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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  December 20, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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i'm be back new year's eve for the big party, in the meantime let's go to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. impeachment has reached an impasse. "the lead" starts right now. president trump wants a trial right away but speaker pelosi wants to make sure it is fair. who will blink in the standoff over the senate impeachment trial. piling on. mayor pete, democrats clash over a wine cave in the last debate of the year. what has the candidate seeing red as they approach the iowa caucus. plus a sitting republican state rep accused of domestic terrorist by taking part in three armed conflicts. there was a time when that kind of thing would end your political career but these are not thermal times. welcome to "the lead," i'm brianna keeler in for jake tapper. and we begin with the poels lead. you think it would be a gift for
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president trump, speaker nancy pelosi holding on to the articles but not when the president is looking for total exoneration. nancy pelosi and mitch mcconnell are now at a stalemate as congress goes on a holiday break. >> reporter: president trump's impeachment trial may be officially stalled but behind the scenes house democrats are are getting ready. staff for the key house committees are expected to work over the holiday recess consulting and prepping for a trial as early as the week of january 6th but that depends on nancy pelosi who said she won't send the articles of impeachment to the senate until parameters for a senate trial are set. >> when they wrote the constitution, they suspected there could be a rogue president. i don't think they suspected that we could have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the senate at the same time. >> reporter: in the senate, mitch mcconnell this afternoon arranged for white house staff
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to get a lay of the land in the chamber. after failing to cut a deal on thursday with minority leader chuck schumer on the rules for a trial. >> we remain at an impasse. >> reporter: mcconnell argued rules from previous impeachment should suffice. >> the precedent good enough for president clinton ought to be good enough for president trump. fair is fair. >> reporter: while schumer pushed for an agreement to include testimony from witnesses such as john bolton and acting chief of staff mick mulvaney. >> leader mcconnell is plotting the most rush, least thorough and most unfair impeachment trial in modern history. >> reporter: the standoff means lawmakers are leaving washington with a status of an impeachment trial in limbo million the new year. but if pelosi's power play was meant to unnerve mcconnell, he insists it is backfiring. >> other house democrats would prefer never to transmit the
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articles. >> reporter: now despite the acrimony today nancy pelosi extended an invitation to president trump to deliver the state of the union before congress on february 4th, the president has accepted. >> sara murray, thank you so much. and let's talk about what she wrote in the invitation. in the great wisdom our founders crafted a constitution based on a system of separation of powers, threeco equal branches acting as checks on each other to ensure the balance of power the constitution calls for the president from time to time give the congress information of the state of the union. that just seems -- am i just being too cynical. it seems a little bit like shade to me. >> maybe some sub-tweeting in there. >> that is the language trump could understand. but the timing could be incredible given that we don't know the timing of the senate impeachment trial. it could coincide at the same time as the state of the union address which happened in bill
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clinton, but he talked about the economy and y2k and this president might take a different approached. >> y2k, what a blast from the past. you realize how long ago that was. what would you expect from that, chairman? the idea that president trump -- i don't think he would be able to have that kind of discipline, do you? >> i do not. i do not think he could be able to contain himself being in the chamber that impeached trump. he would be smart if he would talk about some of the successes and there are some things in the economy really strong, 76% saying they are happy where the economy is going is huge for any political figure going into an election. and if the president goes in and doesn't try to highlight those things and talks about impeachment, he continues to kind of shoot himself in the foot as he has been. >> let's talk about what is going on with impeachment right now. pelosi will not hand over the
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articles of impeachment until she sees the process on the senate side is fair so she either has to extract something from mitch mcconnell who is very savvy as we know. pelosi is savvy and he is savvy. i'm not saying one over the other. or she has to cave. is she in a bit of a box here. >> it is a puzzling move to say the least. you're trying to put leverage over mcconnell by with holding something that he doesn't want and it is totally fine not having. so i think what democrats were trying to do here and you kind of saw hints of it yet when lindsey graham went to the white house and spoke with president trump privately, i think what democrats had sort of strategized at the outside was hold on to these and delay the trial and delay the acquittal or the exoneration that he so wants from a senate trial. and while the president was out there very kind of almost mocking nancy pelosi and
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democrats for the strategy yesterday, i felt graham's comments interesting when he said i just left a meeting with president trump and he is, quote, mad as hell that they would delay this trial. so maybe the strategy will work in that sense so trump gets angry at mcconnell tries to get him to move. but for now, i'm not sure how this strategy will play out at the end and i'm not sure it is to nancy pelosi's benefit just yet. >> but to some degree it is doing what it is intended to do. it is making him crazy. tweet even more, as if that were possible. and also it is a very serious matter that you have mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham saying they're actually already going to not honor the oath that they're supposed to sign when we start the impeachment process in the senate. they are supposed to sign an oath to say they are impartial and consider all of the evidence and they both said we're not doing that. so she is well within her right to say until we can have some assurance we'll have something of a fair process, i'm going to hold back and give us some more leverage. and it is such a contrast to how it was in clinton's impeachment
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where trent lott and tom dashel were trying to be statesman and tried to make it a more thoughtful process in the senate than it had been in the house. >> do you worry it makes her and house democrats and democrats in general look a little partisan considering she's been talking about being prayerful and she's been talking about how this is solemn and perhaps this could undercut that a bit. >> i don't. because when you have mitch mcconnell saying -- he is supposed to be the leader of this process and he's basically said when i sign that oath, i'm a liar. because i'm not even going to be impartial. i'm not going to be unbias. i know what i'm going to do. lindsey graham said i know what i'm going to do and i think that makes them look very petty. >> but the one question i have and what democrats need to explain is they talked about the issue of time. that is the main reason why they did not litigate the issues of the subpoenas that were being defied by the administration and the courts. they said the president appeared
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to be a significant danger ahead of the 2020 election and that is why we have to move expeditiously but if you are holding out and delaying the trial and delaying that second major part of the impeachment process, that is a question that i think a lot of us have had for the democratic leadership. >> it is interesting and i'm curious what you think, chairman, about this harvard law professor noah feldman who said if the articles are not transmitted trump could say he wasn't truly impeached at all because impeachment under the constitution means the house sending its approved articles to the senate with house managers standing up in the senate and saying the president is impeached. and he's an important voice because democrats in the house had him on their hand-picked panel of constitutional experts who really thought trump should be impeached. >> i'm not buying it. >> you're not buying it. you think this is some crazy kind of -- >> that is a stretch for an argument for me. the president was impeached with the vote in the house. like it or not.
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love or don't like the president, he was impeached in the house. what i see here is, and i think it will work against the democrats because most of the public that is out there are are wondering, i don't know what to think, that is a cesspool of partisan politics back in washington, d.c. if the impeachment looks even more political than they think it already has, i think it cuts against the democrats and so if democrats democrats -- in tight seats will say why we made this vote and by the way we're playing this political game on trying to frame the narrative that i want when it goes to the senate. i think this is fraught with political trouble. i think schumer talked pelosi into it over a conversation and now they're trying to dig their way out of it. i don't think this was well thought through. >> up next, where president trump is heading that has some of his aides worried. plus they've got millions of readers and a message for trump's base. why president trump is attacking a major evangelical christian
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club tonight for a two-week vacation. but his aides are worried he'll have too much time on his hands as his impeachment trial is looming. sources say the next two weeks will be critical and there are big decisions about his defense strategy to be made. leading to concern about outside influence on trump as he dines and golfs with old buddies at mar-a-lago. that as a new report in "the washington post" sheds light on the outside influence a foreign leader has it on trump. former white house officials say they fear russian president vladimir putin led trump to believe it was ukraine, not russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. one ex-aide trump explained it by saying, quote, putin told me. reminding many of this moment when he sided with his russian leader over his own intelligence agency. >> president putin just said it
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is not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> reporter: for now the president is focused on his impeachment trial and demanding to know when it will be. >> i just left president trump. he's mad as hell that they would do this to him and now deny him his day in court. >> reporter: after trump said it's likely his white house counsel will lead the defense team. >> pat has been fantastic as white house counsel. >> reporter: his close alley lindsey graham advocated for this defense strategy thursday night. >> i told him my view was you should treat this like a supreme court argument. if i were the president i would pick somebody outside of the political arena. >> reporter: now the president is expected to be well-staffed during his trip. at least during the second half when the white house counsel pat cipollone and jared kushner and mick mulvaney and the press secretary among other top aides are are expected to be on property with the president as he's got pretty crucial decisions to make before game
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time. >> indeed. and we'll be watching. kaitlan collins there on the north lawn. let's talk about the president heading out to mar-a-lago for a couple of weeks. aides are worried. should they be? >> what is he going to tweet, who is going to be talking to and who is in his ear and make any brash decisions about the upcoming senate trial. there are decisions he hasn't made about the defense team. is it pat cipollone or mick mulvaney and some allies in the house he wants to shore up his defense. clearly he's thinking about this. he wants the most aggressive defense possible because he probably won't get the witnesses he wants so there is a lot riding on who he picks for the defense team. >> and if you put the shoe on the other foot, if this were a democratic president, doesn't he have something to be frustrated about as he goes on vacation hanging over him one impeachment, and also there is this sort of stall happening with the articles of impeachment. >> well, i can put the shoe on the other foot because i did
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work for bill clinton in this period and that is part of why the strategy of having an outside strategy talking about the chi and your accomplishments works because while you might be frustrated, you know you are still making headway an other issues and at this point all trump is talking -- he should talk about the deals he's got done in the last couple of weeks, all he's talking about is frustration and anger over impeachment so he is defining the narrative for the next couple of weeks. >> we know certainly where his mind is. something else that he may or may not be choosing to deal with is late today we learned that 25 jewish members of congress are calling for trump adviser steven mill tore be fired for what they describe as his support for white nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetoric after emails showed he was promoting the views and organizations align with those views. the trump administration claims that is, in fact, miller being subjected himself to anti-semitism. i wonder what you think of this, especially as you've seen some
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of what are in the miller emails. >> i think everybody has the right to defend themselves before we -- in this era of social and all of that. you want to be accurate if that is, in fact, the case. but if it is, there is no place in the serious levels of government for anti-semitic activity at any level in the government and so that worries me a lot. >> when you saw what is in the emails, that is just -- to you it is very clear? >> well, when you read the email, yes. but i have to tell you, i'm always suspect in this era with the ability to manipulate. you need to be sure. it can't just be a social report on what is in an email any more because people overreact. i think it is really serious. if he's actually saying those thin things and believes those things and serving in that capacity in the white house, to me that is a problem. you can't have it. so let's make sure that is accurate and, if so, then if i were the president i would make some changes.
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you just can't tolerate it. >> it follows a pattern. we know stephen miller has been involved in the most outrageous, cruel policies of the trump administration when it comes to immigration. we know with reporting from sara sidner he was the political editor of breitbart and plenty of very inappropriate comments, racist, bigoted and sexist comments. let him have his day in court but he should not be in any way, shape or form in the white house. >> let's talk about a key line in the washington report on the push of the ukraine conspiracy theory about the origins of interference in the election in 2016. one former white house official said trump even stated explicitly at one point saying he knew ukraine was the real culprit because putin told me. because putin told me, sunlen. >> that is remarkable reporting from my colleagues at the "post." we've seen publicly this
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fixation on the debunked theory that ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election for some time from the president and what is really noticeable now and is that a lot of the republican allies in congress are deflecting attention toward that debunked theory. you've seen an increasing number of senate republicans talk about this. house republicans. you've had chairmans in the senate launch investigations and demand documents into ukraine's again debunked theory. and i think as the senate trial heats up, i think you'll have some republicans try to deflect to that even when national security officials sufficient as fiona hill said that is not true. >> are senate democrats in lock-stop on impeachment. we'll ask one senator facing a tough fight in a ruby red state.
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with a looming senate impeachment trial, all eyes are on democrats in vulnerable states to see if they'll risk reelection and vote to remove the president from office or across party lines and vote against it. joining me now is democratic senator doug jones of alabama. sir, thanks for joining us.
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>> my pleasure. thanks for having me. >> you've been noncommittal on impeachment and you're still making up your mind waiting to see what happens. how are you feeling about the vote? what have you been hearing from your constituents? >> well, i think we're a long way from having a vote, brianna. we haven't even got the rules of procedure. that is the big news the last few days. what is the senate going to do. senator mcconnell is holding back. he accused democrats in the house of having an unfair process but he seems to be wanting to take a playbook and have an unfair process and not a full, fair and complete trial with witnesses. so from what i'm doing, i'm reading the record from the house, i don't know if we'll have additional record or not. spending a lot of time doing that. and i've got folks calling the office, emailing the office and it is both ways. supporting the president, others want to have the president removed from office. i think it is going to heat up more once we get back in january and we finally hopefully by then
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will have some rules and the articles of impeachment will be over and we'll know what we're doing. >> and there are house democrats in vulnerable districts who voted to impeach in the house and they say they're okay with risking losing their seat. you're a democratic senator in alabama. if your conscious leads to vote to remove him from office is that something you're willing to do know you're going to risk losing your seat? >> well i think my oath of office and my duty to the constitution and the rule of law comes first. and so my conscience is my guide. i have experience prosecuting cases and i'm going back and forth but at the end of the day we take a second oath to do fair and impartial justice according to the constitution and the laws of the united states and that is another reason i'm looking at this because if i violate in a oath, i violated the oath of office i took as a u.s. senator.
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i'm perplexed how somebody could take a oath of office and say they are impartial when they haven't been and not going to be and proclaiming they are not going to be impartial. so my duty and conscience will rest with that oath of office and that is where i'll stand. >> do you think that senators could say they are impartial and they really are impartial? >> well, i do believe that. i think you're looking at an example of that. i w i am trying to do what i think is in the best interest of the country. this is about the future of the presidency and the congress. it is about the future of the country. that is a pretty weighty -- pretty weighty on anybody's shoulders and i think once we get in that and the solemn of the occasion will weigh on some people. this should not be a partisan issue. when all of this first broke, before we left in october, i gave a long speech on the senate floor about people getting out of their partisan corners. it is not easy to do in the political divide we're seeing in this country today but the fact of the matter is that is what
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we're in the senate to do and that is what we're supposed to do and that is what the oath requires. and i think what we need to focus on is a process to give the president of the united states a full trial, fair trial. he has been waiting, as he said, over and over and over again, for a fair trial in the u.s. senate. but that fair trial is also got to be fair to the american public and not have gaps in the evidence. you could still convict or find somebody not guilty with gaps in the evidence. but the fact is we need to know all of the evidence. we need to know from the people there, firsthand knowledge and people in the room that could tell us one way or another. because all of the facts are coming out. sooner or later, whether they get leaked out or foia or in a book by one of those guys. >> to your point about getting out of your partisan corner, in the middle of this divisive impeachment it might surprise a lot of people to realize that the president is signing the defense authorization bill today and it has a bipartisan fix to the kiddy tax and widow's tax which are penalties on gold star
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families and the benefits they receive for the loss of a service member loved ones. you spearheaded this with susan collins and in order to get this, congress had to reach a deal on a lot of issues the democrats and republicans don't agree on. why can't there be more of this? >> well, i think there is a lot more going on than what people see. i think if you look at what happened in the last two weeks with the ndaa, there is the paid parental leave in the ndaa and modernizing the military and a 3.1% pay raise for the military families and also did the future act where we permanently fund hbcu and minority serving institutions and a deal reached on usmca where the president did a great job of negotiating that and democrats in the house made it even better. there is a lot that goes on but it is lost in the shuffle of mainstream media and social media that we talk about the partisan divide but the fact is a lot of people reaching across
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the aisle to try to figure out the ways to get things done for the country and i think if you look at what happened in the last two weeks, aside from impeachment, there was a lot of great things for the american people. >> senator doug jones of alabama, thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. thank you for having me. smaller stage, bigger fights. why a battle over a wine cave took center stage in the democratic debate. there are countless people working to help them get there. thank you to everyone we rely on to get us home to the ones we love. ♪ at chevy, we're all about bringing families together.
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mayor pete buttigieg taking heat as a top tier candidate in the final debate and understandably so because polls show him with a good shot at winning iowa.
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but as jeff zeleny reports another front-runner wants to box him out as the democratic candidate to take on president trump. >> reporter: the six-week sprint to the first votes of the 2020 campaign is on with joe biden all smiles today after emerging unscathed from the final debate of the year. >> i do worry about this notion that the democratic candidates spend a lot of time attacking one another. i've tried not to do that. >> reporter: the field of democratic candidates fanning out for one last burst of campaigning before the holidays with amy klobuchar opening a bus tour of iowa where pete buttigieg is heading today. after klobuchar aggressively challenges the qualifications of the 37-year-old south bend mayor. >> i have not denigrated your experience as a local official. i have been one. >> you did denigrate my experience and i was going to let it go because we have bigger fish to fry here. >> i don't think we have bigger
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fish to fry than picking the president of the united states. >> reporter: buttigieg coming under fire from elizabeth warren who questioned his fundraising practices, including a recent napa valley event. >> billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the united states. >> reporter: buttigieg responding that he welcomes most donations because -- >> according to forbes magazine i'm the literally only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or a billionaire. >> reporter: a night of fireworks on stage did little to settle one of the biggest questions weighing on democratic voters, does a moderate or progressive stand the best chance of defeating president trump. that divide is front and center on health care. i've added to the obamacare plan the biden initiative and if you want to have medicare -- >> put your hand down for a second, bernie. >> i'm just waving to you. >> candidates offering a different view of the field once
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the most diverse. >> it is a disappointment to be the lone candidate of color. i miss kamala and cory. i think he'll be back. >> reporter: he picked up endorsement of a local county chairman and he said he will go until the iowa caucus and just 45 days until the campaign. >> it is finally getting close. thank you so much from sunny l.a. let's talk about joe biden. he was largely gaffe free and pushed back on candidates who came after his record. do you think the debate practice here, melanie, paid off for him. >> maybe. finally. biden no question had the strongest debate performance we've seen. i think he largely benefited from the fact that you had warren and amy klobuchar going after pete buttigieg. so he was able to sort of sit back and avoid a lot of the incoming fire. >> and he repeated a theme, right? he repeated a theme that he's hammered home. we saw him do this last night.
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the last few months are are proof that he could work across the aisle to get things done. let's watch. >> if anybody has reason to not want to work with republicans starting with trump and working their way down to some of the members of the house and the senate, it's me. this is about a president has to not only be able to fight back, a president has to be able to unite. >> so on one hand looking at the dynamics, chairman, of this. he's talking about being a uniter but he also has to beat trump and that is important to democratic voters. does it make sense he could do both, do you think. >> i think he can. when i was chairman of the intelligence committee i worked with joe biden quite a bit on serious issues, syria and others but he is easy to work with in that environment. and i think that is a strength and probably why he's doing as well even after this much time.
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he's defied the odds. a candidate out front doesn't last out front this long and that is a strength and he's very different from the other direction of the democrat party and i think meggy noonen said it best, you can't beat trump with crazy and that is her way of saying, democrats if you want to beat trump pick somebody who does know how to work, who has the experience and who is more centrist in his ability to kind of governor the country. >> even though biden has said i'm willing to work with republicans even though they're coming after me but the question is will republicans be willing to work with him. he is the source of the impeachment fight right now. you have a lot of republican people in the house and senate going after him and his son and you could see that if he becomes president, republicans will probably be calling to investigate him and his son over the ukraine matter. >> i think they might. but at the same time, he would be the president. so it is in their political interest to work with him. remember that mitch mcconnell has a few tough races that he's looking out for as well.
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so we don't yet know how the senate is going to play out. the thing that biden has done well, as you said, defy the odds. but also he's stood up. he and his son have both stood up to the criticism. his campaign has actually done a very good job keeping him atop of the polls and that is part of the test in a primary as well, by the way. whoever becomes the nominee, i'm here to tell you, get ready because it is a daily barrage like nothing you've ever seen. so the candidate has to be tough and i think he's shown durability but the campaign has to be able to with stand it as well. >> he did benefit from senators warren and klobuchar going after pete buttigieg last night and trying to make him not a guy of the people but someone who is taking bill dollar donations, doesn't have enough experience. do you see -- 45 days out from iowa, do you see that being something that sticks? is that something that resonates and is bad for him? >> it is interesting to see how much that will stick and pete buttigieg sl l have one
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advantage over the two senators he gets a lot of chance to campaign in iowa while senators warren and klobuchar are stuck in washington for the senate impeachment trial so he could directly make that case to the voters that he's electable and has a policy vision that is reflective of the democratic party. i just find -- i found klobuchar interesting last night too because she does consistently have greet debate performances but still stuck in the middle/lower tier and constantly looking for the breakout moment and iowa is key but again she's stuck in washington for the senate impeachment trial. >> here is something you don't see every day. president trump attacking a popular evangelical publication. and the reason that it is calling for trump to be removed from office, next. am building the most powerful 5g experience for america. it's 5g ultra wideband-- --for massive capacity-- --and ultra-fast speeds. almost 2 gigs here in minneapolis. that's 25 times faster than today's network in new york city.
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the president in a new fight with an evangelical magazine founded by the reverend billy graham. the editor of "christianity today" saying president trump should be removed from office. >> the question is when does his behavior, when is described as immoral accurately rise to the level where he's no longer fit to serve office and to me we crossed that line with the impeachment hearings. >> the president firing back at the publication on twitter calling it a far left magazine or very progressive.
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well we should point out it is not those things. this is a centrist evangelical publication. is this going to win over any evangelicals, do you think, sunlen? >> it depends. it is clearly influential within the evangelical world but the president and even during the campaign had a tight grip on the evangelical vote. you had 80% of white evangelicals back trump in the 2016 elections and a recent marist poll saying he has the approval of 75% of evangelicals approval whereas it is hovering in the low 40s overall. evangelical voters have largely looked to if not the behavior, the policy of this administration and what we saw from the campaign statement released by the trump campaign on this editorial, they've emphasized his support for israel and support for judges who uphold religious liberty and abortion policies and for now those policies are the ones that
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that section of voters have looked for. >> and here is a campaign statement that we had. this is something that the president is tweeting about a ton. the son of the late billy graham slammed the magazine and now the campaign sending out this statement. ip -- i wonder how much this shows you how nervous they are about this, melanie, especially because they're trying to get the backing of graham family members here with that statement. >> this is a key voting block for trump. this is a key part of the coalition. he needs to hold on to them to win re-election in 2020 but with graham rallying shows how strong the support is and if the evangelicals didn't leave trump after the syria decision after they pulled out and left our kurdish allies and after access hollywood, i don't think this will make much of a difference. >> as a christian, part of the point of the piece was to say enough is enough. and they've got the judges. so to some degree that is what he campaigned on in 2016,
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they've gotten their judges. and maybe the point is the constant immoral behavior in addition to all of the other ten nant -- tennants of the evangelicals, enough is enough and you cannot lead this country and offer moral leadership when you lie every day all of the time and you behave the way he does. maybe that is the point. >> we're well into the presidency at this point. you were referring to that. and the magazine addressed why they did this now. we have reserved judgment on mr. trump for years and some have criticized us for our reserve. it is time to call a spade a spade. we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. what do you think about the timing of this? >> well i'm not sure about the timing. but this is a crack, the first real crack that i've seen. because that coalition is so important. and when i was in office, i had a pretty simple rule, people could disagree with your policy,
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as long you talk to them. when you embarrass the people that vote for you, that is a different game. and i think what happened over time, it was getting harder and harder, and i'm not talking about the policy issues, even impeachment necessarily, it was when you attack people, using the power of the presidency to attack individuals so viciously and personally over time that is just not what christians will accept as good behavior. and i think that loss of that -- he didn't grow into the office. he kind of doubled down on what got him there. and i think that is what you're seeing in that article, some confusion and disappointment in the folks saying maybe we need to rethink this. it is not that he can't get over this. but i think it is a crack they'll have to pay attention to. coming up, a state rep accused of domestic terrorism. the trump-like defense he's using as he refuses to resign. mike bloomberg's never been afraid of tough fights,
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not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it - with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa in our national lead, if impeachment wasn't enough to convince you how divisive and divided politics has become, a lawmaker is accused of domestic terrorism. as cnn's sara sidner reports he's refusing to resign and using president trump's impeachment tactics as his defense. >> thank you, madam speaker, this seeks to put this to a vote of the people. >> reporter: in a stunning finding, this washington state republican lawmaker who is facing accusations of domestic
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terrorism against the country he swore to serve, according to an investigation commissioned by the washington state legislature. and the state rep is using president trump's impeachment as part of his defense. the state has now forwarded the report against matt shea to the fbi and u.s. attorney. the five-month long problem found shea participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the united states. engaged in and support of the training of youth and young adults to fight a holy war and advocates the replacement of u.s. democracy with theocracy and killing of all males who do not agree. and they cited his engagement with the bundy family, anti-government activists who call for the takeover of federal lands. the report listed his militant actions across three states, in 2014 in bunkerville, nevada, in 2014 in idaho and in january 2016 in burns, oregon.
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he engaged with militia members in the planning of an armed takeover of the national wildlife refuge. that ended with federal and state law enforcement moved in to removed members and killing robert lavoy finna cum. he defended himself saying like we see with our president, this is a sham investigation. he added, i will not back down, i will not give in. i will not resign. so house republican leadership has suspended representative shea from the caucus and removed him ranking position on a key committee. the republicans saying and noting that investigators mentioned that he didn't respond to their request for an interview for their report. he also did not return cnn's calls. >> sara sidner, thank you for that report. and be sure to tune in sunday morning for "state of the union." the guests, 2020 democratic
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presidential candidate amy klobuchar, republican senator roy blunt and democratic senator dick durbin. that is at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. eastern on sunday. and our coverage on cnn continues right now. happening now, trial run. white house counsel pat cipollone and key committee staffers are expected to work over the holiday recess to prepare for the proceedings against the president. religious awakening. president trump fires back at a leading evangelical magazine calling for his removal from office. labelling it far left and claiming that no president has done more for evangelicals and religion than him. piling on. pete buttigieg under fire in the final presidential debate of the year as joe biden leads the pack.