tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 4, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST
this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. there's a lot going on tonight and we're going to catch you up on all the headlines. the house intel committee releasing a damming report hours before the judiciary committee holding its first hearing. evidence of obstruction it calls overwhelming and concluding the president's men, all the president's men had knowledge or were active participants in the attempt to shake down ukraine.
thomas jefferson called impeach ament formidable wep withen. we'll put it into context for you. also tonight. the state of the tent 20 race. senator kamala harris ending her campaign that once seemed so promising. we'll look at the state of the race heading to eiowa. and senator lindsey graham once call canned president trump a cook unfit for office. now he's one of his biggest defenders. i'm going to talk to the democratic candidate trying to unseat graham as senator from south carolina. and bucking president trump. tomorrow the republican governor of georgia is expected to fill an open senate seat with someone president trump doesn't approve of. setting off tension with the white house and trump allies. we're going to begin with the impeachment report and what it says about devin nunes, the ranking member on the intel commit canny.
>> i think it is deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the united states was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of congress complicit in that activity. >> i want to bring in now people to help us in this conversation. good evening to one and all. the intel report says a seen krr u.s. officialinis including the vice president, acting chief of staff, secretary energy were knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal, political benefits sought by the president. is this report essentially saying there was a conspiracy at the highest levels of government? >> absolutely.
it's in all the president's men statement. and all of them -- in a back room, none of them have spoken or been with willing to testify. what was interesting about the house intel report from the perspective of the impeachment and 2020 was it directly names all the president's men who are in a position to impact foreign influence in the 2020 election. i'm focussed on that right now. unin other words can we stop these guys from doing things with ukraine. we don't know why the lebanese money was held up for some time. schiff was essentially naming the people to shame them so that even if they don't face impeachment or don't have to testify or criminal liability, that at least they will not continue to do it leading to 2020. >> let's talk about all the president's men. let's start with pence.
how significant is it to the committee if it includes he was knowledgeable of or on a active participant in all of this? >> i think that in this thestancth instance, we've got vice president who will be weakened if he talks over the office of the president. saw he were to ascend to the presidency, this is a man who's competence so far has been built around avoiding being in the wrong place at the wrong time. so he's kept himself absent at key moments. but this committee report indicates that he was knowledgeable and may have partus pated. so, either way, he's damaged goods. he's more damage than prior to the report coming out. and i think he's going to struggle, even to retain his hold on the parts of the republican party the president
relied upon him to deliver in 2016. so this is bad news for him. it's bad news for the country. >> so let's move on now to mike pompeii o. he was on the call, kept aware of all the details. this is a man who grad waitsed top of his class. why is he staying silent? >> he's obviously made a decision this is his team. this is a guy who wants to be a senator, from kansas apparent la. he has some credentials and he has decided to be a team player for donald trump. and everyone is right we're probably never going to hear from mike pompeo. there are people like bolton, that democrats may get to talk to at some point. i don't knoif they're going to get to talk to them. here are a couple of things we know.
one, john bolton, in november, gave speech where hey said he thought donald trump had some personal business interest in terms of policy with turkey. i would love to get john bolton on the record under oath talking about that. during the roger stone trial, there was testimony that suggested that donald trump might have lied in his written dep zigsz. and if you can get mcgahn to actually testify, he knows are that will ge. and it last thing would be rudy giuliani. you talk said about how he has this insurance policy that could be explosive if it came out. i don't do think we're going to talk to pompeo probably. >> i'm glad you're watching that. appreciate that. julianne, let's talk about mick mulvaney. it was actually quoted in the intel report.
how damming is that for the president and for him? >> i think -- we know he tried to take the words back. so in some ways he can be ignored because we don't need to call it a quid pro quo. were they extracting something from ukraine to get something they wanted? and you can call it whatever you want. and i think that's the key point. we have all these wonderful witness withes. i love them. they were eloquent about ukraine and the history of ukraine. but most of them failed to talk about the united states. and what donald trump did to the american voter and our election system. i view what was going on in the white house as an assault on the american voter. because in the end you can replace ukraine with lebanon. but in the end, it really was about biden and about the 2020 election. so what i thought schiff was able to successfully do is to
bringing it back to the american voter and to 2020. ultimately it's about us and the united states' voter. and that's what our focus should be on as we head towards an impeachment or just an election. >> now to one of the three amigo os, rick perry. what would it take for him to turn on the president? >> the worst thing you can imagine for rick perry is there's more investigation into this deal he arranged for two of his oil and gas industry buddies. he goes for the president's inauguration and all the sudden these two former donors to perry campaign get a 50-year lease on a thousand square miles of territory in ukraine. this soo very bad thing, a very bad look. this looks like the secretary energy trading on his office for his friends.
i think this could mote stlivat secretary to come back and say maybe i will respond to your subpoena. certainly his reputation is ruined. but we have now, a host of people, figures across the administration, who have proven to be spineless, lacking in character. character is what you do when nobody is looking. now the question is will any of them want to do the right thing ever? >> so i saved devin nunes for you. so the top republican on the house intelligence committee is mention said dozens of times in the report. how bad do things look for devin nunes? >> i don't bow how bad they look for him in term oz of him being caught up in this. but i have to tell you from an optics standpoint.
this is a somebody supposed to be involved in oversight, performing his role as a member of congress. and the fact he's engaged in all of these conversations with people who are involved in the ukraine scandal, i just think it sort of undermines the whole notion that he was involved in an honest pursuit of the truth. it completely undermines the faith you would have that he was engaging in the attempt to uncover whatever may be true. you write, in part, even if you dismiss the possibility something truly fefair kious ist play, you're left with an undeniable development that gop has become the russia party. that's an amazing statement from a conservative republican. >> it's stunning, right.
put aside all the stuff about, you know, is donald trump a toad a of putin? forget all that. it is a facts. for whatever reason, it is a fact. that the republican party is the party pushing russian talking points and putin propaganda. for whatever reason. maybe a useful idiots, maybe duped, maybe just alliance donald trump's defense or something more nefarious. that is the opposite of -- go back to richard 96. ronald reagan and the eve evil empire. it's a stunning reversal. in the end of the 20th century, there were two big issues being debated. the democrats were right about civil rights. the republicans were right about the cold war. and it's stunning that in such a short time the republicans will have given up the benefit that
they had of being right about russia. putin was kgb agent. so it's a weird, weird thing for someone who grew up in a conservative movement and a republican party that was always the tough party against russia to be where it is. >> are you surprised to see someone in conservative media like tucker carlson saying maybe we should be siding with russia instead of ukraine? >> look, i like him a lot. he was a great boss. i think it's insane that we obviously disagree on this issue. putin is a thug and a murderer and essentially a dictator. and there are a lot of things i didn't like about the soviet union. one of them was communism, right? and the fact they were imperialistic.
an authoritarian regime. a lot of the things are still g there with putin. >> okay. we'll end there. i appreciate it. impeachment moving to the next steps in the judiciary committee. what would our founders think of all of this? at doesn't smell fa? start with the essence of nature air wick scented oils are infused... ...with essential oils that are 100% natural. to fill every corner with the fragrance of nature. air wick. aveeno® with prebiotic striple oat complex balances skin's microbiome. so skin looks like this
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with the impeachment inquiry entering a critical new phase, it's important to look at why we have the process for removing a president in the first place. the founding fathers describe it as a way to can check a president. >> i do solemnly swear i will faithfully execute. >> that i will faithfully execute. >> the office of the president
office of the united states and to the best of my ability preserve. >> protect. >> and defend the constitution of the united states so help me god. >> so help me god. >> reporter: 230 years ago the founders were so worried about their fragile republic they felt they needed an impeachment clause. how to get rid of a president before they even decided how to elect one. thomas jefferson called it a formidable wep withen. >> we have to remember the great fear of the constitutional convention delegates was tyranny. >> they just recently-had a revolution. >> reporter: they trusted george washington to be the first president, to put the state's interest before his own. but benjamin frank llin warned nobody knows what sort may come afterwards. >> the founders knew they had to
do something to stop tyrants. >> reporter: as hew williamson said he will keep no pains to keep himself in for life and will lay a train for the succession of his children. but what would warrant impeachment? james madison worried a president might lose his capacity, pervert his administration or even worse betray his trust to foreign powers. >> this is a theme george washington hammers over and over oagain. no foreign influence in our early republic. >> reporter: and in the 18th century impeachment was more civilizeded than the alternative. >> before impeachment the only course would be assassination. better p better be put on trail than face the knife. >> reporter: they settled on these charges, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. >> it's simple.
a crime against the state, the people. you don't fleed need to break the law to commit a high crime. >> reporter: the founders expected the process would be partisan but they probably didn't envision this. >> president zelensky quote loves your as. was there a quid pro quo? >> the answer is yes. >> it was a perfect call. this is a hoax. >> reporter: what do you think the founders would think of donald trump? >> oh, boy. i'm going to plead the fifth on that one. let me answer it this way. tyranny was one of the main things the founding generation was worried about. demagoguery was a second one. >> james madison and donald trump have nothing in common. but the trump character was alive and well at the time of the american revolution. somebody with blarny and salesmanship and a pension for
being a d bei being a demagogue. >> reporter: and whether you think he's guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, the underlying questions are exactly what the founders were concerned about. >> what if a president, perhaps, has lied, what if a president worked with a foreign power? what if a president started to make money off the office of the presidency? that's a president who should be removed. >> very good report by jaime. presidential historian joins me now. dp evening. so looking that intelligence committee was report now that they put out. when you think about the founding fathers, what do you think the concerns they may have? >> about everything with donald trump. it fact he's trying to undermine our institutions. the fact that people that work in the federal government are constantly being browbeat,
humiliated. the fact that president trump's turned the federal government into the enemy of the american people. but more, the founders in general, knew world history, and there were always go toing to be tyrants. we had benedict arnold. they kept it elastic so each generation can interpret high crimes and misdemeanors for themselves. but bribery is bribery and that's one of the things that has to be proved. >> you said a rogue president. but the founders saw it as a check, right, against a presidential power? so the president wouldn't have too much power. this president is blocking people from testifying, documents beingrio released, wo
send law krrs over. do you think the founders would see this as a constitutional crisis? >> yes. when you're looking to impeach a president, it's a constitutional crisis. if you want to look at the glass half full, we've been very lucky we haven't-this kind of behavior, somebody with this kind of authoritarian bent who doesn't honor the traditions of american government. yes, we've-andrew jackson's moments and impeachment of bill clinton. but this is different. this is really donald trump going to a foreign power. the big fear. and seeming to be encouraging the country to interfere with our domestic political process. so there are differences in the founders. washington's different than adams, a little different than madison. but they all would have worried about the behavior off donald trump and his inability to take the presidency seriously, as just one branch of government.
>> democrats might want to move the process along quickly. but for the sake of history and fairness, do you think they're moving too fast? >> look, we call it a political process. and nancy pelosi had no choice with what happened with trump in ukraine. i think congress- had to move t at least do an inquiry into the impeachment. 2020 is the other way. the founders didn't just do impeachment. they also did national elections. and if they bleed in together, can create a larger constitutional crisis. in many ways they're trying to do this expedishesly. i think they're on the right path. but it's not clear it's good politics for the democrats. >> so the founders, they chose a
senate, right, because they thought the senate would be dignified and independent. but the senate is so partisan right now. do you think they'd still feel the same? >> the founders used to have a sense of honor and they had their personal reputation. alexander hamilton has a dual with burr. you see republicans not worried about honor. democrat/republican. and that war is on. so you're not having an era of states people, a barry goldwater or when bill clinton was being impeached, people like gerald ford, a former president, said leave him alone. kamala harris bows out. what her departure means. mom, why do we always come here for the holidays? how did you find great-grandma's recipe?
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tonight, let's look at the state of the race and the democratic field just got a little smaller. kamala harris announcing she is suspending her campaign, saying she doesn't have the financial numbers. and her poll numbers are low. president trump saying too bad, we will miss you, kamala. and kamala responding back saying don't worry, mr. president, i'll see you at your trial. and professor of georgetown university. his latest book "jay-z made in
america." soon to be a best seller. >> thank you, my friend. from your mouth. >> that's known as a burn , right? good evening. let's start with you, michael. kamala hau kamala harris dropping out. given the polls, it's not shocking. 20,000 at her rally-when she first started. what happened? >> she got pummelled by sexism. i mean the coverage on her is pretty tough. and it's a double, maybe triple standard as angela tweeted not long ago. look, i think something else is going on too. i think there's a delayed response to president obama among certain constituencies. love obama the man, idialize him but in tum oz erms of policies,
rethink what they were. i think there's a delayed grief where it didn't gain traction to that degree. >> do you understand that? >> i'm just saying they're mad at obama for what he didn't do, they love him as a human being. kamala harris invoked a similar presentation and so does cory booker with similar policies, attacking the center as opposed to left-leaning policies. i'm sawing there's a delayed reaction to obama can't dismim individually but collectively there's something going on. >> we talked about this. black women fuelling the democratic party, helping win races all over. i was talking to my mom and she said, listen, don't get it twisted. trump was on the ballot in louisiana and the more he came to louisiana, the more, especially black women down there, got out and were doing
get out the vote rallies and what have you. but you don't see -- the support for black candidates, especially black women candidate said among the party. >> i think there are a number of things going on that should be a piece. maybe he'll let me have some lines. but i think what we really have to come to terms with is the fact that we are judged extremely harshly. so while kamala harris is sitting in the senate hearing room, you see eblack women, white women. she's all of us in this moment but when it comes time for her to enter the presidential race, the only record people can remember is her prosecutorial record, forgetting that perhaps in a human evolution this woman was all of us moments ago. but you're going back to a
time-perhaps you didn't even know her name. the other issue we have to which to ter come to terms with is at the end of the primary, if this party does not figure out a system that works to account for the big tip it says it serves. what is happening is a white debate stage and rich people who bernie sanders and elizabeth warren reg krlerly talk about the mill wionaires and billionaires. it's snow white and i'm not talking about it the fairy tale. >> no people of color have made the cut. they are represented in term oz of candidates. particularly biden. he's averaged 49% among all democratic black primary voters.
stow seems they're telling us who their guy is and so far their guy is biden. >> well, look, i mean biden, for a number of reasons. first of all he's got back in the day in delaware where he can tell stories about how he hung out with black folk and helped them and enabled them through friendships and they enabled him to make progress. secondly, he hung out with barack obama for eight years. and to the degree black people appreciate that presidency, he's embraced. and when you look at joe biden's, say black history party verses the white house, it was funk krr. black people were mixing it up. it was a bit more lively than even the white house. i'm just saying -- >> ski have a short time left. so your book is "jay-z made in
america." >> it's about jay-z being quintessentially an american figure. hustling and one historian said it's the quintessential of america and i think he's a poetic gene kius and i try to explore it. people think he got into politics with hillary clinton or barack obama. he bin laden didn't happen in manhattan. here's a guy talking about bling and materialism but about police brutality. so i try to folk aslight on that and i talk about the nfl and what happened recently. all of it is right there in the book "jay-z made in america" right now. >> that needs be a town hall right now. call it. make the happen, don lemon. make the happen, don lemon. >> i do think there needs to be a bigger discussion about how
african-americans are carrying the democratic party in this race. >> and black women in particular. >> our candidates need to be heard. the whole thing. >> i can't disagree with that. >> we out of time? because i can keep going. >> i know you got stuff. >> "jay-z made in america." you're on the show all the time. we'll have a discussion. lindsey graham defending the president through thick and thin. but could that spell trouble? lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can enjoy it even if you're sensitive. yet some say it isn't real milk. i guess those cows must actually be big dogs. sit! i said sit! a lot will happen in your life.
senator lindsey graham has been one of president trump's most out spoken allies throughout the impeachment process. our next gegs says lindsey is focusesing -- and he is challenging senator graham for his seat. thank you -- i almost called you sooner. thank you, mr. haurs, good to see you. >> good seeing you, don. thank you for having me on. >> so senator graham has changed pretty dramatically when it
comes to donald trump. >> every time i turn around i'm being asked about on the don saying one dumb thing after another and i'm tired of it. he's a jack. we're all looking right now but we'll move on. >> he's fuelling fear and prejudice. >> i think he's a koorks crazy, unfit for office. >> why such a 180? >> you know, it's so sad, don. lindsey graham was somebody that many of us, even though we disdpreeed with hum on policy, thought he was, like john mccain, someone he was a statesman that would put country before party. but this guy only cares about himself and his own political relevance. he is not fighting for the people of osouth carolina. almost three years he has done a town hall in the state. but he's on fox news every other night. it shows the it people here in
the state what is really important to him. it is important for him to fly on air force 1, important for him to go to mar-a-lago and hangout with the president. that's what he believes makes him relevant. what makes me relevant is to work for the people of south carolina. to ache up and go to sleep every night figuring out how can i make sure the communities that have led levels higher than federal standards, how do we fix communities are we've-four hospital to can close? >> you talked about his appearances on fox news because this is not the first time you've criticized him for that. but let's watch. >> the whole thing is a joke. the whole thing is being driven by partisans in the house. adam schiff is not looking for the truth and the testimony is incoherent. any impeachment vote, paced on this process, to me is illegitimate, unconstitutional and should be dismissed in the
senate without a trial. the only reason they're trying to impeachment the president is they don't believe they can beat him at the ballot box. >> it is his right to speak to his audience on state-run television. but none of that is true. >> well, you know. he really thinks he's pulling the wool over the eyes of the people here in south carolina. but there's going to be a rude awakening in 2020. that old addage all politics is local is still stru and alive and well, particularly in this state. people here in south carolina want someone with moral convictions, who will stand up for them when rubber meets the road and lindsey won't do that. we have launched a program here called harrison helps, where i go to communities, all 46 counties in south carolina, figure out the things people are having problems with in terms of
how they can live the american dream and we're helping people. that is the movement we've sparked and that's why we're go tooling win this. >> let me show you this real quick because he also called for an investigation in the vice president joe biden and his son. i-the opportunity to speak to joe biden about that recently. watch. >> he knows if he comes out against trump, he's got a real tough road for reelection, number one. i am disappointed and quite frankly i'm angered by the fact he knows me, knows my son. he knows there's nothing to this. and lindsey is about to go down in a way i think he's going to regret his whole life. i say, lindsey, i guess -- i-just embarrassed by what you're doing for you. i mean, my lord. >> i got 10 seconds here. do you understand why senator graham is doing what he's doing? >> no.
he didn't stand up for john mccain when the president put cloaks on the battleships. he's not standing up for vice president biden. that old addage if you want a friend in washington, get a dog, he's thinking of lindsey graham. but if people want a new movement, join me at jaime harrison.com. thank you, don. take care now. air wick why buy scented oil plug-ins that don't last as long? switch to air wick for fragrance that last up to 60 days. that's 20% longer than other brands. so your home smells true to nature for longer. switch to air wick
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the republican governor of georgia is expected to buck president trump in a major way tomorrow. governor bryan kemp announcing his report for the senate seat being vacated by johnny isaacson. and sources tell cnn his pick may not make the president happy. kristen holmes reports. >> reporter: republican georgia governor squaring off president trump. expected tomorrow to appoint businesswoman kelly lesler to the state's open u.s. senate seat. sources tell cnn, defying the president, who behind closed doors, pushed him to choose another candidate, congressman doug collins. >> he's a special man whose name is congressman doug collins. >> reporter: an ardent trump supporter and defender. the republicani on the house judiciary committee has reepo
repeatedly slammed the impeachment proceedings. >> it's like planko. they just drop something in and see where it fits in. >> reporter: kemp's decision, seen now as an act of betrayal, especially after trump's endorsement last year. >> i said bryan, congratulations. you're go tooli you're going to win and he won by 2.5 points. >> reporter: and being slammed by congressman gates who says if you substitute your judgment for the president's, maybe you need a primary in 2022. let's see if you get one without trump. the ceo of a financial services firm, lesler has been criticized, siting past political ties. >> kristen holmes reporting. we'll be right back. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose.
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all of our cnn heroes will be honored. make sure you tune in to be inspired. thank you so much for watching. our coverage continues. president trump arriving for what could be another tense day of face-to-face meetings with nato leaders near london. adding to the tension, this new video which appears to show world leaders possibly joking about president trump. we get set for another split screen moment with the president speaking from london just as a new stage of impeachment hearings gets under way on capitol hill. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "early start." i'm christine romancman