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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  December 2, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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this is "cnn tonight" i'm don lemon. there's a will the going on. we'll catch you up. the impeachment investigation moving full steam ahead the house intel committee putting the finishing touches on the report and vote to adopt the report and release it publicly tomorrow. "washington post" reporting that the attorney general disa fwrees with a key finding by the justice department inspector general at the fbi had enough information in 2016 to investigate the trump campaign. the former fbi lawyer who has been targeted by president trump for two years after sending antitrump texts now breaking her
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silence. lisa page saying the attacks are sickening and she's done being quiet. there's a state of the 2020 race. tonight we'll examine how the race for the nomination will be affected if the president is impeached and the trial is held in the senate. plus a democratic candidate courting black voters. joe biden enjoys big support among african-americans. pete buttigieg is reaching out. >> it's so important to me to earn the support of black voters. last poll that came out there were two candidates who had double digit support among black voters. the rest were 5% or less. i don't think that's perm nant. if we earn support, answer questions, share who we are. i'm new on the scene. i have get that. >> much more ahead tonight on the democrats and black voters. i want to begin with the false claim but president trump and republicans that ukraine interfered in the 2016
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elections. tonight sources tell cnn that claim was debunked by the republican control senate intelligence committee back in 2017. let's bring in max boot. good evening, gentlemen. jake tapper reporting the gop led committee is back in 2017, looked into the allegations that ukraine interfered in the election and found absolutely no evidence of that. so why is the president and allies pushing this conspiracy theory? >> because they're desperate. and have almost nothing else to say. if you read the 123 page report that house republicans released today it's just garbage. a bunch of partisan talking points claiming trump was worried about corruption. even though he never brought up the issue with president zelensky. and they revert to the conspiracy theories this is the most popular. what's disturbing is the fact this is not just something that
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was hatched in right wing twitter. this is something that was hatched by the russians. this is russian disinformation that the republicans are repeating. that their own members of the senate intelligence committee admitted is not true. hill testified is not true. they don't care about the truth because all they care about is saving the president's skin. if they have to repeat russian disinformation they'll do it. >> i heard every word you just said. but why, why, why? what the hell is going on? >> that's a great question. what is happened to the republican party? from my point, i'm somebody who in the 1980s growing up was attracted to the republican party in part because it was standards and standing up to russia. it abandoned commitments and it embraces relativism. there's no truth. it spins conspiracy theories and promotes russian disinformation.
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the republican party in order to hold onto power sold its soul. it's disgusting to see. >> it's amazing to listen to and watch the folks who whether it's in the congressmen or senators. or it's unbelievable -- it's apologists on tv. even tonight chris cuomo on randy weber a congressman. reacting to the story. let's listen. >> was the crowd strike involved in the hacking? >> yes. >> is crowd strike in part owned by ukrainian? >> no. >> really? >> yes. >> that's not the information -- yes really. that's not the information we have. >> you have bad information. the man is a american born of russian decent. not ukrainian.
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>> even when presented with information showing ukraine was cleared, there's still falsely pointing the finger at ukraine. presented with real facts, they still point to conspiracy theories. that's why i ask, what the hell is going on? are they that thick? >> they can't get off crowd strike. i was in the classified briefing in january 2017. when the leader of the intelligence community came in and briefed the members of the house about how the russians hacked the election. to harm clinton and help trump. they were very clear. there was no discussion of ukraine. fast forward a few months. go back a few months. august 2016 i was on the congressional allegation. paul manafort had been working
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for the russian sympathetic leader in ukraine. and i have to tell you, ukrainians reacted viscerally to that. they could not believe that a republican presidential candidate would have a guy who's doing putin's bidding. running his campaign. i bet the members think the ukrainians were upset. and they were. understa understandably so. they did not intervene in the elections. they just didn't. they were upset and made noise. they didn't interfere. what's so hard to understand? >> a lot. if you listen to these folks. there's this. from tucker tonight. >> i should say for the record i'm opposed to the sanctions and i don't think we should be at war with russia and take the side of russia if we have to choose between russia and
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ukraine. >> should be on the side of russia or ukraine. i don't know. >> did he add this time he's joking? mr. white supremacy is a hoax. russia attacked our elections and russia is attacking our ally ukraine over 13,000 ukrainians have died. the republican party has made this bargain they will burn everything down for trump. to the point where if reagan was alive he would be like what, we're supporting putin and russia and antidemocratic forces that attack the u.s. elections? still attacking us. i'll go back to the grave skb roll over and become a democrat. why they're doing this is deliberate. they're not stupid. the point is exhaust us. to exhaust us with disinformation. and leave americans confused. authoritarian 101 attack the truth. >> do you think maybe the people that they're getting their talking points from are that
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spart smart and they're not they're just following orders. when asked to order questions they don't see so smart when answering. it doesn't follow logical thinking. i think maybe they're just repeating talking points and being used by the people who are giving them the orders because these people come on tv and i mean, it's not smart what they're saying. >> it doesn't matter. john kennedy of louisiana is very smart. he's an elitist. he went to oxford. he knows he's either being a willing idiot or a useful idiot for trump. one quick example. trump knows that 3 million undocumented immigrants didn't vote for clinton. trump said the elections were rig td. he promoted the white supremacy conspiracy theory of the deep state. and the invasion. they know all of this.
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they know the source is debunked. why do they do it, to confuse the base. this is my prediction. 2020 will happen and trump as han out. everyone is against me. the press is against me, law enforcements judiciary. the deep state. it's all a hoax, who are you going to trust? me or then. if the election is close he'll say it was invalid. everyone was against me. maybe or maybe not i'll leave. the republican base come with me. i'm your leader. that's what people aren't preparing forment what happens if he doesn't leave. and how much will the republicans burn down for trump. you're seeing it this week. if i'm crazy call me out. i have been predicting it. they are openly promote russian disinformation that will hurt democracy for trump. >> thank you all. here's our breaking news. bill barr may refuse to accept the conclusions of his inspector general that the fbi was
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justified in investigating the trump campaign. is he acting more like the president's attorney than the country's attorney? that's the question for the former director of national intelligence. james clapper. ♪ ♪
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new reporting tonight from the "washington post" that attorney general bill barr has told associates he disagrees with the doj inspector general conclusion the fbi had enough information to justify launching an investigation into the trump campaign. let's discuss now. i hope you had a great thanksgiving. appreciate you joining me. director clapper, critics accused bah of behaving like he's president trump's personal lawyer not the attorney general. what is your reaction@report he's considering breaking from the doj inspector general?
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>> well, first, we all need to read the report to see what it actually says. and i guess after the attorney general's what i consider a distorted portrayal of the mueller the results of the mueller investigation before it came out which mueller himself took issue with, it isn't too surprising. what's involved here is a subjective judgment in the end i think. and i will say i don't know the ig the department of justice personally. i do know by reputation he is known to be thorough, very thorough. very tough and very fair. and so i personally put a will the of stock in what he says. any ig if investigating something long enough when it involves a process will find heirs of omission or comission. which what happened here.
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as far as motivation and whether it was appropriate to initiate the investigation from what i have read, it comes out favorable for the fbi. which obviously is not good news for and doesn't play to the nartive that the administration would like to hear. >> can we talk about rudy giuliani for a bit here. because federal prosecutors are announcing in court today announcing that four of rudy giuliani's associates are under investigation for additional crimes and new charges are likely. also learned that federal agents seized 29 devices from the four defendants. while giuliani's name didn't come up today. he's under investigation. how much trouble could he be in? >> well, my mom used to say birds of a feather flock together. i wonder about his associates
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and his tangled entangments in ukraine. on a business basis. legal representation as the president's personal attorney. or some unofficial foreign policy emissary. and all these things seem to be interlinked and so it just makes the plot thicker. and i had noticed that he is kind of been off the tube of late. and i think that's probably from his standpoint a good practice. >> in a new interview with time magazine the ukraine president zelensky is criticizing trumps decision to suspend the military aide. he said we're at war. if you're a partner you can't go blocking anything for us.
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i think that's just about fair. it's not a quid pro quo. it just goes without saying. that's a strong rebuke. efb though the president is saying he is saying that i did nothing wrong. he's defending me. >> well, when i read that it was almost heart rending to me. i first went to the ukraine and it was 1992 to open up a military intelligence relationship with them. and i have visited since. and i have great respect regard for the ukrainian people. and what they're trying to do. when you read that, and you it's really a profound statement. a compelling statement. i should say. about the ukraine dependence on us. and i thought that he made a pretty profound point there. and forget the quid pro quo stuff. we need the assistance.
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our very existence depends on it. this is why it's so serious. so critically important to ukraine. >> and again, this didn't exonerate. the president tweeted thank you president zelensky, case over. this was not an exoneration. that's a distortion of president zelensky words. >> well, yes. of course. this is kind of standard practice. let's ignore the context here. which is what i think the president did. >> yeah. i want to talk about this quickly if you can. responding to a lawsuit. the doj has begun releeing notes from ber views from the trumps inner circle from the mueller investigation. hope hicks and a attempt by jared kushner to brief trump after the trump tower meeting in 2016. she says kushner tried to open a
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folder with documents but trump stopped him saying he doesn't want to know about that. what does that say to you. is that plausible deniability? >> yeah, it could be. i hadn't heard this. it maybe sound like it. and i guess this is from one of the inner circle who won't be the first time somebody tried to protect the president. so, i guess more to follow. if more of the notes will be coming out. this is being done against the department of justices wishes. >> director clapper, thank you so much. >> thanks, don. >> lisa page is taking her power back. the former lawyer who sent texts breaking her silence and describing attacks bit president as feeling like a gut punch.
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attorney general barr reportedly said he doesn't think the fbi had enough information to justify launchen an investigation into members of the trump campaign. josh, according to the post reporting, barr's opinion will contradict the findings from the doj. at the fbi had enough evidence to justify opening the russia investigation. he doesn't like the findings. why, because they aren't what trump wants. do you agree? >> it's interesting. priest life i worked under six
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attorneys general and kored two of them. in the modern era fst fair to say we haven't seen someone so closely aligned to any white house in the manner we have seen lately. the attorney general would say he has firmly held views on the relationship kp power of the presidency. critics say this is an constitution that has to be kept as arms length. we look to the past actions during the mueller report running interference for the president. it's not surprising he would disagree with findings that isn't positive for the president. that said it's important for viewers to understand that this is done by an independent inspector general. a political and non-partisan. his findings are highly credited in and outside of the government. we'll wait and see. >> let's talk about lisa page. the former fbi lawyer has had enough of the ray tacks by the president. he's what she said. i stayed quiet for years hoping
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it would fade away. it got worse. it had been so hard not to defend heist. to let people who hate me control the narrative. i decided to take my power back. she feels she had no choice. but to finally speak out. >> well, she said in the interview that part of the reason she finally felt like she had to speak out was because it had just gotten so his attacks ob her. imlating sexual intercourse while he was mocking her at a rally. >> i love you peter. i love you lisa. lisa, lisa. i love you lisa. if she doesn't win, we have an insurance policy. >> it's super-degrading.
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trump attacks men and women. he attack people of all races, of course. he seems to -- basically use his most degrading and disgusting attacks for women. for people of color and women of color in particular. she's a white lady. it could have been worse if she was a woman of color. this was a sexualized attack in addition to the regular bullying. >> for the sake of full disclosure. you used to work with page at the fbi. and the interview she acknowledges she made mistakes but stresses she didn't commit any crimes. does this warrant this kind of treatment? >> in a word, no. as you mention about criminal activity. there's no one that has any knowledge of the law that would say she's engaged in a crime.
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regardless of the what the partisans say. it is possible and important to point out there are two things that could be true at the same time. that is that on one hand it appears as though she engaged in wrong doing based on the texts that we have seen. and discussing this deep an mouse towards the president of the united states. someone the team had under investigation. this from the president attacking a career public servant. she's not famous. they went to work every day protecting the country. working in national security. for him to now go after her attack her and the way that was just described. the really disgusting ways is not anything any person in government expects will happen. it's a pattern we have seen. targeting people in order to paint the president as a victim. and she is among a list of names of people the president has gone after in a way we haven't seen going after career civil
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servants and attempting to portray them as part of some deep state trying to attack the president. >> in the piece she talks about constant fears of attacks that they cause. if i'm walking down the street or shopping and somebody wearing trump gear or a hat. i'll walk on the other side and put some distance between us i'm not looking for conflict. really, what i want most in this world is my life back. >> he's put a target on her back. it's clear. that's what he's done with her and other dedicated civil servants including vindman. hill. various people he called never trumpers. or traitors. or what have you. the big picture is not only that he's clearly destroyed this woman's life. whatever mistake she made. she probably doesn't deserve whatever mortal fear she is experiencing now.
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it's that he destroyed or in the process of destroying much bigger institutions than the individuals. i'm thinking about the impartiality of the law enforcement system for example. the a political nature one would hope of the military. he's going after the institutions partly by going after the individuals. scaring them and intimidating anyone else who has the courage. >> she has the right to be afraid. >> i would think so. given how frequently he tweets about her and mocks her at rallies. >> joe biden leading the democratic field with strong support from black voters. will that help take him to the finish line? next. t next. h next. e next. next. s next. t next. a next. t next. e next. next. o next. f next. next. t next. he next. r next. a next. c next. e. next. the good news? our protection is guaranteed.
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as the democratic presidential hopefuls get closer to the primary. they are increasing out reach to african-american voters. let's discuss now. good evening, one and all. hope you had a great thanksgiving. david, you first. joe biden leading in the most diverse presidential field in history. among black voters. a lot of poem have been writing him off. but no democratic can win without strong african-american
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support. and he's got it. >> right. biden though he's had twists and turns throughout the year he maintained a strong lead among black voters. that kept him at the top of the pack. you look at an early state like south carolina which goes third in the mid-november poll of south carolina, he had 44% african-american support. and that's in a state where the majority of democratic voters are black. i think this can be explained by the fact vice president biden has an association with president obama. who remains popular. and it's particularly because the top line issue for african-american voters is beating trump. and as long as the conventional wisdom holds that biden has the best chance, i don't know if it's true. that's the wisdom. african-american voters for that reason i think will stick with biden in the short term. >> i interviewed biden a week
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ago. and i asked him about his support from black voters. here's what he said. >> so you got our back. you have black folks back. >> they have had my back my whole career. i hope i have the back of everybody. i understand, i have always been engaged with the community my whole career. >> they have his back now. the question is will they have his back long enough for him to start racking up delegates? >> that remains to be seen. we all know you can't win the democratic nomination without significant black support. he has that. other candidates do not have that and envy that. joe biden is in a good position moving forward. the question is whether any other candidate can capitalize on the falls he's made or the stumbles. so far it doesn't look they have been able to do it. i look at the history of south
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carolina primary. it's very democratic. no candidate except for two. jesse jackson 1988 and 2004 john edwards. has been able to be able it win the democratic nomination without winning south carolina. they are natives of south carolina or north carolina flt you have to have a strong showing with black voters and south carolina. if you expect to do well and win the nomination. >> jackson is such a perfect comparison to the point. not just because he had overwhelming support in south carolina. but he did not perform well in iowa and new hampshire. as some of you may remember. so i think that's somebody joe biden is looking closely to in terms of historical precedent and moving forward. he's not polling great in iowa. and the overwhelming support he
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holds in south carolina right now among black voters could be the kind of political surge he needs assuming iowa and new hampshire don't pan out necessarily the way he wants. >> i want to look at the calendar for the early contest. biden is fighting it out in early states dominated by white voters. south carolina he mentioned super-tuesday. a will the of black votes at stake. if he keeps support the question is, but can anyone beat him? >> i don't want, i'm live. my sense is no. which will be played multiple times if i'm wrong. my sense is no. i say that because his support among black voters particularly those over the age of 45 in south carolina is just unparallel. among the broader field. i think this would be with less
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certainty. someone like warren were maybe right under him. in the polling numbers in south carolina. but they're not. unless that changes i think if he can in the way he's expected to in south carolina. the nomination might be his. >> i would make a caveat to that. i think that he could actually not do well if one of the black candidates takes off. for example if you have a harris or booker who does well in iowa and new hampshire. or nevada. and go into south carolina with that momentum. that could spring board that candidate to victory or on the way to better path than the past. that's what obama did. he won iowa and that got him a second look for black voters who weren't supporting him. >> neither of those candidates is looking -- >> at this point they're not. anything can change. we have two months. >> we're early for predictions. it's interesting to remember to
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late 2007 going into 2008. african-american voters were with clinton. as obama showed the ability to win the nomination and be viable against the republican, that did shift black support to obama. yes, i wornt predict any particular candidate. >> thanks guys. i have the prediction. >> okay. >> we'll destroy the tape. >> you're betting with the %-p. it's conceivable if someone shows they can beat trump. that's what democrats are looking for. >> i said if he holds the black support can anyone beat him meaning for the nomination. that was the question. i want to get this mayor pete question in. can we do it now? listen, buttigieg is surging in iowa. and new hampshire now.
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he struggled with his appeal among black voters. he's doing this tour through the south. rolling out a $2 million campaign media campaign. in south carolina tomorrow. do you think that can be a game changer? >> i think anything is possible. that's what i should just say now. but i don't know. i think he's still close to the floor in terms of black support. especially in south carolina. that i'm not sure $2 million swing through the south will nudge that as much as he's hoping. >> david. >> i think that whether or not it boosts support in the poll i mention he had 0% support in south carolina. he has to show democratic voters he's trying to reach out to black voters. >> you have your ear to the ground in d.c. i have heard
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people say a lot of folks love mayor pete. and everyone says there's no way because he can't -- he doesn't have black support. he can't do it. this is not me saying it. this is what i have heard. i have heard people say he has to have something -- someone is playing the long game. maybe if someone like obama comes out and support. or oprah. maybe something he can do it. maybe without the black support. can you speak to that? >> this is a bank shot. the hardest thing for pbuttigie is that he hasn't successfully answered questions about how he handled police and community relations in south bend where he is the mayor. he's still going to have to find a better way to address that. the other side for him is that he is probably the best
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campaigner and the best debater in my view in the field. in that sense he's like president obama. if no other sense. he has that potential to be a barrier breaker like president obama was the first african-american president. he could be the first openly gay president. he'd have to play the long game and gather support as he goes across a bunch of states. can't bank on just iowa or south carolina. he's got to build it over time. and if the campaign is smart they'll model after obama. gather delegates showily but surely. >> quick answer. >> only way i see it happening if it's a total and utter collapse of joe biden. the black vote has been associated with him. they have no history with buttigieg. you mention south bend. it's not the question of the police issue and the issue of diversity in the police force. when he was asked why he wasn't able to achieve greater
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diversity. he said i couldn't get it done. how will he get it done in the united states of the america. >> we'll be right back. s just st to a disney movie. i think we've watched every single movie at least twice. four times. 100 times. (vo) this cyber monday, the holiday magic is at verizon. get disney+ on us for a year with plans starting at just $35 per line. he loves star wars more than anything. and since we have verizon, we're gonna be able to stream it... (snaps) like that. (vo) and when you shop online today only, get a free lg stylo 5. all on america's most reliable network. anybody wanna join the dark side? i will! (vo) happy holidays from the network that gives you more.
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to lock your dentures. so now you can eat tough food without worry. fixodent and forget it. how did you know? mom...that was taken at the farm. it was in this small little village. in connemara? right! connemara it is. honestly, we went there- oh, oh look at that! look at that. so the 2020 race heating up as president trump faces the real possibility of impeachment, and that means a trial in the senate that could knock some candidates off the trail. back with me, keith boykin, elaina plott, and david swerdlick. let's take a look at the early
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2020 calendar again. so let's say the house votes on articles of impeachment and the trial moves to the senate by january. so senator richard burr has predicted that a senate impeachment trial could last six to eight weeks. look at that timetable, right? coinciding with the run-up to democrats' early races. how does this complicate the campaign, you think? >> i think it complicates it greatly. talk to any strategist right now and they'll tell you that it's kind of a nightmare scenario. six days before the iowa caucuses if you are a senator campaigning for president of the united states, to be sort of chains chained to the upper chamber as a juror. you've already seen senator amy klobuchar say, this is my constitutional obligation. i have no qualms about doing this, but of course they do. everyone does. i think for somebody like senator warren, this has to be, you know, an unwelcome move
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going forward in this calendar. >> you say it could actually help the senators running, keith, like kamala harris, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren, cory booker, amy klobuchar because they'll actually be serving as jurors? >> i think it actually has a very positive impacts f for the senators in the democratic primary race because the idea that you're missing out on iowa and new hampshire to go prosecute the case or potentially help to eliminate, remove donald trump from office, that's never going to be seen as a bad thing by democrats, i think. democrats will be happy that you were participating in this constitutional process to help to remove donald trump. >> you may not get one-on-one facetime with them. >> but still, i feel like you also get the opportunity to go and speak to the cameras every day just like we see with the impeachment hearings we've had so far. those members can go on afterwards and do a press gaggle and talk about what their perception is of each day's events. that's going to be the driving
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story of the news in january apparently or whenever the impeachment process takes place in the senate. and i don't think there's any doubt anybody, especially for kamala harris as a prosecutor, i think she has the most potential to gain from this, being in the senate during the impeachment trial for donald trump. >> she doesn't get to prosecute him. >> she gets to talk about it every day on the news. she gets to be the story. she gets to come on cnn and msnbc and hold press gaggles and press briefings about it. that's where the attention is going to be. that actually helps her a lot. i would love to be in that position if i were her. >> a quick response. what do you think, david? >> if you're senators klobuchar or harris who have fallen in the polls, i agree with keith. it helps you a little bit stay relevant. if you're senators sanders and warren who are right on the heels of buttigieg and biden and they have a free and clear shot to shake hands and kiss babies in iowa, i'm not so sure. i'm a little more with elaina, i think it's going to hem up your
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campaigning schedule in two small states where people like to see the candidates face to face. >> guess what? we will all find out soon enough. >> anything is possible. >> anything is possible. >> thank you all, i appreciate it. we'll see you next time. thank you for watching. our coverage continues. drivers just wont put their phones down. we need a solution. introducing... smartdogs. the first dogs trained to train humans. stopping drivers from: liking. selfie-ing. and whatever this is. available to the public... never. smartdogs are not the answer. but geico has a simple tip. turn on "do not disturb while driving" mode. brought to you by geico.
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good evening. at the start of a week filled with things we've simply never seen before, including impeachment hearings with a target simply refusing to take part, and that's not all, the house judiciary committee is out tonight with a witness list of day one of proceedings. also late today members of the house intelligence committee got a preview of that panel's majority report on the testimony they've heard and house republicans put out a 123-page rebuttal that is sharply at odds with testimony so far as well as with the president's own words. plus the republican senator john kennedy of louisiana is repeating russian talking points in defense of the president, again even after being told they are russian talking points by intelligence officials and hearing this from the president's own former expert in the field. >> some of you on this committee


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