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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  November 13, 2019 3:00am-4:00am PST

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americans do. all of the world. whoever tunes into this, you have a front row seat as history unfolds. >> it's just the fourth time in the nation's 250 years that we will see public impeachment hearings into a sitting president. the first two witnesses are scheduled in a matter of hours. bill taylor and george kent. by the way, they're both actively serving members of the diplomatic community. then friday marie yovanovitch will testify. another eight witnesses will testify next week. we just learned about them overnight. they will discuss how the president of the united states allegedly pressured a foreign government to investigate his political opponents. >> cnn has learned that democrats and republicans have been preparing for this critical day by holding closed door practice sessions. democrats will try to lay out evidence that president trump tried to bribe or extort ukraine
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to investigate his rifvals in simple terms. the president is expected to watch from the white house before his meeting with turkey's president. it will be an interesting day. let's get to jessica schneider. she's live in washington with her preview of what to expect. >> this first set of televised public hearings, it signals the high stakes for both democrats and republicans. democrats will finally display all of the work they've been doing behind the scenes to the likely millions of americans who've been watching. republicans, they've been holding those mock hearings. they also circulated that 18-page memo with ways to hit back on what will become this first phase of the impeachment inquiry in the public sphere. in just hours, the impeachment inquiry goes public. starting at 10:00 a.m., bill
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taylor and george kent will testify sitting side-by-side. the nationally televised hearings helping house democrats bring their case against trump to life arguing he abused his power by pressuring ukraine to begin investigations for his own political gain. >> the facts here are so powerful, let people just hear what happened. >> reporter: taylor, a star witness for house democrats after testifying it was his clear understanding security assistance money would not come until the president of ukraine committed to pursuing the investigation. kent also denouncing the trump administration's efforts calling it injurious to the rule of law. adam schiff and devin nunes will lead the hearings. they'll each have 45 minutes to question witnesses. and both sides will have some help. their staff lawyers likely taking charge and questioning. daniel goldman for the democrats and steve caster will assist the
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republicans. after that 90-minute block, all other committee members will get five minutes for questions. >> we are trying to do our best to have a fair process. >> reporter: the president down playing the upcoming hearings. >> democrats in washington would rather pursue outrageous hoaxes and delusional witch hunts which are going absolutely nowhere. don't worry about it. >> reporter: but for trump's gop allies, it's a serious matter. >> what's happening in the house is basically un-american. >> reporter: house republicans shaping their counterargument against democrats' claims providing this 18-page memo to party members outlining how to defend the president. including the ukrainian leader and president trump have both said there was no pressure on the call. >> president trump and president zelensky both said it was a perfectly fine call. there was no pressure applied. there was no quid pro quo. >> reporter: house democrats' plan relying heavily on key elements such as the rough transcript of trump's july 25th
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phone call, the president's own statements, and testimony from star witnesses like taylor to help tell the story of the scandal. >> the facts are not in dispute here. the president in his own words asked ukrainians to investigate his political opponent. we're going to be prepared for the seriousness of these proceedings. >> reporter: and we've learned that president trump will be keeping a close eye on these hearings. they will stretch throughout the day. the white house communications team will also be in place watching for those key moments that might help the president's case and they'll be sending out the messaging and the clips on that in realtime. and we also could hear from the president himself. he's scheduled to hold a news conference at around 3:00 p.m. with the president of turkey erdogan who is visiting the white house right now. >> no doubt he's trying to pull focus there and will spin this. but today in this week as you know, not really about spin about the facts, about the witness testimony, and about
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this evidence. jessica, stand by. we'll come back in just a minute. that point, who will we hear from first? what will they say? and what will this look like? live coverage of these historic impeachment hearings continues after this. no matter how much life pushes us around... she keeps us centered. introducing the center of me collection. because every your love keeps me centered begins with kay. - [narrator] forget aboutr vacuuming for up to a month. shark iq robot deep-cleans and empties itself into a base you can empty once a month. and unlike standard robots that bounce around, it cleans row by row. if it's not a shark, it's just a robot. laso you can enjoy it even ifst you're sensitive. se. yet some say it isn't real milk.
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welcome back. this is cnn's live coverage of the impeachment hearings. weeks after closed door testimony, democrats are bringing the first two witnesses into the public eye in just hours. i want to bring in abby phillips, bianna golodryga, and ann mil grgram. let me set the stage where this is happening. it's in the house office building, a big hearing room. it's a first floor conference room. so big this is where the full congress met, the full house in 1949 and '50. >> they chose it specifically because it's telegenic. >> the first witnesses they will hear from, one is bill taylor, the senior u.s. diplomat in ukraine. why him? >> he's the narrator of what
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happened. he's going to be able to give testimony way before the july 25th call. he's going to give this whole story about how starting really early before the summer, even, the president and rudy giuliani were trying to put pressure on ukraine to withhold a white house meeting in exchange for these investigations into 2016 and the bidens. what becomes so important to me about taylor is he can have a conversation about the entire range of what happened and the abuse of power. and he was at the time saying this was wrong. so i think he's important as the narrator of the whole story that's about to come next. >> if he repeats what he said behind closed doors, it will be quite compelling. here is a bit of that testimony from october 22nd. bill taylor said that was my clear understanding. security assistance money would not come until the president of ukraine committed to pursue the investigations meaning of the bidens and of the dnc, basically. >> and he really laid out why this was a life or death issue. he talked about going to the
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dombast region where the war was taking place, where ukrainian soldiers were dying. and he explained in his testimony which i'm sure we'll hear from him again today the consequences of withholding that military aid. and the president dangling it in exchange for his own personal favors. meantime, these soldiers had no idea. they thought america was clearly on their side and helping them. now you have a situation where you have a ukrainian president who may not want to get involved in u.s. politics and policy, but knowing that his troops are on the line there. and much weaker than russians and their adversaries. this really gave vladimir putin the upper hand. so setting that up to see why u.s. foreign policy, why ukrainian lives were at stake, that lays it out as well. >> and he has receipts too. he has the textil taylor
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wrote, as i said on the phone to sondland i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. this is the senior state department official in charge of ukraine policy. and he's going to talk about this too. one of the things he's going to say about giuliani, mr. giuliani at that point had me carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about yovanovitch. this was a continuation of his campaign of lies. the reason i wanted you to see this is because george kent is describing something he clearly thinks is wrong. i feel like that's important for the democrats to get out. >> absolutely. it's part two of a two-part strategy. one was what were the demands exactly? you know, no meeting, no aid in exchange for these investigations. and then the democrats have to establish what exactly were the nature of these investigations? the republicans are going to claim that this was all about
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corruption, that ukraine is a corrupt country. the president was pursuing american interest by asking them to pursue these investigations. but what both taylor and kent can speak to is the degree to which it is clear to people who are subject matter experts in this area that the push for investigations into burisma and 2016 were completely political in nature. they can talk how unfounded some of the information that they believed was getting to president trump about ukraine was and how they seem to be driven by the personal financial interests of some people who were interested in denigrating, for example, the former ukraine ambassador marie yovanovitch, denigrating other officials around this situation. and they're going to be able to establish clearly that this was all about politics and not about anything related to corruption more broadly. >> can jump in on george kent in particular? what struck me on his testimony
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is his knowledge and explanation as to who these former corrupt -- were. even nikki haley in her book release has been using this line of rationale as well. and many others. rand paul. they're starting to say what was joe biden doing there, we need to investigate. mike pompeo even is going down this route. why was he wanting to fire this prosecutor? and they're making these prosecutors sound legit. what george kent was able to do and what we'll see him do today again is deconstruct why these were not good prosecutors. why they were very corrupt. he describes one as drunk, one as not cooperating, the imf threatening to withhold aid -- >> what about when investigators went to his house? he was being paid in -- >> one was not a lawyer. he'll be able to really debunk that rational that you're going to see from republicans.
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>> ann, we have many more questions for you. stand by. we're a couple of hours away from the first public impeachment hearing. today will look different from anything else we've seen on capitol hill. we'll explain that next. there's just something different to a disney movie. (vo) verizon knows you love all things disney. i think we've watched every single movie at least twice. four times. 100 times. (vo) that's why your unlimited plan now comes with disney+ on us for a year. because the network more people rely on gives you more.
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this morning the first public hearings begin in the impeachment inquiry into president trump. the opening statements start at 10:00 a.m. eastern. then the ranking members and chairman and attorneys have time to question. after that the rest will get
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five minutes each. let's bring back abby phillip, bianna golodryga, and ann milgram. that alone will be novel in watching some of these congressional hearings. the style that both of these staff attorneys are described that way. what are you looking for this morning? >> so i think this is so important. we've seen hearing after hearing where each member gets five minutes. they never ask the right questions. it is unsatisfying after we watch those types of hearings. this is different. they're going to have a chunk of time for professional lawyers used to questioning witnesses knowing how to get information out to just get a momentum and a focus going. and having enough time really matters. and also being able to ask the follow-up questions really matters. and i think we'll see that from both of the lawyers. it'll be clear what the narrative is for both sides really early on. and then the members will get to do the more political part of this. >> so 45 minutes each in blocks.
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you can have more than one 45-minute block. it's up to chairman schiff to decide how long they go with that. it's not a courtroom though. it's a hearing room. how would you approach this? if you're daniel goldman trying to make this case and present this evidence, what do you do? >> so one of the huge advantages they have here that we also haven't seen in other hearings is that they have testimony already. so they know the information they're trying to get to. and what's most important for someone like dan goldman or for the republican lawyer is to know where they're going and to be able to ask the witness questions. these witnesses have answered these questions before. we shouldn't hear a lot of new surprising information. it's mostly about staying focused and making sure they're able to get out what they need to get out. i would expect that both sides are respectful of one another for those 45 minutes. if that's the case, we'll learn a lot today. >> we've been hearing that behind closed doors, both sides that lawmakers democrats and republicans have been engaged in these marathon prep sessions. they're walking around with huge
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binders of information. what do we know about what they plan to do? >> as they should, because often they seem to be somewhat ill prepared for these hearings. but, i mean, i think both sides will head into their corners but particularly on the republican side. the objective today for republicans is going to be these people who are testifying today do not have direct knowledge of things that came out of the president's mouth. they do not know what president trump wanted explicitly and that maybe they were freelancing or maybe they were using supposition to figure out what was going on. so they're going to be really talking repeatedly about a lack of knowledge from taylor and kent about the president's motivations and his desires. and on the democratic side, i think they're going to be really leaning into the kind of this for that. the quid pro quo. the meeting will not happen unless certain things also happen. i'm not sure it will be sufficient for republicans to
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focus on what president trump didn't know, because there's plenty of other information that is actually incredibly damaging, but that's basically what they've outlined as their objective for today. >> and we also have what president trump did say on the summary of the phone call right here. it's helpful to read out loud. i can do it. i can read it. call the attorney general. whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging he stopped the prosecution, so if you could look into it, it sounds horrible to me. that was said out loud and recorded. >> it is the perfect call. >> you know what i'm watching and who i'm watching today is jim jordan? republican from ohio who wasn't on the intelligence committee a week ago. he was put there by republican leadership for a purpose. now, in theory he gets his five minutes in the afternoon. but you would think just by the fact they went through these back flips to get him on there, they want him to have a bigger role. >> he's a fighter. he does well in front of the cameras and he can muddy the
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water. which is exactly what republicans are aiming to do. they are going to approach this by digging deep back into years' worth of corruption in ukraine, start questioning the obama administration's policies in ukraine, start asking these witnesses, tell us more detail about some of the corruption including regarding burisma, and constantly going back to biden. so whenever the democrats are going to be focusing on the here and now in the trump administration, watch for jim jordan and other republicans to want to dig deeper back to the obama administration. and also point out that trump has given more aid and trump has been more willing to help ukraine than their narrative is going to be than the obama administration was. >> stand by. a lot more to discuss. come up in our next hour, we will speak to two congressmen who will be in this hearing room. they are both on the
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intelligence committee and they will have a chance to question witnesses. >> that will be great to get a preview of what they are doing from them. during all the drama at the capitol, president trump is hosting turkey's president a to. this as new evidence surfaces about possible war crimes during about possible war crimes during just one pill a day. 24 hours. zero heartburn. because life starts when heartburn stops. take the challenge at prilosecotc dot com. mornings were made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. when considering another treatment, ask about xeljanz xr, a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe
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while the first televised impeachment testimony plays out live today on capitol hill, president trump will counter program in a way. he'll roll out the red carpet at the white house for a controversial figure, the president of turkey. cnn's joe johns is live for us
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at the white house. what do we expect, joe? >> reporter: good morning, alisyn. well, the main event scheduled here at the white house is a news conference between president trump and turkish president erdogan. some tough questions expected in the first day of the impeachment hearings, but not just about impeachment. this visit by erdogan is controversial in its own right. some up on capitol hill have called for the president to rescind turkish president erdogan. because of the decision to invade northern syria right after the president pulled out u.s. troops. we're hearing this morning allegations of war crimes during that invasion. it's also controversial because of turkey's decision to purchase arms from russia. turkey of course a nato ally. you remember back in may of 2017, the last tomb president erdogan visited the united states, there were reports and you can even see video of
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bodyguards of president erdogan attacking protesters. there are expected to be protesters for the erdogan visit here in washington, d.c., today. the secret service and law enforcement in washington are going to be on high alert. back to you john and alisyn. >> all right, joe. thank you very much. and today's visit comes as u.s. officials have obtained this drone video of possible war crimes committed by turkish-backed forces in northern syria. we're back now with abby phillip and bianna golodryga. look, there are plenty of questions to ask regarding syria and turkey one of which would be to erdogan. did president trump really object when you announced to him you were going to invade northern syria? however, i can't help but think this really is counterprogramming from the president. that what he's trying to do is divert attention. have this news conference at the same time as the impeachment hearings because he can't give up the stage. he feels he needs to try to
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seize the moment no matter what's going on the other end. >> and this was going to be an incredibly controversial situation to begin with. the timing makes it more useful as a time of distraction. i think at the press conference this afternoon, this is where the president's allies are going to get a first hand account from him about how he wants to be defended. this is his opportunity to lay out the ground work for what he wants them to say and how he wants them to attack the witnesses potentially. or criticize the process. and so it's functionally very important for the president to get out there. because we know based on our reporting and how this has gone in the past, that the white house, the president's campaign and his allies, look to president trump for marching orders on this stuff. he is the war room. and i think today the war room is literally going to be on live television in the white house east room as he's giving this press conference. >> i don't think the president
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can be blamed for wanting to counterprogram. i think that makes sense. joe lockhart has said what they did during impeachment was continue to do the country's business. that's what they always tried to show. i'm not sure how a visit from erdogan at this moment after the president is seen as capitulating by so many people to what erdogan wanted in northern syria and now that we have these -- we've had reports since the day it started of atrocities happening. how is this proving that you're doing the u.s.'s business? >> invite boris johnson if you want to deflect, right? why are you inviting erdogan? in a time you've seen what took place in syria where they went in and they're accused of war crimes including chemical weapons attacks against syrians. there's a big question to be answered about whether or not they knew where al baghdadi was located. why did the u.s. have to fly through iraq to -- for that raid
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opposed to going through next door turkey? and of course they bought that antidefense missile system from russia. so there's a lot on the table here. there were sanctions on the table as well. there's a huge disconnect between where the u.s. military stands, the defense secretary said that turkey will be held accountable. how are they being held accountable? he's being held with a visit here. to put this in perspective, we still haven't seen a visit from president zelensky who had been begging for one. it's one of the reasons we're in an impeachment hearing right now and yet you've invited somebody who has violated so many agreements to the united states. there's a lot of issues here at stake and there's a lot of people and i think rightly so questioning whether this is the right moment to invite erdogan. >> you both answered i think your own question which is why erdogan. because controversy trumps controversy. pun intended here. this is the president's playbook. had doesn't care if he's introducing something new and controversial into the
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atmosphere. i think it's going to be hard today with these impeachment hearings going on. and he'll be watching in the morning. i'm not sure he's going to like what he sees in the morning. jim jordan doesn't get a chance to talk until this afternoon. he might not get to see that. this morning is going to be tough for him to watch. >> yeah. i think it is going to be difficult for him to sit through and we'll see to what extent he actually comments as it's happening, but i do think he's going to watch. i mean, the white house -- the west wing is full of televisions and the president typically spends most of his morning up until 11:00 or 11:30 in the residence where he is watching tv a lot of that time. during executive time. so he's going to be watching more than likely than not. and i would also say the other thing about turkey and about erdogan that is puzzling with the president is that he has long brought people like erdogan basically strong men in the region into the inner fold of u.s. foreign policy. it's been puzzling to a lot of people that this is just yet
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another example of that. the president is much less bothered by some of the things that bianna just described than a lot of people in the foreign policy establishment think he should be. in fact, he wants erdogan to take a stronger role in the region despite any concerns that we might have about how it's being done and whether or not it's been done in a way that is consistent with american values. >> all right. bianna, abby, stand by. we're getting our first live pictures right now. cameras allowed into the 1100 longworth office building. >> it's the chamber of the ways and means committee, right? this is the largest, most spacious place to do this. >> so big that in 1949 and 1950 when they were renovating the house chamber, this is what the house used to meet for two full years. it's that big. and you can see the lights being set up on the right side of the screen is where the witnesses will be sitting. behind that is where the members will be sitting. and of course there are places for members of the public and the media all to watch.
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and we will be watching you kno. >> i do. we'll be right back. (contemplative synth music) - [narrator] forget about vacuuming for up to a month. shark iq robot deep-cleans and empties itselfhat bounce , it cleans row by row. if it's not a shark, it's just a robot. ( ♪ ) only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®. for fast pain relief. (vo) the flock blindly flying south for the winter. they never stray from their predetermined path. but this season, a more thrilling journey is calling.
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jurors in the roger stone trial hear closing arguments today. the last few days have not only been about roger stone. they also brought up testimony that questions the truthfulness of what president trump told special counsel robert mueller. let's get the latest live from washington. tell us everyone we need to know about this stone trial. >> reporter: so it was yesterday that rick gates took the stand and that is where really they connected donald trump really to what this trial is about. wikileaks and the fact that roger stone according to prosecutors lied to members of congress during their investigation telling them he had no contact with people inside the trump campaign and donald trump for that matter concerning wikileaks.
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that all changed yesterday. the prosecutor asked him if roger stone had any communication with then-candidate trump concerning wikileaks. here's how that went. aaron zelinsky said what did mr. trump say? gates said he indicated more information would be coming. that took place just weeks after wikileaks had released emails from the dnc that were hacked. now we know by the russians. that information coming out. and then just weeks later, roger stone on the phone inside an suv with donald trump talking about more information would be coming, that wikileaks would be issuing more hacked emails and of course that is essentially what this trial is about. the fact that roger stone lied to members of congress but more importantly as you say, these connections to the campaign and of course donald trump.
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>> and of course the important thing here is the president said he never recalled such a conversation. thank you very much for that reporting. joining me now is former fbi general counsel and legal analyst jim baker. jim, one of the things that has been remarkable about the roger stone trial is it hasn't just been about roger stone. the prosecutors really have brought president trump and then-candidate donald trump right into the middle of it. this is what the president said. i recall in the months leading up to the election there was considerable media reporting about the possible hacking and release of campaign-related information. more than two years later i have no recollection of any particular conversation when it occurred or who the participants were.
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i can't recall. yet talked about vivid detail between roger stone and then-candidate donald trump that appeared to be about the release of these russian emails. what does that tell you? >> well, i'm thinking about it in two ways. one, what are the implications for mr. stone who's alleged to have engaged in a variety of criminal activity. and then what's the implication for donald trump? for mr. stone, it's very bad. it's very bad. because he -- his statements included flat out statements to congress that he did not know things, that he did not recall them -- that he did not know them. he did not use the phrase i do not recall or have no recollection. so for mr. stone, the gates testimony i think was quite bad. for mr. trump, it's pretty bad, but there's going to be a lot that hangs on the president's statements about, you know, i don't recall, no recollection. it's an astute thing for him to have done and it may be part of the reason that director
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mueller, special counsel mueller didn't charge him. but it undercuts the president's assertio assertions. whether it proves crime is something else. >> really bad for roger stone. pretty bad for donald trump. is it kind of bad for robert mueller here? because robert mueller made a decision to settle for these written answers from the president. and at a minimum, this written answer from the president begs more questions. so why wouldn't it be worth issuing a subpoena to get him to answer in more detail here? >> you know, based on what was in the report and what mueller said at the hearing and so on, it's just i think they made a calculation and it's not a bad calculation. when a witness says they don't recall something, then what you have to do is prove that at the time they said they don't recall, they actually did recall. you have to prove that the statement that they didn't
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recall is false. that's hard to do. you've got to have other evidence either through documents, other witness statements to actually prove that. so it's quite tricky to do. remember the government has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to bring criminal charges and to get a conviction at trial. and so, you know, that's just a hard thing to do. you know, i think as mueller said, i think they just calculated that this is just going to take too long to try to drag the president in by a subpoena. he's going to fight it. and we want to finish our report and move on and bring the facts forward. and i think they assessed they were just going to have a hard time disproving that the -- proving that the president's statement that he did not recall was false. that'd be hard to do. >> hard, impossible to do in writing. hard to do in person. robert mueller didn't really push it. of course the gates testimony is that the campaign talked about the wikileaks conversation at length. did the president not know about that either? we won't know. jim baker, thank you so much for
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that. really. >> thanks, john. up next we have an interesting profile. a closer look at democrat adam schiff's journey into the spotlight. and the cult classic movie he knows beginning to end. that life of the party look walk it off look one more mile look reply all look own your look... ...with fewer lines. there's only one botox® cosmetic. it's the only one... ...fda approved... ...to temporarily make frown lines... ...crow's feet... ...and forehead lines... ...look better. the effects of botox® cosmetic, may spread hours to weeks after injection, causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness may be a sign of a life-threatening condition. do not receive botox® cosmetic if you have a skin infection. side effects may include allergic reactions, injection site pain, headache, eyebrow, eyelid drooping, and eyelid swelling. tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk of serious side effects.
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at kay, we've learned the most important one will always be your own. every yes. omg, yes begins with kay. ♪ this morning arctic conditions akoss the country being blamed for at least four deaths in two states. in ohio a snowstorm with whiteout conditions led to a 50-car pileup. want to bring in meteorologist
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chad myers. how much more will we see? >> today is the bottom. it's the coldest it gets. but temperatures are below zero in some spots with below windchill factors. this is brought to you by kay where your love story is always the most important of all. we will see cold weather all across the east coast, all the way to the gulf coast. below freezing. you're laughing in the northeast, a freeze warning? yeah, it's zero up here. 24 in southern louisiana is also cold too. pipes break down there. and we will see that weather for the next couple of hours before it begins to warm up. temperatures are in the teens and 20s for this afternoon. but here's the story. we get another low pressure that tries to run up the east coast. and you know what? nine weeks from now, three weeks from now this could be a snowstorm nor'easter. but at least it is going to warm up into the 40s for that storm. the nor'easter as it runs up the east coast. so temperatures are going to be 30s and 40s, not 20s and 30s. so a rain event for the coast, not a snow event for the coast.
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so this is the bottom. we go up from here. i'm the light at the end of the tunnel. >> you are the light at the end of the tunnel. >> thank you. you're the light of our life. thank you very much. >> is that ann marie? >> you light up my life. >> debbie boone. >> we need to know this. all right. congressman adam schiff is a central figure in the impeachment inquiry leading the charge for house democrats. the ten-term democrat spoke to gloria borger about what is ahe ahead as the impeachment inquiry goes public. >> it feels like being in the eye of the hurricane. you never know when you're going to step out into gael force winds. >> reporter: but it's a sure bet that adam schiff will be at the center of the storm. leading an historic public ifr inquiry on impeachment. >> much more intense now than before. >> shifty schiff. >> reporter: anyone not living under a rock knows that schiff
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is one of president trump's favorite targets. >> little pencil neck. >> reporter: and he's not subtle about it. on camera -- >> he should resign from office in disgrace and frankly, they should look at him for treason. >> reporter: and on twitter. >> i can't even keep up with the president's twitter attacks on me. my staff has stopped sending them to me, they're too numerous. >> you don't follow him on twitter? >> no. i have more important things to do. >> reporter: just months ago, schiff was in the camp that believed impeachment was not a good idea. >> we've talked in depth about this. >> reporter: steve israel is a close schiff friend and former democratic colleague. >> impeachment might have some consequences that would be harmful to the country, to the democratic party, to members of congress. but when the presideengagpresidd in this phone call, that was too much. >> if the president believes he
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can abuse his office, the power of that office, fail to defend our national security and there is no accountability even if the accountability is only in the house, that's too dangerous a prospect to persist. >> reporter: schiff came to congress from his los angeles county district almost 20 years ago. a moderate democrat who beat the republican incumbent, a leader geps the impeachment fight on bill clinton. >> the priority has always been engaging in these national partisan ideological crusades and ignoring the business at home in the district. and i don't think people value that. >> reporter: schiff's harvard classmate remembers how he wanted to get there. >> adam played quarterback on the line for his team. and in one play, adam literally ripped the jersey off my back.
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and that's adam. so yes, he is very ambitious and competitive. but not in a cut throat or back stabbing way. he knew back then he wanted to get involved in politics. >> reporter: schiff served in the state senate but his greatest impact came as a u.s. attorney when he prosecuted an fbi agent. >> it does feel at times my life has come full circle. >> reporter: from a major role in the benghazi investigation to becoming chairman of the intelligence committee this year. >> what people don't understand about adam is that he wanted to go on the intelligence committee for two principal reasons. number one, it was bipartisan and number two, it was quiet. i often say to him, how'd that work out for you? >> reporter: not as expected. just weeks ago republicans tried
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to censure him. how'd that feel? you have republican friends. or you used to. >> i think my republican colleagues find they lacked. by attacking those who do. and those that's a sad reality. but it was where the gop is. kevin mccarthy will do whatever the president asks him to do. >> behind closed doors with a chairman who has lied three times to the american public looking them in the eye. and somehow we're supposed to trust what comes out of that? >> reporter: it's ugly and very personal. illegitimate hearings, republicans say, run by a partisan. >> it is a impeachment process. >> schiff is unfit to chair the committee. >> this president, they're going to destroy what america stands for in the world. holding up aid or meetings or whatever to get help in the next
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election campaign. they're going to normalize that, rationalize that. they're going to put their heads in the sand about it. where is people's sense of duty? >> reporter: if that sounds like a line out of a screen play, it could be. schiff has written a few of his own and took some dramatic and controversial liberties in describing the president's phone call with the ukrainian president. >> and i'm going to say this only seven times so you better listen good. i want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? lots of it. >> reporter: the performance turned into a political opening for republicans. one in particular. >> shifty schiff is a double corrupt politician. he took my words on the phone call and they were so good, they totally changed him. >> reporter: do you regret doing it that way? >> no, i made it cloo clear i w mocking the president. but it was a mafia organized crime kind of shakedown. but i'm not surprised if the president wasn't attacking me about this, he'd be attacking me
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about something else. >> reporter: what's his mood like these days? how'd you describe it? >> he's got some overwhelming responsibles and they are on his shoulders. but he is excellent at relieving that burden with his humor. look, he's got a goofy sense of humor. he loves funny movies. everybody knows he can take you from the first word of "the big lebowski" to the final word. >> i'm the dude. that's what you call me. >> reporter: are there any words from the dude that would apply to your life? >> i've been asked in the past. i'm not sure whether you can air this or not is my only question. what line from the big lebowski comes up most in political life? and i have to say it's the line, no you're not wrong, you're just an [ bleep ] hole. >> i didn't see that coming. wow. wow. >> i also didn't see "the big
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lebowski" coming. >> adam schiff will be in the middle of it all today. >> so the historic impeachment hearings on capitol hill begin this morning. and "new day" continues right now. hours away from the start of televised hearings. >> with the fate of donald trump's presidency at stake. >> for those of us who have read the transcript, it is not as some of these people made it out to be. it is a mace take. >> i think it's clear this phone call wasn't just a one off. it was an entire pressure campaign to give ukrainians influence on the election. >> i think it is a threat to the presidency. it's un-american. it denies the basics of due process. >> this is not just one phone call. the facts here are so powerful let people hear what happened. >> all right. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "new day"'s special live coverage

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