tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC December 22, 2019 9:00am-11:00am PST
that's our show for today, and thank you for watching our show, and up next, my friend alex witt. >> thank you. and may i wish you a merry christmas and the happy holiday and all of that stuff, because i won't see you until the other side. >> and you have a merry christmas and i will see you next season, next year. >> okay. good-bye. >> and for all of you here from msnbc headquarters, welcome to "weekends with alex witt" and the anticipation is building on capitol hill as the picture is clearer of what happens next in the impeachment of donald trump. >> those articles will come over, and i talked to chuck schumer this week and they will, but what she is trying to do is to have the best possible case for when a fair trial happens. >> they had to rush to the impeachment vote and now she is sitting on it. >> this is looking pretty
political either way. >> and don't be surprised to show that the 64% of the republicans believe that these witnesses should testify. >> and a new theory floated by the president's legal team, and just released e-mail shedding light on what happened after the president's controversial phone call, and plus this. >> and now, y'all may be wondering how mr. robinson can afford to live in the fancy neighborhood, but that is the word of the day. >> and 35 years later, eddie murphy's historic return to "saturday night live" and the highlights as he reprised the iconic roles. and we begin with the battle of the impeachment trial, and new insight of the lawmakers of what comes next as the standoff of the democrats and the republicans intensifies, and spilling now into the holiday recess with pointed takes from both sides. >> i do think that she will transmit them to the senate. >> those articles will come by. i talked to chuck shum ther wch
week, and we know they will. >> and i have heard some constitutional scholars say that you are not impeached until you send the articles over and it is not a distinction worth arguing over, because we will send them over and hear this from the house manager and the president's counsel and i argue with the president's counsel for the first time they get to make their case and i believe we will do it in january. i believe this is a mistake for the speaker to continue to dwell on this issue. it has not worked out that well for them politically. >> and the conduct that we are talking about with president trump has any parallel of the conduct of president obama or bush did, and the claim of the absolute immunity is unprecedented. she is focusing a spotlight on the need to have a fair trial in the united states senate, and it is especially necessary when you have mitch mcconnell, and senator mcconnell who you quoted earlier saying publicly that he is not going to be an impartial juror, even though that is what
the oath will require, and even though what speaker pelosi is doing is to focus on the need of the fair trial, and the fair trial means that you get to call your witnesses. every american knows that is what a trial is all about. >> and new documents released this weekend with critical details of the key components of the democrats' case for impeachment, and they reveal e-mails of the office of management and budget and the pentagon regarding the military withheld funds to ukraine and one e-mail sent less than two hours after the july 25th e-mail between president trump and ukrainian president zelensky. this morning an omb says it is reckless to tie the funding to the 25th call with the decision announced a week earlier. and this is what one white house official told chuck todd this morning. >> can you explain the disparity of the july 18th proclamation and a july 25th e-mail to the
pentagon saying make sure that this freeze happens and by the way, keep it oun the down low. >> step back one minute, chuck. this administration for what it has provided to ukraine and the previous administration sent blankets. yes, a delay and nothing new in the timing, chuck, because there is a lot of e-mails back and forth about the timing of this. >> and hans nichols is following the president in florida for the holidays, and hans, with a welcome to you. and we heard mark short who was asked about this discrepancy and the time line of the 18th and the 25th of july and he did not get a direct answer, and is there any clarity on that? >> well, the short version from the sunday shows is no. when you
are looking at the body of the e-mails and 146 page, you see the back end of bureaucracy and what nobody has been able to explain is why on the 25th that e-mail was sent from michael duffey after the phone call, and now they are saying it is coincidence, and so omb official
is very clear that we are wrong to draw the inference, but the timing is a challenge when you are trying to explain this all. you know, when you are looking at the balance of the morning on all of the talk shows, what we have heard is a couple of things, and back and forth on dingle and one issue, and where the white house is on this time line is one, but the issue of a short or long trial, and when the trial is going to happen, it is clear that the senate democrats believe it is going to be taking place, and nancy pelosi is going to transmit the articles of impeachment, and they believe it is a political winner for them, and view reflected by the president's own press secretary. >> i wanted to make sure that people know, and we will get some reaction in a moment, but i wanted to make sure that people know that michael duffey, his title is associate director of national programs of office and budget, and so you would think that he would know exactly what is going on and the purview of
his purview of the timing of all of this. and this is what the reaction is that we are getting, hans. >> okay. so this is -- all right. sorry, i thought that we were going to hear some sound from the white house press secretary on the matters of impeachment. i will paraphrase it for you, and she is basically saying that the democrats have overplayed the hand and how nancy pelosi has overplayed her hand in delays the transmission of the articles. you heard a hint of this last night from the president when he thought that it was good news for him that it was not sent over, and he mentioned it in his speech. one other word that i would focus on is in the shows that mark short used the word exoneration to talk about the president, and the exoneration is implying a longer trial with witnesses, and you mentioned michael duffey who is a political appointee, and his job to quarterback all of the money. and he is one of the officials
that the house side wanted to hear from, but of course, they defied, and they defied the subpoenas and did not show up. and duffy is another one to be potentially called to clarify some of the matters. alex. >> hans nichols, sorry about the technicalities, and i am the one who started that snowball rolling, but thank you very much. and joining me is josh gerstein whi writer for politico, and natalie, welcome. what stands out to you on the impeachment? >> well, what it shows to me is the maneuvering that was set up behind the scenes of the showdown between the president and officials within his administration. i mean,
remember it appears that almost everybody that had anything to do with this, whether it was office of management and budget or the national security council or at the pentagon or the state department is in favor of having this aid release and so whatever
explanations the white house may give for the time, it is extraordinary curious to have that e-mail written as you said within a few hours of the president's conversation. i just until i hear more about it would have to assume that there is some linkage between the two thing, and there are hints in the e-mails that there are very high level discussions going on, and sometimes when people say very high level at the very top levels in the government, they mean the highest level. >> for sure. but, look, josh, the phone call with the ukrainian president is the backbone of this impeachment proceedings and anything new of what you have seen or learned that adds to the narrative of what exactly happened here and does it change it in any way? >> well, what it does show is that as we were discussing in terms of getting more evidence and more witnesses that there may in fact be more information to be had here, and that there
are people like mr. duffy, and michael duffey and mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff who have some indication of what took place here, and frankly, a strange trial if they don't testify. and as hans is alluding to how the president is going to say that he is exonerated after a trial like that, i don't know. but that said, alex, i think that a sort of the foreshortened trial is what we will have. it seems there is no appetite especially among the moderate republicans for dragging it out in the senate, and maybe not that much appetite among some democrats for dragging it out as well. so, i am thinking because of the presidential campaign se on and the primary, and the caucuses coming up, and so maybe the senate trial is going to be almost a flash in the pan. >> and yet, the president wants to have the fireworks in the trial interestingly at odds with republicans including mitch mcconnell.
and claudia, with respect to the time, and according to mark short he says nothing new about the timing of the request, and is he right? >> actually, this is pretty unprecedented what house speaker nancy pelosi is doing right now which is withholding these articles, and we should note it is tied to the naming of the house managers the prosecution team who will present the case before the senate s and until they are named, those articles are not going to be transmit and with the house on recess, they won't meet until january 7th, and that is the earliest that the house managers could be name and trigger the start of the senate trial. >> and look, she wants to iron out all of the contours of the senate trial, and what if she does not like what she hear, and does that mean, that she will with hold until she gets what she want, and can she do that? >> she could theoretically, and they have signaled that is not the plan. but right now, they are using this time to try and negotiate these concessions, but it is
possible that the senate doesn't offer up any concessions. they have been quite blunt about their plans to hold the quick trial that will exonerate this president. so it is going to be a tough situation when she doesn't if that happens get concessions, then she may have to move these without those. >> and what is your thought on the concessions, josh. does speaker pelosi get some or not or does she have to hand it over? how long does she stall? >> i don't think that she'll get many. she may have some leverage here if it is realistic to think that she would sit on the articles indefinitely, but i don't think it is realistic, and i think that senator mcconnell knows that this is not realistic either. thinking of the democrats who have a painful vote, and some moderate districts or the trump leaning districts or to every last one of them virtually with one or two exceptions to vote for the articles and having said it was the constitutional duty
to do so and they had to take a solemn process to take seriously to hold the articles back would not sit well withand they will remain silent, but it is not extending much beyond the date in january that you gave. >> and claudia, what about the white house's argument that the president is technically not impeached because of this impasse? >> well, that is getting into a technical argument that he has not been impeached because the articles have not been transmitted, but in this day and age, everybody saw the votes and the articles approved and in their mind, he has been impeached, but it is an argument to be used until they are transmitted. >> thank you, both. happy holidays as well. and fresh take to eddie murphy's return to "saturday night live", and you want to stay tuned for that. nd you wano stay tuned for that. i'm your curious cat,
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i think it is a mistake on the speaker's part. this has looked pretty political in a way that is sort of the icing political cake where at the end the speaker still can't let go of this as an issue to try to wring the last vestige of politics out of. >> and this is roy blount giving his assessment of nancy pelosi's delay of getting the article of impeachment to the senate. and now, joining now to talk
about the delay, and thank you for joining ous on this sunday. and it is mitch mcconnell will do whatever he wants, but for the democrats it is about swaying the political sentiment, and so from senator blount, is he right, is this all political? >> no, i don't think so. i think that the speaker is right to want to know exactly what the process is going to be in the senate before she sends over the articles. i think that the pressure is also on the president, because as you know the president wants total absolute exoneration in all caps, and he is counting on this, and he wants it to happen quickly through a, what i would consider a rigged trial, but, if he can't get it quickly, that is a problem. and so hopefully, that is going to put a little bit of pressure on mcconnell, and mcconnell in turn is going to hopefully going to have to work out some
processes with the counter part chuck schumer to come up with a trial that is wor thithy of thee in the constitution. >> and if the democrats believe it is going to happen soon, and mitch mcconnell still controls the senate, what is the point of the delay if there is not a senate trial. is that even a possibility, withholding the articles of impeachment so that there is no senate trial? >> i don't see that. i don't see us doing what mitch mcconnell may have done to president obama with regard to the certain supreme court vacancy in waiting for the next senate -- >> and marek garland, yes. >> and i don't believe it is going to be coming over to the senate in short order, but waiting a couple of days makes sense. >> and congressman, if it is all about the witnesses, where is the tipping point as being, because it would seem that the president and mitch mcconnell are on opposite ends of this
argument. it would seem that the president, you know, falls in line with the democrats ironically in wanting to call witnesses. >> very interesting. i think that my belief is that there is a certain number of witnesses called and maybe a certain number for each side, and i think that it is only prudent that we do so. you brought up in the previous segment the fact that we have new information about this e-mail sent following the phone call which raises the question of why, you know, conditionality was imposed even after supposedly a hold was placed on july 18th. and one question mark that comes up is did the president not hear from president zelensky the answer to the question that he posed on the phone call that he was hoping for. in that he was hoping that president zelensky would say
that he was going to announce investigations of biden, and then when he didn't, somebody instructed that the hold be placed on the aid, again. so it is all of the more reason why we need the witnesses. >> but, those witnesses, and i mean specifically, if the democrats get say bolton and mulvaney who they want to come testify, in all fairness then, does it mean that they can be called, the republicans could call schiff, biden, even the whistle-blower as they have wanted to? i mean, if one side gets what they want, and doesn't the other side get what they want? >> i think that it has to go toward who actually possesses the information about the impeachment of the president. their agenda which includes impeaching adam schiff has nothing to do with the proceedings at hand, and the articles at hand. so i think that within reason, yes, they should be able to call some witnesses, but they can't
go off and start pursuing these crazy conspiracy theories about ukraine interfering in the 2016 election and not russia for instance. >> for instance is right. and now, i wanted to talk about the e-mails released from the pentagon with more details of the white household to ukraine and what is the main take away, congressman, and is there anything new in terms of the information to fill in the gaps, and we are looking at the page, and lots of redactions, but from what you have been able to gleam from them, is there anything new? >> yes, i thought, as many of us did that there was a hold on july 18th or at least announced on july 18th in an interagency phone call meaning that the defense department and the state department and other interested actors were informed by the office of management and budget that a hold was placed on aid to ukraine. now, to learn that actually a
phone call or an e-mail was made after this phone call relatively soon thereafter and within a couple of hours raises the question of why. was the preliminary hold only in hold until the phone call at which time the president was seeking an answer to the question about whether zelensky was going to actually order the investigations or announce investigations, and when he didn't provide the information that trump sought, did they then impose the conditionality again, and those are the questions to come up and all of the more reasons that we need witnesses and documents. another group of documents that we need is the documents in mick mulvaney's investigation, because in the e-mails remember at the press conference he said that military assistance was conditioned on at least an announcement of the investigation into the 2016 server conspiracy theory.
>> yes, he said a quid pro quo. >> he said it was a quid pro quo. and then he said get over it. for us not to be able to get e-mails and other documents that mick mulvaney possesses really blocks our ability to learn the true nature of what has happened. and it can lead us to only conclude that, that evidence would not help the president's case. so now, i am hoping, and maybe we will get access to the documents, and maybe we will even get access to mick mulvaney's testimony in a future trial. >> i am sure that you are well aware that the president has not stopped complaining about the process, and returning to the russian investigation to make his point, and let's take a listen to this. >> we have a reason to be angry. they spied on my campaign. and i said it two years ago, and i said it 2 1/2, 3 years ago.
but now it has come out. they spied on my campaign. and if this were reversed, you would have had people in jail for years already. years. they defrauded the fisa court. >> hang on a second. you are on the intel committee, and didn't the i.g. report prove that nobody spied on the trump campaign, and why is the president keeps pushing this? what is his angle for this deception? >> well, he wants to cast doubt on the whole theory that, you know, russia interfered in the 2016 campaign and that he had any kind of relationship with the russians when in fact as you point out inspector general horowitz in the recent report said that nothing of the sort to what donald trump just said in your taped, and i guess taped rally. and in fact, the genesis of the
whole investigation into the 2016 conspiracy was when george papadopoulos related to one of our allies that basically the trump campaign was aware that the russians had e-mails that had been hacked from the dnc and not only did they have them, but they actually dumped the e-mails, and this is when the fbi got involved and said, wait a second, something is very wrong here, and we need to open up the investigation as to whether the trump campaign was conspiring with the russians with regard to hacking and dumping the e-mails for political purposes. >> there is a lot for you to keep track of and i'm awfully glad that you are, sir. thank you. >> yes. back to you. and now, back to the "saturday night live" stage, and how eddie murphy revived the characters and including an
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eddie murphy made the much anticipated return to snl last night and the first time in fact on the studio 8-h stage since 1984, and he leaned into the nostalgia of bringing back the characters from 35 years ago. >> this is the last episode of 2019, but if you are black, it is the first episode since i left in 1984. and you are probably wondering how mr. robinson can afford the live in this fancy neighborhood, and that is the word of the day. squatters rights. ♪ i shot the sheriff ♪ but i swear it was in self-defense ♪ >> what is going on here? i want to sit down.
>> gumby. >> i know who the hell it is, i'm gumby, damn it. >> gumby is back. and joining me is npr critic and msnbc contributor and also the president of color of change, and hilarious, and eric, you first, what was the favorite sketch of the night? >> oh, my favorite, and actually my favorite sketch of the night was the sketch that didn't involve a character that he brought back, the "home for the holidays" sketch where eddie was the father, the patriarch of the family and giving a heartfelt holiday speech how he loves everyone is together and they show the scenes leading up to the dinner and everybody is yelling, and mom is tearing out her hair cooking, and it talks to all of the stuff that we go through on the holidays and original. one of the things they wanted to see was original eddie humor, because we know that he is going do a standup special, and some other things cooking, and a reboot of "coming to america" and i wanted to see the new
eddie humor and that is really wonderful and funny. >> i know that you were tweeting a lot about it in the show, and excited about most everything. and the same to you, rashad, what did you like the best and the favorite skit and also, why did it take him so long the return to snl? >> well, my favorite sketch and i loved the "home for the holidayings" but the updated "mr. robinson" sketch that was joked about gentrification, and brought that out, and sort of talked about the changing of communities, and i think that one of the things that was always so incredible, and has been incredible for, you know, the earlier part of eddie murphy's career is how he let us in on the joke, and brought people into the current events and current stories and did it in funny and interesting and exciting ways. there is a lot of stories and rumors of why eddie murphy hasn't been there, and i do think that though there is like something that we all have to remember about the power of who gets to write the joke, who gets to be sort of behind the scenes, and who gets to tell the stories
and so many conversations about diversity in hollywood and inclusion hollywood and when you have someone as powerful as eddie murphy to not just greenlight the things and bring other people along and give other people opportunities to shine, it is great that he is back, and hopefully that means more opportunity and more ways to actually have jokes and humor from our perspective. >> absolutely. and let's take a look at one of the eye-popping moments from last night. here it is, guys. >> so much has changed since we last spent some time together. my neighbors have gone through so much. my neighborhood has gone through something called gentrification. can you say gentrification, boys and girls. it is like a magic trick. white people pay a lot of money, and then, poof, all of the black people are gone. >> now, that is a good one, but i had hoped that we were going to play the sound bite regarding bill cosby and to that extent, guys, we know that eric, bill
cosby and eddie murphy have had tension in the past. we have the right one. >> if you had told me 30 years ago that i would have been a boring stay at home house dad and bill cosby would be in jail, even i would have took that bet. i will say, who is america's dad now? [ applause ] >> eye-popping indeed, and what did you think of that, eric? >> well, i loved it, because cosby famously called eddie murphy at the height and gave him a hard time for cursing on stage and disrespecting the audience and when he would get a heckler eddie would threaten to take out his wallet and crush him with it. and bill cosby would call him up and say, you can't do that.
and eddie, you know, bristled at that quite rightly and said, who are you to tell me what to do, and now we see sort of the hypocrisy of bill cosby's public stance versus what he may have been doing publicly and the idea that eddie murphy would turn out to be a wholesome family man given the way that he started his career sort of playing up the image as a ladies' man, and somebody who was an edgy comic, and it shows how much time has pass and how much of an effect it can have on people. >> and to that point, rashad, humor has changed over the years and he joked about it in the "black jeopardy" segment, but would the stars survive today and have the same humor? >> no, the times are different and the culture has evolved and what is funny 50 year ago on
stage, you could not say today either. that is a good thing that as more people, and as we learn more about other folks and connected, different things become funny and new context is set, and that is the power of the comedians and the power of those who tell stories and jokes to be able to evolve with the times, and the ability of all of us to find humor in ourselves, but recognizing that we don't want to make people the jokes, but move people in on the joke, and we have to continue to push on who gets to tell the stories, and who gets to be behind the camera and ensure that their jokes and their storylines are told. we have an office out in hollywood that does a lot of work in pushing on, that and there are so many pioneers and like eddie murphy and others who have given us really great moments, and it is their ability to evolve into a powerful place. >> and reflecting society and the culture. >> i would point out that there was a great moment at the beginning of the show where we
sought chris rock and dave chappelle and tracy morgan and keenan thompson on stage, and they were like his comedy children. chris rock was a protege and dave chappelle was friends with him and tracy morgan talks about how he looks up to him, and keenan thompson has picked up the torch when he left the show. so in one image, you had eddie's influence on comedy and particularly on black male comics, and it was astonishing. >> and from the surface appearanceb and he is a guy that has not aged. he looks so good. >> it is like he said, money don't crack. >> and so, one more clip for all of you to enjoy, because it is the time of the year when we need some humor, too. so here it is. >> but we are the most strong force. >> i sure do. take a mission.
♪ i'm in -- i'm in -- ♪ i'm here down and nibble ♪ i'm corn >> did you have anything that said, he didn't hit the mark or was he spot on? >> well, what surprised me, and they seemed to be careful about this, because they were able to take the old characters and bring them into the modern age that was funny and interesting and did not seem to offend the modern sensibilities and they poked fun at it in "black jeopardy" and had the most politically incorrect character velvet jones to come on and make fun of him. it is a smart and savvy collection of characters and
situations. they did a great job. my only thing is that as a critic, i wanted to see more new edema teerl, and i said on the twitter that is like being at a prince concert where he played "199" and "purple rain" and "kiss" and the best hits of comedy that you could have, but now i wanted to see where eddie is going to go in the future and i'd love to hear him talk about today and the gender and race and politics today. so i am hoping that, you know, he has a standup special coming up on netflix and he has to hit the clubs and get the material ready and i can't wait to see what he has for us when he starts that. >> i speak for rashad and eric and myself, we can't wait to see it. happy holidays to you both. president trump is approaching impeachment with a new line of attack against house speaker nancy pelosi and why my next guest says that the democratic vote makes the constitution and the country
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they got the same thing, they are violating the constitution. >> deep sigh, and the president with the new claim that the democrats claim for impeachment is unconstitutional and yet a recent op-ed says they are defending the constitution by walking the walk on impeachment, and joining me is the author of the op-ed and former congresswoman of maryland, donna edwards. i wanted to get into the op-ed of yours where you answer the question of whether the democrats are violating the constitution, but any valid argument that speaker pelosi does not have an argument because she has not sent the articles forward. where does this stand? >> it is not. the impeachment indictment is the strongest defense of the constitution that we have in our system. it is important for the house to stand for the rule of law and in defense of the constitutionb, ad the fact that speaker pelosi is waiting to turn those
impeachment articles over to the senate is a testament to her leadership. it is really important for us to know that the american people need to know that there is going to be a fair trial, and it is going to be evidence presented that witnesses will be heard from. anybody, whether you from the perry mason generation or the "law and order" generation, you understand a fair trial, and those things will allow the american people to understand that this president needs to be removed from office. >> and something that you talked about in the op-ed, you argued that if the democrats wanted to move the needle before the senate trial, they need to sharpen the focus, and stop chewing gum and just walk. what do you mean? >> the democrats in their defense have passed more than 400 pieces of legislation sitting over in mitch mcconnell's graveyard and now it is time to focus on the impeachment, and continue to tell the story of the president's lawless behavior. i look at what the house
democrats have done is, you know, important for the american people, but we need to continue to hear the story, and that is going to put more pressure on mitch mcconnell and the senate republicans to conduct a fair trial with an impartial jury so that we can really hear the evidence in front of the united states senate and the american people. and so, to their credit, you know, passing all of the legislation, i mean from $15 minimum wage to reauthorizing the violence against women act is all great, but we need to not run away from impeachment, but to continue to explain that story to the american people. >> and congresswoman, given that impeachment is top of mind for so many, are you concerned that it is a little bit too confusing for americans? >> i am not at all. look at after all what the evidence is. the president cheated. he did that by trying to strong
arm the ukrainian government by withholding aid from them for his personal political purposes by investigating vice president joe biden. americans understand cheating, and that is what the president did. he abused the power by doing that and then stood in the way of the witnesses coming before the house of representatives, and our constitution envisions that we do not have a king. we have a republic that is built on the rule of law and in defense of the constitution, i think that the democrats in the house of representatives did exactly what the american people expect which is to hold this president accountable. >> former congresswoman from maryland donna edwards, good to see you and happy holidays. >> thank you. and new questions today about how far the president will go to get the political show trial that he wants. that is next. create your own ultimate feast
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and i think what she's just trying to do is make sure the best possible case for a fair trial happens. she's just trying to say, hey, let's not make this a circus, a partisan circus. let's just get to the facts. >> frankly, i think it's a mistake on the speaker's part. i think this is pretty political anyway, and this is sort of the icing on the political cake. >> well, the impeachment trial is hanging in limbo this weekend. house speaker nancy pelosi
withholding two articles of impeachment against president trump in an attempt to negotiate the terms of the senate trial. the big question, who is going to blink first? joining me now, chris lieu, former assistant to president obama and susan del percio, msnbc analyst and republican strategist. susan, you heard from a democrat and republican senator. who do you think has the upperhand in this situation? what are the pros and cons of pelosi hanging onto these articles? >> i have seen nancy pelosi in action for several years but nothing touches the way she's handled herself as speaker of the house the last year. so i'm not going to underestimate her, that's for sure. i understand what she's doing, as long as they present the articles of impeachment to the house on january 6th when they come back from session -- from break, rather. the reason is i think she likes having this conversation out there right now, and she knows how to play donald trump better than anyone. and donald trump is just spinning out there and he's
going to be away for two weeks and who knows what he's going to do on twitter and lash out on next. i actually think there's a good strad i go here. again, she has to avoid looking too political, which means come january 6th those articles have to be sent. >> wait, does that mean you think they're spending christmas eve and new year's eve chatting amongst each other, sending emails and trying to negotiate? is that how they're spending -- >> no, no -- well, whatever mitch mcconnell is doing and chuck schumer are doing are separate. but i think donald trump is sitting there always sitting there quietly trying to -- maybe not quietly, but typing away on twitter. >> well that, yes. >> there will be some negotiations. i don't know if it's going to make a huge difference in the end result because everything is so divided but i think it's not unwise what she did have this be the subject matter for the next two weeks. >> who do you think blinks first, mcconnell or pelosi? >> i don't know who's going to blink first but i agree with susan that this is a smart move. let's day a deep breath.
we're only four days away from the house passing impeachment proceedings. the house and senate are in recess. the president is at mar-a-lago. nothing is trying. the trial won't happen for several weeks. it's not unreasonable what the speaker is doing. she needs to appoint her impeachment managers, those are essentially prosecutors, and she wants to understand what kind of venue the prosecutors are going to be trying a case in. is it going to be fair? i find this whole thing a little laughable in the sebs of these process arguments. for months we've heard from trump and his allies, the process is going way fast, we need to slow this down, we need more witnesses. that's exactly what the speaker is saying. we need to hear from more witnesses and now senate republicans are saying, no, no, no, we need to move this faster. there's a lot of irony going on here. >> let's take a listen to what house intel committee chair adam
schiff said in an interview on friday. >> if you are called to testify, will you? >> there's no basis to call me as a witness and i think mcconnell and republicans have recognized that. the only -- you know, the only reason to even put me on a list is because donald trump thinks it's a good rhetorical attack. the reason they would like to call me as a witness is to have a chance to attack me. nothing more. >> any chance, chris, there would be a compromise here, that, you know, republicans would say, okay, democrats, you can call the likes of who you want to, be it mulvaney or bolton and we want to call schiff, biden and even the whistle-blower, potentially. might that happen? >> i agree with adam schiff on this. this is kind of a big political game here. i don't think they want to call adam schiff, and they certainly don't want to call joe biden. frankly, if the trade were on the table to call those two people in exchange for pompeo and mulvaney and bolton, that's
a trade democrats would take any day. we know those three people have firsthand knowledge. the truth of the matter is this, if those three people can exonerate donald trump, you sure as heck believe he would have had them testify in the house proceedings. he has put out evidence that he thinks is helpful to him and he's withheld everything that's damaging to him. trust me, if that were a deal, and i don't think that's a deal that would be offered, i think that's a deal democrats would happily take. >> at what point, susan, would republicans turn on the. the? do you think there is anything that could happen in this trial that could sway them? >> no. most -- well, i shouldn't say no. i think there are a few republicans that could change -- or could go into this with an open mind and listen to the evidence presented and think that the president did something wrong. at least if we even just hear what's been presented so far. but chris makes a really good point. this is a political back and forth right now as far as witnesses being called.
so i think the republicans who may have some inclination to hear the case are going to keep their powder dry and not bring it up at all. but i think you could see as many as four or five republicans vote for conviction. it won't mean that the president is forced out of office, but i think you could see the majority meaning 51 plus vote for conviction. >> can i ask each of you predictions in terms of witnesses, yes or no witnesses real quick. susan, you first? >> nope. >> chris. >> no, no witnesses. >> okay. unanimous agreement. guys, good to see you. happy holidays. thank you so much. he caught a lot of flack from fellow evangelicals after calling for president trump's removal. does he have any regrets about his stinging column? i'll be talking with christianity today's mark galli in a few minutes. lli in a few minutes ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans
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powered by our gig-speed network. because beyond technology... there is human ingenuity. every day, comcast business is helping businesses go beyond the expected. to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. good day, everyone. from msnbc world headquarters, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." impeachment roiling both parties today and the headlines of the sunday talk shows. let's take a look at those. >> we have a situation here that, to me, is very simple. you're going to have a trial. have the firsthand witnesses. if you're not, have acting chief of staff mulvaney come before the senate. swear to an oath. settle this whole thing. >> i think that right now the west wing of the white house is understanding the reason this president is being impeached is because he's winning in so many ways.
>> i wish it had not been just a partisan vote. somebody will yell at me for saying that. i don't think this is a good time in our country's history, but we do all take an oath of office that requires us to protect our democracy and our national security. >> what i really want to see, though, is to fill in the gaps. there are gaps. now, people can make up their mind with gaps in testimony, but i would like to see a full and complete picture. and we don't have that because the president has refused to have his people come and testify and deliver documents. >> the case is pretty thin that the house is sending over us, if they ever send it over to us. >> i think it's a mistake on the speaker's part. i think this is pretty political anyway, and this is sort of the icing on the political cake. >> none of us are happy about this. as a guy that's a big competitor, i want to beat donald trump, i want to face him down on a debate floor. this is not something i want to do. yeah, i'm going to evaluate the facts objectively and honor the oath i swore, even though i
think donald trump has violated his oaths of office. >> what speaker pelosi is doing is focusing attention on the need for a fair trial. a fair trial means you get to call your witnesses. >> we get to bring in today's new developments on the impeachment with reporters and expert analysts. this hour's big headline, the battle over the impeachment trial intensifying and spilling into the congressional recess with nancy pelosi potentially holding the articles of impeachment until the senate defines rules for that trial. here's what senators from both sides much the aisles have said just a short time ago. >> i've actually heard some constitutional scholars suggest you're not impeached until the house sends the articles over. i don't know that it's a distinction worth arguing about. the house will send the articles over. we are going to hear this case. both from the house managers and the president's counsel.
i would argue with the president's counsel. for the first time they get to make their case. i actually think this is a mistake for the speaker to continue to dwell on this issue. i don't think it's worked out that well for them politically. >> the conduct we're talking about from president trump has no parallel in the conduct of anything that president obama or president bush did. and his claim of absolute immunity is unprecedented. she is focusing a spotlight on the need to have a fair trial in the united states senate. it's essentially necessary when you have senator mcconnell, who you quoted earlier, saying publicly that he's not going to be an impartial juror, even though that's what the oath will require. i think what speaker pelosi is doing is focusing attention on the need for a fair trial and a fair trial means you get to call your witnesses. every american knows that's what a trial so all about. >> there's also some new reaction from the white house.
nbc's hans nichols has that for us. hans is following the president in florida where he is spending the holiday. welcome to you, my friend. what all is the white house saying about this? >> when you listen to what the white house is saying on the sunday shows, they're trying to point out that nancy pelosi can't have it both ways. she can't claim impeachment is urgent, which is one of the reasons she claimed she needed to do it in september. and then delay transmitting the articles. so, have a listen to how white house officials talked about it on the sunday shows this morning. >> i think she overplayed her hand. i think they don't have a case and it's so very clear and she knows when it gets over to the senate, there will be actual evidence introduced and actual witnesses that will show even more that this president did nothing wrong. >> i'm confident this position is untenable and she'll move it along and mick cconnell and sch reach a deal. >> reporter: on the idea there's
a deal out there to be head, when you listen to democratic and republican senators -- more importantly, what democratic senators said this morning, it seemed they were hinting there's likely to be some sort of undoing of this impasse and they'll eventually come to some sort of terms. whether that means actual witnesses will be called, it's unclear. i think what we didn't hear is red lines from either side. even the white house says they're open to calling witnesses. mark short that's what he has been open about, calling witnesses. one thing i would zero in on the language from mark short saying the president wants to be exonerated. a full exoneration means you're in a full trial phase, not a short trial phase. that means you could potentially have witnesses, at least the white house is keeping that option open. >> sounds to me like a lot of mixed messages at this point. time will straighten them out for sure, and so will you, hans nichols, for us. thank you. joining me, natasha bertrand,
msnbc contributor. that is not natasha but we'll get her in a moment. i do want to follow up on what we heard there from the white house. mark short saying this is unattainab unattainable. that pelosi is overplaying her hand. what is your reaction to that? >> i think they're not used to the democrats playing hard ball here. nancy pelosi is challenging something that mitch mcconnell has been known for, which is being the grim ripper, someone who defies precedent. nancy pelosi is taking advantage of really the lack of instruction the constitution provides on this issue and saying, look, unless there is a fair trial in the senate, unless rules are put forward here, we won't send our impeachment managers to the senate for some kind of ambush, for some kind of faux trial that pretty much exonerates the president without holding him accountable in some
meaningful way. this entire impeachment process she doesn't want to throw away once the senate meets. mitch mcconnell, she wants to keep the attention on him because she wants to show that he has already declared himself to not be an impartial juror and she wants him to feel pressure from the president also who is very eager to have this trial and present his own case, et cetera, and have the republicans who support him really unconditionally exonerate him. she's playing hard ball in a way mitch mcconnell has for years and finally it's her turn. >> i made that comment to hans, mixed messages. mixed strategies as well. you heard stephanie grisham say once the process moves to the senate, there will will be witnesses to exonerate the president. you have some republican lawmakers saying they do not want witnesses. what do you make of that? >> i heard that from stephanie
grisham. i have no idea where she is getting that. the white house wants to -- trump wants to call witnesses like hunter biden, wants to call the whistle-blower, et cetera. >> wouldn't she be getting it from him? wouldn't the president be saying, i want witnesses, get that out there? >> right. but you would also think the guy running it, mitch mcconnell, has been saying, we want to get this over quickly. apparently he has not been he convincing because he's been telling aides and allies, a, he wants a full trial and, b, he wants these witnesses to go out there. they're not in lock step and that is creating discord. mcconnell and schumer have not hammered anything out and congress has left for the holiday. so when we come back in january, it remains to be seen what's going to be happening. >> freelance journalist laura bassett is going to join us. congressman dingell was asked how long speaker pelosi is
expected to delay this. >> i don't know what the time frame will be, but i would like to remind people that when president clinton was impeached, he was impeached on december 19th and the managers were not appointed until january 6th. the congress doesn't return until january 6th. the speaker is trying to do -- is to ensure there will be a fair trial. senator schumer is trying to work with senator mcconnell to make sure there's a fair hearing, but it will move. >> so, is it a foregone conclusion this is moving forward regardless of the terms? if that's the case, why delay it? i'm been trying to figure out, what's going to happen in the next two weeks that changes things so january 6th when congress returns from the break they're able to say, now we're giving you the articles of impeachment? >> i doubt anything moves before january 6th. and i think pelosi can delay it indefinitely.
i think she can delay it as long as she wants. it's interesting. she's putting trump in a very bad position. she knows it because it's driving him insane, the idea that the house would impeach him and there would never be a senate trial to exonerate him. he's desperate for a senate trial. and i think pelosi knows that so she's holding all the cards right now. and mcconnell is pretending like, i don't care if we have a trial or not. this is your thing. and so it's unclear whether mcconnell will capitulate to her demands but i think we'll see pelosi play hard ball for a little longer. she seems to be toying with them a little bit. >> you heard the congresswoman say mcconnell and schumer continue to negotiate. do you think democrats will get any concessions from republicans, laura? >> i would be shocked. i don't think mcconnell is going to budge on this. he made it extremely clear it's going to be a sham trial, it will last two weeks, he's not bricking any witnesses and he's cooperating with the white house. i don't think mcconnell has any
reason to compromise with pelosi right now. >> let's get to the day's other big headline. newly released documents with critical information on one of the key aspects of the democrats' case for impeachment. it cites an email among 146 pages of doj released documents that mentions the hold on ukraine funding just two hours immediately following that july 25th call between president trump and vladimir putputin vol. in a statement an omb spokesperson says it's reckless to tie the funding to that july 25th call. the decision was announced july 18th. here's vice president pence's chief of staff on this matter. >> can you explain the disparity between the july 18th proclamation and what appears to be a july 25th email from a budget official to the pentagon saying, make sure this freeze happens and, by the way, keep this on the downlow? >> let's step back. this administration has provided
lethal aid to ukraine. the previous administration sent blankets to ukraine. yes, there was a delay. there's nothing new in these emails about the timing. there was a lot of emails back and forth exchanges about timing of this. >> really? the question of the timeline, is that significant? mark short is saying, nothing new about it. is that true? >> i think it is really significant because we heard from lieutenant colonel vindman that he had been hearing as early as june from people in the pentagon from the interagency committee who deal with ukraine that this hold was in the works, that there was something that was going to hold up ukraine aid. he wasn't quite sure what that was or why it was happening. what these emails show is the trigger to withhold the aid seems to have been pulled about 90 minutes after trump had that phone call with zelensky. now, that doesn't make a ton of sense because zelensky was reassuring him he would do these investigations, et cetera. maybe trump wasn't satisfied with that. the thing that jumped out to me
from those emails as well is the fact that this official was saying, keep this close hold. this is sensitive. they seem to realize this was a political matter and if it leaked out, it would look really bad for the white house. >> can we pull up for that full screen? we can put verbatim what was said by duffy. given the sensitive nature of the request, i appreciate you keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction. what do you make of that? >> i think this completely crushes the gop position that it was a perfect phone call, he was trying to put america first and investigate corruption. it was clear the corruption was happening at the hand of president trump. >> thank you. happy holidays. some evangelicals rushing to the president's defense after a critical op-ed in a christian
>> republicans defending the president on the issue of morality following a blistering op-ed in the magazine "christianity today" which called for the president's removal over his actions on ukraine. joining me now is mark galli, the writer of that op-ed, editor-in-chief of "christianity today." a welcome to you. you sure have stirred things up so let's get into it. >> yeah. >> your reaction, your fellow evangelicals saying the ends justify the means even though the means of this president may be crude. what's your reaction to that? >> well, of course, a great deal of politics is about ends and means and it would be a little hypocritical of me to criticize of them to let the ends justify the means when most of our political decisions were balancing one thing off another. all i'm arguing for in this editorial in this particular instance the support of the president -- the good thing he does for the -- for evangelical
concerns. i'm profoundly pro-life. i think it's grateful for what he's done for that, but i came to the conclusion during the impeachment hearings that some sort of line had been crossed and i could no longer ignore -- just ignore his public record. his moral public record. >> so, when you talk about his support for pro-life, are those the reasons we heard senator blunt and marc short saying he's the best president that ee ven gal c evangelicals have ever had? is it that singular issue or why -- >> no, no. >> okay, go ahead. >> this -- books have been written about this topic. that might be the most presenting issue, religious freedom for christians overseas might be another. frankly, the economy is another. i mean, there's dozens of reasons that are going on in any particular person's mind when they're talking about supporting this candidate or this president or that.
so, i don't want to question the motives of my evangelical brothers. what i'm suggesting is that what they're doing is now gone beyond on the one hand/the other hand. it's damaging the reputation of the church, the reputation of the gospel. and i want them to think about it more deeply. are you really -- in the long run, is this going to help all the other causes that you are passionate about or harm them? in my judgment, it's going to harm them. >> you've gotten a lot of pushback about this. have others come to your defense privately if not publicly? >> oh, yeah. i'm extremely grateful for the amount of affirmation. probably a typical -- stereotypical response is, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, with a string of a hundred excla make points. you said what i've been thinking but haven't been able to articulate. i'm not crazy.
and "christianity today," we have lost subscribers but we've had three times as many people start to describe. >> why do you think you've lost describers? i mean, what is the nature of the pushback you've gotten? what has been the line of assault against you in the wake of this op-ed? >> well, on the one hand, some thought it was too political. i can think of ways i could have phrased it differently to make sure people understood. i wasn't making a political argument. i was trying to make a moral argument. for others there is a deep and profound attachment to the president. unfortunately, some of my brothers and sisters considered him anointed by the lord and what i would consider extreme language in that regard. and for others to simply criticize a sitting president is bad form also. >> so, when you have colleagues of yours in the evangelical community who think trump was anointed by the lord, did they think the same way of barack obama? >> some of the more even-handed
ones, yeah. because we are called by scripture to respect those in authority. we don't have to agree with them but we are called to respect them because no one puts them there other than the sovereignty of god. evangelicals are not as consistent as they might be. i don't know that they would have said that about barack obama. many of them. >> i guess god then picks and chooses apparently with when he wants to be involved in a political election? i don't know. again, there's not a lot of uniformity. >> that is not a theological point one can expand on in a television interview, but there is some mysterious way we believe god is sovereign over our world. he is a god of love and grace, fundamentally. and so that's -- that's all i can say at this point. it is a deep and mysterious doctrine we believe in, for sure. >> may i ask you, is there a sense with those who have not
approved of what you wrote, is there a sense they're prioritizing policy over morality relative to this president? >> now, to be fair to them, they would say no, they're not doing that. it is my judgment they may be doing that and i'm asking them to think about that. that's something i'd like -- i'd be happy to sit down and arm wrestle with them about. i'm hoping this will start a conversation in that vein. >> i want to play a little bit of what congressman john lewis had to say on the house floor. let's take a listen to that. >> when you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to assess something, to do something. our children and their children ask us, what did you do? >> so, the reaction of the evangelicals, does it stand up to a basic standard of wrong
versus right? >> in some respects. again, the argument about that has to be fairly nuanced but i think that's the final point of my article is we crossed a line somewhere, especially in light of the recent impeachment hearings, that we are sacrificing a great deal of the good we're called to do and believe in. if we don't at least say in front of god and everybody, in terms of his public character, donald trump is a serious problem and no longer fit for office on those moral grounds alone. >> can i ask you about the president's job approval? i'm sure you've seen the numbers among white evangelicals, that's off the charts at 75%. compared to 42% in the country. what would it take for the white ivevangelical community to brea with president trump? is there a line they will cross and not stay with him? >> that's a really good question.
i haven't given that much thought. in one respect their support has been pretty consistent. since the eisenhower days they've been 50%, 60% in favor of the republicans. perhaps if it came to the level of what richard nixon did because there was a lot of conservative support over nixon up until a number of revelations took place that he really abused the power of his office. it was only at that point they basically turned. and maybe if there are senate hearings and even more evidence comes forth that is troubling, maybe that would turn it. but i think we're in a different era. i am not as convinced as i might have been at one time that people are open to evidence and argument as we have been in the past. i hope so. but i hope we can in the future. >> that's a thought-provoking concept. too much to discuss on
television but thank you for your time, mark galli. >> thank you. is nancy pelosi inviting trouble by having president trump deliver a state of the union? that's next. union? that's next. come. we're about to begin. yeah! i'm a magic cat. i love it. and now for the icing on the cake. [ hiss ] 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. liberty. ♪ does scrubbing grease feel like a workout? scrub less with dawn ultra. it's superior grease-cleaning formula gets to work faster.
new reaction in the battle over the impeachment trial. what comes next as nancy pelosi delays the delivery of the articles of impeachment to the senate? here is don beyer. >> one of the big issues is will there be witnesses? mr. mcconnell pushed for witnesses in the clinton impeachment. andrew johnson, there were 40 bns witnesses. we would love to hear, we the american people would love to hear from people like bill barr and mike pompeo, rudy giuliani, people that were withheld, the president forbid from testifying before the u.s. house. >> joining me congresswoman barbara lee, member of the appropriations and budget committees. welcome back to the broadcast, ma'am. you heard congressman beyer. if democrats get their witnesses, does the white house then have an argument to then call adam schiff, to call the whistle-blower, hunter biden? i mean, can they decide to want call witnesses at all? but is it fair if one side gets
them, the other one should as well? >> well, first of all, we know what the deal is. if they want to call adam schiff or hunter biden, we know they're calling them to mount an attack on them. in fact, we would have to question whether or not that is fair. i think part of the issue we have to really recognize is we're talking about having a fair trial. and so that should be negotiated. and mitch mcconnell has said up front that he's going to coordinate with the white house, that he's going to run their agenda, he's going to protect donald trump and make sure he's exonerated. that's the issue. we have to insist and i think the speaker is absolutely correct in insisting that the rules of engagement, the rules of the trial be set forth and that they be fair before she sends over these articles. >> you know, the president has accepted the speaker's invitation to dlir the state of the union address on february 4th. given the timing, are you
worried the president will turn this just into an airing of grievances? >> you never know what this president is going to do. the speaker has the prerogative to issue the invitation to the people's house, for the state of the union. she did that. we never know what the president will say day to day, hour to hour, but the speaker, at least, exercising her responsibilities and dutieduties. >> let's talk about the democrats for the 2020 field. how do you feel about kamala harris leaving the field? >> we have to understand what took place during this cycle. look at how, first of all, money influences the political process, which i think is absolutely discriminatory and we have to get money out of politics. secondly, we have to look at how many candidates have been almost
in many respects made invisible through the media. when you look at some articles that were written, you would not have known senator harris was still running. again, money influences quite a bit of what took place. when you look at what happened at the last debate, for example, secretary castro, senator booker, senator harris. we did not even have the voices and the representation of -- other than andrew yang of the latino community, latinx community, and all other communities. racial equity and diversity is extremely important in the campaign and debates. >> 100%. andrew yang made that argument very succinctly. >> both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight. i miss kamala and cory, although i think cory will be back. >> when you look back to the
2018 midterms, are democrats alienating groups that took them over the finish line? >> democrats want to make sure that donald trump is not re-elected. we've seen how he abuses his power. he has obstructed congress. we know very well that we cannot tolerate another four years of this administration. and so democrats are going to come out of this convention unified, whoever the nominee is, because a lot is at stake, a lot is at risk. i believe that with senator harris in the mix early on that the voices of women and the voices of african-american women, especially, are going to be extremely important as we move out of the convention in terms of us winning this election. we want to make sure that this administration and the donald trump is no longer the president. >> when it comes to pointing fingers or figuring out who's
responsible or the lack of representation on that stage, cory booker has pointed straight at the dnc and said the rules they have put forth for the candidates to make the debate stage is what is infringing on those of color and reports are that the dnc rules are going to be even more strict so there will be fewer kaecandidates fore next debate. should you be talking to the dnc? >> i'm a member of the dnc and a lot of us have issues with the dnc. fortunately, we have women, we have women of color, we have african-american women in there fighting to make sure these debates are as broad as required. and so i disagree with many of the rules that have been established. we have to make sure that we fight to get our dnc as a democrat, of course, and a member of the dnc to make sure these rules are fair. we saw after the last debate that that my perspective as a dnc member, they really did knock out the voices of senator
castro and booker and, of course, kamala harris. they should have had the opportunity to be part of those debates. >> congresswoman barbara lee, wishing happy holidays to my fellow california girl. good to see you. >> thank you. happy holidays to you. falling in line, how president trump keeps republican lawmakers firmly on his side and the political consequences for those who challenge him. one republican who's doing just that in the primary next year is going to join me after the break. there he is, william weld. e he . create your own ultimate feast
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now to campaign 2020 and 43 days until the iowa caucuses. fewer than half of the candidates are out on the trail right now. senator elizabeth warren is campaigning in her home state of oklahoma. governor bernie sanders and duval patrick are in new hampshire. most of the 2020 hopefuls, though, are blitzing iowa. joe biden, cory booker, amy klobuchar, mayor pete buttigieg are making rounds there. josh lederman is in indianola and ali vitali is in harlan. what are voters saying about this last week with pete buttigieg? >> reporter: pete buttigieg supporters are in circle the wagon mode after he's been under fire from all sides, taking a lot of attacks in that most
recent democratic debate. particularly given his front-runner status here in iowa where he's been polling in first place. we've been talking to voters as they come in here, some undecided, some already committing to caucus for pete buttigieg. we wanted to know specifically about this spat that has emerged between pete buttigieg and elizabeth warren over wealthy donors, a fund-raiser he had in a wine cave and whether voters felt that was the kind of fight democrats should be having amongst themselves right now. take a listen to what they had to say. what do you make of this fight between elizabeth warren and pete buttigieg over wine caves and wealthy donors, do you think that's a good fight for democrats to be having right now? >> no, i think we need to be focusing on the presidency in 2020 and don't worry about donor and pettiness like that. >> i was hoping there won't be all the negative campaigning we've grown so used to over the last years. and it just turns me off as a voter.
>> reporter: pete buttigieg about to take the stage here in warren county, which has been a focus for democrats because in 2008, president obama actually won this county by just over 100 votes but in the two presidential elections since it's gone republican, democrats hoping with the right candidate they can take it back in 2020. >> all right. keeping an eye on warren county and pete buttigieg. let's go to ali vitali in harlan, iowa. i know you've been on senator klobuchar's bus all morning. did you get a chance to talk to her? if so, what did she tell you? >> reporter: we jumped on the big green campaign bus amy klobuchar has been driving around iowa. we were with her for 30 minutes between audubon and harlan. it was a wide-ranging focus but she has done stops in almost 90 counties here. by the end of the day she'll be just shy of those 99. that's bragging rights but good old-fashioned campaigning.
that's something fueling amy klobuchar's slow climb in iowa, just trying to chip away and gain the votes before iowa caucuses in february. we know impeachment is coming to the senate, and with that means it might be a little harder for her to be on the ground as consistently as she has in iowa. we talked about that. listen to what she told me. >> i've also said it in leadership meetings. i'm in leadership in senate. i was the only presidential candidate in the room with senator schumer and others and the few of us, i said, look, i'm not going to change anything. i think we should have the trial that is the best. we should get the most witnesses we can. and the chips will fall where they may. when you've got a situation where 64% of republicans in the latest poll say that these witnesses should testify, all the president's men, the people closest to the president, i think it's pretty clear where the american people are. they want to see the witnesses.
>> reporter: now, alex, we don't know what that trial is going to look like or how long it will last. it makes it hard to plan around. amy klobuchar pretty clear that she's not going to let her responsibilities in the senate get into the way of the campaigning that she's also trying to do here in iowa. she's determined to do both at the same time, even telling me at one point that if it means flying in late at night or doing late night campaigning, even skyping is an option as she tries to juggle both of these two activities here in the coming weeks in iowa. >> okay. josh, i want to thank you for showing up and ali. get a selfie of you and albert the bull because that's a conversation-starter around the christmas table. all right, guys, for three years republican lawmakers have defended the president and his controversial actions and a new detail tells us how. by sending the message any opposition is an invite to,
quote, the president's wrath and a premature end to a career in republican politics. joining me is former massachusetts governor, william weld. bill weld, awfully good to have you here. let's get into this. >> thank you, alex. >> you were the first republican to launch a primary challenge against this president. are you concerned at all that your political career in the future within the republican party could be damaged if you fail to beat this president in the primary? and we should note, you've had an illustrious career already, so that's why i said your future in the political party. >> well, i'm doing this for the good of the country, alex. i think it's important that the republican party and the country as a whole not continue to remain in the sway under the yoke of donald trump. i've almost run for president twice before, so i certainly feel up to the job and basically i think it's important for republicans and independent or undeclared voters to understand
that there is an alternative to donald trump in the republican primaries and that's a two-term republican governor who's a proven and economic fiscal conservative. that would be me. so, no, i'm not worried about anything. >> can i read the title of this "new york times" article again. it reads, fear and loyalty. how donald trump took over the republican party. why do you believe that trump is, in a way, the hill that they are willing to die on because the party keeps defending what some call the indefensible? >> i don't know whether it's stockholm syndrome, people identifying with their captor, but i thought former senator flake of arizona wrote a very good piece recently where he said, if ever there was a time to put country over party, he was addressing his former colleagues and republican senators, ever time to put country over party, it is now and if you do that, addressing the senators, you might just save the grand old party,
meaning the republican party, before it's too late. i agree with his implied premise there, which is that if the republicans submit their next to the yoke of donald trump and march in lockstep to defend him irrespective of the evidence, they're going to go down in droves. i've seen this movie before. i saw the congressman who defended nixon all summer long, they all lost when they faced the voters at the polls the next year because they looked like fools. >> so, you're saying if republicans vote to put donald trump back into office, the republican party itself, essential as you know it, it can't be saved, it's gone? can it bounce back? >> well, what i was actually saying is if the republican senators march in lockstep behind trump irrespective of the evidence at the trial, those who are up next year -- >> let's talk about the 63 million or so that choose to vote again for this president, i mean, is the republican party now the republican party that you were a part of when you ascended to your term as governor of massachusetts, which was the most democratic state in
this union and yet you served as a republican governor there fairly effectively. >> yeah, i think two things. i think if mr. trump is either removed from office by the senators or loses in november of 2020 and, by the way, i think he will lose that election if he is the nominee because there are more nice people in this country than not nice people and mr. trump is not a nice person. i think if he is gone off the stage by november of 2020, everyone will say, oh, boy, thank goodness that's over. let's get on with our lives now. if he gets back in in november of 2020, his chief strategist, steve bannon, has said, you're going to see four years of unrequieted payback. mr. trump himself has said typically belidge rant -- said, if i don't get re-elected, there's going to be a civil war. that's going to be an ugly picture. i think at the very least the republican party would split in
half the way the wigs did so the republican party would no longer exist the way we know it. >> william weld, thank you for your your time and happy holidays. >> thank you. next, why a 2020 candidate is getting criticism from fellow democrats and praise from president trump. president trump. (man) you take care of yourself. (elderly woman) oh, thank you so much. (elderly man 1) i'll be alright. (man) ok. (elderly man 1) ok. (man) ok george, see you again soon. (elderly man 2) bye bye. (elderly man 3) ah dell, and you brought the family this time! (vo) it feels good to help those in need. you can choose meals on wheels to get two hundred and fifty dollars from subaru when you get a new subaru, like the all new outback. (vo 2) get 0.9% on a new outback during the subaru share the love event. fred would do anything for his daughter! get in fred! even if it means being the back half of a unicorn.
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she didn't vote the other day. i give her a lot of respect. i know one thing. she is not an agent of russia. >> how angry are democrats at tulsi gabbart? >> we're very angry. we're not surprised. tulsi has a strong relationship with asaad. she has done things that are an thet cal to the democratic party. hillary clinton was right. she got a little bit of criticism when she went on a podcast recently, and indicated that tulsi didn't name her name, but indicated somebody running in the race is an agent of russians. she's right. whether or not tulsi is cooperating or not, we don't know, but she is being propped up but the russia propaganda
machine. russia today, all the different outlets. she's received donations from sympathetic putin supporters here in the united states. so whether or not hillary clinton -- i'm sorry, whether or not tulsi realizes it, she's somebody the russians are propping up. >> don, what's your reaction or how do you think voters are going to react to her voting present on impeachment. was it a good move on her part? >> no. it wasn't good move. tulsi at that point, i disagree with adrian. i don't find democrats are quote unquote angry with her as much as i find we think she's ridiculous. but i will fully agree in that i don't know that she sits in a smoke-filled room and has an encrypted line in which she speaks with vladimir putin, but she certainly is the person in this race who agent provocateurs are using to throw all types of just confusion into the matter. it's unfortunate, because she came into congress four or six, i don't remember, a few years
ago as a bright light. people even spoke of her becoming a senator from hawaii one day. she came in with promise and is disappointing to see what she's become. charlie, a new poll shows how the top four democratic 2020 candidates are ranking. all close. does this surprise you at this stage? >> not really. it is still very, very early. but i also think that this is one of those ant ek dotes to democrats, they think no matter who they nominate, the president will go down. the president has a political party that is in lock step behind him. he's going to have the congressional party behind him and a lot of money. this is, again, maybe a little bit of a wakeup call that this is not going to be a slam dunk, that donald trump is going to take this right down to the wire. >> adrian, what do you make of the poll numbers? >> i think charlie is right.
any democrat who looks at the poll numbers and says this is a slam dunk, we're going to win the election. we can put five or six or seven candidates against donald trump and the candidates are going to win. the polls reflect that that's wrong. keep can in mind that donald trump's campaign really hasn't started spending the vast amount of money they've raised. we'll start seeing that happen next year. they are sitting on a large war chest. we also have to keep in mind the donald trump's campaign will do anything to win. that includes voter suppression. anybody who looks at the polls and says gosh, you know, democrats have got this in the bag, completely false. it's going to be a close election. it's going to come down to the wire informal every vote is going to matter. >> i want to let you guys -- i'm going to recap what a historian who has predicted every presidential election since 1984, what he told my colleague earlier about his prediction for 2020. he says that impeachment does turn one of the keys to the white house, but it's not enough yet to predict the president's
defeat. forget the polls and pundits. the election is too close to call right now. charlie, do you agree with that at this point? >> yes. i do. i'm sitting here in wisconsin right now. we're going to be one of the battle ground states. and this state right now like a lot of the other key states is right on the razor's edge. i certainly wouldn't assume that this thing is in the bag. and i think this is something democrats need to keep in mind. my sense is looking at the polls they are focussed on electability rather than purity, but it will be decided in a hand full of states. >> okay. listen. that's a wrap for me. i'm a little bit heavy. don, you get to go first next time. thanks, guys. coming up why new ominous satellite images from north korea are raising the concern about what kim jong-un is up to. that's ahead. when you shop with wayfair,
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just a little bit of time to say to my friend kendis gibson, happy holidays. >> happy holidays to you and your mom who i know is in town. i hope you guys enjoy. >> thank you. >> hello, everybody. i'm kendis gibson right here live in new york. new documents revealing how long aid was withheld from ukraine half president trump's july phone call. despite the revelations, the next steps for impeachment are still in limbo with no break in the stalemate between pelosi and