tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC December 17, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PST
was a sign for some of the changes you're talking about in the political landscape when it comes to guns in america. >> it is a dramatic change. history, of course, will be unfolding over the next 24 to 36 hours. we will be in washington tomorrow covering the impeachment of donald j. donald trump, but for now, stay with msnbc, stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thanks so much, it is stephanie ruhle, tuesday, december 17th, and the stage is being set for a new chapter in american politics. just over 24 hours from now the house will convene to vote on articles of impeachment. those lawmakers are expected to impeachment president of the united states for only the third time in our nation's 243 year history. jeff bennet is on capitol hill
with more. what will happen between now and the big vote tomorrow? >> hey, testisteph, good mornin. when they vote on those two articles of impeachment, the house rules committee has to establish parameters for that floor debate. they're the smallest committee in the house. they neat in one of the smallest committee rooms, and members of that committee will consider things like how long wednesday's floor debate will last, which committee should have members on the floor offering up arguments. if people should offer proposals for any amendments that would change the articles of impeachment. we also expect they hear presentations from the top democrat and republican on the house judiciary committee. normally that would be chairman jerry nadler. but a source connected to the committee tells us that he is back home dealing with a family
emergency, and doug collins, the top republican will speak on republicans. we expect this rules committee to agree on rules. there is a 9-4 split that whatever they agree on will be for house speaker nancy pelosi herself. our team has been tracking announcement after announcement from front line democrats, most of them coming out in support of impeachment, all but ensuring that by this time on thursday, certainly, we expect that president trump will be the third impeached by the house in the history of the country. >> thank you so much. now we must turn and buckle up to the other fascinating piece of this. rudy juliani refusing to keep quiet bhiel his cliewhile his ce
verge of being impeached. he spoke about marie yovanovitch being fired. >> now this hit piece, and it is a hit petiece, has you on the record saying you forced out marie yovanovitch. you're a personal attorney for the president, why do you need her out of the way? >> i didn't need her out of the way, i forced her out because she is corrupt. >> he alleges that she blocked visas for people like victor shokin. but he has never produced any evidence of those allegations and none have ever surfaced. once more, yovanovitch did not
block the visa, the state department blocked it. that is according to testimony from one of mike pompeo's top officials, george kent. kent himself told house investigators this, knowing mr. shokin, a have full faith that it was a bun of hooey and he was looking to engage in a con game out of revenge because he lost his job. >> barrett burger, a former federal pros crecutor, former u attorney, also worked as assistant director for the fbi office for congressional affairs. and the assistant professor of politics. i have a full house, we have a lot to get into, greg, to you first, these claims by rudy giuliani, ais there any evidenc backing up what he is saying it.
>> it would appear there is no such evidence. dr. fiona hill said all of this was a domestic political errand. he finds some ukrainian, any ukrainian, that will say something negative about the bidens, and two to try to make money off of this whole adventure there in ukraine, and the questions, of course, appear to be chiefly what exactly does the president know about this, and what extent is the president directing juianny, but he made it clear he is -- giuliani, but he had not made it clear that he is producing any evidence of any of this. >> when you have rudy goouli gi
a private advisor, at one point he ran for president of the united states. when he allegations that people like victor shokin are truth tellers and marie yo vvanovitchs criminal, what do we make of this? >> it is not just a lie, but it is a particularly egregious type of lie. it is the exact opposite of what happened. shokin is a corruption prosecutor, the imf and republicans in the senate including senator portman of ohio and senator johnson signed a letter pushing ukraine's government to fire shokin because he was corrupt. that is why he was pushed out. giuliani is trying to resurrect him in some way because it is politically addadvantageous to
trump. and now he is a figure in this politicaler rant trying to help the president's reelection campaign. beyond that, giuliani should not be conducting u.s. foreign policy. he is not elected, not appointed, and he should not force anyone out. >> why is he conducting this behavior and then going on fox news last night and talking about it? who is this a win for. >> that is a great question. especially given the fact that the reporting is that juliewe j giuliani, but i think brine races a great point, if this was a serious issue where people thought that ambassador yovanovitch was corrupt, that investigation would not be being led by a private citizen, it would be done by the endire
justi -- entire justice department. she still works for the state department. she has not been terminated. it would all lead to the fact that she has found to not be construct. >> she works for the state department, the u.s. giuliani . this is what i don't get. giuliani says he tried to pass on documents to the state department. he tried to do it in this administration. we're talking mike pompeo and bill barr. if they were not willing to play ball with rudy goouli ygiuliani does that tell snus. >> t-- us. they would do a review and
investigate those allegations, but there is no evidence that is happening, and given the current climate i submit that even if that was happening that might be suspicious. but let's assume that if, in fa fact, there was such evidence and we know of nothing. there is no evidence that any real investigation of any u.s. persons activities in ukraine is ongoing. there is a wide ranging investigation of giuliani and his associates. that is what i think everyone should be watching. what shoe will next drop in sdny. it appears that giuliani is a target of that investigation, will he also be indicted? that is where the action is. it is not with respect to u.s. persons acting in ukraine.
there is no evidence of any investigation for thattivi acti. >> a great person that loves this country and he does it out of love. he sees what is happening. he sees the hoeks that happens. the russian collusion delusion, and he sees it and he is a great gentleman and the greatest mayor in the history of new york and probably the greatest crime fighter in the last 50 years. >> i think that is part of the goal. i think you have to take a look
at this from the president's point of view from his allies, not with standing the weird nature of what rudy giuliani has been saying. they were looking for ways to recast the narrative. and that it wasn't the president that did something wrong in conspireing with russians, it was ukraine conspireing with democrats. rudy was running around trying to dig up dirt to that effect. i don't think the president feeting like there is anything wrong here. >> to see the weird name of what rudy giuliani is doing, that is people that put water in cereal, we're talking about him admitting to trying to get the ambassador to ukraine fired.
it is not weird. >> it is unusual, but the point i'm trying to make here, but what i asked him is if rudy giuliani was acting in his behest, he said he believed. and i think what we have seen the president and their allies happen to use any set of facts they think are true -- >> but then they're not facts. >> a set of facts, and you're can talking about facts but they're not facts. >> i am explaining to you the
effect, the effect is to have a counter narrative to combat what the president did on the call, and in order to know that the president supporters and say hey, there is a whole mess of things going on here and they were trying to uncover and therefore what he did was justified, and that is and by saying yes he did this, and whether or not he means it or not, i didn't do anything wrong and the reason i didn't do anything wrong was justified. i think things are done to me,
around the country, voters, clearly if they had something to hide here they would be trying to hide it. i can't believe he is doing this, it implicates that trump is part of a chemoand republicans that defend trump see and what voters see is a side that that they're being very open. if they're being very open they can't have possibly done something wrong. >> i don't think that rudy giuliani has been open about trying to pursue business relationships with some of the same alleged sources. the ukrainians, brian, can you weigh in here, this is not just about love of country as the president says, rudy is trying to get paid. >> yeah, he is trying to get paid, he is a associated with some very unsavory characters. i want to go back to the point of what we're talking about here. there are things that are true
and things that are not true, and it is definitely the strategy of the president to try to believe things that are not true. and it might work. people based on what they believe, not based on what is true. i think our responsibility is to say this is not true. what is happening is he is spreading thing that's are f false, that are lies, and we have a bias that we believe if someone does something in the open it is not nefarious. that is not acceptable. that is an abuse of power. but it doesn't matter that he did it on tv, it is still unacceptab unacceptable. we need to be clear this is truth, lies, and right now lies are on the republican side of what is aihappening. >> can we go through the whole impeachment trial based on what
rudy is saying? >> i think he would be a very dangerous witness for either side to call. he is unpredictable. i think he is too much of an unpredictable witness. >> there is a lot of central players in this saga that we're froebl e probably not going to hear from. he seems to have plenty of different forums. >> but he is getting them out in places where he is unchallenged. >> i agree, and it is unfortunate, there are so many witness that's have not gotten a had to be deposed, and he would certainly have a lot of firsthand information, but i think, you know the republicans are probably scared of calling him and i think the likelihood of hearing from him is probably
pretty slim. >> thank you all so much. definitely got us smarter on a complicated morning. we're going to go into new details as the president prepares to be impeached by the house. and we're less than two hours away from guiding the historic vote on impeachment, and fireworks are definitely going to fly, don't go anywhere. going to fly, don't go anywhere. ♪for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home.♪ we go the extra mile to bring your holidays home.
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we are less than two hours from house lawmakers hammering out a vote for articles of impeachment. how is the white house preparing for this. the white house and senate aides have been closely studying the impeachment trial of president bill clinton. even if the charges against the two presidents remain wildly different. joining me now to break this down, jeremy alexander, has the white house already given up on the impeachment vote in the house? >> yeah, they're focused on the beginning of next year. i was speaking to kellyanne conway. she said the chief impeachment strategy is pat sippiloni. he has a better relationship
with president trump than don mcgahn. they were shut out from that process in the house. we are watching for this class. this is a show-man type trial. but mitch mcconnell was the cautious manager that wants a quick trial without witnesses and it appears clear, although the white house says they would be satisfied with it either way, that this thing should come and go in the senate as quickly as possible. certainly the push back right now is pushed back at chuck schumer that just reiterated his call for several former and current officials and their acting staff. they were blocked from participating in the house proceedings. the president's aids accuse
shumer of being hypocritical. they called for no witnesses when bill clinton was impeached or in the senate trial back then, but schumer pushes back on that and says it was different back then because this time around these witnesses did not testify in front of the house. it is the first time for them to hear the facts as laid out by those individuals, it appears the president, his team, and republicans that they are working in corroboration. >> how does kellyanne conway make the point to you. it was the white house who blocked mick mulvaney and others from testifying. >> yeah, that is fundamentally the flaw, right? when they were given the opportunity to participate they said they would not parties paint.
they blocked testimony and they said the house members wanted to hear from them. you heard the recent comments saying he could not be an impartial juror in this process. they are focused on the politics of this, tried to wrap it up and quickly as they can and trying to capitalize on democratic lawmakers that voted for president trump hoping to turn this into a political bludgeon. >> yes, the white house said they would not cooperate unless nancy pelosi took it to a vote, which she did, and they would not cooperate unless the witnesses were testifying publicly, which they did. president trump already declared victory even ahead of tomorrow's
vote. does the white house believe they're winning or is this just part of the president's core strategy of always say you're binning and you will start to convince people. >> i think that is a nuanced answer. kellyanne conway. >> i think on one hand you have a president who is deeply embarrassed by the fact that he will be the third president from the very beginning. it made him very, very angry, understandably so. in some candid conversations from people i spoke to over the weekend, there is a sense that i'm okay, kind of the reaction that you would expect to get from somebody who is going through a very traumatic experience but they are holding up and putting on a brave face. now i be say there is, there has
been, over the least few weeks, weeks, or so, a change in the done that i have been hearing from republicans that is no longer we wonder how many people we might lose. it's more like we wonder how many democrats might feel pressured to vote to acquit president trump. someone said to me the other day we can't believe how lucky we have gotten. the facts, as damaging as they are. the president crossing clear lines that he should not have crossed, they have not changed over the course of the impeachment proceedings and people are where they were in the beginning knowing this behavior, this conduct is inappropriate and not how presidents should be conducting foreign policy. at the same time the impeachment proceedings failed to produce the kind of damming revelations
that would cause more republicans to break with their president. >> then, jeremy, what will the democrats next move be if trump gets acquitted in the senate trial? >> i think they just need to keep reminding -- i heard they're going to do that, their not moving on, right? they're sticking to the facts of the case which, indeed, are very damaging. they show a president who is willing to use the power and prestige of the office for his own perm and political gain. they will remind voters of that. i am told this is not normal conduct, and the question, i think a lot of these democrats are wrestling with, is do voters factor that in? is the cost to them great enough to consider going out or being a trump supporter. >> thank you so much. you boys will have a very busy
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have you looked at the calendar? we're two months out from the iowa caucuses and two days away from the democratic debate. if you looked at the democrat register today you would not know it. instead of a story on the 2020 election, the impending impeachment vote made it above the vold. the candidates trying to unseat donald trump, no matter how it all plays out, are attempting to gain attention with new advertisements, plans, and joining me now is the former dnc senior advisor. and charlie sykes.
to you, how much do you think the focus on impeachment is hurting these 2020 candidates, or is it hurting them at all? >> it is hard for some of the candidates not in the top tier to breakthrough and you start to see this sorting out. so in effect i think what impeachment has done is frozen the democratic race somewhat. let's face it, we have limited attention spans. but again, this is all going to be playing out very, very quickly. you have the impeachment vote, you have the senate trial, and then you have the iowa caucuses. we're going to see this resolve and i think shake out very, very -- in the next few months. >> it is not hurting joe biden, hunter biden is a name we hear every day, but in the last few polls it shows joe biden with a strong lead. >> yeah, i think one of the stories of the campaign is joe
biden's resilience and stability over the course of the race most recently weathering the storm on the false allegations made by the president. i think that is one of the things he is touting to supporters if is clear the president thinks that joe biden thinks he is the toughest opponent, and that is why he abused his power to launch an investigation against his son. or try to, and that is something he can point to. he is the toughest guy to face him and he is trying to use that larger argument that democrats care about who is the best person to beat trump, and i think biden is making that argument that clearly i am because that is who the president is obsessed with, me. >> another poll shows that in potential head to head match ups the president is leading all of the democratic front runners by 3%, what do you think about that? >> again, you keep in mind the
difference between the national polls and the state by state polls, i feel like a broken record here, but we need to remind ourselves that this is a race to 270 electoral votes. he is very competitive in a lot of swing states. this is one of the things they will have to resolve. will they run the strongest in michigan and wisconsin, it doesn't matter how much they run up the score in california, this is a historically unpopular president, the question is whether or not the democrats will nominate someone that is more unpopular than trump and that was the race in 2016, that is the kind of race that he wants to run next year. >> let's talk about what the democrats are doing today, doug, they're out with massive add buys in iowa. biden focusing on impeachment
and what he is calling the soul of america. is this the right approach at this point in the race? >> yeah, they're introducing their closing argument, they're going to use -- they will see it again in the debate on thursday, and on the home stretch in jan. i saw biden's add. i think it was more about the character of donald trump and what he has done to the fabric of the country. and i think you have seen that same type of ad, and you have seen amy klobuchar, someone from a mid american state that could be a battleground. they're all starting to make their closing arguments and i think it is largely talking about electability. at the end of the day what they care most about right now is who is the best person to take on trump and that is what you will see the candidates tap into. >> thank you very much,
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proceedings of trump will be in court today, his name is le les parnas. he funneled money to a pro trump super pac and advanced ukrainian interests. what do we expect here today? >> stephanie, basically this is a little bit unusual that typically once bail is decided that is generally it. sometimes bail can be reduced and restrictions can be deuced here. they want him in jail today. they want his bail revoked. they said we have two or three major concerns. one is he has a lot of money overseas and it seems like he has access to it. there was a million dollars in his wife's bank account that came from overseas. now his attorney says it was a loan, and here are the details,
to buy a house here in the united states. why did he on three separate occasions get paid for a job as a translater for a oligarch has have been convicted. he has private planes, he leaves near the okaying with he has no ties to the united states. we feel she a significant flight risk. whether or not the judge agrees with that is whether or not he will be from jail. >> i need to dig into why they're so concerned about him. you wrote an incredible piece. we know he is associated or connected to rudy ghouliiuliani
the president? >> mitch mcconnell doesn't have any connections, but he is trying to put on a trial that he hopes to dispense with quickly. and the longer this process takes the mf of a chance that we have more and more revelations in this -- ready for it? second state and federal criminal investigation that is russia related and circles back to president trump and his associates. we know they're looking into rude eye giuliani's involvement. they say les parnas has limitless funds, if you connect the dots back it goes back to the free election meddling work that rudeiany is doing for donald trump.
this is what mitch mcconnell doesn't want us to be talking about. >> so president trump may not be paying rudy giuliani but he is getting paid? >> with russian money. we have all been told by the experts that the ukraine collusion theory is a kremlin disinformation operation. they are being receiver e served by senator kennedy and others to talk about this, but this spreads, if you look at the investigation and who is being contacted or subpoenaed, one of the most influential donors and lobbies groups in politics, but you know, it is really important people in the party and florida, the pro trump super pac. devin nunes has been working with les parnas since 2018.
pete sessions has testified before a grand jury about taking money from lev parnas and writes a letter critical of m.a. degree yovanovitch to mike pompeo to try to help get her fired, the bidding of rudy giuliani. if pete sessions, the former congressman testified before a garage, why has congressman nunes not also been contacted by the authorities. this spreads all around trump's world, but most significantly you have to follow the money and this is the revelation from last week. that republicans don't want to become part of this trial, they don't want more revelations here. russian money is funning lev parnas who is funding giuliani to do the work of trump. they will testify that he did everything at the direction of
and for trump. >> if all of the dots get connected, then what you're laying out is worse than them seeking help to get dirt on the bidens. it could be deaf stating. >> it is extremely problematic if mcconnell was to rush to an acquittal if he wants to protect the senate majority. in a year they rush to an acquitting in early january and february, this blows up in a way way bigger later on in the year and threatens all six and seven republicans up. that is something that mcconnell is calculating, but i add in the piece that it is clear from the intimidating comments from the attorney general that -- >> this is what i want to get into. bill barr, mitch mcconnell, what ability do they have to influence what is happening? >> mitch mcconnell can't, but he
might be hopeful that the comments from the president intemperatui intimidating the fbi director and the comments from bill barr will so chill the work of agents who might be looking into a second extraordinary unprecedented russia focused criminal probe into what was once a presidential candidate. they said it is so broken they can't do this again. >> chill them or inspire them to double down? >> in my piece i have quotes from jeffrey berman, the u.s. attorney that when he announced the indictments he said campaign finance violations are no something thing, voters deserve to fwhoe where everything is coming from. but just remember that bill barr has the power to stop any
indictment. lots of questions are circulating about whether or not rudy giuliani will be indicted or if there will just be a cloud around hem. >> we have breaking news about rudy giuliani. we spoke about his allegations about former ambassador marie yovanovitch. kristin, what did rudy have to tell you. >> well, steph, rudygiuliani, and this is by text message, he doubled down that yovanovitch was standing in the way of his investigations in ukraine. we know those investigations included the dna even the bidens. let me read you the dex message that he sent to me. he said i have witnesses and now documentary proof that she was denying visas to ukrainians wanting to come to the u.s. and testify in the collusion with
dnc. biden bribery, and yovanovitch. now they have documentary proof. let's just pause there on that last little bit. now they have documentary proof. what giuliani is saying is that he has proof, based on that recent trip that he took to ukraine drk i pressed him on what specifically is this proof that you have, this documentary proof, he would not get specific about that, he would not get specific about what he meant by testifying. we're still trying to drill down on that. we said are you still planning to present your findings to the doj. he says yes, but he cannot comment beyond what the president has said. i said when will do you that and he said "all in good time." not committing to a time line there, steph, but doubling down on his assertion that marie
yovanovitch was impeaching these investigations. he says he was obstructing justice, that is his argument and that is how she is justifyi kellyanne conway and i said is he helping or hurting the president. her response is any president has a right to have the people in place that he believes best serve the country. but i can tell thaw based on a number of conversations here at the white house over a series of the past several months, officials both inside and outside of the white house have expressed some discomfort, some concern with the role that rudy giuliani has played in all of this. of course he has been a central figure in this impeachment controversy, swirling around the white house. now, that vote slated for just about 24 hours from now. this administration, this president, bracing for that as
the president's outside attorney is making new headlines today, steph. >> kristen, thank you. we've got to dig into this. let's bring in senior white house reporter for nbc news and i want to bring back greg brower, charlie sites and amy. we've got to go around the horn on this. how does this serve the country? >> well, it's hard to see how it does, because it appears, stephanie, to be just more of the same, which is the idea that you just -- if you just say negative things about somebody or something often enough, enough people out there will believe it, and as a result draw a negative impression about the person or thing that you're trying to negatively describe. and that seems to be the goal oftentimes with what we see mr. giuliani doing. if he really does have information, if he considers himself to be a whistle-blower about certain improper activities with respect to u.s.
persons, particularly department of state employees, he ought to just consider himself a whistle-blower and go to the department of state, office of inspector general, and share his information and let the oig do its thing, or go to doj and do the same thing. it sounds like he's trying to have it both ways. he's both trying to create a negative picture about the ambassador, about the bidens, about whomever, but not really ever deliver any actual evidence to anybody who would do anything about it. >> why is he going after yovanovitch so hard? it's like she's public enemy number one for him? >> i think it's a distraction. i think he needed to come home from ukraine, and instead of talking about disinformation he got from pro-russian ukrainian officials, many of whom lost their jobs, that he would focus on something that involved testimony and try to attack a messenger like ambassador
yovanovitch. he said she has proof that she's perjured herself, which is an astonishing claim. and it was my understanding from the conversation last night that she asked him when he would provide these to law enforcement and he didn't have a good answer. i'm not sure that law enforcement is interested. but like greg said, we'll see when he actually delivers the goods, what they are. so far, he has a bunch of dramatic statements he's given to the oa and outfit and he's just having a really good time. >> what obligation, shannon, does rudy giuliani have to provide these facts? he's putting out these unproven claims at this point. they're making their way around the media universe, so people are buying into it. but he hasn't provided anything. is he going to be forced to? we talked about it earlier, the shokin visa that he's claiming yovanovitch denied. that's a flat-out lie. the state department did it and the white house didn't overrule it. all of it because they believed shokin was corrupt. >> and i remember talking with
rudy giuliani during the mueller investigation when he would dangle out pieces of evidence that he said would exonerate the president or would prove there was a mueller conflict of interest and tease a bit and none of those really came to fruition. but i would say from a political perspective, so what? what does any of this matter at this point? if he is able to come up with some evidence that the ukrainian ambassador had some nefarious deal where she blocked a visa like he is alleging -- again, we have no evidence of that, but let's say he did have evidence. so what politically is that going to matter? the poll numbers are so firm, everyone is so divided and the issues he's bringing up with the ukrainian ambassador are really so alienated from what's at the core of the impeachment charges, which is abuse of power and the requests that he was making and the alleged demand he was making by senate democrats, claiming he tried to block funding from ukraine. so i think as to amy's point, it
is a distraction and it seems to be once again this effort of muddying the waters to create confusion, particularly among independent voters who might not be following this closely and there is an indication from a lot of the president's supporters that they feel rudy was effective at that in mueller and here we see him doing that again. >> but the truth matters, doug. and even if polls aren't moving today, they could move tomorrow. and even if they don't, isn't it important to press this? rudy giuliani dangling evidence that he never provides. >> look, i mean, he's a conman. i don't know why we're giving him much credibility. he's a con man who has been off the rails for years and he's been pushing lies for months related to the vice president. and really he is pushing russian propaganda. this notion that ukraine hacked the dnc and that they have the server, that comes right from moscow. he is essentially acting as a russian agent here and i think
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p.m. and you can find today's good news ruhles on twitter and instagram. coming up, more news with hallie jackson. >> thank you much. with roughly 24 hours until what by every indication so far will be the third-ever impeachment of a united states president, we've got the final fireworks before the historic vote. any moment we could hear from mitch mcconnell as the senate floor is just gav eling in. that's expected to be a marathon session on the other side of the capital over in the house. you've got the rules committee laying out how tomorrow's vote is going to go down. and we know a wave of democrats from highly competitive districts will vote to impeach the president. that is new in just the last 4 hours. and so is this. the president's personal attorney saying the quiet part out loud, with rudy giuliani on a tear admitting he did go after the ousted ambassador to ukraine, saying in print, on tv, on twitter, that he needed her out of the way. we've got a lot of developments on this