. i don't think that's good for the senate. you need 51 votes to get a witness approved. i want to make my decision based on trial record established in the house as a basis for impeachment. that's just me. one senator. i think there is a general desire by a lot of senators to not turn this thing into a circus. i understand the president's frustration about being shut out in the house, but i need to do what i think is best for the country. >> brennan: back when you were in the house during the clinton impeachment, you were an impeachment manageer. i want to play a clip from what you said on "face the nation" back then in 1999. >> all i ask for is a chance to do what's meaningful. if you have one day and you're stuck with the judiciary report, i don't think history will judge the senate well. if they decide to acquit the president, there needs to be a record well developed where both sides had a chance to move their case, so i hope we have a trial that is meaningful that will withstand historical scrutiny that will follow the precedents
of the past. i have never known an impeachment trial without a witness and just lasting one day to present the case for the house. that's frankly not fair. >> brennan: why have your standards for senate trial faced? >> well, ken starr investigated president clinton for years, spent millions of dollars. he was an outside counsel. mum mueller investigated president trump for two years, spent $25 million. i supported the mueller investigation because i think he would be fair. it was not a witch hunt, in my view. this is the first impeachment trial being driven by partisan politicians, conducted behind closed doors. the testimony was selectively leaked. the president was denied the ability to participate in the house hearing, and i want to end it. i have nothing but disanddisdain for this. i'm trying to make myself clear. what you're doing in the house is bad for the presidency. you're impeaching the president of the unite states mexico canada in a matter of weeks, not
months, you have a two-year investigation. that wasn't enough. i think this whole thing is a crock. you're shutting the president out. the process in the house, any partisan group could do this in the future. you're weaponnizing impeachment, and i want to end it. i don't want to legitimize it. i hate what they're doing. >> brennan: rudy giuliani spoke to our paula reid and said, when he was in ukraine, just in the past few day, he had to buy a whole separate suitcase because he came back with so many documents for this report he wants to make. he wased at the white house on friday. do you plan to look at the information regathered? is he credible? >> well, i don't know what he found, but if he wants to come to the judiciary committee... rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, i'll be glad to talk to you. when it comes to impeachment, i want to base my decision on the record assembled in the house. we can look at joe biden and hunter biden and anything else you want the look at after
impeachment. but if rudy wants to come to the judiciary committee and testify about what he found, he's welcome to do so. >> brennan: all right. we'll look for that. you have announced a separate investigation into your friend joe biden. you said that you love him, but you want to pursue this investigation. he was asked about this on cnn. >> i do, very much so. >> brennan: he was asked on cnn recently. i'll play that bite. >> i'm disappointed and quite angered by the fact that he knows me. he knows my son. he knows there's nothing to. trump is now essentially holding power over him that even ukrainians wouldn't yield to. and lindsey is about to go down in a way that i think he's going to regret his whole life. >> brennan: he says you're going to regret this whole your life. is there anything that you have done with this ukrainian investigation that gives you pause? >> no, not at all. joe biden is a friend.
he's one of the most decent people i have ever met in my life. but here's the deal: this whole process around the ukraine wreaks with politics. they have done everything but take a wrecking ball where donald trump and his family. we're not going to live in a world where only republicans get looked at. as much as i love joe biden and i'm sincere when i say, that now that you want to talk about ukraine, it's hard for me to tell my constituents to ignore the fact that hunter biden received $50,000 a month from a gas company in ukraine run by the most corrupt person in the ukraine, and two months after the gas company was investigated, the prosecutor got fired. i don't know if there is anything to this, i hope not, i hope i can look at the transcripts of the phone call between biden and the ukraine, joe biden after the investigation began, and say there is no there there. these are legitimate concerns about what happened in the
ukraine. i love joe biden, but none of us are above scrutiny. i'd like to knock all this off and get back on governing the country. >> reporter: well, the supreme court is also going to take a look at whether or not the president can block his financial records from being released to the public. it's pretty significant ruling on presidential precedent here. do you think any president should be able to block this from congress? >> if the court rules he has the release his financial information, he would be bound to do so. i personally think he should release his tax returns. i think anybody returning for president going forward should release their tax returns, but the president has legal rights. he's an american -- we can't have laws for everybody but donald trump. >> brennan: senator graham, thank you for joining us. we turn now to the number-two democrat in the senate, richard durbin. he joins us this morning from chicago. good morning to you, senator. >> good morning, margaret. >> brennan: about 20 years ago when bill clinton was being
impeached, you said at the time you wanted it dismissed. now the tables are turned, we're set most likely for a trial in the senate. but since the votes are not in democrats' favor, why not just dismiss it? >> well, i can tell you that it isn't just the president who is on trial in an impeachment proceeding. this t senate is on trial. and we have a constitutional responsibility. i hear people like senator mcconnell talking about the fact he sat down with folks at the white house, he's already made his decision even before he's taken his oath to promise impartial justicen he sees no need for us to spend a lot of time. my friend senator lindsey graham refers to the whole thing as a crock. what it boils down to is we may interfere with some tee times here, but we ought that stand up for the demeanor, the history and the tradition of the senate in terms of doing this in a proper way. >> brennan: so you don't want a short tile? >> i think what we ought to do as we did 20 years ago, let's have senator mcconnell sit down with senator schumer.
trent lott sat down 20 years ago, and start this proceeding in the proper bipartisan way. that hasn't happened yet. i don't know what senator mcconnell is waiting for. margaret, let me tell you what happened 20 years ago, they decided, trend lot, that the entire senate, all 100 members would go to the old senate gallery and sit down together. we realized at that moment we were embarking on a moment that would be captured in history. this impeachment trial of bill clinton. and you have interesting alliances for him. ted kennedy of massachusetts comes together with phil graham of texas to talk about the procedures during impeachment. the senate finally realized we were on trial too,, and we had to comport ourselves in a dignified way. >> brennan: why is it so different? is it mcconnell's leadership? is it president trump? >> senator mcconnell proved to us with the vacancy of antonin scalia on supreme court that he would ignore logic and common sense and senate tradition. he announced he would switch his
position 180 degrees if the same thing happened to president trump. so the starting point is not good. it takes four republican senators who care enough for the senate, for all of our colleagues to say, let's do this properly, readless of the outcome, whatever it may be, at the end of the day, let's turn around and say, as alexander hamilton promised, the senate is the right place for this trial. >> brennan: we know the votes don't appear to be there to remove the president. when it comes to the process of this, democrats do get a say. it does take as lindsey graham has said, 51 votes to approve a witness. do you plan to call them and who do you want the hear from? >> i can tell you, where i'm standing, if it's a true trial, there needs to be evidence, and we have had an effort by the administration to deny any evidence to the house of representatives, documents, witnesses. at one point chairman nadler invited the president or his attorneys to come sit at the dais and ask questions, they turned him down. it appears to me there are no
witnesses the president would want to call to exonerate himself. maybe such a witness doesn't exist. i don't know. but the bottom line is if we're going to have an actual trial, we should consider evidence. that's why i think senator schumer and senator mcconnell need to sit down and have an orderly, respectable process in the senate. >> you have a list of witnesses set to go? >> there are a lot of potential witnesses, that's for sure, but in terms of those that we'd actually choose and whether they will be called or deposed, those are things we can work out. once we have a spirited that this is a constitutional responsibility that really is a reflection on who we are as unite states mexico canada senators. >> brennan: less than half of the country thinks that the president should be impeached. how do you make a more persuasive case in the senate than your house colleagues did many. >> we present the evidence and let the american people follow this trial in the senate. it isn't a question of political popularity as far as i'm concerned. for longest time. many of us said, which republican will defy the wishes of the political base and come
forward and do the right thing for the country. same thing applies to democrats. will we ignore our political base and look at our constitution? that's what should guide us. >> brennan: i want to ask you about hearing you were part of this week, a contentious hearing over secret surveillance, the fisa process as it is called. inspector general laid out significant errors by the f.b.i. and specifically i want to ask you about what an f.b.i. lawyer did when he retroactively changed an e-mail that was presented as evidence regarding a trump campaign associate carter page. jim comey is on fox this morning, and he said, "carter was treated unfairly." does the u.s. government owe carter page an apology? >> well, i can certainly tell you based on what we saw, they do. and here's the bottom line: many of us have been looking at this secret fisa court for years saying this isn't first and won't be the last time the f.b.i. misrepresents evidence before this court and proceeds.
we have tried to reform the proceedings. senator lee, a republican, senator leahy, a democrat, myself, and others have been pushing for fisa reform. we couldn't get the republicans to join us in that effort. maybe now they will. this should be a bipartisan effort to clean up the fisa court. what happened in this situation was inexcusable. but remember what the inspector general said is the bottom line: opening this investigation was warranted and not political. >> brennan: he also said there were 17 significant errors that he uncovered. >> no question about it. >> brennan: i'm wondering if you have confidence in the current director, chris ray, to be able to fix some of these problems? jim comey again this morning was saying there are maybe systematic problems regarding surveillance within the f.b.i. >> i do have confidence in mr. wray. i voted for him. i supported him. i looked at his background. i think he can do this job and do it well. but to have the president in his corner would be very helpful. the president is very it can cal of the f.b.i. and the intelligence agencies. if we're going to bring about real reform, the white house has to be in on it.
>> brennan: all right. senator durbin, appreciate you joining us today. "face the nation" will be back in one minute. stay with us. fights cancer, repairs shattered bones, relieves depression, restores heart rhythms, helps you back from strokes, and keeps you healthy your whole life. from the day you're born we never stop taking care of you. thisdoin' more...bout... ...with less. doers need energy. and demand for it is expected to grow. so chevron's finding more homegrown energy, more precisely. digitizing the way we work with advanced data analytics helping us develop more productive wells. and we're exploring ways to use renewable energy in our operations. doin' more... ...with less. more data and precision... to help meet growing demand. that's going to get a lot of likes. chevron.
innovating to meet the energy demands of today and tomorrow. >> brennan: this week the u.s. and china agreed on first phase of a free trade deal that would roll back some american tariffs. it's expected to be signed in early january. we're joined now by the u.s. trade representative, robert lighthizer, the top negotiator in those talks with chinese officials. good to have you here. >> thank you for having me, margaret. >> brennan: it's huge to have the two largest economies in the world cool off some of these tensions that have been rattling the global economy. but i want to get to some of the details here. china says it still needs to be proofread and translated is. you being here today a sign this is done, this deal is not falling apart. >> first of all, this is done. this is something that happens in every agreement. there is a translate period. there are some scrubs. this is totally done, absolutely, but can i make one
point, because i think it's really important. friday was probably the most momentous day in trade history ever. that day we submitted the usmca, mexico canada agreement with bipartisan support, the support of business, labor, agriculture. we introduced that into the house and senate, 1.4 billion worth of trade. and then in addition, we did this, which is about $600 billion. that's about half of total trade were announced on the same day. it was extremely momentous and indicative of where we're going with what this president has accomplished. >> brennan: that is significant. i do want to get to the usmca, but because the china deal just happened and we know so little about it,'d like to get some more details from you. you said this is set. you expect a signing in early january. what gives president trump the confidence to say china will go out and buy $50 billion worth of agricultural goods, because
beijing hasn't said that number. >> first of all, i would say this. when we look at that agreement, we have to look at where we are. we have an american system and we have a chinese system. we're trying to figure out to have a way to have these two become integrated. that's what's in our interest. a phase one deal does the following: it keeps in place $380 billion worth of tariffs to defend and protect u.s. technology. that's one part of it. another part of it is very important structural changes. this is not about just agricultural and other purchases, althoughly get to that in a second. it has i.p. and technology. it has currency. it has financial services. the next thing is it's enforcable. there is an enforcement provision that lasts -- it takes 90 days and you get real enforcement. the unite states mexico canada can can then take an action if china doesn't keep its -- >> brennan: put the tariffs back on. >> you would take up a proportionate reaction, like we
do in every other trade agreement. so that's what we expect. and finally, we'll find out whether this works or not. we have an enforcement mechanism, but ultimately whether this whole agreement works is going to be determined by who is making the decisions in china, not in the unite states mexico canada. if the hardliners are making the decision, we'll get one outcome. if the hardliners are making the decision, we'll get one outcome. if the enforcers are making the decision, we'll get another outcome. no that $50 million number, is that in writing? >> absolutely. here's what's in writing. we have a list that will go manufacturing, agriculture, services, energy and the like. there will be a total for each one of those. overall it's a minimum of $200 billion. keep in mind, by the second year we will just about double exports of goods to china if this agreement is in place.
double exports. we had about 128 billion dollars in 2017. we're going to go up at least by 100 and probably a little over 100. in terms of agriculture numbers, what we have are specific breakdowns by products, and we have a commitment for 40 to 50 billion dollars in sales. you could think of it as 80 to 100 billion in new sales for agriculture over the course of the next two years. massive numbers. >> brennan: that is important in no small part because also this is a key political constituency for president trump going into the election, to take some pain off of american farmers who have been feeling it pretty strongly. the usda projects the soybean market won't recover until 2026 because of the damage that has been done to it. is that -- how much of that political calculus factored into the agreement to do this in phases? because you didn't want to do it in phases.
the chinese did. >> it was always going to be in phases. the question is how big was the first phase. anyone who thinks you're going the take their system and our system they have worked in a very unbalanced way for the united states and in one stroke of the pen change all of that is foolish. the president is not foolish. he's very smart. the question is how big was the first phase going to be? this is going to take years. we're not going to resolve these differences very quickly. on the agriculture point, that's good point. let me say this, if you look at american agriculture and between usmca, which is canada and mexico, china, japan, korea, we have rewritten the rules in favor of american agriculture on more than half, 56% of all of our exports in agriculture. this over the course of the last year what this president has accomplished in this area is remarkable. any one of these deals would have been monstrous, and the fact that we have all of them
together is great for agriculture. >> brennan: i want to button up on china, because the promise is to do the things american businesses have been complaining about for years, not just intellectual property theft, but subsidizing corporations in china in an unfair way to americans, cyber theft. none of that is here. that's phase two. when do you start negotiating that? >> let's talk about what's here rather than what's not here. >> brennan: but that's hunting. this is what the trade war started on. >> tech transfer is huge. that's what's in the 301 report. look, we had a plan. the president came up with plan. we've been following it for two and a half years. we are right where we hoped to be. tech transfer, real commitments, i.p., real specific commitments. this agreement is 86 pages long of detail. agricultural barriers removed in many cases. financial services opening. currency. this is a real structural change. is it going to solve all the problems? no. did we expect it to?
no. >> brennan: the president said those talks will start immediately. do you have a date? >> we don't have a date. we have to get the final translation worked out, the formalities. we're going to sign this agreement, but i'll tell you this: the second phase will be determined also by how we implement phase one. phase one is going to be implemented right down to every detail. it really is a remarkable agreement. but it's not going to solve all the problems. >> brennan: well, we need to take a short break. we'll be back with u.s. trade representative lighthizer in a moment. (robin) hahahaha! (statler) that's impossible. i always plan ahead! let's try one more time. (kermit) ha! robin, what do you think of the story so far? (robin) gee, i've always liked arachnids. solid opening. boy, can't wait to see how it ends. (waldorf) what a coincidence! i can't wait for it to end too! (waldorf & statler) oh hahahaha! (statler vo) portal from facebook.
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