tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN October 6, 2019 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
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whistleblowe whistleblower. this revelation coming as democrats ratchet up their impeachment inquirinquiry. they have now subpoenaed the vice president mike pence. key testimony coming up on capitol hill. gordon sondland and marie yavonivitch are scheduled to give testimony behind closed doors. mitt romney made a twitter attack to president trump calling on ukraine and china to investigate the bidens. >> chuck, i just want the truth. the american people want the truth. >> do you not trust the fbi? you don't trust the cia?
>> no, i don't. absolutely not. >> here to break this all down is cnn senior justice correspondent evan perez. ever evan, what do we know about this new report? >> we know the whistleblower came out and said the first whistleblower was correct. what we do know is this person also shares the same lawyer as the original complaint. we know that they work in the intelligence community, and this person allegedly has firsthand knowledge. we don't know exactly what that means. we know that the center of all of this, of course, is the july 25th phone call between the president and the ukranian president, and so this person claims to have firsthand
knowledge of what happened there and some of the events, perhaps, that surround it, the effort to try to pressure the ukranians to do this investigation. >> and so what could this mean for the impeachment investigation into the president? >> look, i think this propels it, simply because you have somebody who allegedly has firsthand knowledge. we also know that a bunch of the things, a lot of the things that the original whistleblower said in the original complaint have now been corroborated. we know kurt volker has now testified behind the scenes, behind closed doors to lawmakers and has essentially corroborated that he followed up, essentially, this july 25th call with his own meetings and his own communications with the ukranians. so a lot of what the original whistleblower came forward and said appears to have at least been verified by the transcript that the white house has now released publicly and some of the other things that have now
transpired and we've also been able to learn from our own reporting. so i think members of congress that are saying that, oh, this is hearsay and should not be believed, it's, i think, getting tougher and tougher to make that argument. >> evan perez, thanks so much. we'll check back with you. here to discuss is former republican congressman and house manager in president clinton's impeachment trial, bill mccullum. bill, good to see you again. >> good to be with you. >> thank you. what is your reaction to the news that there is now a second whistleblower who has come forward with firsthand knowledge of trump's actions? >> i'm not surprised that you would see those who were relied upon apparently by the first person come forward. that's what we need to see. we need to see people come forward and hopefully in public and tell us about what they observed, if it's any different from the transcript. the transcript itself, in my opinion, does not express anything of a criminal behavior or to be impeachable, abuse of power, et cetera. i think we get lost because there is so much bias in this on
both sides as to what we think or don't think. >> you don't think the transcript establishes that the request coming from the white house is that money, aid be withheld to ukraine unless or until they investigate the bidens? >> no, i don't think it establishes that at all. i think what it establishes is that money was owed -- we were going to give money to ukraine subject to certain things happening to clear up the corruption concerns the president has had for a long time. >> except that's not what it says. it was pretty clear in that transcript, though, and i'm wondering what is missing from that verbiage to convince you otherwise. >> what's missing from that verbiage is the predicate to all of this is the discussion about crowd strike and the alleged interference of the ukranian government in the 2016 election in working in collusion, apparently, with the folks who were doing the investigation for the democrat national committee. now, we don't know. that's what he first talks
about, the president talks about. then he says -- or words to that effect. here we have this thing where the prosecutor who is going to look into this company who is paying $50,000 or was paying $50,000 to biden's son was told to lay off by the vice president, for the government to do that or else. there is as much to investigate about biden as there is about the president. >> that remains to be the centerpiece between the dispute of the white house's point of view and other bodies who are now investigating this. >> correct. >> so this person, this second whistleblower, is represented by the same attorney as the first whistleblower, we understand that to be. in 1978, the civil service reform act promises their anonymity, their protection. is the second whistleblower violating that protection? he called the first whistleblower viable and now he's calling it a deep state.
what is the concern for you that they won't be honored? >> i'm not concerned they'll be honored, i think they'll be honored. the president has a long history about badgering folks and bullying people and making statements that don't always turn out to be true. but the fact of the matter is we've been living with that for a long time, and one of the big problems the democrats has is the fact that this looks highly political, that people went after this president from the beginning, that they're biased that, they're not really waiting for the results of finding anything solid and they're trying to move forward very, very rapidly. >> but it is concerning to you hear the president say, ukraine, china, investigate my political opponents in time for the 2020 election. is it at all concerning to you that the transcript says that diplomats interpreted the same thing, an invitation to look into the political opponent of the president and withholding or holding up aid unless they do so. >> well, the "unless they do so
at holding up aid" was a conclusion in what we call in law circumstantial evidence. i don't think it's very strong. if it were that he said that, and there were quid pro quo, yes, i would be concerned. but i don't see that yet. maybe i will see it eventually, but i don't see it yet. i don't see anything to support the idea that so many democrats say, too, that there's nothing to look into biden about. i think there is just as much circumstantial evidence there, and i think it's wrong that he's not being investigated or his son is not being investigated or the company is not being investigated or the prosecution or the failure of it just the same as people want to investigate the president. the president doesn't have yet anything that i would consider to be impeachable out there on the table, fredricka. i just don't see that. i'm looking at it very hard. i've looked at it before, and i've said on your show that i'm open-minded. maybe a new witness will bring up something solid here. but that's all in the future. we don't have it right now and it's not going to convict this
president, it's probably not going to impeach this president. >> potentially there will be a new complaint from the second whistleblower. perhaps that will reveal some information, and of course there is testimony this week including that of the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, who was removed from her position rather abruptly, according to other foreign service workers. bill mccollum, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. still ahead, vice president joe biden on the attack in a new op-ed. he rips into president trump over his, quote, abuse of power, saying the attacks won't destroy him or his family. what about his political campaign now? but first, breaking news. an active manhunt underway right now after a gunman opens fire inside a crowded bar. cnn is on the scene, next.
fixodent ultra-max hold gives you the strongest hold ever to lock your dentures. so now you can eat tough food without worry. fixodent and forget it. . welcome back. we're following breaking news. right now a manhunt is underway after a deadly bar shooting in kansas city, kansas. police say four people were killed and five others were shot at the tequila casey bar early this morning, and now police believe there are possibly two suspects on the loose. cnn national correspondent natasha chen is live for us in kansas city, kansas. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, fred, i've been talking to the friends of the people involved here. it's very upsetting to everyone. the good news is that the five people who were injured with gunshots they were told will be okay. we talked to one woman whose cousins are among the injured and whose friends are among the
deceased, they tell me this was someone who got into an argument inside the bar, was asked to leave and then came back and that's when this confrontation and shooting possibly happened, police say, around 1:30 in the morning. they arrived here and found four people dead inside the bar and five people injured outside. when i talked to the woman whose friends were killed, here's what she said for the suspects that are still out there right now. >> turn yourself in or yourselves in. make it easier for yourselves. find it in your hearts to do this, please, because nobody deserved this. we have brothers, sons, cousins, uncles that are no longer here because of your senseless act. >> reporter: she says this is a very tight-knit community and
it's likely that some people here may very well know the victims as well as the suspects. there is going to be a vigil here at 7:00 local time tonight, and it's going to be tough because this is a very close community, as she says. this is a family-friendly neighborhood. we're actually surrounded by homes at the back of this establishment and she says there's never really been any sort of violence here before. what we know about the deceased victims, they are hispanic men ranging from the 20s to the 50s. police look at surveillance footage and continue to search for those suspects, fred. >> natasha, keep us updated from kansas city, kansas. next, trump administration officials under scrutiny. is it coming from trump's allies helping? that's next.
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this week two figures central to the impeachment inquiry are scheduled to give depositions before congressional committees. gordon sondland, the european ambassador to the european union, and maria yavonovitch, the ambassador to ukraine. this could shed light on the ukranian matter, but there are others. trump officials who are caught up in the scandal. john king has details. >> one is the energy secretary rick perry. he's had several meetings with ukranians, including the president. perry says he'll cooperate with congress. he went to the inaugural of the new president instead of mike pence. so some questions for rick perry. questions as well for the attorney general of the united states, william barr. trump told -- remember, if you
read the president's call with the ukranian president in july, he told ukranians to work with barr into the investigation on the bidens. the whistleblower complaint was sent to the justice department, and many think, simply buried and not investigated. barr has been on a world tour trying to get to the origin of the russian investigation, the beginnings of what became the mueller investigation. mike pompeo was the one to recall the ambassador of ukraine. he will be a key witness this coming week. and here's a question for the secretary? was he in the loop? was he aware that rudy giuliani was using the leverage of the state department and state department officials to advance his agenda inside ukraine? so questions for the secretary of state as well. now we come to the vice president. democrats in the house want documents from him. his top national security adviser was on the call where
the president said, i need a fare a favor and brought up the biden investigations. he met with zelensky in september, urged him to fight corruption. democrats want to know, did you, too, bring up joe biden? the vice president, his public remarks echoing the boss. >> one of the main reasons we were elected in washington, d.c. was to drain the swamp. and i think the american people have a right to know if the vice president of the united states or his family profited from his position. clearly in this case there are legitimate questions that ought to be asked. >> john king, thanks for bringing that to us. vice president pence's comments echo other republicans who took to the airwaves today. >> he had this false narrative that resulted in him being set up by james comey on january 16th.
then he has a central house appointed that turned out to be false, and i would like to know, and his supporters would like to know, where did this come from? who planted that false story? i have my third letter in to the inspector general asking just to confirm, are you investigating those leaks that peter strzok talked about? that is a setup. it is entirely irrelevant to this point. >> why propaganda stuff is popping up, i have no idea. i have no idea why we're going here. >> this is exactly why president trump is upset and why his supporters are upset. >> do you think it's appropriate for president trump to ask china and ukraine to investigate joe biden? >> george, you really think he was serious about thirnking tha
china is going to investigate the biden family? >> he said it right there in public. >> i think senator rubio said a couple days ago, i think he's getting the press spun up about all this. remember, this is the president who has been tougher on china than any other president. >> how exactly was russian disinformation infiltrated throughout our politics for over two years, pushing an insane conspiracy theory about president trump and russia that was completely false? >> the intelligence community has already said that russia did interfere. >> there are a lot of unanswered questions. chuck, i just want the truth. the american people want the truth. >> do you not trust the fbi, you don't trust the cia? >> no, i don't. after james comey, peter strzok, john brennan. no, i don't trust any of these guys in the obama administration. >> that was all weekend long. let's talk more about this. joining me right now is lisa layer, national political reporter with the "new york times," and nathan gonzalez is the editor and publisher of
inside elections. good to see both of you. lisa, is this all about political survival and party over country for most republicans? what do you make of the fact that so many republicans are ignoring the president calling on ukraine and china to investigate a political rival? >> i think the vast majority of republicans have decided that president trump is not only the president but the leader of the party, and they're going to follow him. there is an electoral component to that, that they feel like if they oppose the president or criticize the president, they are fearful of losing in a primary in their home district or home state. i think that's a big reason why you see this rallying point. but the vociferous need to push back and add other stories about the bidens, sometimes that seems unnecessary. but it's about electoral survival for many of these members. >> so, lisa, there is a deafening silence for a majority of republicans at the president's admissions, his
invitations of a dial offering investigations. does this mean the white house is stonewalling on subpoenas for documents and testimony? >> what we have heard from most republicans, some, of course, went on tv, but the vast majority of republicans have been very, very, as you point out, deafeningly silent over the past week, and there is a lot of concern that's being aired privately in public circles about what's going to come out, what the white house plan is. there's no war room, there is no clear strategy coming from the white house. there is no guidance, really, being given to republicans in the house or senate. and that makes a lot of republicans pretty nervous. they don't know what's going to come. they don't know how it's going to be handled, what the president is going to say and what he's going to say the next day, and it makes them nervous to really say anything and get out in front or defend him rat all. they would rather see how this
plays out. >> nathan -- yeah, go ahead. >> i think there have been phases to donald trump and his republican party. i think when he first merged as a candidate and became the nominee, there was a response among other republicans, let's just wait this out. he'll go away. and then i think everyone started to embrace him and they liked the judges and the two justices on the supreme court, and now i think it's back to a lot of what lisa said, sort of waiting it out. if we just ignore it, it will just go away or he'll go away and things will go back to how they were before. i don't think it's going to be that easy. >> it also seems the walls might be cracking when you've got someone like senator mitt romney calling the president's actions appalling. other republicans, will hurd, ben sasse, have said something similar. now susan collins said, quote, the president made a big mistake. you know, by asking china to investigate the bidens. so why is it that there are republicans who are willing to
say this but perhaps there is a lot of reticence still? >> some of this depends on people's individual situation. will hurd is, of course, retiring, so he can kind of say what he wants. he's not running for reelection again. bill sasse at times has been critical of the president. mitt romney is not choosing to run if he chooses to for quite a while. where the cracks will happen are in states like susan collins, senators who are up for reelection, in states that are a little bit more purple, where they go on this. so colorado, north carolina. what do those senators do and do we start to see more from them? it's been really easy for a lot of these guys to stay silent because they haven't been in washington. it will be more public about this inquiry, which is moving very quickly, particularly for
the pace of how things typically move in d.c. i think it will get harder, and i think the places where we could see those cracks first emerge, if they are to emerge, are in those purple states. >> nathan, it seems like it's a concerted effort to not say anything. il it's not that people are waiting it out. among those who are silent about it, they are evading reporters and cameras in the hallways, not returning phone calls for requests to go on the air to explain their points of view. you know, is this going to be a possible, you know, week of reckoning. if you're going to have testimony from the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, the former, that is if they get their eyes on the formal complaint of the second whistleblower, do you see, nathan, that it might potentially change the tune and the approach that many lawmakers are taking on this? >> i mean, it might. we always have to leave ourselves open, and until we know what information comes out, we have to hold out for that
possibility. but i think most republicans and most democrats have kind of already made up their mind about the situation, and if the president continues to say that he's innocent and it's a witch hunt, then a lot of republicans are going to follow. i would say republican-based voters, constituents of these members, and these members will be reluctant to go against their bases. another state that's interesting is kansas where, actually, secretary of state mike pompeo is viewed as a potential united states senate candidate and someone who could maybe save that open seat from falling into democratic hands. now it's becoming more and more that he's involved at a deeper level. >> nathan gonzalez, lisa lerer, good to see you both. thank you. >> thank you. president biden versus president donald j. trump. the former vice president gets personal blasting, quote, the president's abuse of power.
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today former vice president joe biden unleashing a scathing op-ed in the "washington post," slamming president trump's unfounded allegations against him and his son hunter. biden writes, to trump and those who facilitate his abuses of power and all the special interests funding his attacks against me, please know that i am not going anywhere. you won't destroy me and you won't destroy my family. and come november 2020, i intend to beat you like a drum. meantime, the former vice president continues to defend himself against trump's allegations of conflict of interest in ukraine. >> it's not a conflict of interest. there's been no indication of any conflict of interest from ukraine or anywhere else, period. i'm not going to respond to that. let's focus on the problem.
focus on this man, what he's doing, that no president has ever done. no president. >> all right, i'm joined now by maria cardona, a democratic strategist who once served as the communications director, and anna caspava, host of "the young turks," a new online show. is trump doing enough to form the narrative that it is the former vice president who is corrupt? >> i think this op-ed was a great step in making sure he does defend himself very aggressively. it's not the last time he's going to have to do it. if there's anything we've seen from trump is he does not cease going after who he views are his strongest political rivals, and clearly he sees joe biden as the biggest threat right now. so what that means is trump is not going to stop going after
biden, he's not going to stop going after his family, he's not going to stop being personal, he's not going to stop putting out there unfounded debunked complete lies, conspiracy theories, about biden and his family. biden needs to do the exact same thing. he needs to be as aggressive, if not more. he needs to be as unstoppable, if not more, not just in defending himself and his family, but going after this president and how much of a threat he is to our democracy, our constitution and literally our republic and way of life here in this country. that's what he needs to be doing. >> so, anna, biden has said it in front of the cameras this week, now in this op-ed, trump won't destroy me or my family, but is this attention ultimately damaging the biden campaign? just take a look at the fundraising. biden's fundraising compared to bernie sanders, 25 million in this third quarter.
do you believe that dip in fundraising for biden is as a result of this kind of attention? >> to be quite honest with you, i think that there are multiple factors, and one of the factors is, you know, the messaging that he's had on the campaign trail about how he doesn't really want to change things, how he wants to protect the system that a lot of voters have been frustrated with. but i do agree that donald trump's attacks toward him have been effective, and i also agree that he needs to be much more aggressive in addressing them. one thing that keeps coming up is the whole notion of a conflict of interest. biden using his political power in order to get his son these lucrative business deals or positions. but let's take a good hard look at the trump administration and the nepotism that takes place there. donald trump has used his political power not only to encourage foreign leaders to meddle in our elections, but also to benefit himself and his family financially. if you look at his tax plan, that was specifically written in a way to ensure that his real
estate dealings are even more lucrative in the future, and then you have both ivanka trump and jared kushner serving in his administration. i think biden needs to be clear and aggressive in the attacks against trump -- >> is he being aggressive in that area, then? >> not even close. not even close. the way he handled that interview at the seu event was, in my opinion, terrible. now donald trump is using that clip against him. instead of saying, i don't want to answer that question, he should have said, you know what, let's talk about the nepotism in the trump administration, let's talk about the emoluments clause. you have to fight. >> 27 democrats weren't going for the impeachment idea, then there was an unleashing. do you think it's potentially dangerous for democrats to
attack bidthe administration no? >> i do, and what we want as a party it for people to focus their fire on trump, for people to focus on how inept and how unfit the folks at 1600 pennsylvania avenue are right now. >> i wouldn't allow my vice president's son or family member to serve on the board of a foreign country, so -- >> you know, but i think that's okay because the other reality, i think, that we have to talk about here -- >> that's not lending a hand from the white house or trump? >> i think it matters what you said after that, and it focuses on trump. i think biden is going to ask him his questions about his
comfort flefld in terms of having his son on that board. there is a way to turn this around and make it a person who has lived on nepotism, whose kids survive on nepotism, who is a walking conflict of interest and who lies every single time he opens his mouth. let's not focus on false equivalencies here whether that comes from the media or whether it comes from his 2020 rivals. i think it's all going to be in biden's hands in terms of defending himself and then turning the fire and the focus and the fury on who it needs to be, and that is this unfit, unqualified criminal president of the united states that we have right now. >> we're going to leave. let's find out if the democratic debate ends up being that opportunity or not.
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attorney for the family of botham jean, the man murdered by guyger, confirms the victim was this young man, joshua brown. he was the neighbor who testified that he heard the confrontation between guyger and jean as well as hearing the gunshots. cnn's polo sandoval is following the developments for us now. >> reporter: before his murder on friday, joshua brown made headlines as a key witness at the trial of dallas officer amber guyger. >> my apartment was right here. i could reach over. both apartments are directly across from one another. >> reporter: amber guyger was convicted of killing botham jean after walking into his apartment in 2016. she said she mistook his apartment for hers. he saw guyger outside his
apartment. brown got emotional recounting, hearing his voice from time to time. on social media, they said br n brown, the next door neighbor killing, underlines all the issues of a black person. >> they're hoping someone who saw something or heard something will reach out. next, the u.s. supreme court is set to begin its new term this week taking on issues of abortion and lgbtq rights. why chief justice roberts will play the most critical role on the conservative court, straight
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all right, welcome back. tomorrow begins a new session at the u.s. supreme court and justices facing now several highly contentious cases, and that includes cases on abortion, immigration, the second amendment and lgbtq rights. and with a majority of justices appointed by republican presidents, conservatives are hoping for some big wins. it was just one year ago today that justice brett kavanaugh was sworn in, replacing the often deciding swing vote of anthony
kennedy. activists are on the steps of the u.s. supreme court today, in fact, to protest kavanaugh and the conservative direction of the court. let's discuss right now this new term with cnn's aryan devos. the conservatives have cemented a majority, and we're seeing so many controversial cases now. what's kind of the landscape? >> well, you know, this upcoming term has these hot button issues. gun rights, immigration among them. and then just last friday they agreed to add the explosive issue of abortion, which will be heard this term. that means that president trump's two nominees, brett kavanaugh and neal gorsuch, this will be the first time they hear an abortion case on the high court. and, of course, all eyes will be on brett kavanaugh celebrating his first year on the court just today. and that's because this louisiana abortion law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
critics say it's not medically necessary, and they point out that it was just three years ago that this supreme court heard an almost identical law out of texas and struck that down. what was different then, fred? it was kennedy who sided with the liberals in that case. of course kennedy has been replaced with the more conservative brett kavanaugh. >> and what about the role of the chief justice, john roberts? >> he is facing now his 15th year on the bercnch, and he wor really hard to try to keep the court out of the political fray. but these cases we're talking about, of course, these are the cases that very often divide this court down along familiar idealogical lines. so he might be working really hard to deep the court out of that political fray, but it's with the backdrop that each one of these cases, of course, will be decided by the next election skpchlt on top of that, roberts could face one of the most political events of all, because
if this impeachment inquiry continues, he might have to be called upon to preside upon a senate trial. a lot going on here. >> understatement. all right, ariane de vogue, thank you very much. they are now learning a second whistleblower with interactions of ukraine are coming forward, but republicans are already dismissing those claims. fact check when we come back on cnn. ♪ create up to 12 combinations with applebee's new pasta and grill combos starting at $9.99. and get more bites for your buck with our late night half-priced apps. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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hello again, everyone. thanks so much for being with me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. new today a major development into the impeachment inquiry of president trump. a second whistleblower has come out in the phone call with ukraine. he works with the intelligence community and has firsthand knowledge of the report claims made by the first whistleblower. let's go to cnn justice correspondent evan perez. evan, what more do we know about this new whistleblower? has a formal complaint actually been filed? >> not at this point,