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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  November 8, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST

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president who put him in charge. and she says, quote, well, that shut me up. she really didn't have any choice at that point because it was clear that sondland and mick mulvaney, the chief of staff, were running the ukraine policy at that point. john? >> remarkable testimony. our special coverage will continue as we go through these transcripts. have a great afternoon. hello on this friday afternoon. i'm i'm ana cabrera. there is news on several fronts. we are now getting a first look at the testimony of the top russia adviser of the national security council, fiona hill, and national staffer lieutenant colonel alex vindman, both
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testifying about everything from the president's infamous phone call with ukraine to the shadow of the president, rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney. let's go to manu raju on capitol hill. i know you've been looking over vindman's transcript right now. what are you learning so far? >> reporter: it's a significant transcript because this is a person who was on that july phone call, someone who serves on the national council and is involved with the ukranian policy but someone who has serious concerns about the direction this administration was going and what they asked him to do, to investigate his political rivals. we're getting a picture of what happened in that phone call. in here vindman reveals that the acting chief of staff, mick mulvaney, was involved in this ask, coordinated the ask of the ukranians to investigate the president's political rivals in exchange with a meeting the ukranians had sought at the white house. what vindman says here is he
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heard the ambassadors of the european union, gordon sondland, say directly this ask had been coordinated with mick mulvaney. this came before that july phone call happened over the summer. also he heard gordon sondland tell the ukranians with, quote, no ambi gui ty, that there needed to be these investigations before that meeting was carried out. also vindman makes very clear that while efls involved with the preparation of that phone call in july. he actually drafted some briefing materials for the president in that july phone call. he did not include what the president ultimately asked the ukranian president to do, which was to launch the investigations into the bidens, also to the company burisma, which is the company that former vice president biden's son had been on the board of. he was so concerned about what the president asked, he went to the lawyers because he was so concerned about this, fearing it
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would undermine national security and also undermine ukraine. it also slowed down that military aid to ukraine. it had been approved by congress and there were serious concerns about the impact this would have in ukraine at the same time as the president was pushing for these investigations. so you're getting a real sense of a person who has served for some time and knew the u.s. government, someone who has served overseas, got a purple heart serving in iraq and now saying what the president was doing, what rudy giuliani was doing undercut national security, undercut what the united states government was supposed to do, which was back up a key alliance which could
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really help the president's reelection chances. >> more revelation every day, and manu, we know you'll continue to go through that transcript. after all, vindman testified for about ten hours on capitol hill. we'll let you get back to what you've shared so far. with us now, mulligan, davis for the "new york times" and jim sh sherman, our national correspondent. jim, he was actually the first person who listened to the call to testify, and what you heard on the call was not part of what he had prepared. how significant is this? >> in a few ways, one, his credibility. here is a uniformed member of the military, wounded in iraq, who came out and swore under oath to this testimony. the fact that he has firsthand knowledge of this call, but also the way he describes it. when you look at his testimony, he said there was, quote, no
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ambiguity, that there was a demand ukraine investigate the bidens in exchange for the white house meeting. this gets at that essential charge here of there being a quid pro quo and vindman testifying, again under oath, that this was not a question, this was not a theory, but that it was made very clear this was connected. the other issue i draw attention to from both hill and vindman's testimony here is the tie directly to the white house. you have fiona hill testifying that gordon sondland, the president's appointee as eu ambassador told her he was in charge of ukraine policy and that the president had put him in charge of ukraine policy. he answered that way. that's in her sworn testimony. and then vindman in his testimony draws a direct line to the white house chief of staff mick mulvaney, saying mulvaney again was making this connection saying, if you want this meeting with the president, the deliverable, that term is this investigation of the bidens. this takes this plot, effort, quid pro quo, whatever you want to call it, with a direct line
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to the central people around the president. >> right, a direct line to the people around the president, but not to the president directly in that they're hearing it was the president telling sondland or telling mulvaney. they're hearing it from those people, not the president himself, right? >> true, but the president put sondland in charge of ukraine. he's making this happen. mulvaney makes the deliverable clear. you would have to then believe that mulvaney and sondland, both presidential appointees, were freelancing on something that, by the way, in the transcript of the call, the president talks about doing himself a favor. so there is credibility to know that this is happening without the president's knowledge or direction. >> julie, now we hear mick mulvaney being drawn into this in a way we had not heard before, right? he is directly involved in asking for the quid pro quo, we heard himself talking about a
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quid pro quo, admitting to it in that press conference a few weeks ago. he admitted to it in testimony today behind closed doors even though he was issued a subpoena. how significant is his role in all of this? >> i think it's very significant and we have heard other witnesses testifying about his involvement in freezing this almost $4 million in aid for ukraine. we understand they were so desperate to have it released that the president went out and did a tv ad saying he was willing to give him this aid. but gordon sondland told someone that it was mulvaney that made it clear to him that a white house meeting is also contingent on the ukranians being willing to sort of publicly say they're going to do these investigations. and the other thing he makes clear, that vindman makes clear, is that the power dynamic in this phone call between the
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president of the united states and the president of ukraine is pretty fast. and that he felt that president trump, having brought up this issue, was in essence, even if he never said a word that was a pressuring word or seemed aggressive, that the sort of nature of the interaction was one of pressure and one of a power dynamic that the ukranians sort of had to pony up and do what the president was saying. now we know that sort of behind the scenes it was mick mulvaney in many cases who communicated that to other officials carrying this out. >> ukraine is at war with russia. 13,000 ukranian civilians and military have died in this war. their certainly losing a lot of lives, dependent on u.s. military aid to mount a credible defense. so that inevitably is part of the power dynamic as well.
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>> remember, i think back to the phone call itself and the memorandum that the white house released, and you can even get a sense of that when you read the words yourself, because you see so much flattery put out there by the ukranian president in the beginning of the call and interacting with the president of the united states. katrina, as the national security council's top ukraine expert, what would vindman's role have looked like while on that july 25th phone call? >> so he would have been listening in on the call, and he almost certainly would have been taking copious notes as somebody who has been on presidential calls myself, it's important that you capture key elements of what's going on in the call. the call notes are then circulated to the folks who are on the call. it's a very limited distribution of people, and they're edited for accuracy and for information that may not have been pertinent to the person who initially was
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taking the notes, typically someone in the white house situation room staff. but is significant to the substantive experts, in this case vindman. it is disturbing to hear, as we do in vindman's testimony, that there were edits that he put forth for the memorandum, a conversation that were not accepted in the final. everybody stand by because we also have new excerpts coming in, including from that witness who said white house officials saw this ukraine operation as a drug deal? plus cnn has new reporting of the man at the center of this scandal, rudy giuliani, and what he and the president have been doing in recent days. this is cnn. i'm ana cabrera. thanks for being with us. ok everyone!
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the most common side effects are headache, diarrhea, nausea, trouble sleeping, and tiredness. so much goes into who i am and hope to be. ask your doctor if starting hiv treatment with dovato is right for you. back to our breaking news. the release of new transcripts, the house impeachment inquiry. weaver been going over fiona hill's transcript. she is trump's adviser who sounded the alarm on the actions with ukraineme. kylie, what have you learned? >> we're getting new details of how the white house was handling the role of rudy giuliani, the
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president's personal lawyer. at one point fiona hill describes to lawmakers that she told kurt volker, who is a special envoy to ukraine, that he should not be dealing with rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, when it came to ukraine. and that was in early july, and he said back to her essentially that he was trying to fix things and that they had to deal with giuliani in order to fix the negative perceptions that were out there. but she came back at him and said, quote, but i expressed to him that there were business dealings, nefarious business dealings underway. now, she does not describe specifically what those necessary anywhe nefarious business dealings are, but the bottom line is kurt volker and other folks who were working on ukraine and the trump administration was taking it on himself to deal with the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani. then you had fiona hill, the top adviser on russia, then-national
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security adviser john bolton who were urging him not to deal with giuliani. we know from fiona's transcript here that she told lawmakers that bolton at one point described rudy giuliani as a hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up. but at the same time, she walked into john bolton's office, and there on the tv when rudy giuliani came on, he would turn up the volume so he knew what rudy giuliani was saying. she would go home at the end of long days, and she, too, would have to turn on the tv to learn about what giuliani was saying so that she could then be prepared to carry out the trump administration's formal foreign policy when it came to ukraine. so we're learning more details about how complicated it all really was. but another interesting element here is the fact that chief of staff mick mulvaney was having meetings with the u.s. ambassador to the eu, gordon sondland, repeatedly.
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and fiona hill explains they were discussing ukraine. at one point gordon sondland told her he was put in charge of ukraine by the president. but the problem was that the meetings between sondland and mick mulvaney weren't trickling down to the rest of the staff, including fiona hill who was carrying out the formal policy. so there is really a problem here with how the messages were getting transferred, and the fact here is that we are seeing more and more the overstated role that giuliani was playing, even if there were officials in the administration, including john bolton and fiona hill who were pushing back. but the other thing to consider is that mick mulvaney did not go forth and provide any testimony. he has no plans to do so. so the problem is we're getting closer and closer to those who are having conversation with president trump, but we are really still waiting to hear some more details about those who were involved in those day-to-day discussions, including mulvaney himself.
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>> kylie, fascinating. thank you for sharing. now jim, julie and ka tretrina back with us with that picture. what we're learning when she describes the communication, who was talking to whom and how the people were learning about what the plan was when it came to ukraine. fiona hill the center of trying to execute on u.s. policy there in ukraine. jim, how do you react to what you hear? >> first on hill, anybody who covers russia, hill knows russia, two, is as tough as can be, and three, oftentimes when i or others press the administration being soft on russia, they would point to the direction of fiona hill as a sign of you have someone on the inside who is tough on russia. her whole role here, she has enormous credibility on this, and listen to what she said regarding that call. she said trump pushing zelensky for investigations regarding the
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bidens were, in her words, pretty blatant. put that next to what vindman said, there was no ambiguity about the connection being made there. so people who were firsthand witnesses to the call, they read that quid pro quo as pretty clearcut. that's certainly significant in this. >> remind us how hill, though, fits into trump's national security circle. was she considered an insider? >> she was. certainly based on her position. she's the lead russia policy official on the national security council. what we see playing out here, though, is there was a deliberate effort to sideline everyone who has a formal role in that policy from the nfc to the state department and create this side channel, including the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani but also gordon sondland who, by the way, is ambassador of eu. ukraine is not in the eu. so for him to be running ukraine policy is beyond the channels of
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sgovt it appears these were the choices of the president to have these people involved. they were doing the president's bidding here, the president's personal attorney, appointing of the eu ambassador who he himself described as being selected by the president, hand-picked to run the ukraine effort here. >> and julie, it seems like hill and bolton were particularly close, because a lot of what she shared are what she was told from bolton in their conversations, and he was raising multiple red flags to her about sondland, also warning volker to stay away from giuliani on ukraine, even as the president directed them to do so. what are your thoughts? >> so obviously we're not hearing from john bolton, at least not yet. he said he would not appear and then actually the house decided to withdraw the subpoena for him because they did not want to engage in a lengthy legal battle to get him up to testify. but fiona hill's transcript here does shed a lot of light on her conversations with john bolton and they were clearly both
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extremely alarmed by both the substance of this whole shadow foreign policy effort that seemed to be going on around them, and specifically about giuliani's role. she quotes john bolton as having said, rudy giuliani is a hand grenade that's going to blow up and sort of essentially suggesting that he was going to ruin everything for everyone. at one point he calls this push for investigation a drug deal that rudy giuliani is trying to push. and what's interesting here is that jochn bolton and fiona hil are clearly trying to push back against this effort, knowing how close giuliani is to president trump and how he has den sort of deputized by the president for some reason. we know that kurt volker, the special envoy to ukraine, basically says to george kent at one point, he testified, according to his transcript that came out yesterday, listen, you know, what's the harm if we ask for these investigations?
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if nothing comes of them, nothing comes of them, and sort of asking for this in the way that the president wants and the way giuliani has asked kind of allows us to go forward with a relationship in a productive way, what's the harm. and george kent, senior state department official, said, no, it's harmful to even suggest this, and in and of itself the effort is upending the foreign policy. so there was a back and forth inside the administration on how to handle giuliani kind of being in all these discussions. >> bolton is not testifying. mulvaney is not testifying. what's the answer, katrina? >> the answer is we have enough without them. one of the most extraordinary things you see when you look at both what we learned from hill's testimony and also what we learned from vindman 's testimoy
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is that you had two fairly neutral members of the trump national security apparatus who both independently came to the same conclusion that there was a serious problem with the way that this was being handled, who both elevated their concerns directly to the national security council legal adviser. having served on the nfc staff before, i can tell you it's extraordinary to hear that people were so concerned about the actions that were taking place at the president's direction that they actually took the step of taking that to the legal adviser's office. normally you're only engaging with the legal adviser's office when you want clearance on a document. >> eisenberg is another one not requesting from congress to hear from that person. i'm sure everyone at home wants to know, where do those concerns go? >> exactly. and what documentation was made
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once those concerns were brought to him? and to the extent there isn't documentation, why not? as a lawyer, this is the kind of stuff you write down. >> jim, what's your biggest unanswered question right now? >> listen, here's the thing. the democratic approach to white house stonewaulg appealling appe the following. they're not going to bother. they say we have enough testimony of state department officials that defied the white house under oath without those people close to the president, and then use that resistance to back up a further article of impeachment that appears on obstruction of justice. i spoke to jerry nadler, the he head of the house judiciary committee, and they have information that's damning on the quid pro quo, et cetera, and then you use the white house resistance to back up another
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article of impeachment. the question remains where that goes with the house and the senate. is that an argument that republican lawmakers that any of them buy? that remains to be seen. members of the state department describe rudy giuliani as, quote, running a campaign of lies. but even as this impeachment inquiry plows ahead, reporting is just how loyal giuliani remains when we come back. so they can stay connected, on our newest, most powerful signal ever. and now, we are also offering half off our top samsung phones for military, veterans and first responders. our service is just one way we say thank you... for theirs.
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now to new developments in the 2020 race for the white house. today president trump is downplaying news that former new york mayor michael bloomberg is expected to join the democratic national race. >> little michael will fail. he'll spend a lot of money. he's got some really big issues. got some personal problems. and he's got a lot of other problems. but i know michael bloomberg fairly well. not too well, fairly well. well enough. he will not do very well. and if he did, i'd be happy. there is nobody i'd rather run against than little michael. >> democratic presidential
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candidate senator michael bennet joins us now. do you think bloomberg's adm admittance into this race will hurt you or joe biden? >> we'll have to wait and see. it's so open and that's why bloomberg is giving it the consideration that he is. >> this is obviously a national race. who is his constituency? >> i think he did a great job as mayor of new york, but that's a good question. he's going to have to demonstrate that as he runs. i'm the only candidate in this race who has won two national elections in a swing state in this country, and i believe that's what it's going to take, not just to consolidate the democratic base, which we have to do, but to win back some of the 9 million people who voted twice for barack obama and once for donald trump. i believe we put together an agenda that is going to be
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attracted to those folks, and mayor bloomberg might be trying to do that as well. >> you've been out there on the trail. what will voters think of a 77-year-old billionaire candidate? >> what people are saying to me mostly is they're working really hard but they can't afford some combination of housing, health care, early childhood education or higher education, and in other words, they dacan't affora middle class life and they are looking for answers to that. just like the people i used to work for when i was superintendent of the denver public schools, most of whose kids lived in poverty and felt that no matter how hard they worked, they couldn't get their kids out of poverty. this is reflective of 50 years of an american economy that hasn't worked for most americans, and i do think they're looking to nominate somebody who can speak to their
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concerns. >> do you think bloomberg is out of touch with those people? >> i wouldn't say that. but i do think that there are a lot of us who have been out talking to people over the last six to ten months to a year, and that's a lot of conversations to catch up to. >> he would have a self-funded campaign, he says. he wouldn't be accepting any money so he wouldn't be beholdin' to any powerful person or group. that being said, he wouldn't necessarily have to qualify for the debates in order to get a national presidency, because he paid for advertisements all around the country. do you think that's fair to you ask other candidates? >> what i think is not fair is the rules on national debates. dnc should not have been excluding people as early as they did. it awarded celebrity candidates who have since left the race who couldn't stay in the race. i said earlier, i'm the only guy who has won two races in the swing state, and it's been tough not being on the debate stage,
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but it's a reflection of not what i've accomplished in my elections but the rules the dnc put in place. i'm not surprised that mike bloomberg wouldn't want be part of these debates because they haven't been very constructive in terms of delivering to the american people a member of the democratic party something they'll rally behind. the gotcha questions that kind of play into the hands of donald trump who is a master of that kind of format because he never tells the truth and he's a reality tv star, which is a great combination if you want to do well in those televised debates, it's a much less good conversation if you actually want somebody to govern the united states as president. >> let me ask you about this. you said, sir, this is a wendy's response. and that was in response to president trump's tweet on an order to pay a lawsuit, a
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settlement in a lawsuit here in new york. what are you suggesting with that tweet? this is a wendy's -- >> his explanation for his donations to charities, which essentially come from a foundation that's basically been a criminal syndicate for the entire time he's had the foundation, his explanation is laughable. this is getting more pathetic every week. if you look at what the president tweeted over the weekend, anyone else in america who worked in a law firm or bank or any institution in america would have been called upon the carpet by hr on monday. if he worked for cnn, they would have called him to the carpet and said, stop doing that. and if you keep doing that, you'll lose your job. if that person responded to the hr department by saying, don't worry about it, i'm a stable genius. i have unmatched wisdom, which is how the president talks about these things, they would be fired. and what's even worse than that, while he spent the whole weekend
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tweeting out this nonsense, iran was doubling the number of centrifuges it's using to enrich uranium and china was accepting a trade deal half of the gdp of this world. this is why donald trump can only be a one-term president. he is destroying the national security interests of the united states, our economic interests globally and he's wasting our time with this -- with these tweets that no one else in america could get away with, and we shouldn't let him get away with it, either. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you another question about the 2020 race. this race is likely to be won and lost in the country's suburbs. do you think it would hurt the democrats to have a nominee who is for medicare for all? >> oh, i think it would hurt us a lot. the denver post -- or the "washington post" today has an editorial about medicare for all that reflects how completely
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fanciful these so-called plans are. it's not a plan at all, it's an idiocy. i'm not making that up. let me give you a data point for that. in 2018 when the democrats took over the house of representatives, 40 people flipped seats. and 39 of them were for a public option, my bill, medicare x. one was for medicare for all, and a lot of those people were running in swing districts and suburban districts. that says it all to me. i don't even understand medicare for all is on the debate stage because it would be catastrophic for democrats and it's not something that this country is ever going to be willing to pass. >> then why do you think people like bernie sanders and elizabeth warren are so high in the polls if what you're saying is true? why would democratic voters be saying they want to support those people who have made medicare for all a huge part of
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their platform? >> i think they're supporting them for other reasons, they're supporting them because bernie has run before, he's one of the most famous politicians in the country, and elizabeth is sort of a celebrity in her own right and she's very well known across the country. but if you look at the polling on medicare for all, the poll is terrible. it's got 30% support among democrats to say nothing of independents and republicans. to me the most important issue more than any of that stuff is i don't want to spend the next ten years fighting a losing battle for medicare for all when what we have to fight for is an economy that works for everybody, better schools for our kids and addressing climate change and building infrastructure. all of that goes out the window if we follow bernie and elizabeth over this idealogical cliff of medicare for all. >> senator bennet, it's great to have you with us. thank you very much for taking the time. >> thank you. >> good luck on the campaign
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trail. more on this breaking news. chief of staff mick mulvaney is connected to a quid pro quo. plus, cnn reporting shows this intensifying impeachment inquiry is not affecting the relationship between president trump and rudy giuliani. thank you guys.
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as of 12pm today, i am debt free. ♪ ♪ i'll take you live right now to new hampshire. joe biden live there just signing the paperwork to officially reg stares a candidate for the primary. in new hampshire we've been seeing all these 2020 candidates go to new hampshire and do the same this week. it is the second biggest contest in the 2020 race following the iowa caucus. it is the first in the nation
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primary, however. we will, of course, continue to listen and see if he makes any comments about mayor bloomberg's potential entrance into the race. after all, we know a lot of the reporting we have about bloomberg's potential has to do with whether or not joe biden is a strong enough candidate to hold onto the potential nomination as the race moves forward. again, we'll come back to biden and any comments he makes, if there is news to report. in the meantime, let's go back to the impeachment inquiry because the drama sheeting is h. we learned that president trump is keeping in close contact with his personal attorney, rudy giuliani. giuliani is a key figure accused of running a shadow foreign policy between the president and ukranian foreign leaders. we have pamela brown and michael warren. thank you, both, for joining us with your reporting. mike, i want to start with you.
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as late as october, trump and giuliani were talking about once a day? sdp sdp >> that's right, and giuliani has told cnn that any conversations he has with trump are privileged because trump still retains him as counsel. we know they have a close relationship. the president sees him as a peer as they're close in age. the president is talking to giuliani not only about impeachment issues but also about politics as well. that's a conversation that is apparently still going on between them, even though, as we're learning this week with the release of these transcripts, that giuliani is really a central person in all of these events that are leading now, we can see, to the president very close to being -- advantage impeachment vote against him in the house. >> so, pamela, if giuliani could be a potential vulnerability and maybe even a liability to the president, why is he staying so
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close with giuliani? sdp >> that's a big question and i'm told by a source that the president knows giuliani is a personal liability. he doesn't cut people loose at the first sign of trouble, and the president has a feeling of loyalty to giuliani that go back to the '80s and '90s growing up in the ranks in new york and what really cemented the bond was when giuliani stuck by his side when the videos came out. and that's why you see the president staying by giuliani's side as all these revelations continue to come out during this impeachment probe. just testimony today, alex vindman called giuliani a live hand grenade. so he is at center of this, as michael noted, at the center very much of this impeachment inquiry. it remains to be seen how much strain all of this will put on the relationship between the two
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men. as of now, our reporting indicates they continue to keep in touch, and as michael noted, as of late october, they're talking about once a day. >> all this as giuliani beevfbep his own legal counsel. thank you both for that update. cease and destistdesist. trump sending a tweet to the whistleblower telling him to stop. the president is only ramping up his rhetoric.
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president trump went on the attack again this morning calling the whistle-blower to come forward. wanting that person to be outed. >> the fake whistle-blower said something about the call, many things, that were wrong. when the whistle-blower came forward he talked about this horrible call. it turned out to be a perfect
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call. >> everything he wrote in that report, almost, was a lie. because he made a phony phone call. my phone call was perfect. he made it sound bad. that's why i had to release. now -- the whistle-blower is a disgrace to our country. a disgrace, and the whistle-blower, because of that, should be revealed. >> one of the whistle-blowers attorneys is demanding the president stop those kinds of comments, and actually sent a letter to the white house promising league action if the president ignores the request. my next guest, stan meyer, has been a whistle-blower four times, in fact. he is to oversee this very program the whistle-blower went through in order to file their complaint about the president's call with ukraine. great to have you with us. thank you. how effective do you think this cease and desist letter is? do they have a legal case? >> it's a matter that will go and collateral efforts perhaps to the d.c. district court.
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a constitutional claim made for a writ of van damus. it's really not where the protection should be coming from. the cease and desist letter should have come from chairman burn and chef up on the hill because the whistle-blower is a source in their program, their oversight program. >> has a cease and desist letter ever been necessary? >> i don't think there was a cease and desist letter with regards to ernie fitzgerald in the 1970s when richard nixon uttered the famous words on the tape to fire that bastard what they targeted ernie for, and i don't think there were cease and desist matters in the 1990s with monica lewinsky. i think it's a personalization of a war on whistle-blowers the nonprofits referred to actually in the last administration when the espionage act was released against the whistle-blower's in the previous administration. >> great information. love to have a longer
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discussion. sorry to cut this short today to go to a live event, but we'll continue our conversation another day since the whistle-blower and that case is not going away. here now to joe biden, responding to all the potential michael bloomberg joining the race. listen to this. >> with regard to michael bloomberg, i welcome him in the race. michael's a solid guy. see where it goes. i have no, no problem with him getting in the race, and in terms of he's running because of me. last polls i liked at i'm pretty far ahead, and also in all of those states that are states that are the early states that we have to win back, if i'm not mistaken i'm doing pretty well, both relative to trump and relative to all the people running. >> much more on that with david axelrod, next. plus, more on the breaking news just ahead. release of new transcripts. testimony in the house impeachment inquiry's stay with us. you're watching cnn's special live coverage.
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i'm ana cabrera in more brooke baldwin on this friday. you're watching live cnn coverage of the impeachment inquiry. two more witnesses, fiona hill and alexander vindman. veneman the only staffer still at the white house after testifying before members of
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congress. arguably he offered some of the most damning details against the president. that's because as the top ukraine expert on the national security council vindman listened in on that critical july 25th phone call, in which president trump asked ukraine's leader to investigate the bidens. let's get straight out to cnn senior congressional colonel ma manu raju. what do you learn from alexander vindman's transcript? >> reporter: serious concerns about the president asking to investigation political rivals. made clear undercut a key alliance with the ukrainians at a time in which ukrainians need the vital military aid to fight back against the russians and learning from others in the administration essentially
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involved what people would call a quid pro quo. this was a desire by ukrainians to have a meeting in the white house with president trump, because a new incoming ukrainian administration, president zelensky of ukraine wanted to have this meeting but the president wasn't keen on that. one reason why according to the transcript released today bas because he wanted first ukrainians to announce this investigation into joe biden, into his son hunter biden and into what happened in the 2016 elections. all investigations that could help the president politically, and while he makes very clear in his testimony that mick mulvaney, acting chief of staff, was involved in this effort. he says this. he says, do you understand how he came to believe that this deliverable was necessary? he, referring to gordon sondland. asking how the ambassador to the european union knew this deliverable meaning the inve investigations


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