tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN October 15, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
all right. top of the hour. good morning everyone. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. right now another key witness is testifying on capitol hill on the ongoing impeachment inquiry into president trump, george kent. he will be asked about what fiona hill already told lawmakers. hill said she was alarmed by
wrong doing in the white house's dealings with ukraine and that she tried to report that wrong doing. >> hill testified that former national security adviser john bolton shared her concerns and not only that, and i quote, hill testified that bolton referred to rudy giuliani, trump's personal attorney, as a hand grenade who was going to blow everybody up. the white house is calling this entire inquiry invalid. that's their response this morning. >> we're also hearing from joe biden's son. he's telling he did nothing wrong by being on the board of a ukrainian oil company. he says that was just bad judgment. you have a flurry of officials in the middle.
it seems they're corroborating the whistleblower's story. >> yeah. and they're talking and describing what is -- can only be viewed as a power strug of osorts in the run up to that july phone call between president trump and president zelenski about everything that was going on with rudy giuliani's efforts to investigate the bidens including fiona hill who testified yesterday that she and john bolton, the president's national security adviser at the time, had concerned about what they were hearing. and bot ton urged her to go to the white house attorney and make her concerns known about what they were hearing which is in one meeting that the ambassador to the european union, gordon sondland, mick mulvaney, and others were discussing the efforts that raised concern. sondland, according to what hill testified yesterday, had raised the speck teter of investigatio.
that had been interpreted as a call to investigate the bidens. democrats emerged from the hearing yesterday raised serious concerns what their viewing as a clear shadow foreign policy carried out by the president's personal attorney. >> rudy giuliani has clearly been a leading force for the administration in defining a shadow foreign policy in ukraine. there was an official foreign policy which was attempting to counter corruption in ukraine. and then there was rudy giuliani, and you know, the gang that shouldn't shoot straight who worked for him who were involved precisely in connecting with corruption in ukraine and promoting corruption in ukraine. so, you had two foreign policies that were working completely against each other. >> now, one thing that the democrats are going to ask george kent who's a senior state department official today is
about what happened in the oust of marie yovanovitch. she testified last week the president pressured the state department to remove her from the position. he apparently was trying to protect her from getting removed. so, there will be a lot of questions about that. just moments ago, jim jordan, the top republican on the committee told us he believes kent was subpoenaed to be here today as a number of officials have. we'll see what he answers as a current employee testifying. >> it's notable because there was initially stone walling. they didn't want any witnesses testifying and here they are. >> joining us now to discuss this. there's a lot former prosecutors, jennifer, if i could start with you. look at the evidence as you've seen it here. this started with a
whistleblower complaint. you have witnesses -- fiona hill said she saw wrong doing and tried to report it as well. the democrats are trying to build a case here in effect. what do you see of the evidence so far? >> it keeps getting bigger and bigger. we start with a phone call and what happens on this phone call and we're filling in the back stour. it wasn't just a phone call. it was a whole process, a whole shadow or rogue diplomacy going on. this is what they're doing. they're gathering evidence. they're getting stone walled in some places. >> legally? are they gathering credible evidence? >> they seem to be. of course we haven't seen what the witnesses are saying. we're just hearing reporting. but they're hearing from the right people, people who were in on all this and expressed concerns about it. so, that's what they're doing. then obviously they're the ones who lay out the charges in the form of the articles of impeachment if they get there. >> on the politics of impeachment, you have a really
interesting new cnn column in your series this morning making a case based on the history of impeachment. lay out the two critical point that is you outline in the piece. >> well, the first thing is the -- i think the evidence, as jennifer is saying, the evidence is saying is leading us to the probability that the house will vote to impeach president trump. i think the rough transcript of the phone call was enough for most democrats. now they're filling in that that was not an isolated incident but a culmination of a series of events. if the house does vote to impeach president trump and the senate does not convict which at the moment there does not seem to be enough chance of getting republicans. we would have a president impeached by the house who will then be seeking re-election in the next general election. that's never happened before. nixon left public office. clinton had the two-term limit. andrew johnson did seek the
presidential nomination of the other party but didn't get it. we may have someone on the ballot who's been impeached. that raises questions. one is whether it changes trump's strategy. impeachment may not be increasing the share of voter who is view him unfavorably, but it appears to be hardening the unfavorable views of those skeptical of him and may push him further to trying to mobilize his voters. they've got to consider the precedent of jimmy carter after impeachment in '76 and bush both ran as a uniter, not a divider. there may be more desire than democrats expect for a conciliatory factor. >> to your point here, there is something of a conventional wisdom, an impeachment process damages the party that carries out the impeachment. example of bill clinton. of course republicans won in
2000. you're saying experience shows the party that impeaches more likely to win the white house? >> yeah. the party that did the impeachment won in 1868, 1976, and 2000. and by the way, jim, in 1998, there were 91 house republicans in districts that voted for bill clinton in 1996, a much larger number than the trump district democrats today. only 7 of them were beating in the next two elections. one of them was a guy named jim row gann beaten by adam schiff in 1998 in pasadena. in fact, the party that did the impeachment won in each case. one thing about yesterday's testimony from fiona hill is that it underscored how many concerns career national security professionals had about this conduct inside the administration going to white house lawyers and raising those concerns. i think as that testimony comes out it becomes more untenable for these congressional
republicans to sweep this aside and say nothing to see here if the career professionals are raising concerns is it really plausible for house republicans to say no problem. >> talk about what a big week this is in the impeachment inquiry. you had fiona hill yesterday, really significant testimony. you have george kent, sondland later this week. you've got four big witnesses, flurry of witnesses and subpoena deadlines. how much could change by the end of the week in this inquiry? >> we could be in a whole different place. >> it's only tuesday. >> you never know. each day brings more and more revelations about what's going on. one thing that we're not getting are the documents. so, that's -- the witnesses are coming in, but they're not bringing their documents which have been subpoenaed which is why i think mike pence won't be turning over documents. i don't think rudy giuliani will turn over documents. people are not complying with those parts of subpoenas. there's no basis not to comply
but they're not. that's one area that seems like the administration stone walling is working and that's a problem. we need those documents. >> remember the private emails, private device. >> we'll see. thank you, as always. this morning joe biden's son hunter is pushing back on unfounded allegations of corruption. >> he tells abc's "good morning america" he's done nothing wrong by being on the board of a ukrainian energy company, that he never spoke to his father about his work overseas. >> i think there was poor judgment because i don't believe now when i look back on it -- i know i did nothing wrong at all. however, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is a swamp in many ways? yeah. so, i take -- i take full
responsibility for that. did i do anything improper? no. not in any way. not in any way whatsoever. >> joining us now, arlette signs. that's the site of tonight's presidential debate. i wonder does the campaign think that hunter biden helped his father today? >> well, jim, no official response from the biden campaign just yet. but as joe biden is preparing for this debate, his son hunter biden is in the spotlight giving his most in depth comments in his business dealings in ukraine and china. you heard him say while he exercised poor judgment sitting on that board, insisting there was nothing improper, no ethical lapses in doing so. take a listen to a little more of what he had to say. >> do you regret being on the board to begin with? >> no, i don't regret being on
the board. what i regret is not taking into account that there would be a rudy giuliani and a president of united states that would be listening to this ridiculous conspiracy idea which has, again, been completely debunked by everyone. >> i think people at home are thinking how could that not have crossed your mind? you wouldn't have felt a little bit in your gut like maybe this isn't a good idea to go and sit on the board -- >> i just said to you -- i said to you in retrospect i wish my judgment -- >> but at the time you never thought this might not look right? >> you know what? i'm a human. >> reporter: this comes at a critical juncture for joe biden as he's been pushing back against trump calling him a lying president. he will be taking the debate stage tonight. we will see if he answers any further questions about his
son's business dealings. jim and poppy. still to come this hour, president trump threatening to destroy turkey's economy has they push into syria. even members of his own party. and we're going to hear from u.s. military personnel. also the 2020 democratic hopefuls will fight to win over voters during tonight's debate in the key state of ohio. coming up why some democrats say they think they can win backhoe ho in the next election. and a police officer, now a former police officer, who shot and killed a woman in her own home has been charged with murder. her family says this is just the beginning of their fight for justice. >> my daughter was 28 years old, had her whole life in front of her. ok everyone!
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sanctions on turkey will do anything to curve the bloodshed or do they work with democrats to put forth veto proof much stronger sanctions on turkey. let's talk about that and more with democrat raj. thank you for being here on such a busy morning for you. let's start there. these sanctions from the white house includes raising steel tariffs. they include sanctions on high level government officials. they include stopping trade negotiations with turkey. is it enough? because when you look at steel imports, for example, they're down 76% in turkey since a year ago, meaning are these real sanctions with teeth or just a show? >> they don't look that significant to me. i think that mr. erdogan is coming to the white house in november still. i think that should be cancelled. i don't think that we should be hosting this authoritarian leader who's now attacking our allies. i think this is -- this all just
rings so hollow after the october 6th phone call where he talked to the turkish leader and basically gave him a green light to attack our allies. >> to that point, here is what treasury secretary steven mnuchin said the u.s. could do in terms of sanctions. he said this just on sunday. >> we could shut down all u.s. dollar transactions with the environment government of turkey. >> is that something you may do? >> absolutely. >> would that be, congressman, a more appropriate response at this point in time? >> i think something like that would be more appropriate. i think right now these sanctions that the president announced or his administration announced sound hollow to me. you know, what he did was basically endanger national security. there are thousands of isis fighters who are now scurrying about in syria because those kurdish guards went to the front
to fight against the turkish forces. and so we're endangering national security and sending a horrible message to anybody anywhere in the world who would want to help work with us ever again on anything. >> i want you to talk a moment to listen to something from republican congresswoman liz cheney. she's been very critical of the president's decision to pull back in northern syria, leading to what we see now from turkey. then she said this yesterday that was striking. here it is. >> what the democrats are doing themselves to try to weaken this president is part of this. it was not an accident that the turks chose this moment to roll across the border. and i think the democrats have got to pay very careful attention to the damage that they're doing with the impeachment proceedings. >> she's tying the two together, congressman, and blaming you guys. what's your response? >> i strongly disagree with that. i think that if anything this phone call that happened on
october 6 between mr. trump and the turkish leader needs to potentially be examined. what the heck was going on? why did he reverse course so suddenly? charitably, his decision to abandon our allies was reckless and rash, but what was really discussed during that phone call? i don't know. >> let me ask you one thing before we move on to the impeachment inquiry which i want to get to. we just had congressman eric swalwe swalwell. he just told jim he does not think that turkey is an ally today to the united states. their behavior could change and that could change. but given their actions and position now they're not an ally. do you consider turkey to be a u.s. ally at this point? >> they're not acting like an ally right now, poppy. they're still part of the nato alliance. but given their recent actions, they're not acting like our nato allies. so, we have to act accordingly, and i think that measures to
show our strong disapproval of what happened are appropriate. and i hope are done on a bipartisan basis this week alone. >> let's get to the impeachment inquiry. it's a big week. i understand you were not in the testimony from fiona hill yesterday. but right after this interview you're going to question george kent, the deputy assistant of european affairs. he's been a defender of marie yovanovitch and defended her in multiple accounts. what's the most important thing you hope to learn from george kent this morning? >> i hope to learn -- i'm about to go there, and i'm hoping to learn what is his knowledge with regard to the central allegations and the whistleblower complaint including those allegations regarded to yovanovitch. as you alluded earlier, basically she was forced out of her position by trump officials. we don't know exactly why, but
if she was somehow an obstacle to pressure campaign to mettle in our 2020 election, if he has knowledge of that, we would like to know. in addition to that, he also has knowledge about mr. luke sanco and others in the ukraine who were just these fake prosecutors, i would say. and, you know, this is a man that the trump folks like to elude to as somehow the paragone of prosecutors. >> his time overlap so that'll be interesting line of inquiry. finally on thursday you're going to now -- because of the subpoena you're going to have the un ambassador george sondland testify. you said a week ago you believe sondland is at the center of the campaign. what is the number one question you have for him?
>> in a "wall street journal" report, apparently he talked to senator ron johnson. he said basically the reason why ukrainian aid was being held up was because the ukrainians had not yet agreed to an investigation of the bidens. in other words, meddling in our elections. we would like to ask him about that and the text exchange of others about the allegations of the whistleblower complaint. he knows a lot and we're hoping to learn more from him about the substance and voracity of those allegations and the whistleblower complaint. >> congressman raja, thank you for being with us. i wonder if we're going to get the transcripts. >> there are some republicans calling for that to be released. a buck eye battleground.
runs through ohio tonight as the 2020 democratic hopefuls take the stage for the next presidential debate. >> of course the president carrying ohio by 8 points. democrats not writing it off for 2020. jeff zellny explaining from the buck eye state. >> thank you, ohio. we love you, ohio. >> reporter: and ohio loved president trump back. his 2016 victory so convincing it begs the question of whether ohio has lost it's lore as a pivotal battleground. as presidential candidates descend on the stage, all eyes are on ohio. nan whaley is the democratic mayor of dayton. she says voters should hold president trump to his policies. a key issue after a mass shooting killed nine people and injured 27. >> i almost feel like hillary's
loss awakened a group of people who were not willing to do work of politics that are fixated because they know what's at stake in 2020. >> reporter: she's talking about people like stephanie, lisa, and tiffany. they formed a group in the columbus suburbs called positively blue. >> this neighborhood tends to be more republican. that's the reason we started positively blue because we didn't have anybody to talk to. >> reporter: they're motivated by a sense of obligation and perhaps feelings of guilt. >> i wish i had been more involved prior to the 2016 election. truthfully i didn't think that would be the outcome. >> you didn't think trump would win. >> never. i like to think i'm pretty in tune but i never saw it coming. >> reporter: winning ohio will be no small task for democrats. while barack obama covered the state twice, trump showed how red it can be. in westerville, mitt romney beat
obama in 2012. but four years later, clinton won despite losing the state. >> there are areas that were reliably republican, big population centers that are now blue. that makes the starting point of the election a lot closer from the get go. >> reporter: the party should select a nominee who appeals to a broad cross section of voters. but jane, chairman of the ohio republican party believes trump is in a strong position here. she says all the democratic candidates are too radical for ohio. >> those messages don't really resonate in ohio and i don't think suburban voters are going to buy it. >> reporter: around kitchen tables like this, one thing has changed. the trump presidency has motivated democrats. >> i've talked to two people who
admitted they voted for donald trump in 2016 and will not be doing so next time. >> do you think they're making a mistake by underestimating what is happening in your kitchen and kitchens across ohio? >> oh yeah. >> yes. >> but don't tell them. >> reporter: there's little doubt some of the battlegrounds will be in suburbs across ohio and america. that's why democrats are trying to organize these pivotal women voters. the trump campaign is doing the same. just hours before the debate on tuesday, there's a women from trump event just miles from the democratic debate site. jeff zellny, cnn, columbus, ohio. >> the fourth presidential debate from the ohio tonight, 8:00 eastern time right here on cnn. president trump says he told president erdogan he wants immediate cease fire. >> this comes as the administration anoubss new
sanctions on turkey that will target a handful of government leaders as well as the country's small steel imports to the u.s. joining us now, how is turkey responding to these sanctions, nick? because turkey is getting what it wants on the ground there. it's getting territory. it's getting to attack these kurdish forces. any sign that this turns things around? >> reporter: the short answer, no. president erdogan goes back to his sunday last phone call with president trump which seems to give the green light for the operation. despite the threats for economic obliteration, these sanctions are against a minister for defense, minister for energy, respective ministries, and steel tariff that wasn't even signed yet. this is not anything that's going to take a sharp intake of breath. and the arrival of mike pence to try to be the negotiator between these sides is sending america
into a place where the turkish don't think they have to listen and the kurds don't want to listen because they feel betrayed. we're beginning to see settled positions. we've heard from an eyewitness on the ground that on the main international highway that we were seeing developments move quickly 48 hours ago, it appears turkish backed forces are about 20 kilometers away from syrian forces suggesting that possibly that main international road is becoming the outer reach of the offensive here. we know to the west american forces have left and russian military police are doing the mediating. so, clearly things are happening on the ground here, a situation developing that america has nothing to do with apart from departing as fast as it can. still the united states thinking it can mediate despite really it being what's happening. >> nick, thank you so much for the reporting on the ground.
we're very glad that you're there. all right. coming up we're going to speak with the former acting director of the fbi about all we learned from fiona hill's pretty remarkable testimony yesterday of what she called wrong doing in the white house's ukraine efforts. good afternoon board members. we have some great new ideas that we want to present to you today. [son]: who are you talking to? [son]: that guy's scary. the first item on the list is selecting a chairman for the... for the advisory board what's this? as well as use the remaining... child care options run out. lifetime retirement income from tiaa doesn't. guaranteed monthly income for life.
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told lawmakers she herself had serious concerns about rudy giuliani's role in policy. fiona hill testified for more than nine hours yesterday and said she tried to report what she called wrong doing to officials. >> hill said former national security adviser john bolton told her to tell the national security council that giuliani and mick mulvaney were working on a rogue operation with legal implications. joining us now is andy mccabe. good morning to you. what i think what we will think about fiona hill saying these things is that she's not someone who had or has an ax to grind with the president or any political leaning. she may view russia a bit differently than she does, but she was his top person on all things russia until recently.
given that, how significant is what she said. >> poppy, it's very significant. can i say first as a career investigator, this thing is proving to be an investigator's dream. each and every witness they've sat down with so far has provided really important testimony, testimony that leads to other witnesses, testimony that can lead to independent facts you could go back and corroborate. they haven't had a swing and a miss yet. and ms. hill was yet another in this long line of witnesses. she's able to provide crucial background before the call. there were several people in the white house, career professionals, who were very disturbed by what mr. giuliani was engineering in the background behind the u.s. foreign policy effort. >> we should note that the story they're telling is very consistent with the whistleblower's story. of course the whistleblower, the
complaint, the whistleblower, him or herself, have been attacked repeatedly. but it seems like others are corroborating that. i do want to ask you this because you served in justice, served in the fbi. look at the attorney general barr's role here because on the one hand he was participating to some degree in the president's efforts here, meeting with foreign leaders as they do their own investigation of the investigation if you will, the russia probe. but he also under the justice department charges against two of giuliani's associates here. do you see barr as a fair arbiter in this so far? >> i think it's a little bit too early to make that determination. he certainly is playing a key role that kind of could go in either direction. we know he was very clearly pointed to by the president in the july 25th phone call as someone who would be involved in this effort to further investigate the bidens and the conspiracy theory about
ukrainian yan hacking in 2016. so, that's all concerning. i also think that the speed with which his department very quickly kind of pushed aside the whistleblower's complaint as being, you know, essentially nothing to see here, nothing to investigate, i think we now know there was in fact plenty to investigate and the congress is doing that now. there's a few lingering questions there. then when you overlay on top of that his efforts traveling around the world in effort to bolster the president's conspiracy theories about the previous investigation is questionable. >> it's a good point. you almost forget because things move so quickly. the justice department did say there's nothing to see here and now you have all this testimony. >> that's a good point. we saw republican congressman member matt gets try to be part of the house intel hearing yesterday. he was booted. he thinks he has the right to because judiciary is where the
articles of impeachment will start but it's not leading on this probe. that said, transparency, do you think it is important that the transcripts of these, you know, ten hour of fiona hill or the george kent testimony or the sondland testimony on thursday, that those are made public or given to the other committees and republicans on those committees so that the argument of a lack of transparency can't be made against the democrats? >> let's keep in mind that there are republicans in these hearings with the witnesses. there are republicans present to ask questions. i do think it's important. i think it's important ultimately just that the rest of congress gets that sort of transparency, but that the american people do. if you look back at the nixon impeachment process, one of the reasons that congress was able to change public opinion on that is because we had a very public hearing of the facts.
we still haven't had that in this impeachment process yet. and i think that's going to be an important piece if the house has any hope of changing the minds of some potential republicans in the senate or just the public at large. >> certainly lots to keep on top of here. thanks very much. >> thanks very much. >> there's a great deal going on today. here's what to watch. >> the russians are secretly selling weapons to venezuela. >> we need the team to go into the jungle and get eyes on them. >> nobody's coming to save us. >> i can live with that. >> all teams ready? go. >> all right. ahead for us we are following this tragedy in ft. worth, texas, a family, the family of
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jefferson in her own home this weekend. he was performing a wellness check at the time. aaron dean was charged with her murder last night and since posted bond. omar, the attorney from the victim's family expected to speak soon. what do we expect to hear? >> reporter: yeah, jim and poppy, the family press conference expected to happen in just about 20 minutes from now. what we're going to hear in about five minutes is hear from ft. worth police department talking and elaborating on the arrest of aaron dean yesterday evening. he has since posted bail. some of the questions we have whether he was arrested by a ft. worth police officer versus turn himself in. moving forward we're trying to follow up on the investigation they have been conducting as well along with the possibility that the interim police chief floated that they had sent a preliminary case to the fbi for
potential civil rights violations. >> we're hearing from the family. atatiana's father, her brother was on cnn last night. do they have faith in the system that the investigation is going to happen? >> reporter: at this point they've been calling from the beginning for an independent investigation. the family feels the police department can't be trusted to investigate one of their own. though in regards to what happened last night, they did say it was a step in the right direction. but they say there's still a long road to go when it comes toward that path to justice. here's what the brother had to say on cnn just last night. >> he did get what i wanted him to get, and this is only the start. there's no way this is enough. we know this is a good step in the direction where we want to go, but it's definitely not the
end. >> you want justice. >> absolutely. i demand it. it has to happen. >> reporter: and as we await this press conference beginning, we'll also be hearing from the family in a press conference in about 20 minutes after that. jim, poppy. >> okay. we'll be watching. it's a tragedy. omar, thank you very much for the reporting this morning. thanks to all of you for joining us. we'll be back tomorrow morning. >> "at this hour" with kate bolduan starts after this break. e a whole new range of emotions like... the relaxing feeling of knowing you're getting the best price. these'll work. the utter delight of free wi-fi... . oh man this is the best part. isn't that you? yeah. and the magic power of unlocking your room with your phone. i can read minds too. really? book at hilton.com. if you find a lower rate, we match it and give you 25% off that stay.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> hello everyone. we are tracking breaking news on two fronts right now. first in fort worth, texas. the police department there is going to be holding a news conference at any moment. we're expecting new information to be coming out about the deadly police shooting of an unarmed woman in her own home. the death of atatiana jefferson is sparking outrage in her community and raising important questions across the country. the officer who shot her is now charged with murder. we're going to bring you this news conference when it begins. could be beginning any second now. the other big story we are monitoring right now is a