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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  November 16, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PST

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happened details of a phone call he overheard between trump and the u.s. ambassador gordon sondland. he heard the president asking ukraine if they will carry out investigations into the bidens. the testimony directly countered the argument that perhaps trump himself was not personally involved in a pressure campaign. let's start with kristin holmes on capitol hill. let's start with the testimony of mark sandy of the omb office. >> that's right, fred. here is what we know. she a career official at the office of management and budget, the omb, and here is why that division of the white house is so important. let's take a look at what this impeachment inquiry is all about from the very beginning. the question is whether or not president trump and his allies withheld funding to get dirt on his political rivals. the organization, the part of the white house that would withhold that fund or release
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that fund, that comes from the omb, the office of management and budget. so there is really not a lot of knowledge what was going on within that unit at the white house. and that is not for a lack of trying, we know they had to try to talk to people, and they had five suspects, they released documents, but sandy, he is here and he is testified, he respo responded to a subpoena, and it goes to the fact that she a career official that worked with democrats and republicans. you can likely expect questions on whether or not there are any red flags when this is happening, there was internal conversations about why this aide was being with held. and this is just the second time behind closed doors testimony that democrats really view as critical. you mentioned that david holmes testimony that happens last
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night, this was the first person wth direct knowledge of president trump talking to somebody about those investigations in ukraine. and it comes after he overheard a conversation with the ambassador to the european union. he says then i heard president trump ask "so he is going to do the investigation"? and ambassador sondland said yes, he will do anything you ask him to. that phone call between sondland and trump ended there but the conversation with holmes did not. which shed if it was true that president trump doesn't care about ukraine. he said president trump only
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cares about "the big stuff" that benefits the president like the biden giuliani was pushing. so the first person saying they directly heard president trump talking about it and this raises a lot of questions about ambassador sond laland. remember he testified and never mentioned this phone call. likely when he testifies next week in a public hearing this will be something that lawmakers bring up. >> thank you so much, kristin holmes. >> let's talk further on all of this, a former house gop coun l counsel. also the author of the book e pluribus one. good to see you both. welcome back. >> forever.
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>> okay, so guy, let me g with you new this new testimony from the aid that heard president trump on the phone asked sondland about investigations into the bidens, what is the potential impact in your view if, indeed, sondland confirms, because he is to testify publicly this week, if he confirms that account? >> it is devastating, and it is a significant movement in collecting damaging evidence against the president. what happened is we now -- we have been hearing for the republicans for quite some time, it is all hearsay, and all of a sudden it is not hearsay. there was someone else that also heard it, so sondland has a big problem here. and the -- it just shows that there is amateur hour all
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around, sadly, and then the tweet yesterday from the president and yovanovitch's testimony, upsetting -- >> saying everywhere she goes it is bad. >> yeah, the president tweeted while she was testifies that everywhere she goes it is a bad outcome and that there have been some that say this is dan haras a witness. >> i think it is one more in a patte pattern, and it could be an article of impeachment. in addition to the bribery thing, and the important thing about bribery is the way the
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founders saw bribery was using public office for personal gain. back when they wrote it, there was no criminal statute about bribery. and today we're applying criminal statutes that are much broader than that. >> that is a a lot to respond to, from yovanovitch, to you also have now this use of the word bribery that many democrats are using, let's undercoscore t moment for yovanovitch and how pivotal she was and how devastating it was to hear about this smear campaign and then this happened in the middle of her testimony, listen. >> president trump says the former ambassador from the united states, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the ukraine were
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bad news, so i just want to let you know. what was your reaction when you heard the president of the united states refer to you as bad news? >> i i could not believe it, shocked, appalled, devastated, that the president of the united states would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state, and it was me, i could not believe it. >> the next excerpt is short, but he said well, she is going to go through some things. what did you think when you read that you were "going to go through some things." >> i didn't know what to think, but i was very concerned. >> what were you concerned
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about? >> she is going to go through some things, it didn't sound good, it sounded like a threat. >> did you feel threatened? > i did. >> so you were watching that, it was a riveting moment, and you writed a piece in the daily beast, so you're taking this more broadly beyond this moment, you see it as symbolic of a pattern. whatever she going off, nasty, physical of describing people, why do you think this was a telling moment? >> number one, one of the biggest take aways from yesterday in this who process for me, as a lifelong moderate
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republican woman, is that the president of the united states of america has no personal disp he has no good judgment. the fact is that it it was very consistent for him to start tweeting and attacking people that he doesn't agree with, right? but for him to continue to say that woman, it is very similar to what he did to the squad. this president does not like strong smart women the end. i don't think incan argue that. and what was really disappointing to me yesterday is that while the president is attacking her in live testimony as a lawyer i concur that that
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is a possible article of impeachment. you're the most powerful human being on earth and you're -- >> they say we're taking it seriously. what are the options if at least by this committee -- >> it's an article, there is not much, the justice department will not prosecute. this justice department, attorney general bar gave a speech that has everyone very upset. i think it is an article of impeachment, witness intimidation, and he did it? live time that did not help his side. the republicans that had to argue for him and it really handicapped them in my opinion. >> and guy you have yovanovitch that testified against the consequences of raising your hand and saying smng is wrong with this.
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not questioning any indication of why she was being let go, and then you have david holmes about overhearing the conversation, and mark sandy, who was subpoenaed and appeared today, but others have appeared with omb and in the white house that defied it and mark sandy is expected to be asked about what he knows about this military aide. how do you see this process, this building of a case, unfolding. do you believe the case is getting stronger? >> it is very much getting stronger. if you just think about the time line, going back to late august when the late whistle-blower complaint, we learned about -- think about where we were on day one of the testimony and suddenly there is new news, then there is holes yesterday. they are not going to report that everything was just lovely. that will not be what comes out. next week we have the colonel
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back who was very involved. knows the call, and eight more witnesses are coming next week. sondland who will get real serious questions and it will be very entertaining to watch the nfl feel proud. >> as a council for the gop, baa what do you see as what might be the approach for the republicans? how much of a stretch are they going to have to make? >> fred, what the approach is to honor their oath of office. this is not about protecting the president, it should be about protecting the republic. every one of us, should be concerned that the president of
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the united states is calling on his cell phone, talking to one of his wois, and she so irresponsible that people can overhear. that means the russians were listening to this call. if other period heard it in a restaurant, the russians were listening in on the devices. so i want to encourage republicans to begin to act like members of congress that care about the constitution and kind of lead donald trump where he is at and focus on their duties and their oath, and vote on this. >> and do you think this is a turning point? >> it will be a tipping point. we'll see if it comes, but even if it doesn't, if it goes to the senate and there is a trial and
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he is acquitted, and what we see is happening already, his base is being chipped at. more people in favor of impeachment and removal. even if he is acquitted, he will be damaged fatally. >> thank you so much. >> all right, coming up, president trump goes against the wishes of the pentagon pardoning two officers that were facing war crime allegations. details are next. of nowhere. those are the ones that show up and change everything. hi, i'm joan lunden. when my mother began forgetting things, we didn't know where to turn for more information. that's why i recommend a free service called a place for mom. we have local senior living advisors
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okay, dismissing the advice of top officials, president trump dismissed charges against two lieutenants. even if his own defense secretary warns of the potential repercussions of a decision like this, so why was the president so insistent? >> that is right, we're being told that senior defense officials advised the president against this course of action saying it would potentially damage the credibility of the uniform code of military justice, the justice system, and undermine the discipline amongst the ranks. but there has been an active lobbying campaign on behalf of these individuals.
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some members of congress, even fox news personalities, and one of the individuals, major matt goldstein appeared on fox to talk about his conversation with the president when he gave him the news. >> you joke about stuff like that but it is very interesting to get a call saying you know, stand by for the president, and out he comes. it was an incredible honor, and again within just struck by the words and listening and -- >> the compassion. >> and such warmth and understanding for what not only matt has been through, but our family, our children, everyone around us. >> now he had been charged with a war crime, killing an afghan man, but had not been convicted of this. so he was still awaiting trial, but the other two individuals, eddie gallagher had been
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convicted of missouriiposing wi corpse. and his rank was restored, and the third individual, clint lawrence, he had been convicted of ordering his men to fire on two unarmed afghan men, and he was released following his pardon. and now we'll likely return to the u.s. army. so again, three very different cases and all high profile and we're being told that president trump pardoning those two army officers and restoring the rank of gallagher despite the advice of his leadership. >> ryan brown, thank you so much. >> still to come, ratings for the impeachment testimony reveal that plenty of americans were watching. what gary tuck man discovered while watching with wisconsin voters.
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shocked and devastated, marie yovanovitch described her
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reaction of the president disparaged her, and that is just one of the major revelations that emerged from her testimony yesterday. >> i remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. this is about far, far more than me or a couple of individuals. as foreign service professionals are being denigrated. it will cause real harm if it has not already. >> it came on the hills of the public hearing with bill taylor and george kent. a top state official. so how are voters digesting the hours and hours of testimony? here now is gary tuckman. >> in the politically important state of wisconsin, we watched the impeachment hearing with six
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voters. >> it opens up the discussion. >> they say they could go for a democrat or republican in the next election, and regarding how the day went for the president. >> i thought it could have been a lot worse and i really thought it would be a lot worse. >> they may have watched the same hearing but our group had very different takes. >> i think that overall the testimony that ambassador dtaylr is making me think and doubt donald trump's intentions behind his actions. >> i think they need harder evidence to make this impeepble. >> i feel like he is --
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>> how many of you like the witnesses, not all of you think it was a bad day for the president. they said things bad things about the president. >> but you only heard what they gleaned from multiple different things. that is what i mean by the president not finding evidence to defend himself. >> it is a catch 22 isn't it. republicans say they don't have firsthand knowledge, but they're not letting people with firsthand knowledge testify, does that trouble you? people were not able to bring
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witnesses forward. >> it would be good to have all of the evidence heard. i think that would solidify the answer. >> do you think the white house is making a mistake by telling people they can't testify? >> it causes a problem like they were covering up or hiding something. >> one person says she could vote for a republican, but not trump. the rest say trump could still get their votes and that they will continue to watch the hearings. >> who was it a better day for. >> democrats, republicans, democrats, neither, democrats, republicans. >> straight ahead, back to capitol hill where rare saturday testimony is under way right now. why one official is breaking ranks and meeting with investigators even after others refused subpoenas. to the outside world, you look good,
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all right, the weekend is not stopping house democrats from pushing their impeachment inquiry against president trump. they are testified behind closed doors and a source tells cnn that while sandy did not know why u.s. military aide was being withheld, he knows that political officials came to make the decision taking the authority away from career officials. one washington post congressional reporter joining me now. so sandy is the first omb official to appear before investigators. he was subpoenaed as far as we know, but they have already defied subpoenas, so what is the message that mark sandy is sending? >> yeah, i mean we're clearly
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seeing the limits of the white house stone walling strategy. for months now the white house said don't cooperate with document or witness subpoenas, and for the past couple weeks we have seen them have success convincing career officials. people that made their life and their whole being, their whole careers in government come forward and feel like they have a duty to cannot raooperate wit investigations. mick mulvaney and russ vote, they are both trying to get in trump's good graces, so they are hoping to lean on these employees at the omb and keep them all from coming to capitol hill. the question is does he have the goods and can he, you know, link mulvaney and the mull tevaney a the decision to hold the money
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until an investigation is announced. >> and of course, this is kind of a deposition faze, but do you believe that this might -- that he willingly arrived? that that might perhaps change the thoughts of the previous omb folks who defied their subpoenas? >> it will be interesting to see what their own personal legal council advises. clearly if you have a learn that breaks other people think about maybe they should do the same, too. other people that defied subpoenas are trying to get in the good graces of the president, so right now their priorities seem to be somewhere else. >> this week, big expected testimony and after learning what we did from taylor and even, you know david holmes last night through his opening statement about this cell phone
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call between the president and sondland, sondland had to change his testimony already once. what will be his demeanor likely this week? he has so many, there are so many discrepancies that he has to clear up, i particularly am excited about this hearing. if you remember back to his transcript, he said he rarely talks to the president, he also said he never talked to trump about holding military aid until ukraine committed to these investigations, well guess what, we have four trump officials that say that is not what he told them. he said that trump was directing this entire scheme. so that will be the top thing they will try to clear up and
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the testimony puts the pressure on him more. someone heard him talking to the president about the investigations in july, and it is just another person coming forward that really contradicts what sondland told investigators. and it is a crime to lie to congress and so we'll have to see how he handles this, will he take the fifth, will he say he doesn't remember. >> i don't know if taking the fifth will make it better for him. if anything that just raises more questions. >> right. >> all right, rachael, thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and this programs note to tell you about, watch hbos documentary, nixon by nixon in his own words, that is tonight at 9:00 eastern. of nowhere.
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all right, welcome back, investigators believe they solved another cold case using forensic genology. police in washington dc have arrested who they believe to be the potomac river rapist. he is aused of raping and killing one woman and assaulting others in the dc metro area. they say they were able to take him into custody after comparing evidence to genology databases. here to talk this over, our legal giants and richard herman, good to see you both. >> hi, fred erika. you were able to catch him because someone in his family decided to use an ancestry kit. is it really a tool now that law
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enforcement is able to use? that investigators are able to use and to prosecute based on that. >> it is a big development and it is such a fun story. he committed substantial crimes, rains, and murders, and because of the technology they were able to connect up to a relative and the real story here is two detectives from montgomery county going down to scaquare, getting that swab, coming back to maryland and boom they got him. and now the case is going to move forward. >> we don't know all of the details about how they were able to get the dna from warwick, could there be a legal issue
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here? >> i don't know if he was represented by council. i don't know if he voluntarily appeared, and i don't know if he voluntarily consented to that swab of his mouth. so unless they got a court order or other grounds for doing that dna swab of his mouth, this evidence may be procolluded. i'm sure they did the proper way, don't forget this case, this investigation has been going on since the 90s, the charges here are first degree murder, one attempted sexual assault, and the fact that somebody did not give up on this case, it was a cold case that sat for years and months and they continued to look at it and the dna and everybody is rushing to see their ancestry these days, be careful because look what happened here. >> look what it could lead to, potentially.
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let's shift gears a little bit here. now we're looking at this case and there is new activity on this. the texas appeals court blocked the execute of rodney reed including online petitions asking the courts to review new evidence and testimony, and these supporters of him believe that the new evidence could exonerate him, so how much of the court's ruling do you think was based on this online petiti petition, richard, and the overwhelming outpour of support for him. >> if you remember last week, avery and i disagreed with each other. >> it was respectful. >> it was respectful, i really feel that the publicity garnered by this case by celebrities and by republican politicians in
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texas and others in texas put a lot of pressure on them and you don't get an oops when there is a death penalty case. you have to make sure we're right, and they bombarded the court with new evidence that was never presented before in the past 23 years. new evidence, new eyewitness testimony looking to go after the fiance. so the court boweddeference, there was like 250 prisoners, and this is only the second time there has been a stay issue. the stay is indefinite. the case is remanded back to the trial court, and you know, he -- mr. reed lives for another period of time. >> what do you see next. there will be a re-examination, one thing that i think fair minded people want to see is the dna test of the fwhaelt stacey
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s stites had. it may have been the murder weapon. but the reason i agree is this is the texas court of appeals. they looked at the evidence, they have the new statements, and let me tell you i know texas people but they want to be fair, it is the right decision. let's see where this thing goes. >> without that publicity we would not have known about the case. this goes on all over the country. that's the only reason we know about it is because of the publicity garnered by the case. thank you to both of you. thank you. see you soon. >> all right, still ahead, prince andrew is opening up for the first time about his friendship with convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein and the woman who says she was forced to have sex with the royal. (client's voice) remember that degree you got in taxation?
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andrew is speaking out about his association with jeffrey epstein. in an interview with the bbc he admits that his conduct was unbecoming to the royal family. >> the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted -- >> you stayed with him. >> i stayed with him. and that's the bit as it were i
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kick myself for on a daily basis. because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family. and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and i let the side down. >> the interview was part of a essential prince andrew and the epstein scandal. a news night interview on cnn 2. joining me now from london with more on what he had to say, does this make it better for the prince or does it open up more questions? >> i mean for just the fact that this interview happened is incredible, because so rarely does any member of the royal family sit for an extended interview. usually it's something connected with their charity work and rarely about something such as a sensitive topic and one that the bbc was no holds barred. it was notable that it took place in buckingham palace on thursday evening. that means it was under the queen's blessing that this
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interview took place. you played one clip. in another clip that has been released by the bbc head, prince andrew addresses the case of that woman who has claimed that when she was a minor, she says jeffrey epstein forced her to have sexual relations with prince andrew. buckingham palace has denied these allegations. this is the fierce time we heard from him himself in an interview. take a listen. >> one of epstein's accusers, virginia roberts has made allegations against you. she said she met you in 2001, dined with you, danced with you, went on to have sex with you in a house in bell gravia belonging to your friend. your response. >> i have no recollection of ever meeting this lady. none whatsoever. >> you don't remember meeting
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her? >> no. >> so prince andrew is claiming that he has no recollection of meeting virginia roshlts despite the fact that there has been a photograph showing them together in 2001 and spoke to cnn's reporter where she said she will continue to keep telling her story no matter what powerful name is attached to it. >> epstein always told me he'll never go to jail for this. he owns the palm beach police department. he's blackmailed tons of his very wealthy friends. in terms of prince andrew, he hides under mommy's skirt. so will there ever be a day he's held accountable? probably not. it doesn't stop me from saying the truth. >> if prince andrew thought that sitting for this interview would quell the controversy or clean up the relationship with jeffrey epstein or these allegations, it
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doesn't seem to have worked. it has opened up more questions including the wisdom behind even sitting for this interview. but also, why is he willing to talk to the bbc but thus far has not committed himself to questioning by american investigators. >> thank you so much. vickie ward has been reporting on jeffrey epstein. you can listen to a 1 of a kind account with the new podcast titled the jeffrey epstein i knew starting november 26th. co. and mom's getting older. mhm, and eventually we would like to retire. td ameritrade can help you build a plan for today and tomorrow. come with a goal. leave with a plan. td ameritrade.
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-- captions by vitac -- thank you for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. for the past four hours a senior has been testifying behind closed doors on capitol hill. mark sandy is breaking ranks and is expected to lay out what he knows about the decision to hold up military aid to ukraine. his testimony today comes on the heels of david holmes' testimony, in which he gave firsthand details of a phonecall he overheard between trump and the u.s. am batsdor to the eu, gordon sondland. holmes claims he heard the president asking whether ukraine will carry out the investigations into the bide
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ends. holmes testimony directly countering the argument. let's start with lauren fox on capitol hill. lauren, what do we know about the testimony underway? >> well it be points been going on for several hours. but mark sandy is a career official at the omb. that would be the agency that handles disbursing this nearly $400 million in military aid that was supposed to go to ukraine. we know that was delayed until september 11th even though republicans and democrats on capitol hill had agreed o release that money. what democrats want to hear? they want to understand how this process was supposed to work and what might have gone off the rails, what was happening behind the scenes, and why was this money so delayed? remember, republicans and democrats, everyone was asking questions on capitol hill because no one could figure out this


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