tv Meet the Press NBC September 29, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PDT
this sunday, the impeachment debate. >> betrayal of his oath of office. aybetr of our national security. and betrayal of the integrity of our elections. >> speaker nancy pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry, as details emerge from a whistle-blower about president trump's ly phone call with ukraine's president. >> it's hard to imagine a more serious set of allegations than those contained in the complaint. >> the president saying i would like you to do us a favor, though, and urging an investigation of joe biden as he withheld military aid. >> it's another witch hunt. here we go again. >> demraon thettack. >> very serious conduct.
it undermines the national security of the united states. >> i think it's devastating. >> most republicans defend the president. >> from my point of view to impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane. >> totally appropriate. there's nothing in that. >> but some cracks emerge. >> i want to say to the president, this is not okay. that conversation is not okay. >> my guests this morning, adam schiff, chairman of the house intelligence committee. the number two house republican, steve scalise. and the former u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. plus the politics of impeachment. peril for the preside and for joe biden. >> he will stop at nothing to hold on to power. >> does biden emerge damaged or as a more sympathetic figure? joining me for insight and analysis are yamic hechlt alcindor. mark leibovich, chief correspondent for "the new york times" magazine. presidential historian doris kearns goodwin and hugh hewitt, host on thealem radio network.
welcome to sunday and a special edition of "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, this is a special edition of "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. for anyone on either side of the red/blue divide who was frustrated by the pace of the mueller investigation, ten days in september have provided a staggering turn of events. it was just last week that "the washington post" broke the whistle-blower story about president trump's phone call with ukraine's president. immediately support among house democrats for impeachment proceedings exploded into a majority of the house. leaving nancy pelosi no choice but to do what progressives had demanded and she had resisted for so long, announce a formal impeachment inquiry. rather than a drip, drip, drip, there's been a gusher of bad news for the president since then. it's important to note that republicans have avoided pushing back on the substance of the whistle-blower's charges. there's a lot we don't know at this point. we don't know all the details
that could emerge in an impeachment case against president trump. we don't know with any certainty that republicans will rally around mr. trump as they did so comfortably the last time. and we don't know whether president trump's baseless charges against joe biden and ukraine will make biden a more sympathetic figure or tarnish him to the benefit of another democratic candidate, like elizabeth warren. but there is something that both sides think they do know, that this new crisis is easier to understand and presents a greater threat to the president than the mueller investigation ever did. >> we cannot ignore our oath of office to protect and defend the constitution. >> house speaker nancy pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry after months of resistance following the revelation that the president pressured ukraine's president to investigate a political opponent, joe biden, while withholding military aid. >> it is hard to imagine a more fundamental abuse of that office. >> it's another witch hunt. here we go again. >> on wednesday, the white house released detailed notes from
that july 25th call with ukraine's president. after president zelensky expressed his desire for more military equipment, including javelin anti-tank missiles, president trump responded, i would like you to do us a favor, though, asking ukraine to investigate the 2016 election and unfounded conspiracies about joe biden and his son. >> president zelensky raises the question of defensive aid, and within minutes the president of the united states is asking him to investigate joe biden. >> he will stop at nothing to hold on to power. it's not surprising that i've become the object of his attention. >> on thursday, another bombshell. the cia whistle-blower complaint made public, detailing a in nine pages that the president is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 u.s. election. describing months of contacts between the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani, whom the wbl names more than 30 times
and ukrainian officials, alleging white house officials attempted to lock down the record of the call, hiding it in a highly classified computer system. >> now there's a cover-up of the cover-up. >> by late friday house democrats had already subpoenaed secretary of state mike pompeo for documents and scheduled depositions with five state department officials named in the whistle-blower complaint. >> are you willing to testify in front of congress? >> well, there's a lot of problems with that. would i like to testify and tell my story? sure. there are things that i can't testify to because i'm a lawyer. >> inside the west wing there is rising anxiety, unease and concern. most republicans in congress have defended the president. >> when i think of whistle-blower complaints, i think of somebody who saw something that was wrong and came forward to say so. this is hearsay information. >> but small cracks are already emerging. >> i did read the transcript. it remains troubling in the extreme. >> republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons and
say there's no there, there when there's obviously lots that's very troubling there. >> and even some trump allies are beginning to question giuliani's role. >> he's wild as a march hare. he's a smart guy, but he's a free-range chicken. i mean he just kind of gets on out there. >> and joining me now from greenville, south carolina, is the chairman of the house intelligence committee, the man likely leading most of this investigation, democrat adam schiff of california. congressman, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. great to be with you. >> let me start with the whistle-blower's complaint. it does feel as if it is your road map. i believe you said it's the road map for your investigation. how much of your investigation is about the specifics of what the president did with the aid, with ukraine, with rudy giuliani, and how much of your investigation is about the attempt to keep that from you? >> well, i think really the gravum of the offense is the president using the power of his office to coerce a foreign nation to help his presidential
campaign to once again interfere in our election and at the same time withholding foreign aid that that country so desperately needs to fight off the russians. that to me is the most serious consolation of issues. i know many people suggested and it may have been true in the past that the cover-up is the bigger crime. sometimes the cover-up is the easier crime to prove but here, yes, the cover-up is very serious, but i don't want to lose sight of that fundamental broach of the president's oath of office, the duty to defends our country, our constitution. here the president is once again not just inviting but coercing a foreign nation to get involved to try to help him in yet another presidential election. so to me that's the most serious set of offenses. >> in order to get the full picture, you're going to have to get the testimony of apparently quite a few white house officials. they're unnamed in the whistle-blower report. do you expect to end up fighting over things like executive
privilege and attorney/client privilege to the point that you may not get all the facts? >> i have to expect that they're going to fight us tooth and nail, but we're going to start. we have a hearing on friday, for example, closed session with the inspector general. this is the second time we're bringing him in now that we have the whistle-blower complaint to go through what steps that he took to corroborate the information in the complaint, what witnesses that he spoke with so that we can follow up with those witnesses ourselves. will the white house fight us on this? i have to imagine they'll fight us tooth and nail. and yet even as they do, the more that they fight to try to prevent and obstruct the lawful functions of congress, the more they're going to make a case for impeachment on obstruction of justice of congress of rule of law. >> is that why you put that in your release, that basically you're going to take any attempt at preventing somebody from testifying before your committee
that you believe legitimately has some information to shed light on what happened, you will treat that as an obstruction of justice? >> we will treat that as evidence of obstruction of justice, as evidence of obstructing the lawful functions of congress because the president can't have it both ways. he can't both prevent us from getting evidence on the serious underlying crimes or potential crimes, the serious breach of his oath of office, and at the same time obstruct our investigation. so even as he tries to weaken our ability to get facts on one, he'll strengthen the facts on the other. >> do you know the whistle-blower yet? >> i don't. >> have you met them? >> i don't know the -- no. no. >> do you -- when do you expect -- first of all, do you expect the whistle-blower to testify? and if so, when? >> yes, and i hope very soon. excuse me. i hope very soon.
all that needs to be done at this point is to make sure that the attorneys that representhe whistle-blower get the clearanceshat th need to be able to accompany the whistle-blower to testimony and that we figure out the logistics to make sure that we protect the identity of the whistle-blower. that's our paramount concern here. this whistle-blower has done obviously a cardina service to the country by exposing wrongdoing of the most serious kind, a breach of the president's duty to the country that endangers our security. he's got to be worried about his own security right now with the president issuing threats like he did the other day. >> your committee has seen material end up in the white house before, end up with the president's team before. are you confident that your committee can protect the identity? everybody in your committee on both sides of the oil cidentity this whistle-blower from the ire of the president? >> i'm certainly going to do everything humanly possible as chair to make sure that's what
happens. and, yes, we have been concerned for some time about back channels between our now minority and the white house. in fact maybe even front channels, not just back channels. this is serious business here. the president has suggested that people like this whistle-blower should be treated the way that we used to treat spies and traitors. we used to execute spies and traitors. there's no messing around here. what's more, we want to protect this whistle-blower, but we also want to encourage others that are aware of this wrongdoing or other wrongdoing to come forward. that's a vital interest of ours as well. >> there are three phone calls -- excuse me, two phone calls and one meeting that the president has had with vladimir putin. actually all of them have taken place since the election of the ukrainian president, zelensky. a phone call on may 3rd, a meeting ondown 28th and a phone call on july 21st, six days after the zelensky phone call in
question. do you think you'll ever know the contents of any of those conversations? >> i certainly hope that we can find out. and again, the paramount need here is to protect the national security of the united states and see whether in the conversations with other world leaders and in particular with putin that the president was also undermining our security in a way that he thought would personally benefit his campaign. if those conversations with putin or with other world leaders are sequestered in that same electronic file that is meant for covert action, not meant for this, if there's an effort to hide those and cover those up, yes, we're determined to find out. >> if you're trying to be speedy with this investigation while also being thorough, is there a point where you just have to -- you have to wrap things up, you have to be done with whatever you can investigate by a date certain? i keep hearing the word thanksgiving thrown around.
is that the timetable the public should expect? >> we haven't set a timetable except that we want to do this as urgently as possible. we also recognize, though, the gravity of this situation and that it's going to take some time to get the full facts and be able to flesh them out. chuck, i will say this having worked on investigations as a prosecutor before i was in congress, there is a natural rhythm to an investigation and you get to way points where the next increment of evidence you're going to get may take quite a bit of time. when we get to those points we'll have to make a decision do we have to have a consensus now about where we were, what this means and whether we need to travel down the road of articles of impeachment or do we have more time to do more work. >> i'm curious what you think of the argument that says no matter where you are, especially if you are there, if you think president should be thrown out of office, that because we're so close to november of 2020 that the election is the better place for that to happen. what do you say to those making that argument?
>> you know, chuck, i was making that argument myself until these facts came to light that this is an extraordinary remedy. it should only be used in extraordinary circumstances. but here what the president has done is such -- of such an egregious character that there's a real risk in not moving forward with an impeachment. and i think when you look at the fact that the president engaged in this corrupt conduct with president zelensky, corrupt on the president's part, not on zelensky's part, the day after the mueller hearing, the lesson this president appears to have received is that he can do whatever he wants, he can violate his oath of office, he can refuse to defend our constitution, he can invite further foreign interference in our affairs, he can try to cover it up and there will be no consequence and no accountability. that is simply too dangerous to be left that way. and so, yes, i certainly think that the gravity of the situation demands that we move forward with the inquiry. >> okay. >> and we'll have to determine
whether that also means return of articles. >> are we expecting to see rudy giuliani testify? >> i don't want to commit myself to that at this point. we certainly need to do a lot of work to find out what giuliani has been doing in ukraine. it appears from that conversation that the ukraine president understood what was going to be asked of him on that call, and that very likely was the result of work that rudy giuliani and some of his minions were doing in ukraine. so we're going to need to get to the bottom of it. whether it will be productive to bring him in, we'll make that decision down the road. >> congressman adam schiff, the man that's going to be charged with leading most of this investigation on the house intelligence committee, thanks for coming on and sharing your views. much appreciate it. >> thanks, chuck. joining me now from kenner, louisiana, is the number two republican in the house, steve scalise of louisiana. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> chuck, good to be back with you. >> due to an accident on email, we know some of the talking points that the white house has sent over to house republicans, including the defense that they have is saying there was no quid
pro quo in the phone call, that that in itself should be enough to stave off of impeachment. but i am curious, when you hear and read the phrase i want you to do us a favor, though, and you know, again, i think the president of ukraine has the internet so he knew that aid was frozen. how do you interpret it if it's not a quid pro quo? how do you interpret it, i need you to do us a favor, though. >> first of all, chuck, if you read that sentence, what the president is talking about is crowdstrike. he's talking about the 2016 -- >> does that make it better? does that make it better? >> primesident trump is trying look into the interference by russia so it doesn't happen again. i thought you would be concerned about making sure it doesn't happen as well but that's what he's talking about, not joe biden. >> the intelligence community, his own intelligence folks have said it was russia that did the hack. he's the only person that seems to believe that russia didn't do the hack. so the crowdstrike, does that even make you more -- >> not at all.
>> -- disturbed that he doesn't believe our own intelligence? >> crowdstrike, first of all, was the one who got the server and never shared it with the fbi, never shared it with anybody. there's still a lot of information we're trying to find out about how the russians interfered with our election when barack obama was president, and i'm glad president trump continues to look into that interference so it doesn't happen again. he's the one trying to root it out. by the way, president trump is the one who's been standing up to russia. they talked about javelin missiles in that call. president trump sold javelin missiles to knock those tanks out that russia was sending into the ukraine. obama wouldn't sell those javelin missiles. you might want to ask president obama or joe biden why they wouldn't sell the javelins so ukraine could stop russia from coming in with those tanks but president trump did and continues to provide relief. we've given a lot of relief. in fact president trump has probably given more help to ukraine than any other president. >> it seems as if you endorse the president sort of one-man operation by rudy giuliani to go
around the government and try to do his own investigation. i've not understood this. if the president doesn't believe the u.s. government's assessment of what the russians did, why doesn't he ask the fbi to investigate? why is he asking rudy giuliani to go to a foreign country to do it? do you understand -- do you understand that? >> well, you can ask rudy giuliani. that and the chairman himself said he's not even sure if he would bring rudy. but keep in mind the chairman said a lot of things, made a lot of baseless accusations. chairman schiff is the one who for two years saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that president trump colluded with russia on the mueller investigation. and that turned out not to be true. and so instead of saying, okay, we were wrong, let's move on, they continue to go down this road of impeachment regardless of the facts. you know, they have said that there were high crimes and misdemeanors. the actual author of the articles of impeachment just recently a few days ago said that if they don't impeach
president trump, he might get re-elected. he will get re-elected is what he said. the framers did not put the power of impeachment in the constitution so that you could stop somebody from getting elected who was duly elected in 2016. it's a high crime and misdemeanor standard and they should take that with the respect that it deserves in the house. >> let's take the word "impeachment" out of this. given what rudy giuliani was doing or not doing, we don't know, given what the president may have meant with "i would like you to do us a favor, though" but we don't know, is this not worthy of congressional oversight? is this not worthy of an investigation? do you want to know what it is that rudy giuliani was doing sort of either on his own or against the wishes of some people in the government? is this not worthy of an investigation? again, skip the impeachment part for a second. >> well, they have been investigating president trump for over two years and the entire way making baseless allegations. speaker pelosi the day before the transcript came out was saying that there was going to
show that the president broke the law and then they didn't have any quid pro quo. all of the things that they were saying. they're investigating everything, and instead of, by the way, we should be moving usmca to get a better trade deal. we should be passing bipartisan legislation to lower drug prices. they won't bring those bills to the floor because all they're focused on is impeachment, chuck. >> do you approve of all of this? >> you can ask rudy giuliani. but keep in mind rudy giuliani -- >> what about congress? >> that conversation happened -- chuck, if you'd let me answer, that conversation with president zelensky happened right after the mueller report came out after two years of an investigation. rudy giuliani was the president's personal attorney in that case. so, again, you can ask rudy what he was doing. i know that what president trump talked about was continuing to find out what happened with russian interference in the 2016 election because he has been standing up to russia and there's a strong record, by the way, of how president trump has stood up to russia when barack obama wouldn't and joe biden was
vice president and they wouldn't stand up to russia. >> do you think it was appropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader for help investigating his chief political rival for 2020? >> again, go look at what he talked about in that conversation. he was talking about the 2016 interference that happened in our election. look, there have been media reports for years, joe biden himself bragged long before he was a candidate for president that he went there to ukraine and held the billion dollars back. you know, i'm leaving in six hours unless they fire the prosecutor. my goodness, chuck, a lot of people have been asking that to be investigated for years. >> congressman, you know the truth behind that. why are you putting it out there as if it's a, oh, my gosh, we have no idea what he was talking about then. i mean you're taking something that actually happened that the entire western alliance supported. this was a bipartisan effort, as you know, in congress that supported this effort --
>> i don't know that the western alliance supported him holding the billion dollars -- of course there was a lot of corruption. that's why zelensky got elected with a mandate to clean up corruption. he and president trump are talking about that in the conversation. things that both of them are doing to clean up corruption and drain the swamp. look, all of this stuff with this whistle-blower report, there were a lot of things if you read the whistle-blower report that are concerning in terms of allegations that were very partisan. in fact the justice department or the inspector general determined that the whistle-blower does have a political bias. you know, again, let him go forward and make accusations, but a lot of these accusations have turned out not to be true. >> every time i've asked you if you're concerned about the actions the president took, you've avoided answering this specific question and instead focused on -- >> don't try to infer. >> i'm not. i'm just asking. you seem to be uncomfortable -- let me put it this way. you seem uncomfortable defending the president's actions. >> don't put words in my mouth.
>> okay, i'll let you finish but let me finish my statement. >> well, you've made a lot of statements and accusations that aren't true, chuck. president trump -- >> i don't think i've made one. >> -- was looking into the 2016 collusion and interference that russia had when barack obama was president. we all know that happened under barack obama's watch. you all tied it to trump and trump continues to look into it. i'm glad trump continues to look into the interference that russia tried to do in our election. >> so you say don't go to the fbi, go to a foreign sglovmt this isn't a private investigation, chuck. >> what is it? >> you can talk about rudy separately. there is no private investigation, there's been a public government investigation into the collusion that russia had trying to interfere with our elections. we still haven't gotten to the bottom of it. there's still a lot of serious questions that need to be answered so it doesn't happen again. and president trump has continued to be aggressive not
only at that but pushing back against russia in many other ways. i mentioned the javelin missiles. it's president trump who gave -- sold the javelin missiles to ukraine so that we can bust those russian tanks. >> all right. >> obama didn't do that, boy y way. >> after reading that detailed note, don't call it a transcript, you are comfortable that the president is mixing -- he appears to be mixing politics and government policy. does he not -- >> wait, russian interference with our election, it might be politics -- >> and the joe biden -- >> but a foreign government tried to interfere with our election. he's concerned -- >> he's trafficking in a conspiracy theory. and in fact he's saying it's not. he seems to be doing a russian propaganda thing with saying it's the ukraine with the server with the candlestick or something. >> it sounds like you're reading a lot of these democrat talking points. the people that have been saying for years that the president was involved in all of these other things, and then none of it
turned out to be true. the mueller investigation was their ticket to impeachment. shouldn' bthe way, chuck, shouldn't they first have voted to start an impeachment inquiry, which has always happened? this is only three times in the history of our country that congress has moved articles of impeachment. they wouldn't even do that. it's like they're trying to shield their members from voting on this while they continue to go down the drum beat of impeachment because as the author of impeachment articles said, he's concerned the president will get re-elected. that's not why you impeach an president. we have an election next year to deal with that. >> i will leave it there. number two in the house thanks for coming on and sharing your views. >> good to be with you. coming up, the panel and the next steps on the road to impeachment. impeachment. (classical music playing throughout)
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understandable if people are confused about what the president is accused of doing, why he called the ukraine president. i'm joined by michael mcfaul, president obama's ambassador to russia. he's the author to "cold war to hot peace." he's a senior fellow at the hoover institution. he and i are going to walk you through a brief timeline to at least help you understand how we got to the point we're at. michael mcfaul, we'll try to do this the way you spending your days. >> standing up here in front of our slides. >> in front of our slides. >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> the phone call was actually the middle, it looks like -- >> yes. >> -- of this controversy, not the beginning. in fact the beginning goes back to early '19 when as personal attorney for president trump, rudy giuliani starts looking for ukrainian contacts to help him in rudy giuliani's words find out the origins of the mueller report. >> right. >> look for the real hackers potentially. >> right. >> looking for some dirt on joe biden. he meets with a prosecutor general by the name of lucenko a
few times and what is he looking for exactly? he's trying to get a conspiracy theory that ukraine, not russia, hacked the dnc and joe biden had a former prosecutor fired simple low to help his son. walk me through these. >> let's start with joe biden and the prosecutor. the man before luscneko was the one we were putting pressure on and he wasn't doing enough to investigate corruption, including biden's son. so when he comes on the scene, giuliani thinks he has a new partner, somebody he can go after this story and he does aggressively. the second part is a little more cockamamie. they want to build this theory that somehow a company called crowdstrike found the emails, publicized them, some ukrainian connection which i don't understand and that was a way to help hillary clinton win the election. but both of those stories mr. giuliani is trying to find, that's why he's engaged with ukraine. >> well, he is able to get some
of this stuff into the conservative echo chamber, mostly through fox news. you seeonstantly through the month of march and on twitter ukraine and biden and what's this and all this stuff. so creating this predicate that somehow this matters. and then something out of the ordinary happens to their plan. april 21st, a surprise victor in the ukrainian presidential election. why did this set them back? >> because t prious prosecutor, mr. luscenko was their guy. he was working with giuliani and suddenly his boss loses the election. >> all this work mr. giuliani had done to curry favor with the president's lead investigator, who's this zelensky guy. >> how are we going to keep pushing this story with a brand w president. >> clearly the president maybe needed leverage, so what do they do. they force out the ambassador who had been getting in a back and forth with rudy a)&dgiulian. giuliani cancels his own trip to meet with some people close to
zelensky. then this, the ultimate snub, vice president pence was going to lead our delegation to zelensky's inauguration. they yank him and it was meant to send a message. july 18th a bigger message. they announced the freezing of the aid, nearly $400 million that was supposed to go to ukraine. it isn't clear if the ukrainian government knew it was definitely being frozen over all of this, but of course this leads to the phone call on july 25th, which, by the way, happened the day after mueller's testimony before congress. we think it's worthy of this. but all of those actions leads us to i would like you to do us a favor, though. this was about what? >> well, this is about president trump asking president zelensky to help him find dirt on his political opponent in 2020. it's clear as day in the transcript. and there is leverage there. whether exactly what they knew i don't think is important. there's always leverage when you're talking to the president of the united states because all leaders of the world want to
have a good relationship with the president. it's especially important when your country is occupied by putin and you need the leader of the free world to be on your side. and when anybody says let me ask for a favor, there's no favors in diplomacy, everything is a quid pro quo. everything is you do this, i'll help you. >> this triggers, obviously, a whole bunch of concere whistle-o his general counsel at cia. then he's worried it's going to get squashed, files the whistle-blower complaint. the house begins an investigation. the administration does release the aid to ukraine very quickly, but at this point it seems to be too late and then we find out of course this is all about ukraine. what's the -- is there any part of this that you think we don't yet know when it comes to the ukrainian side that will add to this story? >> i think it's pretty clear cut, myself. i don't think this is a case where we need to know lots more details. the president of the united states used his office not to advance american national interests but his private
electoral gains. the only piece i'm interested in, chuck, is what's the russia angle? just a few days after that call, he's on the phone with vladimir putin. it sounds like that call has also been, you know, somehow put on the secret server. >> yep. >> i would love to know what he talked about with putin. >> will congress ever see any of the communications between the president and putin? that is going to be something i have a feeling we're going to talk a lot about. bassador mam without my medication, my small tremors would be extreme. without it, i cannot write my name. i was diagnosed with parkinson's. i had to retire from law enforcement. it was devastating. one of my medications is three thousand dollars per month. prescription drugs do not work if you cannot afford them. for sixty years, aarp has been fighting for people like larry. and we won't stop. join us in fighting for what's right. when i lost my sight, my biggest fear was losing my independence.
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welcome back the panel is here. hugh hewitt, host on the salem radio network. yamiche alcindor, presidential historian doris kearns goodwin whose book "leadership in turbulent times" comes out in paper book this week and mark leibovich, chief national correspondent for "the new york times" magazine doris, leadership in turbulent times. we did some voter -- we talked to a few voters in new hampshire yesterday just to see how they're responding quickly take it with a grain of salt, but the comments were interesting. take a listen. >> a lot of people like trump, but they're too scared to say anything because we've got some wackos that want to punch you in the face if you say you like trump. >> i think we should go through the process, whether it messes
with the outcome of the 2020 election, i think that's its own kind of ball of wax. >> i think that we're divided so moving anyway, right, so moving forward with potential impeachment procedures i think is not going to really do anything different. >> give us your sort of that historical view. what's happening >> well, you know, when i look back at the three impeachments that i've lived through, i really was only there for nixon and clinton but i feel like i was there for andrew johnson the critical thing is how is history going to regard what the house is doing right now will it be like nixon, that the consensus will be afterwards that they have to do this because he has to be held accountable and in the end republicans came along and in ed the end ford says our long national nightmare is over or will it be like clinton, regarded as a partisan endeavor, it boosts clinton, in that case would boost trump and doesn't lead to a discussion and the real challenge, i think, is the debate within the way
they're going to conduct these hearings they can't just throw around words like abuse of power or violation of oath, they have to explain it it has to be a giant civics lesson to the entire country to understand why are these things such that these people had to feel the need to impeach him now before the election. and that's the story that has to be told. just like these people are talking toif t, y're successful in making it clear that they think he should be impeached, somebody has to be able to tell a story to the person next to them sitting in the bar that has a beginning, middle and an end. this is why it had to be done. if they can't do that and simply goes away as part of the russia investigation, the country will be divided more than ever before. >> and there's a need for speed. there's a need for speedy thoroughness is that possible >> it's going to be hard i think what people do miss here, we say everyone is divided anyway people are in their corners. there actually is a middle here. the middle is narrow it's narrower than it was in the '70s during watergate. but there is a time and it would behoove democrats to do this as
quickly as possible to actually win over 10% in the middle of this who are amenable to some facts that could potentially change their mind on some things. >> if this stays a fact-finding mission, it likely will continue to get support early polling is showing the public is open to this investigation. to thi >> i want to pick up on something that professor kearns said -- >> he was my student >> i was her student she was like 10. the most important thing that was said this morning thus far is adam schiff came on and he went full alice in wonderland queen of hearts. verdict first, trial later i believe he destroyed his credibility this morning on this show as a fair arbiter of this process. the key other thing about is there enough time, is there a middle, that middle is tired of investigating president trump. it has gone on for two years and the most interesting part of the nancy pelosi decision to go for a fast impeachment is the
implicit but very real concession that the mueller report had no impeachable offense, no obstruction, no collusion. it's gone. they have erased it from the record so adam schiff is biased and nancy pelosi has admitted that mueller exonerated trump >> let's talk about the simple story that democrats have been searching for for a veryong time the mueller report was a 448-page report that people were confused about now they have a sentence that's about 25 words that says the president of the united states was trying to get a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 election that's what democrats have been looking for their entire time that president trump was in office and they finally have it here i think that's why we see representative schiff saying the cover-up might be important but the most important thing is what the president said on the call that's what's at the heart of this and i think that's why there's political risk for both democrats and republicans. >> i want to get to some of the key players that will become stars of this investigation. these are the folks named in the whistle-blower complaint pence, barr, pompeo, giuliani,
yovanovitch, volker, sondland.vr and u.s. attorney durham i want to focus on rudy giuliani it looks like if things get really bad for the president, rudy is looking like the easiest scapegoat. republicans are ready to turn on him. i wish he would shut up says the headline i think it would be a good thing if he would take a vacation. he's as wild as a march hare says john kennedy. i'm not sure he's helping the president being on tv every 15 minutes said lindsey graham. i wish he would shut up said another republican lawmaker. hugh hewitt, could rudy be the guy everybody concentrates, yeah, i don't like this. don't impeach the president. rudy is a bad guy. >> he's not john dean and while he is an object of scorn, inside the beltway he cuts through everything outside the beltway when you go to warren, ohio, people hear him, respect him and listen to him. >> lebo? >> i think they hear him because he is everywhere
he is a proxy for the president. he's his personal attorney or sometimes he's a free-range chicken as senator kennedy would say, right but he also is someone who -- the fact that he's out there so much is emblematic of the fact that a lot of republicans are not comfortable being out there very much. the defense of president trump has not come to any kind of coherent message look, whatever rudy giuliani says on a given day becomes the message and he becomes the lightning rod here. >> when you talk to rudy giuliani, the issue with that is he's also talking about other people that he says were involved he says the state department called me. >> he keeps inviting -- he basically says, here, adam schiff, here are more people to subpoena. >> here a more people to subpoena, and there's this idea that there are a long list of people that rudy giuliani says are part of that even though the mueller report might not have been impeachable offenses, what you see in the mueller report is a cast of characters either trying to mitigate the president's actions or trying to help them along in the complaint what do you see? a group of people either trying to help him, which is rudy
giuliani, or trying to mitigate him, which is kurt volker. >> doris, you mentioned something very smart with the nixon impeachment. in the moment it was very partisan after it was over, there was a consensus. you hear mitt romney say deeply troubling. you hear ben sasse saying let's not quickly rally around here. are those the -- is that what you're watching for? >> i think it's really important for the country, if this is going to go through, that it becomes at least more bipartisan than it is at the beginning. when you do hear republican senators beginning to speak up, that what we saw on the face is troubling. if more facts come out, maybe more people will come to the forward that we don't know, other white house officials that talked to the whistle-blower hopefully facts will drive this forward and you'll see some consensus. that's what we have to hope for for the country. either consensus that he shouldn't be impeached or that he should. >> i have a feeling senate republicans are in a better place to do that than house republicans. coming up, how will the push for impeachment impact the democratic presidential race first, a part of my interview with iran's foreign minister, javad zarif.
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china, france, germany, russia, the uk and the european union. as president he withdrew the united states from the accord in may of last year. so when the u.s. out of the deal, iran has recently taken steps to enhance its nuclear program and the u.s. has also blamed iran for the attack on saudi arabia's main oil facility. yesterday i sat down with iran's foreign minister, javad zarif and asked him about the possibility of ever reaching a new agreement with president trump. >> do you imagine you can actually ever cut an agreement with president trump? >> he has made it very difficult because he has said this was an agreement by the previous administration. notwithstanding the fact that was was a security council resolution but simply stating this was an agreement by the previous administration. if i -- if i were to start negotiating with this administration, it took us -- last time it took us two years to negotiate. this time it will take us even more because we know how the united states behaves. and let us assume that president trump is re-elected.
in two years' time there is only three years left of the second term of president trump. do we waste two years of negotiations just to benefit -- >> wow, you sound like you've made the decision. you're not talking -- you're going to wait until there's a new american president, either 2020 or 2024? >> no, no, no. we're not waiting for that. we're waiting for this administration to come to its census or the future administration. >> so you would negotiate with this administration? >> of course we would. but not a new deal. they have to show that they respect their signature. unless they show that they respect their signature, there's no point in negotiating with them because you set a bad precedent. you renegotiate an already negotiated issue with this administration, there is no end to that because tomorrow they can come back to you, even the same administration, and tell you this was not enough. let me tell you about usmca. mexico allowed president trump
to renegotiate nafta. they reach usmca but then president trump said unless you agree to some of my demands on immigration, i will not implement usmca. so there is no end. somebody starts bullying. and the more you give to that bully, the more it wants. >> well, you can my entire interview with foreign minister zarif inclg that cyber war comment that he made where he admits ern and the u.s. are in an active cyber war, his refusal to deny an iranian role in that attack on saudi oil facilities. attack on saudi oil facilities. all of its on our website, i at verizon, we're building the most powerful 5g experience for america. that's why the nfl chose verizon. because they need the massive capacity of 5g with ultra wideband, so more screaming, streaming, posting fans... can experience 5g all at once. this is happening in 13 stadiums all across the country. now if verizon 5g can do this for the nfl...
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back now with end game. let's cut through all of this. the next four months everybody has the same question politically, which is what is joe biden going to look like at the end of this process. here's biden dealing with this the first time publicly on friday. >> my family handled this. but i'm worried about all the families and all the lives that are at stake in this election because of his failure as a president in terms of the substance of what needs to be done. >> yamiche, i have a theory that
the presidential race for now basically freezes in place, biden, warren, but ultimately we're all trying to figure out how does this impact joe biden? >> i think there are political risks there and political benefits. i've been talking to sources inside the biden campaign and they told me this week they saw their best fund-raising numbers ever since the second week of his campaign. you saw elizabeth warren starting to rise in iowa. some polls showing that she was ahead. now they're starting to see more interest in their campaign. i'm also hearing that they think it's ridiculous to compare hunter biden to don junior which is something people are starring to do because republicans are making the case that the president, don junior, has essentially been profiting off of the fact that his father is president. hunter biden was doing the same thing when his father was vice president. that said, the trump campaign says we also got $5 million 24 hours after nancy pelosi launched this formal impeachment inquiry. so in some ways there's risks everywhere for both parts. joe biden doesn't want to be talking about hunter biden's
business dealings in ukraine and president trump doesn't want to be talking about the favor that he asked on that call. >> is this almost like if this damages trump, then the only good news republicans get out of it is to damage biden with it? >> he is definitely damaged. to your question, yes, that is good news. joe biden has been devastated by this. in "the washington post" there's a column by me but an in-depth report about hunter biden and ukraine, doing what you did with michael mcfaul building on the "new yorker" profile. i believe in one standard. if there was enough evidence to use a fisa warrant against carter page for probable cause for being an agent of a foreign government, hunter biden should have been under the same surveil lance from 2014 forward. he was deeply cooperating with interests of people whose interests are not aligned with the u.s. read the column. >> i have no idea how that is even remotely relatable, but i
will read your column. >> i would put it under the umbrella, and he wrote a great column. but i would put it under the umbrella of exhaustion. you said a lot of people are exhausted from people -- from the democrats investigating donald trump. i would just say people are exhausted, a lot of people are exhausted with everything around donald trump. i think that happened before ukraine. i think it started to show up in donald trump's numbers. i think this story has put a whole new big pile of exhaustion onto this big, big sort of smoldering whatever it is we have. >> you can be pro trump's agenda and have trump fatigue, doris. >> i think that's true. i think the problem for joe biden is what he had going for him was that he was part of the obama administration, scandal-free basically, no drama every day. and he could return to that normalcy in a certain sense. now he's been made part of this drama. the benefit for him, because i agree with you there's risks and benefits, is not only the sympathy that people might feel but if this really ups his
campaign, if he realizes i'm fighting for my honor and reputation not just because i'm electable, if he talks to reporters more and does what a person fighting for their life does. >> i've got the head of the nixon library over here and my favorite historian over there. should biden give a checkers speech? >> he should go on "60 minutes" with hunter biden by his side and take every question. >> what do you think of a checkers speech? quite effective? >> i think it could be quite effective. he has to deal with it more directly than he did this morning. >> my apologies for those of you going checkers speech. this goes bck to richard nixon and vice president in 1962. sometimes we make these references that we don't do enough of, but at that point nixon accused of something and he uses television for the very first time to become a sympathetic figure. >> i think joe biden could completely benefit from this, but i think that they're really going to have to want to explain
why hunter biden is different from don junior, different from what president trump think he was doing with his children. i will say really quickly, there was a poll out that npr did, 58% of people said this would have no factor in who they voted for in 2020. >> if you're a democrat, though, don't you worry about what they'll drop on the campaign in october? >> maybe that's what they think. finally as we say a good-bye, i got a note about hamilton, not the musical, the man. alexander ham elton wrote that the perils of the impeachment process, warning that each side might judge the case based on pre-existing biases. hamilton wrote and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than by the real demonstration of innocence or guilt. sound familiar? good luck, america. that's all we have for today's history lesson. thank you for watching. we'll be back next week with federalist 66. because if it's sunday, "meet the press."
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