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tv   CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin  CNN  December 3, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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the talk of a sweeping effort to stonewall the house of representatives sole power's impeachment under the constitution. the other interesting thing is how sort of the case for impeachment it makes is the damage to the president has done to our relationship with key strategic partner remedied over time and ukraine continues to enjoy strong bipartisan support in congress but the damage top our system of checks and balances and ball, of power within our three branches of government long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the president's ability to stonewall congress goes unchecked. they're making the case this is the demise of the entire democratic system on which the country is based. >> absolutely. >> if this is not addressed and remedied. >> well, and this is sort of a message to republicans, this is not about donald trump only. this is about the system you
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were elected to uphold. our democracy, our constitution and in which it is our job as members of congress to point out when a president has abused his power. and that's what this is about. >> i want to go back. this is congressman swalwell. >> leverage for taxpayer dollars for impeachment. >> reporter: abuse of power? obstruction of congress or more than that? >> we're looking at that now. the first hearing tomorrow morning with constitutional scholars essentially looking at the evidence and go through exactly what it is and what it means to our constitution and most importantly to our national security. >> reporter: you haven't made a decision whether or not the president should be impeached? >> no. it's important we reserve judgment at that report, it's powerful, overwhelming evidence. again, one of the largest investigations ever in america that wee-- relied on fewest
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amount of documents. 12 individuals we asked to come in, refused to do so yet because of the courage of ambassadors and department of defense officials we were able to lay out what we found and you see also in the report power of congressional subpoenas. we were able to subpoena records that tied together rudy giuliani and ranking member nunes and others were doing throughout the scheme. >> reporter: anything in the report we haven't seen in say a lot of stuff publicly, witness testimony, anything different we don't already know? >> reporter: look at phone records we couldn't get witnesses to come in. subpoenaed outside the third-party phone records and that kind of weaves together the timeline and kwauber ai corroboa lot of the witnesses who did come it testimony. >> reporter: appreciate it. >> congressman eric swalwell of california. a member of the house intel committee. says he hasn't decide and
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impeachment. based upon his public comments, seems he's certainly leaning heavily in one direction. i think we know what that is. okay. when we're talking about with the narrative what that's going to be. you said somethinging that you thought was very important, sophia. they're making this very broad, a very broad case about what this is? >> making it about democracy and he we are. >> also in the executive summary spelling out this narrative for what happened in the case of ukraine. the president conditioned a white house meeting and military aid to ukraine on a public announcement of investigations beneficial to his re-election campaign. it goes on to say, so the president removes anti-corruption champion ambassador yovanovitch. really the headlines in this. president's hancepicked agents begin the scheme. president trump throws vital military assistance, conditioned a meeting on those investigations.
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john bolton called it a drug deal. goes on to say ukrainians acquired about the hold on security assistance, then the president's security assistance hold became public. the president's scheme unravelled, what it says. lastly, the president's chief of staff, pamela, confirmed aid was conditioned on investigations. >> yes. absolutely. they are using the chief of staff's own words at the podium in the white house to make their case about quid pro quo. about what you just laid out, that the president was using his office for personal gain from a foreign power and basically in the second paragraph here of the summary, they make note of, look, the president was being propped up by his own administration officials. going around career officials in his administration and being propped up with the knowledge of his administration, political officials including pompeo, the secretary of state, rick perry and mick mulvaney but they make the case, because this is about
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the president. we talked about this before. they are trying everything back to the president. tying everything back to the president. >> right. trying to make the case also to follow-up, that this just isn't the phone call. and that part that you read of this executive summary talked about a dramatic crescendo that was a month-long campaign. driven by president trump. in which his own senior officials partoned. so to those people who would say, well, trump is just being trump, and this is who he is and it was that phone call, which he calls perfect. they're saying, stop. >> they're saying essentially it's a conspiracy. >> exactly. driven by the president. >> that's right. somewhat widespread. certainly many people who were involved in it. >> who knew. and who participated in this, including not only the people who work for him but his personal attorney rudy giuliani. >> uh-huh. >> a line in a struck me here, very first page.
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an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of this impeachment inquiry. i see three articles in here. obstruction of justice, abuse of power, abuse of office however you want to say it and obstruction of congress. those you can jump out at whatever else they might come up with, but they're going to be i think at least three articles. >> one question also is whether or not they will, when they end up drawing up the articles of impeachment whether they will specifically identify bribery with respect to financial assistance that was held out. that might be one of the things we hear articulated tomorrow in the hearing that's going to take place with the constitutional law professors as to whether or not the facts that are described in the report and that have been unravelled through the investigation constitute bribery in terms of the impeachment provisions in the constitution. >> go to cnn's chief white house correspondent jim acosta. jim, you were live in london, because the president is actually there for the nato summit. actually in buckingham palace right now meeting with the
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queen. tell us what you're hearing at this point in time or certainly what the anticipation has been like from white house officials ahead of this? >> reporter: yeah, brianna. we're waiting to see what the president has to say about the schiff report. they'll have a response i think in due time, but i will tell you the president in addition to throwing his weight around with some of these world leaders today, we saw him getting into a back and forth with emmanuel macr macron, the french president earlier today and weighing in on the impeach thement and talking about house chairman adam schiff in personal terms sitting down with justin trudeau. he said i think he's a maniac. i think adam schiff is a deranged human being and grew up with a con plex reasons that are ob vous he's a sick man and he lie is. the president of the united states talking about the chairman of the house intelligence committee in unbelievably personal terms and
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getting to kwhoo you talked about a few moments ago he sees this as a conspiracy. sees it as a kwon spearsy consp involving house democrats, intelligence committee and what the far right refers to as the deep state in the u.s. and so on. when asked whether or not the white house, whether the administration will take part in the impeachment proceedings moving forward he was talking about the house judiciary committee hearing that's supposed to take place tomorrow and he said why would he take part in that? why would the administration take part when they'll have three constitutionscholars for d one for republicans. shows you this administration, another tea leaf, they won't participate in any of this while in the house. he offered a sneak preview whether it gets to a senate trial. gets to the senate he said earlier today he may be open to
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having the secretary of state mike pompeo, the chief of staff mick mulvaney, participate in those proceedings in a trial in the senate. we'll have to wait and see whether or not it ever makes its way over to the senate. no question about it. he's talking about this in just unbelievably personal terms, brianna, this is way under his skin. this impeachment inquiry and sounds like that is not going to stop anytime soon. we're waiting to find out whether or not the white house or the president will respond to all this. as we've reported the last couple of days, they're showing no signs they want to participate in any of these proceedings in the house. the president calling it a hoax today, a sham, and a fix and so on. making it very clear where he stands on all this, brianna. >> jim, certainly in the right place to get that reaction. it's hard to imagine he will not be reacting to all of this very soon. jim acosta in london. thank you so much. so let's look at this. i mean, we know the president -- i mean, he sees this in partisan
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terms but clearly thinks he hasn't done anything wrong here. right? although he sort of oscillates between saying it was a perfect call and misrepresents things on the call which indicates there was something wrong with it. what do white house officials think and as they're reading this here and then the republican report, kind of ignores facts, what are they looking at here? >> interesting. i just had, got a response from someone who close to the white house who was saying, look, the democrats are making this all about democracy, democracy is on the line. the democrats can't walk that back. that's something white house officials as close to the white house are seizes on as we get the first read of this report. that this is bigger, as you've pointed out, democrats are making this bigger than just here's what's going on in ukraine. this is about democracy. this is about our system of checks and balances. >> that is a weakness in the argument do you think? >> they do. they think this is a line
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democrats can't walk back. yes. >> why is that? why do they think that's a -- >> because they would like to say, democracy -- >> yes. they believe it's political overreach and a misreading how this will play out with the voters. again, this is their -- this is kind of the early read from people on that side of things, but that's the way they look at it and it isn't you're seeing, too, because of the transcript. even today talking to someone who pointed to, go back to the transcript. what's so clear here is the dramatic cha sherescendo saying was one piece of the puzzle. >> one of the things in the preface. in president george washington's farewell address, sort of answers what you said there, pamela. warned of a moment when "cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be able to subvert power of the people and usurp for themselves reins of government destroying the very
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engines which lifted them to unjust dominion." >> brianna, this is a huge moment for america and i've said it for weeks. it's about whom we're going to be in this moment and who we're going to be going forward. i realize politically the president plays to his base and we know we're really living in two americas right now. if you turn on another network, versus this network or another network, you hear entirely different set of facts, narratives. it's scary, because if you don't know, you don't know who to believe at this point. i think what's dangerous is that the republican party, lincoln's party, has now adopted a position that says it's okay to subvert democracy. it's okay to gloss this over. it's okay not to honor checks and balances. is that really the hill they want to die on? because that's a bad hill, if you ask me. >> this summary report talks about that. the question that schiff's committee raises is, if you can't agree on the facts and the truth, how can you have a debate?
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>> and it says this. >> it says, but perhaps even more corrosive to our democratic system of governance, the president and his allies are making a comprehensive attack on the very idea of fact and truth. how can a democracy survive without 0 acceptance of a common set of experiences? >> one of the things this also makes the case for is impeachment. to your point where white house officials or those in trump's corner think, oh, you're attacking democracy with this. saying this is about democracy. they're laying out the case, impeachment isn't a radical idea. impeachment is clearly outlined in the constitution. this is actually something that is part of the, you know, the founding document. i do want to get to manu is on the hill poring through this report. 300 pages, are preface and summary. give us the latest from where you are. >> reporter: yes. this report essentially loys out
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two broad categories. presidential misconduct and obstruction of congress. the general nature how democrats looked at the investigation as it happened so far and you can expect that's how the articles of impeachment will ultimately be addressed. one dealing with democrats' view of abuse of his office and the way the president dealt with ukraine saying in this report that the july 25th phone call between president trump and president zelensky with trump urged zelensky to open up investigation into the bidens saying that's not only thing. they're laying out a broad timeline of efforts, a long scheme, in their words, of the president using the power of his office to pressure ukraine to move forward on these investigations, withholding security assistance, withholding a vital meeting which the ukrainian officials sought. all part of the misconduct aspect of the democratic report here. probably we'll see when articles of impeachment are ultimately drafted, they'll lay out abuse of power, probably that could go
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as far as bribery. we'll see how that's wrapped into the all decision about abuse of power. at least abuse of power seems almost certain as a result of the misconduct laid out here. obstruction of congress almost certainly expect an article of impeachment about obstruction of congress. the democrats lay out what they call unprecedented stonewalling here. by the president's refusal to allow witnesses to come and testify, his refusal to provide documents from the state department. as well as the white house. turn those over to capitol hill. they're blainie i blaming this president trump's directive from his top aide and in one section, piece of it says this -- donald trump is the first president in the history of the united states to seek to completely obstruct an impeach mchbt inquiry undertaken by the house of representatives under article 1 of the constitution vests the house with sole power
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of impeachment. puckli publicly repeatedly challenged the authority of the house to conduct an impeachment inquiry into his accesses rasegarding ukraine. up see what they're trying to make the argument where this comes down going forward. how they ultimately expect house judiciary committee to deal with this as they start to draft the articles of impeachment. democrats careful not to explicitly say the president should be removed from office. they stopped just short of that saying ultimately that it's up to the house judiciary committee, up to the full house but clear here where they stand. they, in fact, do believe the president should be impeached, that the president did commit these acts abusing his office, engaging in misconduct and clearly obstruction of congress in their view. >> they make the case for impeachment as an institution and then they make the case against the president. manu raju, thank you so much. i want to show folks, this is it. okay? 300 pages. a very lengthy report that's
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come out from the house intel democrats and one of the key points they make manu outlined, carrie cordero, is, the president has gotten in the way of their investigation. this is about checks and balances and he is usurping the ability of congress to do the job that it is imbued with in the constitution. >> yes. clearly, and congress and chairman schiff has demonstrated and articulated their concern about the obstruction all throughout the process that congress has been frustrated by the administration and the president's directions to witnesses. it says, for example, in the summary we have already, a dozen witnesses followed president trump's orders defined voluntary requests and lawful subpoenas in refusing to testify. clearly the obstruction is something that congress feels at least the members that are authoring this report, feel that they have a constitutional responsibility to create a
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historical record showing that a president, a president, not just this president, but "a president" cannot just completely shut down and refuse to participate in an impeachment inquiry and to oversight by congress. i do think they'll continue on the obstruction pass but i think one of the most important things that's in this summary is the statement in the summary that, "the president placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the united states." that really gets to the core of the presidential misconduct that manu described. >> yes. and undercuts one of the things that republicans and supporters of the president will say. they'll say, when vice president biden was vice president, you know, he was kind of holding something over the ukrainians head because a prosecutor, he want add prosecutor out, except he was executing u.s. foreign policy.
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right? he was -- this was what was considered the prevailing interest of the u.s. when it came to policy with ukraine. >> allies. our ally. >> yes. and a key point fiona hill made, describing her realization that she was doing foreign policy and her colleagues were involved in doing actual foreign policy and national security on behalf of the united states, and rudy giuliani and gordon sondland and other individuals working on the president's behalf were working in what she called a domestic political errand, and that was where it's an important distinction and one of the more nuanced things this inquirely have to explain is the difference between conducting foreign policy and doing personal political bidding. >> robin wright joins us, a joint distinguished fellow at the wilson center. what are you thinking hearing what's in this summary of this
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lengthy report? >> the thing that strikes me, this began with foreign folpoli and drvnt onald trump is in lon celebrating unity on issues that have to do with democracy. how embarrassing for him? how much does this undermine not only his ability to conduct foreign policy, but america's credibility? it's not just shameful in terms of the way it plays out among us, it has repercussions for our ability not just during the trump presidency but i think down the road that the united states would stoop to the level of trying to compromise the safety of a country that's on the front line with russia militarily. for his own political gain. that's just -- just unprecedented. when it comes to american history. >> do you think, robin, that that's too distant in the history of the country for a lot of americans to say, oh, yeah. that really matters. that's very important to me
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personally, to the health of the country, to have this cohesion to have these alliances? is that something that really -- i mean i think people obviously who are steeped in foreign policy, they understand just how important that is. but i wonder if a lot of americans, that's not something that convinces them? >> one thing that came out of these hearings people realized there was a country called ukraine and very emotionally the way fiona hill and bill taylor talked how ukrainians are dieing every day to protect their territory and the west in general against russian aggression. the tragedy in all of this is that we talk a lot about the aid finally getting through, but the fact is the trump administration has done nothing inner its of countering vladimir putin on his annexation of crimea and support for separatists there. it's the front line for us, too. not just for europe. this is where the tensions that played out during the cold war and now in the post-cold war
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world, so much is at stake and the repercussions of this report and what happens in this impeachment hearing i think will play out for a very long time. not just in our elections. >> and undere scoring my point. we're going to decide who we are and what we will tolerate. a line on page 3. the impeachment inquiry found that president trump personally and acting through agents within and outside of the u.s. government solicited the interference of a foreign government, ukraine, to benefit his re-election. to your point, how embarrassing. he's there for nato, with the queen of england. everyone knows what's going on, like the 800-pound elephant in the room. i'm embarrassed as a lifelong republican i am embarrassed and ash ashamed of the republican party not one person could stand up and say this conduct is unacceptable. it's not about partisanship. it's about what's right and wrong and it's a shame not one republican in the house has done
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that. i'm -- >> and then he had to leave the party. >> justin amash, other than that, not one in the house and i'm hoping mitt romney leads the charge but i'm not optimistic there, either. >> also troubling, the new republican defense that ukraine interfered in one way or another in the 2016 election. something that american intelligence officials did not find. something that bob mueller did not find. and something that the senate intelligence committee did not find. >> no indication that happened. voicing that they were oppositional to the president because he was oppositional to ukraine. sorry. make that very clear. >> exactly. it is one way of trying to defend the president by saying, well, you know, he would just -- didn't like ukrainian election interference, which, of course, never occurred, and that is beside the point. i think what this report is pointing out here is that, a.,
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the president didn't mention corruption on his phone call with zelensky. and, b., that's really not what this is about. this is about stopping military aid on behalf of an ally against an aggressor. russia. russia. not our friend, our foe. rush. if that can be pointed out to the american people, that this benefits russia, and the republican party used to be a party that really cared about how we dealt with russia, maybe that will have some impact. i'm not sure, but i'm wondering if we'll hear this, you know, ukraine tried to influence the election defense as we heard from senator kennedy, over and over again at this plays out, because it was in the house republican report here. and there's no place for it in this. >> we'll get in a quick break.
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the report is out knop house intelligence report. it's a doozy. 300 pages. we'll going through it, because perhaps you won't have time to today. we'll be right back with this breaking news. post this... and be there like this. so we give you that. and right now, buy a samsung galaxy s10 or note 10... and get one free.
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i'm brianna keilar. this is cnn's special live coverage. just joining us, the house summary report telling us all learned in the impeachment inquiry so far just released. it's pretty large. 300 pages plus. at the heart of it details how president trump sought political gain in dealing is with ukraine and the committee's belief the president's stonewalling amounts to obstruction of congress. here's what the house intelligence committee said about that, "no other president has claimed for himself the right to deny the house's authority to conduct an impeachment proceeding and forbid any and all cooperation from the executive branch." a i want to go to manu raju. you're seeing new headlines including a focus on vice president mike pence. what are you seeing?
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>> reporter: yes. a focus where democrats say this goes beyond that july 25th phone call. that phone call, of course, president trump talked with president zelensky. president zelensky urged to open up a political investigation into his opponents. the president said all about a perfect call. democrats say it wasn't a perfect call and much broader beyond one phone call and specifically say, they say "the telephone call was neither the start nor the end of the president trying to bend for his own gain a month-long effort in which senior officials including the vice president, secretary of state, the acting chief of staff, the secretary of state of energy and others were either knowledgeable of or acti participating in an active to
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abstract personal benefits sought by a president." what this likely refers to is the testimony from gordon sondland, the ambassador to the european union who said everybody was in the loop as part of the push to get ukraine's president to have a meeting with president trump in exchange for investigations into the president's political rivals. that's something that gordon sondland testified was a "quik quik." -o -o -- a "quid pro quo" and security investigations tied to those as well. the vice president after a meeting -- a meeting between vice president pence in warsaw gordon sondland had a meeting pulled him aside saying the security assistance was likely tied to investigations. pence denied they had any knowledge of a quid pro quo and
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that even they discussed a quid pro quo or any security assistance tied to investigations in a conversation with sondland in that warsaw meeting. nevertheless, democrats say this effort by the president tied in everybody in the administration and also saying in this report, brianna, this goes beyond the effort, to oust the ukrainian ambassador marie yovanovitch. they're saying this scheme the president was involved in part of an effort removing this ambassador to further the president's political interests and putting his personal attorney rudy giuliani in charge of u.s. and ukraine policy and laying out a detailed account in their view of what they see as clear misconduct by the president, abuse of power and obstruction of congress as you mentioned. we can expect articles of impeachment to be drafted along those lines talking about abuse of power as well as obstructing the will of congress.
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brianna? >> manu, thank you. continue to update going through this 300-plus page report. and a former senior director forecounterterrorism joins us on the national security council. it is interesting to hear manu talk about this, josh. clearly, one of the key parts of what house democrats need to do is say, look, this came right from the president. also pretty much painting a picture of this really sort of wide web of all the president's men backing him up on this. knowing about it and helping him execute it. >> i think that's critical and explains why this report is as long as it is because this was not one bad phone call, one bad line in the call a looming foreign policy disaster and lots of people in government hoot knew what normal was saw it coming, tried to wave it often and then a cluster of folks who stuck with the president and tried to push ahead anyway. this tells a story so much broader than just one phone call, one slip of the tongue by
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the president. >> can you speak, too, something we heard in the hearings recently. the idea of there being the regular channel and the irregular channel. and fiona hill the former top russia adviser to the white house, to president trump, outlined how, i mean, on one hand, unusual. regular, unregular channel and talked about the point objectives diverged. right? why is that so critical? most people are steeped in foreign policy and don't understand, you hear that and you say, oh, my god. why is that so essential to this country's security and standing in the world that that doesn't happen? >> i think folks need to understand that debate about foreign policy, that happens all the time. that's why there is a national security council staff. to help channel that debate and make it productive. what doesn't happen all the time is to have that debate be sort of the facade and then something else be happening that is
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contrary to it. so worrisome to the civil ser servants they report it to lawyers and folks saying this isn't just a bad idea, we don't know what's happen and think the law might have been broken. >> don't forget. this money, this mailitary aid was approved by congress. congress is the one deciding on impeachment. they have to figure out whether what they do matters at all. because if they can be circumvented by a president -- anytime he or she wants, why do you need a congress? and that's the point that this report makes very, very strongly. i mean, it says that -- having just one hard-fought independence from a king with unbridled authority, the framers were attuned to the danger of an executive who lacked loyalty to the law and to the constitution.
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that's what this is about. >> sophia, you were counsel for republicans during the clinton impeachment. i wonder, gloria, we know, from the reporting we do we know certainly there is a segment of the house republican conference that believe what's they're saying. right? they believe -- they might even believe some of these conspiracy theories. there's also a large section of the house republican conference that actually believes one thing and is talking out of the other side of their mouth defending the president muddying the waters. i wonder for you as someone who went through the clinton impeachment for republicans what you think about that? >> so i was on oversight, of course, judiciary did the clinton impeachment but we would give them documents and all that. as you see here. >> this was in conjunction with oversight? >> using the investigative committees to help.
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the republican committees and i opened with this talking about lindsey graham and others cleansing the office are and all that that matters somehow those same republicans don't see it that way now. for me, there is no advice i could give any of them other than find your soul and understand exactly what gloria said, what i've been saying that this is bigger than you. this is bigger than this moment. this is about who we're going to be. does congress have a role? if congress doesn't have a coequal role in oversight investigation, we have a problem. we don't have the a republic anymore. we have something else moving closer to an athor terrorism type-oterrorism -- authoritarianism type of rule. >> get in a quick break. major breaking news here on cnn today. this report out from the house intelligence committee in conjunction with the house foreign affairs and oversight committees detailing the case for impeachment against prrt. president trump.
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we do that all the time with foreign policy. i have news for everybody. get over it. there's goings to be political influence in foreign policy. >> all right. so we'll remember after that briefing that the acting chief of staff mick mulvaney gave there in the white house briefing room, there was quite a
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lot of walking it back, a lot of concern among white house officials and here's why. because this actually finds its place on page 13 of the preface and summary of this 300-plus-page report that just came out from the house committee in conjunction with the house oversight and foreign affairs committee. according to mike mulvaney president trump absolutely mentioned in connection with security assistance diring the call. mr. mulvaney stated the server was part of why we held up the money. after a reporter attempted to clarify this explicit acknowledgement of a quid pro quo mr. mulvaney replied, "we do that all the time with foreign policy"'s he added "i have news for everybody. get over it. there is going to be political influence in foreign policy." mick mulvaney probably not the favorite person there at the white house right now, gloria. how important is this, really, do you think, to the case democrats are making now? >> i think it's a very important piece of it. i think mulvaney came out and
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said publicly what others have been denying. although i will point out the president, and it's in this report, on october 3rd, the president was asked what he'd hoped zelensky would do following their july 25th phone call and the president said, well, i would think if they were honest about it they'd start a major investigation into the bidens. it's a very simple answer. so even though the president is reportedly upset at mulvaney, he said very much the same thing. >> right. >> and keeps repeating it and repeating it and repeating it publicly. >> another thing that the summary of the report says, it says, "most of the facts presented in the pages that follow are uncontested." that gets to the heart of what we discussed earlier. that most of the facts that are important to the central issue whether or not the president abused his authority were in the summary of the july 25th phone call that was released, were in
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the mulvaney press conference, and then were in the public statements in the two weeks of testimony in front of the committee. and those basic facts are not contested as the report says here. it's up to congress now to decide who to do with those facts and that gets to your points about the historical significance of these acts and is this conduct that really any party for the future wants to consider as appropriate and acceptable for any president to engage in and that's why these proceedings are so important to create historical records. >> i would add, too, what mulvaney said in one sentence is absolutely true. of course this influence and lobbying in foreign affairs in this town. happens every day. however, corrupt influence in foreign affairs, ask paul manafort how that worked out for him. the point is, there are limitations to what you can do. you have to register. there are as i think yovanovitch and -- >> register as a foreign agent. >> yovanovitch, hill, others
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testified to this normal foreign policy. then this other thing going on with rudy running around. i can't imagine how horrible that must have been for those working in the state department, our diplomats, to navigate a mess like that. >> i think we need to dwell on this point today. tomorrow the conversation will shift to, what is an impeachable offense, what it's a high crime misdemeanor, critical in the weeks ahead. for one day to dwell on how bad it is for american national security and u.s. foreign policy to have a quid pro trump, really. a quid pro quo, not a trade to benefit our country, our nation our people but to benefit him personally. that is what's so dangerous and what can't be normalized the way mulvaney's comment suggests. >> the way republicans, to use your word normalizing it saying, a., ukraine is corrupt. we all know that. why was congressional aid approved? if they -- right? >> horrified. looking at you in horror. not because you're wrong. you're right. >> but this is -- this is the argument. and so it's not on the
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president's phone call. it's not on this -- this cascade of events or whatever you want to call it, but it is about the fact that, well, if ukraine is corrupt, then whatever the president did was probably the right thing, and that the policy, that congress approved, and financed, was not the right -- you know, ip so factso >> inventing an excuse to do something no longer contested it happened. >> this is how republicans have to twist themselves in knots and pretzels to try to explain what's not explainable and accept what's not acceptable. so we the people, like i said, have to make a decision. the democrats i have to give them credit here. they're taking a big risk. you want to say something? >> just add what we're looking at, live pictures here. all of this happening as the president is in london for the nato summit. he and first lady melania trump
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arriving there at 10:00 downing street. the prime minister's offices and residence. please continues on, sophia. >> simply saying, we're going to have to make a decision and i want to keep saying that. i think we're all in agreement we cannot allow this to be okay. if we allow it to be okay, what ben franklin said that day in 1776 it's a republic if you can keep it. we will no longer be keeping it. the beginnings of the end of america if we don't hold fast to our norms, our documents, and the foundations of who we are. and we're in a fight for the soul of america right now. >> seems like some voters are fine with a degree of sort of that more authoritarian streak if it speaks to what they believe in. >> if you believe the so-called deep state is corrupt, and that, therefore, the foreign policy that had been approved by congress, et cetera, being pursued was not irregular, but
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corrupt, because it was being promulgated by, you know, by this -- this deep state that you don't trust and that now includes not only the state department but obviously now the fbi, the cia, whatever you want to throw in there, that you could believe that donald trump was actually saving the country rather than destroying the constitution, as you point out. >> this is actually a really important point. because sometimes we hear the argument made in the context of everything that's been revealed through ukraine, we're hearing the arguments about why u.s. assistance to ukraine is important, and why ukraine is an ally. all of that is correct. i mean, i happen to agree with that as a policy matter that usually has been the subject of a bipartisan national security consensus. but that's not actually the impeachable offense and that's going to be -- it's really important to distinguish between the fact that if the president did decide to change ukraine
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policy, that actually is within foreign policy powers of the president. but that's not what happened here. what happened here is that he was holding out the assistance for his own personal political objectives. that's a really -- that's "the" critical distinction. >> and a huge important fact. all right. we have just gotten this house intel report accusing president trump of misconduct on ukraine as the president is in london with the first lady arriving at 10 downing street. much more just ahead. ♪ jesus lord at thy birth
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jake tapper continuing with special coverage of release of the house intelligence impeachment report in a moment. first, the other breaking news is that senator kamala harris has dropped out of the democratic race for president. in a statement she wrote "my campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue. i'm not a billionaire. i can't fund my own campaign. as the campaign has gone on it's become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete. in good faith i can't tell you my volunteers and staffers i have a campaign if i don't believe i do. to you supporters with deep regret and deep gratitude i am suspending my campaign today." i want to bring in democratic state house representative in south carolina marvin pendarvous
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and your reaction to learning kamala harris is out of the race? >> first off, good afternoon and thank you for having me on. my first reaction was deeply sad. i had an opportunity to meet senator harris on the campaign trail. we met sometime in january and february on a couple of occasions which she came to south carolina. one of the things i always appreciated is what she brought to the conversation. to be frank, i'm the son of a black woman, husband of a black woman, i have nieces and sisters who look to kamala harris as someone that they can aspire to be. what she meant for the conversation was important. what she meant for housing, for education and some of the things that she espoused and her campaign trail were necessary in this time and she certainly elevated the conversation to where we need to be and her voice will be sorely missed. >> who will get your support now? who are you looking at? >> i'm officially supporting the vice president biden.
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>> okay. so -- and why? >> well, for me, i've been elected three years, and i've looked at what happened and where this country has taken itself over the last several years with the election of donald trump as president. the reality is we need to unify. we need to get to a place where every american sees an opportunity for success. one of the things that led to what happened in 2016 is so many americans felt like the democratic party was not talking to you. felt they weren't talking about issues important to them. issues like education, issues like health care, issues like economic opportunity and ensuring that every american has the opportunity to succeed in life, and what the vice president offers through a lifetime of achievement and lifetime of public service, he demonstrated to me that he is ready and willing top lead on day one. simple as that. >> it's interesting to hear you now saying that you support joe
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biden. that's new. i wonder what you say to kamala harris supporters? we've seen this, south carolina was so key to her strategy. she was really trying to win over black voters, and there was a big generational divide you're seeing right there in south carolina. older african-american voters like joe biden, jungyounger lik kamala harris. what do you say to her supporters? >> well, i would tell them there is room and opportunity for them to feel like their messages are being heard within this camp. the reality is, what we need is someone who's been battle tested. one of the reasons i looked at supporting the vice president is what he's been able to do, noth through this campaign but in a lifetime of public service. he's been through the valleyened come out on the other side and someone who's been a champion of issues that are pressing to the people. so to the young voters out there in south carolina and young voters, young african-american
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voters that like senator harris, i would tell them issues like housing, health care, economic prosperity, the ones that people really need, the ones that i want to make sure our candidates -- yes? >> thank you so much for joining us. i know i'm going to lose you only the window momentarily. we'll continue this conversation. representative, thank you for joining us and "the lead" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. starting an hour early today to cover this major breaking story of the day. you may come to remember the house intelligence committee this afternoon released its 300-page trump ukraine impeachment inquiry report as it calls itself laying out its case saying that president trump indeed conditioned official presidential acts involving ukraine on that country's leaders announcing investigations that would help president trump politically. any moment now