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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  September 26, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> uncharacteristic with what we've seen. i do think, though, this is a tough one. there is so much flagrancy on that phone call. you can argue about whether it's high crime and misdemeanor based on what we know now. you can tack about hunter biden and ethical considerations. it's fine. i think it's false equivalence. to hear them at all is a reflection of how wild that phone call is and the suggestions of how long they worked with how many different tentacles to get to that point of that call to begin with. >> well, it's interesting. i saw your interview -- i can't remember the congressmaner. >> chris stuart? >> yes, earlier. it's just shocking to me. listen, i'm not -- nothing personal against him, but how he can condone one and not condone the other, saying one is worse than the other, when the investigation wasn't even going on when hunter biden was part of the company. and then it was done by the time it was -- it's just -- i don't
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understand it. >> you see the clips of lindsey graham back during clinton and now? >> of course. >> that's how you understand it. >> yeah. well -- >> same guy, totally different supply in terms of what they're on that's motivating their arguments. and, look, we've seen it work both ways. that's why people are so frustrated, don. that's why they expect so little. that's why the truth matters so much. >> the concern, though, is can we -- even in the face of all the evidence you see in the phone call and you see the whistle-blower's report, when you see the report and the call and people see two different things, i don't know if people see two different things or they want to see two different things regardless of how those metrics work. we still live in a country that is extremely divided. in my 27 years on this planet, i have never seen us this -- you didn't catch that, did you? the 27, you heard me. i've never seen it like this. i've always seen a division between right and left, but not this divide, this crevice that
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we're seeing right now. >> well, look, here's what -- >> you come from a political family. you know this. it's never been like this. >> it depends on which period you're talking about. obviously we've gone through so much worse than where we are right now. but in recent history, this president is really pulled at the fabric of what holds us together in this country. he just has. he's playing to advantage in ways we haven't seen before. but, look, the rules still have to apply. i think the democrats, some of them are in a hurry right now and i don't understand why. you have to get the answers to the questions that we outlined in the closing. if you can show that this president had people from the state department working with rudy and people were working with ukraine and giving him certain expectations for how they would get meetings and friendship from the president of the united states and you had people lying to congress about why they were holding up money and people secreting the transcripts into a different directory so they couldn't be discovered easily, now you're talking about a systemic abuse
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of power over months that is flagrant and egregious. and i think you're in a different place. i don't know that you're there right now. >> let me tell you one thing before i go. during the election before this president became president, i would hear people all the time talking about, hey, i like him, i like him. i would say he's got a chance, got a chance. liberals would get mad at me. hillary supporters would get mad at me. what are you, nuts? what are you, nuts? here's what i'm feeling about democrats now. democrats now feel that the people who they put in office in washington now has some, you know what, ka honas. and they're at least trying to do something. they feel like finally someone is standing up for us. they feel like this has some momentum. so i think that motivation they may take into the voting booth. so that whole calculus about people saying it's going to help trump, i don't know if i -- i
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don't know if i'm sfeefeeling t way now. if you want to win, maybe they shouldn't do what they did to bill clinton in the '90s. i think democrats are feeling empowered because of this last move. regardless of which side you're on, that's what i'm getting from the folks on the street that i'm talking to. >> my guess is if people put you there to hold the president to account, they don't want you to become what they oppose. if you're going to make a case, make a darn good case. don't do what this president would do in terms of what his basis of proof is in most of the suggestions that he makes. so it's a big responsibility. if i put you in control of looking out for my interests and i think that you have to carry it forward with integrity and make a really compelling case. >> enjoy your night in d.c. you still have time to go out and have a good dinner after the show. >> this place is crazy. >> who are you telling? we saw it all playing out on tv today. so let me know what the mood is like there. thank you, chris. see you later. this is cnn tonight, everyone. thank you so much for joining us. we have got to talk about this,
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about how incredible, how shocking this day has been, okay. well, today, just today, here is what we learned. we learned about the explosive whistle-blower accusations that the president of the united states not only abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 election. allegations that senior members of his administration then tried to cover up evidence of the president's actions. and then the president himself, pretty blatantly, threatened anyone who talked to that whistle-blower. you've got to listen to this. because it was all caught on tape. >> i want it know who is the person who gave the whistle-blower -- who is the person that gave the whistle-blower the information? because that's close to spying. you know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart, right? with spies and treason, right. we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> we all know the president -- this president's first impulse
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always seems to be to hurl insults and wild accusations. this is not just trump being trump. this one -- this is different. this is the president of the united states straight-up saying that officials from his own white house who express their concerns to the whistle-blower are like spies. think about that. he's accusing them of treason. and with a nod and a wink, talking about how we handled spies and treason when we were, his word, smart. prison? execution? i don't know. what did we do with spies? hanging? what does that mean? i'm just going to say that if you're being accused of sounding like a gangster in a movie, maybe you don't talk about killing people you think of as your enemies. it just shows you how threatened this president must feel by the
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whistle-blower's complaint and what it alleges about his actions and the attempt to cover them up. and a lot of what we've learned today from the whistle-blower's complaint matches what we've already learned and what we saw in the rough transcript, the white house released of the president's call with the president of the ukraine. house intel chairman adam schiff says this. >> what this whistle-blower said about the nature of that call has been borne out in great detail by the call record that has now been released. so in a very substantial part, this whistle-blower has already been found to be credible. >> so let's go through this. in the very first paragraph of the complaint, the whistle-blower lays out the main allegations, and they are shocking, saying the president used the power of his office -- used the power of his office -- to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election, including, quote,
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pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political rivals. in the rough transcript the president's call with the president of ukraine, remember that transcript was released by the white house itself. there is this, and i quote. there's a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. let's please remember this, okay. there is no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice-president or his son. but let's continue on here. in the same paragraph, the whistle-blower says this. quote, the president's personal lawyer, mr. rudolph giuliani, is a central figure in this effort.
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attorney general barr appears to be involved as well. so i want to go back to this call now, because it says, quote, mr. giuliani is a highly respected man. he was the mayor of new york city, a great mayor, and i would like him to call you. i will ask him to call you along with the attorney general. see the connection? and there is much more. the whistle-blower going on to say that, according to white house officials with direct knowledge of the call, the president, in the course of pressing ukraine's leader on the bidens and dnc servers, wanted him to, quote, meet or speak with two people the president named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters. mr. giuliani and the attorney general william barr. to whom the president referred multiple times in tandem. he surely referred to them multiple times.
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again, from the rough of that call, quote, i will have mr. giuliani give you a call and i am also going to have attorney general barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. and under the heading of the cover up is worse than the crime part, the whistle-blower goes on to say that, in the days following the president's ukraine call, senior white house officials intervened to lockdown all records of the call, including a word-for-word transcript. moving that into a system for especially sensitive information. what you might call a cover-up server. here's the quote. one white house official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective. house speaker pelosi now. nancy pelosi now. >> this is a cover up.
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this is a cover up. >> just look at all the high-level people in this administration who are tied to this story. whether in the complaint, the transcript, congressional testimony, or mentioned in news reports, or by the president and mr. giuliani. of course, at the center of it all is none other than the president. then there is the vice-president mike pence. according to the complaint, he was ordered by the president to cancel his planned trip to ukraine for president zelenskiy's inauguration. what was he told? we don't know. attorney general william barr, the president saying multiple times in the call that he would -- he would have his attorney general call ukraine. his handling of the i.g. is under tremendous scrutiny. the secretary of state mike pompeo, who reportedly argued against releasing a rough transcript of the ukraine call, those unnamed white house officials who tried to lockdown
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the record of the call, mick mulvaney, ordered by the president to hold back nearly $400 million in aid for the ukraine. the white house counsel pat sipalone, whose office the acting d.n.i. testified today, he went to first when he received the whistle-blower's complaint. rudy giuliani, who told the atlantic today, and i'm quoting here, it is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and i'm not, and i will be the hero. these morons, when this is over, i will be the hero. that from the former mayor of new york city, rudy giuliani. curt volcker, the special representative for ukraine and gordon, ambassador to the e.u. who according to the complaint spoke with giuliani in an attempt to contain the damage. all of them. you saw them up on your screen.
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see how that worked out? and tonight we are really just at the very beginning of all of this. the house speaker nancy pelosi says that she wants a fast impeachment inquiry focused on the president of ukraine so we may get a lot more answers very soon. stay tuned. abuse of power, a cover up, serious accusations against this president. where does the investigation go from here? that's the question. michael rogers is here, susan hennessey, shaun turner. they will answer next. i get it all the time. "have you lost weight?" of course i have- ever since i started renting from national. because national lets me lose the wait at the counter... ...and choose any car in the aisle. and i don't wait when i return, thanks to drop & go. at national, i can lose the wait...and keep it off. looking good, patrick.
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a lot of disturbing allegations in the whistle-blower complaint released today. that as the president makes a shocking charge against anyone who talked to the whistle-blower. joining me to discuss now is former congressman mike rogers, host of cnn's d-classified. also susan hennessey and shaun
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turner. thank you for joining me. appreciate it. mike, i want to start with you. you say the whistle-blower complaint is a pretty damning document. be specific to us. is it the threat, the cover up, the abuse of power? tell our viewers why. >> well, i mean, i think it's a damning document because it lays out the case in great detail, and then also cites legal references along the way, including, by the way, the charge that if someone trieds to declassified certain parts of it afterward, they should have to justify -- it tells me somebody in the chain of getting that information legally and normally as a part of their course of business got this information. and i think that's exactly why the i.g. said, i'm taking a look at the person because they didn't do a full investigation. remember, they just had to do a precursory view of the material and see is it credible and is it of concern. i think that's why the i.g. came to the conclusion, probably a good person, a person that would
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have access to this information. it's certainly laid out very, very clearly and in great detail. i've never seen somebody who has taken whistle-blower complaints -- i've never seen one this detailed, every i, every t dotted. tells me somebody knows what they're doing. >> you think it's a good credible and very well-written complaint? >> i do. >> there is criticism on the other side, you know, from the trump supporters and republicans who are saying, oh, it's fiction, it looks like -- >> well, here's the one thing, and if you're looking at it from the other side, even as an investigator, remember, it's all hearsay. a lot to prove. here's one i was surprised with, don. i was surprised they released this document. i never would have ever released a whistle-blower complaint. i would have done the investigation. you may have referenced it, but they released it and it just gives fodder to republicans who are saying, listen, nobody had direct access. they got it thirdhand. why would you release the whistle-blower complaint? i thought this was a little bit
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sophomoric in something as serious as the possibility of removing and undoing a legal election. my argument is if you're going to do this, do it right. make sure that all of the information of that whistle-blower is confirmed before you even do something -- >> i have some ideas on this, but i want to get the other guys in. if we have time, i want to bring you in. susan, if the whistle-blower ultimately testifies, it seems like one of the first questions will be who are the white house officials who told him about the call and who say they were directed by the white house lawyers to remove the transcript from its proper server, correct? >> yes. this is actually one of the things that i think is so damning about this document. that the whistle-blower is actually up front about the fact he does not have firsthand information. but he points to people who do have firsthand information. he is quite explicitly and directly and in some cases by name directing congressional investigators to individuals who he believed -- who he believes
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has firsthand knowledge, not just of this call, but the other activity, the related contextual activity. so certainly investigators are going to want to talk to this person, you know, but ultimately as much as republicans are sort of saying this is just hearsay, this is secondhand information, the obvious rejoinder to that, you are absolutely right. we need to bring in the people with firsthand information. get them under oath. get them speaking to congressional investigators, you know, and have the white house agree to that process, participate in that process because it is such an incredibly serious, not just allegation at this point, but even some of the most serious allegations in that whistle-blower complaint have already been confirmed by the white house themselves whenever they release that transcript. >> shaun, you find out something new every time one of these things happens because, you know, this whole cover-up server, so to speak, people are learning about. according to white house officials in this complaint, the transcript of this ukraine call was, quote, not the first time information was put into this cover-up server.
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what other conversations with world leaders might be hidden away? >> well, i tell you, that's an extremely important question. you know, don, there is an argument to be made here for, for the white house taking steps to protect information. if you recall early on in this administration, you had lots of leaks of information from calls that the president had with other world leaders. you have leaks about information from a call he had with the mexican president and with others. and so one of the key questions here is going to be was this a kind of holistic effort to protect calls that the president had with world leaders? in other words, were they moving all of these calls or most of these calls into some space so that they were more protected? or were they cherry-picking particular calls that had information that people in the white house thought might have been politically embarrassing or damaging to the president and putting those calls in another system? if it's the latter, then that is
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completely consistent with what we're seeing in terms of this being an effort to protect this information, and that's where we get into this basic cover up. we don't know yet what other calls were put there, but i think it's very interesting that these are not the only ones and i think we should find out what those others are. >> mike, what do you think about the president calling the whistle-blower sources, essentially, spies? it seems to hearken back to when spies were executed. could this be witness intimidation? what is going on here? >> this is exasperating. the president should have never engaged in that kind of conversation. here's the problem. when he does that, it gives the group of americans who already believe he's guilty, it enrages them. then folks in the middle are saying why is he attacking this person? remember, this is going to have -- this is going to cause a big divide in the united states and we shouldn't walk into this -- >> if he's innocent -- i'm sorry. if he's so innocent why do the
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witnesses need to be pointed out? that's my question. >> the whole point is it makes him look bad. we used to have a saying when i was an fbi agent in chicago when we would do interviews. if you don't want to be treated like you're guilty, be transparent. it doesn't look good and it us diddant look good for the president to attack people legally participating in a system designed to be protecting someone who believes they are right. doesn't mean they are. >> i got it. i have to ask you this tonight. we've got to go. do you think because everyone is saying it's secondhand knowledge, thirdhand knowledge, maybe this whistle-blower is taking the information from someone who is so close to the president that they don't want to be revealed. has anyone thought about that? and that the whistle-blower is just the messenger here and the person who actually has the information is feeding the whistle-blower the information because they're so close that they just don't want the president or anyone who is close to him to know about it? is that possible? mike? >> it's possible, but the way i read this, don, somebody in the chain of receipt of this
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information at one point it talks about this person receiving a read-out on a phone call, tells me that they are already in that stream of information. >> got it. >> so what they were doing is these people who, probably they work with for a long time, came forward and said, gosh, i'm concerned about this. through their process of their job, i don't think this was gossip at the he coffee shop. this was part of their legitimate job and intelligence. they kept coming forward saying, hey, i got something, i got something, this person decided to sit down and write it down. >> perfect group to have this conversation. thank you so much. i appreciate it. we have to talk about mike rogers because make sure to tune in. mike rogers is going to host an all-new season of declassified, untold stories of american spies only on cnn. thanks to susan, shaun and mike. we'll be right back. are three ws that mean everything when you live with migraine... "i am here." aim to say that more with aimovig. a preventive treatment for migraine in adults that reduces the number of monthly migraine days.
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no to prop c. the whistle-blower's complaint dominated washington today. as soon as it was declassified, people rushed to read it. people, except senate republicans who were dodging questions about it, claiming they just haven't gotten around to reading it. the "wall street journal" with the headline tonight, everyone in washington is reading the whistle-blower complaint except senate republicans. that's from the "wall street journal." joining me now, senate judiciary committee member and democratic presidential candidate, mr. cory booker. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. >> good to be here. >> the last few days have been very momentous in this country. here is what we're hearing from some of your colleagues, okay. joni ernst is saying, i just need to take a look at it, i need to look at it. rob portman is saying, i've been running around this morning. mike braun is saying, i'm going
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to read it thoroughly, just haven't had the chance. willful ignorance? >> look, i don't know what's going on. i'm sure they'll get a chance to read it as they said they would. i think this is one of those moments where a lot of folks are going to have to make a decision as this investigation goes on. you saw this with the nixon investigation where immediately people fell into their defensive partisan positioning, but as time went on, as more evidence came out, profiles encouraged. republicans broke with their partisan, short-term partisan interests and showed a level of patriotism that ultimately forced nixon to resign because he nigh he lost -- >> do you think that will happen this time? >> this is pretty extraordinary. i mean, i used to say regularly that when people say isn't this shocking? i say trump has lost his ability to surprise me. but this is really surprising and shocking. especially because i've been to the ukraine. i've sat with their soldiers who are under attack. and i saw how desperately they
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needed american support. and we chose as a congress, republicans you just mentioned, in a bipartisan way to get them the aid that they needed. here is a president that didn't deliver that aid -- actually actively held it up and used that leverage that he had to pursue a personal end. that's pretty dramatic and pretty much of a betrayal of your office. >> let me get some other stuff in. i'm going to read passages from the complaint that directly name the attorney general william barr here, at least one of them. it says this interference includes among other things pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the president's main domestic political arrive roo avaals. the president's personal lawyer rudy giuliani is a central figure in this effort. attorney general barr appears to be involved as well. as a member of the senate judiciary committee, are you going to investigate barr's role in this? >> he has to answer. i mean, in other words, he was pointed to or implicated even in this report. and, yes, he needs to be investigated. this is, this is the job of the -- of congress.
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this is what i called for impeachment proceedings before this because the president of the united states was undermining congress to perform -- undermining congress in performing its role, which is to provide oversight. so here you have a whistle-blower report that credibly implicates the role of the attorney general. we must investigate the attorney general's actions in this case. >> the complaint says that multiple white house officials listened to the ukraine call and thought that they were witnessing an abuse of office for personal gain. some were directed to move the transcript to, it's called a code word server, level server. if the information got to foreign intelligence, could this be used to blackmail those officials, maybe even the president? >> well, remember, the cover up in the case of iran contra, in the case of the nixon case -- >> worse than the ihm. >> crime. >> worse than the crime. people are recognizing by their actions this is something wrong. they're doing this courageous
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patriotic whistle-blower did, they took actions to try to cover up that which they thought was wrong. that implicates them >> hillary clinton talked about impeachment at a dinner calling trump a corrupt tornado. watch. >> one of the dangers we face is impeachment, having it now firmly in the house where it belongs under our constitution, blocking out everything else that's been done. and all of the other issues that are at stake, we have to talk about what's at stake with impeachment, and we have to advocate for what's at stake in the next election. >> is that the key, focusing on what's next instead of having impeachment drown out the election? >> look, i take it very seriously. on the floor of the senate i swore an oath to protect and defend the constitution.
quote
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this president is seems is undermining the constitution, putting our constitutional ideals of checks and balances, abuse of office at risk. politics be damned. it's time to do what is right. and in this moment, we must continue these impeachment proceedings. >> okay. if you can give me a quick answer here. >> republicans, the president supporters are counting on you guys to start attacking the former president over what is considered a conspiracy theory about ukraine, him and his son. are you going to do that? is that something that you guys are going to use on the campaign trail? i've got to ask because they're saying when will his -- >> this is absolutely outrage us attack on joe biden. there is no evidence whatsoever that he's done anything wrong. this is them trying to distract from the improper behavior, possibly impeachable behavior, possibly criminal behavior of a president and the people surrounding him. it's outrageous and i for one am not going to allow the
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besmirching of the character of the vice-president. >> did you make the money you needed? >> we're not there yet. we are still racing towards a deadline monday at midnight for me to stay in this race. >> how far are you? >> we passed the million dollar mark. >> you need 7 -- >> we need about $700,000 more. i hope people go to corybooker.com and help me stay in this presidential race. >> thank you, senator. >> no, thank you. >> i appreciate it. we'll be right back. ♪ (rock guitar and drums) ox don't care if it's hard work. ox don't care if it's rough ground. ox don't care if it's a heavy load. nothing outworks an ox. the ox from tracker off road. a breakthrough american value at $5,799 plus freight. welcome to fowler, indiana. one of the windiest places in america.
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what a day of huge breaking news. the explosive whistle-blower complaint revealed, and the acting d.n.i. testifying before the house intel committee in what could be a preview of how the impeachment inquiry might work. let's discuss now. congressman murphy, a member of the house intel and oversight committees joins us. congressman, i appreciate your time. i know it's been a very busy day for you, so we are very grateful that you're on.
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the reporting is that house speaker nancy pelosi is tasking your committee to take the lead on the impeachment inquiry. what's the plan? how quickly will this move? >> well, thanks, thanks for having me on. i don't know how long it's going to take, but it makes sense that we are conducting this part of the investigation because the whistle-blower's complaint went to the inspector general of the intelligence community. and so we have jurisdiction over the intelligence community, so i think this is the right place to start. >> the house intel chairman adam schiff told my colleague wolf blitzer earlier that he is hoping witnesses will cooperate voluntarily. but if it doesn't happen? could we see subpoenas? >> we could. i mean, you know that the acting d.n.i.maguire today technically appeared under a subpoena. he wasn't willing to necessarily comply immediately, so we may have to resort to subpoenas.
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but hopefully others will volunteer. certainly the whistle-blower we hope will voluntarily come before our committee sooner rather than later. >> do you think you could ultimately subpoena rudy giuliani? i mean, he told cnn today that he is five or six text messages showing the state department was encouraging his work on ukraine. i'm guessing you'd want to get your hands on these records. >> booker already called this. i'm just kidding. at this point -- >> that was a little shady, congressman, but go on. >> no, i don't know how it's going to go down. obviously it's just so unusual to see mr. giuliani's name all over the complaint, and then in the transcript, you know. it's just bizarre that, you know, the president in official communication with a foreign leader is saying to meet one of my people, you know, my personal attorney rudy giuliani out of the blue. so i'm sure that he's going to,
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you know, he's going to be called as a witness at some point. >> i want to read you something here that's just in. from peter baker's piece that posted in "the new york times" tonight. here's what it says. this is a selection from it. moreover, other officials amplified the narrative thursday with details that were not in the complaint. at one point they said an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of mr. trump's call as would be typical. instead copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group. what do you read from that? >> i'm a little concerned about whether the trump white house might be holding back on certain details associated with that conversation. one very interesting part of the complaint is the first paragraph of the appendix where the whistle-blower alleges that the initial transcript of the call was actually loaded onto a
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secret server, a code word level server that's otherwise used usually for covert action programs. and so we don't know what that more verbatim transcript might have held in terms of details. and certainly we don't know what the editing process was after that. >> congressman, thank you for your time. >> thank you. thank you, don. >> is president trump out nixoning nixon? i'm going to ask two people, dan rather and sam donaldson next. at fidelity, we believe your money
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the cover up, the tapes, and a president under a cloud of impeachment.
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is president trump out-nixoning nixon? who better to ask than two legends, dan rather and sam donaldson. so happy to have both of you on. thank you so much. this cover up is at the highest level, a secret and separate storage system of transcripts, presidential calls, abuse of power for political gains. remind you of anything? >> certainly reminiscent of the watergate in the 1970s. there is a big difference, don. we need to kind of pause in a sense where we are, the gravity of the situation. at the same time remain calm. but what's different between what richard nixon did and what donald trump has already admitted to is this. it involves a foreign power. the whole scandal watergate, that widespread criminal conspiracy led by a president of the united states himself, had to do with what happened in this country. it was aldo mess ticl domestic. there wasn't a foreign power
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involved. oscar wild said the truth is never pure and rarely simple. on the basis of what we already know, we have a pure truth and it's pretty simple. the president of the united states was conspiring with the leader of a foreign power to discredit one of the president's political opponents and then there was a concerted effort in the white house with others besides the president involved to cover it up. that's a big difference when you said something about outnixoned nixon. i do think president trump has outnixoned nixon. >> you have reported on every political scandal for decades. including water gate. how significant do you think this one is? >> it's very significant. there is a big thing that's happened here in last week. it took almost two years to find and after two years to find the evidence on richard nixon. the final piece was the smoking tape in which we heard them
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conspire for the cover-up. it was just a week ago that the whistleblower story came into public view. now we have the smoking transcript of the presidential call. we have the evidence right there. you read the transcript and president trump is acknowledging what his opponents say he needs to be impeached for. that is that he conspired to set up a phony investigation of the bidens by the ukrainian government. and he urged them to do it and said we can help. my personal lawyer, rudy giuliani. the attorney general of the united states. we'll have him call you. we'll help you set it up. he didn't say and maybe we will release the $400 million of aid you so desperately say you need and we're with holding.
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the evidence is there. there has to be more investigation. we have to know some of the things directly from the horse's mouth and the sources in the white house who told him. who told him about it. he has to do it right. when i say we, i mean the system has to do it right as the system prosecuted richard nixon. >> when the house launched its formal impeachment hearings, only 38% of americans supported it. this is in 1974. now 49% of americans support launching formal impeachment hearings against trump. how important is public support? and what is key, you think, to moving the needle? >> first of all, public opinion in the end will decide whether there is an impeachment or not. this is moving very fast. sam makes a very good point. it took a couple of years for the water gate scandal to reach its climax, if you will.
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we could have an impeachment vote in the house by thanksgiving. this is really moving quite fast, all the more reason for every individual, first of all, to read and think about what's happening, the gravity of the situation. remember, the country has been through a lot before. what we don't know about this is a great deal more than what we do know. what we already know is what the president and rudy giuliani and others have admitted practically says we can start to roll the credits of a mob movie. >> this white house has had -- go on. i want to hear your thoughts. >> i was just going to say it is moving so rapidly because the smoking transcript is there, and also because president trump comes into this with a
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background for two years of problems that people think about. some excused the republicans, others say this guy doesn't belong there. it comes in badly. it is public opinion. if richard nixon had not been down to about 21% when he resigned, he wouldn't have resigned. the senate wouldn't have allowed him to be president for much longer. in this case, i predict we will have an impeachment vote in the house. all democrats, maybe two or three republicans. look at the senate. many are up for re-election. they stick like a bug to the president at the moment. if public opinion moves against him, they'll discover he's a terrible man. mitch mcconnell said he will bring to the floor a bill he has been sitting on for two years, security money for our elections in 2020. he has now said i'll bring it to the floor. come on, mitch, keep going. >> does that mean -- and i have just a little bit of time left here. does that mean that if there are impeachable offenses that they shouldn't act upon if the public is not with them? >> no.
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>> do the right thing. but public opinion is moving in the direction. i know you're short of time. i would watch richard burr who is republican head of the senate intelligence committee. if he has it then, he can play the role that they played in the water gate time. he's a man to watch. a lot of senators will key off what he does with this. >> mr. rather, thank you. always appreciate it. really appreciate your time and your thoughts. >> we watch you, don. thanks very much. >> thank you very much. our live coverage continues with the cnn special report, the impeachment inquiry with anderson cooper and jake tapper. that's next. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable, with reduced redness, thickness,
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another day like nothing we have seen before, and it is not over yet. good evening. i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm jake tapper. this is a cnn special report. the impeachment inquiry. tonight it includes the whistleblower complaint alleging that president trump abused his power of office. and white house officials abused a system meant to secure national security secrets. >> so there is all that and reaction to it from the

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