tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN November 21, 2019 11:00pm-12:01am PST
if the house impeaches, next comes a senate trial. obviously, the republicans control the senate. a group of republican senators huddled with white house officials today to map out the road ahead. they're weighing the length of proceedings. some want to dismiss it right from the start. others believe doing that might hurt their ability to keep the senate and maybe letting the democrats draw it out in a trial may help them. so how much longer will this last? we'll probably know soon. so be on the lookout. thank you for watching. "cnn tonight" with d-lemon starts right now. >> the question is how much longer can we take? how much longer can the american public take on this? i think, you know, maybe they're running up against fatigue, no? it's important stuff. >> i don't know. as you and i talk when we're not on tv, people aren't focusing on this the way we do. democrats aren't even
campaigning on it in the races that they've been winning round the country. it matters. but it doesn't matter to everybody the way it does to us. i just wonder what message they take from it. >> well, i think people are focusing on -- they're starting to look at this now. i think people are tuning in. and i do think that over the holidays will be a big difference because then people are at home, they're not focusing on work. right? >> and the house is out for two weeks. >> and the house is out for two weeks. >> they're going to be home in their constituencies and they'll hear from real people. >> you had yr work cut out for you with that interview just a couple minutes ago. i don't -- >> here it comes. come on. don't be shy. inform >> no, not you. i just don't understand just the -- just the excuse making in the mind. >> of course you do. >> for every single thing. no, i don't. i don't understand it. >> come on. advantage. they are all sticking together in a way we've never seen before. they have oversight duties -- >> they look really dumb. they look really stupid. i'm not saying -- look, i'm not saying that they are stupid
people. but their excuses are really stupid and really dumb and they don't make sense. at all. >> in a court of law they would have real trouble. arguing these people don't have firsthand information when they're keeping the people -- >> they'd have trouble in the barbershop. they'd have trouble in the barbershop. where i just got my hair cut today because everyone would go, man, you are not making sense. what the hell are you talking about? none of it makes sense. every time someone brings up something that is substantive, right, that has to do with the case, they go oh, burisma. i'm surprised they haven't -- have they pulled out benghazi yet? >> because it's politics. and they are playing for political favor of this president. and he's got simple rules, don. you and i both know because we break them all the time. if you come at him, be ready for him to come at you. and, look, he can make our lives difficult enough as it is. >> that's true. >> imagine if he could put people in our places. imagine if he could cut off our funding. >> right.
>> now it starts to make more sense. >> not for lack of trying anyways. >> that's true. >> all right. i'll see you. nice work down there today, by the way. it's nice and warm in the studio. you're not freezing outside like this morning. thank you, sir. appreciate it. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. thank you so much for joining us. i know it's been a long day and you've been paying attention all day, maybe you've been watching or maybe you haven't been watching. we'll go through all of it for you. and what we saw today in the final impeachment hearing, it really was the demolition of the republican talking points, all of them. and the gop really in deep denial, as i just said to chris. refusing to accept the evidence. they're refusing to accept the facts. dr. fiona hill, who served on the president's national security council, laying it on the line today. gordon sondland was involved in what she calls a domestic political errand. it had nothing to do with national security, nothing at all. it was all about what was good
for the president politically. >> he was being involved in a domestic political errand. and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. and those two things had just diverged. >> and then there is the president's favorite talking point. the one -- remember that? he read off of his note pad yesterday. he had to read them off a note pad in big letters right there. "i want nothing. i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo." the republicans clearly in denial. clinging to today, speaking to an audience of one. >> remember when this call came out, they said there has to be a quid pro quo. haven't seen it. not there. >> witness after witness after witness has testified there was a quid pro quo. there was a shakedown. fiona hill going on to make it
clear, burisma was code for the bidens. another republican talking point demolished. >> i thought it was obvious to you that burisma meant bidens. >> yes, it was. >> and you actually treated that as a pretty easy thing to understand. in fact, mr. morrison figured it out with a single google search. but is it credible to you that mr. sondland was completely in the dark about this all summer? i mean, you had an argument about it. didn't you say -- >> it's not credible to me at all that he was oblivious to this. >> i'm sorry, i couldn't hear your answer. >> it is not credible to me that he was oblivious. >> well, all of this tells you exactly what you need to know about the state of the republican party today. ignoring the evidence. ignoring the facts. in deep, deep denial. has the gop been completely transformed into the party of trump? probably yes. the answer to that is yes. and do the facts even matter anymore? dr. hill had to fight her way through all the noise, all the
political posturing, to talk about what really matters here, and that's the facts. >> could i actually say something, because we've had three -- >> doctor, i was going to ask you if you'd like to respond. there have been a -- i -- the gentleman will suspend. dr. hill, you may respond. >> i think that all of us who came here under a legal obligation also felt we had a moral obligation to do so. we came as fact witnesses. and we're here to relate to you what we heard, what we saw, and what we did. and to be of some help to all of you in really making a very momentous decision here. >> she had to fight her way through all that noise to say that. but what else would you expect from a woman who when she was just 11 years old and a boy set her hair on fire while she was taking a test -- yes, set her hair on fire. she put it out with her bare hands, went right back to taking her test.
>> dr. hill, i want to verify this story. i understand that when you were 11 years old there was a school boy who set your pigtails on fire and you were taking a test. you turned around and with your hands snuffed out the fire and then proceeded to finish your test. is that a true story? >> it is a true story. it's had some very unfortunate consequences afterwards. my mother gave me a bowl haircut. >> well, i think it underscores the fact that you speak truth, that you are steely. and i truly respect that. >> you know what she did? what i tell you every single night here. she was focused on the facts, on the task at hand. and she was not distracted by the noise. put the hair out. i've got to take my test. that's the fact, jack. and then there's david holmes, the bill taylor aide, who heard the president on that cell phone call in the kiev restaurant,
heard him with his own ears, heard him ask, "so he's going to do the investigation? >> i could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of the phone. the president's voice was loud and recognizable. and ambassador sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume. i heard ambassador sondland greet the president and explain he was calling from kyiv. i heard president trump then clarify that ambassador sondland was in ukraine. ambassador sondland replied yes, he was in ukraine and went on to state that president zelensky, quote, loves your ass. i then heard president trump ask, so he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondland replied that he's going to do it, adding that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. >> so the president's response to the clear recollection of david holmes, his firsthand evidence of what he himself heard?
"my hearing is and has been great. never have i been able -- never have i been watching a person making a call which was not on speaker phone and been able to hear or understand a conversation." great hearing. except here's the problem with that. ambassador sondland himself says yep, that sounds like something he would say. >> yeah, it sounds like something i would say. that's how president trump and i communicate. a lot of four-letter words. in this case three-letter. >> so the person who's actually on the phone call is not denying it, but okay. that settles it then. i want you to listen to this. this is from chairman adam schiff comparing republicans' claim that all the evidence we've heard from all these witnesses is just hearsay. >> that would be like saying you can't rely on the testimony of
the burglars during watergate because it's only hearsay or you can't consider the fact that they tried to break in because they got caught. they actually didn't get what they came for. so you know, i don't -- no harm, no foul. that's absurd. >> it is absurd. but speaking of watergate, did you see? and i want to give a hat to charlie sykes for tweeting it out. a watergate era column. it's by art buchwald. a laugh to keep from crying. it's a list of responses for nixon backers. and some of them will sound pretty familiar to anyone who has been listening to the republicans' arguments over impeachment. even now 46 years later. number one, "everyone does it." now, where have i heard that before? >> did he also mention to me in the past that the corruption related to the dnc server? absolutely.
no question about that. but that's it. and that's why we held up the money. >> to be clear what you just described is a quid pro quo. it is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happened as well. >> we do that all the time with foreign policy. i have news for everybody. get over it. there's going to be political influence in foreign policy. okay, number two, what about chappaquiddick? ah, yes. what aboutism. when you can't argue that the president didn't do anything wrong, argue that the other guy is even worse. argue that you want to investigate your political enemies like joe biden. here's number four now. "the press is blowing the whole thing up." classic. blaming the messenger here. >> the spectacle with its secret depositions and mid-hearing press conferences is not meant to discover the facts.
it was designed to produce a specific storyline to be pushed forward by the democrats and their supporters in the media. >> let's skip to number 25 now. do you realize what watergate is doing to the dollar abroad? so if blaming the messenger and what aboutism don't work, hit them where they live. hit them in the wallet. >> i'll tell you what. if i ever got impeached, i think the market would crash. i think everybody would be very poor because without this thinking, you would see -- you would see numbers that you wouldn't believe. >> move ahead now to number 33. "i think the people who make all this fuss about watergate should be shot." >> who's the person that gave the whistle-blower the information? because that's close to a spy. you know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart,
right, with spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> interesting. that list. july 12th, 1973, thursday. the more things change, huh? forget the talking points, everybody. as i say, focus on the facts. remember, facts first. it's a phrase that we all remember from the impeachment hearings. domestic political errand. that's how fiona hill sums up president trump's demands for investigations in the ukraine. we'll discuss. the legendary carl bernstein is here. laura coates, shane harris next. ♪
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a lot to discuss. carl bernstein, laura coates, shane harris. i like that domestic political errand. i'm sure you guys did as well. good evening, everyone. laura, it really was dr. fiona hill who played the role of the closer for the democrats, crystallizing the testimony of the past two weeks, and punched holes in the gop talking points. >> she absolutely did. and with good reason. because first of all, she came out there saying that conspiracy theory, the idea that it was ukraine and not russia that interfered in the 2016 elections, that was complete hogwash and any one of you who might still believe it, i'm here to tell you as the nation's top expert in vladimir putin and russia that it was the russians. she debunked that theory. she also debunked the theory that there was oblivion going around like it was the flu happening all over this state department with gordon sondland and kurt volker and the like when she definitively said, first of all, it was not hard to put two and two together, the idea that burisma and biden meant the same thing, that it was a code word, or that this
notion of hearsay, that we didn't actually observe firsthand through the comments of people like bolton, who will not appear and other people, what the president of the united states actually intended. and who he was directing to perform certain duties. all of that was undermined by dr. fiona hill. >> yeah. and the whole thing, she was like, wait a minute, you did not know that burisma meant biden? come on. carl bernstein, you've lived through this before. i'm sure you could relate to that column that i showed -- >> i remember that column. >> you are that column. you are that column. chairman schiff made a comparison between president trump and nixon in his closing statement. watch this, and then we'll talk. >> what we've seen here is far more serious than a third-rate burglary of the democratic headquarters. what we're talking about here is the withholding of recognition in that white house meeting, the withholding of military aid to
an ally at war. that is beyond anything nixon did. the difference between then and now is not the difference between nixon and trump. it's the difference between that congress and this one. >> is he right? is this beyond what nixon did? >> yes, because of the element nixon never conspired with a foreign power to undermine the american electoral system and violate the constitution of the united states with help really from a foreign enemy. that's really what he was out to do, mr. trump, in this instance. in both watergate and the ukraine/trump adventure and conspiracy were about undermining the american electoral system. in the case of nixon he did it through a massive campaign of political espionage and sabotage directed by his own aides, some of them a little bit like mr. giuliani, to kneecap and undermine the candidacy of
nixon's strongest possible opponent, senator edmond muskie of maine. a massive campaign of political espionage and sabotage that included the break-in at watergate. what trump has done here, though, is to enlist a foreign power at war with the russians, with america's enemy, and get that foreign power and its new president to undermine the candidacy of trump's strongest opponent as trump perceived it, senator biden. former senator and vice president biden. so there you have the more serious nature comes from the enlistment of a foreign power. so clearly prohibited in the constitution of the united states. you also have to see today, though, trump has waged a war on truth in this country as no leader including nixon has in our history as far as i think
anybody can determine. and now the republicans in the house, we can see from today's testimony and the way they dealt with ambassador hill, the former national security deputy adviser, that they have joined trump's war on truth. >> they're not changing. as i said earlier, they are in deep denial. and it is frightening. >> the hearing established the truth. that's what's so interesting. and that was the problem. >> shane, fiona hill rebuked the gop for pushing a fictional narrative that only helps russia. but here's the thing. house minority leader kevin mccarthy just tonight said that he thinks that ukraine meddled in 2016. so republicans are still promoting these debunked conspiracy theories to protect the president. they really believe this stuff? >> you know, whether they actually believe it, don, is a really good question because to underscore something about dr. hill's position, when she says this is a fiction that's being pushed by the russian intelligence services, she's not opining. this is somebody who had access
to the highest levels of classified information. >> it's a fact. she's talking facts. >> she's saying that as a fact. she's not coming out there and saying, well, i think, or i assume. that is an assertion of fact by her from someone who can back it up with her access to classified information, which she can't talk about there in public. but this is not someone who's editorializing. and to sort of underscore where the white house has been on this, when they went into the break between the handoff from the democrats to the republican round of questioning, the white house put out a statement keying up off of what dr. hill said, saying adam schiff and the russians just let -- democrats are playing right into the russians' hands. it was precisely the opposite of what she said in the hearing where she was directing this critique and this warning really and almost this plea at the republicans who are pushing this and the white house sort of spun it around and said, you know, she warned adam schiff not to play into the russians' hands here. it was sort of mind-boggling to see it. but fiona hill does not come up here with no credentials and no background. she's speaking from a position of fact.
>> yeah. laura, let's go -- you've been watching these very closely and covering it all day. every day since it happened. can we go big picture here? what should the american people take away at the end of this phase of the impeachment -- this is just the inquiry part of it. what is next? >> well, this was the investigatory stage, akin to kind of the grand jury where you decide whether or not you have sufficient evidence to bring the charges against the president of the united states. there has been untouched facts that have been asserted here, that at the direction of the president of the united states a quid pro quo using political leverage against this nation of ukraine, using taxpayer dollars to fund a re-election campaign oppo research endeavor. that is the facts. it has not been undermined. the bigger picture here as well is the large achilles' heel that's being exposed of the republicans who have been averse to impeachment, which is on the one hand they want it both ways. they want to require evidence that they will not provide and they will not provide testimony
of witnesses who actually have the accounts of the first hand they demand, and then they will punish and vilify for the inability to have that information. that will be the theme going forward in the judiciary committee's phase, whether actually to bring articles of impeachment and of course to a senate trial. that will be on full display. but ultimately as the articles of the prerogative of the house, conviction and/or removal is the prerogative of a gop-led senate. >> carl, i've got to go because i'm taking time from the other guests in the other segments in the show. but how much longer is this? do we know? because people say, oh, there's a time line. but do we really know? >> no. i think none of us understand or know where this story is going to go. certainly the senators in the republican party are deeply disturbed by president trump's conduct, many of them. they've been craven about expressing it. will they acquit him? probably in all likelihood, almost certainly in the senate in the trial they'll vote for acquittal. but that doesn't mean that they're going to be like these
house republicans and blind to the truth of what is happening. >> all right. that's got to be the last word. thank you all. i appreciate it. democrats are moving closer to impeaching president trump. but is it risky to go ahead without testimony from john bolton, from mike pompeo, mick mulvaney? we'll discuss next. (people talking) for every dollar you spend at a small business, an average of 67 cents stays local. shop small and watch it add up. small business saturday by american express is november 30th. they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again!
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okay? democrats now actively preparing for the impeachment of president trump. sources tell cnn that a vote could come within weeks. but what are the political risks? let's discuss with two people who really know this. former democratic governor of michigan jennifer granholm and former republican congressman from pennsylvania, my former state, charlie dent. good evening. >> good evening. >> what a week, huh? >> what a week. >> i feel like we say that all the time. but really, what a week. governor granholm, what are we, 5 days of hearings, 12 public witnesses. we've learned a lot. but is it enough to convince the country that the president should be impeached, or is this a dangerous bet, political bet for democrats? >> no, i think for democrats it would be a totally dangerous bet not to take action. >> really? >> oh, for sure. no, i think that we have heard well -- above and beyond enough evidence to be able to impeach. i'm a former prosecutor myself, former assistant u.s. attorney
with the federal government, former attorney general. i would take this case to a jury in a minute. and i would get a conviction. i'm really sure of that. however, these are not jurors that are without bias. so this is a different -- it's a different scenario. i do think that the issue about who it hurts and what happens when it goes over to the senate is a really very interesting one for both sides. lots of considerations. do you have a short senate trial? assuming that you get articles of impeachment voted over from the house. do you have a long senate trial? do you drag it out? what does mitch mcconnell think is helpful for the president? what is the president telling him to do? what's good for the country? i think you have to have some process, that there will be a trial, that it will be a trial of some length, not super long, but ultimately i think it is good for the democrats to have planted their sword and saying we are standing in favor of the united states and the constitution -- >> regardless of the outcome. >> regardless of the outcome.
>> what do you think, charlie? >> i think the facts are getting worse for the president and the case is getting stronger against the president. but at the same time i get the sense that support for impeachment across the country might be slipping a little bit. so it's kind of odd. even though this is a very strong case, i do -- i think the democrats should not rush this thing in the house. by the same token the senate republicans should not rush that trial. they should go through the full motions. and i think the democrats, it's incumbent upon them to try to get john bolton and mike pompeo and others to actually testify, to hear from the firsthand accounts. i think that's essential that they at least try. >> that was my question because speaker pelosi said that she's not going to wait for the courts to compel administration officials to cooperate. how risky is that, to draw up articles of impeachment and not hearing from the folks that you said they should wait on? >> if i were nancy pelosi, i'd scream about the courts. why are they so busy, why can't
they take this up? this is a very big deal. i think she should try to force this in, at least pound her shoe on the table, say i want to hear from these people, they have direct knowledge and if they don't show up, that's another article for obstruction. >> i think that they have subpoenaed them and they have already clearly shown they're not going to show up. they have gone to court. and the court is dragging it out. and her point is -- i don't know who the judge is that is holding this. i don't know what the deal is. but i think they've made clearly a case for obstruction by virtue of the fact that the president is not allowing his people to testify and not releasing any documents -- >> and the republicans are complaining that -- there are no firsthand witnesses. >> oh, right. and there's no firsthand -- well, there was. there was today. right? >> but they're -- >> but they're complaining about it. >> the people who were there. you know, charlie said he believes that people's appetite, or do people want the president to be impeached, he thinks that's declining in the country. i don't know if you're right about that. maybe you are. i think that is actually increasing.
people want him impeached. but they don't necessarily think he should be removed. >> correct. i just saw a poll in wisconsin that showed -- it just showed there was not that much support for removal. and like i said, i think the case against the president has gotten much stronger and the facts are just terrible for the president. but there's a disconnect here. >> i think there is a disconnect. i do think, though, the argument that the republicans are making that let's just wait, it's an election year, let's just wait, this is about a president who reached across to a foreign country to tilt an election in his favor. it is the election and election security that is the subject of this. an election is not the remedy for that. so the problem is when you've got a president who has violated his oath of office and the constitution, the remedy is not to give him another election. we cannot give the powers of his office in an election year to him when he has twice we know of tried to interfere in the u.s. election.
>> but here's the issue. if they drag it on, right? it goes into the election and the senators who are out on the campaign trail who are running for president -- >> democrats -- >> i'm talking about democrats. >> i think both sides. >> the ones running for president. >> so they have to stay and do their job. right? and so that keeps them inside of washington. >> and republicans have said on the committee, they want to drag it on because they think -- >> but what is this -- what about joni ernst? what about cory gardner? >> i was going to say the people at most political risk here of anybody i think are those republican senators in those swing states. collins, gardner, ernst, mcsally and tillis. >> they'll be chased by reporters. >> who was at the white house today? >> well, donald trump invited mitt romney, susan collins -- >> his best friends. >> yes. make sure, don't vote against me. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> appreciate it. witness after witness pointing the finger directly at president trump.
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another bad day for president trump as witnesses in the impeachment inquiry shot down the defenses thrown out by his republican allies. but a white house official tells cnn that they don't believe the president is in danger of being removed from office. let's discuss now. guy smith is here, who was a clinton impeachment adviser. chris whipple here as well, the author of "the gatekeepers: how the white house chiefs of staff defined every presidency." good evening. perhaps the acting one in this one. right? we shall see. thank you, gentlemen, for joining us. after we heard from fiona hill and david holmes today, here's what cnn sources at the white house is telling cnn, that they are downplaying the impeachment, saying "there's something missing."
you say that that's like a white house that's in a state of denial. they aren't ready for the battle ahead. tell me why you say that. >> there's been no discernible impeachment defense. part of the reason for that is there is no defense. the president's actions are indefensible and it's an open and shut case on the evidence. but i think one of the factors here is also a kind of hubris because this white house was convinced that bob mueller was the only game in town, that if they got past mueller it was game, set, match, all their worries were behind them. and they had no idea what was coming. they were unprepared for it. and i actually got a text yesterday from somebody who knows trump well who talks to him on the phone quite a lot -- >> was it gordon sondland? >> no. but this person asked me if i thought that nixon would have been removed from office without the tapes. and first my response was, are you trying to tell me something?
are there tapes? and he said no. and i said it would have taken a while. this person is convinced there's no quote/unquote direct evidence, which is just flat out denial. because we know the evidence is there. the direct evidence is there in spades from the memo of the phone call to the witnesses, to the kiev restaurant phone call, to mick mulvaney blurting out a confession on national tv. the direct evidence is there for everybody to see, but the defense right now seems to be no direct evidence. >> well, i think the president has boxed him in because he's saying it's perfect, but i think anyone with half a brain knows the call was not perfect. and it's not just the call. it is the meeting as well. right? but they're boxed in. they can't say which would -- i think this may be all over if they said the president did something inappropriate, but it's not impeachable, it doesn't warrant being removed from office. >> he won't let him say that. because it was perfect. and he thinks he's perfect.
but the danger that they have, the smoking cannon, is in the original transcript where the quid pro quo, the bribery was in and biden's name was used by the president in that original thing, and all of rest of this is just corroborated, all of it. so it's right there. and think -- on august 24th nobody had ever heard of ukraine. here we are seven weeks later. and think about what we know. what will we know tomorrow? especially when bolton comes and testifies. and he will. >> you think so? >> absolutely. >> someone said he was the -- was it the big white shark or something like the great white shark that was going to bite everybody in this? they called rudy giuliani -- >> i'm not sure i would call him that. but he's got a -- >> meaning he was going to bite folks. >> he was absolutely going to bite. >> listen, so i mentioned
this when i was speaking with governor granholm and charlie dent. the former governor granholm and charlie dent about the president meeting with key senators at the white house today. among them swing states, mitt romney, susan collins. though susan collins said they didn't talk about that and they didn't feel like he was trying to butter up the jurors or what have you and mitt romney said they didn't talk about their differences. but do you think he's going to just try to keep an eye on these senators even though it's along party lines right now? >> you know, i just wouldn't give him credit for that much cleverness or even for that -- even for any kind of strategy. i mean, one of the -- i was listening to carl bernstein earlier and john dean, who was saying that this was worse than watergate, and i think they're right. but one of the really striking similarities to me is it's not the first time we had a president who was delusional. dick nixon was convinced the cia was out to get him. he thought there was dirt somewhere in the brookings
institution on an opponent. >> that's paranoia. >> the safe. he wanted haldeman to go and blow the safe and get it out. haldeman didn't do it. but that delusion almost pales in comparison to trump's obsession with 2016. and i think that it is not the great white shark but maybe his white whale, as tom bossert put it. >> wow. >> he is so obsessed with it, he can't let it go. and what was so devastating about fiona hill today i think was the way in which she in no uncertain terms demonstrated that donald trump is a russian asset. at the very least he's an unwitting asset and maybe worse. >> that's got to be the last word. >> and we're going to start now to see -- they're going to start shooting at each other. mulvaney, pompeo -- >> that's got to be the last word. thank you, gentlemen. i appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪
house democrats getting closer to impeaching president trump. testimony from multiple witnesses tying him directly to the shakedown scheme of ukraine. the tv hearings gave us a look the a the lives of remarkable people who came to america at immigrants and devoted their lives to the service of their adopted country. lets discuss now. she's one of the people we're talking about. thank you both. i appreciate it. i want to talk about doctor fiona hill, telling her story about growing up the daughter of a coal miner in england. listen. >> when the last of the local mines closed in the 1960s my father wanted to emigrate to the united states. to work in west virginia and
pennsylvania. his mother my grandmother had been crippled. and my father couldn't leave. so he stayed in england until he died in 2012. my mother lives in my hometown today. while his dream of coming to america was thwarted my father loved america. he always wanted someone in the family to make it to the united states. i grew up poor with a very distinctive working class accent. in england in the 1980s and '90s this would have impeded my profession. this background never set me back in america. >> you can relate to that. you are first generation america. she was today. in the country that she chose to live in and serve. demonstrating how she is the best america has to offer. how does her story resonate with her you? >> immigrants make america great again and again and again. and immigrants like fiona hill and lieutenant colonel vindman
patriots who stood up for truth and national security are being smeared as what? double agents. as pawns of george sorros. that is the reward immigrants who testify boldly and bravely and stood up for the country, that's how they're being smeared right now, don. and so i'm the son of proud immigrants. my father came here in 1965. the immigration nationality act. he made his life here and got married here. i was bonn here. i didn't speak english until age five. this is the american dream, but to so many this panel is the american nightmare. and this what we have to talk about is the white supremacist conspiracy theory being used against fiona hill and vindman and it's shameful. >> i want to play for you colonel vindman on his father's decision to leave the soviet union.
>> dad, i'm sitting here today in the u.s. capitol talking to our elected professionals. it's proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the soviet union and come here to united states of america in search of a better life for our family. do not worry, i will be fine for telling the truth. >> and now this quick clip of a young vindman and his twin brother from a documentary in the 1980s. >> we came from russia. >> kiev. >> and our mother died so we went to italy, and then we came here. >> you know this first-hand, don't you? >> yeah, it's emotional just watching it. my family, my parents can and i like the vindmans immigrated as political refugees with $75 a person. and i was so happy that fiona hill today always gets labeled british american, that she's
american. well, so are we. in fact when we left the soviet union we didn't have the option of saying we want to remain soviet american or maldoven american. our citizenship was stripped. this country embraced us. this country offered us things no other country would. you won't find bigger patriots than my parents or any immigrant that comes to this country because they chose to come to this country. when you heard vindman say to his father don't worry i'll be okay, because he told the truth. because in the soviet union that wasn't allowed. when my grandmother came here with us, my mom was making broccoli when george h.w. bush was president my grandmother got so scared and told her to throw it away because the president hates broccoli and doesn't eat that. only in america things like this could happen. >> we're so glad you're here and your families are here, that they came and we got to have you
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