tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN September 19, 2019 3:00am-4:00am PDT
complaint. "the washington post" reports the president made a promise that was so troubling to this official, that it prompted that official to come forward to report it. according to "the washington post," white house records show that president trump spoke with at least five heads to state in the weeks before this complaint was filed. >> including just for the record, you see it right there, vladimir putin. now the inspector general said the complaint was credible and of urgent concern. that language is crucial. it meets a crucial legal threshold. and the person using it is a trump appointee. still, the acting director of national intelligence has refused to turn the complaint over to congress. in just a few hours, that inspector general will brief the intelligence committee behind closed doors we assume on the complaint while the acting director of national intelligence joseph maguire has now agreed to testify in open
session next week. joining us now is greg miller. he's a correspondent for "the washington post" who cowrote this fascinating story. let me read more. trump's interaction with a foreign leader included a promise that was recorded as so troubling that an official filed a formal whistle-blower complaint for the intelligence community. speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. a promise made to a foreign official. what does that mean? >> yeah, that's the big question right now. i mean, we didn't completely solve this mystery, but what our story did was establish that this whole controversy centers again on the actions of trump himself. it's not clear what he pledged or what he offered to deliver to
this country. that's something that we are still pursuing. >> and you say to this country again, we threw it up on the screen there, you talked about to whom this promise was made. we don't know for sure, but you do know which leaders he was speaking with in the weeks prior to this, correct? >> yeah. and two of the suspects here are vladimir putin of russia and kim jong-un of north korea. so he had spoken with putin at the very end of july and after that call the russian government gave a very interesting readout of the call in which they indicated they sort of expected to have fully normalized relations with the united states again. and then, you know, this call also comes around the same time when trump is saying strange things about his concerns about the cia spying on north korea and that upsetting the north korean leader and that he would
not allow that to happen on his watch as president. >> okay. so this complaint, this concern was raised with the intelligence community inspector general. a trump appointee who then determined and did what? >> well, so that's right. that's an important step here because this is a complaint registered or filed by an employee of one of our nation's intelligence services. but then immediately it is evaluated by the inspector general as you mention a trump appointee who deemed it an urgent concern. right? he sees this as credible and worrisome enough that it meats a threshold that he believes requires immediate notification to congress. and that's where things get messy. that is where the director of intelligence, the acting
director joseph maguire steps in and starting is scrambling and consulting others in the administration and officials at the justice department and puts the brakes on this process. and that's sort of where we are now and why this has blown up into a big controversy. >> on what basis has and did the dni refuse to turn this information over to congress to date? because the law says if the inspector general deems this matter to be of urgent concern, that is specific language, then the information is turned over to congress. >> so the dni, the director of national intelligence, is basically disputing that this meets that legal threshold saying in part this doesn't involve an employee who answers to me or who works for one of our intelligence services. this is somebody outside the intelligence community. and therefore, this doesn't fall within my jurisdiction or our
jurisdiction. it's not up to us to notify congress. we've also suggested that this might trip on executive privilege argument which always points to the president or senior officials at the white house. >> it is interesting to me because as we know the president does have power to declassify information. we also know the president has been loose with classified information. he just has. this has been an issue dating back to oval office meetings with the russian ambassador. he tweeted maps from iran. but there is a distinction here, maybe, and it may be an important one between classified information and a promise. this may not be the divulging of classified information. this was something that was promised of such national security concern that this person went to the inspector general. sfl ye >> yeah. and so what is that? is that promises the suspension of u.s. intelligence operation?
is that promising an explanation or insight into how the united states gets some of its most precious secrets? it has to be something troubling enough that it not only triggers this complaint but then prompts the inspector general regarded as so urgent and concerning that congress needs to know about it. >> that's right. a trump appointee deems it of such urgent concern. greg miller, thank you for helping us understand this reporting. terrific work. >> joining us now is cnn national security analyst john turner. the former director of communications for u.s. national intelligence. john, thank you very much for being with us this morning. you just heard all of the reporting from "the washington post." what do you make of what we're finding out about this whistle-blower complaint? >> alisyn, i'm sorry, i missed your question. can you say that again? i had some feedback? >> just tell me your take on the
new details that we're learning this morning about the whistle-blower complaint. >> yeah, you know, look. and greg hit on a lot of this. if this promise was a promise that was made to a foreign leader primarily if it was made to vladimir putin, then that raises a lot of serious questions. here's my take on this. this was a matter that was so serious that a member of the intelligence community believed that they needed to go to the inspector general. and the reason i need to point that out to reiterate that is because people in the intelligence community understand the kinds of things that would trigger an inspector general investigation. this is not the kind of thing that would have to do with some sort of fraud, waste, or abuse. this would have to do with some sort of concern over national security, some sort of concern over the way that intelligence information is being used. and so, you know, as greg pointed out, this is of serious concern for the intelligence community.
primarily because it's been for a long time the intelligence community has been uncertain about the president's use of intelligence. how he's talked to other world leaders about intelligence matters. while he does have the ability to declassify absolutely anything, the inspector general would know that. and so that tells me that there's something more than a simple issue of declassification here. there's something of great concern. >> so then explain why the acting dni joseph maguire would not comply with the law that states that within one week of receiving this, he must transmit it to congress and their oversight committees. >> yeah. you know, that's particularly the cure. i've spent a lot of time with the intelligence community. ill a single instance in which the attorney general exercised his authority to validate a claim and then to notify members of congress in
particular the congressional intelligence committees about that claim. what the dni has done here is the dni has stepped in and without any authority made a claim that what the inspector general is authorized to do is something that he -- that the dni feels he can tell the inspector general not to do. that's of real concern here. because the schatatute is clear. it says the inspector general shall notify within seven days. there's absolutely nothing in the statute that gives the dni or the department of justice the authority to circumvent that notification. so i think there's a fight brewing here. the real question is, if this is a matter that did not rise to the level of urgency, then why didn't the dni say it's fine go ahead and notify members of congress. it's not a big deal. i'm sure they'll think it's not a big deal. instead what he's done is say this is not a matter of complete urgency, but i'm going to
protect this information. i'm going to conceal this information from members of congress. >> which is also the opposite of what the inspector general determined which is a quote, urgent concern. but i think the larger point is doesn't this sort of blow up the very nature of whistle-blower complaints? the whole point of a whistle-blower complaint and the way the statutes are written is that you don't need your boss' permission. you can't rely on your boss' permission. this is you are so concerned by something you've seen within your organization that of course you don't need your boss' permission to blow the whistle on this or you wouldn't be doing it. and so this -- the whole system is built so something like this doesn't happen. >> absolutely. we complain a lot about those instances in which individuals say they have a whistle-blower claim and don't go through the proper procedures in the
intelligence community. in this case you had an individual who did the absolute right thing. they raised this concern. so this has a chilling effect on the process, the proper process. and so for other individuals out there who have legitimate claims, legitimate concerns, they might think twice before going to the inspector general. and that's absolutely the opposite of what we would want to see in cases like this. >> thank you. a lot is going to happen with this case today and you're following it. >> i think you're exactly right a lot is going to happen today. i can't imagine the white house can stay silent on this for six hours. based on my forensic analysis of how he's. responded to news, there's no way he'll stay silent here. i'm very curious to see what he'll say about this. >> you're monitoring twitter so you'll be the first to know. political upheaval strikes one of the most visible leaders. justin trudeau under fire for this photo shows him dressed in
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what's the back story here? >> good morning. the photo is just jaw dropping. this guy built his political brand on being inclusive and that is what has a lot of people upset this morning. and we are getting new details about this in terms of what the prime minister -- remember he's in the middle of an election campaign right now saying he apologizes. now, there was a lot of contrition there, but look at what's behind the story. >> reporter: canadian prime minister justin trudeau asking for forgiveness. >> pissed off at myself, obviously. disappointed in myself and i'm apologizing to canadians >> reporter: after "time" magazine tweeted this photo showing him wearing brown face to an arabian nights themed party at a private school he taught in 2001. >> i dressed up in an aladdin costume and put makeup on. i shouldn't have done that.
i should have known better, but i didn't. and i'm sorry. >> reporter: the photo surfacing one week after he launched his bid for re-election. >> i stand here before canadians and will talk about the work we have to do to make a better continue country together. i'm going to continue to stay to tused on that and to fight intolerance and discrimination. >> reporter: some other canadian lawmakers slamming the prime minister. >> wearing brown face is open mockery and racism. it was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019. >> seeing this image is going to be hard for a lot of people. it's going to bring up a lot of pain. it's going to bring up a lot of hurt. >> reporter: in the past he's been accused of cultural appropriation. during a visit to india last year where the prime minister and his family dressed in traditional clothing. a move criticized and mocked. >> whether i'm wearing a
traditional clothing or a suit and tie has been extremely encouraging in the indo-canadian friendship. >> reporter: last month alabama governor kay ivy expressed, quote, genuine remorse for wearing black face in a skit while she was a college student in the 1960s. >> i offer my heart felt apologies for my participation in something from 52 years ago that i find deeply regrettable. >> reporter: and in february, virginia governor ralph northam apoll jieds then denied he wore black face in one and in a ku klux klan robe. northam refused to step down despite public pressure.
trudeau offering another. >> i didn't think it was racist at the time but now i realize it was something racist to do. and i'm deeply sorry. >> and of course more confessions here for the prime minister. also admitted that during high school he was impersonating harry belafonte and did black face there at a high school concert. we have an october 21st election. the issue here is authenticity. he put himself out there as someone who is inclusive. this is his political brand. and voters everywhere do not like that. do not present yourself as one thing. you know, one thing he didn't answer was when were you going to tell us about this? because he never said that he forgot this happened. he just didn't tell anyone that it happened for many years now. >> a tough re-election just got tougher for him. paula, thank you very much. we're getting new details this morning about what former national security adviser john bolton just had to say about the president behind closed doors.
one attendant said he was sait canning in the president's approach to several countries and didn't have anything positive to say about president trump. full stop. abby phillip is live with more on this. i know this was behind closed doors, but you get the sense he's not holding back. >> that's right. the not so cold war between president trump and his former national security adviser continues this week as john bolton unloads on president trump in this private meeting. now, a source who attended the meeting said that bolton did not name trump specifically but offered a scathing critique of the foreign policy led by president trump. specifically bolton was critical of trump's insistence in wanting to negotiate. he talked about the president's plan a couple of weeks ago to bring the taliban here to the
united states during the week in which it would have marked september 11th. bolton called that disrespectful. and we also know based on what sources told us at the time that the night before bolton resigned, he and president trump had a shouting match in the oval office over this very issue. now in this meeting with foreign policy experts yesterday, bolton made it clear that he felt like president trump's policy was emboldening iran. he blamed iran for drone strikes in the region and said that the president's unwillingness to respond to those attacks were simply emboldening the regime. so it's clear that bolton is not going quietly into the night. president trump for his part is also strongly criticizing john bolton saying they disagreed on a number of different issues. but beyond that, john, the two just sumply never got along. and i think it's clear now some of the reasons why some of them personal and many of them on the policy level. >> no doubt. both said this to a room full of
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! new this morning, iran's foreign minister threatening all-out war if saudi arabia or iran launches a strike. this is an exclusive. it comes after mike pompeo called the attack on saudi facilities an act of war.
nick paton walsh just interviewed iran's foreign mins minister. this is part of that interview. >> what would be the consequence of the strike on iran now? >> an all-out war. >> you make a serious statement. >> well, i make a serious statement about defending our country. i'm making a very serious statement that we don't want war, we don't want to engage in a military confrontation. we believe that a military confrontation based on deception is awful. we'll have a lot of casualties. but we won't blink to defend our territory. >> but yourself in saudi arabia's shoes. if there was an attack on iranian sovereign territory with cruise missiles launched from saudi arabia, what would iran's response be? >> well, they're making that up. why do they want to make that up that it was from iranian territory? the yemenis have announced
responsibility. they have provided information about that. they have answered all the saudi disinformation campaign about the fact that they launched this attack against saudi arabia in self-defense. now, they want to pin the blame on iran in order to achieve something. and that is why i'm saying this is agitation for war. because it's based on lies. it's based on deception. but you lie and deceive to serve your interest. it doesn't serve their interest. >> there is weakness to iran's denial to all this. this is the houthi rebels who say they were behind this. this was a rag tag group of rebels who have been under siege for years. they struggle to get medicines and food. that is part of your case why the war must stop. how is the world expected to believe they were able to magic up drones and cruise missiles of
this technology that flew across hundreds of miles of saudi arabia, through billions of dollars of defenses and took out 19 targets? that's a big ask for people to believe. >> well, you see, if you want to make your calculations based on this, saudi arabia should have been able to win this war against this group of besieged people. exactly when they thought they would four weeks after they started the war. but it's four and a half years. they have not been able to bring the yemenis to their knees. >> that is a different argument to resisting an invading army on the ground. it's different to getting technology out of nowhere, it seems, and managing to evade state of the art tens of billions of dollars. american assisted dens. that's a big argument. >> then you should go and find the problem with the state of the art american air defense. not with the houthis.
i mean, you believe that the united states is omnipotent and the united states military equipment are flawless. and that is why you're a bunch of people with no access to anything, cannot defeat that. but i can tell you, it's going to be news for you and it's going to continue to be news for you that people can do -- when they see kids killed and maimed. when they see their wives bombarded, their houses, their hospitals, their schools destroyed. that gives you a lot of creativity, a lot of tenacity to go and search for yourself. this is exactly how we did it. how do you think we built all of this? huh? how do you think we built the missile system that brought down a u.s. drone?
we were not supported by anybody. we were not given any equipment. we were not given any means of defending ourselves. we went through eight years of war. nobody gave us means of defense. >> you are very sure that the houthis did this. there is one major inconsistency. >> i am sure iran didn't do it. >> understood. but you say you believe the houthis did this. >> i believe the houthis made a statement that they did it. >> so you're not sure they did it. >> i cannot have any confidence that they did it because we just heard their statement. i know we didn't do it. i know that the houthis have made the statement that they -- >> they've shown you no proof. >> i heard that they issued, released some documents last night that they haven't been able to examine for myself. to show that they were able to
increase by jet engines. but i'm not an expert so i cannot say. >> but it puts you in a similar position to the government. and you would say the same thing about them. >> i'm not accusing anybody. >> yes. >> you can have a lot of accusations flying around based on who may benefit from this. iran doesn't have anything to benefit from this. iran wants security in the region. iran wants stability in the region. iran does not want war. they want an end to all wars. >> do you call on the houthis to release evidence to clear this? >> i think they did releess the evidence. but it's not up to us to ask the houthis. i think the houthis know what they did. and they know what they need to do. they released some evidence last
night. i think it is important for the saudi government to understand what they're trying to achieve. do they want to fight iran until the last american surge? is that their aim? because if that is the aim, this won't be the case. >> why? >> because iran will defend itself. >> reporter: does the saudi government want to fight iran to the last american soldier? you heard those words echoed. next hour he'll talk about the slim circumstances you might imagine where we'll see u.s. and iran back at the negotiating table. a big ask, alisyn. >> nick, thank you very much for sharing that interview with us. back to our top story. a whistle-blower has come forward from the intelligence committee. he heard something the president promised to a world leader that was so upsetting and so disturbing he's risking his job
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breaking news. cnn has learned it was president trump's communication with a foreign leader that led a u.s. intelligence official to file a whistle-blower complaint. "the washington post" reports that the president made a promise -- a promise that was so troubling to this official it prompted the official to report it and even more importantly it prompted the intelligence community inspector general a trump appointee to deem it was of urgent concern. joining us now, john avalon cnn political analyst and rachael bade for "the washington post." a trump appointee thinks this is of such concern congress needs to know. the question is what was the promise, to whom, and what does it say about the president's notion of intelligence? >> what it says about the president is that the president of the united states appears to be a security risk. the intelligence community is concerned that the president can't be trusted with classified
information. and occasionally it goes beyond that. this goes back to early days of the administration. when the president disclosed classified information to the russian foreign minister. and that began a pattern of deep distrust with the intelligence community. so this has been part of a larger pattern. here you also see another pattern. you have an acting dni, acting director of national intelligence caught in between the whistle-blower which can be confirmed by the inspector general. where is the accountability between the branches of government? will he be able to disclose what information is out there? because this "washington post" report is a bombshell and more information is needed for the oversight. >> we've been talking about how things might come out today. obviously there's a lot happening with this story. and the inspector general is going to capitol hill today to
appear in front of the house intelligence committee. what will he say about this? >> you know, i think john hit it right on the head there talking about the accountability and other branches of government. there's a legal requirement that whenever this sort of whistle-blowing happens and whenever this is given about top secret information like this that within seven days dni is supposed to notify congress of what the complaint was. that didn't happen after this came up in augds. lawmakers only heard about it a couple days ago. and adam schiff, he's furious about this. and today obviously the inspector general is going to be in front of him in a closed session. they're going to press him for more information about what this complaint was, who was trump talking to, what exactly did he say? but again, this shows this really breakdown of the system we've been seeing in washington for the past year and a half. and that is congress is trying
to do a bunch of oversight at the administration. a lot of these scandals coming out, the controversies. they're not able to do it. schiff has not been able to get answers. we'll see if he will today. the executive branch right now, they're just not following a lot of traditional procedures when it comes to checks and balances and different branches of government holding each other accountable. >> i do want to come back to the mystery promise in a second, john. but rachel, what you're saying here also plays into what we saw over the past two days on capitol hill with lewandowski. you have new reporting that nancy pelosi didn't like what she saw one bit. >> no, she told some lawmakers at a private meeting last night -- they were complaining how disrespectful lewandowski was to the committee on monday. and she said, look. if i was there i would have held him in contempt of congress right then and there. lawmakers had talked about that when, you know, lewandowski was dodging questions, when he was interrupting them, when he was
promoting his senate bid and his book sales. but they decided against it. you know, the committee wanted to keep the focus on the president and so they decided not to do that. although they could at a later date. but again, this just sort of highlights the challenge that the committee has really had in tries to hold out and show the public parts of the mueller case. that became the story. >> i almost held him in contempt yesterday here on "new day." >> if only you were vested with such powers. >> yes. i every day wish that. what did they learn? was there a lesson from the experience with corey lewandowski where moving forward if they want to consider doing this in public, they're going to adapt to, you know, reluctant witnesses? >> i don't know that there was a lesson. because everybody's taking something different. i talked to democrats yesterday who were upset about the circus-like atmosphere that it created. they said it made them look weak
because they didn't hold in contempt. i talked to pro-impeachment folks including jared huff mman who is a democrat and in support of the impeachment movements. he says hearing things like this, this is not going to change hearts and minds of the public. if the committee really wants to do this, they don't have a choice right now. they've got to get the witnesses they can actually get. and that sort of limits -- the administration has limited them in who they will allow them to speak with. you know, they went for lewandowski and they're going to try to grab others. >> i want to play a little sound for you back to the intelligence issue here which shows how the president might field about secrets. he's at the wall. >> one thing we haven't mentioned is technology. they're wired so we'll know if somebody is trying to break through. you may want to discuss that. >> there could be some merit in not discussing that. >> okay. i like that. >> points for honesty.
look, i think you see the extraordina exgeneral saying let's not go there. the cameras are on and that's classified. if he's a security risk is just one who stumbles into it through loose lips. but the implications are a lot more serious. and that's why there needs to be transparency. this isn't about schiff getting answers. it's about the american people getting answers. >> one last thing on this. the president uses an unsecure cell phone. at least he did until -- the last reporting we had on this was from maggie haberman. he uses an unsecure cell phone. >> what could possibly go wrong? this is against the backdrop of normalization. we're getting used to behavior that is irresponsible bordering on dangerous or people showing outright contempt for congress. it's being baked in the cake. that's a real danger. that's why there needs to be accountability. >> and one more thing. a foreign country knows what promise was made, but the united states, congress, no. >> and let's just remember just
a couple of years ago, you know, just a couple of years we were writing about, you know, hillary clinton and her email situation and how just some communications had some classified information on it. she wasn't sending that information to somebody abroad or a foreign official or anything like that. here you have the president saying something that is classified to, you know, a potentially foreign adversary scaring the intelligence community so much they're blowing the whistles internally. and again, this normalization that we're starting to see with these sorts of things. you know, a democrat said to me yesterday on the hill, if another president had had one of these scandals, they would have been impeached by now. >> i do remember when candidate donald trump seemed quite upset about what he was seeing with hillary clinton and times have changed. okay. thank you, all, very much. this morning cnn is getting some chilling new details about an airline mechanic accused of trying to sabotage a plane in miami before takeoff. prosecutors now say that he has ties to isis. in my line of work, i come face-to-face with a lot of behinds.
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may be sympathetic to terrorists. officials say he tried to damage or disable the system on a plane that reports critical data like speed and pitch. the pilots safely aborted their takeoff when they noticed that system error. political uncertainty this morning in israel. local media has projected that prime minister benjamin netanyahu is trailing his rival former army chief of office by just one seat overnight. netanyahu invited gantz to join him in a rotating premiership deal which has happened in israel before. gantz is expected to respond in the next 30 minutes. so a new poll is out on the democratic 2020 race. what it says about the top two challengers to front runner joe biden. we'll tell you about that next. be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright?
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second place. joe biden is at the top with 29%. joining us now is jess mcintosh. okay. so this is a fox poll just out. as we said, joe biden 29%. the rest 7% or lower. what do you see? >> i see a trend. we've been saying all year it is early. iowa is still four and a half months away which is several decades in the trump political news cycle. there are trends reinforced by this poll. one is that joe biden seems to have a ceiling and there is momentum around elizabeth warren. we have seen her climb the most out of anybody in the field in the last few months. i think enthusiasm has more to do with electability than we are currently giving it credit for. watching her get 20,000 people in washington square park is exciting. and the fact that those people
stay online for four hours to get a selfie with her, that's the kind of energy you want to see around a nominee. that's what makes people feel safe about supporting a candidate. when they realize that there's a lot of momentum around electing that person. i think as we start to talk about who is a safe candidate, i think we want to see people really fired up to support someone. >> here are the matchups at the moment. biden 52% to president trump's 38%. sanders 48% to president trump's 40%. warren 46% to president trump's 40%. harris 42% to 40%. >> so they're all electable. we see in poll after poll after poll every one of the top tier democratic candidates are capable of beating president trump. >> joe biden is twice what president trump is. >> absolutely. they can all prevail it is very early. it seems this has been the trend
so far that warren's gaining some ground. bernie seems to be in a solid second or third there. and biden hand consolidated that support. he's still sitting with the same support a year ago. >> i think the most interesting political story overnight is for massachusetts. joe kennedy the congressman, the young congressman is going to challenge the incumbent democratic senator ed markey. there's very little difference on the issue. i mean, i can't really name any issue. >> it doesn't make me popular in the democratic party, but i like primaries in blue seats. if it will keep in democratic hands, i think a primary makes candidates stronger. ed markey and joe kennedy are both very strong progressives.
it should be a conversation about ideas. it can be a place to have that generational conversation that we seem to be having all across the country in one -- so when we were doing it the best, i think it is a race that makes an incumbent work harder for the votes they want, get nor creative in the face of really serious political obstruction in the senate. it's not about what votes you take. it's about what kind of energy are you bringing to the office. what do you intend to do as we are living in odd political times right now. >> speaking of odd bedfellows, isn't it interesting that aoc has endorsed marquis. >> that happened before -- >> are you saying they would retract their endorsement? >> no. i think they made it clear they won't. ed markey is a progressive. i think this is going to be a fun conversation to watch. i'm excited that's happening. may not be as fun for ed markey. new fire storm over
president trump's communication with world leaders. "new day" continues now. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day." we thank you for joining us this morning. a new story which draws president trump's communications with foreign leader into view. there was a whistle-blower complaint. "the washington post" reports that it was a promise that president trump made to a world leader. president trump promised something to a world leader that alarmed a u.s. intelligence official. this intelligence official filed a formal whistle-blower complaint with the inspector general, someone who by the way is a trump appointee. one former official tells "the post" it happened in a phone call. >> the complaint