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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  October 6, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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that is our show forday, and thank you for watching. "a.m. joy" is going to be next week. alex witt is going to pick up the latest. >> i was cracking up at you, because you were like, you are all wrong and i am right, and it is nancy pelosi. you are a man of conviction, jonathan capehart. thank you. have a good sunday. >> thank you, alex. >> and so right here from headquarters in new york, it is high noon, and welcome to "weekends with alex witt" and what the attorney is saying and how this could change the course of the impeachment inquiry. >> and let me ask you this, senator. >> i have a lot of -- >> one of the things that you came on here i came on here to
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do -- >> i would just like the truth. >> so would i. >> and the sunday talk show is providing a roadmap of how the gop plans to defend the president. >> this past ten days has been painful for members of the house on both sides of the committee. >> oh, my gosh, these guys are giddy over this, and it is not the last ten days, it is the last three years. >> the times and the dates and the texts, and new takes on what we have learned so far and what we expect to find out from the testimony in the coming week. but, we have this breaking news in the impeachment inquiry, and the second whistle-blower is said to have come forward, and the attorney representing the first whistle-blower says it is representing another whistle-blower with firsthand knowledge that supports the complaint at the center of the ukraine scandal, and i can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistle-blowers in relation to the alleged complaint.
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and now, take a listen to the chair of the house judiciary committee. >> it does not matter, because this president is going to come forward to say, yep, the president had this phone call, and yep, that is the transcript, and why should i care at all what his opinion or judgment of this transcript is? you and i can read it. >> and the reporting that the second whistle-blower is coming forward or has come forward is again, i believe someone who sees the wrongdoing, and hears the wrongdoing, and wants to do something about it. >> and meanwhile, the top republican senator defending the president for withholding the military aide to ukraine after the call that the president admitted that he asked the ukrainian president to investigate joe biden. and now chuck todd interviewing representative ron johnson and why he winced when there was a implied quid pro quo. >> this is why i am sympathetic for what he has gone through,
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and what did peter strzok mean when he texted -- >> sir, the propaganda stuff popping up here, i have no idea. >> that is exactly. >> i am asking why -- >> this is underlying why the president is upset and the supporters are upset. >> and senator johnson, can we please answer the question that i asked you an instead of making donald trump feel better of criticizing him, but this is a simple question. >> there is potential interference in the 2016 -- >> i am sorry that you chose to come on this way, senator. >> kudos, chuck. and chris murphy who met with senator johnson and the ukrainian president. >> ron is a good friend, but i
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am deeply scared by the positioning that republicans have chosen to take. that interview was just a giant green light to the president of the united states to continue to solicit foreign interference in the elections and he telegraphed to ask china to do the same thing that he asked this week, because the republicans are allowing him to do it, and the entire country should be scared at a moment when we need patriots, what we are getting is blind partisan loyalty. >> well, we have a lot the go ever with white house correspondent kelly o'donnell, and with digital wendy pennypiece and charlie savidge. and so i want to start with you, kelly, working your sources all morning, and what do we know about the second whistle-blower? >> well, alex, part of what is standing out is that this is not a second formal complaint, and the documents released in addition to the summary of the president's phone call that
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outlined a narrative of the whistle-blower's concerns, and that is going to stand alone as of this point. additional whistle-blower has come forward from the intelligence community to speak with the inspector general of the i.c., and that provides that person with whistle-blower protection, and the attorneys representing whistle-blower one and at least one other whistle-blower are now on the same team if you will, and that the person who is merging as the second whistle-blower has firsthand knowledge according to the legal team of events related to the president's phone call with ukraine, and why that is important is that the first whistle-blower did not have firsthand direct knowledge. learned about these events, and then sought out a means to make the complaint. this person would be closer to the action, if you will, corroborating some of what whistle-blower one said. the attorneys were clear the say multiple, and it could be two or two or more and in part because
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the inspector general of the community has been trying to through this process and before the documents were public to verify, corroborate, learn more about what was in the complaint about the president's conduct and other related issues to it. and once they engage with the inspector general, any of those officials get that whistle-blower protection. so at least two individuals now are saying that they have knowledge, have insight and are formally challenging the president's account on this through the whistle-blower process. it is important in part and not just adding to the numbers, but we have seen how the president has tried to chip away of the credibility of whistle-blower one, and suggesting a partisan bias and suggesting that the person was not directly involve and the hearsay argument that the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani has promulgated, and now if there is a second individual or more with personal
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knowledge, that is going to undercut the criticism coming from the white house and making it harder for them to they the whistle-blower is the problem instead of the underlying issues. alex. >> so with the hearsay potentially taken off of the table, kelly, an idea of how the narrative gets changed by the white house going forward? >> well, i have reached out to the white house today to seek their response, and they have not given us any comment about this development, and we have not seen anything reflected in the president's tweets specifically about an additional or multiple whistle-blowers. so they may be still trying to formulate how they want to respond. chipping away at the credibility is something they will likely continue to do, but at the same time there may be some safety in numbers or some greater security on those officials who feel that there is something they want to report now that it is not one whistle-blower standing alone and at least according to the legal team. >> all right. kelly o'donnell at the white
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house. thank you for that. >> and now, joining me is jerry connolly a democratic member of the oversight reform and the white house foreign affairs committee. what does this second whistle-blower mean for the impeachment inquiry overall, and do your committees want to hear from this person, too? >> obviously, yes. we will want to hear from that person, but if you are looking at what has happened since the house democratic caucus agreed to proceed with the impeachment inquiry, everyday, we have received corroboration of the allegation that is now more than that and evidence to support the fact that the president extorted a foreign leader for partisan domestic purposes, and he used military aide and the visit of the newly elected ukrainian president as a cudgel and it is
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wrong. >> and you heard the discussion with senator ron johnson and chuck todd and he said everything that happened before ukraine is why the president is so upset. what is your evidence to that exchange and any evidence to support it? >> no, it is a debunct white wing conspiracy theory long ago, and chuck todd handled it correctly in calling out senator johnson in spewing that misinformation, and the republicans rallying around donald trump are practicing classic gas lighting, don't believe what is in front of your eyes, but what i tell you, and distraction, and talk about something else. what we need to talk about and the impeachment inquiry is
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looking at is did the president beyond any kind of doubt extort a foreign leader for domestic political purposes, and the answer is quite clearly already yes. we have the transcript the white house, itself, issued, and the complaint from the whistle-blower and the text messages from a number of state department officials that clearly make it obvious that the intent here was a quid pro quo and an exchange. >> curt voeller lckeelcker afte thursday hearings, what did you make of the text? >> shocked that they used pressure as they did and leverage on the ukrainian president and his team and the sordid political purposes, and willing to jeopardize their
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sovereignty and security by withholding military aid to do that, and that is repugnant and something that should trouble every american and the president invited china to do the same. >> and when the texts took the turn, and said that we should not continue texting on that conversation, and what did that say to you? >> they were aware of the fact that if what they did saw daylight, it would be trouble, and something clearly to jep di jeopardize what they were doing. >> and this is what the house chairman said. >> this is about the dishonesty of what is being done. they take snippets of e-mail and texts, and do it releasing the transcript. if you release the entire transcript, it is clear that mr. volk eshgts rshgts and-- volkers
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that there is no quid pro quo. >> and interesting that he is saying to release more information? >> that is a false charge. i was there at the deposition of mr. volker and the messages sent to the public are accurate and they do reflect what i certainly heard in the deposition. so nice try, but it is just not true. it is part of the spin and attempt at disinformation and distraction by republican enablers to try and get the information off of the main topic that the president extorted a foreign leader to get political dirt on a protech spi opponent -- on a prospective opponent and this is not all right and it is illegal. >> and now, you have this week
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more people coming in, and what do you want to hear from them? >> well, the questioning is done by counsel and not members, but what i hope to hear is that how he can explain his behavior in pressing the new ukrainian president to do something of such a sordid nature and how he could find himself as the united states ambassador to the european union involved in extortion of the european leader and newly elected and not a lot of experience, and in fact, no experience, and holding in advance military aid necessary for ukraine to defend itself against russian kinetic activity on the eastern part of the country, and so russian troops and military are fighting in the eastern part of that country. they have lost lives. they need that military aid.
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to hold that in abeyance in prospect of a meeting with the president of the united states of washington is unprecedented and how can a diplomat find himself to be party of that? it is not like he was not warned. you know in ukraine, he was warned that this is not something that we ought to be associated with and that it was crazy to be compromising the sovereignty of the ukraine over the attempt to find dirt on a political opponent. >> virginia democrat gerry connolly, and always a pleasure to speak with you. >> thank you. and now, joining us is wendy pennypiece and charlie savidge. and shannon, we have the president and the allies trying to work to undermine the credibility of the first whistle-blower, and how does the advent of the second whistle-blower change the line of attack and the fact that a
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second complaint has not been filed indicating that a second whistle-blower largely lines up with the first? >> well, to your question earlier, alex, does it change the storyline or not? we don't know the answer to it, but it is crucial. we have the transcript of the call in that the president does ask for a favor after discussing military aid that he asks for a favor to the ukrainian president, and we know it took place, and the bigger question mark that we are starting to get pieces on is the quid pro quo or whatever you want to call it a link between the military aid and the president wanting to see investigations in the 2016 or the bidens. if the whistle-blower has more information on thashgts and information is coming out as you point fod text med to the text that could change the storyline, but members of congress feel they don't need more and the transcript of that call with the president saying would you do me a favor though after talking about military funding for
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ukraine and then going into the requests of investigations in 2016 and into the bidens, that it is enough for them. but there is certainly more that could come out of the second whistle-blower, and the point of the argument that the white house has been making to discredit the first whistle-blower to say they should not listen to you, because they have secondhand information and not the use it with the first whistle-blower, and although, it is pretty predictable they will try to find some way to discredit who is the second whistle-blower, and that is a pattern with anybody who has been coming out making accusations against the president, and they seek to discredit them. >> and charlie, the second whistle-blower, how important is this in the impeachment inquiry in your mind? >> i don't disagree with the congressman from utah and he said, why do we have to hear from this person, because we have are the transcript, and it does speak for itself, but it is possible however, that this person has information about anything more said by the president in the famous three
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ellipses in the not really a transcript that the white house put out, and possible that the person has more access to e-mails or text messages of the sort that ambassador volker turned over in which there is explicit discussion of the military aid to the whole issue of opening up investigations that trump wanted. that is the point of contention and i have not heard much push back of the republicans from the meeting of the president and the meeting of ukraine, but the military aid was tied to this. so if there is more documentary evidence that the second person can provide, that is hugely important. >> and charlie, how about the whistle-blower's identities and keeping them anonymous, and what guarantees do they have especially if the allies figure out who they are, the president has said that he does not care if the identity is publicly
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reveal and so will anybody else? >> as a matter of law, and i did a study, because everybody is asking this question, but it appears to me, only limited protection of the identity of whistle-blowers through the official whistle-blower process. if the whistle-blower has talked to an inspector general which is the case with both of the people, the inspector general is forbidden under some circumstances of revealing the identity unless the inspector general believes that it is coming ow, and so there is a little bit of wiggle room there, but it is a limit on the inspector general and not on the president or the president's chief of staff or personal lawyer or cia director or anything else if they find out through some other mean, and it does not seem to me that the law binds their hands from putting that person's name out into the public. >> shannon, you saw the battle on the morning talk shows over the president's behavior, and this is a sample of the democrats and republicans'
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narrative and the back and forth to it, and take a listen. >> the president betrayed his oath of office. he is engaged in serious wrongdoing, and the administration without justification withheld $391 million in military aid from a vulnerable ukraine. the president then pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 elections and target an american citizen for political gain, and that is textbook abuse of power. >> when the president is trying to make sure that there is not corruption, and if we are going to be sending the hard-earned tax dollars of the american people to ukraine to help them fight russia and help them get the country going in the direction they wanted and the security assistance they need, needs to make sure there is no corruption, you think that he is serious thinking that china is going to investigate the biden family? >>. >> he said it in public. >> he is getting as senator rubio said, he is getting the press all spun up about this. >> unlike the narrative of the
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press that president trump wants to dig up dirt on the 2020 opponent, and what he wants is an accounting of what happened in 2016 and who set him up? did things the spring from ukraine? >> the president's allies are going all in on this, and describe this narrative. >> and the arguments on the narrative is all over the place. there are so many lines to this, you know, is it the whistle-blower who doesn't know anything, and it is really about the president fighting corruption, and getting to the bottom of 2016 and not the bidenbiden s and was he joking when he asked china to investigate the bidens and part of it is because there is no coordinated strategy, and last weekend my colleagues and i were reporting that the white house was trying to get together a coordinated strategy and rapid response way to address this and talking points to give out the surrogates, and that we spent the week not really coming to fruition. my colleagues and i reported
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that nick mulvaney and jared kushner have been involved in trying to coordinate the response this week, and it is not where they need it to be at this point, and here we are two weeks later, and sunday talk shows and a number of the surrogates going out, and the messaging is all over the place. they need a clear and concise message, and that what the people understand, a clear message and clear storyline and a clear counter argument and it has not come forward yet. >> and what about the democrat, charlie, because they are focusing on the substance of the controversy, but in this political climate, is that enough? >> well sh, right now, the democrats seem to have a lot of momentum behind the push to take it to the next level which is impeachment inquiry matters and where that matters the most is with the moderate democrats, and democrats representing districts that flip to the d's in the
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midterm, and those who flipped, and so far those are the difference-makers in terms the of caution going forward and seeming to be lining up in this effort and pushing away the counter narratives or the different strands of them that the republicans are putting forward, and the focus on the substance and the central take away message a president ought not to use instruments of foreign policy for personal political gain is a simple easy message that does seem to be so far working for the democrats. >> and can i ask you specifically, shannon, based on the last q&a, and how effective was ron johnson and what do you make of him? >> we will see, again, but there is not a clear talking point and clear message, and the democrats have a clear message at this point, and strategy of coming tout try to muddy the waters and create confusion which is a strategy in the mueller investigation, too, but they need a brand and find a lane and stick at it. the president is i will say is typically pretty good at finding
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a one or two-line sentence and repeating it over and over again until it is penetrated into everybody's subconscious, but it has not come through yet, and that is because the message keeps change agent this point. >> thank you both. and now, listening in on the phone calls at the white house, and my next guest has done it dozens of times as a cia officer, and we will hear from him next. ficer, and we will hem him next. its for my future. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retire your risk dot org. i've always been i'm still going for my best... even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'll go for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both.
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new today, a top republican senator is push one of the
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president's top unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that ukraine and the hillary campaign and the democratic national committee may have been behind foreign interference in 2016 against donald trump, and so take a listen to my colleague chuck todd pressing republican senator ron johnson. >> do you trust the cia and the fbi now, because none of them have come to the conclusions that you have come to? >> i don't trust andrew mccabe or comey or peter strzok. >> joel, former cia operative, and so this deep state that is coming to the president's defenders and you worked in the cia and how do you interpret this approach? >> right. i wanted to start out that i served four years in the u.s. army and intelligence community and i am no hero, but i know plenty.
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it is important for the viewers to know that the men and women of the cia make tremendous sacrifices to keep this country safe and doing everything they can to provide the president and the foreign policy advisers with the best intelligence possible to execute the foreign policy possible for the president. to find these accusations of the deep state bias, and the administrative coup d'etats despicable, and it is an insult to the men and women serving there, and many people in my shoes are having trouble abiding with this line of attack. >> how about the breaking news of today with the adding on of the lawyer saying a second whistle-blower coming forward and supports the complaint listed by the first whistle-blower. from the intelligence perspective, joel, how important to have a second person coming forward and essentially corroborating, because there is no separate filing that is put
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forward that indicates that they are similar along the same lines of what they are whistle-blowering about. >> from the first whistle-blower complaint, we know multiple u.s. government officials that informed that whistle-blower who first came forward who informed their complaint, so we always knew that there were more people within the government or had access to the contents of this call either they listened in on it in a role like i occupied at the white house or somewhere in the president's circle, and we have always known there were others and the first whistle-blower coming forward they have realized now that they need to come forward as well with the firsthand information. so i think it is very s significant and i would point out that the nsc has political appointees there, but it is largely staffed by government servants, and so it is a tremendous act of courage for
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whistle-blowers to come forward to allege these thing, and i believe it is significant. >> and joel, you said nonpartisan perspective, and however, i am concerned that the risks that the two whistle-blowers are looking at, because the president has accused the first one of being partisan and the first one that could threaten the whistle-blower's security. >> yes, and as the point is that as the guests said, it is not clear what the political leanings of the whistle-blower of the first or the second or whoever comes forward, it matters if what they said is true. according to documents released by the white house, we know that the president solicited interference, and whether or not they interfered on his behalf. to quote one of my favorite movies "a few good men" these are the facts of the case and they are not disputed, so i don't know what it matters the political leanings of the books. >> it is one of my favorite
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movies, too. and you talked about -- about the dozens of times that you listened to president obama, and so i am curious when you heard this whistle-blower call the complaints spies. >> i had a visceral reaction to that and that is what motivated many toe speak of my experience there. the white house situation room is in a position of ultimate trust in the west wing. we hear and see almost everything there. and the president knows this, and his national security adviser knows this, and they use the service of the centcom definitely, and he knows that he was not spied on, and he authorized them to be on the calls, and it is their job to provide notes and continuity for the foreign policy. >> and the notes with the ellipses, and lots of speculation of what that could be and it is suggested on the broadcast that it could be translators and the back and
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forth and that could be in ukrainian tongue as opposed to english, and so why, you know, what that is? >> and i understand that people are skeptical of these notes and whether or not they could have been manipulated or things were inserted or deleted, and so to your question, the interpreter on the line, in my experience, it was not simultaneous, and they were not speaking over the head of state. they wait for them to finish and then interpret and this is not pejorative to president trump, but his speaking pattern is unique and it is sometimes difficult for the interpreters to catch the essence of it, so i don't put a lot of into the wait there before more tex. it is 90% of what the raw record was there, yes. >> joel willett, thank you for the conversation and the service to the country. i appreciate your time.
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overseas now with the outcry of a wrife of a diplomat involvd in crash country left the country. harry dunn died after he was traveling in woman's car traveling in the opposite direction, and this happened in late august in central england. and we go to london, and we know that you have spokephone victim's family, and what are they telling you? >> the family is devastated. according to police, his suspected killer is identified as a 42-year-old american woman and the wife of a u.s. diplomat, and fled the country claiming diplomatic immunity and may not be held to account. diplomatic immunity protects the foreign diplomats and their spouses. we sat down with the family of the dunn family and they are
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heartbroken and they want justice. >> she needs to come back and, you know, face the justice in the court to, you know -- >> we can't see how she can't come back. she's a mom, and all she has to do is to look and see what she has done to us as a family, and a family that we are left with, and a family that is broken. his twin brother who doesn't have his twin should pay more. we have no answers. we've got no nothing from her to say that she is remorseful. >> british police say they applied for a waiver so that diplomatic immunity would no longer apply to the suspect. and the u.s. officials declined the waiver. the british foreign secretary says that he is personally appealing to the u.s. embassy to
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reverse the decision. >> that is heartbreaking, erin mclaughlin from london. and coming up next, what business did the ambassador to eu have to do with the meddling of affairs in the ukraine and it is the wild, wild west of trump foreign diplomacy. ♪ create up to 12 combinations with applebee's new pasta and grill combos starting at $9.99. and get more bites for your buck with our late night half-priced apps. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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to collaborating remotely with your teams. giving you a nice big edge over your competition. that's the power of edge-to-edge intelligence. well tom "a.m. joy" and it is one of the mornings when we are watching a ton of news. >> a fallout from the latest departure from the white house. >> do you think that we would tolerate this if it were children coming from canada or from eastern europe? >> i think that things would be very different. >> how do democrats navigate the impending mess before them and the disagreements over this? gre? again to impeachment inquiry and new reaction from the republicans defending and explaining why the president may
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have asked for world help with the investigation, and this is a look on one exchange of why the president said this. >> china should start an investigation into the bidens, because what happened to china is just about as bad as what happened with ukraine. >> george, you think that he is serious that china is going to investigate the biden family. >> why can't you answer yes or no, if you think it is inappropriate. >> i don't believe that is what he did. >> you can't answer yes or no? >> i don't think it is going to happen, and that is not what the president is really saying. >> and joining us now is former nato supreme allied commander and chief of international security and diplomacy analyst and with a big welcome to you. any sense that the president did not mean what he said there and if he meant what he said, how might china's diplomats read
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this? >> i have zero doubt that the president was serious, and just listening to him. and if that is a joke, it certainly was not a funny one in english. maybe it is funnier, alex, if it is translated into mandarin, but i don't think so. it is going to be taken seriously in beijing, and it was taken seriously here, and appears to be another example of the president going out to foreign leadership, and ask them essentially to interfere in our electoral process, and here is how china is going to react to it, and this is the good news. china will try to stay out of it. big strategic thing going on, the trade agreement, and they are still trying to work with us to get there. and tactically with hong kong exploding, they are not going to want to get in the middle of a situation with the united states. so china is going to stay out of it, but it is certainly
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something that sounded serious to me, and inappropriate behavior by the president. >> did the president say that he would not deal with the unrest with the hong kong protests as long as the trade talks were under way? what is your read on that? >> well, that is also unfortunate. we ought to be able to separate the two things in particular, and we ought to criticize china for a human rights violations, that we are starting to see unfold in a very serious way in hong kong, and that is distinct from the trade agreement. and so we ought to be able to sync up the two pieces, and have a reasonable level of coherent diplomacy in china. >> and what is the role of gordon sondland in this, and she ambassador the eu and however, ukraine is not part of the eu and why is he involved at all? >> well, this is a great question, and this roughly like me when i was supreme allied commander of nato the being asked to troubleshoot a problem with brazil.
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it just makes no sense. and in my role as the commander of nato and u.s. european command, all military forces there, and i did have occasion to work with ukraine, because they were a military partner, but i don't see the rationale of our ambassador to eu diving into this. we have a u.s. ambassador the ukraine and special envoy in ambassador curt volker, and why he is involved in this and that is the first question when he k07 comes back to testify in front of congress and i am curious about this. >> and he is a novice, because he donated millions of tlar ndo to the president's campaign, and that begs the question further, but anyway, with secretary pompeo who spoke in greece and talked in response to the
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president pressuring the leader of ukraine, and that is what he said. >> america tries to advance its interests around the world, and i am confident that i feel pressure when i talk to your foreign minister who is pressuring me all of the time. it is totally appropriate. right? nations do this. nations work together and they say, boy, goodness gracious, if you can help me with x and we will help you with y, and this is what partners do, and it is win-win. >> so this calculation, and what is that about in trying to promote the narrative that it is totally appropriate, and are there concerns if any that it raises for you? >> enormous concern. secretary pompeo knows very well the difference between applying pressure to another nation in order to accomplish our international objectives or any inappropriately applying pressure to another nation to interfere or engage on our
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domestic agenda. that is wrong. the first one is right. and sure, i have been on many of these delegations over the years, alex, and right alongside secretary of state, and right alongside the president, and we do put pressure on the nato allies for example to spend more on defense, but it is different than going to the nato allies and saying, hey, we'd like for you to conduct an investigation into the president's opponent in the campaign, and those are not apples, and oranges, alex, but they are apples, and hubcaps and they don't even go together. >> can i get your gut reaction as to how you believe our allies are interpreting all of this? i mean, the fact that you have president of ukraine saying that he was not pressured sitting next to president trump at the white house in a q&a with reporters is one thing, but any idea of what they are saying amongst themselves behind doors? >> amongst themselves they will be saying that this is the one
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year run up to the election and a silly season in the united states, and a lot of domestic turmoil is going to ensue, but this is my prediction, alex, as it is moving towards an impeachment, potentially, and we are not there yet, but if articles of impeachment are delivered, they will at that point become deeply concerned, because memories of the watergate era are significant of where you saw the u.s. in the mid '70s wrapped around the axle of watergate stepping away from foreign affairs. they are not there yet, but watch that space over the next 30 to 90 days, because it is not a good time for the united states to be engaging in our, in my view entirely appropriate role leading in so many of the situations. and we will be focused internally, and that is damage to the world system. >> always significant conversations with you dr. james
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this has been a painful time this past coup of weeks now. this past ten days has been painful for members of the house on both sides of the committee. obviously, it has been quite painful for the senate even though too many senators are quiet on this issue. >> she says that there has been a lot of pain over the last ten days. oh, my gosh, these guys are giddy over this. they are not paining over this, and it has not been the last ten days, but three years. three years they have been trying to impeach this president, and three years they have been looking for reasons to remove him from office. they are not pained by this, and they are excited about this. right now, members of the house intel committee from different side of the aisle at odds of how different sides of the aisle are approaching this impeachment inquiry. joining me today is our panel. joining me today is our panel.
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>> you have heard, alaina, that democrats have been trying to take the president down from day one, and what do you say about the that? >> they should be concerned about the vulnerability of the democracy and the national security. and we have republicans who are rallying to trump's defense, and saying that there is basically nothing that he would not do, that he can do that would call them to stand up for their country over party. basically, we have blind party loyalty on full display by the
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republicans. and i think that chris murphy had it right that trump is now showing that he could basically be on fifth avenue and shoot someone on the middle of fifth avenue and the republicans would not say anything, and it is obscene. >> what about the democratic representative demings, abdul, who says that it is pain fofl or the pay, the and then you have congressman stewart saying that democrats are excited about it. and either of them right? >> well, look, the republican elites have gone so far into their corner that they actually can't believe that some of us worry for, fear for if the future of our democracy and we have a president at this point who has taken us so far to the edge of what he is willing to do to abuse the office for his own partisan again and republicans areal following along and for them, it is party over country and they can't see how on our side we are seeing country over party, and so it is sad at a moment when we are considering impeaching the president of the united states because he used the office and the foreign
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policy powers to abuse the democratic system, and this is the point here. >> how effective is this messaging, susan, for the impeachment that democrats are excited to take down this president for three years? >> it is no effective and puts people in the corner. so unless he is trying to help donald trump with the base which i don't believe he is in position to help anybody, and he can hold on to his own seat in utah, basically, this is just some talking points of trying to get out there. unfortunately, what is happening is that donald trump leading the charge is to accept what is at the core of this issue which is that donald trump held arms over the ukraine giving that money for dirt.
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i think that leader schiff went too far last week, and for the sake of the country, we need professionals to do the questioning and answering and professional staff, because it is going to allow them not to have to worry about anybody grandstanding. >> and rick tiler yler will thau for, that and basically the whole panel, arms for dirt. and senator ron johnson got into a tense exchange with our colleague chuck todd while defending the president, and take a listen to that.
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johnson is one of those republicans who should have known better and standing up to this president, they are a co-quacoequal branch of government. they areua abdicating their dut when they just fall in line. >> and guy,al unfortunately, i' out of time, but everything that you all said was effective. and what can we expect from the state department depositions on capitol hill, why they may be so crucial in the impeachment inquiry. and new questions in the irs whistleblower case. whether l. t will the public ever know what that is about. er know what atth is about.
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good day, everyone. welcome to weekends with alex witt. we're beginning day 13 of the impeachment inquiry with more breaking news this hour for you. a second whistleblower is said to have come forward. the attorney for the first one says that it is now representing another whistleblower with, quote, firsthand knowledge that supports the complaint at the center of the ukraine scandal. meanwhile a top republican sg center is defending the president by calling chuck todd pressing ron johnson and getting reaction from democratic senator chris murphy who traveled to
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ukraine in september with senator johnson and met qwith te ukrainian president. here is the heated exchange. >> let me talk about why i'm sympathetic with what president trump has gone through. what did peter strzok mean when he ex-ed lisa page on december 15 -- >> senator, why a fox news conspiracy propaganda is popping up on here, i have no idea. >> that is exactly -- >> senator, i'm asking about -- >> that is understand lying why president trump is upset and why his supporters are upset at the news media. >> this is not about the media. senator johnson, please -- can we please answer the question that i asked you instead of trying to make donald trump feel better here that you are not criticizing him? >> i'm trying to lay the groundwork. there is potential interference in the 2016 -- >> let me ask you this. >> the press is horribly biased. >> sorry you chose to come on
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this way, senator. >> we have a broad panel reporters and analysts to assess. we start with hans nichols at the white house. let's get to the very latest on this second whistleblower. what do you know about it? >> reporter: we know the second whistleblower has firsthand knowledge of the issues that the initial whistleblower was discussing. so there is cooperation there. according to sources the second whistleblower won't necessarily file a formal complaint, but here is the issue. by talking to the icig, that individual has whistleblower status. so that gives you a sense that there is corroboration and crucially, this undercuts the initial line of attack from the white house. rudy giuliani, you heard lindsey graham stay it as well, the president hint at it, that there is hearsay testimony. but again according to sources this second whistleblower has
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apparent first hand knowledge. >> any clarity on the word multiple? just two, might it be more? >> reporter: we're being told to focus on one additional one. what we don't know is if the official potential whistleblower the "new york times" was hinting at is the same individual be represented by the legal team that is representing the first individual. so i think that we are safest to say that at least two. and beyond that, i think that it would be a little speculative. >> so corroboration presumably between the two whistleblowers. how does this change the narrative from the president and his ale lies? >> reporter: we haven't heard from the president that much this morning. there is a little bit on his usual grievances. listen to how senator blunt is talking about the president's charge about china and that is that this is all just fun and games for the media. >> the president betrayed his oath of office. he has engaged in serious wrong doing. the administration without justification withheld $391
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million in military aid from a vulnerable ukraine. the president then pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 elections and target an american citizen for political gain. that is textbook abuse of poyer. >> i think when the president is trying to make sure that there is not corruption, that if we're going to be sending the hard earned tax dollars of the american people to ukraine to help them fight russia, to help them get their country moving in the direction they need, to get the security assistance they need, i think he believes that we should make sure there is no corruption. go you really think he was serious about thinking that china would investigate the biden family? he said it right in public. >> i think as senator rubio said, i think he is getting the press all spun up about this. >> unlike the narrative of the president that the president wants to dig up dirt on his 2020 opponent, what he wants is an accounts of what happened in 2016. who set him up. did things spring from ukraine?
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>> i doubt if the china comment was serious to tell you the truth. >> you don't take the president at his word? >> no, the president loves to go out on the -- i haven't talked to him about this, i don't know what the president was thinking, but he loves to bait the press. >> that interview was just a giant green light to the president of the united states to continue to solicit foreign interference in u.s. elections. he telegraphed that he will ask china to come the same thing that he asked the ukranians to do because republicans are allowing him to do it. >> the president betrayed his oath of office. he has engaged in serious wrong doing. the administration without justification withheld $391 million in military aid from a vulnerable ukraine. the president then pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 elections and target an american citizen for political gain. >> i think when the president is trying to make sure that there is not corruption, that if we're going to be sending the hard
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earned tax dollars of the american people to ukraine to help them fight russia, help them get their country moving in the direction they need, get the security assistance they need, i think he believes we should make sure there is not krupg there. >> so we heard a couple of those thoughts twice. apologies for that. but i think what we need to go chus focus on the claim that the china thing was just the president having fun, he wasn't serious. there is an easy way to get to the bottom of that. next time we are on the south lawn, we can ask the president of the united states if he was indeed serious and we'll see what his answer is. >> and by the way, my friend, some things aare worth repeatin. thank you so much. joining us by phone, legal correspondent and host of the beat ari melber. a little more o.t. for you today because now you're talking with me before your show which we'll talk about. but your take on the significance of the second whistleblower coming forward.
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how do you read it? >> thanks for having me. it is very significant legally if there is going to be more than one witness and this one allegedly has firsthand knowledge. the other part that goes beyond the law goes to i think the reporting that you are doing this morning and what you just mentioned and what we saw on the sunday shows which is if part of the defense here is that all of these appeals for foreign help are not literal, not serious, the fact that there are people with abledly firsthand knowledge inside the government that are potentially prepared to testify to the opposite, that these were serious requests, that there was a plot, a strategy, that there was money and military involved in executing the strategy, that really undercuts the new public defense and may fortify the argument for impeachment in the house. >> and you heard hans say it is just a matter of asking the president directly if he was making a joke as others have claimed like jim jordan when he asks for china to get involved and do some investigation. i know you do have this special at 9:00. as all about the impeachment. what do you have there? >> as you know and as i think
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your whole time on the air is attesting to right now, this story has gotten so hot that it is in breaking news mode, it doesn't stop on the weekend. i think sunday here we have some of the most intense developments to date. you think about we're in impeachment mode because of one whistleblower and thousand there now there is two. so tonight we'll dig into it all and have debate with legal sxhermts on both sides. does it meet the higher standard for impeaching and potentially removing a president. so we'll use this special tonight live to really dig into those questions. we hope to go deep, and so it should be interesting and thanks for letting me jump are on ton e with you. >> glad to have you. thank you, ari. and just to reiterate, be sure to watch the special trump and ukraine impeachment crisis, he is right, it is the hot topic, a
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special live hour that looks into the impeachment inquiry, where it is headed. that is tonight at 9:00 right here on msnbc. and also be sure watch the beat weekdays with ari at 6:00 as well. joining me is jeff mason. do you see this putting any pressure on the white house, the advent of the second whistleblower? >> absolutely. i think that the white house, the president in particular, will dismiss it because that is the strategy that the president has executed so far. but certainly it gives credence to the fact that there is "there" there and it will also undercut the main argument that the president has used so far if this turns out to be true that the initial whistleblower had secondhand knowledge. that is something that he has really grasped on to. and so in this case if the second liwhistleblower does hav
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firsthand knowledge that is a new spot for the president. >> and i'm curious to weigh in on the significance of this development not greater context impeachment inquiry overall. where do you see it?incredibly . there are a few things that happen next. obviously republicans will sort of try to mount whatever defense they want to in the court of public opinion. which is sort of this back and forth about secondhand knowledge which is not actually relevant to whether whistleblower complaint is skrvalid legally. but if you are talking about the house moving forward with their impeachment inquiry especially trying to strengthen their hand legally, the more sort of fuel that is added to that inquiry, the more witnesses that they can speak to, the more that they can begin to build a placomplete picture of what occurred and you see the corroboration with the batch of text messages that was
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releas released, all of that adds to their ability to build this case ultimately appealing to the court of public opinion. but something that house democrats can kind of put together into a coherent package to try to stand up to the denials that we see coming are from the white house. >> all right. joining me right now, michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. and also kelly, you are at the center for american progress. she served on the national security council in both tbarac obama and george w. bush administrations. kelly, what do you make of the second whistleblower? >> in a way i'm not surprised. i actually think this thing is turning out to be an iceberg. and for a civil servant who served in both bush and obama, it doesn't surprise me. because the contents of that call which the practicthe presi
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released is so damning. we have a responsibility to report wrongdoing. so i think that we will see more coming. >> i'm sure you've heard the exchange between ron johnson and chuck todd earlier today. i'm curious what you make of it from a national security perspective, this narrative coming from republicans that defends the president and ron johnson really bringing up the conspiracy theory about the 2016 election as part of that defense. >> yeah, you know, as a national security person, i feel like i'm living in an upside down world to sort of listen to some of these conspiratorially arguments taking place. i have to ask republicans who also take an oath to the constitution, do you think what president trump did was correct, in line with the constitution? if the president for example has also maybe asked president xi jinping to investigate an american citizen, do you think that is okay? so for me as a national security
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person, these are pretty straightforward facts and it surprises me to see the republicans backing themselves into a corner. >> senator johnson said he winced when he heard some of this news and chuck todd pressed him and he did not answer. but ambassador, how do you interpret gop defenderslike jim jordan who says that the president was joking about that statement on china? >> it is just disappointing. again, you know, we're supposed to be serving the united states of america, not one person. but it is also dsz tract iistra. this is classic trumpism. we lived through this in 2016. we don't need any whistleblowers by the way. we don't even need the whistleblower's original complaint. it is all there clear as day in the transcript and in the text messages that came out last thursday. it is a clear story of quid pro quo. ukranians, president zelensky, you give me a new investigation of the vice president's son and
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investigate what ukranians did in 2016, and in return, you get your military assistance and you get an oval office visit. it could not be clearer. and that is why i get a little nervous when we get off on these other things. focus on what is right in front of us. >> but ambassador, how nervous do you get when you hear the president repeatedly say -- i mean, we could put together a bunch of sound bites ever him saying so many times there was no quid pro quo. >> and you just have to ignore them because the facts are right there. a ironically, the most important source is what the president of the united states said on that phone call. that is the -- if you want a conspiracy, the republicans should be figuring out who is the one that made the decision to release that transcript. it is so clear and in-that we need to keep focused on it no matter what he says about china, no matter what the next cycle of the story is. i think that the facts are as clear as day. whether it is impeachable or not, let's listen to ari melber
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tonight. but he used his office to try to pressure a foreign government to help him in 2020, it is just absolutely clear to me. >> and ambassador, kelly, stand by. we bring in julia ain't nswer . welcome to the conversation. you have allies mentioned in the complaint, the release of the text messages. who do you think is the most vulnerable here? >> it is interesting. right now, i mean looking at the text messages, it opens up a wider universe. there are people who knew that the president was putting pressure on ukraine to investigate the bidens and they are already bringing up the questions that we're having now months later about whether or not this should be an exchange for military funding. and then you get to that key piece of the text message where they decide to take it off of a
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texas and texas a text and on to the phone. reporters do that all the time to move to a place off the record where their notes wouldn't be subpoenaed if it came to it. so the people involved in that obviously had knowledge and the whistleblower really laid out a roadmap of a lot of names. but the more i talked to people within the justice department or the fbi and that community, the more the name rudy giuliani keep co s coming baup. the justice department is still not ruling out an investigation into giuliani. they say the case is closed in terms of their review in terms of whether the president committed a campaign violation based on the notes of that call. but have pressed repeatedly could rudy giuliani also be facing an investigation and legal pressures. and i get a decline to comment. and i think that it is something that could still be rolling out. so as far as legal exposure, i think that it is giuliani who is acting as if he were part of the the united states -- as if he
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were a taxpayer funded employee doing the foreign policy of the united states. but in fact it is to benefit one person, and that is the president. >> so gordon sondland, talk about him. he is the united states ambassador to the european union and important to note that ukraine is not part of the eu. but what are the house committees likely to ask him about? >> well, sonde 4r57bd is owoon sondland is involved in that text exchange. and so of course the house committees will want to talk to him this week about his time spent -- what he understood, what was that conversation when it went off of text message to a phone call. and how much of this decision to withhold military funding came directly from the white house if not the president himself. we talk about funding decisions that get made in washington all the time at different levels, but this one seemed to go right up to the top and it is clear from the text messages that these diplomats knew what was
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behind that decision. >> okay. former ambassador toukraine, what is her story? >> she was pushed out of that position in may. and what people will be focusing on is whether or not she believes and has evidence to prove that she was pushed out as part of trump pushing out people who aren't loyal to him. because we understand that she was pressured to make sure that the ukranians were carrying out this investigation. and this is in may, two months before the president had this phone call with zelensky. so you can already see the traces. this is even before robert mueller would have -- actually after robert mueller's report before his testimony. the president was already starting to put pressure on ukraine to get information on the bidens specifically. and he saw her as someone who
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could play a key piece in that. and when she was not willing to play, she was pushed out. so then the question becomes was she pushed out for not being loyal. and what did that mean for our relationship in the region not to have an ambassador in the ukraine right now, this really key time where they are fighting off russian forces. what does that mean when the president is making his decisions seemingly so based on his personal beliefs and personal interests rather than the interests of national security and diplomacy of the you u.s. and the world. >> ambassador, what julia is youts lini outlining, after seeing the texts, what do you expect to hear from sondland after he testifies from congress? >> i i want to point out three people involved in these text messaging are private zilt pri. volker is paid by the mccain institute and giuliani not on the payroll.
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and the only one involved and paid by the u.s. government is ambassador sondland who got his job because he gave money to the inauguration. not exactly the kind of team that you want working on this issue. secondly, it is clear i think from the record that ambassador yovanotivch was pushed out because she wasn't willing to play the scheme that mr. giuliani and the prosecutor general at the time were trying to open up this investigation. lutsenko and the ambassador had a lot of attention and i think that we'll get to the bottom of that that is why she was removed. as for ambassador sondland, i have no idea why he was involved. he goes to the inauguration for zelg zelensky. he is part of that team with secretary perry and kurlt scrt kerr. but he has no injuries giks. we're not a member of the eu.
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yet somehow our eu ambassador is right in the middle of this. i hope there is some expertise that i don't know about that he has, but otherwise it looks like he is a trump spy. making sure that bureaucrats are doing what the president wants him to do. >> interestingly secretary of state mike pompeo referred to the ukraine scandal as a silly gotcha game and then he also said this. here it is. >> i think that there is clearly politics involved in this. this administration was incredibly focused on making sure that we work wrd ukraine in a way that was appropriate. and it is not only appropriate, but it is our duty to investigate 23 if we think ther was interference in the election of 2016, i think that everyone recognizes that governments have an obligation, indeed a duty to ensure that elections happen with integrity, without interference from any government, whether that is the ukranian government or any other. >> kelly, what do you make of that interpretation?
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>> i think secretary pompeo is probably the most political secretary of state at least in any lifetime that i've soon. and he pretty much had a scorched earth approach to the benghazi drama in the last administration. so to see him say this is being politicized i think e ironic. and i think the secretary is struggling because he doesn't have a very good explanation for this. and to pick up on what mike said whether all of this, whether sondland's engagement, whether the kenlgcontents of those text messages, what wire se're seeina about a in an mabanana republic policy. our reputation in the world is slowly eroding because what is happening, you have people like rudy giuliani running these independent foreign policy plays on behalf of the president of
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the united states. >> all right. i'll say thank you and good-bye to you, julia as well as ambassador mcfaul, kelly and jeff, you stay with me a little longer. meantime taking control, the president's son-in-law gets a new job in the impeachment fight. and a bit later the story of another possible whistleblower, this one dealing with the irs over the president's tax returns. president's tax returns. [ applause ] thank you. it's an honor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. i love you! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ sleep this amazing? that's a zzzquil pure zzzs sleep. our liquid has a unique botanical blend, while an optimal melatonin level means no next-day grogginess. zzzquil pure zzzs. naturally superior sleep. if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture now might not be the best time to ask yourself are my bones strong?
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republicans and democrats were battling it out on the sunday talk shows. >> i doubt if the china comment was serious to tell you the truth. >> you don't take the president at his word? >> no, the president loves to go out on the white house driveway -- i haven't talked to him about this, but i don't know what the president was thinking but i know that he loves to bait the press. >> that interview was a giant green light to the president of the united states to continue to solicit foreign interference in u.s. elections. he telegraphed that he will ask china to do the same thing that he asked the ukranians to do this week because republicans are allowing him to do it. >> the president betrayed his oath of office. he is engaged in serious wro wrongdoi wrongdoing. the administration without justification withheld $391 million in military aid from a vulnerable ukraine. the president then pressured a foreign look he header to inter
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the 2020 elections. >> i think when the president is trying to make sure there is not corruption, that if we will be sending the hard earned tax dollars of the american people to ukraine to help them fight russia, get the security assistance they need, i think he believes we need to make some you are there is not corruption there. >> and so jeff, what do you make of the narrative coming from the president's allies? you had senator johnson who went even further, he went to raise the deep state conspiracy theories. >> number one, i think that does china know that? do the countries hearing the kaurl from the president of the united states interpret that as a joke or do they interpret it as the words coming from the leader of the free world? if you look back what happened during the 2016 campaign when he called on russia to search for hillary clinton's emails, there is evidence that was laid out in the mueller report that says there was an upptick in being activity right away. so republicans may want to
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dismiss what he says and cisay don't take him seriously, but it is hard to argue that foreign leaders who listen to the president speak, whether to reporters, whether in a tweet, or whether it is in some other venue, that they shouldn't take it seriously. >> but you know what, jeff, your vantage point being right there in the white house, you've seen numerous conversations between a president and a foreign diplomat, head of another country coming in, there will be q&a. you are there front and center. can you read their faces, listen to their responses, do you think they take this president seriously, do they think it is a joke? >> well, they are not laughing and i can't say whether they take it seriously. sometimes there are certainly incidents where you can tell that they are uncomfortable, they have sometimes a poker face on. i was in the press meeting -- or the press part of the meeting where president was with president zelensky in new york a week or two ago and there was at least one time where president zelensky sort of looked taken
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aback when president trump said that hillary clinton's emails may be in ukraine. so sometimes they don't hide that surprise on their faces. but again, just hard to arguic that they are not listening when president trump makes these types of remarks. sgl . >> so democrats are clearly focusing on the substance, but is that enough? >> enough for what is the question. and we're always sort of running around that same question, i mean enough for them to move forward with their impeachment inquiry in the house and potentially have a stroet to impeach which of course we should remind our viewers kicks things over to the senate to then decide whether or not to remove the president from office where of course republicans have the majority. >> can i ask you about that for a second? mitch mcconnell is fund raising on this and you have him saying in a video statement to people as he makes donation appeals, he says i'm the best person to keep this from ever going to impeachment as long as i'm the senate majority leader.
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is that already game over, has he already indicated there is no will way this president will be impeached? >> first of all, everyone is fund raising offer of of this,t is very hard to fathom a scenario where given where we are today, if the house were to vote to impeach and kick it over to the senate all of a sudden you would have this sort of move of a bunch of republicans to give the two-thirds majority necessary to remove the president from office. i mean, over and over and over the momentum feels like it is building toward the 2020 election as a referendum on the president and less this removal from office. so i'm not sure that mitch mcconnell is divulging some secret here and that he see himself as the firewall. but it plays into when you ask for enough, again, if we're talking about the court of public opinion, the democrats' job is to build what they believe is going to be an up unsalable case that independents and sort of moderate republicans would have no ability but to come over to their side of the
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cha camp and republicans oou job is to cast just enough doubt that that doesn't seem like an unsalable case and again, we find on yourselves with a referendum in 2020. >> jared kushner said to be leading the impeachment defense. have you heard about that? and if true, what do you make of that that he is taking the lead? >> i think it makes sense that senior advisers, whether it is jared kushner or pick mull vein any mulvaney or others will weigh into deal with the strategy of impeachment. but that so, i don't think many reporters have seen much of a straeb strategy. it is mostly president trump's tweeting. i've spoken to soome republican who would like a more robust strategy coming from the white house. even just talking points so that they can defend the president. and that so far is not happening. >> all right. that is a wrap. i've made you sit here long enough. good to see you both. let's go back to the breaking news that lawmakers on both
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sid sides of the aisle rae aeacting the news of another whistleblower with firsthand knowledge. >> it does not matter. this person is going on come forward and say, yep, the president had this phone call and yep, that is the transcript. i mean, why should i care at all what his opinion or judgment of this transcript is? you and i can read it. >> the reporting that second whistleblower has come forward or is about to come forward i believe again would be someone who sees wrongdoing, hears wrongdoing, and wants to do something about it. >> joining me now, texas representative lloyd dogget. welcome back. let's get into your reaction to the second whistleblower and what you see that meaning for the impeachment inquiry. >> thank, alex. this is really a deeply
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troubling dangerous time for our country. you have president trump and his many republican enablers out there flailing, grasping for anything, any excuse to justify the indefensible. you know, this is not -- it is helpful to have a second whistleblower, another patriot, american patriot, risking his or her job in order to assure the preservation of our democracy. but this is not a political mystery. we have a star witness in this case. and that star witness is named donald trump. he has indicated the way he has used our tax money not to protect national security but to protect himself. and because he has put position ahead of the security of our families and the preservation of our democracy, i believe that he should be impeached and i hope that we will be able to move expeditiously toward that objective. >> and may i use the words that
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you wrote this weekend to support your statement, you wrote congress must do its job and impeach trump. you write responding to this unfit president with words alone is insufficient. putting partisanship aside only impeachment will preserve the rule of law. so right now why do you think this is so important, preserving this rule of law to your words there right in this moment? >> president trump has breached his duty to our people. he has breached his oath of office. it is essential that those of us in congress that our founders envisioned a system of checks and balances to protect america. we need to do our constitutional responsibility. as hard as politically difficult it may be. and i still hope some of our republican colleagues will join us. we know that they face the tore re torrent of abuse that he unleashed on mitt romney, but i hope that some have the same courage that the ukranians
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showed in standing up to wrongdoing. we need them to join and speak out in favor of democracy and i hope that they will do it. >> congressman, another whistleblower dealing with the irs are. richard neal says that he wants to interfere a whistleblower who according to the "washington post" is alleging that there were improper efforts to influence audits of president trump and vice president pence's tax returns. can you tell me if that meeting is any closer to happening? >> you know, i've been concerned about political interference with the president's tax returns since i asked questions to secretary mnuchin about this in march. secretary mnuchin ignored an opinion from within the irs legal counsel office that shall means shall and he has ignored the responsibilities of the irs commissioner and as president trump's former finance director has interfered in this.
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this whistleblower's identity has been protected even from members of our committee in order to preserve the whistleblower's job. i hope that we will get to the bottom of this very soon and that we say to whistleblowers throughout this administration, you have a duty to tell the truth. it is the truth that president trump fears the most. that is why he is always talking the fake media because he doesn't want any independent verification of the wrongdoing that he repeatedly commits. >> to that end, the "washington post" reports that the trump administration has dismissed this entire complaint as being flimsy because it was based on conversations with other government officials. what is your reaction to that? is it accurate? what can you tell us about this complaint? >> i rely on the inspector general, this is on the intelligence, the ukranian complaint i believe you are referring to, i rely on the inspector general that president trump appointed who said it was
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urgent, that it was important, very important national security interests at stake here. that inspector general had the opportunity to talk to more than one person and if now more than one whistleblower comes forward, it simply confirms that the president used our tax dollars in abusing his oath of office and continues to jeopardize our national security. >> many thanks for your final. coming up next, rising support for the impeachment inquiry. why more americans say look into it. hment inquiry. why more amerinsca say look into it your home at wayfair, you get more than free shipping. you get everything you need for your home at a great price, the way it works best for you, i'll take that. wait honey, no. when you want it. you get a delivery experience you can always count on. you get your perfect find at a price to match, on your own schedule. you get fast and free shipping on the things that
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now to the support for the impeachment across the nation. joining me is shaquille brewster. what are folks on the ground telling you about how they feel about the issue? >> reporter: support for impeachment is increasing especially when you look at democrats. and what we've been seeing is since the whistleblower complaint was release, the original complaint, and thens transcript between president trump and the ukranian president, you've seen an overall bump in support for impeachment when you look at the polls and that bump is driven mainly by democrats and then some independents along the way. and we've been talking to voters on the campaign trail regularly and that is being mirrored by the conversations that we're hearing. and our team has been focused on this south carolina district that flipped from republican control in 2016 to democratic
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control in 2018. represented by congressmen joe cunningh cunningham. and we're hearing that democrats support impeachment more than ever, however there are hints that some moderate republicans may be increasing their support as well. listen here. >> i've been a republican myle whole life and i'm frankly quite disgusted with what is going on right now. >> how do you feel about impeachment?it is warranted basd on all the recent news. what constitution? i do what i want. >> i think nancy pelosi is doing what needs to be countrdone. i trust her. >> the evidence is becoming more and more evident that they will have to follow their constitutional responsibility and do it. >> reporter: if there is any shift, it is that phrase that you just heard, constitutional responsibility. democrats who weren't on board before now see it as an
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obligation for the democrats in congress to investigate the president and hold him accountable. but it remains to be seen if the support extends across party lines especially as you hear republicans still defending the president largely. >> and where you are right now used to be a red district. would you categorize its as being purple right now? does that explain why he is reticent about jumping on board and supporting plooe ing impeac? >> caller: cunningham is one of the eight still holding out his support for impeachment. it is still a conservative district, but you are seeing more people support the impeachment inquiry. and that explains his hesitation and we'll see as more revelations come out, how his support changes. >> all right. we know that you will keep an i eye on that for us. thank you so much. up next, the president's strategy to fight impeachment, but will it work. but before the break, here is a
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until the senior officials of the republican party push back against trump, i think this is going to be a very, very long and difficult fight because this dishob dishonesty is overwehelming. >> and that was john brennan on "meet the press." let's get to i my panel. welcome all. he calls this disinformation. how do you characterize the narrative using the president's defense today and what do you think that it would take for senior republican leaders to speak out against the president on this? >> you know, that is a question
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that i get asked almost daily. at what point do congressional republicans understand that they can no longer defend the behavior especially when you see in black and this is a matter of not how we perceive things and we perceive things through democrats partisan lens and the republican lens. they use the same playbook they used in 2016, which this is the deep state is against president trump. they don't want him to work and they don't want him to do anything good and therefore they will try to take him down. they will continue to deflect and discountry. that is exactly what we should expect to see in the months and weeks to follow. we should not expect any republican to say i had a moral crisis now and i think this is all wrong. >> it seeks like in the vigorous
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defense of the president we heard play out earlier with chuck todd on "meet the press," give us a sense. are they never going to turn? >> alex, i was frankly disappointed to see ron johnson's reaction to chuck todd on "meet the press" this morning. he was someone who was starting to come out and say, i have some problems with president trump and the white house. >> he said he winced when he heard some things. >> exactly. you heard him this morning and almost like several people called him and said, what are you doing? get back on track, you're angering the president and he went to placate to an audience of one, defending the white house at all costs and pivoting back to 2016. this playbook is so old and so apparently obvious what the republican party is doing and donald trump and the white house is doing, and old tired playbook. any time they can't defend the indefensivable, they pivot back
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to 2016 and say the clintons colluded with ukraine which is nuts. and the primary challenge right now in 2020, you look forward to 2022, 2024, 2026, the way these guys are acting now will have major consequences on them personally and the republican party down the road. >> i want to ask you about democrats. you have richard painter, former white house ethics lawyer says democrats are not moving forward quickly enough on impeachment. >> there needs to be an acceleration of this investigation. this evidence is overwhelming against president trump. this is not a close case. it's overwhelming evidence. if they let it go on too long and get too close to the election it will be easy for trump to say, i was only impeached because of the election. >> should democrats speed this
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up given how long it took democrats to even get to this point and pretty uniformly agreeing to an inquiry? >> that's a great question. you have to speed it up. i was a shakespeare major unbeknownst to many. you have democrats really tiptoeing around the issue, trying to stall and be abundantly careful. ultimately these two imposters are the same and ultimately a president not held to justice. in 1954, brown versus education talks about justice delayed is justice in fact denied. this president is not being held accountable because of republican obvuscation or democrats overly cautious. you have a democratic base who overwhelmingly want to see the president not only impeached but held accountable. it's not happening because the other end of the spectrum, you
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have a lot of foot dragging. >> shakespeare, oh, my gosh, be still my heart. >> will that overtake the conversation and messaging if they don't speed it up? >> no, i don't think so. i will rarely disagree with my friend right now. the leadership is being cautious and adam schiff being cautious but being so methodical and conscientious getting the facts in place before this goes forward. they made it clear they don't want it to drag on to 2020 and they want it wrapped up by the end of this year. leader pelosi wants this done by thanksgiving. democrats are doing exactly what they need to do. we start looking hasty and getting ourselves into misinformation situation where we're not exactly, you know, being above board and making sure we are sticking to the facts, we could get ourselves in trouble as a party.
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we need to make this as non-political as possible, make this all about the constitution. the facts are on our side but we have to make sure we're very careful how this is approached and i think leader pelosi is doing that. >> can i ask you about another tweet from the president saying another whistle-blower is coming in from the deep state also with second-hand info. do you think this narrative resonates? >> i think it will, with the republican base it will. that's scared me all along as far back as 2016 when we started to hear this stuff from him. this feeling there is an underclass in washington that works really hard get rid of democratically elected people and not allow them to do their jobs. there are a lot of people who don't until news as close as we do inside the beltway. they believe there will be a conspiracy. i think you will hear trump in the next few days and talk about
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the grand conspiracy against him. >> did you have something to say real quick? >> real quick, the problem is not there is a whistle-blower, there are not multiple whistle-blowers. people coming out saying they had somable of the call, where are the people that put it in deep files, where are they? this is unconscionable. >> that's true. thanks. what we expect to find out about testimony in the coming week. week with my hepatitis c,
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i'm alex whip. that is a rap for me. i will go to kendis gibson and i want to say, i'm on time today. >> it is a sunday. glen is over here to tev. c -- to testify. can i get a witness? >> amen. >> if you've ever been to black church it would be to testify. i'm kendis gibson. what a sunday for breaking news on the impeachment investigation and "meet the press" this morning you have to see the exchange to listen to. a second whistle-blower. the attorney for the second whistle-blower now confirms to nbc confirms a second individual cooperating with the