tv First Look MSNBC November 21, 2019 2:00am-2:25am PST
president trump in a quid pro quo scheme and said everyone was in the loop. now, trump and his allies are on the defense. >> now, ten presidential candidates took the stage last night forti the fifth democrati debate in atlanta. while they clashed over several issue, all the democratic issues agreed thatti president trump should be impeached. good morning, everyone, it is thursday, november 21st, i'm
ayman mohyeldin, alongside yasmin vossoughian. we want to begin with the blockbuster testimony in the impeachment of president donald trump. from u.s. ambassador to the european union gordon sonland who acknowledged a quid pro quo with ukraine while implicating the president, the vice president and the secretary of state. >> secretary perry, ambassador volker and i, worked with mr. rudy giuliani on ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united states. we did not want to work with mr. giuliani. simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt. we all understood that if we refused to work with mr. giuliani, we would lose a very important opportunity to cement relations between the united states and ukraine. so we followed the president's orders. mr. giuliani's requests were a
quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. mr. giuliani demanded that ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigations of the 2016 election, dnc server and burisma. mr. giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states, and we knew these investigations were important to the president. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously, with regard to the requested white house call, and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. >> i want it go back to that conversation that you had with vice president pence right before that meeting in warsaw. and you indicated that you said to him that you were concerned that the delay in the aid was tied to the issue of the investigations, is that right? >> i don't know exactly what i
said to him. this was a briefing attended by many people. and i was invited at the very last minute. i wasn't scheduled to be there. but i think i spoke up at some point late in the meeting and said it looks like everything is being held up until these statements get made, and that's my, you know, personal belief. >> and vice president pence just nodded his head? >> again, i don't recall any exchange where he asked me any questions. i think it was sort of a duly noted. >> well, he didn't say, gordon, what you are talking about? >> no, he did not. >> he didn't say, what investigations? >> he did not. >> we made every effort to ensure that the relevant decision makers at the national security council, and the state department, knew the important details of our efforts. the suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely
false. everyone was in the loop. it was no secret. i sent an email to counselor brechtbul and lisa kenna, lisa kenna was the pathway to secretary pompeo, she would print the emails out and put them in front of her. with the subject ukraine. i wrote, mike, referring to mike pompeo, kurt and i negotiated a statement from zelensky to be delivered for our review in a day or two. the contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough, the boss being the president, to authorize an invitation. zelensky plans to have a big presser, press conference, on the openness subject, including specifics next week.
all of which referred to the 2016, and burisma. ms. kenna replied, gordon, i'll pass to the secretary. thank you. again, everyone was in the loop. >> so house intel committee adam schiff also pressed sondland on his claim that he didn't realize investigating burisma meant investigating the bidens. >> tim morrison testified that i think it took him all of doing a google search to find out, oh, this is the significance of burisma. it involves the bidens. are you saying during all this time, up until the call, you never made the connection between burisma and the bidens? you just thought that the president and rudy giuliani were interested in this one particular ukrainian company? >> again, my role, mr. chairman, was just to get the meeting. >> i understand that. but my question is, are you
saying that for months and months, and notwithstanding everything rudy giuliani was saying on tv, and all of the discussions with rudy giuliani, that you never put burisma together with the bidens? >> i doesn't. i didn't. and i wasn't paying attention to what mr. giuliani was saying on tv. >> mr. castro questioned the testimony suggesting his recollection of events was simply speculation. >> what we're trying to get to the facts here, we're trying to figure out what exactly happened, what is reliable, we have this back and forth, but as we get to the end here, you don't have records, you don't have your notes, because you didn't take notes, you don't have a lot of recollections, i mean this is like the trifecta of unreliability, isn't that true? >> well, what i'm trying to do today is to use the limited information i have to be as
forthcoming as possible with you and the rest of the committee, and as these recollections have been refreshed by subsequent testimony, by some texts and emails that i've now had access to, i think i've filled in a lot of blanks. >> so according to the "washington post," while the president was traveling yesterday, he called members of the house to argue that sondland's testimony was good for him. but white house aides telling the post that sondland was the most damaging witness so far, because he actually had interactions with trump, and described key issues in nefarious terms. at the same time, they also believe sondland's imprecise answers and sometimes contradict ry testimony can be used to undermine him. some white house aides told the post they didn't understand why sondland who appeared under a congressional subpoena was testifying. if he wants to keep his job. though there was no immediate move to shut him out. the post notes that yesterday's testimony appeared to have little immediate effect on the perspective of senate republicans who will be
responsible for deciding trump's fate if he is impeached by the house. joining us on the set, msnbc legal analyst danny cevallos and with us from washington, d.c., congressional reporter for the daily beast, sam brody, danny, great to have you with us, and yesterday, some people were saying on social media, gordon sondland pretty much threw everyone under the bus and everyone was in the loop, president trump, the vice president one meeting, secretary of state mike pompeo. he had the receipts, he has the emails to back up his claim, at least on that exchange. how significant is it now that he has implicated all of these individuals in what he has described, a quid pro quo scheme, run by rudy giuliani? on behalf of the president? >> it likely changes the trump position from there was no quid pro quo, to there was a quid pro quo but so what? so what if we were investigating corruption generally, and that big morasse included burisma, and it may have included the bidens, but why not? the bidens were an actual
problem when it came to corruption. that's going to be where this defense is heading. president trump will continue to say, there was no quid pro quo. but obviously, gordon sondland is blowing that up. and the mere fact that gordon sonland called president trump up after this was already out in the public, and saying, and trump said, there was no quid pro quo, that's not dispositive. that's just someone claiming i'm innocent like any criminal defendant. that's not the same thing. so this is very compelling stuff. but look for the defense to switch to quid pro quo, but so what. >> the daily beast putting out that sondland scorched trumpland during yesterday's hearing. how is this new information going to impact the inquiry going forward, especially concerning the reporting from the "washington post," basically saying the senate republicans have not been moved by it? >> sure, yes, i mean certainly stepping back, i think democrats felt that yesterday couldn't really have gone much better than it possibly did.
after weeks of no quid pro quo. you have a person at the center of all of this, saying, yes, in fact, quid pro quo. they got the made for tv moment that i think they felt the inquiry really did need. so in terms of how it is going to play on the other side of the capitol, i think this is fundamentally the test, it has been clear that house republicans are not going to come around in any meaningful way to the idea of impeaching trump. perhaps none of them will ultimate i ultimately vote on it. senate reports have preferred to say they're jurors in all of this and shouldn't comment on it. however, all that really needs to be is be a opening for them perhaps to get behind defending the president here. and what we saw house republicans do in the testimony yesterday was say that sondland had contradicted himself. that he didn't hear directly from trump that there was any kind of a quid pro quo. in fact trump told him there was no quid pro quo. so that is the real thing that you can retreat to, and perhaps
the thing that allows senate republicans to return to defending the president, and will spare them here. >> it is always interesting, danny, to see how the different sides go after whoever is testifying, whether you tri to question their credibility, whether their own recollection. i think what we saw yesterday from republicans and the republican council is they tried to go after gordon sondland over his memory, over his recollection, that he was not a note taker, that he was kind of very informal with the way he had these conversations. is that a line of defense that can actually hold up? or does gordon sondland, has he demonstrated at least with the exchange with mike pompeo, there is a documented track record of some of these exchanges that the state department will simply not hand over? >> the republicans have a point. in terms of witnesses, gordon sondland does have some credibility issues. not that he's lying so much, but that his memory has changed on the record several times. and not as to in consequential things, as to something that you
could argue is a core issue in this case so the republicans have a point that gordon sondland's memory is a little challenged. and the fact that he doesn't take handwritten notes himself doesn't necessarily make him a per se bad witness. but at the same time, his memory would be bolstered by the release of certain documents. so that is something, the fact that sondland has memory issues, is sort of punted back to the state department, because he can't really refresh his recollection. as we are just seen in the last couple of week, gordon sondland requires a lot of refreshed recollection. he has trouble remembering a lot of really important things. so the republicans do have a point. >> it seems a point, these are not diligent note takers as career diplomats, with testimony with career diplomats they seem to be diligent note takers as well. >> how has the white house reacted to ambassador sondland's testimony, considering that president trump personally appointed him to that position? >> and i think democrats were
eager to see how the white house was going to respond to this and a line that we have seen the president return to again and again when somebody close to him who is implicated in something smelly, i don't really know the guy, who is this guy, and you know, sondland testified on capitol hill that he had spoken to trump something like 20 times, during his teen our nure ambassador so it screams creduility that the president doesn't know who he was and it gives the democrats more on that he was connected to the president and knew what was going on. >> and yesterday was a pivotal day. >> pivotal. >> and adam schiff came out during the break and had a press conference and the president came out afterwards and addressed the media as well. >> with a list of defenses. >> exactly. >> thank you very much for joining us. still ahead, we are taking a lack at all of the highlights from last night's democratic debate in atlanta. what the candidates are saying about lock him up chance about
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welcome back. let's turn now to last night's democratic debate in atlanta. it was the first debate to take place since the impeachment probe has moved into the public phase and the inquiry was clearly on candidate's minds last night. here is what former vice president joe bide-to say about supporting a potential criminal investigation into the president if he were to leave office next year. >> look, i would not direct my justice department like this president does. i would let them make their independent judgment. i would not dictate who should be prosecuted. or should be exonerated. that's not the role of the president of the united states. let them make an independent judgment. if that was the judgment,
violated the law, and he should be in fact criminally prosecuted, then so be it. >> and the candidates on the stage last night were asked about the lock him up chants that have been heard publicly nationwide. the chants have been a controversial topic in recent weeks and were even heard at a senator bernie sanders rally earlier this month. >> chants of "lock her up" are still heard at president trump's al ry rallies now, some are changing the slogan against him, lock him up, at a game in washington and a veterans day event at new york and senator sanders at two of your campaign events recently. senator, should democrats discourage this, or are you okay with it? >> well, i think the people of this country are catching on to the degree that this president thinks he is above the law.
and what the american people are saying, nobody is above the law. and i think what the american people are also saying is in fact, that if this president did break the law, he should be prosecuted like any other individual who breaks the law. but at the end of the day, what we need to do is to bring our people together, not just in opposition to trump. >> and i don't think it is a good idea that we model ourselves after trump and say lock him up. look, we have to bring this country together. >> and senator elizabeth warren took every chance early in last night's debate to promote her signature wealth tax, a plan that she argues will help unite the country. >> i have proposed a two cent wealth tax, that is a tax for everybody who has more than $50 billion in assets, your first $50 billion is free and clear,
but your $50 billion, after that, you have to pitch in two cents. doing a wealth tax is not about punishing anyone. it is about saying, you built something great in this country, good for you, so when you make it big, when you make it really big, when you make it top one-tenth of 1% big, pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance to make it. and here's the thing, that something that democrats care about. independents care about. and republicans care about. but trust me, regardless of party affiliation, people understand across this country, our government is working better and better for the billionaires, for the rich and well connected and worse and worse for everyone else. we come together when we acknowledge that. >> thank you. >> mayor pete buttigieg defended his position on health care yesterday, arguing why medicare for all is quote not the right approach. >> the reason i insist on medicare for all who want it, as the strategy to deliver on that goal we share of universal
health care is that that is something that as a governing strategy, we can unify the american people around. creating a version of medicare, making it available to anybody who wants it, but without the divisive step of ordering people on to it, whether they want to or not. and i believe that commanding people to accept that option, whether we wait three years, as senator warren has proposed or whether you do it right out of the gate, is not the right approach to unify the american people around a very, very big transformation that we now have an opportunity to deliver. >> still ahead, secretary of state mike pompeo is implicated in ambassador sonland's impeachment testimony yesterday. we're going to show you how pompeo responded when asked about it. ♪ - [woman] with my shark, i deep clean messes like this, this, and even this. but i don't have to clean this, because the self-cleaning brush roll removes hair while i clean. - [announcer] shark, the vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself.
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and everything so they could get here. and start this family. every family has a unique story. this holiday season, help your family discover theirs. there is new polling from wisconsin, as president trump won in 2016, let's start on the democratic side. former vice president joe biden leads the pack with 30% pour. senator bernie sanders backed by 17% of voters a two-point edge on elizabeth warren. and mayor pete buttigieg rounds out the top four at 13% well ahead of the rest of the field. when it comes to the general election, president trump leads his democratic challengers. he is up three points on both biden and sanders. up five points on elizabeth warren. and leads mayor pete by eight points. so as the impeachment hearings have intensified, so has the scrutiny surrounding
secretary of state mike pompeo. according to the associated press, strain has set in between president trump and pompeo. republicans have been speculating for months that pompeo will resign in order to make a senate run in his home state of kansas. the a.p. p notes that enthusiasm from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell regarding such a move has not cooled despite the impeachment hearings. meanwhile, pompeo was in brussels yesterday. for a meeting at nato headquarters. while speaking to reporters, he brushed off questions about yesterday's impeachment testimony where he was implicated by sondland. watch this. >> how do you respond to ambassador sondland's evidence today that you directed him to coordinate ukraine policy with the president's lawyer rudy giuliani? >> the second one is