tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 30, 2019 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
reduces inflation. markets do not like interest rate hikes. they don't like inflation so they got the message they wanted which is why we are closing up on a mildly high note on markets. i will see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern and then again at 3:00. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in washington, d.c. where today more high-level trump administration insiders are testifying on capitol hill under subpoena and drawing the line directly to donald trump and his demand for dirt on his political rivals in the fast-moving scandal. today's witnesses in the impeachment investigation expect it to paint a damning picture of what increasingly seems to amount to abuse of power from the president. the president's lawyers sought to block the testimony of today's witnesses. catherine croft and christopher anderson. both of them hailed from the
national security council and worked as advisers to former ukraine envoy kurt volker. he was one of the first diplomats to provide testimony in the house investigation. volker has since resigned from his government post. anderson who worked for bolton expected to voice more of bolton's alarm over giuliani's influence on donald trump. from the "wall street journal's" report on that, quote, mr. bolton's warning as described by mr. anderson suggests the then-national security adviser was aware of giuliani's influence over the president on ukraine policy several weeks before july 25th phone conversation in which trump would press his ukrainian counterpart to investigate joe biden and other matters echoing calls mr. giuliani had made for months. mr. bolton in an unusual move didn't listen in on that call. now that is adding to a damning cacophony of incriminating testimony up on capitol hill today in an unexpected twist
donald trump's hand-picked ambassador to russia john sullivan testified as part of his confirmation hearing and broke with the president on whether it was appropriate to seek political dirt on rivals from foreign leaders. he acknowledged being aware of giuliani's efforts in ukraine. and in doing so, sullivan draws secretary of state mike pompeo ever closer to the events in question. >> you were aware that there were individuals and forces outside of the state department seeking to smear ambassador yovanovitch. is that correct? >> i was. >> and that you were seeking to remove her. >> and do you believe mr. giuliani was one of those people? >> i believe so, yes. >> serve the and represented the united states capably and admirably? >> i told her so. >> yet, you were the one who told ambassador yovanovitch that she was being recalled early. correct? >> i did. >> in your view was there any basis to recall ambassador
yovanovitch early? >> yes, there was. the president had lost confidence in her. >> the president had lost confidence in her. >> yes. >> and you were told that by the secretary of state? >> i was. >> did you ask why he lost confidence in her? >> yes. >> and what was the answer? >> i was told that he had lost confidence in her. >> do you think it's ever appropriate for the president to use his office to solicit investigations into a domestic political opponent? >> soliciting investigations into a domestic political opponent, i don't think that would be in accord with our values. >> that unexpected preview of what the public phase of all this might look like is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. up on capitol hill, msnbc correspondent garrett haake. phil rucker, white house bureau chief for "the washington post" also joins us. here at the table former democratic congresswoman donna edwards. former chief of staff for the cia and the department of defense jeremy bash is here. and former senior fbi official
chuck rosenberg is at the table. let me start with you, garrett haake. so, that testimony we just showed you, we should explain who he is. that man is the hand-picked nominee to be donald trump's ambassador to russia. his confirmation hearing was public, and he was pressed there by democrats who all seem to be on the same page of getting every sing el trump administration official on the record about whether or not the conduct in question asking for dirt on a domestic political rival is appropriate. he broke with the president and implicitly rebuked the conduct at the center of the impeachment inquiry. was anybody expecting that, garrett? >> i don't think it was actually a huge surprise. i mean, the state department officials, those folks who have been there for long periods of time, this is american policy. this is not democratic policy which he was forced to defend here in this hearing today. this is standard american policy on the issues of russia, on the
issues of, you know, domestic control of domestic elections. and so being pressed in this way should not be terribly shocking. even republicans on that committee are a lot more traditional russia hawks. for example, you've got mitt romney, marco rubio who want to hear this same type of language whether it causes further problems with either of his two most direct superiors here in the persons of mike pompeo and donald trump, you know, i think he hopes to be far away in russia by the time that matters. the other thing that came out of this testimony today was confirmation of yovanovitch's telling of why she was fired that she was fired because nearly she had lost the confidence of the president, that this was nothing to do with her performance, that this was essentially part of a smear campaign against her also confirmed in public today. so all of these pieces continue to line up, whether it's on the house side behind closed doors, or in this case the u.s. senate
in a public hearing. >> jeremy bash, it's just remarkable to see, as garrett just said, this is a direct report to mike pompeo testifying under oath about the long arm of giuliani's corrupt foreign policy, that he was involved in it, he knew about it, and, yes, marie yovanovitch, the former u.s. ambassador to ukraine was pulled back because donald trump had lost confidence in her that had nothing to do with her job performance and everything to do with rudy giuliani's corrupt foreign policy. >> that's right. and deputy secretary sullivan who is the nominee to be our ambassador to russia is no deep state operative. he was trump's political appointee. he's been there since the beginning serving under both secretary tillerson and secretary pompeo. he is a reliable republican figure, well respected, well known and sort of part of the mainstream of republican foreign policy community here in washington. so for him to break with the president i think is significant. it also points to this larger issue which came out in the testimony today you saw, for
example, kurt volker's advisers were up on capitol hill and we are going to be talking about that. but i was struck in the context of sullivan by chris anderson said that they prepared in november 2018 a statement condemning russia for its aggressive actions. and that was explicitly prohibited from being posted on the internet by the white house. >> well, let's move on to the impeachment witnesses today. we started with mr. sullivan because it's just, i think, a preview of how the public phase of this is going to be so much more damaging to donald trump. but you're right. there were two more witnesses on capitol hill in the impeachment investigation. one of them, mr. anderson, let me read a little bit about what he was expected to testify to because it brings john bolton the former national security adviser who is now in a legal scuffle, i guess, or stand-off with congress about whether or not he will appear. but his voice and his concerns are coming through loud and
clear. he expressed concerns about giuliani and ukraine. this is someone who was in the room with john bolton, someone who was an eyewitness to giuliani's influence. and just go a little deeper about how these witnesses sort of piece together what is a very clear picture of -- i think it was john taylor who testified to an irregular policy process. >> well, the two witnesses today. one was catherine croft. one was chris anderson. they are both career foreign service officers, people who have served democratic and republican administrations. they even took pains to say the testimony that they work for the united states of america advancing our interest abroad. what they saw what they witnessed and testified today was the irregular policy channel that ambassador to kiev bill taylor had talked about in his very detailed testimony last week. in that irregular channel, rudy giuliani was exerting pressure. and john bolton was expressing concern. that's why i think it's relevant
because when somebody like gordon sondland who was the ambassador to the e.u. said i never heard any concern. that's clearly not true. we now know from these witnesses that john bolton himself was so concerned and that they went to the white house lawyers about the concern. >> it also annihilates this sort of construct that the white house would like to push out that it's donald trump against the deep state figures. garrett haake, i am told you have some breaking news on this topic. what do you got? >> reporter: yeah, john bolton is going to get a chance to say any of this next week. three sources tell our capitol hill team who have been fanned out across the capitol trying to track this down that bolton has been invited to come give his deposition next thursday, the 7th of november. he would be obviously the biggest, the potentially most damning witness yet should he choose to comply. now this is an invite so far, not a subpoena. we know that his deputy is
already -- has a case before a district court here in d.c. that is supposed to get heard tomorrow about what he should do with his subpoena. but this is the formal ask according to three sources familiar for john bolton to show up here in the capitol and tell his side of the story on all of this. >> well, that's a remarkable development. but i think, chuck, we can predict that a possible outcome would be a similar one that we saw with bolton's deputy, mr. kupperman, his lawyer filed a lawsuit late friday night asking a judge to decide which branch he should be responsive to, the congressional branch or the executive. >> it's actually not a crazy thing to ask. i mean, if you are the lawyer in that position, you know your client is being pulled in two directions. a president and the white house asserting executive privilege and a congress saying that we have issued you a valid subpoena and you need to show up and talk. and so what do you do in a situation like that? well, you can either pick a side but you do that at your peril or you go to a federal judge and
you askwins, you tell me. and i am willing to comply with your ruling. so i wouldn't be shocked if you saw mr. bolton do something similar. >> let me bring you in, phil rucker, on this breaking news. invitations also extended in addition to donald trump's former national security adviser john bolton who left the white house and in a somewhat acrimonious way about the invite for the taliban at camp david. that he was not in alignment with rudy giuliani's rogue or in the words of diplomat bill taylor irregular foreign policy channel around ukraine. he's been invited along with that nsc lawyer at the center of this scandal, mr. eisenberg. he was on the receiving end of a phone call from the cia general counsel when she caught wind that plfrps a whistle-blower who
had concerns about donald trump's call with the president of ukraine. he was also on the receiving end of yesterday's witness mr. vindman who went and saw him when he became concerned about that call and about some omissions perhaps from the transcript that far call. talk about these developments just in the last hour on capitol hill, phil. >> yeah, nicole, this is a big deal because both of these gentlemen you just talked about have the potential to deliver the most explosive testimony yet in the impeachment inquiry. bolton, because it is his job to run the national security process at the white house during this period, and he would be able to detail in very granular precise detail because of his rigor as a lawyer, because of the note-taking that he took in the government to be able to show how the process was irregular, how rudy giuliani was involved in ways he may not have been appropriate in bolton's review. we should remember that one of bolton's deputies fiona hill
testified last week or it might've been the week before that bolton had referred to what was going on in ukraine policy by rudy giuliani as a drug deal and spoke about it in pretty harrowing terms. so not only according to this testimony does bolton view this as irregular but he viewed it as dangerous, he was alarmed by it. and certainly if he goes up to capitol hill to share his own story, he could fill in a lot of those holes. mr. eisenberg is important for the same reasons, but also for trying to piece together the cover-up inside the white house. >> yeah. >> after the phone call with zelensky. it was eisenberg who apparently may have been involved in deciding what to do with that transcript, that rough transcript, locking it down in that more secure server, and some of the other allegations that have come forward in the testimony to date. >> phil rucker, i am also -- in my brain is flashing that really haunting piece of reporting that you and your colleague bob costa did where a veteran republican
senator described this whole thing as a horror movie. it would seem that it went from an r-rated horror movie to something you'd only find on the dark web. >> and let's just focus for a minute more on john boeltdon because he is not a witness that the president is going to be able to easily condemn or discredit. you can't call john bolton a never-trumper because he supported the president's election and he served for more than a year as the president's national security adviser in the government. he is a rock-ribbed conservative. he has a very clear ideology. he's been supportive of republican political candidates including many members of congress and of the senate for many years now and continues to do so through his political action committee. and so it's going to be very difficult for trump and his allies to portray bolton as, you know, some sort of radical lefty or somebody who's out to get the president because he actually
served for the president. >> and i don't think it's an understatement to say that john bolton's testimony could be the difference between four or five republican senators supporting conviction and getting to a number that nears 20. >> well, i think this is really significant. already we have multiple witnesses who place john bolton in critical -- at critical stages during this entire fiasco. and i think that john bolton is not going to be vilified in the same kind of way, people know him. john bolton also is going to survive beyond this trump presidency. i think that some of that weighs in on a number of these witnesses who are not going to have their beds made by going down for donald trump. and i think john bolton is one of those. and, you know, and i think to the extent that this would ever make it into a public hearing, it would, i think, be very, very
difficult for a number of republicans to be able to say no. >> yeah. and, garrett, let me bring this back to the minute-by-minute reporting here. i believe adam schiff is already on the record saying we are not waiting for this lawsuit that chuck rosenberg and i were discussing. it would seem that by offering this invisitation you've got three sources saying the invitation has been extended. if john bolton or his lawyer, mr. cooper, have any sort of eye toward history, they may be open to whatever this judge decides. is that the sense up there? and it would seem that in terms of locking down the evidence, there are plenty of people, fiona hill testified to john bolton's conduct and statements in meetings. you had colonel vindman yesterday testifying to john bolton's statements. it would seem that the appearances could be symbolic in some respects. >> reporter: well, i suppose that's true, at least behind closed doors. now as to this hearing we are
expecting to have a judge weigh in on this as soon as tomorrow afternoon. so we won't have to wait long to see whether the judicial branch of the government, you know, sides in favor of the house or the white house in this dispute over whether or not bolton or his deputy would come and testify. there is some legal difference between the two, especially because bolton is of course no longer part of the federal government. but bolton's value, you could argue, if indeed he is as good of a witness as we are speculating that he might be. he is somebody who you do not have to introduce to the american people. if you have paid attention to american politics in the last three presidential administrations, you know who john bolton is. he's not someone who is a minor level state department official. he's not someone who you have to, you know, educate the american people on where they come from. he is already a familiar face. so that's where a lot of his value comes from. but i will just add one caveat to all this. john bolton is someone who's been an unapologetic defender of
a strong presidency. i think we should be careful before we assume that despite his policy differences or the other things he said about rudy giuliani that he'd be so quick to throw the white house under the bus here. this is someone who's made a career in part of defending the executives' prerogative here. and i don't know if that changes with how this executive might've used that prerogative. >> i think that's a good caution. i think it's also an unknown, phil rucker, whether or not we will ever see john bolton. i think he and the legal strategy charted by his attorney last friday night on behalf of mr. kupperman, bolton's deputy. i think they're happy to leave that in the hands of the judge in that decision. but i want to just -- i mean, so much of bolton's conduct has been brought to light. and some of it by your colleague greg miller who has an incredible piece of reporting in today's "washington post" about two meetings. your colleague greg miller
writes in a pair of volatile meetings senior white house officials including then national security adviser john bolton. president trump was seeking to use the power of his office to pressure ukraine to deliver damaging information on former vice president joe biden and his son. john bolton's been in washington a long time. if people were testifying under oath on capitol hill about events that were untrue, if things were showing up that were untrue, i think the long arms of sort of bolton would be aware of it and would be correcting passages like this one in your paper. can you bring to life any more of this reporting? >> well, it's certainly, nicole, would be bolton's m.o. to correct the public record. he has not attempted to do so to date. that meeting that greg miller wrote about is really important. and this is the one that was -- a couple of weeks before the phone call between president zelensky and president trump. the and it's because that's when the ukrainian officials, you know, top advisers to the newly
elected president of ukraine came to the white house to try to forge a stronger relationship with the administration, and they assumed that the administration would sort of welcome them in open arms. and they were caught off guard when they got to the white house to discover that there was something going on here behind the scenes that didn't quite seem right. and it became clear to bolton as well, and greg's reporting shows that bolton had been suspicious up until that point that there was a scheme being on, that rudy giuliani was involved in an inappropriate way. but it didn't all sort of click and crystallize until that moment when the ukrainian officials came to visit the white house. >> so chuck rosenberg, two-part question for you. one, the legal significance of reporting like this would seem to put consciousness of guilt that there was some awareness at the highest levels of the white house national security policymaking process that this stunk. and when you've got colorful language like bolton apparently calling it a drug deal that rudy giuliani, mick mulvaney were cooking up like bolton as others
have testified to describing rudy as a hand grenade that was going to blow up. i think there's a direct line between testimony like that that's so crystallizing and the 55% of the americans who support donald trump's removal, and the 65% who support the white house responding to congressional subpoenas like the one garrett just reported on. >> sure. and by the way, these phrases consciousness of guilt or intent are phrases we use, terms we use in a criminal context. >> this is political, right? >> this is a political context. impeachment doesn't require proof or conviction of a crime. it requires, among other things, public misconduct, an abuse of power, even if it's not technically a crime, it is impeachable. it's absolutely clear. so, what's interesting to me, too, nicole, is how many witnesses are being asked to come and tell their story. and i always used to say as a prosecutor there is no such thing as too much evidence.
>> yeah. >> we would be suspicious if everyone's story lined up perfectly. people see different things. they remember different things. they perceive things in different ways. but you are getting a very consistent story, not perfectly so. but a very consistent story. lots and lots of men and women in the national security council, in the state department, in the white house saw and heard things that really bothered them when they were coming forward to tell the truth. that's how good investigations are run. so i have to commend the house intelligence committee for the way they are structuring. >> and for bringing together, and really gordon sondland is the only witness who appears to have heard something different. >> and, look, he may actually have heard something different. it is possible. i'm not sure i credit that. he may remember it differently. or me may just be telling a different story. but the weight of the evidence certainly lines up against gordon sondland. and more importantly against the president. >> all right. garrett haake, phil rucker, thank you for your reporting this hour. and it's the 4:00 hour.
if you get anything else we will break in for you as always. our first answers about the suspicious gaps in the transcript of the call between donald trump and president zelensky from yesterday's star witness colonel vindman. and democrats keep impeachment as easy as a, b, c, in rising poll numbers that suggest not only is the public following along closely, but that wide majorities of americans support the congressional subpoenas and want the white house to cooperate. those stories coming up. stay with us. ♪ things are getting clearer, yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin ♪ yeah that's all me. ♪ nothing and me go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin ♪ that's my new plan. ♪ nothing is everything. keep your skin clearer with skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months. of those, nearly 9 out of 10 sustained it through 1 year. and skyrizi is 4 doses a year, after 2 starter doses. ♪ i see nothing in a different way ♪
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conversation, right? taken by very talented stenographers. the exact transcript of my call done by very talented people that do this exact word for word. fortunately they had transcribers, stenographers, people that do this for a living on the line because we have an exact copy of the report of the call. i released a transcription done by stenographers of the exact conversation i had. we had it transcribed. it was an exact transcription of the conversation. >> another day, another trump lie exposed. that word-for-word, comma-for-comma of the call. was not a word for word transcript at all. was also altered to remove information that could end up being damaging to president trump. that's according to testimony yesterday from donald trump's top ukraine expert on the national security council. colonel alexander vindman.
and according to reporting from the "new york times," he told house impeachment investigators on tuesday that the white house transcript of the july call between president trump and ukraine's president onlyited crucial words and phrases and that his attempts to include them failed. that's according to three people familiar with the testimony. the omissions included mr. trump's assertion that there were recordings of former vice president joe biden discussing ukraine corruption and explicit mention by ukraine's president of burisma holdings, the energy company whose board employed mr. biden's son, hunter. joining our conversation charlie sykes. what say you, my friend? >> the extraordinary thing about donald trump is that he tells lies that are so easily disproven and that he tells lies that are not necessary, the pathological nature of it. i mean, that will come out. but, look.
we do not have the transcript of that. there is something else there. is it the 16-minute gap in the tape? maybe, maybe not. but this would also suggest to republicans what else have you been told that is not true? what else is there? what else is going to come out? and this is one of those dazzing details. >> it also has a historical parallel to the nixon tape. >> because nixon released transcripts of his conversations but carefully edited them out. there were ellipses. and these ellipses, by the way, should've been a tell that there was something else there. i think that there were a lot of people who were speculating at the time that the transcript didn't seem to be long enough to account for the entire conversation. and, again, if there were specific references to burisma, either specific references to joe biden and tape, why would those not have been included in this memo. it's not a transcripted memo.
>> the things that are missing are at the center of the impeachment inquiry. they are not just little things about what time could you arrive and what's -- you know, i mean, the things at the center of the scandal. >> it wasn't the small talk, how are you feeling, how's the weather in kiev. it wasn't that, of course. but that's why you gather evidence broadly. the transcript is one type of evidence. for example, if there was an audiotape of the transcript, that would be more valuable than the transcript. you could certainly talk to the stenographers and ask them what do you write down, where are your notes, did anyone tell you to drop things from the transcript you produced. there are lots of ways to get to this. and so the transcript is important, and there is some damning stuff in it. but that's not the whole story. >> and, you know, jeremy, it would appear, someone who can remain anonymous until he or she chooses to disclose their own identity says this is sort of
watergate for dummies. but the idea that they lock down this transcript before it could be completed in any normal process is another tell. it's the cover-up around this transcript that may have created some of the smoke that led to the whistle-blower being contacted by so many west wing officials with their alarm. >> and i think herein lies the reason why president trump and his allies on fox and elsewhere so desperately try to denigrate the service of colonel vindman. here we have an iraq war veteran wounded in combat, earned a purple heart, is an active-duty lieutenant colonel serving on the national security council, is not a democrat, not a republican. he is an army officer. and, yet his testimony is that he was so worried about the content of the call and the way the transcript was altered that he blew the whistle. he told a lawyer and he is now telling the congress. that's why they need to tear him apart limb from limb, and they will do it unless somebody stops
them. >> well, let's go into what he -- um, where the ellipses are which we know there were omissions either from the software or from other less innocent explanations. so there are some ellipses around this part of the conversation. i would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with ukraine. they say crowdstrike. dot, dot, dot. i guess you have one of your wealthy people, dot, dot, dot. the server they say, ukraine has it. >> now it's my understanding that the server is a cloud and there isn't some hunk of metal being lugged around between russia and ukraine that this whole thing is a whacka-doo conspiracy theory. tried to dispel him of. but all the same it ended up in this call. do you have any suspicions around those? >> i think that what we know is that the president is trying to place the blame on ukraine so that russia will be absolved of any interference in the 2016 election. and the president is fed into
that story. it's been completely disabused. and when i look at this, i see other kinds of transcripts. and where you have ilepsies you might have inaudible because it can't be heard or, you know, you have some other indication that conversation just kind of trailed off. this is not what that is. i remember reading it for the first time and it looked to me like something was intentionally left out. and now we know from lieutenant colonel vindman's testimony on what we know of it is that indeed some things were left out. we'll have to determine whether those things are material or whether they just add to the story. but clearly someone thought enough to take something out because they knew it would be even more damaging than what we have, which is pretty damaging. >> i think here's why taking out burisma is so material. it's because through one lens, asking ukraine to undertake investigations of corruption seems like run-of-the-mill
american foreign policy. but when the sole investigation is about burisma, about joe biden's son, it casts the entire thing in a completely different light. it's completely inappropriate, probably unlawful under federal election law. so the word burisma being lifted from the transcript for whatever reason is so telling, so suspicious, such a red flag. and a former justice department official said to me what is the other sort of corruption that this white house has taken on in any other country? what is the record of anti-corruption policies that they have pursued, either attaching it to military aid or domestically? there is no anti-corruption pillar of trumpism. >> and the team taking it on was rudy giuliani getting paid 500 grand from tweedle dum and tweedy dee. it's nuts. it doesn't make any sense. >> if we could pull back the camera a little bit this picture is coming together consistently, as you mentioned in the last
segment. but to jeremy's point about the trump playbook. the trump playbook of course we saw it in action yesterday, but it didn't have a good day. they tried to discredit, they tried to smear this lieutenant colonel. >> don't get me started. you'll get me in trouble. >> but it backfired badly and i think it shows the limits of the trump indecency. but a lot of republicans have to be asking themselves is this going to be the playbook going forward? am i going to have to go along with the attacks on all these decorated patriots who are now coming forward? because that's really the turn. these are trump's people, they are coming forward. there are incredible stories. and yet what is the trump reaction? it is this reflex attack them, demean them, discredit them. they were able to do it with bob mueller. they've been able to, you know, go after veterans in the past like john mccain. but there was something about yesterday that felt a little bit different. and i think the republican pushback is this recognition that, look, this evidence is coming out, it's really damning,
and we can't go along if you're going to be attacking somebody like this. now maybe that's just temporary because this is what they do, right? i mean, the scorpion doesn't change his nature. but i think yesterday was an indication that it's going to be harder than it was in the past. >> i saw your hand go up. >> and i have a corollary to your question. you asked in what other countries ret orkly have we promoted anti-corruption -- >> has donald trump promoted anti-corruption efforts. >> and the answer may be none. but my corollary question, nicole, is what other countries have we approached in the way we approached ukraine and through what channels? it would shock me. i never met a bank robber who only robbed one bank it. >> would shock me if this is the only -- >> we've got three, right? russia, china, and ukraine. but we don't know what we don't know. >> and proving negatives of course is always really hard. but if rudy giuliani is freelancing in ukraine, i have a bunch of other questions. >> exactly.
all right. jeremy bash, it says you have to go. >> i am going to twist your arm in the break before i thank you and say good-bye. after the break, as public support for the public investigation swells, boiling donald trump's impeachment down to a, b, and c that. story's next. s nextr at average risk. i took your advice and asked my doctor to order cologuard, that noninvasive colon cancer screening test. the delivery guy just dropped it off. our doctor says it uses advanced science. it's actually stool dna technology that finds 92 percent of colon cancers. no prep, and private. colon cancer screening that's as easy as get, go, gone. ask your doctor if cologuard is right for you. covered by medicare and most major insurers. and now for their service to the community, we present limu emu & doug with this key to the city. [ applause ] it's an honor to tell you that liberty mutual customizes your car insurance
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view. this is nbc news learns of a new framework democrats are looking at to strengthen their case against president trump which the founders laid out to define what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors. in this case the allegations that trump used his office for his own personal gain. b for betrayal, trump betraying national security interests by compromising military aid to a nation an ally, ukraine, that's critical to countering russian aggression. and, c, for corruption. the u.s. president trying to get a foreign power to intervene and corrupt our elections. joining our conversation politics editor for "the daily beast" sam stein. what do you think, a, b, c, can we do it? >> i think to a large degree democratic leadership has read this to a pretty good degree. pelosi saying slow down, let's not do this for months upon
months. but these things can go haywire obviously. i know from my reporting that yesterday democratic leadership including pelosi were talking about the difficulties that they may encounter in public forums. we've saw this already where the house judiciary committee tried to bring in high-profile witnesses and republican used procedures and stunts to essentially make them into political circuses. they want to figure on out a way to keep that from happening again. they know that this is a showcase. and so they are trying to devise a set of rules that will actually eliminate of republicans to actually do those types of stunts. we know that republicans are eager to do disruptive behave are yo. we saw them storming the skiff. so i think this is a very delicate situation. a highly different than what we have had in the past couple weeks which is depositions, strategic leaks or testimonies being put out by lawyers that
are highly damaging to the administration. this one is a bit more of a show. >> you know, what strikes me is that what held pelosi up, and correct me if i'm wrong me if this is wrong, with that public opinion had swung in favor of impeachment after the mueller report came out. and then she left it to the committees that would have robert mueller and his witnesses to do the work as swaying public opinion. here she's gotten the latest quinnipiac poll. 55% of americans for the removal of donald trump from office a year before an election. she also has in a poll i saw today 65% of americans oppose any sort of stonewalling from the trump white house. she's got the wind at her back in terms of public opinion, something she never had after mueller. >> well, you can make the case, and this is criticism that public opinion has followed leadership, that a good chunk of the public that wasn't there initially were democrats who were following her lead. when she jumped on board, they followed her. now luckily we have a former member of congress who worked
under pelosi. she is the highly, i would say a cautious politician at heart but also a prudent one. she doesn't do things without recognizing that there is success down the road for her. so maybe you can speak to how she looks at impeachment. >> she reads donna's op eds for one. [ laughter ] >> i do think that what she's done here she's made sure that her caucus is in the right place. i think that's really important because she's going to need all of them to be in line on this vote tomorrow, and then subsequently. i think the rule that they have constructed actually plays into the narrative that the speaker is obviously taking control of the process. they have tried to construct it so that, for example, adam schiff will be able to tell uninterrupted to tell the story, which has not happened in some of these other hearings where there is a back and forth and back and forth. staff counsel will be able to answer questions. i would say it'd be great if
they allowed staff counsel to do that first and then go to the five-minute interchange between republicans and democrats because, again, it allows a story to be told that's really coherent. i think that what i would say is that speaker pelosi has really seized this process. she understands where it needs to go. and she is trusted the leadership in particular adam schiff to help get us there. and then when the public hearings come, i think each one of these witnesses that will be called will be able to tell that story. and a lot of the president, the due process that they have complained about by allowing the president to bring witnesses to present evidence to ask questions. that is actually pretty unprecedented in terms of the level that's been given. >> chuck, i am sure it pains you, as it does me, to sort of compare the public reception of the mueller investigation to the public reception of impeachment.
but as someone who is sort of stood at the center of law enforcement and a public-facing role in your job, why do you think this is piercing for her in a way that's swinging numbers like they never swung during mueller probe. >> i think it's just easier. the mueller report is incredibly compelling. i shouldn't admit this on television, but i just read it again. la of laugh. >> it is amazing -- you flip open to any package and you're like i can't believe this happened and nothing happened to donald trump. >> i should be more specific, sam. i read volume two again. >> it's not helping. >> trying to figure out why it didn't resonate because when you read it, the litany of crime and cover-up intentionally so, it strikes me in some ways as more dramatic, more damning and more compelling than the ukraine matter, which is pretty bad.
so, i'm at a bit of a loss other than to say one thing was complicated and dense and it took a long time to sort of unfurl, right, 22 months. and the other thing happened very quickly. and the story could be told simply. and maybe that just resonates more, nicole. >> and i think it's also the difference of the mueller probe felt like it was investigating something sophisticated, a conspiracy between the russians and the ukrainian thing just felt like, you know, the robbers we want in, in ski masks and stole all their stuff. whereas the other one was a sophisticated effort to steal credit card numbers. there is something scummier about a president getting on the phone with another president and saying can you smear joe biden? >> i have been relistening to the podcast which tells the story. >> i am going to get both of you netflix subscriptions.
>> it is really dramatic. but having said all of this, nancy pelosi's prudence, i think, is actually paying off. because things have changed, ee events have changed, the whistle-blower came forward, the ukraine narrative is easy to explain and understand. now we are getting this flood of witnesses from the administration willing to testify. this has changed the dynamic. and it's a legitimate question i think. would public opinion have changed if she would have moved more quickly. and i think that she would justify after the mueller report came out. but you do get the sense, and you also get the sense among republicans that they are back on their heels. i am reading a lot of conservative media and they are flailing angerly because it is more and more difficult. that fig leaf is going to be torn off. then they have to confront the reality. they have to understand that everything gets worse. the evidence gets worse, there may be more smoking guns, there may be more witnesses. the venue gets worse when it
goes on television. then of course there is donald trump who is going to give them more things they are going to have to defend. because we know that when he gets under pressure he can behave in a more unhinged manner. so republicans are asking what am i going to have to defend, and how bad is this going to get. so you do have the coming together and nancy pelosi's timing feels pretty good. kind of amazingly maybe the democrats are not going to screw this up. >> and i don't want to put this back, but maybe both things are true. maybe the mueller report and socializing, all that criminality. i mean, even if you didn't read the mueller report you read that there were 150 contacts between the trump orbit and russia. you know that there were maybe ten times where if he wasn't president he could have been charged with obstruction of justice. maybe it is the one-two punch of the mueller investigation and all the crimes he uncovered as well as the sdny porn star cover-up. >> i would say two things to this. one, and first of all i haven't re-read any reports.
but one thing is that unlike the mueller report in this case you actually do have the screams coming from within the administration. there are people who donald trump hired who are saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, this is wrong. that adds an element that is fairly digestible for the public. and two there is something sort of hidden about a whistle-blower report. hidden about a whistle-r report with this there was something deep and dark and nefarious about a whistle-blower report about whistle-blower report. and i think for the public, that is, you know, sinister. and i think -- and that drives people -- >> obviously, inside the west wing, it was sinister stereo. all right. after the break, breaking news on that weekend raid that killed the leader of isis. we'll have that story on the other side of this break. of thk the only one to combine a safe sleep aid. and the 12-hour pain relieving strength of aleve. so...magic mornings happen. there's a better choice. aleve pm.
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that successful raid that resulted in the death of a leader of isis, baghdadi. it would seem that something that should have been i think someone called it low-hanging fruit earlier in the week on this program. something that is so easy to celebrate, pay tribute, honor the military, honor our allies. in this case, the syrian kurds who have just abandoned and honor the intelligence agencies that -- that this has been a pretty uneven victory lap for the president and his white house. white house chief of staff was hundreds of miles away. i mean, it's been another weird story for this white house. >> it is weird. and we're two or three days away from it and it already seems in the past. the president, this is about the best possible news he could have, right? >> any president. >> and he may not get a bump because he's donald trump and he just could not stop himself from making up stories about this. making it about him -- himself. and he took a very, very easy win and i think he squandered it. that story by the way about mick mulvaney not knowing anything about it, we are at the
humiliation phase of mulvaney's tenure i think as chief of staff and he probably should keep an eye on twitter. >> you know, i thought -- i thought the same thing. i mean, i think it was "the new york times" breaking some of this reporting and -- and others that mick mulvaney really dramatically and -- and i agree with you, humiliatingly -- out of the loop on this raid. and you think about chiefs of staff. i mean, president obama spent some of his most fateful deliberations with his chief of staff. george w. bush obviously famously informed by his chief of staff that a second tower had been hit on 9/11. the surest thing everything is debased -- >> and they let it be known. >> and they leak it. >> they put out a picture where he obviously wasn't there. and then they obviously confirm detailed that he was hundreds of miles away. and that's -- it's secondary because this is an important national security victory. but trump does have a problem of staying on script and that's true in this case, too. he didn't have to speak in these
grand details which clearly seemed to embellish. we did reporting on this. we talked to five white house officials and they had no idea what he was talking about. in real time. now, of course, this is secondary compared to the actual killing of baghdadi but it does get to a broader problem, which is a president who's obviously in need of good political news can't seem to get out of his own way. >> so we're waiting for this briefing. expected to get under way at the pentagon at any time. it would seem that -- that -- that even the pentagon can't escape sort of the long arms as sam stein just said of donald trump's lies. they're going to be asked. the president said there was whimpering. is there audio? is he going to release it? i don't know what the answers are. i don't know if he's lying or not. but he does put every person in a bizarre unprecedented dam. >> what he's done is put them in a position of having to respond to things that should have never been in the public in the first place. so there's that. but also, there was a moment where he could have stood side by side with the democratic and
republican leadership of the house and the senate on this because this is something that we should celebrate. i mean, this was a brutal man and he's gone. and yet, that couldn't happen because the president was so insular that he wanted to keep them out but let in lindsey graham. i mean, it's really ridiculous. >> keep in mind, john brennan endured criticism for small embellishments of the obl raid too. so this happens, just in this case, it's the president. >> all right. that briefing expected to get under way on the other side of this short break. don't go anywhere. other side of this short break don't go anywhere. turkey. so chantix can help you quit slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
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