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tv   Washington Journal Brian Bennett Mike De Bonis  CSPAN  December 17, 2019 2:09am-3:07am EST

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impeachment. radio app. on our as well as congress facing a deadline for government spending. mike debonis is with "the washington post." brian bennett, senior white house correspondent with "time" magazine, thank you both for being here. let's begin with the white house. what are they saying about how they would like impeachment to look? guest: trump right now, president trump believes that impeachment is breaking his way, that he really believes it's given his supporters some momentum and enthusiasm, and he initially was of the mind that he wanted the senate to -- once the house takes their vote, which looks like it's going happen, he wanted the senate to take their time with the trial because he felt like it would be politically advantageous. well, at this point, it looks
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like he's been talked out of that. mcconnell, the senate majority leader, felt like he wanted a quick trial, but didn't want to bring in new witnesses and was able to prevail upon the white house that that was the best way to go. those negotiations are still ongoing and they're happening not only between the white house and the republicans in the senate, but also between the republicans in the senate and the democrats. but at this point it looks like they're coming in on trying to have a relatively speedy senate trial that doesn't bring a lot of new witnesses. president trump felt like maybe they could have brought in witnesses like hunter biden and others to try to expand the scope of it and try to push it for political advantage. well, at this point it looks like they're going in a different direction. and also what's happening this last week, president trump is trying to push through as many deals as he can to try to look like he's being productive as the house moves forward on
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impeachment. host: who will represent the president? will there be witnesses for the president? what is the white house part of this? guest: the white house is talking with mcconnell's office right now on exactly how that's going to go through. one of the most recent ideas has been to have the white the counsel represent republican side in the senate. that still hasn't been ompletely nailed down. it would be unusual to have the white house counsel run the republican side in the senate. it would show a sort of collapse of the separation of powers between the senate and the white house. but mcconnell has said very clearly that he doesn't want daylight between him and the white house as the impeachment proceedings move forward. host: mike debonis, when will or will they, the two leaders in the senate, actually talk
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and will they negotiate or will mitch mcconnell go to susan collins and lisa murkowski and say can you live with this, or other republicans who might defect? guest: we don't know. we started to have a conversation. i think that's going to probably begin in earnest as soon as the house votes on wednesday, perhaps before that. but both mcconnell and schumer know the situation here, which is, you know, there's these rules in place, and they were written in 1998, 1999, and they're not necessarily the best rules for this particular situation. for both sides. so, unfortunately in the senate, you really can't do anything unless everyone agrees , and that's going to be a tough order with something as divisive as this. back in 1999, everybody got it, literally got into a room and hard out an agreement on the rules. and it ended up passing on 100-0 vote no. one really sees that happening
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this time. but what you did see last night was chuck schumer set out sort of a public marker of where he wants to sort of send this conversation, talks about the timeline of trying to get this started, week of january 6. talked about witnesses that democrats would like to hear from, and kind of sketched out the process as the beginning of this negotiation, which is probably going to continue through the week and perhaps almost certainly beyond that. host: he asked for new witnesses, mick mulvaney, john bolton. could that put pressure on moderate republicans to say we agree, we should hear from mick mulvaney and john bolton? guest: yes, and several of them have said that. earlier in this process, they said they'd like to hear from these people. you know, it's unclear just how influential they will be in enforcing the issue. you have a standoff where both sides have guns pointed to each other on these witnesses.
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the white house wants hunter biden and the whistleblower and what eople connected to characterizes democratic wrongdoing. democrats obviously want bolton, mulvaney, a couple of other white house officials who had firsthand knowledge of what happened, and haven't cooperated in the house. and, you know, unfortunately, the default here is not that everybody gets to talk, the default here will be that nobody additional gets to talk. if you're betting in vegas on how this goes, right now it looks like the default, the most likely resolution to this is that there's going to be no additional witnesses, and this is just going to be a trial where the house presents its case from its managers, the white house rebuts, and that may be the end of it. host: over the weekend, "the washington post" broke the story about congressman van drew.
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why did he make this decision? what was behind it? guest: well, we haven't heard from congressman van drew. he hasn't returned any reporters' calls so far, including several of my own. what we do know from democrats who have spoken to him or are familiar with his sort of thinking is that his decision to oppose impeachment, and not only oppose it, but vocally oppose it, talk to reporters about it, go on cable news, including fox news, and talk about it, has really alienated the democratic voters in his district who support impeaching the president. we got a copy of a poll that his campaign had commissioned earlier this month. it showed that only a quarter of the voters, likely democratic primary voters in his district, wanted to renominate him. more than half, well over half, wanted a new nominee for the second congressional district in new jersey. and i think that this was just simply an existential threat to
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his political career, and at the same time, republicans are eager to find any way to show that this is -- this impeachment process is backfiring on democrats, and i think the president saw an opportunity here. we know that the two of them met in the white house on friday. told there was a lengthy meeting that the president made the case for a party switch, and apparently he took it very seriously. and now we're waiting for him to actually make clear what his intentions are. host: and the white house likes this, right? guest: this is important to the white house. they want to show defections from the democratic side to the republican side, especially in the house. they want to be able to say that impeachment was not supported in bipartisan way. they're hoping that the white house's perspective that it's only democrats who vote for impeachment in the house and that if the previous vote on the rules of how impeachment
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proceed, that is a road map for how the final vote goes, then we'll probably see a few democrats defect over to vote against impeachment. and the white house likes the optics of that and how that looks to their voters and their narrative that this is a partisan effort. now, i will say the downside to this whole impeachment thing, it's not all roses for the trump campaign, trump white house. the fact is trump doesn't want to be an impeached president. looks like he's going to be. he doesn't want to have that on his resume. and politically, it's better to run for reelection as an unimpeached president, than one who has been voted and impeached by the house. so it's not all positive for the white house and for the trump campaign. the other thing is the impeachment trial, as it goes forward in the senate, means more headlines, more emphasis on trump's actions, what he did on the call with the ukraine leader asking for a favor that
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could be politically advantageous. all of that attention, there is concern amongst some political consultants that it could eventually change the tide of public opinion. host: the defections, mike debonis, what's the likelyhood that michigan republican active justin amash, who was a republican turned independent, becomes a house manager, that the speaker assigns him, along with other democrats to become the house manager? guest: there's a group of democrats, freshmen democrats, who want that to happen. they want justin amash as part of the house prosecution team, as it were. but it's a risky move. this is someone who hasn't really been steeped in the case. he's not on any of the committees that have been investigating this. he's tweeted a lot about it, but he's not been present in a lot of the meetings internally where they've talked about the evidence, how they're going to present this case. i've been led to believe this is unlikely that he would be named here, but this group of
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freshmen has been very influential throughout this impeachment process in direct willing how nancy pelosi and the democratic leadership have handled things. so it's not out of the realm of possibility by any means, and it would be a very visible way for democrats to sort of rebut this partisan narrative. host: before we get to calls, where is the whip count with democrats? how many are saying they will not vote or leaning towards not voting for impeachment? guest: only two so far have said definitive noes. and that's jeff van drew and collin peterson from minnesota, who are both expected after they voted against the resolution formalizing the investigation back in october. host: all right. let's get to virginia, republican caller. we're talking about impeachment this week. the house scheduled to vote on wednesday. go ahead. caller: yes. it's interesting. i think this whole impeachment process, the only people who are losing are the american people. it's what's going to end up
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happening is democrats have been after donald trump since he got into office. they tried to discredit him, find something to bring him down and every one of them has failed. they brought up stormy daniels, michael cohen, brought out his taxes. they all failed. they basically ran the whole russia thing for over a year, year and a half. that failed. and now out comes the ukraine issue. and that's going fail because he's going to remain in office due to the senate issue. what's going to happen, they're going to set a precedent. any time an opposing political party doesn't like the president who's in office, they're going to come up with some ridiculous sham, personal issue to try to bring them down, and the only thing that's happening is our country is not moving forward. that's the only thing that's not happening. host: ok, so brian bennett, take that. are they setting a precedent here, and could this, for democrats, backfire? guest: this is an argument republicans have made that all
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of the steps by the democrats have been because they didn't like the result of the election. they wanted a way to get trump out. i think the democrats especially have said, look, this is actually about protecting the institutions of our democracy, reining in the power of the executive branch. this is our duty as members of congress to make sure the president doesn't overstep. and they look at the actions of the president on ukraine. they look at the record of the phone call with president trump and president zelensky of ukraine and see a moment where the president of ukraine brings up javelin missiles, the military aid, and in the next moment president trump says i want to ask you for a favor, how about these investigations into the bidens and the d.n.c. servers? the democrats are saying, look, do we want a president who's willing to push our national security interests into the american political arena?
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and they believe this is an important discussion that we should have. i think overall this whole process has given more information to the public about how president trump sandrates how he does his business, and it's up to the members of congress to decide if that's what they want in a president. it will be up to the voters if he remains in office to decide if that's what they want as president in 2020. host: what do you make of the report that was released overnight? hundred pages. they argue constitutionally they believe he has done something wrong here. but not only that, they added a word "crime" to this report in saying that he violated anti-bribery and wire fraud statutes. why would they add this? why would they be saying that he not only violated the constitution, but he also committed crimes? guest: there's a number of republicans, a number of lawmakers, period, who have said there's no crime here. that's been a talking point. i think that they wanted to rebut this notion that there's
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no actual crime. there had been talk early on there had been a campaign finance violation, sort of a discussion about the constitutional standard for bribery and whether it was the same as the current federal legal standard for bribery. i think they sort of wanted to wash all that away and say this guy, if you think that there weren't crimes here, there were crimes here. now, clearly the president is going disagree that, if he were ever charged for this conduct, which i have no indication that he will be, but i think that he would be putting on a robust defense against any prosecution. but it does help to rebut this particular talking point. host: rory in california, republican, go ahead. caller: yes, the time for impeachment i think is rrelevant.
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trump makes money. he wants to give them money. democrats want to take their money away and make everybody into a poor person. if they do that, then nobody -- and i mean nobody -- is going to work and make any money whatsoever. if you get rid of trump, you'll have pence, and pence is a very hard republican. if you get rid of pence, then you have pelosi, and he's going the -- or she is going the way of biden. she can't think or talk or act. and you'll have alzheimer's president in that case. no, you need to keep trump. a lot of people don't like him, but at least he's productive, and the democrats, they're all socialists or communists. that's it. host: ok, let's talk about the impact of this on 2020. both of you take the question of polls and what is it showing. does this help or hurt the president? guest: internally in the trump
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campaign, they believe it's helping the prerks particular until battleground states he needs to win the electoral college. when you look at the larger poll, the number of people in the united states who support impeachment have stayed relatively static over the last entrenched in current interests. so i think we're going to see, over the next three months, the result of this and how it plays out. guest: i think the national polls have been pretty static. there's been sort of right around 50% support for impeaching and removing the president. but i know a lot of democrats saw last week there was a marquette university law school poll in wisconsin that showed some pretty sobering opinions in that very key battleground state where voters seem not to be completely on board with this process. the voters, democrats, need to get back if they're going take wisconsin back next year.
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there were a lot of eyes on that poll, put it that way. host: the president won it by 70,000 votes. guest: right. and that's the sort of stuff that gives strategists chills in the night. i think it also is why we're seeing this week not only impeachment on the floor, but usmca, the president's trade agreement which is supported by a lot of the democrats who are up for reelection this year. nancy pelosi wants to send the signal we're not just impeaching, we're working with him too and getting things done. host: that vote is taking place on thursday after they vote on wednesday for impeachment. how is the president going to respond to the house voting on it and likely approving, if she's putting it on the floor, one of his major initiatives? guest: this is a confluence of interests actually. you have impeachment creating a moment where the democrats want to look like they're being productive on other things, on the people's work, pushing through important bills. and actually the president also
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wants to show that he's trying to get things done. ultimately he believes that it's to his advantage to look like he's also being product and i have getting through some of his initiatives. the replacement for the nafta trade agreement is one of those issues that he's wanted. he wants to show that he's delivering, and it seems like nancy pelosi is in a position where she and the democrats and house also want that. it's going to be down to the details. which group feels like they have more leverage in the end? that seems like a moment where both sides have a common interest to get this done. host: mike debonis, does the usmac pass in the senate? guest: yeah, we believe so. there was grumbling last week from some republican senators who said you noth this with nancy pelosi, didn't talk to us. about the the end of the day, if the president supports, it the republican members. senate are going to support it. it's got pretty wide democratic support. you saw sherrod brown and ron wyden come out, who have been been very progressive on trade.
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sherrod brown has never voted for a trade agreement in his very long congressional career, saying that they support it. there seems to be a pretty ulletproof bipartisan accord in favor of this. there is one hiccup i should mention. over the weekend we heard there was grumblings from the mexican government they didn't like some particular provisions that were written into this that i guess the agreement hadn't been fully vetted or the language hadn't been fully vetted. that's something we're looking to see whether that gets resolved or turns into a sticking point that could put a cloud over everything later this week. host: joseph, california, independent. caller: good morning, greta. host: good morning. caller: been with you guys since 1978. anyway, two points, and both have to do with the constitution.
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the first thing is the problem that we're having here is it depends on what's in the president's mind. what was his intention? and nobody knows that. so the people who support the president are going to give him the benefit of the doubt and the e was doing it for right purposes, for the country. and people who don't agree with him are going take the other side. now, the second point constitutionally, everybody seems to think we're going to lose our republic if this thing doesn't happen. what they don't realize is let's assume that -- first of all, they should have gone to court like they did with nixon, and, of course, nixon had to turn in his papers. so if trump defied that, what
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would happen? what would happen is exactly what the constitution says. the military takes an oath to constitution and the people, not the president, and they'd run him off to guantanamo bay and mike pence would be put in office. malarkey. just the problem we have here is it definitely is a partisan impeachment, and that's not what the constitution wanted, because it's both sides, one idn't want a dictator or someone who was bad for the country, but the other side is they did not want the president like licy he's not just a governor or something like that. host: ok, understood.
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brian bennett, have you jump in here to talk about what he just said. are the republicans' arguments against process working in order to cast democrats as not being fair to the president? guest: so i think republicans certainly believe that criticizing the process is a way that they can say this is unfair and this is a partisan effort. it doesn't get to the substance of what the president has done. while ultimately when republicans in the house and republicans in the senate vote to protect the president, they're going to be voting to say that this is ok, that it's ok for the president to make a phone call like this to a foreign leader, and that's going to be something that's going to be on their record and that they're going to have to defend in the years to come. and i don't see that having an impact right now, but it's certainly something that could have a political impact for some of these republicans in
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the long run. guest: yeah, throughout the ole republican sort of strategy here, dee legitimize the investigation, cast it as partisan, unfair, attack democrats for not going to court, not exhausting their options with the third branch of government, and all that has on holiday, based on where they're at today, been pretty successful on the republicans' part. it's kept republicans together. they've given also some republicans from the most moderate to most conservative reason to not like this impeachment inquiry. the only person who seemed to be interested in supporting this is francis rooney in the house. he said he was open to this. more recently he's been indicating that he really wanted to hear from these
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witnesses that democrats didn't go to court and hear from. but democrats, at the same time, made clear they weren't interested in getting caught in a court process that would most likely stretch beyond the 2020 election. they felt the time was of the essence, and they plowed forward. host: carl from west virginia, republican. caller: good morning. you know, i'm 81 years old. i watched all of the nixon hearings. i watched all of the clinton hearings. nd they were bipartisan. well, this one is us against them. nd, you know, greta, really, you have two of the most liberal publications in the united states on your program this morning. and, you know, i would think that you could find a conservative, at least maybe "the wall street journal" or
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some publication like that so we could have a really unbiased point of view here. and i would think that both of you guys would be looking into his when the f.b.i. spied on the trump campaign. now, you know, that is more important than this impeachment as far as i'm concerned. because that is something unprecedented in the history of this country. when you can use the f.b.i. and e c.i.a. to spy on one campaign to benefit another campaign, it's ridiculous. now, i watched that hearing, the i.g. report, and i was really upset at the way they played this down. you know, "the washington post"
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has been impeaching the president since day one. as a matter of fact, i think you ran a headline, it's time to start impeaching donald trump. so that's my comment. i wish you could be a little more bipartisan on this thing and get both points of view. host: ok. i'm not sure what brian been and the mike debonis said that you view as biased, but let's talk about the i.g. report and how that plays out, how that impacts impeachment. mike debonis, you go first. guest: carl referenced the headline. what he's referring to. we did a news story about democratic activists trying to impeach the president early on, and i'll say that i've talked to a lot of republicans recently who are very pleased we wrote that story because it's become a very popular talking point for them. that was a story about what democrats were thinking. we report on both parties and what their activities are. but i think carl makes a good
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point about the f.b.i., i.g. report coming out. a really been sort of counternarrative here that republicans have been very pleased to talk about. i think that it did raise narrative bout the the democrats have sort of put forward all along that this russia investigation was done for all the right reasons. adam schiff is sort of debunked all of the claims that there were any problems with the decisions made within the f.b.i. and i think the i.g., michael horowitz, made clear that there were issues. they weren't necessarily fatal issues that would have made the entire investigation improper, but there were warrants that were based on faulty
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information. there were mistakes made in the preparation of them. and i can just say that my organization has been covering that pretty aggressively, and i know brian's has as well. guest: yeah, i'll just say it was very concerning in the report to see how many mistakes the f.b.i. had made when it me to filing in the fisa court for more surveillance on carter page. i mean, this surveillance that happened from the fisa court is one of the tightest and closest kept secret processes in the federal government. and it comes down to the government's power over surveiling american citizens, which is a very important thing to have oversight over. and it showed that there were weaknesses in that process. ultimately horowitz looking at it said this investigation wasn't politically motivated, that they did meet the standards they needed to meet to open the investigation. there was enough there to have
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the investigation, but the number of errors that went into that process of renewing those -- renewing that surveillance is very concerning and should lead to major reforms, and i hope it will. host: jerry in new jersey, democratic caller. caller: good morning. it's funny, i'm just hearing you skirt the issue here. you're neglecting to talk about how hillary clinton and the democrat party made the dossier that bought and paid for the dossier and worked with ukraine and italy, i think, and australia in order to get donald trump out of office. so you're skirting the whole issue. i see how you're trying to get away from it. if that ain't biased, i don't know what is, and i can't figure out how you don't think this is not impeachable on the other side. now, schiff lied, too. he lied to the american people.
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he lied when he quoted what trump said. he should be impeached. this is ridiculous, and i'm a democrat. and you've lost me. you just lost me with all this corruption. and i'm embarrassed for the democrat party. i'm embarrassed to say i'm a democrat. and i will be voting republican. thank you. host: ok, brian bennett? guest: so i think after this whole process of the mueller investigation, the horowitz investigation into the f.b.i., we've learned a lot, both about some of the mistakes that were made inside the f.b.i., but also the mueller report showed that there was a concerted effort by the russian government to run at the trump campaign, and there are multiple points of contact, ultimately mueller came to the decision that he couldn't move forward with the prosecution because there wasn't enough evidence on that. but we as the public learned
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quite a bit about russian efforts to interfere with the election. now, president trump supporters are moving forward, and they really want to look towards 2020 and the election and move past these past scandals and investigations and try to talk about what has president trump done for the country and what is he going to do in the second term. host: we'll go to atlanta, georgia. michael, democratic caller. caller: hey, thanks for taking my call. really appreciate it. i didn't pay any attention to politics until trump got elected, and then i was like, what is going on? so i started watching everything, sat in front of the tv 24 hours a day, so fascinated. but the woman you had on right before me, how did he -- i don't understand. the dossier was started as a republican product, and that seems to get lost every time someone mentions it. i don't know what's going on. but it seems like we've got the truth on one side and we've got
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this magic fairy land on the other. we've got the congress, the senate, the republican senate fading in and out of consciousness like going along with whatever talking point happens to come along. all the sudden ted cruz is falling into, oh, no, trump was anti-corruption teamster, i'm just looking to fix corruption, right? and everybody forgets that he asked for an announcement of the investigation, not the investigation. it's so frustrating. where's the truth? i don't know. i'm just frustrated. it's confusing for me, because when i finally decide to pay attention to politics, and absorb everything, i even watch fox sometimes. i even watch the judge lady. but i mean, c-span is the best, i have to admit, because you get some of each side, and you guys are awesome.
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to be still up there, kind of chug ago long, finding it the way you do, you've got the people that aren't even in touch with reality hitting you back with stuff. the clever ones are the ones that take a little bit of the truth and spin it into something that causes this woman to go berserk. host: ok, let's leave it there. i want both of your thoughts on trying to cover this. what has it been like when you try to challenge either the democrats or the republicans? guest: i'll clarify saying i agree with michael, c-span is the best. you know, it's a grind, no doubt about it. but listen, we just -- we do, we honestly do try to keep focused on the facts. the facts as we understand them may not be the same as we understand them the next day or the week after. and the thing about journalists is that the good ones, and we
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think that we try to be the good ones, we're constantly re-evaluating our suppositions, our assumptions, the reporting we've done. we're always open to new ideas, new facts, new opportunities. i think that this i.g. report is an example of that. i think that it's very difficult to get insight into a process that is so secretive as foreign intelligence warrant. we very rarely do we have any sort of -- get to peer inside the black box. i think the i.g. was able to do that and show in an independent way that there was some truth here on the republican side to these -- to their argument. but on the other side, democrats were right about these things. this was just one of those episodes where it's just not as black and white as america wants it to be on either side. so it's always shades of gray.
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it was messy. it's hard to sort of sort through that stuff. and when a good chunk of america wants to see everything through either their party's side or the other party's side, things like this can generate a lot of passions and dismay, and what we try to do is just stay focused on the truth as what we know changes. we start asking different questions and try to figure out what happened. guest: the last few years have really crystallized the mission for reporters that it's important to report hard and try to find out what's happening behind the scenes and try to explain it the best way possible. host: we'll go on to jerry, north carolina, independent. ok, let's go toer it any illinois, republican. -- let's go to terry in illinois, republican. caller: yes, first of all, agree they're all biased also.
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he misquoted and said that -- i lost all my concentration right now. host: what did he misquote? caller: the president asked for. he didn't ask for that. he asked for them to check into it. he didn't demand anything. and also, he said that we should get over the mueller report and the fisa abuse. how can we get over it when this is part of it now isn't that? host: go ahead. guest: thanks for raising that. i definitely don't mean that republicans should get over the content of the mueller romplet i know they're talking to members of trump's campaign. they're trying to emphasize things that trump has accomplished and done, and that's things that they're looking at focusing on. i don't want to indicate that republicans should try to get over anything about the last three years.
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i think another important thing to remember is that as reporters, we are working hard to talk to both sides and lay out what's happening, and i recently did a cover story about the president's effort to reach out to his base on facebook on the impeachment investigation and that he's gotten a lot of traction on that issue and raised a lot of money doing that. host: let's talk about government spending and the deadline that they face this week. mike debonis, remind our viewers where they are, why they got here, and what will happen. guest: so we're facing other shutdown deadline. originally it was september 30. it's now been kicked to december 20. negotiators on capitol hill are very badly trying to reach a deal to actually write detailed spending bills, not do another can of the can.
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they worked through the weekend trying to knock through this list of final items. i was sort of monitoring it from home this weekend. it was touch and go there for a while, but they feel that they're probably in a position to release a bill today, which they'll need to do to vote on it tomorrow, which is the house plan. it's $1.3 trillion, touches every agency in government. this really fulfills the overall fiscal deal that was cut over the summer between president trump and democrats. and there's a lot of desire on on -- to vote on it, vote it in the house on tuesday and take care of it in the senate later this week. host: they would not have to do a continuing resolution then? guest: that is the hope. that is the very broad hope. host: and then would the president sign this? guest: at this point, the president is keeping his cards close to his chest, but it looks like he wants to not
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obstruct it and not hold something up like that. he has certain initiatives he wants to push through, but he wants to look like he's getting ings done and even as points fingers at democrats for being obstructionists and holding things up, he wants to look like he's running the government. host: will he get money for the border wall in this deal? guest: i think -- i think at this point he has been pushing with his advisors for money for the border wall. i think they'll probably be something he can repurpose or use for some of the border wall construction he wants to get done. it's something that his son-in-law, jared kushner, has been working on. i suspect there will be some money in there that they will try to repurpose for the border wall, but that democrats will say is not designed for the border wall. guest: i can speak to that. they basically ended up in the same place as last year. the president wanted $5
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billion. he's going to get a shade under $2 billion. the democrats were pushing hard to limit his ability to transfer funds from other accounts. that didn't end up becoming part of the deal, but the republicans did agree they wouldn't back fill the accounts that the president transferred from last year. so he's going to have to find some new ways to ship the money if he wants to do this again. so it's kind of a status quo where neither side really got what they want, but they mutually decided to move on to other issues. host: engineer any huntington beach, california, democratic caller. caller: good morning. i wasn't even planning on calling in this morning, but i'm just so tired of these calls, these callers calling, even this lady from new jersey claiming to be a democrat. this is just -- yes, the battle lines are drawn, but can they use a little bit of honesty in their arguments?
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i think pedro's show, every caller was calling with this cult-like nonsense about a partisan witch hunt, all these talking points. can you screen the callers better, get real democrats on there that have something intelligent to say instead of this right-wing nonsense we're hearing about the, yes, they're partisan -- this is just so stupid. make some arguments that make sense. talk about the constitution. i'm just tired of this nonsense i hear all the time about this caller. i wish the republicans would stop this scheme they have to get these people calling in to dispute this inquiry in the ouse and the senate. i'm just tired of trumple i'm tired of the republican. that's all i have to say. host: well, is it working to fund raise for both parties, the impeachment process? guest: i mean, it certainly is mobilizing trump supporters at
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this point, and i have to look closely at the trump campaign and their fundraising on impeachment has really skyrocketed. one thing thattier i is speaking to -- that jerry is speaking to is how polarized the dablet has become and people are feeling. it's interesting, especially when you look at the call record, the call between president trump and the president of ukraine. we all see the same record. and republicans and democrats the same call record, and as we've heard today, are drawing different conclusions about what was said and what was meant in that record. guest: i think on the democratic side, the fundraising impact is a little harder to discern. obviously on the presidential level, the primary race has actually stayed pretty clear of the impeachment issue. i mean, basically all the candidates support it in one way or another. they've sort of been focused on different issues. on the congressional side, i think that in terms of the
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small donors, they obviously -- impeachment support is a big factor. we saw with the jeff van drew issue, if you are against impeachment, you are putting yourself in political pearl. the other -- we are still monitoring a number of other democrats who may end up coming out against this from overwhelmingly republican districts. but as of about an hour ago, we weren't aware of any besides collin peterson, who represents some very, very conservative istricts in western minnesota. that was not a terribly huge surprise. host: minnesota, republican. caller: good morning. i have a point, and then a question if i could. to the democrat in california that wants to talk constitution. the executive branch and the legislative branch, when they have an argument, there's the
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judicial branch that then decides what's the right way to go on that argument. their intent has been to find out the truth, they would have waited for the ruling on those and got the witnesses they wanted. if they really wanted to find out the truth of what happened and not just hurt a president, they would have sarksde all right, let's see all your witnesses, let's find out what happened. let's have the republicans call any people they want, see what they have to say. and we're not going to do it down in the basement. it's all out here, because for the people that actually voted us citizens, we could have seen it all. but when you take and hide this and say, ok, we're going to show you this but not that, and then say, well, that's up to them -- they're hiding witnesses from us. well, you're hiding witnesses. you wonder why it comes to that. and here's the second question to you two guys. i think over time, not just with trump, but with obama,
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right now the press's believeability rating was about 20%. that doesn't seem wrong to me. i don't know that what's a true reflection of the truth. i doubt it very much. i have to say, it's disconcerting that now congress is at 9%. you guys are at 20%. the president is at 45%. i'm telling you what, you want to talk about -- my question to you guys is how much has the press itself contributed to this feeling in the country that you're unbelievable, and it's really sad, because now we don't feel there's an independent ar at this timer to bring you news. we have to watch six sources and figure out who's b.s.'ing us all the time. it's sad. host: ok. mike debonis. guest: i think the press has been a victim of the increasing partisanship in the country along with many other institutions, including, as we saw last week, the f.b.i. public trust in the f.b.i. used
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to be sky high levels. i think that that's been eroded in the last couple of years. the press has been part of that declining trust in institutions as they've become partisan footballs in this new era that we have. all i can say we try to play it straight as best as we can. we understand that there are voters out there who want to get their news through partisan lenses. my publication, i think brian's publication has made the decision we're going to keep playing it straight, just report the news, and unfortunately more and more people want to see the news through partisan lenses, and we'll see if that remains the case or things swing back to where they used to be. host: what do you think? guest: i think on jerry's point about the process in the house, it's a pretty interesting point that republicans raise, which pushed they should have to the courts to try to get the witnesses they wanted.
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one interesting indicator about nancy pelosi and this process was that initially she did say she wanted impeachment to be bipartisan, and then she's been willing to go through with this process when it was clear that it was going to only get democratic votes in the house. and that does lay bare that this has become a political process. and they've moved forward with impeachment even though it does seem like the president is not going to be removed by the senate and the firewall is going to hold, which has made this much more of a political exercise and we're going to have to see how that plays out over the next several months. host: nancy in north carolina, democratic caller. hi, nancy. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. what i'm calling about -- are you there? host: yes, we're listening. go ahead. caller: ok. what i'm calling about, to go back, because i get the "time"
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magazine. you're fair and balanced to say the least. i want to go back to 2017 when potus took his first trip out of the country, first israel, then to saudi to meet the president, and he has some meetings with the press. next thing, i'm sure you journalists can bring this up to date, he comes home, first picking on qatar where we have a base. he starts giving them i believe a bad time for funds we send hem as well, like we do to other countries. ukraine, etc. and he's going to hold back on it. then he comes home. kushner is in deep debt in his building in manhattan. he sends kushner back over to qatar, and the next thing you know he comes back, and now his building is out of debt. was that a quid pro quo?
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what went on with that? have you gentlemen investigated that or wrote about it? host: have you looked into that? guest: i did look into this, and the press has covered this quite a bit. i think one thing that this speaks to is the general concern about when you have people serving in government at a high level in the white house who still have a hand in their businesses. there's going to be a question of whether the actions of foreign governments are being taken to enrich that person. and that's something with president trump where he hasn't completely divested himself from his businesses, and so there's a nagging question of when foreign governments get hotels in -- hotel rooms in his hotels, whether they're trying to curry favor. host: did the caller accurately describe the story? guest: as far as what we know blicly, the president went and met in saudi arabia.
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u.s. policy toward qatar shifted slightly. and became more confrontational with the qatars after the behest of saudi. and then there's no public proof that that had any bearing on the lone that jared kushner's company got for this very expensive building that he owns in new york, but there's been a lot of reporting raising questions about that connection. host: ok. let's go to larry, new york, republican caller. caller: hi. good morning. host: good morning. caller: my point is, first of all, i'd like to go down the shortlist. number one, as an african-american from new york, i'm still trying to figure out how the russians influenced me to vote for trump. trump sold me basically when he
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said to the world that he only wanted to be the president of america and not the president of the world. that is one of the things that i've never heard anyone say. of dly, the impeachment this president clearly -- let me just say, this the thing that comey said the other day on tv about the f.b.i. not being biased, lisa page and strzok thing totally blows that out the water. i mean, that's just ridiculous for him to say there's absolutely -- i mean, the whole world saw -- come on, that's ridiculous. as an african-american, we totally alienate ourselves politically voting in the 90 percentile range of democratic party. it's political suicide. and that's my point. host: ok. brian bennett, you are writing something down. guest: there are a few
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interesting points the caller raises. one, talking to a lot of trump voters and supporters, i know when the get upset press and democrats raise the russia influence in the 2016 election, which happened. russia did try to influence the election. but they feel like that takes their vote for trump and delegitimizes it. and the fact is millions and millions of americans, of course, voted for trump, and they voted in large numbers especially in the states that won him the electoral college victory that he won. so i think as a reporter, it's never my objective to make voters feel like they were swindled into voting for donald trump. no, that's not it at all. people who voted for trump really believe in the things that he was saying and what he wanted to do. instead, it's let's shine light on what happened in the 2016 elections and what president trump has done so we can have a
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better understanding of what's going on. host: steve in atlanta, georgia, independent. caller: yes, long-time caller, even though who lambert was. you can ask brian lamb about that. my concern is an independent who votes for both parties, best candidate, is -- and i love c-span. i don't believe cnn. i don't believe fox. i usually go to c-span to try to get some -- to figure out what's happening. no offense to the two individuals you've got on there, but having someone from "time" magazine and having someone from "the washington post" is about as biased as you could hope for. they're shrills for the democratic party. they have been for years. it's nothing new. and i want c-span to continue its tradition of being independent and putting the facts out there. that's all.
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don't care which -- i'm not on either side particularly. host: mike debonis, you want to answer that? guest: i agree. i think c-span is great. appreciate the caller's thoughts. you know, we love to hear from people out there and how they perceive we're doing our jobs, and we listen. and we understand that people have views on how they like to get their news, and we understand that these are partisan times and people are really looking through that filter, and we do our best not to, sort of the best way to put it. host: there's reporting of brian bennett and mike debonis, go to for brian bennett, senior white house correspondent. and, mike debonis, congressional reporter with "the washington post." one last call, stanley in pennsylvania, republican. caller: yeah, everything in
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water is biased. i don't -- everything in washington is biased. i don't look at the polls. i look at the betting pools. the presidential favorite has won every time since 1992. there's been 15 presidents, elections in the past 60 years. "the washington post" supported every democrat, every time. in 1992, "washington post" of the recordings that the economy was negative for bush in 1992 of october. 30 days later, clinton wins, and that 95% drops down to 5%. i'd like everybody to heed the words of pontius pilate. let the people zifmente hoyle i'll end with a question. what are you watching for this week? mike debonis, you want to go first? guest: you know, we want to know how many democrats end up voting against impeachment. we don't think it's going to be
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very many, but to the degree that it goes beyond the two that we know about, it does put a little wind in the republicans' sails. we're going to be pretty focused on that. guest: i want to know if they're going to be new witnesses brought in the senate trial in january. that's going to be hard out probably this week or the week after. and whether it stays at the same number of witnesses that were called in the house or host: thank you c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. this morning, discussing the $1.37 trillion government spending bill, voted this week to avoid a government shutdown. -- a figure of this week's
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preview of this week's has debate and vote on articles of impeachment against president trump. join the discussion. >> here's a look at our live coverage tuesday. atc-span, the house meets 9:00 a.m. eastern to work on a $1.4 trillion spending bill funding the federal government beyond december 20. on c-span2, the senate is working on legislation setting 2020 defense programs and policy. on c-span3, the house rules committee meets at 11:00 a.m. eastern to consider rules for a floor debate on a resolution to impeach president trump for abuse of congress, which the full house is expected to take up on wednesday. >> next, a look back at the 1998-1999 impeachment of president bill clinton.
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we will show you a portion of the u.s. house floor debate on four articles of impeachment. the house voted to approve two of those articles making bill clinton only the second president in u.s. history to be impeached, since andrew johnson in 1868. and 19th,mber 18 1998, the house of representatives taking up articles of impeachment against president bill clinton. we will show you some highlights in just a moment, but first alexis simendinger explains how these articles moved from the house judiciary committee to the floor within a week. alexis: they passed out of the house judiciary committee. there was lots of discussion about what the rules would be for the inquiry, and would the investigation be limited. the house judiciary had already undertaken that, and establish the inquiry


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