tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN September 21, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
trump pressured ukraine president in a phone call back in july to investigate joe biden's son. we have all the details for you. also tonight the united states sending additional troops to saudi arabia following the attack on the oil field. and in the 2020 race, the count down is onto the iowa caucus. democratic candidates attend a steak fry. as the attacks ramp up against the front runners. also ahead the patriots fired receiver antonio brown amid rape allegations. a young african american terrorized by white supremacists. she took them on and won. >> the fact i'm able to still speak out against it, is the part that drives them crazy. that's the part i love the most because that gives me strength. every time we stop and think about how much white supremacists activity are
happening around the world, and that's the fuel for me. as long as they're going to keep going we have to keep going too. >> a source telling cnn president trump pressured ukraine's president to investigate joe biden's son. here to discuss susan glasser, ryan lizza and michael isikoff. good evening, one and all. i appreciate you joining us. michael, we're going to start with you. "the wall street journal" is saying the president pressured ukraine's president about eight times in that call. is this an abuse of power? >> if as reported, it's certainly an abuse of office. the president is using his office as president of the united states to pressure a foreign leader to give him ammunition against a political opponent. i mean, it's hard to find something, you know, quite as serious as that up to now. the question is, you know, it's the -- the ball game is that transcript of the phone call. we can have press reports of it, we can have former officials
describing it, but until we actually see the wording in the transcript, i'm not sure that's what's needed to move the ball forward. so the question is how are we going to get the transcript? we can wait for someone in the intelligence community to leak it, we could let adam schiff go forward with his -- trying to get the complaint from the inspector general, but i'm not sure he's going to make it public bound by intelligence and the only way we're going to see that transcript which is the ball game is for the house judiciary to go to court as soon as possible, subpoena the transcript and hope they get a federal judge who will say i can't rule on this without actually seeing the document. that at least moves us closer to
seeing what was actually said in that phone call. >> let's bring ryan in. ryan, if reported, if this is true, is this in essence the president colluding with another country to win the 2020 election? i mean, haven't we been down this road before? >> it's even worse than that. he's attempting to collude. imagine the position he was in, the president of the united states dangling foreign aid in front of him when his country has been invaded by russia, is constantly paranoid about putin's intentions in the region. and not only does he have trump befriending -- pumping up putin in all sorts of ways, but then he has the american president pressuring him to essentially help his re-election campaign
with perhaps the understanding that the u.s. is not going to back ukraine if he doesn't. so it's the president attempting to get that collusion. we don't know exactly what the ukrainian response here was. so it's even worse than the russians coming to the united states and, you know, as michael said this is the definition -- if this all true this is the definition. >> you said the writing has been on the wall for quite some time and this president has been obsessed with ukraine. >> first of all, don, it's an out growth of his own obsession with 2016 and the russian intervention and interestingly "the wall street journal" reported there were two requests
that rudy giuliani and trump were making of the ukrainians. one was the investigate joe biden's son and the other was to investigate what role ukraine may have played in what he thinks is trying to fuel the charges against paul manafort and the russia collusion narrative. and the other part doesn't get as much attention but i think it goes to president trump's mind-set, and i just also want to make the point even what we already know is pretty mind-blowing here. even without the transcript i agree with michael it's important to see how explicit if at all was trump making a linkage to the aid, for example, the arms fund. now, even if he wasn't, what president trump has already said, what rudy giuliani has already said, they were sending the president's personal lawyer to ukraine publicly as well as privately demanding an investigation of the president's opponent. this is an extraordinary thing.
essentially, he's already been publicly demanding that ukraine investigate his political opponents. this is unprecedented in and of itself it seems to me already. and this is without even knowing what the whistle-blower -- >> what rudy giuliani alleged -- >> this is one of those trump moments where we can't process this because actually it's so big that words and comparisons won't be quiet. the idea of a president going to a foreign power and demanding they get involved in our elections, we already know that part. >> let me play this and i'll get you to respond to it. this is what president trump said about the collin the oval office today. >> you discussed joe biden, his son or his family with -- >> it doesn't matter what i discussed but i will say this, somebody ought to look into joe biden's statement because it was disgraceful. >> there you go, it doesn't
matter. so the president says no evidence that biden's threat to with hold to ukraine in 2016 was retaliation to the prosecutor investigating biden's son who worked for the company. >> i think in july he did. i actually think he's been silent about biden and he actually weighed in as much in the democratic primary. a lot of people around him are saying stop talking about joe biden because every time he hits joe biden, it helps him, right, because every other democrat starts to defend biden. so i think this is legacy of the summer when trump was obsessed with biden. let me leave it there. the fact that rudy giuliani was
going over there meeting with the ukrainian officials making the same argument and demand that they investigate as the president's personal lawyer was, you know -- was -- he's acting as an extension of the president there. he's the president's personal representative, so that's what gives credence to the reports today that the president himself was making the same demand that his personal representative was already making of the ukrainian officials. i mean it's -- the totality of that is i totally agree with what he was saying is pretty stunning. the question is what do you do with it, how do you move forward and that's why it's so important. i think the transcript is going to be like the tapes were during watergate if the congress can
get ahold of them, if they can be made public, they could become the smoking gun. >> susan, let's take a look at the time line here. president trump spoke with ukraine's president the day after mueller testified before congress and the resignation of the former dni dan coats was announced just three days after that. one day after mueller. what do you think? >> again, i think president trump is obsessed with the investigation of him and has been from the very beginning. he has a sense that, you know, a grudge against ukraine is how various sources describe -- they're against me there, and if i'm trying to reopen relations with russia, and by the way, it's also in this same period leading up to the g-7, the president once again said that russia should be readmitted unilaterally even if they continue to be at war through their proxies in eastern ukraine
even though they have of course continued to take over the crimean peninsula. the context here is like this isn't just some random foreign country, let's just be clear. first of all, the geopolitical significance of this is unbelievable. and the aid that president trump was holding up was the thing that's been cited by his republican allies on capitol hill and people in his own administration as this only significant evidence that actually the trump administration was standing up to russia. and it appears that trump does not support that, and okay he doesn't want to support his own administration's policy toward russia. >> michael, the pentagon announcing tonight it will send additional troops to saudi arabia after new sanctions on iran. do you think this response is enough? >> you know, look, i think it's not clear exactly how many troops is supposed to be a modest amount, but, you know, what's pretty surprising from that is the president has been
trying to withdraw from the middle east, he's been trying to bring troops back. that's been consistent all along. and now he's having to reverse that by sending troops in. it is a total reversal of where he's been trying to go, but, you know, why did this happen? this was blow back for his policies, you know, to impose sanctions on iran and scrap the nuclear agreements. so in some ways his hard line stance against iran has undercut what he was trying to do in the middle east. >> thank you all. something different about michael. i can't put my finger on it. all right, we'll see you. what was the guy -- who was the guy? was it wolf man jack -- thank
you all. appreciate it. things are really heating up in iowa. 11,000 people expected with a big democratic steak fry in iowa tomorrow and seven democratic presidential hopefuls will be there. we're going to tell you which top candidate is going after another. that's next. (danny) let me get this straight. after a long day of hard work... ...you have to do more work? every day you're nearly fried to a crisp, professionally! can someone turn on the ac?! no? oh right... ...'cause there isn't any. here- (vo) automatically sort your expenses and save over 40 hours a month. without you, we wouldn't have electricity. our hobby would be going to bed early. (vo) you earned it, we're here to make sure you get it. (danny) it's time to get yours!
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now is the time to make sure that you have the right plan in place. don't wait. - [announcer] norton 360 with lifelock. use promo code get25 to save 25% off your first year and get a free shredder with annual membership. call now to start your membership or visit lifelock.com/tv new tonight 17 democrats running for president in 2020 in the same state this weekend. they're all in iowa. that as some of the candidates amp up the attacks on elizabeth warren in the wake of her rise in the poll. let's discuss now. thank you so much both of you for joining us. before we get to what's happening in iowa, mark i want to ask you about this ukraine story, about the president pressuring the ukrainian president multiple times to investigate joe biden's son. biden today said this was, a quote, well i'm paraphrasing,
there's no bottom to trump's willingness to abuse his power. >> i think it's true and of course why wouldn't he? he hadn't been held accountable for anything so he keeps stretching those limits of executive power. i think a lot of people in congress are thinking about not only rewriting laws but maybe the constitution because i don't think congress ever imagined that somebody would test the guardrails like the president has, and he just keeps pushing it further and further. >> according to the reports even what rudy giuliani admitted last night, you heard that is still just egregious in itself. >> egregious for sure, but again is it the sort of thing going to bother trump supporters, i doubt it. >> biden's a front runner, democrats don't have the nominee yet, but no matter who it is, how they are going to fight this president, his campaign cacktics are really scorched earth tactics. >> i think with jujitsu.
you beat him by doing something comple completely different. let's say pete buttigieg were the nomy or elizabeth warren or kamala harris. biden i think he kind of gets, you kind of see that contest and see how trump would handle it anywhere. >> it may throw them off. the iowa caucus is getting closer each day and really focused on the state starting with a big steak fry this weekend. what are people saying there and what are they looking for? >> i mean i think that people are looking for someone who can beat trump, quite frankly, and it's interesting of people i consider progressives and feminists and women who are asking questions of do you think america is ready for a woman president. i mean, there's this great sense of fear that the person has to
be able to beat trump. that's the most important element. i think it's a really interesting surge in group identity politics where tonight there was an lgbtq forum for the presidential candidates in cedar rapids, a youth forum on sunday, a steak fry tomorrow. there's something else which is progressive group around economic reform. so there's a lot of groups that are getting very jazzed and excited about this race are ones that do identify as a minority in some way. yet there's this other sector of people worried if it's a minority, it's very interesting to see what's going on. i think they're really going to be looking for who wows the crowd and fires them up to the extent they're going to want to turn out to vote. >> things got offtrack at a town hall today. a woman accused biding of siding
with insurance companies. she told an audience member she has a good audience in bernie but sanders was not her candidate and this. >> if you're willing to pay the extra taxes and you think you get much more for that, then that's good. that's good. but let's at least acknowledge, tell elizabeth it's going to cost a lot of money. >> there biden goes after senator elizabeth warren who's been taking some heat from other candidates about medicare for all and how she'll pay for her plans. mark you and i over this week, what are people saying is there a momentum for warren there? >> no question. crowds are huge. a lot of energy and momentum. as we know it's the first contest, and it's even more important this time because new hampshire is traditionally important this time because sanders and warren are both from neighboring states and it's
already sort of baked into the pie of maybe expectations one of them will probably win that state so it makes whoever wins iowa that much important. you could say whoever wins iowa is going to win the tank because it's the launching pad and there's so much heat right now particularly from the progressive voters and that's where elizabeth warren is getting a lot of her lift. >> so goes iowa, so goes the rest of the country. >> i think it's likely. >> harris looking to reframe her presidential bid by setting her expectations high in iowa earlier this week a reporter caught up with her telling a fellow senator i'm effing moving to iowa. how much work does she have ahead of her if she's going to move to iowa? >> she's got quite a bit of work ahead of her here. there was a recent poll of iowa voters that came out of rural
voters and placed her somewhere at 5%. it was pretty low. she knows she has her work cut out for her and she's just hired 70 more people, and opening ten more field offices around the state, so she's serious about iowa. she really want to connect with iowa and win iowa. so much of it has to do with debate performances, right? she has a good debate and her numbers surge, and then people think she has a bad debate and her numbers go down. she especially seems to be held responsible for her debate performance more than any of the other candidates. i'm not sure exactly what that is. >> one last thing. the circus on show time back on sunday at 8:00 p.m. this week you spoke with one of trump's republican challengers and that's mark sanford. >> donald trump, he has a comfort level with death that you and i don't have because we didn't have a daddy to bail out us when we got into a pinch, and it's not the experience of the
american taxpayer. the chinese are not going to come bail us out, and we're walking towards a financial hurricane. >> what do you think? do you think sanford or any other of the republican challengers will break through? >> well, donald trump is enormously popular in republican primaries and has highest historical favorable ratings within a party with the exception of george bush right after 9/11. i've learned in campaigns there's only two ways to run, unopposed and scared. there's three different guys. ones from illinois, one from the northeast, one from the south. mark sanford talk about issues the president has abandoned. and free trade, which are traditional republican issues which a lot of republicans care about. that's why the president is trying to shutdown these primaries including in south carolina. >> thank you, both. >> thank you so much.
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so wide receiver antonio brown dropped today by the new england patriots amid accusations of assault and misconduct. good evening. thank you so much for joining us. christine, i want you to listen to coach bill belichik dodging questions about brown hours before the team released him. >> i'm not going to make comment on any of the off the field situations or questions on that. i'm not going to get into that. i think i've already addressed this, so we're going to get ready for this here. happy to answer any football question. i'm done with the rest of it. so, yeah, that's -- yeah, i'm good. okay, thank you. >> what do you think about how this played out? >> well, that's typical bill belichik. >> bill belichik is always like that. >> well he was even a little sharper and chrrisper than usua
but asking good, valid questions especially in 2019, especially in the era of me too, look at our own and complain to him for signing this guy. this is the reality of the nfl, and frankly we're seeing this cross roads where we're seeing the national football league colliding with public opinion and me too and the need in our country to listen to women. and the good news is antonio brown is gone, and the nfl is saying it's continuing the investigation and even issued a warning about if another team signs him, look out he could be put on the commissioners exempt list. so it's a good day in terms of listening to women, but the nfl is really having trouble dealing with this reality. >>ed the interesting thing is that he sent these text messages, right, which was -- which was surprising.
sports illustrated reported these harassing text messages to a second accuser, the text allegedly sent by brown seemed to encourage a third party to research the accuser's history and included a photograph of her children. what kind of charges could that bring? >> well, obviously some kind of tampering with the witness charge, don, if it's verified he actually sent these text messages. there seems to be some question about whether they are from him. it's really quite remarkable he's accused of raping one woman who's come forward, filed this civil lawsuit, talked about three acts of sexual misconduct and the third being making allegations of rape against antonio brown. the second woman comes forward, says she's not filing a lawsuit, she's not going to law enforcement but she just wanted to make her story known about what happened to her when she was commissioned to paint a mural at his house and she alleges she gets these threatening text messages. i think as christine says, the nfl has to make a decision why a
new team would sign him in the midst of these very serious allegations. we're not just talking about sexual harassment but the most egregious act possible, a rape allegation and yet he was signed. nike, they acted quickly in terms of their ending their endorsement deal with respect to nike and i think more companies have to act more quickly when these allegations happen. and it's important to note the nfl has a code of personal conduct. and it does require you to be found guilty in a court of law. it's not the same standard that would be applicable in a court of law. look, you're making a lot of money. you have to represent this organization, and you can't do anything that tarnishes the reputation of the organization. so hopefully this is message to anyone else that these kind of allegations need to be taken seriously and there will be consequences for your conduct. >> christine, if brown is signed by another team, he could potentially collect a salary,
but would be ineligible to practice or play in the game. under what circumstancesed would the nfl bench him even if he had signed? >> there's the commissioner exempt list what we're talking about here, paid leave. and then figure out what's going on. it's usually that for a short period of time as the nfl is trying to figure out what the truth is and what isn't. the fact the nfl has already spent a week or so investigating antonio brown, don tells me they may be getting closer to a decision. again, the facts are out there and fans and observers can also kind of come to a decision as well. this is not just one woman, it's two women, different place, different time, different allegations and yet there's the similarity there. so once the nfl makes that determination then roger goodell the commissioner would put him
on the commissioner exempt list. that's a football decision, by the way, not a cultural right or wrong decision in my humble opinion. it's a football decision, would a team want to sign him knowing you have to sign him and that's the gauntlet thrown down in this nfl release that just came out an hour or so that we're investigating him here and you might not have him if you sign him. we're talking about allegations of rape here. this is serious, serious stuff but the nfl does seem to understand now, kwooifb years after ray rice it's in the ball game here in terms of making these decisions. keep in mind 45% of the fan base of the nfl is women and girls, that which the other 55% should care as well, men and boys. but this is important to the nfl, and they seem to be getting it now. >> thank you. that's got to be the last word. thank you, both. with democratic candidates hitting the trail and late night
jamming the news with jimmy fallon. >> that's why i'm committed to passing a green new deal creating clean jobs and finally putting an end to fracking once and for all. >> mama kamala just don't give a frac. >> reporter: and the next night cory booker on jimmy kimmel. >> is it true the primary reason you're running for president is to give you an excuse to move out of newark? >> reporter: and elizabeth warren on stephen colbert. and a thursday night visit from andrew yang on seth myers. >> i'll be the third president to use a powerpoint. >> reporter: bill clinton launched this modern day trend by playing the sax and both george w. bush and barack obama delivered on the top ten list.
>> and the number one barack obama campaign promise, three words vice president oprah. >> reporter: and now more and more campaigning is happening here on the late night stage. donald trump wept this route before the 2016 election, though he hadn't been back on late night since. democratic hopefuls have replaced him. >> are you going nuts? >> look, the reason i came on the jimmy kimmel show is because i'm not. >> you got insulted by the president of the united states. >> that's how you know you made it. >> reporter: it's a chance to show a more laid-back human side but comedians can pose tough questions, too. >> we've got to talk about issues like choice for women and access to reproductive health care. >> i'm proud to be the only one in a senate to lives in a black and brown low income community below the poverty line. >> reporter: and launching your campaign on late night is far from a positive thing just from
kirsten gillibrand. late night has become about substance not just style. >> how are you going to pay for it? are you going to raise the middle class taxes? >> here's how we're going to do it, cost is going to go up for wealthiest americans, big corporations and hardworking middle class families are going to see their costs go down. >> but will their taxes go up? >> but here's the thing -- >> i've listened to these answers a few times before. >> reporter: it's about finding a balance between keeping it real and keeping it light. >> this is one i think you should go with. good enough for rosario dawson, good for you. >> kamala is trying to get us back to black. >> brian stelter joins me now. brian, welcome.
how crucial are these appearances for a serious presidential candidate? >> they're getting more and more important. we've seen the cobear primary this year and the breakfast club primary. some of these candidates, joe biden and elizabeth warren, right now the top two contenders they've not gone on a sunday talk show for a serious interview all year, but they have gone on late night because they see the value. we talk about politics in our brains, the fight and the intelligence of it. well, a lot of politics happen in our heart and in our guts. and i think actually president trump has reminded me of that. that a lot of politics is about connecting emotionally and that's what these candidates are trying to do. >> does it translate into votes? >> i've not seen political science actually prove that, but these campaigns in some cases they are desperate to get on these shows. some of these lower ranking candidates like bill de blasio who got out of the race today, he wanted to get on these late night shows. and i think what's great about
the last few years we're seeing these comedians ask some actually serious questions. >> i've been saying this for a while but i said in jimmy kimmel last week we almost do the same thing, except they do it with humor. they talk about trump, the same topics except they will put a comedic spin on it. >> he has some advantages over you, though. you actually have to study up and take this seriously and be prepared. >> exactly. but they talk about trump, they cover the news, what he's doing every day but they make people laugh. >> i like the way cobear says you're not the only one watching this thinking some of this is crazy. >> thank you, brian stelter. american university's first black female student body president faced on campus hate crimes and online attacks from neo-nazis but she's fighting back. she tells her story next. how do you get skin happy aveeno® with prebiotic oat. it hydrates and softens skin. so it looks like this...
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so protecting yourself isn't a one time job, it's an ongoing need. now is the time to make sure that you have the right plan in place. don't wait. - [announcer] norton 360 with lifelock. use promo code get25 to save 25% off your first year and get a free shredder with annual membership. call now to start your membership or visit lifelock.com/tv hate crimes are on the rise in america, but one brave young woman is fighting back. after white supremacists targeted the first african-american student body president at american university making her life a living hell she's just been to court and won. sarah? >> this is the first time she's sat down and done a television interview after suing and winning her case against the people who were tormenting her online. she actually sat down face-to-face with one of them
and received an apology. taylor's life changed within hours. she went from being elected american university's first black female student body president in its 125-year history to being plunged into a world of hate. >> i was on my wear to campus, i was wearing like an ak jacket i ended up having to take it off because the hate crime literally had the letters of the sorority and me it was walking around with a target on my back. >> reporter: a still unidentified person committed on campus height crime, stringing up bananas with nooses and other racist messages. days later she was under attack online by neo-nazis spurred on by andrew, the creator of one of the most prolific neo-nazi web sites.
>> he told his many, many followers to basically go get her. >> reporter: a hate filled feeding frenzy began when the website published her name, photo, contact information and social media accounts. the anti-defamation league was the first to warn her. they e-mailed saying she had become a national target for hatred. >> i was alone. home alone. the first thing i did was closed my blinds, locked all the doors, turned all the lights out and the way that people tell you when it's a hurricane or tornadoes warning you have to hide in a hallway and get small and you crouched down, that's what i did. i rocked in the fetal position sobbing and crying to the point i had to take a screenshot of the e-mail and send it to my mom and dad because i couldn't talk. >> reporter: after months of online harassment she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome. everything from her ability to study to her ability to eat was impacted. gh i was terrified. i didn't who these people were,
where they were. >> reporter: she decided to fight back. with the help of a the lawyers committee for civil rights under law she sued some of the people investigators could find who trolled her. what would you say to the andrew england's of the world. >> you picked the wrong one and someone who wouldn't back down. >> to the best of your knowledge this is the first court decision in the in country that has held that online harassment can interfere with public accommodations. civil rights laws do not stop where the cloud begins. >> reporter: england did not respond for comment. neither he nor a representative for his company showed up in court. the judge handed down the $725,000 judgment and separately she received something almost no one does, a face-to-face apology
not from england but from one of the trolls. she agreed not to say his name or exactly the words exchanged as part of a restorative justice settlement. online especially people want to snap back, right, they want to clap back, they want to attack, and that's not what you did here. >> i think we always have an opportunity and the possibility to grow. and for me it was really important to even though you're a white supremacist, even though you're a neo-nazi, even though you think like this, i don't think you're always going to think like that and i don't think it has to be that way. >> the man who apologized was the only one who came forward. he also promised to walk away from online hate and do community service. now, when it comes to taylor, she was accepted to law school. she's now a law student. but she says she doesn't disclose where because she knows she will always be a target. the hate has not completely stopped. don? >> sarah, thank you so much. we'll be right back.
problem in los angeles, city officials report the number of adults living on the streets is up 15% in 2019. it is a complicated problem found all over l.a. but the epicenter of this crisis is in the downtown neighborhood known as skid row. and that's where you'll find this week's cnn hero. three times a week, every week superior court judge craig mitchell wakes at 3:30 a.m. to try to change the lives of those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. his unique strategy, running. >> running is a mechanism for the participants to build relationships. this is the one time i'm at the front of the pack. lawyers, social workers, people from all different walks of life running with people who are recovering from addiction and homelessness. good job. we afirm, we listen, we support. it shows what open miemdnded pee who really care about each
other, how they can treat one another, and it's a lesson in and of itself. >> to see how running with create a support network that helps people get off the streets go to cnnheroes.com right now. and thank you for watching. our coverage continues. hello and thank you for joining us. i'm in additionally allen. you're watching "cnn newsroom" live from atlanta. ahead this hour, donald trump under fire over accusations he pressured a foreign power to investigate a political rival. new developments in the growing whistleblower scandal, that's straight ahead. also, it is being described as the largest climate change protest ever in the world. millions of young people marched to demand leaders do more to help the environment. and just two years after hurricane harvey, people in houston, texas, once again