tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 16, 2019 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
good evening. this come has existed for all or part of five centuries and for the third time ever our president will be impeached, possibly wednesday. that alone makes this week historic, but so too the decisions the republicans and democrats make along the way. these decisions are not just minor territorial skirmishes. they are possibly precedent-setting for future generations but also for the minds of voters come next november, and we have new and exclusive cnn polling that shows what those voters are thinking and how some of their minds are changing. we'll show you how in just a moment. the polls bookend a day that saw a back and forth over what witnesses might or might not appear during the senate trial. democrats want to hear from four witnesses including john bolton and mick mulvaney, who were prevented by the white house from testifying during the house investigation. minority leader chuck schumer made the case this afternoon. >> trials have witnesses.
that's what trials are all about. these people know better than anybody else the facts. there is no reason on god's green earth why they shouldn't be called and testify unless you're afraid of what they might say. >> senate republican leader mitch mcconnell has provided no details of his thinking, only that on everything he does, quote, i will be coordinating with the white house counsel. that's according to a fox news interview he did last week. again, who is right and who is wrong is not something our leaders will decide. rather, it's something that will be decided in less than 11 months at the polls by votersment ovoters. our political director, david chalian joins me. let's talk about this new cnn poll out tonight. what are we learning about support for impeachment? >> in our latest numbers, 45% of americans in this poll support the impeachment and removal from office of president trump. 47% do not. that compares to 50% is where we had it last month.
we've seen a drop in support for impeachment and removal. but i will note in the last 24 hours, there have been four polls out all ranging between 45% and 50% for support of impeachment and removal. take a look over time here. you'll see 50% last month, 50% before, 47% when the ukraine story first broke out. so you can see that it has remained pretty steady. and as i said, all the polls out there show it in that range of 45% to 50%. no small thing that nearly half the country wants to see the president removed from office, but it's obviously a very split and divided country. >> and what about among democrats? where do they stand in the poll? >> that's actually, anderson, where we see most of the movement in this poll away from supporting impeachment. take a look. democrats were at 90% in favor of impeachment and removal. now they're down to 77%. independents, roughly about the same. and a little decline there for
republicans, but it is the democrats that are driving much of that move away from impeachment that we're seeing. >> that's interesting. david chalian, thanks very much. i want to talk to david just a bit more for more information on the poll, including how support for impeachment is tracking specifically in battleground states because of course that is where this election may be decided. the white house is obviously keeping tabs on polls like this new one as well as trying to shape voter sentiment, which may explain their response to senate democrats' request for more witness testimony. chief white house correspondent jim acosta is at the white house for us. how did they respond to senator schumer, or did they? >> reporter: it was a pretty predictable response. the white house press secretary stephanie grisham said it was laughable, this request from chuck schumer for testimony. the white house going on to say this is a sign the democrats don't have a case to convict and remove the president from office. but one thing that the white house did not say is, yes, you
can have your witnesses, which is why people like chuck schumer are saying, what does the white house have to hide? i will tell you, anderson, talking to my sources this evening, there is a view inside the white house that what chuck schumer did earlier today was essentially respond to the president and other republicans saying they want to see hunter biden. they want to see the whistle-blower testify as if chuck schumer is saying, listen, if you want to bring in your witnesses, we'll want to bring in our witnesses, which means it will be in the interest of both sides to have a speedier trial. >> and is there any sense that the president wants a longer, more drawn out trial or if he wants a shorter one? we've heard conflicting things. >> reporter: anderson, i think he pines for one. i think he would like to see one, but i think he is starting to listen to advisers who are cautioning him. and even allies like lindsey graham up on capitol hill cautioning him that this would essentially open up pandora's box. and people like rudy giuliani walking around the grounds of the white house after a trip to ukraine, he is sort of a walking, talking pandora's box, and that is something that some
people inside the white house don't want to see. so at this point there's a lot of time between now and a potential senate trial for a lot of jockeying to go on. essentially what you're hearing from the white house right now is when we talk to our sources, is that they would prefer to see a shorter trial at this point. but perhaps, you know, they will reserve this right and ask for a longer trial if things start to get dicey and they feel as though they want to exonerate the president. a lot of this is going to be driven by the president, anderson, and he has been wildly unpredictable over the last 48 to 72 hours, you know, tweeting dozens of times, tweeting about nancy pelosi's teeth and so on. and so, you know, just when people inside the white house think, okay, the president has settled on a shorter trial, they're also on the edge of their seat, anderson. >> it bears repeating, i know we all know this, but it's kind of remarkable that there still are not any white house press briefings. those things used to be a daily occurrence in most administrations, like the american people get to hear and see their officials answering
questions from reporters of all stripes. >> it is astounding, and it raises the question whether or not the white house believes it has things to hide. and if we had daily briefings or even regular briefings inside the white house briefing room where officials would come in and take our questions, we would be able to get to the bottom of a lot of things. but, you know, there just isn't that kind of opportunity anymore. they have shut that down over here at the white house. the president will occasionally take questions, but when he took questions today, he wasn't really taking questions on impeachment. and when he took a question about rudy giuliani, it was to say he's the greatest mayor ever and a proven crime fighter and they shushed all the white house reporters out of the cabinet room. this is not access at all whatsoever. >> when stephanie grisham takes questions it's over at the mothership, "fox & friends" or somewhere on fox news. >> that's exactly right, anderson. >> thanks very much. just a few minutes ago, i spoke to senator bob menendez in new jersey about the fight ahead in the senate as well as what
voters are saying if impeachment and removal of president trump is the appropriate course of action. senator, i want to talk to you about the senate trial in just a moment. but first i want to get your reaction to new cnn poll, the public support for impeachment and removal is don't overall since last month, even down among democrats. i'm wondering does that concern you? >> well, anderson, i've seen other polls that have a majority who seek the president's impeachment and removal, but we don't do impeachment by poll. only members of the united states senate will cast a vote on guilt or innocence, and they will have to do so based upon their constitutional oath as well as the information that they'll have from the house managers. and so for me, it's not a question as to whether or not the poll suggests the president should or should not be impeached. the question is what are the facts and abiding by your constitutional obligation. you know, when you take an oath
to the constitution, you don't say that, well, i take an oath of office to defend the constitution of the united states only when it's politically convenient. >> minority leader schumer is pushing for witnesses from the president's inner circle in the likely senate trial. house democrats couldn't get obviously those witnesses with a majority in the chamber in the house. do you have any reason to think they would have better luck in the senate? >> well, i think that subpoenas under an impeachment trial from the senate would be hard to ultimately avoid, which is why probably the majority leader is not going to allow it to happen because, you know, at the end of the day, you would think that those who know the most about the issues at hand -- did the president use the power of his office and abuse it to help himself politically by inviting a foreign country to get involved in our elections? and did he ultimately obstruct
the congress of the united states by providing no witnesses and no documents? well, those who know those answers the best are people like former ambassador -- ambassador bolton, former nsc director, you know, mick mulvaney and others. so you would think that if, in fact, the president has nothing to hide, that he'd have them forthcoming to make the case for him. shouldn't even have to subpoena them at the end of the day. the fact that all you hear is crickets from them, it tells you volumes about why they will not be coming forward because i think their information would be incriminating to the president. >> do you think -- obviously mcconnell, as you said, is not likely to do that. do you think there's any even moderate republicans who would even sort of back the idea of senator schumer's plan? susan collins, for example, said today that he thought senator schumer's letter was, quote, unfortunate. it certainly doesn't sound like it bodes well for democrats for her in terms of calling anybody in the inner circle.
>> look, i think that for all senators and certainly senate republicans, they have to make sure that this process doesn't seem like a sham, like it's a slam dunk as senator mcconnell has said, that he is going to be in absolute sync with the white house counsel and with the president. that's not -- you know, that's like the defense attorney being in cahoots with the judge and the jury. i mean that doesn't work. that's not going to have any credibility. >> yeah. i mean to the point that you just made, with mcconnell saying he's coordinating with the white house, do you think despite that, that there can be a fair trial? >> well, look, you know, if you listen to many of my colleagues and to the majority leader themselves, the majority leader has declared there's no way that the senate will convict the president. well, he hasn't heard all the evidence. he doesn't know all of the facts. i mean other than what we have publicly seen. he hasn't seen the presentation of those facts in a way that can
make a powerful case for a verdict of guilt. and so the fact that he's already declared the outcome leaves it very -- you know, there's no doubt that this won't be a fair process. >> lastly, you're on the foreign relations committee. there's a new piece in "the new yorker" tonight exploring among other things rudy giuliani's ukraine connections, the durt he -- he talks about ousted ambassador marie yovanovich, saying, i believe i needed yovanovich out of the way. she was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody. i wonder what your reaction is to that? >> this is another example of the hard truth staring us in the face. you know, the president didn't want to go after corruption in ukraine. rudy giuliani didn't want to go after corruption in ukraine. if you wanted to go after corruption, you warranted marie yovanovich to ultimately be there because her reputation is impeccable, particularly on the question of fighting corruption
in the ukraine and other posts that she's had. so you didn't want a corruption fighter. you wanted someone who would cover up the corruption that you were pursuing, which is try to get a foreign government and hold them hostage to ultimately get involved in our democratic elections. and the reason this should matter to your viewers and to every american, if we invite foreign governments to get involved in our election, when we cast a vote, we don't know that the sanctity of our vote that is being cast is ultimately what's going to be realized. >> senator menendez, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. still to come, we're going to have more on the historic showdown between senate democrats and president trump over key witnesses the white house has refused to let testify. also digging into those new cnn poll numbers to get a sense which direction voters in battleground states are headed on the question of impeachment or removal. is it playing big in battleground states? we'll take a look at that.
at the beginning of the program, our jim acosta reported the white house is not prepared to give any ground to senate democrats who are demanding key witnesses testify in the impeachment trial. this would be four witnesses including mick mulvaney, john bolton, who now or once did serve at the top reaches of the white house and who were prevented by the white house from testifying during the house investigation. i want to talk about it with jeffrey toobin, also u.s. today columnist and cnn political analyst kirsten powers and former nixon white house counselor john dean, who knows a thing or two about congressional testimony. jeff, what do you make of senator menendez saying before the break, do you believe republicans will get onboard? he essentially said no. >> i think senator menendez has got it exactly right. i mean, you know, the republican position here is, we've got the votes, screw you. i mean, you know, they don't have 67 votes to remove the president. they really -- you know, on procedural votes like, you know, witnesses, the republicans
almost always stick together. and, look, this is a rubber stamp senate for donald trump. i mean if you look at the actual votes, not the expressions of concern that you used to hear from senator flake or senator corker or senator collins, they vote with the president all the time on every issue except a couple of them on obamacare, but that was a long time ago, and it was one vote. he's got the votes. mcconnell does, and he's going to do what he wants. >> john, republicans are already saying these witnesses should have been dealt with in the house and taken to court, that fact-finding is not for the senate. >> well, that's just a mock point because they know the house couldn't get them, and that's one of the reasons they think they're important to fill in some gaps, not that they couldn't prove their case on the senate floor without those witnesses. but, you know, the whole letter that schumer sent is really very reasonable. it's based on the 1999
arrangement in the senate for the clinton impeachment. the parcelling of time is reasonable, and it's a speedy trial. so i'm surprised that the white house is treating it as laughable. >> kirsten, it's not just the white house treating it that way. i mean you have senator susan collins, republican, sometimes considered moderate, who said that it essentially was unfortunate. >> yeah. i mean, well, i just -- i think that it's one thing, you know, as jeff was saying, you have this handful of republicans who sometimes you look to the moderates and think they're going to behave differently, but in the end they usually end up going with the president. i think there's something different from a mitt romney or a susan collins criticizing the president versus removing him from office. let's say even susan collins and mitt romney did decide to do that, which they probably won't decide to do that, that's not
going to substantially change the trajectory of what's going to happen in the senate. >> it's not that they usually support the president. they always support the president. you know, if you actually -- look, these made-up arguments that the house should do the fact-finding. they're having a trial. i mean if you have a trial, you find facts. it's just they invent things to the justify what they're going to do nhk i mean, which is fine if they want to do it, but tonight pretend there's some sort of principled reason for it. >> and the resolution that schumer, you know, was basically putting forward is the resolution that was used with clinton, and it's something that passed unanimously in the senate with some of the same people, including mitch mcconnell, who is now pretending like this is outrageous, and he won't even consider it. >> and it's even the same number of witnesses. there were four witnesses with clinton. they proposed four here. >> john, would there be any upside for democrats or republicans to having witnesses? >> i think there could be for both sides. the condition that schumer put in his letter, that they had to
be relevant to the fact-finding of the trial, which actually would exclude people like hunter biden or joe biden, that sort of show trial is not what anyone wants, i would think. but, you know, anderson, the prior trials in the senate, going back to andrew johnson, which i read the history of and was there to watch the clinton one as was jeff, and i suspect you were too. it was all very fair and well done and reasonable. so that they're going on this whole different tack now is kind of surprising to the institutional nature of that body. >> kirsten, the idea essentially that a lot of senate republicans are saying is that the case has already been -- everybody's opinion on the case has already been baked in. people saw what happened in the house and that this trial is not going to be changing anybody's mind. that seems -- >> well, we don't really know that first of all. and i don't think that that
really matters because that's not what they're -- they're not called to do a trial to change people's minds. they're called to try to get the best facts and make a determination about whether the president should be impeached. and i think having people who have firsthand knowledge about what happened seems like a reasonable thing to want to have. and to say -- to blame democrats for not going to court to get these people is just kind of crazy-making when they could just come and testify, you know, like other presidents have had their staff do when they've been in an impeachment process. >> jeff, do you think john bolton not talking is just because he has a book that he's writing to sell, and if he gives it away now, then -- >> it's hard to think of any other explanation when you consider that, you know, his own staff members agreed to testify. so there's not some principle that applies to him and not to his staff members. you know, there is the issue of, you know, he has direct communications with the president so, you know, he could claim a higher level of
executive privilege. but it would be one thing if he was saying, i'm never going to disclose this. but if, you know, he's getting $2 million for a book, which a publisher is not going to pay unless he's going to talk about his conversations with the president, then it's completely unprincipled and that's certainly how it seems to be. up next, more on our breaking news. new cnn polling on impeachment from the battleground states that could decide the 2020 election. man: sneezes skip to the good part with alka-seltzer plus. now with 25% more concentrated power. nothing works faster for powerful cold relief. oh, what a relief it is! so fast!
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more on our breaking news. again, support for impeaching president trump and removing him from office stands at 45%. it's down from 50% last month and opposition to both is at 47%. i want to get the breakdown from the battleground states. our political director david chalian is back with those numbers. what are you learning about the support for impeachment? >> we've never done this before in cnn polling this cycle but we wanted to look at that subset of 15 states where each campaign is going to target voters, send the candidate to visit the most engaged, get rid of the most liberal and conservative states that are mixed in nationally, and here's what we find. there's not much of a difference. in those battleground states, 46% say, yes, impeach and remove the president from office. 45% say no. so the battleground state picture -- and i found this surprising -- actually looks a lot like that national picture
overall. >> what about the president's approval rating overall? >> yeah. you know he has been sort of rock solid with his approval rating. it doesn't really move too much one way or the other. in this brand-new cnn poll tonight, he's at 43% approval. 53% disapproval. and take a look at that approval rating over the course of 2019. last month it was 42%, 41%. he operates in a very narrow band. look at that. it's just remarkably consistent whether it was well before anybody knew anything about the ukraine matter or right now on just the eve, if you will, of the president being impeached, the third in history to do so, and it just hasn't moved that approval rating. we also looked at his approval rating in that subset of the battleground states. in those 15 most competitive states, guess what? it looks pretty similar. he's at 45% approval in the battleground, 52% disapprove. that's about the same as where he is nationally as well,
anderson. >> any indication about how impeachment is playing out? i mean we're obviously at the start of 2020 very shortly. how the inquiry will impact the president's chances at re-election? >> yeah. we asked folks in this poll, do you think this impeachment matter will help his re-election chances, it will hurt him, or it won't make any difference? take a look at the numbers here. you see the pluralality, 37% at the bottom, no difference. but among those who say it is going to make a difference, more people think it's going to help the president's chances than hurt. 32% say will help. 25% say will hurt. i note republicans think it will help more than democrats think it will hurt, which i thought was pretty interesting as well. >> this poll hurts my head. i'm in the 1% of those people. david, do you believe these polls? i don't know what to believe poll-wise anymore. >> i believe these polls. i believe polls are always best read in the aggregate of everything that's out there and in the understanding that it is a snapshot in time.
this isn't pre-detective of the future, but i certainly take a look at these numbers and see they sort of match up with a lot of the other numbers we're seeing out there. i think this is a very locked in, divided country on this issue of impeachment because we live in really polarized times. >> all right. david chalian, thanks. back with jeff toobin, kirsten powers and joining us is rick santorum. kirsten, are you surprised by these numbers? the idea that support for impeachment has gone down among democrats -- >> that is very surprising and it's a pretty big drop-off. i think it was from 90% in the last poll to 77% in this poll. that doesn't make sense really. my first reaction was i was thinking the number one concern for democrats is they don't want donald trump to get re-elected. i thought maybe they thought this would somehow help get him re-elected. that doesn't make sense to me. i it ill would say it's not a small number.
remember, bill clinton, it was 30% of the country supported impeaching him. so if you have 45% supporting it, that's not a small number. and in you look at an aggregate of all the polls we've seen recently, we're looking at 45% to 50% probably support it. >> right. >> as my younger identical twin brother, david chalian, said, the polls don't change. the only time the polls have ever really changed is after the ukraine story broke, support for impeachment really did jump like over 10%. from the mueller report it was at in the 30s. >> among republicans, you're talking? >> no, among everyone. >> okay. >> since then, though, it's stayed the same. and his approval rating, it's not just the last year it stayed the same. it stayed the same his entire presidency. it's never happened before in the history of polling, and it's just indicative of, you know, what a polarizing figure he is and people made up their mind
about him. >> senator santorum, a, what do you make of this poll? there's still a very significant amount of people, to kirsten's point, who do want the president impeached and removed, which is certainly no small thing. >> well, it's a poll that sort of affirms what's going to happen here. that republicans are overwhelmingly against impeachment and don't want him removed. the democrats are overwhelmingly for impeachment and want him removed, so that's what you're going to see. what happens in washington, i've said many times, there's a bunch of followers down here, not a whole bunch of leaders. so the public is squarely in two camps, and they're squarely in two camps here. >> do you think -- senator, do you think the senate trial makes a difference one way or another in terms of how the country views this? you know, based on how the trial goes, if witnesses are called, or is this just baked in and there won't be other blips based on what happens in the senate trial? >> you know, this is a dicey thing. when i was in the senate, when
we were debating this issue, there are a lot of cross currents involved in how you conduct a trial. the democrats -- i mean you heard chuck schumer, you know, we want witnesses, but only witnesses that we think are relevant. so they don't control the process, and usually historically what we saw when we were there, we tried to find a bipartisan solution because the senate was bigger than this particular situation. i think the acrimony seems to be so bad in the senate right now that that doesn't seem to be -- look, we were at a very contentious time in 1998 and '99. we were not holding hands and singing kumbaya, but we did rise above and decided we needed to do something and work together. that doesn't seem to be either side really working to do that. >> rick, you were part of that amazing scene in the old senate chamber. >> yeah. >> when all 100 senators, they threw out all the staff. they didn't have any, you know, any rules of evidence, you know,
the usual parliamentary rules, and you decided on the rules. what was that like? >> well, again, it goes back to that we took the responsibility of setting precedent very, very seriously, and we thought, you know, that the country at the time was very divided. there was a lot of rancor and we felt this was an opportunity to -- again, we knew the president wasn't going to be convicted. but at the same time, we wanted to make sure that the trial was fair, that there was an opportunity to be heard, but that there was at least the beginning of a reconciliation, understanding that, again, the impeachment was -- the conviction was going to fail. that's not the case here. i mean we've got an election coming up, and everyone is sort of keyed on how do we position ourselves for election. that wasn't the case in 1999. we had just had an election. the president was in his last two years of a term, and we were looking beyond president clinton. that's not here. everybody is focused on what they can do to either help trump or hurt him. that was not the case in '99.
up next, a democratic congresswoman from a swing district makes her decision on impeachment. we'll dive into that when we continue. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office 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
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congresswoman elissa slotkin one as a freshman democrat just last year in a michigan district that went for president trump by seven percentage points. like other democrats in similar situations she faced a critical decision on whether to vote for the president's impeachment before the full house later this week. here's what she told her constituents. >> the thing that was different for me is this very, very basic idea that the president of the united states would reach out to a foreign power and ask for an investigation for personal political gain. while we may not agree, i hope you believe me when i tell you that i made this decision out of principle and out of a duty to protect and defend the constitution. i feel that in my bones, and i will stick to that regardless of what it does to me politically because this is bigger than
politics [ cheers and applause ] >> back with with our legal and political team. >> it's democracy in action. i love that. >> it's an interesting situation. there are, kirsten, several democrats in very vulnerable districts who remain undecided on impeachment, and it will be interesting to see which way they go. >> look, a lot of these people are in districts that would be hard anyway, even if you didn't have impeachment in the picture. and so i think, you know, a lot of them have indicated they're going to vote their conscience and let things, you know, fall where they fall. so i think, you know, i personally think in the end that if they focus on the issues that people are really most concerned about if you look at the polls, about the economy or the things they're doing to get done for their constituents, which is by the way what they're doing. most of the people on the ground in these districts are saying impeachment is not even really coming up with the voters. i think they can probably have a good chance of pulling it out.
with he have to bear in mind even if impeachment wasn't involved, they would still be having a hard race. >> even no matter how they vote, these democrats -- it's going to pass anyway. it's likely the president will be impeached in the house. >> that's right. and it is no coincidence that nancy pelosi is bringing up the fair trade deal with mexico and canada the next day so that those moderates can say, look, we're not just doing impeachment. we are giving this very serious, very important trade deal an affirmative vote, which actually the president supports, which i think is a very important talking point for these vulnerable democrats. >> senator santorum, just before break, we were talking about the senate trial. as a former senator, do you think it's going to be a fair process? you know, many of the jurors, including majority leader mcconnell, say they've made up their minds on impeachment or know how it's going to go. democrats hear that and think, well, that seems unfair. obviously republicans will say that's the way it was in the house. >> i think if you go back to 1999, the democrats were very
clear. tom daschle stood up and said there's not a single vote to impeach the president. it was very clear everyone had made up their mind on the other side, and many of us are saying, well, we want to hear the evidence. so the shoe was on the other foot. the reality is that the party of the president stands by their person, and that's what happened, you know, 20 years ago, and it's happening again now. >> but that's somewhat different. i mean it's one thing to make up your own mind about how you're going to vote. it's another thing for the majority leader to say, i'm not going to do anything regarding how this trial unfolds without clearing it with the president first. that's a degree of toadying that's different from just announcing your vote, don't you think? >> no, no. go back again to 1999. i can guarantee you that tom daschle and the democratic leadership were working hand in glove with the president, and they did not want a trial at all. they just wanted -- i mean bob
byrd moved to shut this thing down and have a vote. and that's what the president wanted. so, no, both sides carry the water for the president. i understand you like to try to make, you know, the republicans the bad guys and they're doing things unprecedented. they're not. they're doing the same things that the democrats did 20 years ago. >> that's not true. there was a trial in '99. there's not going to be a trial here. there were witnesses. there are not going to be witnesses here. those are actual differences. >> first off, those rules have not been decided, and i can tell you with certainty that the democrats wanted no witnesses, and they wanted no trial. they didn't get that because we did, as you mentioned, come together, and we agreed on a compromise. but the compromise was, i think, four witnesses that were not -- did not come to the united states senate. they were videotaped by house managers and only excerpts were allowed to be used. so let me assure you, they were squeezing every bit they could to try and abbreviate this trial
and move it forward. >> senator santorum, republicans have complained that because of what's happening right now, impeachment will be weaponized by politicians in the future against presidents they don't like. what about just not electing someone who veers toward lies and misconduct? >> yeah, look, there's one -- one of the two articles really does bother me on the weaponization front, and that is the second one of obstruction because every single president that i'm familiar with has basically, you know, rebuffed subpoenas and said no to the congress. and if you're going to impeach someone because you don't want to wait for the time for a court to decide whether to enforce these subpoenas or not, that's a big problem. >> but, rick -- >> i think that's a very, very dangerous steps that the democrats have taken. >> but why -- i mean but bill clinton allowed his staff to testify. nixon allowed his staff to testify. why should the democrats have to go to court to get that? >> again, president aside, there
always are opportunities for the congress and the president to fight about what each demands from the other, and the court is the one that def sides that. >> but that doesn't understand my question. why when past presidents have done this, why won't trump just let them come testify? >> because the precedent in this case, he's not going to stick with the precedent. that's not the issue. the issue is do you impeach someone because they don't comply with a subpoena? and if that's the standard, that is a very, very slippery slope, a very dangerous one. >> senator santorum, thank you. coming up still ahead, the congressman who plans to switch parties from democrat to republican, you'd expect president trump is thrilled. what about voters in congressman jeff van drew's district? we'll hear what they have to say in a moment. every family has their own unique story. give your family the chance to discover theirs this holiday season, with ancestry.
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the democrats wanted to control witnesses when they were controlling the house, but they had a ton more. you could count up to 24 if you put them all together, 23, 24. and the senate is now in control, and they don't want any. so the gop cries in the house were fugazi because they knew as soon as they had power, they'd play the same game. the big question is what is fairness for you, for the rest of america and the left i'll argue that tonight. >> one of the upsides of my ethnicity. i have a special ownership of that word. it comes from bill. google it. >> i will. it is all but official. a new jersey democratic congressman will switch allegiances and become republican because he says he won't vote. the holidays are here and so is t-mobile's newest, most powerful signal. and we want to keep you connected with the new iphone 11.
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abandoned his party to become a republican. he all but said to the penning house impeachment that president trump is the reason the southeast district had been held by a republican for 24 years before he won as a democrat in 2018. the question is what did his constituents who voted for him in new jersey think. >> disappointed in him. that's the word for it. >> under the circumstances, knowing how things, are how could he switch? >> to democratic voters like ereason, the congressman is persona nongrata. >> i voted for him as a democrat and he waited to switch over to republican. that upsets me. i feel like i was betrayed. >> reporter: betrayed and misled because she thought van drew shared her same values. >> helping the middle class people instead of the people
that are very wealthy. republicans seem to support more of the wealthy people. >> reporter: do you regret voting for him? >> at this point yes. >> reporter: she and her sister are both registered democrats. both voted for van drew. >> i'm just not a fan anymore. >> reporter: since speaking out against the impeachment, he's been losing support in his southern new jersey district. >> reporter: did van drew lose your support when he said he was against impeachment? >> yes. >> reporter: she had voted for jeff van drew but now -- >> i feel like who kind of sold out. he made a poor choice. the people in our city have stood by him. the people in new jersey have stood by him whatever decisions he has made up to this point and i do think it's wrong. >> reporter: van drew's support from democrats has dropped off so significantly, he's at risk of losing his seat. his critics suggest the real reason behind the party ping pong is to save his political
career. switching parties would hope him avoid a democratic primary challenge. meanwhile, this republican who did not vote for van drew is ready to welcome him to the gop. would you support him as a republican? >> if he was a republican candidate, i would support him. i think he's a man of his convictions and he was pretty set on the impeachment thing and he just isn't going to change his mind. for the party or for anybody else. >> reporter: do you think it's a smart move? >> i think it's a smart move. >> reporter: try convincing the democrats of that. are you going to still support him if he switches to the republican party? >> absolutely not, no. because he's let us down so why should i support him? >> we're joined live now from the congressman's district in new jersey. how is his staff doing about all this? >> reporter: they're not too
thrilled about it. we know that at least six staff members have resigned as a result of his plan to switch parties. they saenlt group resignation and it sounded a lot from his democratic constituents. they said his decision to join the gop does not align with their vs. we got a statement from a sixth member of his staff who resigned, c.c. doherty, the former director of constituency relations and she told us "defeating trump has and always had be the main goal for me, it's the reason i got involved in politics. i could not in good conscience continue working in an office where mutual morals and values were no longer present. >> thanks very much. don't miss "full circle." it's you our digital news show. today we focus on the historic world in the pageant world. for the first time ever in one
year, black women have been declared the winners. i spoke about it on "full circle" today with the new miss universe. she's 26 years old from south africa. she's awesome. fascinating to talk to her. you can watch it on "full circle." she encourages women to love themselves as they are. she wore her hair natural in a short tile for the competition. recalls she ignored calls to wear a wig during her pageant career. here's why. >> people are asking me to change my hair because they don't feel my hair is beautiful. if i did put on artificial hair, that means i believe i'm not beautiful and women who look like me are not beautiful. which is why i'm going to go full on the way that i am because i see myself as beautiful as any other women. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> look, i'm gay but yes.
>> she is awesome in so many ways. you can watch more of the interview. i want to hand things over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> thank you. that was great. welcome to "prime time." we have a house newsmaker with us who just revealed her upcoming vote. she'd been on the fence until now. why? and we have brand new numbers on where we stand on impeachment as a country. and how can you not stand for a fair trial if you want to prove the president's innocence. big questions, let's get after it. >> the toughest situation is unknown. will we ever hear from the people with the most direct
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