tv CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar CNN October 10, 2019 10:00am-11:00am PDT
>> that's -- i won't say anything. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." br have a great afternoon. this is "cnn breaking news." . i'm horace sanchez in for brie anna keilar and we start wh explosive news. we know how the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, tried to dig up dirt on joe biden, and to that point they tried to dig up dirt in ukraine for the trump administration. they tried to buy access to and are linked to an unnamed congressman. cnn has learned that texas republican former representative pete sessions appears to be that
unnamed congressman. he has not been charged with any wrongdoing as of this point. our jessica snyder is at the courthouse in virginia where the two men are set to appear. jessica, they were arrested last night in dulles airport. pick it up from there. where do we go now? >> reporter: they were, boris. these two close associates of rudy giuliani, lev parnas a and igor fruman were arrested at dulles airport. they are set to appear in court at 2:00 this afternoon. this is an indictment from the southern district of new york, but they'll appear here first before facing those charges in new york. the indictment alleging conspiracy and also illegal campaign contributions. it says that these two men helped funnel foreign money into u.s. elections here, and the two men did give hundreds of thousands of dollars to a trump-aligned superpac. according to the indictment, it says this, that these
contributions were made for the purpose of gaining influence with politicians so as to advance their own personal financial interests, and the political interests of ukranian government officials, including at least one ukranian government official with whom they were working. now, what's key about these two men in the broader scope of the ukranian impeachment inquiry are their ties with rudy giuliani, the fact they worked with giuliani to help him dig up dirt in ukraine on joe biden, the fact they introduced rudy giuliani to ukranian officials, and also the fact that they pushed that former u.s. congressman from texas to help get the u.s. ambassador to ukraine, maria yavonovitch, fired. it lays it out in the indictment how they worked on it, saying this. parnas met with congressman 1 and sought congressman 1's asness in causing the u.s. government to remove or recall the u.s. ambassador to ukraine.
that's yavonovitch. parnas' efforts to remove the ambassador were conducted at least in part at the request of one or more ukranian government officials. yavonovitch is supposed to appear here tomorrow for testimony. still hard to know if the state department will block her. here in virginia, we know both men are scheduled to appear at 2:00, and what's interesting here, boris, is that we just learned that these two men will be represented in part by paul manafort's attorneys, kevin downing and tom zenley. so this all ties back to something we saw a year ago when paul manafort was in this exact same courthouse, eventually found guilty on two counts. these two men will now appear before a magistrate judge at 2:00 p.m. stemming from this conspiracy indictment out of the southern district of new york. boris? >> some familiar faces on their
defense team. jessica snyder, thank you for the reporting. plenty to discuss. let's bring in michael warren and karoun demirjian. we have shimon prokupecz outside of new york. what can you tell us there? >> there are a lot of players in trump world. john dowd wrote a letter to the committee investigating the impeachment issues last week in which he objected to the document requests from the committee on behalf of these guys. so his role actually is quite interesting, as is the role of rudy giuliani. >> now, shimon, to you. the southern district of new york is handling this case, not the u.s. attorney in virginia. we know those federal
prosecutors in new york are set to make an announcement in the next hour or so. what does it mean to you that they're handling this case and what questions are still unanswered out there? >> reporter: certainly there are still a lot of questions unanswered, and one of those things is how deep do these men's connections into ukraine, into foreign nationals, how deep does it run? and i think that is going to be one of the biggest questions that need to be answered here. who was helping them? what foreign nationals? we know that in the indictment they talk about a foreign national, number one, being a russian. who is that person and how deep into the ukranian government, perhaps the russian government does this run? and those are some of the biggest questions. the other big question, obviously, is rudy giuliani. what did he know about these men and where the money was coming from and who, perhaps, else was involved? one of these men is alleged to have been the fixer, is the guy
who was setting rudy giuliani up in ukraine with meetings to try and dig up this dirt. so that's a big question. and the other thing i think we should all be very cognizant of is that this is exactly what the fbi, what u.s. officials are very concerned about, is just how some of these foreign nations have been able to penetrate washington, have been able to penetrate -- in some ways you can even argue the white house here with the effect of what's going on with the entire ukraine matter now and the president potentially facing impeachment on that. so those are all very big questions. certainly the fbi is all over this. they're still investigating, and i think there is going to be what appears to be a lot more to come. we do expect to hear from the u.s. attorney here at 2:00 as well as the fbi, boris. >> now, michael, to you. america first. this pro-trump superpac, they're saying they didn't use these
$300,000. they're saying they're in a segregated account. what does it mean that they're still holding onto this money? >> it's a little unusual and nothing in the indictment has made an issue of this money. it's interesting, and of course it's interesting that this is a campaign finance violation, according to the indictment, that the government is alleging. you do have to question what it was that lev parnas and fruman thought they were getting to get this large amount of money. >> this is like a bad game of clue. you have fruman and parnas in ukraine trying to get dirt on joe biden, trying to influence the u.s.'s outlook of the u.s. ambassador. how does this look to you? >> this just shows how this has been an inside-out experience
the whole way through. rudy giuliani is saying he did everything at the behest of the state department, yet he appeared to be working with people not employed with the government in any fashion. there seems to be awareness and cognizance that there were some people in the administration that were aligned and in favor of what was going on, and some that were very worried about what was going on. and we see all of these characters now coming into these investigations on capitol hill. it's two of the four people who were mentioned in that indictment are three of the people that were rudy giuliani's associates that they want to talk to, one which was supposed to be today, originally. it's many intersecting strings of who were pulling the strings and who had power. the people including trump inside the government or outside the government? and if it was giuliani calling the shots of what happens, that
he is probl-- that's problemati. >> both of these men are involved in the impeachment inquiry. is this going to complicate things with house democrats? it appears we don't have ross, but i'd love to hear from you guys on it. what do you think? >> i don't know if it makes things difficult. it certainly makes the drama more apparent here. i think there are more questions as well about what rudy giuliani is going to do. of course, he has a subpoena for documents from those congressional committees, and there are questions currently saying rudy giuliani and his legal team saying they're not commenting and nothing has really changed regarding these new indictment and see these now subpoenas for parnas and fruman as well, for those documents. the plot is now thick. >> very thick. karoun, marie yavonovitch was scheduled to testify tomorrow. do you think the state
department will try to block her? >> we saw the counsel put out that letter saying they're not going to cooperate at all until the house takes a floor vote on the impeachment. but that letter is out there, and i think we're waiting to see if a similar thing happens that happened with the sondland interview, that being the eu involved with kurt volker. that message blocking kurt volker came at 9:30 a.m., that same day. but so far they're expecting yavonovitch to appear. >> shimon prokupecz and the entire panel, thank you very much. we're having some technical difficulties, but stay with us. we'll be right back.
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his clients. he was facing justice charges on iran's nuclear program. it was a deal tillerson said he simply could not support. i'm joined by cnn justice correspondent evan perez and retired admiral john kirby. kirby also served as the spokesman during the obama administration. evan, first to you. give us the details of how exactly all of this went down. >> this is an extraordinary meeting. rex tillerson, secretary of state at the time, walks into the oval ofls afice, and the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani and mike mckazy was sitting there. he had a client that was facing charges in new york for violating laws.
the president gives this pitch. they make the pitch to tillerson, and tillerson says, i cannot support that. first of all, it would be interfering with a court proceeding, something this man is already facing charges in new york. secondly, it would be bad u.s. policy for you to be able to set an example, a precedent, that you can trade people away who -- essentially americans could be targeted for being hostages overseas if you do something like this. so tillerson refused to go along with this. in our reporting, we found that mckazy also spoke with the president and said, look, this is within your power to do. you could do this. the president essentially left it up to them to try to work it out. in the end tillerson did not do this. the justice department did not go along with this. we know that rudy tried to get the justice department to do it. they declined. and and zirab is now convicted of those charges in the united states. >> so rudy denied this ever
happened, but then he sort of changed his tune, right? >> yes. he doesn't want to talk about it, but he said essentially this is something that would have been good for u.s. policy. this is something you've heard from other people, that this would have been a good thing to try to get this american out of a very tough situation. he was being held in very harsh denies in a turkish prison. that's the good from the american side. but, really, i think the importance of this is the idea that the president's personal lawyer was using the oval office of the president to try to transact something of a personal nature that he was doing and try to use foreign policy of these ukraine allegations that are now causing so many problems for the president. >> admiral kirby, how is this not an attempt at abuse of power? >> i don't think you can deny this is an attempt at abuse of
power. it didn't go anywhere, but here you have a guy being prosecuted for violating iranian sanctions at the same time the secretary of state is out there saying the iran deal was the worst deal ever in history, and they're willing to look the other way to not have them prosecuted for doing the exact same thing that trump is beating up our allies and partners for potentially doing, which is continuing to trade with iran. >> what message does that send to not only our allies but our adversaries around the world that the president is so focused on his personal agendas and the personal agendas of those around him that he's basically willing to look the other way on something he's been so harsh against, the iran nuclear deal? >> it's the same message that ukraine sends to partners around the world that deals are for sale. especially if you can make a deal that are of benefit to the personal interests of the president of the united states. >> admiral kirby, evan perez, thank you, gentlemen, so
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right now the fighting along the turkish-syria border is ramping up. they have pounded kurdish positions from the air and with artillery, but for the first time kurdish forces are fighting back with mortars over the border. this is all happening as the turkish offensive tells them to pull back or face a flood of refugees that are fleeing from the area. nick peyton walsh is on the border with turkey and syria. nick, it's only day two, but this looks like it could go into the next few weeks, if not months. help us understand why. >> reporter: absolutely, boris,
and we do you liactually just h the turkish minister and what they say is the mission goal of this operation, and that is to take kilometers of this border behind me. that's the town that the turkish are fighting for today and 30 kilometers deep. that will potentially take them down all the way to rosselain. there are two towns the troops withdrew from. i heard from a u.s. official with a pretty good grasp of the situation here, and their assessment is they could be looking for more military still. but today has been one in which the speed of the turkish events has become clear and i think a large scale of their goals. we saw this morning the turkish coming into this area back over the border. we saw the skyline here.
it was hard to see because it seems like some fires have been set by turkish. we understand that across the border area about three people have lost their lives so far today because of this response shelling, and in fact, one rocket was fired directly over our heads landing over there. the syrian kurds, though, massively less well equipped for the turkish army they're facing, the second biggest army in nato. what happens when they stop and the turkish launches attrition for fighting isis. it's been an extraordinary day where we've seen pretty much everybody that you would expect to be turkey's ally normally, and the president telling the eu to frankly get on board or they will essentially weaponize the 350,000 refugees they say they want to put back in syria.
extraordinary to hear those statements and the geopolitics of this so feeble, boris. >> weaponizing infantries. nick peyton walsh, thank you for your reporting. the president tells mitch mcconnell to stand by him. we'll talk about that, next. n br on pain than tylenol. when pain happens, aleve it. all day strong.
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an impeachment inquiry. democrats are now preparing a series of subpoenas in an effort to force witnesses to testify after the white house has essentially promised active non-compliance. also we're watching to see if two key witnesses were allowed to testify, the former ambassador to ukraine tomorrow, and the president's former top russia adviser next week. let's head over to manu raju who are on capitol hill. manu, we know the two men indicted working with rudy giuliani are supposed to be charged today. what are their expectations? >> they are expected to turn over documents. there is a third giuliani associate who also has been targeted by this committee but
that person has not gotten a subpoena yet, so some questions about whether or not there is cooperation for subpoenas coming for that individual. there is still a major question of whether the former ambassador to ukraine, marie yavonovitch will, in fact, come tomorrow. at the moment she is expected to come. that could, of course, change, because even though she's the former ambassador, she is still a current state department employee. we saw what happened to another state department employee, gordon sondland, when earlier this week the state department took steps to block his testimony. he agreed and said he would not testify because of their objections. there is a question whether the former ambassador will, in fact, come. her coming tomorrow will be significant because democrats and republicans have a lot of questions for her about the circumstances of her removal from that spot. she is a person who is also mentioned in today's indictment of those two giuliani associates who tried to work to remove her from the post, even enlisting a
congressman, former congressman pete sessions, as part of that effort. so there are a lot of questions, boris, about the next steps. expect tomorrow to be a key day if that happens. if not, more subpoenas are bound to come if they do not get cooperation, and the big question for democrats as they return to session next week, boris, how quickly do they move to wrap up their impeachment inquiry? will they actually have a vote as republicans have demanded to formalize an impeachment inquiry. that's something the speaker has resisted but some democrats continue to push. boris? >> the question of a full vote on the house floor, manu raju, is something we're going to address in just a second. thank you for that. there are a small number of house democrats who want that floor vote on the impeachment inquiry, something republicans, including president trump, are demanding. michigan democratic congressman debra dingell joins me now. congresswoman dingell, that vote, are you for it, against it? what do you think? >> i'm one of those people who is very slow, very deliberate
and want to make sure we get the facts. and watching what the response is to the subpoenas that are being issued, are we going to hold people in contempt to congress? are we going to investigate the facts? nobody is above the rule of law. but i've been home for two weeks. i've heard lots of people with questions and concerns, and i think it's very important that we not divide the country further in this process. so i'm looking forward to getting back next week, hearing what my colleagues have learned in committee and strategizing with leadership on where we go next. >> so, effectively, you're opposed to a floor vote? >> i'm very concerned by what i have seen this week. i think it is very important that the committees investigate. nobody is above the rule of the law, and this whistleblower complaint is what took me to saying we have to be -- we have to investigate, it's our national security. i'm very concerned that this white house is refusing to answer questions, to cooperate.
i want to talk to adam schiff myself. i want questions answered for me, and i want us to be transparent and give the american people the answers. if we get to a point that they're simply not going to do anything, then we've got to decide what that next step is. but we've got to be very thoughtful and deliberate. and there has been way too much -- many things in this process. one of the things i promise the people in my district is i'm going to be thoughtful, deliberate, and i'm going to protect our national security and i'm going to protect our constitution. >> i have to ask you about this letter the house sent to house speaker nancy pelosi. they didn't really indicate in that letter that they would comply with any of the requests from the house if there was a floor vote. we also have congressman mark meadows. he's one of the republicans that's pushing for a vote. he says that republicans need it so they can cross-examine witnesses to issue their own subpoenas in the investigation. do you trust republicans, that they have good intentions in trying to have this house vote, or do you think the white house is just going to bypass it and
not give in to these requests after all? >> that's one of the things i've really learned to do is to not speculate. mark meadows is someone that i actually talk to and have honest conversations with. you know, i've gone back and reread -- i was young but i was working for a republican senator at the time of the watergate hearings. and i remember where all those republican senators and members of congress were until they got more facts, until the tapes became public, and they realized that the president had lied. and the man i was working for, robert griffin, was one of the first republican leaders to call for richard nixon to resign, and richard nixon resigned in 17 days. i have talked to many republicans while i have been home. they, too, are trying to get the facts. it's a very complicated time. i know the media is trying file this and get answers from us. this is a time that i think being very deliberate, getting the answers, not being pushed one way or the other, being as
transparent as possible but remembering that we are americans. and our job is to protect this country. which we know people are trying to divide. i don't want to see this country divided further, but bottom line, nobody is above the law. rule of law is what keeps us together and we have got to protect the rule of the law. >> of course, congresswoman, respectively, we've all seen the transcript of the call between president trump and his ukranian counterpart. what other facts, what other evidence would you need to pursue impeachment? >> well, for starters, it's not a transcript, it's notes. i always feel like i have to say that. we don't know everything that was discussed. i've heard many -- were there other issues that were discussed? was russia involved in those discussions somehow? which, by the way, i don't know. so don't anybody think i'm saying that it was, but i've had questions, comments. these investigations, these questions are being asked in a
classified setting with chairman schiff and all of the republicans. i think we need to try to make as much public as we can, but we do have to protect our national security. i want to know as much as we can. i want to know. you know, every single day we learn something new. australia has been involved, china has been involved. today two people were indicted. let's get the story. let's put the whole picture together, because a lot of -- you know, i've been screamed at by everybody. i've been screamed at by people who thought i should come out with impeachment last summer. today i was at something and somebody came up and screamed at me if democrats have lost their mind, and other people say thank you for being thoughtful. i'm trying to be thoughtful because i care about this country. we all need to care about this country. and i care about our democracy and our constitution, and i think it's in danger right now. >> congresswoman, i promise i will not scream at you, but i do want to pivot to one more question that you might have mentioned. of the two men that were
indicted today, these two linked to lewdrudy giuliani, his efforo dig up dirt on joe biden. they've now been subpoenaed to produce documents. your reaction? >> we have due process. am i disturbed by it? yes. again, i'm for letting the process work. we are a country of laws. this is our laws. they're being investigated. let's get the facts. when we get the facts and , the make the determination of what we do next. clearly, no one should feel comfortable by what happened today. >> okay, congresswoman debra dingell, we appreciate your time. we are just getting some breaking news in right now. we're moments away from these two rudy giuliani associates' first court appearances. they were arrested last night in dulles airport in washington, d.c. we know now why they were at the airport. our own evan perez joins us now. evan, were these two guys trying to flee? >> that's what it looks like.
shimon prokupecz and i were told by prosecutors in the case that they were not planning to make this announcement today. there was still information and investigative work they were trying to do, but their hand was forced, essentially, because these two men, igor fruman and lev parnas, were trying to leave the country so they were arrested. this is something the fbi, the prosecutors would know. if you buy a plane ticket, this is something they're going to know as they're keeping an eye on you. they were arrested at dulles airport yesterday, and as you pointed out, they're now going to be presented to a magistrate in the next 20 minutes or so in alexandra where for the first time they're going to hear the charges that are facing them in the southern district of new york. but that's the reason why we're learning about this today, is the fact they were trying to leave the country yesterday. >> evan, going off of that, is it clear that the attempt to leave expedited their arrests?
we know they were being investigated for some time. >> it did. it expedited their arrests and it expedited the decision to make this case public. keep in mind, boris, that parnas and fruman were both being asked to provide information, to provide depositions, to provide information to the impeachment inquiry. the committee is doing that here in washington. we obviously don't know whether they had any plans to show up here or to provide any of that information. clearly the fact they were trying to leave the country tells you otherwise. >> evan perez, thank you so much for the breaking news. we're following all sorts of stories, including one about senator bernie sanders and his health. he's at home recovering from a heart attack and now also doing a little bit of damage control today after suggesting that he might need to slow down a bit. what the 78-year-old is saying now when we return. th psoriatics pain was so frustrating. my skin... it was embarrassing. my joints... they hurt. the pain and swelling.
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sanders is also calling it nonsense that anyone would believe he was hiding details about his health. listen. >> we wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on, really. so the first thing we're trying to do is understand what's going on and not run to the "new york times" and have to report every 15 minutes. this is not a baseball game. i think we acted absolutely appropriately. >> cnn's ryan nobles is on the story for us. ryan, what more can you tell us? >> reporter: well, at this point, boris, we're just waiting to see exactly when bernie sanders begins this ramp-up back to where he was prior to this heart attack when it comes to his campaign schedule. as you mentioned, a couple days ago sanders told a couple of us who were here covering the story in burlington that he was going to scale back his campaign attack but do something that's more in line with what other democratic opponents in the field are doing. sanders pushing back on that a little bit in this interview with cnn, insisting his campaign
is going to be back to normal very, very soon. the first time we expect to see sanders back in the campaign in a serious form and fashion is at that october 15th cnn debate. he was asked whether or not he's prepared for that. is his health in order to stand for three hours and handle the rig good to go by that date. boris, you're right. questions whether or not the campaign was transparent enough in revealing sanders had heart attack. he learned he had a heart attack tuesday night when he first was admitted to the hospital. the kpap didn't reveal that until he left the hospital friday. sanders said they wanted to get all the information together have that information from the medical professional before they released it. boris, later tonight on "the situation room" zr, dr. sanjay gupta will sit down live with bernie sanders to talk about his health situation and what it
means going forward. >> thank you for that. senator sanders joining our colleague wolf blitzer and dr. sanjay gupta in "the situation room" this evening, tonight 6:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. another important programming note. just hours away from a special series of town halls focused on issues important to the lgbtq community. nine democratic presidential candidates take part. cnn teamed up with a human rights campaign for the evening. its president joins me to discuss, next. woman: what does the word "partner" really mean?
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this week the supreme court heard oral arguments on three potentially groundbreaking gender equality cases. in all three cases fired from jobs for being gay or trans. the ruling not expected for months to reshape rights for decades and one of many topics tackled tonight by democratic candidates of the cnn presidential town hall, equality in america. alfonzo david is president of the human rights campaign partnering on these town halls with cnn. what do you want to hear tonight from these presidential candidates? >> well, thank you. first, thank you for having me. what we're looking to hear from the presidential candidates tonight are their plans for addressing issues of inequality in this country. many lgbtq people face sdr
discrimination, housing, employment or in public spaces. nine candidates tonight will be outlining their vision and plans for how they can address issues affecting lgbtq americans. >> now, which of these candidates of these nine candidates do you think has the most work to do when it comes to connecting with the lgbtq community? >> well, it's too soon to tell. i mean, i know all of the candidates are issuing their plans. i think many issued plans over the course of the past 24 hours, and we have an obligation to make sure that we review those plans very, very diligently. our objective is to make sure that whoever the ultimate candidate is, that we support a candidate that actually has plans to address issues of inequality in our community. they all come with different strengths and weaknesses and i think our goal again is to make sure we take a very careful look at every single candidate and
make sure that all of our members, we have more than 3 million members across this country. we have 11 million lgbtq voters, and we have more than 57 million pro-equality voters. this town hall will give all of them an opportunity to hear directly from the candidates about their vision and, again, their goals how they can achieve that vision. >> so you didn't want to name any of the candidates. let's sort of try to rephrase the question. which candidate are you most looking forward to hearing from? >> i am looking forward to hearing from all of the candidates. i know some of the candidates personally. some of the candidates i don't know so well. again, as the president of the human rights campaign, i want to make sure that we're looking at all of the candidates fairly and objectively, and they all come, again, with different expertise. right? there's some that are lawyers. some that are policymakers. we want to know how are you going to address the concerns of a transgender person who is
struggling with the fear of walking down the street at night because they are afraid that they might get attacked? how are they going to address concerns about the fact that 35 states in this country still allow conversion therapy? essentially that means you can take a young person and have them engage in shock therapy to change their sexual orientation. how are they going to completely address the sort of the radical rollback that we're seeing by the trump administration? they're prohibiting transgender troops from serving in the military, allowing federal contractors to discriminate against lgbtq people. i'm really interested in digging deep into all of their plans and their goals and how they can achieve them. a. slew of issues for these candidates to talk about. alfon alfonso, thank you for laying out a guideline to watch and listen for. thank you for your time. >> thank you so much for having me. stay with cnn tonight for a
presidential town hall, "equality in america" starts at 7:30 eastern. you won't want to miss it. that's it for me. thank you for joining me today. "newsroom with brooke baldwin" starts right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hi there. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. thank you for being with me. breaking news this afternoon involving rudy giuliani and his push to investigate joe biden in ukraine. any minute now two men accused of helping giuliani in those efforts are expected to appear in a virginia federal courtroom after being arrested and indicted for pouring foreign money into a u.s. election. the charges all relate to donations made by these two men. this is igor fruman and lev parnas, two former texas congressmen pete sessions, congressmen, allegedly asked to help get the former ambassador to ukraine