tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN December 20, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST
i'm indicakate bolduan. washington is quiet this morning. congress packed up and left town for the holidays leaving huge uncertainty about what is going to happen when they return. a high stakes game of chicken it seems between mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi. pelosi saying she's not sending the articles of impeachment over to the senate until they know what the process will look like. mcconnell responding, quote, fine by me. here's what senate lindsey graham said after meeting with the president last night. >> he thinks he should have his day in court sooner rather than later. i don't know what they're up to in the house. this is a political stunt. it's not funny. it tells me they don't have confidence in their case. >> cnn lauren fox is on capitol
hill. lauren, it seems this is coming down to who is a better poker player. they left town with all this hanging out there? >> reporter: after a busy week on capitol hill, kate, it's quiet for the first time in a long time in washington. there is certainly a posturing game happening right now when it comes to whether or not nancy pelosi is going to be sending those articles of impeachment over. essentially the house voted yesterday on usmca and other bills. they have didn't vote on house managers, the lynch pin for the articles of impeachment. we're in a holding pattern until law makers get back in january. that's significant, although mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, was arguing if she doesn't want to send the articles over, that's fine. he said if they think they have leverage over not sending something that the senate doesn't want, then they have another thing coming. that is not at all where
republicans are at this time. what you see is the president getting frustrated, but it's not a level of frustration for mcconnell. he's saying, fine, don't send them. >> boris, what does the white house do in the meantime? >> reporter: kate, wait for nancy pelosi. the white house strategy is stunted by her holding back the articles of impeachment. it is frustrating the president. trump asked allies and aides what nancy pelosi is doing. he's angry, not over just being impeached, but the trial to potentially being delayed. he tweeted last night, quote, after the democrats gave me no due process in the house, no lawyers, no witnesses, no nothing, they now want to tell the senate how to run their trial. they have zero proof of everything. they want out. i want an immediate trial with a that exclamation point at the
end. an interesting tidbit in our reporting, there have been conversations in the white house about whether pat cipiloni is the right person to lead the defense in the senate. there's questions whether he can deliver the tv moments president trump is looking for in this trial. president trump wants to make a show of this trial and wants to bash democrats. there's questions how other of the president's allies might get involved like jim jordan, mark meadows. effectively in a holding pattern waiting for. >> announcer: nancy pelosi's next move. >> thank you so much. joining me now is susan glasser and max burke. susan, does anyone have leverage
or is this a momentary side show? in the end the trial is going to happen and right now the votes are definitely not here. >> kate, what you said is correct. the trial is going to happen. they're debating. it's a dance over the contours of it. democrats recognize their power over this process ebbed when they passed the articles of impeachment. i think this was an idea that gained steam in days. larry tribe of harvard was pushing this. i was up on capitol hill for the debate on the articles themselves that morning. nobody really thought something like this would happen. pelosi made a quick decision to see what they could get by just suggesting i'm going to hold this up. she hasn't actually showed her hand that much. now you see the president's response and you see there's daylight between the senate
republicans and the president. mitch mcconnell saying fine, we don't really want a trial. donald trump saying wait a minute i want to do it now. i want to make one other point. you showed trump's incredibly inaccurate tweet about the trial. the bottom line is it's hard to convince even republicans, even die-hard supporters of president trump, that anything remotely approaching a fair trial will be held when key witnesses have been withheld by the administration. that's the bottom line. the president is on trial on very serious charges. these are very serious charges and john bolton, the national security adviser, mick mulvaney, the white house chief of staff, mike pompeo and mike pence are all involved in this story. none of them have given testimony. that's just unbelievable. that was not the case in the
nixon proceedings and the clinton proceedings. let's be real. the key witnesses haven't testified because the president has refused to let them. >> that's exactly right. i want to ask you about the 1999 model which was referenced over and over again. max, you think pelosi has leverage here. please explain. >> she has a lot of leverage. you're seeing the fact that president trump really wants a trial. he wants to be acquitted very quickly in the senate so he can spend the rest of the election year going around saying it's a partisan witch hunt i've been acquitted. nancy pelosi is denying him that opportunity by saying the only way we'll send the articles of impeachment to the senate is if there's a guarantee there will be a fair trial. that's what the american people want. 70% of the public wants to hear witnesses in the senate trial. >> that's not just democrats. that's democrats and
republicans. >> that's democrats and republicans. >> right. >> it doesn't matter whether it affects the outcome or not. it's clear republicans made up their minds, but the country has not made up their minds. there's a trial that needs to happen for the benefit of the country. there are still witnesses we need to hear from as we heard from witnesses in previous impeachment proceedings. it's a clever bit of political jujitsu speaker pelosi has pulled off. she's ending up denying president trump what he most desperately wants, which is a fast trial and acquittal. >> both democrats and republicans have referenced the 1999 model. susan, remind folks what senate leaders worked out and how different it is from now. >> there's two key points relative to this conversation. it was a different era in washington. there was a bipartisan agreement
on the rules package. that was important to both the democratic leader in the senate and the republican leader. they had a bipartisan consensus that nobody thinks is possible over the basic procedures for the trial. number two, very importantly, both parties had a united interest in trying to keep it from being a spectacle. the nature of the trial was that the president of the united states lied about whether he had sex about a former intern under oath. they didn't want monica lewinsky to testify in the senate and to be talking about inappropriate sexual matters on the floor of the senate. a, we shredded our dignity collectively national in the intervening 21 years. most important for people to realize is that monica lewinsky already testified under oath. she spent hours with the grand jury as part of ken starr's
independent counsel investigation. there was testimony in the house. there was an enormous record of witness testimony that the senate trial was already dealing with. that's a totally different context than the situation we're dealing with here where the president of the united states for the first time in history blanket refused to participate and to hand over documents and allow witnesses to participate in the house proceedings. the comparison is bandied about a lot. the bottom line for me is that there's an enormous amount of evidence that the house proceedings gathered despite president trump's stone walling. as max said, the country should hear and is required to hear from these public officials paid by your tax payer dollars and they're refusing to testify in a legitimate constitutional
proceeding. it's very simple. >> a lot of this is actually quite simple. it's not that complicated. here's a quote from pelosi speaking to "politico." fear is never a word used with me. you should know right away. i'm never afraid and rarely surprised. i read this and thing one thing i know from covering mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi you won't find two better tactical politicians at this moment. that's one of the things that we are, have been and will be seeing playing out in the next weeks here. >> right. this is like a world championship chess match between two grand masters who have been at it for decades and know what they're doing. speaker pelosi ran circles around donald trump during the government shutdown and really handed his lunch to him on that. she knows what she's doing. trump does not. mcconnell knows what he's doing
as well. it's clear we'll have a trial. in the end it will be what are the terms of the trial? pelosi is exercising leverage which republicans didn't understand she had. that's empowering senator schumer to negotiate rules with senator mcconnell. basically all that the democrats are asking for is something very similar to the rules that they had for bill clinton's trial which were approved unanimously by the senate. at the end of the day, even though there was a fuller and richer record for that, they heard from three witnesses in the course of that trial. i have find that senator mcconnell's objections are completely incoherent. he and other republicans are saying they had the most rushed process in the house. they ha they didn't do a thorough investigation. he's now saying we're not going to do a thorough investigation
either. >> you hear it on both sides. go fast. go slow. rushing. it's game on. we'll be seeing this. >> absolutely. coming up, the final democratic debate of the year had the fewest candidates. how did the discussion about a wine cave bubble to the top? that's next. later a prominent christian magazine says president trump is profoundi profoundly immoral. what does this mean for the president's support? and you feel like this. aveeno® skin relief. get skin healthy™ ♪ ♪ everything your trip needs, for everyone you love.
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of 2019 now in the history books. the stage was smaller with only seven cade dandidates making th. for the first time pete buttigieg was a real target after rising in the polls. he drew fire for his limited political experience and his opponents zeroing in on a big fund-raising event he held at a napa valley winery. >> billionaires in wine caves
should not pick the next president. >> i've never been to a wine cave. >> they don't have to shake the money tree in the wine cave. >> that wasn't even all of them. joining me now the national political reporter for "politico" and arnett sainz. one of the biggest questions going into last night was whether or not buttigieg would be the main target and how he would handle it. what have you seen? >> we were expecting the attacks to come in the november debate and they didn't. i think the candidates wanted to see if buttigieg had staying power and he does. so this time around they went at
him. they're conversations we'll see. the core of it was money and politics. shortly after that debate warren's campaign delivered a statement. they're very much focussed on this back and forthwi with buttigieg. >> arlette, the candidate you've been following, the frontrunner, did not take so much incoming and he's still the frontrunner looking at the polls. does that surprise you? what does it mean? >> i think the candidates heading into the debates have to calculate whether it's worth taking the risk of going after any of the candidates, particularly the frontrunner. as we've seen in the past, some of the candidates who have been
vocal in their criticism, they're not there. kamala harris dropped out. cory booker didn't make the debate. biden had his strongest performance so far. he wasn't facing the attacks. it was pete buttigieg. biden was sharper, a bit more crisp in answers. he gave a really strong answer when it came to talking about the need for bipartisan corporati cooperation. he noted he has reason to be upset with republicans given the personal attacks against him and his family. he still believes they need to work together. another person who had a strong night was amy klobuchar. this format gave her the opportunity to have a little more of the spotlight and make her case why her experience and track record of winning is going to be important as democrats select their nominee. >> laura, i'll venture to say
that wine cave is not going to be the driving issue of the race when we get to iowa and new hampshire. where does everyone's focus turn now in terms of the campaigns? >> we're in crunch time. three of those seven that were on stage last night are going to have to spend a lot of time in washington. it will be interesting to see how the coming senate trial for candidates like warren and sanders and klobuchar, how it works for them as they try to be in iowa as much as possible in the final weeks. i think what we'll see is them zoning in on other message, the core pillars of their campaign arguments. for buttigieg, it's about unity and inclusion and being the moderate voice. for warren, that's focusing on her corruption platform. >> laura, great to see you. arlette, thanks. coming up, democrats attack
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in the trump economy we have wages going up and primarily in the lower end of the income stream, the blue collar workers. the republican party under president trump has become the party of the working class. >> that was white house trade adviser peter navarro this morning. there are new poll numbers out that show americans are more confident in the economy than in two decades. 76% consider economic good or very good. that's the highest share to say that since february of 2001. near with that good news in the economy, how do 2020 democrats run against that? let's discuss. joining me is jamie harrison, he's associate chair of the
democratic national committee. he's a democratic candidate for senate in south carolina hoping to unseat lindsey graham. thanks for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> talk to me about the poll numbers. this is the highest chair to say that the economy is good since february of one. how do you or any democrat run against that when we know the economy is a huge factor in everyone's vote? >> i can tell you how i'm running against it in south carolina. just today in the "new york times" there was a story about north charleston and this is a city outside of charleston, but it has the highest eviction rates in the country. you have young parents getting ready for the holidays and now they have to move themselves and their kids and go to someplace else in order to live. it's because the rents in north charleston are increasing at
astronomical rates, but the wages are so stagnant and people can't keep up. when you dig deep into the s statistic and go to where people are hurting, but we have senators like lindsey graham who are not dealing with these. the tariffs have decimated south carolina. in allen dale county the tariffs increased to $1 million a month. there's a lot of hardship. wall street may be doing well. k street and washington, d.c. may be doing well, but people on main street are suffering. that's why we built this new movement. that's why we're only two points down from lindsey graham right now. people are hungry for change.
we're going to give them that change. we're going to bring hope back to south carolina. come to jamieharrison.com. >> let me ask you. oh, geez. i just spilled water all over the place. when lindsey graham last won re-election he won in 2014 by 17 points. in 2016 trump won the state by 14 points. i have heard republicans refer to the state as trumpistan. what is going to be different about your race? >> what's different is we're focused on the people of south carolina. we're helping people. i launched a program called harrison helps. we go into every community in south carolina and partner with
community organizations. we roll up our sleeves and help folks. we've be been doing school supply drives. i've been going to ronald mcdonald house making meals for families. we're doing resume building workshops. we're looking at the challenges that people have to live the american dream. i am running against a senator who cares more about what's going on in washington, d.c. than what the people here in the state are dealing with. he hasn't done a town hall in almost three years. he's on tv every other day. it shows you his priorities. he wants to be relevant in washington, d.c. i want to be relevant in south carolina. we have an absentee senator not focussed on that. >> there's been a lot of ink spilled about the evolution of lindsey graham. in 2015 he called president
trump a jack ass and calling him a raise baiting, bigot. now he's a key ally of the president on the hill. people change their minds. people evolve. do you think that's just what it is when it comes to senator graham? >> no. it's for lindsey graham -- the most important thing and person to lindsey graham is lindsey graham. he's looking for political relevance. i hear it all the time from democrats, republicans and independents in the state. what happened to lindsey graham? what happened is he saw his political fortunes will be tied to the president. he's going to do and say anything that he can in order to stay relevant, to stay important, to get re-elected. that's sad. he epitomizes what people hate in politics. they want someone with more
conviction, a spine who will stand up and do the right thing even when the politics doesn't say it's the best thing to do for politics. that's what i'm going to bring to the people of south carolina. someone who has character and integrity. i grew up in rural south carolina, the son of a single mom with my grandparents. they taught me the importance of having character, integrity and keeping a promise. he can't keep his oath of office. >> leaning with your role on the dnc, there was something last night in the debate that was impossible to ignore. you heard it from andrew yang. he's the only nonwhite candidate on the stage. does the dnc have a problem? it was the most diverse field in history. now the debate stage is anything but. does the dnc have a problem when
it comes to that? >> diversity is really important. kamala and cory booker, castro have been running great campaigns. i would love to see them back on the debate stage. you get called by a pollster, if you want the diversity, express their names so they can show out. what tom has tried to do at the dnc is create a system that was fair. at the end of the day i hope all the candidates go into the communities, particularly communities of color, and talk about the issues important to those folks. that's what's really important at the end of the day. you know, continue to push. i hope they come back here to south carolina which is the first in the south presidential primary where it is the first primary where there's significant african american communities that will show up and vote.
they want to hear from these can candidates. they want to make sure these candidates are talking about the issues that are important to them. >> jamie harrison, thanks for coming in. i appreciate it. coming up, he put his life on the line to expose atrocities, now real action from congress. will it make a difference? pical. like salonpas patch large. it's powerful, fda-approved to relieve moderate pain for up to 12 hours, yet non-addictive and gentle on the body. salonpas. it's good medicine. hisamitsu.
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it's a moment that's six years in the making, a moment one man risked his life for. congress passed a massive defense spending bill during the impeachment hearing. in that bill it targets syrian leaders. it's called the caesar sanction bill. that's the code name for a syrian military defector who smuggled out almost 5500 photographs, evidence of torture. he's lived in hiding ever since. he spoke with us to plead with members of congress to take
action. when we spoke, he almost lost hope. a warning to you what you're about to see is graphic and disturbing. >> i would work for hours taking photographs, loading the photographs and i would have to hide my emotions. i would have to pray that a tear does not come down my face. if they saw one tear, if they saw one expression on my face that showed sympathy, then i would be killed as would my family. >> how did you do that? >> i don't know. >> reporter: in 2015 he fled and brought with him what the fbi confirmed as authentic and the state department's ambassador for war crimes described as stronger evidence than what existed against the nazis. the syria government has denied responsibility and called the photos fake. cesar made his first trip to capitol hill in 2014 testifying before congress under cover in
the exact same disguise he used for our interview. >> i honestly thought if i had the courage to go for the years that i did doing the work that i did endangering my life every day, that once i came out and showed the world what i had, then the entire conscious of the world would move. >> then it didn't. >> five whole years the world did not move. >> september, but this week they did more. the president announced he'll be signing this into law today. joining me now is adam kissinger of illinois, a co-sponsor of the cesar bill in the house. thank you for being here. >> you bet. >> what does today mean? >> it's huge. as i was listening to the story, i got choked up. back when cesar came in front of our committee and we saw his pictures of torture, it was
reminiscent of nazi germany. if you told me this wouldn't get passed until 2019, i would say that's entirely too late. the problem is the civil war is still going on. better late than never. this sends a very strong message that congress is watching, that the united states is watching and that with all the mistakes we made in syria, straddling both administrations frankly, we are now taking a step forward to say that war crimes still have no place in this world. they're shuddering in syria because of this right now. >> congressman, there were years when there were few of us paying attention to this. you were one of them. you met with cesar. you pushed for this passage. what do you think it finally was that pushed it over the line? >> i think it's persistence. kate, i want to say to you and your viewers, you and s.e. cupp,
of the folks on tv, you were not let us forget about this story. you get a lot of credit too. it's easy to glaze over these stories and not talk about them, but these are real human lives at a time we saw the worst thing that ever existed is the fact that the other party exists. on the other side of this world there are people and children being targeted by russian jets, by syrian jets, by iranian ground troopins. it's a tragedy. the fact it went through is a testament to persistence and how evil the regime is. >> and to you as well, congressman, thank you. the atrocities in syria are not ending. the announcement of the president pulling troops back
added another level of chaos according to everyone. what does the cesar bill do in this moment? it was important six years ago, three years ago. the house passed it three times. what does it mean today? >> yes, it would have been better to get it done earlier. it shows the united states congress and the administration is not forgetting syria, especially on the human rights side. there's the geo political question. what do we do in syria? that's another discussion. then there's the human tragedy thing. people all can agree we shouldn't stand against prosecuting human rights. one u.s. senator did for years. that's why it's just getting signed. i'll tell you, if you're assad right now or one of his supporters or you're russia and you're the mercenary group up
holding assad in syria, you're nervous. we're going to shame you and hunt you down. >> you mentioned russia. this week we learned another sanction bill against russia is getting push back from the white house. it had bipartisan support. the white house is opposing it. do you wonder why the president is opposing holding russia accountable? it's like a different side of the same coin. >> yeah. i mean, look, i'm been extremely critical of it. i don't know why. maybe they can make arguments we have enough sanctions. the reality is we have to stand up to defend or election system and our democracy. the fact that we can yell at each other, we have to preserve that. that's what democracy is. it's our biggest weakness if somebody wants to exploit that. i think the administration should be on board.
it's not delegitimizing president trump's election. it's saying going forward there can be no interference by russia and if there is, there's going to be a penalty. outside of technical issues where that gets turned into something else, let's do anything we can to defend our election system. i'm on board. we need to continue to push on that. >> on the cesar bill -- look, the country is divided. this is something the country can count as a bipartisan win. that is something to pay attention to. thank you for your work on it. >> you bet. thank you for yours. god bless you and happy holidays. >> you too. thank you, congressman. we'll be right back. ( ♪ ) at chevy, we're all about bringing families together. this time of year, that's really important. so we're making it easier than ever to become part of our family. man: that's why our chevy employee discount is now available to everyone. the chevy price you pay is what we pay.
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illuminated the president's moral deficiencies for all to see. this damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of the our country and damages both the spirit and our people. a writer who covers religion joining me. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. >> he spoke to "new day" a little earlier. here's what he said. listen to this. >> as a christian, i like to think of myself as a person who has given his loyalty to jesus christ and the gospel he proclaims. so when someone of any sort tries to do damage that's immoral, it damages the part of my life i've given to god.
we need to think about it more deeply. >> you also spoke with him. and you cover the intersection of religion and culture for "the atlantic." what did you think when you first saw this op-ed? >> immediately i knew it was going to be a real big deal, not just in the worlds i follow but generally. that's because it's become such a strong association in the public imagination between trump and evangelicals. we always talk about the 81% of evangelicals that voted for trump. and here was this founded by billy graham and that does speak for a fair amount of evangelicals coming out strongly, sharply, not only calling for the president to be removed from office, but also mark galley called upon his fellow christians and asked them
to speak out against his immoral behavior. i spoke with him on the phone last night, and we were talking about the way he thinks of this n his faith. he doesn't think it's his job to come in on a white horse and heal the divide on evangelicals or change the world or even change evangelicals' minds. he says he has the responsibility to speak truth how he can in a timely manner. if it makes a difference, thank god, and if it doesn't make a difference, that's kind of up to a higher power. >> igniting a conversation once again we should all be having much, much more about the intersection of faith and politics here. great to see you, emma. thank you very much. >> thank you. we'll be right back. so skin looks like this and you feel like this. aveeno® skin relief. get skin healthy™
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. the president says he wants his impeachment trial right away, but he will have to wait. exactly how long is unclear because of a standoff between the house speaker nancy pelosi and the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. plus, more than three-quarters of americans feel confident about the state of the u.s. economy. that's a near 22-year high and it's good news for any president seeking reelection. the the 2020 democrats stage their final 2019 debate. >> have you seen the debate, and if so, what did you think? >> i didn't watch the debate. i was actually makin