tv Inside Politics CNN November 4, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PST
. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. a big legal setback for donald trump. a court rules he does not have blanket immunity and must hand over his tax returns to prosecutors. the white house puts up an impeachment roadblock. four summoned by white house investigators today refused to show up and give depositions. democrats call it a cover-up. a very competitive 2020
democratic race. joe biden and bernie sanders are in the race up until voting day. but some suggest someone younger. >> i'm certainly young. i'm the youngest candidate in the field. every candidate brings a mix of experience and vision to the table. while it's certainly true that wisdom can come with age, it's not true that they're the same. just look at the current white house. we have the oldest president wii ever had, and by no means the wisest. >> a lot is breaking this monday. we're going straight to capitol hill where the house intelligence committee has just released the first transcripts from the impeachment inquiry. these transcripts are ambassador of ukraine marie yavonovitch. phil, we've been waiting for the first release of the transcripts and now we have it. >> reporter: the first two transcripts have been released. in total 450 pages from their
hours-long depositions behind closed doors, and what we're hearing right now based on these transcripts, and full disclosure, brutal honesty, john, i have not read the full 450 pages in the last few minutes, but the summary of what these two transcripts represent is mostly about the effort to oust marie yavonovitch in her role as ambassador of ukraine. remember, there were discussions about an irregular channel, individuals who were working to target yavonovitch because they thought she was anti-trump, that she was tied to democrats. this is testimony going through the details of that. the three chairs running this investigation on the democratic side said, quote, the transcripts of yavonovitch and bromley talk about the smears of yavonovitch's character and support of her policy and corruption goals.
this is just two of the transcripts. we're expecting several to roll out over the course of the next several days, and this represents moving to the public sphere of this investigation that for the past month has been all closed door depositions. through each of the release of these testimonies, what's going to be interesting to look at is the different facets. this one very clearly, according to democrats, focusing on the ouster of marie yavonovitch. there will be details as well of william taylor. his explosive testimony, weav'v gotten pieces of that. and alex vindman who had explosive testimony as well. we've seen the opening statement, don't have the details of the back and forth. what's interesting as well is republicans have been pushing for these testimonies to become public. they want to make clear that there was some cross-examination over the course of these 10, 11-hour testimonies and whether or not they were able to poke holes in these witnesses, who at least up to this point, have provided damaging testimony regarding president trump and his role not just in holding the
nearly $400 million in u.s. aid to ukraine but also in the ouster of this diplomat. we'll see how all of this plays out as we read through the testimony, but most importantly, this marking the official shift of the closed door part of things to the public release of these testimonies, these depositions, and also soon, public hearings as well, john. >> phil mattingly with breaking news on the hill. phil, if you read them and anything jumps out, come back to us. here with us, julie pace with the associated press, the "washington post," heather cato with "poliltico" and with washington times. we're expecting public hearings within two weeks, maybe three. how does this happen with the democrats deciding putting marie yavonovitch's out first, because they believe she received abuse of power.
giuliani went to the president and said, we need to get rid of her. we need to see the transcript, we need to see the back and forth, some of this could be opinion and not fact. she was led by giuliani with the blessing of the president. >> she is not someone widely viewed as a political actor. she is a long-time respected subject matter expert on this part of the world, on american foreign policy, and so it will be very interesting. i also have not read the transcripts in the last ten minutes. and, you know, with a lot of these witnesses, what was released by the committee was the opening statement, and then we heard dribs and drabs based on what our sources were willing to tell us inside the room, but we haven't seen the q and a. that's what we will now be getting from yavonovitch and the other testimonies they start releasing. presumably there will be some redactions if necessary for national security purposes. that's why these depositions were taken in a secure hearing
room, because of the potential for there to be some kind of state secrets involved in the testimony. but we'll get to see the full q and a, we'll get to see, as phil was saying, the degree to which the republicans were able to get their concerns satisfied, whatever concerns they had about potential conflicts of interest on the parts of these witnesses, about potential political bias, so it will be really interesting to see what went on in there. >> i think you make a key point there about the republican side because the republicans frankly have been misleading the american people about their involvement in these depositions. but the idea they're not having a chance, the depositions will prove that not to be the case. they have their own staff lawyers in the room, the republican members of these three committees are allowed to be in the room and ask questions. number one, do the republicans get any substantive, do they put a dent, if you will, about the idea there was something wrong about this as opposed to just something the president wanted? >> they are asking questions so
they have been participatory in this process. i think one person who will be looking very closely will be president trump who has a very clear point that he's making to republicans about how he wants to see them defend him both publicly and privately. it will be fascinating to see what he takes away from seeing these republican questions. were the republicans in this room appearing as though they were defending the president, were they giving any grounds or conceding what a lot of us have heard prooifrtivately from republicans, conceding there was underlying abuse of power, underlying bad behavior, it just may not be impeachable. >> the democrats are deciding, they're in the majority. they're deciding how to do this. mr. taylor, many people thought, gave incredible damning testimony. mr. vindman, many thought the first insider to give testimony, they thought this was a choice. we'll hear from chairman schiff in a few minutes here. the ambassador was pulled from her job. foreign service, viewed as
credible, viewed as apolitical, viewed as someone who just wants to do her job. raised her hand and said there's something wrong here and got yanked. the challenge for the democrats as they go public is to make this case, first with these documents, and we assume if her transcript is out, she will be one of the witnesses when we have public hearings. >> this is a strategy about which transcripts to release and when. but the question for them is which witnesses did they call, who can bring these transcripts to life. and like you said, i presume it will be one of the ones released today as one of the witnesses, but they're still trying to figure out what hearings they want to have and who will testify to make that case as great as possible. >> now we go into the substantive part of this debate. the president over the weekend talking about fake transcripts. the democrats will release their transcripts. fiona hill, another respected
foreign republican operative up there to sign off on her transcript. republicans are in the room. even key members like jim jordan say there's one transcript, one actual real transcript. we'll see the president talking about redactions, we'll see the president talking about don't believe this, but this will turn a page as we go into the first documents and then live testimony. >> the democrats have a very clear narrative they're putting together. it's not clear that the republicans have a counter-narrative, they've been all over the place. the first transcript of the democrats' narrative is starting to come out. the president got rid of the principal ambassador of ukraine because he wanted to put someone in there who was a loyalist, whofrs goiwho was going to do his bidding, and the first transcripts we'll see is the president was making a proposal for a quid pro quo, and he had to get the ambassador out of the way because she was someone who was principled and wouldn't go along with the
theories of the president of ukraine. so there is some counter-narrative not just based on process. so far they've been focused on processing. everything is being done behind closed doors. we can't talk about this private testimony because of the rules adam schiff pulled up. now that they're able to talk about these transcripts, will they have a counter-narrative that makes sense, or will they focus on the process which is a safer bet but does not take them to the next stage of the process. >> and does this pave the way to say, we need rudy giuliani in the chair. we need john bolton in the chair. because the president's personal lawyer will see what the full testimony was. what we know of the foreign ambassador's testimony was she was complaining that what rudy giuliani was doing was a direct counter to what the united states was trying to do, which was trying to get ukraine on a path of more open democracy, less bribery, less pay me here, i want influence there.
she said giuliani was doing that, literally working with people who were corrupt in ukraine while she was trying to convince the new ukranian president, get your act together, we will help you. rudy giuliani was working with bad actors over here. she complained about it, she lost her job. >> we knew so much more than we knew a few weeks ago, and yet there is so much more to know out there. schiff has been running this process which is essentially a grand jury process where every witness builds on the last one and we are now building toward people like john bolton who we know is raising red flags outside the west wing. potentially people like rudy giuliani who was really crucial to all of this. whether we ever hear from these people, i think, is an open legal question and we're seeing today and later this week some of these officials say, no, they're not coming forward and participate. but it is incredible the narrative that has built in the last few weeks about how much more we could know if we heard from really key players like that. >> again, four white house officials at the national security council refusing to come up, the acting chief of
staff mick mulvaney. the national security counsel's lawyer was the one who said the ukraine call is lethal, if you will, so let's lock it up, limit the access to it. mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, a couple deputies who were involved in the decision to withhold the aid, a hundred million dollars of military assistance to ukraine being held up. but if you go to the next phase, if there is compelling testimony first from the documents and then of witnesses, it makes it harder to say no, doesn't it, we won't let you see the documents of these witnesses? >> the people who have come guard so far have put forward damaging information, negative information, that has not been countered by anyone in the administration that's testifying. so the strategy the white house is pursuing is sort of questionable because they could put people out there like mick mulvaney who may try to put some
sort of spin on it even though he would be under oath. he could try putting it in the right context according to the white house that might make the president look better, but they decided to block all these loyalists from testifying and people who are maybe less loyal or less mired in the president's own political apparatus, those people are willing to testify and they are saying things that are damaging for the white house. >> if you watch mick mulvaney's televised briefing at the white house, i can understand why the president of the united states would not want him to go talk to congress. we're going to take a quick break. a lot of breaking news we're tracking. we're waiting for adam schiff, the chairman of the intelligence committee, to talk about these transcripts. and also a big legal setback from the president in the last hour when the court said he must give prosecutors eight years of his taxes. after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis.
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or visit tdameritrade.com/learn. get started today, and for a limited time, get up to $800 when you open and fund an account. that's 866-285-1912, or tdameritrade.com/learn. ♪ we wilcome back. we're tracking multiple stories this hour. deposition transcripts released to the public in the last hour. we have reporters reading through those transcripts. another big story, a legal setback for the president. a court just ruled the president has to turn over eight years of tax returns to prosecutors in manhattan. karen skinell has the details of this ruling. >> reporter: the court was hearing an appeal of a decision of a lower district court where donald trump had sued to try to block his accounting firm from turning over eight years of tax
returns to a manhattan district attorney's office as part of their grand jury investigation into whether donald trump and his company had violated any state laws relating to those hush money payments to michael cohen. the issue before the appeals court is they're saying the president cannot block a subpoena to his accounting firm for records. i'll read a line from it. it says that presidential immunity does not bar a state grand jury from issuing a subpoena for potential crimes of a person within its jurisdiction, even if that may somehow implicate the president. the president's attorney says they'll already appeal this decision to the supreme court. whether these tax returns get turned over and on what timetable is not going to be something that happens immediately. there was already an agreement between donald trump's lawyers and the manhattan district attorney's office that if they were to lose or win this decision, and it were to go to appeal in the supreme court,
that vance would not seek to support the subpoena until the supreme court denied to hear the case or issued an opinion on the case. so the idea that donald trump's tax returns will be turned over is not something that will happen imminently, and it is likely to go before the supreme court, and whether they will decide and weigh in here on just exactly how far presidential immunity can reach, you know, whether it's from a state or federal investigation, they have not weighed in on a president's immunity nto any kind of criminl investigation, john. >> i appreciate that news report. there is civility between the two parties even as they fight out a hot legal issue and the manhattan court will not enforce this. it goes up to the supreme court, though. you can read some of the president's tweets last spring or winter when this case was playing out. of the many challenges facing the president, this one seems to
get under his skin more than others and provoke him to strong language saying, i won the election. i refused to give my taxes then. go away. >> he does not want his taxes to be public and we've known that for several years. i think it's worth noting as we have this discussion, tax returns of presidents and presidential candidates are often made public. it has been the standard in modern political history of every opponent that trump is potentially going to face in the democratic primary. they've all put forth multiple years of tax returns and it always gets back to this question of why? what is the information that is in those tax returns that the president doesn't want the public to see? this audit excuse that he has come up with really doesn't hold water. there is something in there that he doesn't want the public to know. we don't know what that is, but something he doesn't want made public, possibly particularly in his election year. >> and they've gone on to say that the president is immune from having to hand over any information, and even if he is
accused of a crime that he cannot be prosecuted, cannot be investigated by any local prosecutors while he's in office during this case that was recently ruled on. the president's legal team basically said if the president shot someone on fifth avenue, local police and prosecutors couldn't investigate him for that. so they've tried to push this very strong version of presidential immunity and push it all the way to the supreme court. we'll see if this new supreme court with a couple of president trump's appointees will buy that argument. it's a very expansive opinion that no one has taken up. >> the president takes things personally. we talked about what he's demanding from congressional republicans in the impeachment inquiry. we'll get back to that. two of his appointees on the supreme court, jake sekulow saying it will go to the supreme court. this issue goes to the heart of our republic -- not sure about that part -- but the constitution is significant. yes, they are. how powerful is the president? can the president say not just
to congress, but in this case to a local prosecutor, no, at least not while i'm president. >> there really are big questions raised by all of this litigation, and there's a lot of litigation currently working its way through the system that bears on, you know, congressional powers outlined in the constitution, that bears on issues of executive privilege, and this is also in that area, and it does come down to sort of very basic rule of law stuff, right? is the president above the law? do certain laws apply to the president? can, you know, different levels of government pursue information that has a nexus with the white house, and the blanket answer of the president and the people he has assembled around him is skbrjust no. not any kind of nuance or level of detail, just no. it's also a key test, then, of the supreme court. >> take you straight to capitol
hill with chairman of the intelligence committee, adam schiff. >> as well as the management office and budget. both of them defied congressional subpoenas and refused to appear for their scheduled depositions, as has been the case with other witnesses who have done the same thing. this will be further evidence of an effort by the administration to obstruct the lawful duties of congress. i would also say the witnesses who were expected to come this afternoon are expected to be no-shows. this will go against on obstruction charge against the president. there was an article of impeachment based on the obstruction of congress that itemized each of the subpoenas that the white house had defied. well, today we have four additional subpoenas to add to the list of a potential charge involving the president of the united states and his
obstruction of our constitutional duties. these witnesses are significant and the white house understands they're significant. based on the testimony the committees have already received, we know that these witnesses, those that were in the law office of the national security council, those who worked for mulvaney either in the chief of staff's office or the office of management budget are firsthand witnesses to allegations of serious misconduct, both vis-a-vis the suspension of military aid and the effort to use that aid as a lever to get ukraine to do these political investigations to help the president's reelection campaign, but also in efforts to potentially hide the evidence of the president's misconduct by placing that call record in a classified system that would be beyond most individuals' access and a system in which that call record did not belong. so very pertinent testimony,
very relevant to the other witnesses who have come guarfor, and we may infer by the white house instruction here that their testimony would be further incriminating of the president. i will say this, it's quite obvious and we fully expected this. we have seen a series of shifting, effort-changing rationales for this campaign of obstruction. first there was the argument, we don't have to comply until there is a formal vote on the house floor. well, we had a formal vote on the house floor. then it was, we don't have to make these witnesses available because they're senior officials and they're given absolute immunity even though no court has upheld the claims of absolute immunity. in fact, the only one to have a decision on is involved harriet meyers and there was no absolute immunity. and then there was democrats don't admit any claims of
immunity. and when there was no interaction with the president and there couldn't even be a coloring book of absolute immunity, it shifted to, we're not going to let them come guard because you won't let agency lawyers present. again, that would violate the house deposition rules. it would also violate the practice used by both democrats and republicans for depositions in the past when there are concerns that agency lawyers are representing agencies that may hve engaged in wrongdoing or may use facts gained in the investigation to prejudice other witnesses in the investigation. this was the practice for the current members of our investigative committees, people like jim jordan during benghazi and people like mike pompeo and people like mick mulvaney all participated in depositions of senior agency officials without the presence of agency counsel. so if they join the president's objection here, they do so in a
fashion that is directly contradictory to their practices when they're in the majority. today we also are beginning the process of releasing transcripts of our depositions. this morning we released the depositions of ambassador mckinley and ambassador yavonovitch. i will leave you all to review those transcripts. there are a few things that will become immediately clear when you do, and the first is that contrary to the claims of the president and his accolades on the hill, these are proceedings to which republicans have not been able to be present and ask questions. in fact, republicans were present for all these depositions and they had the equal opportunity as democrats to ask questions, and you will see they took full advantage of those opportunities to ask questions. you will see in ambassador yavonovitch's testimony what a dedicated public servant she is. this is someone who served the
country with distinction for decades. it is someone who also is one of the first witnesses to this irregular back channel that the president established with rudy giuliani and the damage that it was doing to america's national security and foreign policy interests. how it was working in opposition, not in support, of u.s. policy objectives. ambassador yavonovitch had a well-earned reputation as a fighter of corruption, and she was working with ukraine to get ukraine to fight corruption. and so what does this irregular back channel sanctioned by the president do? it seeks to remove someone fighting for corruption in ukraine. by employing a vicious smear campaign in which the state department at the highest levels acknowledged had no merit whatsoever. that smear campaign orchestrated by this irregular channel was
successful in removing a u.s. ambassador and tarring her reputation. of course, you see the president's comments about the ambassador in the call record. we also released the testimony today of ambassador mckinley, another career diplomat and public servant, someone who was asked by the secretary of state to come back and assist the state department at a very difficult time for the department. and what is so striking about his testimony is the degree to which he sought to get the state department to issue a support for its own ambassador and how those repeated efforts were rebuffed. but you also see, in reading his transcript, his growing alarm at the degree to which the apparatus of the state department itself was being used to seek political information for a political purpose by the president of the united states and others, and you see that
these are two of the principal reasons that caused this career public servant to decide that he must resign his office, as he did. we will be releasing further transcripts. tomorrow we are scheduled to release the transcripts of ambassador volker and ambassador sondland. and we will continue to release the transcripts in an orderly way. we continue to allow witnesses the opportunity to review their transcripts. we continue to make redactions for private information or personally identifiable information, but we will continue to release the transcripts and we will soon, although i can't give you the timetable to avoid open hearings as well, and i'm happy to respond to a couple questions. >> reporter: one of the witnesses who was supposed to come, charles kupperman, filed a lawsuit to essentially force a ruling on whether he shold testify. that's going to be delayed until
december. it's possible john bolton may also follow a similar course. will you delay the proceedings to ensure you get their testimony, or are you ready to move forward without hearing from these key witnesses? >> we're not going to delay our work. that would merely allow these witnesses and the white house to succeed with their goal which is to delay, deny, obstruct. the lawsuit that dr. kupperman filed, i think, is on its face without merit. someone who gets a subpoena doesn't simply get to sue in court to avoid the subpoena. i think it will be the case that that lawsuit will be dismissed for lack of standing or stability. but the whole point is to delay. and i would say to those who would use litigation like the white house or others for purposes of delay to avoid their duty, which is to follow the law and follow congressional subpoena, they should follow the
example of the courageous people that have come forward. people who worked for dr. kupperman, people who worked for john bolton, people who have in their careers much more at risk have shown the courage to come forward. they have not hidden behind litigation. they have not hidden behind the white house as the witnesses today have. they've shown enormous courage and patriotism, and i would urge others to follow their example, not follow the corrupt example out of the white house, which is seeking to obstruct this investigation. >> reporter: is it your understanding that some of these individuals say they would be willing to come if they would be allowed to bring agency lawyers. why not let them do that? >> it has been the consistent house rule that we do not permit agency counsel, particularly when we have concerns about those agencies. the state department, for example, and this you'll also see in the transcripts -- i'm trying to think if it's in the transcripts -- yes, it's in the
mckinley transcript -- state department representatives made the claim to their employees that they were being bullied by the congress. and, in fact, state department employees were concerned about being bullied by their own state department. and that bullying was being misrepresented to congress. these are the same agency personnel that these witnesses wanted to bring in to sit in on these depositions. but this isn't just a decision that the chairs are making in this investigation, it's the decision that trey gowdy made as chair, it's the decision that jim jordan made in his participation in the benghazi investigations, it's the decision mick mulvaney made when he was conducting investigations. this has been the uniform policy and practice of the house. >> reporter: and then when it comes to yavonovitch and mckinley, do you anticipate bringing these individuals back for public hearings? >> at this point i'm not going to comment on who our witnesses will be in the open hearings, but we will endeavor to make the
decision about who the most important witnesses are, and try to provide testimony in an orderly way in which the american people can understand the nature of the allegations and the facts involving what is at the heart of this investigation, and that is the president's abuse of his office to coerce an ally that is fighting off russians in our national security interests, they are fighting off the russians in their interests as well to withhold vital military support from that nation, to withhold a vital meeting from the president of that nation as leverage to get that nation to engage in the corrupt act of these investigations the president believed would help his reelection campaign. we're also obviously looking at allegations that there may have been effort to cover up these activities. and so the witnesses that bear most directly on those issues
are the witnesses we'll want to bring in. >> reporter: john eisenberg was talking about the transcript of the phone call with the president of ukraine. is it your contention that john eisenberg moved that transcript over to the secret server on his own or did it do it with the advice of john bolton and the security adviser? >> i think you'll see as we release more transcripts that there may have been others involved in those discussions. but one of the reasons we wanted mr. eisenberg to come in is to find out what his role was, what the role of others was, and why a transcript that plainly did not belong in a classified system that is meant for some of the most secret of intelligence activities, that is, covert
action activities, why would a call record that the president would have the country believe was perfect, why would it be hidden in this classified system? clearly the white house does not want him to testify. they do not want the american people to know why mr. eisenberg or others made that decision. i think we can infer that the reason they don't want the public to hear from mr. eisenberg is that it would tend to corroborate allegations against the president. but that's the very reason we want to bring him in, and, of course, we are concerned that he, as a top lawyer in the administration, would engage in the lawless act of refusing to abide by a lawful process. >> oyou've been listening to th chairman of the intelligence committee, adam schiff, on capitol hill. he was criticizing four officials who are refusing to show up today, to give depositions to the impeachment inquiry.
adam schiff says the four of them will be in defiance of subpoenas. he views it as obstructing congress. he said they were all, quote, firsthand witnesses to the serious misconduct. he also said the decision to release two transcripts, marie yavonovitch and mckinley, saying that they were the first of the two committee transcripts that would be released, two more coming tomorrow. importantly, the president's special envoy to ukraine, mr. kurt volker and ambassador sondland, who is at the center of all this. he's the ambassador to the european union who the democrats believe became part of ukraine because he would do the white how else's bidding at a time the other ambassadors would not do that. cnn's manu raju is live on capitol hill as part of the questioning of chairman schiff. manu, what is your reaction to all this as we list ton ten to
chairman and the release of the transcripts? >> we'll truly entering another phase of this investigation, hearing about the efforts of the president and his attorney to shift things that could help the president. john, i did try to ask the chairman about the time frame for all of this. he wouldn't talk about when they plan to move to the public phase of this investigation, but there are questions about key witnesses who are scheduled to come and testify who have already defied the subpoenas. one, charles kupperman, who is a former top deputy for john bolton in the national security council. he has already filed a lawsuit saying that he should -- asking for a ruling about whether or not he should appear and testify behind closed doors. that is not going to be decided until the end of the year, so trying to get a sense from the chairman himself about whether or not that's going to impact the timing of the investigation, especially since john bolton, the national security council, former national security
adviser, someone who had clear concerns according to the numerous accounts of exactly what was happening, whether they need his testimony in orderto move forward. schiff indicating that they're not going to fight this out if witnesses choose to go to court, they're not going to force a delay in their proceedings. he had been circling that for some time, but if they choose to go to court, they'll just use that evidence in their view as more against congress. we'll probably learn more about the details of these transcripts and these witnesses who have come behind closed doors, also answering in addition to two transcripts today. two more will come out tomorrow, ambassador of the european union, gordon sondland, and his will be interesting because contradicted what sondland has
said. a lot of action today where several witnesses have defied their subpoenas, more likely to defy their subpoenas in the coming days as the democrats get ready for the public phase of this investigation in the coming days and weeks, john. >> manu raju on the hill, appreciate your hustle amid all the breaking news. cnn's evan perez joins us now with the highlights. what's the most important thing we're leerarning about yavonovitch's testimony? >> reporter: we're seeing her reaction to her being mentioned, essentially, on the president's phone call with the ukranian ambassador. here's what she said in response to some of the questions on this. she says that she was shocked and that she was apprehensive when she learned that the president had prooifivately bro her up and told the president of ukraine, which was zelensky, that she was about to go through some things. she said in part, i was shocked and i was apperehensive about what exactly that meant. we know the president was
listening to some of the criticism of ambassador yavonovitch, was certainly hearing from rudy giuliani, his personal attorney, as well as from others that she was not popular over in kiev and that was one of the reasons that was driving this effort to try to get rid of her and, of course, that was a successful effort in the end. you can see that she is describing a little bit of her reaction when she first learned some of this, which is a release of that july transcript between the president and the president of ukraine. we also are seeing from her transcript that, you know, she's pushing back on some of the questions from republicans. republicans are trying to get at whether or not she was a supporter of a particular candidate in the ukranian election, and she said she didn't really have a dog in that fight, but she knew that there were certain people who felt that the former president poroshenko was someone who the united states knew and was already dealing with. obviously president zelensky is the person who won the election and that has changed everything
as far as the relationship with ukraine. we're still going through these transcripts, john, to see what more she says, but that's some of the initial thoughts she gives from this interview with the impeachment inquiry. >> from that you can understand why the democrats believe she likely will be one of their public witnesses, trying to make a case of corruption and abuse of power. evan perez, i appreciate reporting on the breaking news. come back to us if you find more in the transcript. we'll take a break as they continue to go through these transcripts in the impeachment inquiry.
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this hour the house releasing the first of two transcripts to the public. let's go back to cnn's manu raju looi live on capitol hill. mckinley making his testimony. showing how it was on capitol hill when it came to ukraine. >> reporter: yes, and he makes serious allegations of the state political department, something he had never seen in his career, talking about the role of rudy giuliani pursuing those
investigations of the president talking to the president of ukraine. also allegations by mike pompeo not to stand up for these career officials, including the ousting of marie yavonovitch. he said in his testimony he went to mike pompeo and urged the secretary of state to put out a show of support for yavonovitch who had been targeted by rudy giuliani and his allies. pompeo did not do that. that's one reason for his resignation. the other reason for his resignation from the state department, john, is that he saiddepartment's officials were essentially being used for domestic political reasons. he said it became clear that the state department officials, if not the state department itself, were being drawn into the domestic political arena in some way, and he raised concerns about how ambassadors, u.s. ambassadors, were also drawn into the political arena, something he said should absolutely not have been done. it appears to be at the utilization of ambassadors
overseas to advance domestic political objectives. so this part of the testimony trying to make clear, as you said, how irregular this effort was by rudy giuliani, imperils foreign policy, something that led to the ouster of marie yavonovitch, and the failure of the president's top aides like mike pompeo not to do anything about this effort that led to his resignation because of this effort by the state department officials at the direction, at the highest rungs of the government to try to help the president with his view. >> again, the president says his call with ukraine was perfect. he wants everyone to just focus on that call, which was not perfect if you just looked at that call. but when you get the before and after, and you look at the ambassador of ukraine who said, this is not the way we do
business, and he had to ask the secretary of state to stand by the ambassador, and he wouldn't do anything. rudy giuliani. i don't think his name ever passed my lips, said mckinley. did you have any discussions with anyone at the state department about rudy giuliani? i don't think that name ever crossed my lips. who is the secretary of state? what is happening on mike pompeo's watch if this is the case, he's either not telling his employees this is the way the president wants it, do it, or standing up for his employees who believe they're being rolled? >> that's right, and you can imagine this going through the minds of a lot of people at the state department from the highest ranking such as mckinley all the way down to the rank and file foreign service officers, reading about what rudy giuliani is allegedly doing and saying, wait a minute, aren't we the ones in charge of american foreign policy, what's this guy doing? and as you said, not getting any direction from on high, not
getting any defense from their leadership to say it's okay, we'll protect you if you're doing your jobs. they're not hearing any of this and they're in this sort of weird bubble where they pretend that it's not happening at all. and that's a very difficult position to be in if you are, you know, a career professional who just wants to do the job of advancing the president's foreign policy. >> or what you think is the president's foreign policy. and what most people believe would be secretary pompeo's foreign policy which is to help russia, get it military aid, get the president of the united states to send a signal to the russians, we take this seriously, stop your aggression. instead, according to the testimony, none of that happens because the president says, not until i get my investigation. >> you get a sense of foreign service officers paralyzed by the fact that the job they're supposed to be doing is being done over here and the lack of
clarity. foreign service officers, people who serve in government as career officials, are used to the idea of a new administration coming in and there being a change in direction. that actually is not something that would throw them off. but the idea that the job that they're doing is actually being done by somebody else outside of government is very unique. there is also another really fascinating little tidbit from yavonovitch's testimony where she's talking about a discussion she's having with gordon sondland -- we'll see his testimony tomorrow -- where he says to her, you need to go big or you need to go home. you need to tweet something positive about the president. that's the direction -- the united states ambassador of ukraine is being told to tweet positive things about president trump. >> foreign policy by tweet. it will be interesting to see the context of that. we'll go to a quick break and then more on yavonovitch's testimony. two stratranscripts released to by the impeachment inquiry committee. we'll be right back. the game doesn't end after that insane buzzer beater.
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sometimes what she called a rogue operation. >> reporter: right, and she learns about giuliani's efforts to undercut what is the official policy. she learns of this from ukranian officials. she said back in 2018 is when she began to learn from ukranian officials that rudy giuliani was going behind her back, and she describes it as a sense of shock. i'll quote part of it where she says they never had any conversations certainly about the hunter biden or the bidens per se inside the embassy, but she says that essentially she was naive. she thought there were people in washington who would certainly at least come to her and ask her questions about whether or not some of what giuliani was saying was true. nobody did that, john. >> nobody did that. so that adds another piece to the building block here, yavonovitch saying one thing and pointing out the irregularities. appreciate your hustle throughout the hour, appreciate the patience of everybody at the
table, too. see you back here this time tomorrow. more depositions. don't go anywhere as we continue to read through them. brianna keilar picks up on our coverage right now. have a good afternoon. i'm brianna keilar live from cnn's washington headquarters. underway right now democrats in the house are officially moving to the next phase of the impeachment inquiry. they're making testimony public on the same day that four witnesses are refusing to testify. democrats are releasing transcripts of four witnesses. marie yavonovitch, ambassador to ukraine, and