"am joy," live from washington, d.c. where the house just capped off an historic first week of televised hearings in the impeachment investigation of donald trump. just moments ago mark sandy, a career official at the white house office of management and budget has arrived for a closed door deposition. sandy is the first omb official to defy white host orders not to cooperate with the unquirery. and that's significant because omb is the office responsible for implementing trump's order to block the military aid congress had appropriated for ukraine. eight more key witnesses are slated to testify in open hearings next week. and instead of helping himself by i don't know, staying quiet and doing the job of being president, donald trump just keeps digging himself in deeper. on friday, just as marie
yovanovitch the ousted ambassador to ukraine told congress she felt threatened by trump add his cronies smear campaign against her, trump offered a fresh real time threat during her testimony. a thuggish unprecedented display by an american president that led to this q and a between ambassador yovanovitch and house intelligence committee chairman adam schiff. >> now the president in real time is attacking you. what effect do you think that has on other witnesses willingness to come forward and expose wrong doing? >> well, it's very intimidating. i mean, i can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but i think the effect is to be intimidating. >> well, i want to let you know ambassador that some of us here tane very seriously. >> yovanovitch's dramatic testimony, so compelling that
even some anchors on truch tv had to admit it wasn't the only block buster news of the game. roger stone became a convicted felon and on friday night came the deposition of david holmes. a state department official stationed at the u.s. embassy in ukraine. holmes told investigators about the phone call he overheard between trump and eu ambassador gordon sondland in july. the testimony allegely took place at a kiev restaurant after sondland had met with zelensky the day after trump's now infamous phone call in which he demanded dirt on the bidens. in his opening statement obtained by nbc news holmes said quote i then heard president trump ask so he's going to do the investigation? ambassador sondeland replied that he's going to do it adding
that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to. joining me now are two congressmen on committees involved in the impeachment process. ted lu and gregory meeks. thank you both for being here. i'm going to go back and forth between the two of you. congressman lu, what did you take away from the first two days of open hearings that we heard this week? >> thank you, joy, for your question. first of all it's an honor to be on with representative meeks. this week was a very, very bad week for donald trump. the american people heard firsthand from ambassador taylor about the bribery scheme of donald trump where he with hold hundreds of millions of dollars and the white house meeting in exchange for ukraine launching two bogus investigations into the dnc server and the bidens. on friday we heard ambassador yovanovitch testify about how she was removed so the decks could be cleared for the bribery scheme to be executed and during
her testimony donald trump engages in witness intimidation and then we have roger stone who was convicted by a your on all seven counts and he's a friend of donald trump, a very bad week. >> yeah, it was an interesting set of testimonies to be sure and congressman meeks, you sit on the foreign affairs committee as well as the financial services committee but i want to speak to you in your guise as a foreign services committee member. i want to play for you some of bill taylor's testimony, which was quite dramatic on wednesday. and this is where he talks about irregular channel, this informal channel that was taking place in terms of donald trump's foreign policy. >> i encountered an irregular n informal channel of u.s. policy making with respect to ukraine. a channel that included curt vol ker, gordon sondeland. secretary of energy rick perry,
white house chief of staff mick mulvaney and mr. giuliani. >> how irregular would such a channel be in american government? >> i think it's unprecedented and it's good to be with you joy and my colleague ted lu. it's unprecedented and that's what's important about what we've heard thus far from both of our ambassadors. here we have individuals in our state department who are not there because they're democrats or republicans or independents. they have de dedicated their lives to diplomacy on fwe half of the united states of america and to carry out the united states policy. so what you see lining up are individuals who are testifying now because of a sense of responsibility and obligation to our constitution and to our nation and you see more and more of them within the state department coming out because that's who they are. that's why they signed up. and then you have a president on the other end who is trying to utilize all that he has, abusing his power to try to criticize
and/or go against their character. but i think that that's why these hearings are important and i want the american people to judge for themselves, listen to a 33-year person of the state department who served on the democrats and the republicans and listen to what's happening to her and the assault that's being put on her by the current president and then listen to ambassador taylor and all that he has talked about and this shadow government led by rudy giuliani, topped by the president himself and you're seeing that more and more the testimony that came out yesterday, they're connecting directly to the president and his ka ball is starting to fall apart. i think next week is going to be very important when you see ambassador sondland testify again because we've heard him say something, he had to come back and refute it and now this testimony that happened yesterday i'm sure will go
public soon, he's going to be very interesting to see what he's got to say next week. >> and congressman lu, speaking of ambassador yovanovitch, do you think that the threat that donald trump issued against her attacking her i should say, the attack on her in real time during the hearing in which she was speaking will wind up playing a role in the forming of articles of impeachment should this get to that point against donald trump? >> i'm a former prosecutor. what donald trump did looks like witness intimidation and it's not a one off thing that trump did. he's done this before. he actually threatened michael cohen about his father-in-law and we have other unstances where donald trump is trying to intimidate witnesses. we do know that even fox news hosts were shocked. so democratic caucus want to look at all these instances of witness intimidation and will
make a decision as to whether we launch an article of impeachment on that issue. >> let me play for you another one of your colleagues, mike quigley and this is mr. quigley on wednesday. take a listen. >> we are not able to hear testimony by chief of staff mulvaney, michael ellis, john bolton, more than a dozen witnesses, so i suspect if you have a problem with hearsay, you'd have a lot more direct testimony and direct evidence if you weren't blocking that ability. >> what trump strategy has been is to say that all of the witnesses who are testifying only have second hand information because they haven't spoken to the president directly and weren't involved directly with him but they are also causing all the people who were directly involved to refuse to testify. with holding them from congress. could that be considered obstruction, again, thinking about -- thinking forward to articles of impeachment? >> absolutely. it is classic obstruction.
you know, on the one hand you say you want to drive for the truth and no one was there that heard, well, all of your people you're trying to -- and you're preventing them from cooperating with congress and our investigation. it is absolute obstruction of this -- of our investigation. in fact, it is so relevant that if you look at the nixon impeachment, how he tried to cover up was to prevent all of his folks from testifying, but when the facts came out and i think that -- that all of the people around the president better start observing because if you look at the nixon impeachment, everybody ended up going to jail except nixon and so they should think twice about whether or not they're going to listen to just the president and try to cover up blindly or come and tell the truth as you see that many of the individuals in our state department who are putting their country and their
constitution first before just supporting blindly this guy who happens to be president of the united states. >> i want to thank both congressman ted lu and gregory meeks for your time this morning. really appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> well, the impeachment of a president has occurred twice in this nation's history. another president richard nixon resigned before an actual debate on the house floor could begin. but our nation has never seen anything quite like this. >> ambassador taylor in your decades of military service and diplomatic service representing the united states around the world, have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the united states? >> no, i have not. >> and joining me now is presidential his torreon john
me meacham. it's so much about this that's unprecedented. a blend of the andrew johnson impeachment for defying congress and the richard nixon impeachment for all sorts of obstruction sort of blended together but i want to play for you another thing that i think is unique about this impeachment in that this is the first time that we're actually seeing a literal word from the impeachment article being thrown around about the president of the united states and that is the word bribery. i want to play you the speaker of the house nancy pelosi from thursday. >> the devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry. bribery and that is in the constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings. >> so what was the prescribe here? the bribe is to grant or with hold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the election. >> john, is it just rhetorical?
you know, i've been one of those whose argued that saying quid pro quo just confuses the american people. people have to look up the latin on it where as bribery is a lot more succinct. but is it one of the articles that democrats are pushing toward? >> joy, i think it is significant and i think it's both a intelligent, politically intelligent move but also substantively significant that the democrats are using the term. partly because one of the issues we have in the country to go something congressman meeks was talking about there about blind support, supporting things blindly is we have to find a way to have a shared set of facts. we can then disagree about the opinion or what we should do with those facts, but there has to be a common assent to what has happened. we can argue about what it means. and in the argument about what it means is how do we get folks
who are not inclined to accept any argument that the democrats make or the center left makes. one way to do that is to appeal to the plain meaning of the constitution and that's what speaker pelosi was doing there by -- by pointing out that the impeachment article, which is brief says treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. that's the plain common sense of what the constitution wanted. and you know, conservatives say they love the rule of law. they love the federalist papers. remember jesus' words were in red letters in some bibles. a lot of conservatives want the founder's words to be in red letters in the constitution so here's one that should be in red letters and i think what the speaker is pointing to is this is what happened, this is what the framers wanted us to have the ability to prevent, and this
is the plain sense of the matter. >> and how significant do you think it is that today we're having mr. sandy testify and literally put the -- the plot in the words of the president, in the mouth of the president meaning that we're now discovering the donald trump himself discussed very openly that he wanted his political rival and this conspiracy theory to be investigated by ukraine? >> i think we've all watched enough perry mason, boy does that date me, we've all -- enough law & order. even that dates me. having -- having the principle as on the stage committing the act is hugely important, not only narratively but substantively and remember, the thing you -- you mentioned the history of this. the thing that brought richard
nixon down was his own voice on tape ordering an illegal act that didn't ultimately happen, so i would love folks who are in the middle here to think about this going forward. richard nixon was driven from office but the coverup didn't work. this didn't work for trump. but it was still a violation of the constitution. >> yeah, to say nothing of a president of the united states appearing to threaten a witness in real time as she's testifying, what an extraordinary week. john meacham, thank you so much. really appreciate your time this morning. >> thanks you. >> and coming up, devyn nunez tout as thoroughly de-bunct conspiracy theory about who hacked the 2016 election. that is next. o hacked the 2016 election that is next we're oscar mayer deli fresh and you may know us from...
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ranking member of the house intelligence -- the house intelligence committee rehashing the same bizarre debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election interference that donald trump apparently believes, that it was ukraine and not russia who attacked our 2016 election. not surprisingly the source of that theory from the upside downturns out to be russia. specifically the russian intelligence service. what we now know is that now jailed former trump campaign chairman paul manafort got this idea, the blame ukraine fixation from yukranian businessman who manafort used to do work for and who has tie to russian intelligence. ambassador yovanovitch repeatedly reminded congress and the american public why this false idea plays right into russia's hands. >> now, how would this theory of ukraine interference in the 2016 election be in vladimir putin's interest? >> well, i mean, president putin
must have been aware that there were concerns in the u.s. about russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and what the potential was for russian meddling in the future. so you know, classic for an intelligence officer to try to throw off the subsequecent and an alternative narrative that would get some credence. >> an alternative narrative that would absolve his own wrong doing? >> yeah. >> correspondent for gq magazine and msnbc analyst thank you very much for being here. big fan of your work and i'm glad we were able to get you to come on today. can you talk a little bit about this. we don't talk enough about the part of what donald trump wanted from the president of ukraine.
we talk about him wanting dirt on joe biden, we get that but he also really wanted to have this conspiracy theory proved that russia didn't do it. that it was really ukraine who attacked our election. now we know he got that idea from paul manafort who got it from constantine. >> i think that has been floating around in that universe where it kind of floats up to donald trump through twitter, through i mean the "new york times" did that great piece about his tweets and how he gets conspiracy theories fed to him through his mentions but i think that's a classic thing that the russians have done and that people on the right do which is just throw out a bunch of stuff out there. it's like the johnny cochran approach. just throw out a bunch of different theories out there, none of them have to be true but it just muddies the water and denigrates the actually true version which is it's like one of many possible things, so we don't actually know what
happened so who can ever know what really happened and there's no truth and so -- but somehow it kind of only proves that convenient, like that one line that's convenient to the person that's trying to disprove everything. >> it's almost like the oppos e opposite. at least johnny cochran was a fine lawyer. the guy on the other side who said try on the glove without knowing it wouldn't fit o.j. the thing that's so odd about it is these conspiracy theories are so easy to debunk. it's not as if they're putting forward a theory that is plausible. the idea that ukraine helped hillary clinton in the election, did they help her lose the election? all of it is so odd, but donald trump seems to definitely believe it and now regular order republicans like den nunes seem to believe it too. he said it twice. >> he mentioned some other conspiracy theories, right? like the nude photos of trump
which was an illusion to -- i don't know if we want to go down that but it's like the defense attorney, right, just throw out a bunch of other plausible what ifs. what if it was ukraine that was meddling in the election and not russia. not necessarily that they helped her win but that they were trying to help her and therefore it's on par with russia trying to meddle in the election and trying to help trump win. so therefore, everybody was doing bad stuff so why are we to blame or why are we more guilty than the hillary people if everybody was doing bad stuff. >> and the thing that does seem to be a through line there all of the things that donald trump wants, is the idea that if he could exonerate russia for 2016, a lot of other great things could happen for russia. right? he seems to also want them to be back in the g7. he wants to be in the g 8 again. he wans to invade vladimir putin for a white house visit. there seems to be an attempt to give russia this clean bill of
health and now he wants the country that helped invade ukraine to be the hand maiden of giving russia that clean bill. >> this whole thing is so appalling and so distressing because the reality is that vad mur putin wants to have sanctions lifted. he wants to be excused for having seized crimea and been denounced by the united nations unanimously. i mean, resoundingly. right? he wants to be excused for the war that continues to be fought in eastern ukraine. he wants to be excused for occupying 20% of georgia. he wants to be executioned for killing 298 innocent people, the numbers are in double digits so no, he's not going to be excused until he changes his behavior and he has not changed his behavior. we obviously need to think long and hard about that because we obviously aren't doing enough to make him change his behavior and
we aren't punishing him enough for the ongoing infractions of international law, but make no mistake that everything that the president is advocating only benefits the kremlin and if the kremlin gets away with what it's doing which is in some cases murder, it is actually going to continue doing this and what do i mean by this? invading neighboring country, putting pressure, economic, political, trying to tear down the international system so that russia can have a sphere of influence and there are many other actors, lets's just start in europe who would like to take advantage of this. they would like to change borders by force as well. they would like to use their influence to grab back territories that they lost in world war i and then what do you get? you get war. you get war on the european continent and war beyond that and i don't think that's in america's interest. >> in some cases, julia, russia is getting what it wants. it now is the most influential partner -- i mean party in the syria conflict. we essentially handed syria over
to them. turkey is in league with russia buying arms from them. they are selling arms to turkey. they're getting their way in the world, but the main things they want to the point that evelyn just made they are not getting. they're not getting out of sanctions. they're not getting back in the g7 so to the extent that donald trump has failed them, you know, we were talking in the break before we got on about the fact that russia right now, their media mocks donald trump. they want him to be president. they don't seem to respect him very much. if he fails them then what happens to the united states because now -- now what? >> well, i think that's a good point x however, the russians are willing to take what they can get. they've never had this kind of american president before and just to our earlier point about all the various truths that they're in quotation marks that they're throwing out there, donald trump and vladimir putin know what actually happened. donald trump has gotten the briefing. he knows that russia helped him win the election.
so of course he's super grateful. he nosothat that's what happened. that it wasn't -- maybe he thinks that ukraine was helping hillary clinton but he knows what actually happened and that they helped him and now he's helping them. but the russians take this approach, they have a list of asks and wants, the g7 sanctions, et cetera, but they're willing to take less. they're willing to have the u.s. for example be completely paralyzed by these intranational per boxisms. all this that's happening in the white house. i was just in central europe where russian influence has been really on the rise where we're not doing anything to push back anymore because this administration is not interested and because we are, you know, eating our own tail, and i -- politicians there were saying and activists there were saying we used to look up to you guys but now you're just like everybody else. i've heard this from russian
activists, russian anti kremlin people, they used to look up to us and all of this is perfect for putin because it discredits us in the eyes of the people opposed to putin. >> the book i just did i spoke to international, the activists et cetera who said the same thing, that the world doesn't look up to us anymore with trump there. we're just like everyone else. the last question to you on this, the thing that i'm not sure that russia anticipated they would get for their money, and not even a lot of money that they spent to interfere in our election is they got an american political party that used to be the most hard core anti russia anti then soviet party. they got the republican party because we now see the republican party also adopting the pro russian line. >> well, yeah, joy, this is the most distressing development that i've taken note of, certainly with regard to the hearings this week. you have republican members of the intelligence committee of all committees actually giving credence to these ridiculous
falsehoods about ukraine's involvement so we need the intelligence community to have an intelligence committee that stands up for the truth and unfortunately now the republicans are getting dragged into a situation where they're on the side of the kremlin. >> yeah. and where oligarchs can pump money into states like kentucky, you know, money into the nra. they got themselves a political party along with the bargain. julia and evelyn, thank you very much. appreciate your time this morning. more "am joy" after the break. more "am joy" after the break. as a struggling actor, i need all the breaks that i can get. at liberty butchumal- cut. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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the devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused power and violated his oath by threatening to with hold military aid in a white house meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival. the bribe is to grant or with hold military assistance in return for a public statement of a -- of a fake investigation into the elections. that's bribery. >> that change of tone by speaker nancy pelosi who was once very reluctant on impeachment led to this headline in the "washington post." and here it is. it says democrats sharpen impeachment case decrying bribery as another potential witness emerges linking trump to
the ukraine scandal. joining me now is laurence tribe, professor of constitutional law at harvard university and the author of "to end a presidency." thank you for being here this morning. is it pelosi's embrace of the term bribery one of only two crimes specifically cited in the constitution as impeachable comes after nearly two months of debate over whether trump's conduct amounted to a quid pro quo, a latin term describing an exchange of things of value. i'm going to ask you, what's the significance of the speaker now specifically using the term bribery? >> well, i think the speaker very well understands that more people speak english than latin, and that the framers were particularly concerned about corruption in all forms and they use bribery in a rather broadway that fits exactly what the
president was doing here. the fact that it was adjacent to the word treason is also important. because even though the president hasn't committed treason, this was not a garden variety bribe. this was a bribe that involved a treacherous betrayal of an important ally in our global conflict with russia, which is not literally an enemy but is an adversary. we can't forget that when the president for his own petty purposes of wanting to gin up some dirt about biden so that he would be able to win the 2020 election, when he threatened to to get that benefit, what he was with holding was really not his to with hold. the javelin missiles were not simply play things that belonged to trump.
the $391 million that was appropriated by congress was not trump's to play with. he was usurping congress's powers. he was heldping an adversary, putin, who oeb sousely has a big hold over him. he was betraying an ally, the ukraine. he was betraying his oath of office. now, we use the word bribery quite properly because it's in the constitution, but i don't think that the judiciary committee when it finally crafts the articles of impeachment will get lost in that one word alone. it will wrap it together with the abuse of power, the violation of the oath, the betrayal of the nation and as george mason, one of the framers put it, an attempt to subvert the constitution. i think that the context is going to be broad even though the focus of facts is more likely to be on ukraine than on all of the other terrible things
the president has done and has threatened to do. it will also of course be -- go ahead. >> no, no. go on. >> i was only going to say there is also going to be a cluster of impeachable acts that involve obstruction of congress, obstruction of justice, intimidation of witnesses, just as we witnessed yesterday, but i'm sure you have other questions to ask so i want to stop and hear what you want to know. >> no, absolutely. i wanted to play for you very quickly the adam schiff. i think it's been quite -- his impeccable calm during these hearings has actually been impressive. here he is talking about the term bribery in the constitution and i want to get your take of our historian of law here. take a listen. >> first of all, as the founders understood bribery it was not as we understand it in law today. it was much broader. it noted the breach of the
public trust in a way where you're offering official acts for some personal or political reason. not in the nation's interest. >> i just thought that went right with what you were going to say is what you were saying is that the overall breach of the public trust seems like that will be an article that trump is going to face, obstruction of justice and the rest but i want to -- just before we lose you there was another thing that happened which was so shocking which was the intimidation of the witness ambassador yovanovitch in real time. i want to let you listen to fox reacting to that on friday. >> this whole hearing turned on a dime when the president tweeted about her real time and during the questioning adam schiff stopped the democratic questioning to read the president's tweet to her and get her response. now, that enabled schiff to then characterize that tweet as
intimidating the witness or tampering with a witness which is a crime, adding essentially an article of impeachment real time as this hearing is going on. >> do you agree with that, profess professor? do you think that donald trump will wind up facing an article of intimidating a witness? >> i think it's clear he will. i think brett is right. i don't always agree with people on fox, but this was intimidating right out in the open and the fact that yovanovitch had the candor to say that she doesn't know what the president's purposes were, even though i think we can all surmise, but that the effect was intimidating makes it clear that this will be part of the impeachment articles and it's not just ambassador yovanovitch who is being intimidated. no, it's all the other people who know firsthand things that president trump did in order to distort foreign policy for his own benefits. a number of them are going to testify, but some others might
be really less courageous than ambassador yovanovitch and might not want to expose themselves to the ton of bricks that this president is capable of dumping on anyone's head through his twitter feed the moment they displease him or say something that exposes him. he's obviously terribly insecure, he's insecure even about his own legitimacy as president. that's why i'm increasingly inclined to think of him as the anti president. he doesn't really know that he's there legitimately. that's why he wants to cover up russia's role in getting him there and pretending it was ukraine and he is simply turning the whole presidency into a vanity project while the country suffers. we really can't tolerate that and just wait till 2020 elerks, which he's trying to manipulate too. i think some senators may finally wake up and realize that
they have a duty under the constitution to do something about this anti president. >> well, we shall see whether he used the word courage, whether any of the people who he is telling that they are not to cooperate with this inquiry will actually have the guts and the courage to step forward. we await his chief of staff and his former national security advisor to show a bit of that kind of courage. professor, it's always a pleasure to talk with you. thank you so much. >> same here, joy. >> thank you. more of our special impeachment edition of "am joy" after the break. edition of "am joy" after the break. ♪'cause no matter how far away you roam.♪ ♪when you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze.♪ ♪for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home.♪ the united states postal service goes the extra mile to bring your holidays home.
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call, click, or visit a store today. a member of my staff could hear president trump on the phone asking ambassador sondland about the investigations. ambassador sondland told president trump the ukrainians were ready to move forward. at the time i gave my deposition on october 22nd, i was not aware of this information. i am including it here for completeness. >> welcome back to "a.m. joy." the impeachment inquiry continues full steam ahead this very hour with mark sandy, the first official from the white house office of management and budget to defy the white house, testifying behind closed doors. but the biggest bombshell of the public hearing so far came from ambassador william taylor on
wednesday. in his opening statement, taylor referenced new details that he learned after his first closed-door deposition of an unusual call that his aid, david holmes, overheard between president trump and ambassador gordon sondland at a restaurant in kiyv. they heard directly from holmes in a closed door statement and according to his statement, he overhand sondland tell trump that president zelensky -- and pollings for the cussing -- "loves your ass." he also asked directly about the investigations he wanted them to announce, into the bidens and the conspiracy theory that ukraine is the one who attacked our elections, not russia, on that call. and ambassador sondland replied, "he's going to do it," adding zelensky will do "anything you ask him to." keep in mind, ukraine at that time was in a desperate position. they really needed the hundreds of millions of dollars that
congress had appropriated for hem. so zelensky wasn't in a position of strength. but as for the call itself, it was not only a stunning deviation from the way things are supposed to be done -- ambassadors don't normally just ring up the president of the united states on an insecure cell phone. it also shows just how invested donald trump was in getting ukraine to very publicly investigate his potential 2020 political rival, former vice president biden. and next week, we will hear from the man on the other end of that call when gordon sondland testifies publicly on wednesday. joining me now is congressman joe neguse of colorado, who is a member of the house judiciary committee. and congressman, i want to start with that phone call. how unusual would it be for the ambassador to the eu -- and keep in mind that ukraine is not a part of the european union -- it's not an eu country -- would just call the president of the united states, let alone call on an insecure cell phone that anyone could tap into, including
the russians? >> well, good to be with you, joy. i think you teed it up quite well. it is highly abnormal. you've heard that from a number of different folks in the national security and diplomatic foreign relations space that a call of this nature would take place, and of course, for the reasons that you stated, principally. obviously, the security concerns that would be inherent in that type of phone call. so, obviously, we'll look forward to the testimony of ambassador sondland next week. it appears as though mr. holmes has corroborated what ambassador taylor testified to on wednesday, and so, ambassador sondland's testimony this week is going to be i think a pivotal moment for the inquiry, and in terms of us getting to the bottom of what happened. >> and mr. holmes, just to give a little bit of his bio from my producers, he is a consular for political affairs to the u.s. embassy in ukraine. he's a recipient of the american foreign service association reward for corrective dissent, is the afghanistan director on the national security council, was so in 2011-2012, so he
appears to be a pretty solid witness. what do you think the impact will be as a judiciary committee member of essentially mr. holmes putting the crime, as it were, into donald trump's mouth, where donald trump himself is saying, i want the investigations, i want the investigations of my political rival? >> well, a couple things, joy. i would say that his testimony from what we understand from public sources thus far, seems to corroborate what ambassador taylor has said, which, of course, each of these witnesses ultimately are corroborating what we know to be true, which is that the president subverted the foreign policy of the united states, ultimately for his own personal political domestic gain, and that that conduct in and of itself would be an abuse of power and a betrayal of the oath of the office of the presidency. so, credit to chairman schiff for really the masterful job that he has done from a fact-finding perspective of, again, getting to the bottom of it and exposing the truth to the american people. it's why it was so important for us and for the country to hear from these witnesses this week.
and i also would just say, you noted mr. holmes' background in the foreign service that he began, my understanding, his foreign service career under the administration of george w. bush. these witnesses, ambassador yovanovitch, ambassador taylor, mr. kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, they have served our country honorably and admirably for decades under republican and democratic presidents. these are patriots. they are heroes who have decided to share their stories with the american people, and the american people should listen, and i trust that they will. >> what did you make of your colleagues on the other side of the aisle and their conduct during these hearings, between seeming to try to find a way to out the whistle-blower or disparage the whistle-blower and insisting on trying to drag the whistle-blower into the hearings, and mr. nunes, who is the ranking member on the intelligence committee, repeating twice in his opening statements on both wednesday and friday the same conspiracy theory about ukraine supposedly
being the one that attacked our election, that donald trump was trying to get ukraine to make seem real with an investigation. >> i thought their tactics were shameful, and it was, of course, disappointed that they would choose to again engage in some of these frivolous process arguments. but of course, they know all too well that they can't defend the substance, that ultimately, the facts are uncontested and that they cannot defend the egregiousness of this president's conduct, and so they chose to engage in some of the high jinks that you referenced. again, i think chairman schiff did a terrific job of handling those farcical and frivolous objections and maneuvers by minority in committee very well, and ultimately, allowed the hearings to proceed so that the american people could hear directly from the witnesses themselves. but look, at the end of the day, these members are really going to have a choice to make of whether they choose country over party, and i hope that they choose the former, but time will tell. >> very quickly before we let
you go, do you think that devin nunes and other members on the other side of the aisle, do you think republicans really believe this conspiracy theory or do you think they're just saying that to try to help donald trump? >> i don't know that i'd hazard a guess as to what mr. nunes believes or does not believe. i mean, i think some of these members clearly, they do, in fact, believe these conspiracy theories, notwithstanding the representations made by the intelligence agencies here in the united states. and one would hope that they would trust the intelligence agencies of our own government than, you know, foreign sources that apparently they are relying on. i think other members know that at the end of the day, these conspiracy theories have no basis in fact, and they are simply defending the president because they've decided that it is the political course they'd like to take as opposed to, as i said, following the facts, and ultimately, defending the constitution, which is what the house right now is engaged in. >> congressman joe neguse, thank you very much for your time this morning. really appreciate you being here. >> thank you, joy. >> thank you.
let's bring in our panel. joining me now, david korn, author of "russian roulette," maria teresa kumar, malcolm nance, author of the new book "the plot to betray america," john harwood of cnbc, and navid jamali, author of "how to catch a russian spy." i'm going in reverse order, naveed. how unusual would it be for ambassador to the eu or any ambassador, to call the president of the united states on an insecure cell phone, and what security implications might there be of him placing such a call to the white house? >> it's completely out of, you know, out of norms, out of standards. but that's not surprising, joy. and i think -- look, you have to assume that if you're using a public, you know, cell phone, that any nation state can probably intercept that call and record it. and there have been cases in the past where the russians specifically have gone on to use those calls and release them to
the public in disinformation campaigns. but the bigger thing here i think with that call is the fact that it shows exactly what the heart of this impeachment is going towards, and that is, look, there are only two people that could have negotiated a deal with zelensky. and zelensky's the only one who could have started an investigation -- donald trump, and before she was removed, ambassador yovanovitch. and what we saw with sondland is that with that call, and that what he said is zelensky will do anything that you ask him to do. and the point here is that with yovanovitch in place, until she was removed, there was only one person who could make the call to zelensky. and once she was removed, as we heard yesterday, potentially someone else could have stepped in, someone like sondland, who's a political appointee, who's not a career professional, who could have helped close this deal. and i think that that call, besides the fact that it was on an unsecured phone line, shows the levels that trump was going to, to try to get to zelensky to make the pitch to withhold aid to get him to start this
investigation, and i think that is key to this impeachment inquiry. >> and let me play for you, malcolm, larry pfiefer. i had him on when i was filling in for lawrence o'donnell on thursday night, about that very call. and he used to run the white house situation room, so he knows exactly how this is supposed to work. here's larry pfiefer on thursday. >> normally an ambassador doesn't talk to the president of the united states on any kind of a telephone call on any routine basis. number two, you have this being done over a nonsecure device that could be readily intercepted by a number of foreign governments, but in this case, particularly russia, given how wired the country of ukraine is. >> and just a little bit of what david holmes, who apparently overheard that call, malcolm, heard. he said, "in particular, i asked ambassador sondland if it was true that the president did not
give an "s," ends with "t," about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give an "s" about ukraine. i asked why not. ambassador sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted that there was big stuff going on in ukraine, like a war with russia, and ambassador sondland replied that he means big stuff that benefits the president, like the biden investigation that mr. giuliani was pushing. donald trump pushed for that investigation on an open line, cell phone line, that he three years in as being president must know that foreign countries can listen to. what do you make of the fact that he was willing to essentially incriminate himself on a cell phone call. >> let me further what naveed was saying there and what mr mr. pfeiffer said. this is not only usual, this is an unprecedented violation of national security. and here's why. donald trump was running a secret dirty tricks team whose sole function was to go to ukraine and get information so that he could cheat in the 2020
election. that's what this is all about, his attempted cheating to win the 2020 election by subverting his opponent. but before he finished that phone call with sondland, you can be dang sure that russian intelligence was already sending transcripts up to the office of vladimir putin through their special communications information service, their nsa. we've seen examples of where russia and ukrainian assets within that country that are subordinate to russia and who are assisting them have intercepted u.s. diplomats like victoria nuland, and have put that out as blackmail information, as kompromat, or to embarrass the united states. vladimir putin knows more about the intentions of donald trump and the national security of the united states through these unsecured phone communications. and trust me, i've done a lot of intercepts like this, and believe me, you can manipulate people when they don't think you know what they know. now russia knows all about this.
they've probably been intercepting every phone call, putting cast iron coverage on all of these players, which means cell phone, text message, laptops, and probably ran agents into the actual cafes and restaurants and sat and listened to these people destroy our national security while running a secret operation that they would be blackmalleable over if the real news got out. >> yeah, you know, there's a reason that people are calling it sort of stupid watergate, you know? you're in a restaurant, if you're mr. sondland, where other people at nearby tables can hear you, let alone the russians, right? >> right. >> so, as it's not just that the russians could hear you, but the folks at a nearby table having a sandwich can also -- >> and the implications. and for folks that remember when it was the soviet union, the reason that, when folks are saying, well, the ukraine was -- with nunes, saying they're the
ones interfering -- ukraine doesn't have the capacity to intervene in the situation, but russia does have that apparatus. and this is another way where we're allowing them -- for us to be compromised in that scenario. >> nunes was mouthing the exact same conspiracy theory trump was. >> right. >> yes, and i've been in the hearing room getting headaches trying to make sense of what the republicans say about it -- >> i don't think you got your popcorn. >> cater these things, i'll tell you. but one of the interesting things is they've come up with this alternative narrative that ukraine meddled in 2016. >> right. >> what's their evidence? some ukrainian officials made public statements -- wrote op eds or said things on social media, disparaging donald trump. who while he was running said, you know, maybe we should let russia keep crimea. so of course they were freaked out about this. they're doing this. why are they doing this? they're trying to take away the stain, the blot of the real intervention. not one person on these hearings, whether it's devin
nunes or mark meadows or my favorite, jim jordan, will say anything about the russian attack on the campaign that we know happened to assist trump. all they do is talk about this other ukrainian narrative, which trump put into motion because he still is trying hard to change reality to get that asterisk after his election thrown off the books. >> yeah, and you know, john, the thing that is so strange -- maybe it's just my having a reaganite father, when he was still alive -- that it is odd for me to hear the republican part writ large essentially unable to say interference in the election is a bad thing. they run away from saying that in general. and also apparently taking on what is russian propaganda. it is konstantin kilimnik, who is allied to russian intelligence who came up with this. it was the disgraced former prosecutor of ukraine that put it out there. and now ordinary republican
members of congress believe it, too. >> well, here's the thing, everything other than core visceral tribalism has been boiled away. that's what this is. let's set aside for a second the fact that what hillary clinton was accused of doing with a private, unsecured email is like a little anthill compared to the empire state building of thif operational security nightmare. but what is plain from all of this testimony is, we know the answer -- he did it. all of this evidence, this huge accumulation of evidence from highly credible witnesses over and over and over shows us that what we saw initially on that summary of the trump/zelensky call is, in fact, what happened. he pressured zlovolodymyr zelen, a vulnerable new leader of a country at war with russia, under attack by russia, he
pressured them to get investigation of the bidens. now, republicans can pretend to have a defense. they can say -- they could try to impeach people as never trumpers. none of that is good faith. they don't have a serious argument, that didn't happen. the only question now is, what do you do about it? is it impeachable? >> right. >> that's a fair debate, right? or you can talk about the president's state of mind, which gets a little close to an insanity defense, because as david suggested, we know that this -- to call it a conspiracy theory allows the possibility that the conspiracy is true. no, it's not true. we know that it's not true. >> that's exactly right. >> russia interfered, and that line of argument is an attempt to absolve russia and absolve the trump campaign. the facts have been established, and now the question is what we as a country do with it. >> and naveed, one of the strategies is to out the whistle-blower. as somebody who went undercover yourself, you know, for the
united states to help us out, what do you make of that being the strategy, to try in some way to throw this person out there, which would endanger their safety? >> sure. i mean, look, i think that the republicans' attempt here is to find anything that's a distractor. so, presumably, they want to out the whistle-blower so they can then point to one particular thing in his background and say, see, this means he's not credible or see, this means he's partisan, so let's talk about this and not about the substance that he's saying. and remember, whistle balo-blow only alleging wrongdoing and requesting further investigation. so if you want to interview and rebutt those charges, talk to the people that actually were part of this. i mean, bring the president in. have him testify. i want to add one thing about the cell phone call, because i glossed over this -- the one person who does not have a record of that cell found call is not the russians. it is the americans. >> right. >> if you involved in a criminal activity and you're the president of the united states and you don't want a record of that, you don't go to the situation room where there's
going to be a log, where there's going to be a transcript. you call over personal cell phone. so to me, that indicates a clear desire to have communications and to do it, which we've seen so often with this administration, using back channels that are not recorded, that do not have transcripts, because obviously, you know that if that transcript was released, it could show potential wrongdoing. >> very quickly. i just want to go around the table. who are you looking forward to hearing next week? we have gordon sondland, laura cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for russian affairs, david hale. who do you think will be significant. >> i think the women have been patriots. i want laura cooper to see what she's going to say. >> and they're the ones with the gut. >> they keep going up. >> don't forget fiona hill, if you read her deposition, she really scores the republicans. but it will hinge on george sondland. he's the one who's on that phone call and guess what -- >> well, he's backpedalling. >> is that the only call that happened? >> there were calls to russia --
>> there's reason to believe there's a lot more for him to talk about and he clearly has decided he doesn't want to go down on the "uss trump." >> john harwood, who are you looking forward to? >> gordon sondland. look, gordon sondland plainly either lied or had a massive memory failure when he was asked about his participation in this and whether he knew that there was a quid pro quo. now he says that there is. now he's going to have to account for this holmes conversation, maybe other conversations. who knows, maybe the republicans will say it's hearsay because you heard it from the president. no. >> right. >> the president is the commander in chief. he was the one who was in charge of the plan and sondland has the ability to say exactly what he did. >> well, if they want a transcript of it, malcolm, i guess they could ask the russians for one so they could have it not be hearsay. >> yeah. >> well, believe me, they've get a copy. but i'm on the sondland train, too. i really want to see if he's going to decide to cleanse his soul and come clean to the american people and throw donald trump under the bus or if he's
deciding that he will take the chance on getting a pardon. >> yeah. you know, we want to give kudos to all of those who testified, because mr. kent and the ambassador on wednesday were also excellent, but i have to say, it's the women that have shown the courage to actually step forward and not be scared at donald trump tweeting at them. malcolm will be back later. thank you john, naveed and everyone else. coming up, president trump is guilty and republicans have the sideshow bob defense. >> convicted of a crime i didn't even commit. ha! attempted murder. now honestly, what is that? do they give a nobel prize for attempted chemistry? do they? attempted chemistry? do they? (burke) at farmers insurance, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. (bert) even a "not-so-handy monster." (johnson) what is going on in here! i can't hear myself think! (grover) what does it look like, sir? i am here to help you with your water heater. (johnson) oh! [sighs defeatedly] (grover) do not worry sir. i also fix cars!
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as i have always said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. >> oh, he's being talked about all right. on friday, a federal jury convicted longtime trump confidante roger stone on all seven counts he'd been indicted on, including witness tampering and lying to congress about his conversation with wikileaks during the 2016 election. what a surprising outcome for a man with a back tattoo of richard nixon. you can't unsee that, can you? stone is now the sixth former trump aide or associate to either plead guilty or be convicted of crimes related to the mueller investigation of russia's attack on our 2016
election to help trump win. now the big question is whether trump will pardon his pal, perhaps, to keep his good buddy from talking. joining me now are sisters in law, barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor, maya wiley, professor at the new school and legal analyst for msnbc, and joyce vance, former u.s. attorney and msnbc contributor. all right, sisters in law, let's jump into it. barbara, i'll start with you first. the conviction of roger stone, substanti substantively, what does it mean regarding the mueller investigation and what might it mean for donald trump? >> i think the most significant takeaway from the stone conviction, joy, is that truth still matters. roger stone himself said nobody cares about telling the truth anymore, and i think it shows that it does matter, that people can be held accountable for their lies, and it does matter. it does cause me to wonder, what if roger stone had been truthful? what would robert mueller have been able to put together and find out? and that is why we take it so seriously when people lie to
investigators, because it has the tendency to thwart the investigation and the quest for the truth. going forward, i think it's perhaps even more significant because all of those witnesses who are going to come before congress in the coming weeks, like gordon sondland and others, have to be looking at what happened to roger stone, seeing that he's been convicted of a crime and is going to go to prison, as they think about whether to come clean and tell the truth when they testify before congress. >> there you go. and maya, donald trump -- we don't like to read his tweets terribly much on this show, but in this case, i'll go ahead. and he tweeted, "so they now convict roger stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. well, what about --" oh, god, then he names a bunch of people that have nothing to do with anything criminal. he names a bunch of people. he wants mueller to go to jail. i've read enough of that. donald trump seems to forget what the actually record here of mr. mueller is. roger stone, former campaign adviser to donald trump, convicted. michael cohen, former personal attorney to donald trump
convicted and in prison. paul manafort, former campaign chairman to donald trump, convicted and in prison. rick gates, former deputy campaign chairman, convicted. michael flynn, former national security adviser to donald trump, awaiting sentences. george papadopoulos, donald trump's former campaign manager, convicted. maya, i don't think there is a previous president with this many convictions of people around him, under their belt, other than richard nixon, and in the case of nixon, he's the only one who didn't go to jail. your thoughts. >> well, that donald trump surrounds himself with criminals. that's my first thought. and remember, these are people who reported, with the exception of george papadopoulos, who were direct reports to donald trump. they are people who spoke directly to him and with him. that was part of the issue, of course, that has come up in the mueller report. if you go back and read pages nine and ten in the first voulue of the mueller report, what
robert mueller's report said explicitly is that they didn't have sufficient evidence of conspiracy with russia because witnesses were lying, because documents were destroyed, or because texting through encryption was being used. in other words, not that there wasn't evidence, but that the evidence was unavailable for various reasons. so when you think about this roger stone conviction, part of it is, he's being convicted for being part of hiding that evidence. so, we don't know what all that evidence says, but we do know, and part of what rick gates said in the trial which i think is so important to remember, is that he, that donald trump made comments about wikileaks' leaks right after speaking with roger stone, and a lot of that was part of what was redacted from the original mueller report because of the ongoing investigation. but these are people who spoke directly with donald trump. >> yeah, indeed.
and joyce, let me play you roger stone, and this is roger stone in august. take a listen. >> there's no circumstances under which i would testify against the president. there is no circumstance in which i intend to be pressured in order to testify against the president. there's no circumstance under which i would testify against the president because i'd have to bear false witness against him. >> so, those were august 9, august 13, and actually, the last one was december 2 of 2018. these were all in 2018. does that change now that he's a convicted man? to joyce. >> you know, joy, sometimes people change their perspective when they're in prison and looking at a lengthy sentence. but the problem that stone has is that he's really of very little value to prosecutors. he is in the vernacular a known liar, someone who cannot really be rehabilitated. so for stone to have any value to prosecutors, everything that he said would have to be
corroborated by other witnesses and by other sources. and the most interesting thing about his testimony really came in through rick gates. perhaps it's something that stone could confirm, but it's this conversation that stone has with the president, and then as rick gates tells it on the witness stand, the president gets off of the phone and talks about what he expects to see with the future of dumps from wikileaks. it looks like that's a contradiction to the written answers that the president submitted to mueller during the investigation. but the president's lawyers were very careful to couch that answer, and they said that the president didn't recall the contents of these 21 phone calls that he had with stone in the last six months of the campaign. so, while not technically perjury, it's possibly something that impeachment investigators might want to take up. >> let's move on to the other giuliani -- the other trump pal who's also in trouble, and this
is rudolph giuliani. this is a quote from bloomberg. rudy giuliani, donald trump's personal lawyer, is being investigated by federal prosecutors for possible campaign finance violations and a failure to register as a foreign agent as part of an active investigation into his financial dealings, according to three u.s. officials. if giuliani is charged as indicted, he could expose trump to a new level of legal and political jeopardy, especially if he's accused of committing a crime on the president's behalf. barbara, given the fact that giuliani's exploits in ukraine are now the subject of the impeachment inquiry, if you're donald trump and you need to think about it, friends of roger stone are already saying, like alex jones, are saying please give him a pardon, who do you think would be more likely to hurt donald trump more? and would either of them maybe be able to get a pardon in order to try to get themselves out of trouble and keep donald trump out of trouble? >> yeah, you know, it's an interesting game to play about whether you're better off cooperating with prosecutors or cooperating with president trump.
of course, we don't know what kind of conversations they've already had with president trump, and perhaps he's already promised pardons to either giuliani or stone. but in giuliani's instance, i think he could be indicted today. you know, joyce and i drafted a mock indictment against rudy giuliani, and i think just based on what's already out there in the public domain, he could be indicted today for conspiracy to defraud the united states in the fair administration of elections and conspiracy to commit bribery on the same matter that president trump is under investigation for today. and in addition, he's now looking at potential charges based on his dealings with lev parnas and igor fruman, related to their campaign finance violations already charged in new york. so, he is potentially in a heap of trouble. and nobody knows better than he does how the cooperation game works. if you can provide information that leads to the conviction, or perhaps in this case, impeachment, of someone higher up in the criminal organization than you, then there is a lot of reward to be had for that. and so, giuliani could be in a
position to -- you know, everyone's talking about trump throwing giuliani under the bus. giuliani could be in position to throw trump under the bus. >> absolutely. maya, you have lev parnas, who told confidantes, not verified, that he was tasked with a secret mission that giuliani sent him on for trump. giuliani said that trump will stay loyal to him, but he jokes that he has insurance. which of these two guys is more likely to get a pardon, giuliani or roger? >> well, i -- you know, it's impossible to answer these questions. i mean, we have a sitting president who just pardoned military officers convicted of war crimes against the judgment and the request of the pentagon. so, this is a president who will clearly issue pardons, no matter the crime. i think the question here -- and you know, they're so deeply intertwined, so i think the problem is giuliani has a lot
more on trump is my guess. >> yeah. and lastly to you, joyce. if donald trump were to pardon either of these guys who were engaged in crimes connected to himself, would that not be his deficit in an impeachment hearing by making him look guilty? >> you know, it certainly smacks of guilt, doesn't it, joy? the issue that i think we're seeing here are these really incomprehensible military war crimes pardons that trump issued yesterday against the advice of military leaders. it looks like an effort on his part to socialize the notion that the president has an absolute right to grant pardons. and we've seen him do this before. he pardoned scooter libby in what looked at the time like a signal to general flynn. one of the incidents of obstruction that the mueller investigation investigated and made some compelling findings on was the president's practice of dangling pardons as a way to
obstruct witness testimony. so, there is no doubt that these actions are interrelated. i think the question of whether it impacts impeachment is a timing issue. it will depend on what the timeline looks like, how far along the process is and how close to the election we are. >> yeah. well, there's a long line of people who are going to want those pardons, so i guess donald trump has to made some choices because he's get a lot of friends and former associates who are convicted of crimes. very interesting. barbara, maya, joyce, thanks. more "a.m. joy" after the break. s more "a.m. joy" after the break.
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will the chairman continue to prohibit witnesses from answering republican questions as you've done in closed hearings and as you did -- >> will suspend. that is not a proper point of order. gentle lady will suspend. >> chairman, i -- >> gentleman is not recognized. >> chairman, i have a point of order, though. >> gentleman is not recognized. >> i have a point of order. >> gentleman is not recognized. >> mr. chairman, there are four transcripts that have not been released. >> gentleman is not recognized. >> mr. chairman, i have a point of order -- >> gentlewoman is not
recognized. >> so we know that clearly you are going to interrupt us throughout the hearing. >> republicans kept trying it friday, putting on a show for their audience of one, donald trump. joining me now, kurt bardella, former spokesperson for the oversight committee and tara, thank you for being here. let's play more of the show because the star of it was elise stefanik, young representative from new york. if i'm not wrong, she was the youngest member of congress ever elected before aoc came in. >> that's correct. >> so she's kind of the aoc of their side, right? >> yeah. >> here she is leading the show this week. take a listen. >> yield to you, ms. stefanik. >> thank you, mr. nunes. ambassador yovanovitch, thank you for being here today -- >> the gentlewoman will suspend. >> what is the interruption for? >> you are not recognized. under the house resolution 660, you are not allowed to yield
time -- >> the ranking member yielded time to another -- >> that is not accurate -- >> you're gaveling the representative from new york? >> kurt, you used to be on house oversight, which used to be the committee where all of the shanannans took place and you were a staffer at that time. they know under the john boehner rules, which what we're operating under, they are not allowed to yield pooim time. the ranking member can only yield time to the counsel or to himself. >> correct. >> they know they couldn't yield time to stestefanik, but she ke trying to jump in and jim jordan is trying to jump in. is that classic what you would have done then? >> the ironic thing is, if stefanik and jordan don't like the rules we're playing by, they have only themselves to blame because they wrote the rules when we in the majority. they know the rules, but they will make this play -- and it's really an audience of one -- to say this is unfair, it's harassment, there's no due process. and what happens? we see donald trump then go off and say, look, there's no due process, there's no lawyer, they're not giving us time.
it's all a game. >> let me play you jim jordan quickly, saying how he thinks things are going. here's jim jordan. five. sorry. >> folks head of the board was the vice president's son, hunter biden, which you know, raises questions, is he a genius on the corporate governance front? >> i think, frankly, things are going well for the president. you know, they've had three hearings, three witnesses with no firsthand knowledge. i say this all the time, but you know, that's the thing about facts, they don't change. we have the call transcript. we have the two individuals on the call, president trump, president zelensky, who said there was no linkage, no pressure, no pushing whatsoever, no linkage between any type of security assistance dollars and an investigation. we have the fact that the ukrainians didn't even know that the aid was held at the time of the call. and most importantly, of course, we have the fact that they didn't do anything to get the aid released. >> so, he just repeats the talking points, which are all not -- it's all lies -- but is
that the strategy, basically? they perform for trump. they yell and scream. they were extremely loud and obnoxious, to be blunt, with all three witnesses -- >> yep. >> that's it. so, just being obnoxious in and of itself is how they please trump. >> yeah, it's noise. the one thing we've seen from trump, and we saw this with the brett kavanaugh hearing, the corey lewandowski hearing -- >> when he cried and screamed and then got to be a supreme court justice. >> he seems to respond to a specific personality and mannerism. in lewandowski, when he was openly defiant to the congress, that's what republicans are doing on this panel. they're using the same tactics. doesn't matter what the facts are or that everything jim jordan just said is completely untrue and has been proven to be so, but they keep repeating it in this echo chamber and say, well, the people that were involved in the call -- do you know anybody who, by the way, was blackmailed who then says on national tv, yes, i was blackmailed. >> no, exactly. >> of course not. they say we have people with no firsthand knowledge. well, gee, the white house is blocking mike pompeo and mick
mulvaney, they're blocking all the people who had firsthand knowledge from even testifying. that's the reason why. >> so tara, let's get on the other side here and talk about the democrats, because adam schiff was unflappable as they were doing this. you know, you're a marketing expert. you're an expert in sort of watching what the visuals look like in terms of what the public is going to receive. give him a grade. >> i think adam schiff handled this extremely well, and i think it shows why he was the right person to lead this charge. if you look at the republicans, just to go back to some of the points that you made earlier, they were yelling, screaming. jim jordan was sweating. he was sweaty. his comments were sweaty. and so, i think that when you look at -- >> maybe he was worried about his other issues because he's got other stuff going on back in his home state. maybe he was sweaty because of that. >> that's actually a great point, because every time jim jordan speaks for the president, it just gives the democrats an opportunity to remind the public that he has zero credibility and no shame, because jim jordan has been accused by seven people of covering up sexual abuse and
ignoring sexual abuse of minors when he was at ohio state. so, i think that that's another issue for them, which is why they had to bring out congresswoman stefanik, because their main spokesperson is jim jordan, and again, he's only effective to those people who want to see someone yell and scream and those people are never going to believe anything the democrats say. but i think back to your original question, yes, what was important for adam schiff to do is to maintain order and to maintain -- this is a somber -- a somber occurrence. this is us going after the president of the united states for committing crimes against our constitution. and so, i think that people would not respond well if they felt like adam schiff was putting on a show, right, that he was being performative. so, i think it was important for him to maintain the somber nature of what's occurring. i mean, this is serious stuff,
and it's a tragic day for our country that we even have to go through this because we have a corrupt and criminal president. >> and tara, do you think it was smart for the democrats to make the language simpler, just talking about bribery and obstruction of justice rather than quid pro quo? >> absolutely. everyone knows what bribery is. everyone knows what extortion is. and also, that's exactly what occurred, so it's not as if they're using language, talking points. this actually specifically described what occurred. so we should be clear and we should be coherent in how we describe the criminal acts that have been undertaken by this administration. so i think it is absolutely right. and also, blagojevich, you know, as republicans are saying, oh, this isn't a big deal and nothing actually happened when -- what he's acoursed of didn't take place, tell that to rob blagojevich, who was on "the apprentice," and i think it was telling that trump was defending him, even though he with a democrat, for his misdeeds as well, but tell that to him. >> offering he wanted something
in exchange for appointing a senator. you know these guys, jim jordan, mr. caster, steven castor, these guys. why are they behaving this way? >> this is what happens when you're dealt a hand you can't defend. they know they can't win on the substance, on the merits, on the investigation -- >> but were they always like this when you worked with these guys? we were talking about who they were when they were in the sort of far-side reaches of the party, and now they're on top. >> this is the interesting thing, i think the transformation we've seen from these people, going from defenders of oversight, crusaders of investigations to people who are now okay with the president doing whatever they want -- the interesting thing is, for so long, they operated people like jim jordan on the fringe of the party. they were at war with the republican leadership, people like john boehner and eric cantor and paul ryan. now they're finally in a position of actual power where the president takes his cues from them, and i think that's what they're swept up in, is that power and access they never had before. >> people used to be mocking them when they were the side freedom caucus and now they're screaming at former ambassadors hysterically.
kurt bardella and tara dowdell, thank you. before break, a very happy birthday to the mother of our executive producer, james home. we call him homey. his lovely mom, nancy, is turning 80 years young! we hope that you have an amazing and fabulous day. we'll be right back. us day we'll be right back. yeah. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. con liberty mutual solo pagas lo que necesitas. only pay for what you need... only pay for what you need. liberty. liberty. liberty. liber♪y
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i think we are in a situation of a national security crisis that is only going to get bigger. i think the russians are running a strategic political warfare operation against the united states. i think katy tur hit it right on the head -- do you have any pause about what you're doing? he had no pause whatsoever. >> three years later, malcolm nance is still right about trump and russia. he's also back to discuss his new book "the plot to betray america: how team trump embraced our enemies, compromised our security, and how we can fix it." malcolm, i don't know when you had time to write another book. and first of all, you look so young in that clip. >> yeah, who is that guy. >> i feel like we've all aged about a decade in that three years. let's talk about this. i like the fact that you say team trump this time. >> right. >> because we talked about donald trump and the fact that he's been of interest for russia since the '70s.
>> right. >> fact that he's a sort of useful idiot for them in function. but now it's the party, too, it's the republican party. they all seem to be all in together. >> yeah, you're absolutely right. you know, i started writing that book a year ago, and i finished it the week before the mueller report, after the barr memo, right? and in fact, i had to add three chapters just because of the joy reid show, you know when i said it's not possible that the rican history by covering up the greatest scandal in american history, and then he did it. team trump is a wide-ranging organization of dirty tricksters, couldn't, and frauds. and you know what's funny? one of them just got convicted yesterday. >> roger stone. >> the dhipz for these guys are falling everywhere. but the danger here is they have really compromised u.s. national security. we are in grave danger in some instances, the whole intercepted phone call thing, you know, from ukraine is a good example of
that. but working with saudi arabia, michael flynn to get them russian nuclear reactors, which the trump administration has already gone ahead and approved, working with turkey to extradite u.s. citizens and then allowing them to buy russian weapons systems, so long as trump tower istanbul stays in. i mean, the whole thing is a disaster and it will damage us for decades to come. >> you write in the book about the republicans. "by the time trump had sworn the oath of office in january of 2017 and gave his inaugural carnage speech, his followers had come to believe that their loyalty to his love of russia was purely patriotic and their devotion to him superseded any loyalty to the constitution of the united states. such a transformation from a rabidly anti-russian party to docile admirers in less than four years was putin's dream come true." i mean, even the javelins that they bragged trump gave to ukraine, the condition on them was that they couldn't use them against russia. >> right. you like that?
what has happened to the republican party is no less than a complete co-option. you know, i've written about this before in one of my other books. i referred to this as an american fifth column now, to where people who were formerly against the soviet union -- after the year 2000, when russia was going through its own counterterrorism peroxism there after the beslon massacres, conservatives started admiring vladimir putin and the way he would take on islam. and then over ten years, with some russian assistance, they were actually co-opting evangelicals. we saw them actually send agents into the national rifle association. the alt-right. we found that some of their biggest leaders -- david duke, richard spencer -- had homes in moscow and were meeting over there with these fascist groups. these groups view moscow as a natural ally, as a center of white christianity in their view a war against immigration and
islam. and that's why they all now love russia. >> is it also money? because you know -- >> oh, yeah. >> we know that the russian mafia is spreading a lot of money around. >> sure. of course. there is a pot of money out there from the russian oligarchy that i think was introduced to donald trump in 2014. i've said this many times. at the miss universe pageant, when he had a secret meeting at the noble restaurant with the 12 richest oligarchs in russia. when he came out of that meeting, all he talked about was trump tower 2.0 in moscow's a go, and then from that minute on, he has done nothing but lavish devoted praise to vladimir putin, ex-kgb spymaster, which tells me there is a pot of money that is bigger and deeper than the constitution of the united states in loyalty to our flag. >> and sad enough that it's donald trump, but if it were to be the republican party writ large, too, it is deeply disturbing. malcolm nance. the book is called "the plot to betray america," definitely everybody pick this up because you will get a lot smarter about what we're dealing with. and before we go, there were
so many gripping moments during this week's impeachment hearings, but we want to leave you with this one powerful message that congressman denny heck of the great state of washington had for ambassador marie yovanovitch. >> your good character, your outstanding reputation have been besmirched in a way that is devoid of common decency. but here's my message to you. there is nothing, ambassador yovanovitch, nothing he can say or do, not a thing, that will in any way diminish the nature and quality of the service you have rendered it our great nation. not a thing. on not a thing. we made usaa insurance for members like martin.
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that is our show for today. "a.m. joy" will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. up next, alex witt has the latest. alex, hello! >> hello, my friend. i was so glad that you were playing denny heck there and his sentiments. i've got him on the show at noon tomorrow, and i listened. i was really spellbound by his emotion, his evocative nature with that, and he was 100,000% spot on with that. it was really good. >> he was so passionate. >> uh huh. >> absolutely. and the thing is, you cannot not have incredible respect for ambassador yovanovitch. >> absolutely. >> she was so gutsy and smart, and i think for him to give her that praise i thought was so, so appropriate. >> right there, as usual, thinking alike, my friend. >> always. >> hey, don't go anywhere because i have about a million questions for you in about three