tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC September 25, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
and rule." right now my friend katy tur standing by to pick up a busy news day, my friend. >> this feels yet busier. >> i left and everyone was talking about impeachment in the mueller report. >> yes, that's right. >> that went awe way and now i'm back and impeachment is actually on the table. >> the thing we're watching quite seriously that that number of democrats are supporting some form of impeachment is at 213. it's unclear at 218 it means 218 people will vote for articles of impeachment. >> no. >> but that number is moved by 50 or 55 in the last two days? >> 64 in the past day. we did that number, which we'll tell you in just a moment. ally velshi, thank you very much. i'm katy tur. it's 2:00 p.m. here in new york, the president of the united states is being accused of violating his oath of office. right now, 213 members of the democratic house are calling for some action on impeachment. that number is up 64 in the last
day alone, as i was just telling ally velshi. in a moment the president will be face to face in the other player in this controversy, ukrainian president zel lin ski, it's their first public appearance together since the release of the white house notes on their july 25th phone call. the president thinks that call is exculpatory. democrats say it is damning. >> the way that you had that built up, it was a nothing call. >> the notes of the call reflect a conversation far more damning than i or many others had imagined. in the white house notes of the call, the president of ukraine asks to buy anti-tank missiles from the united states and in the very next sentence on that memo, president trump asks president zel inski to do him a favor, saying i would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and ukraine knows a lot about it.
first, he appeared to ask them to investigate hillary clinton's emails and then joe biden's son. also of note in this letter, he mentions his own attorney general repeatedly. it seems the call can be summed up this way, no longer is it, russia, are you listening? it's now president zelensky, can you do me a favor. joining me from the white house, peter alexander and geoff bennett. he's been talking to members of congress all day. and from our washington news room, nbc news justice correspondent pete williams also here with me the former acting solicitor general for the obama administration, neil catiahl. peter, the timeline we'll put up on the screen, july 18, decision to delay aid communicated internally within the white house. july 25th phone call between trump and zelensky. september 9th, whistle-blower complaint revealed to congress. september 11th, military aid
released to ukraine. how does the white house explain that timeline? >> reporter: well, the president's explanation, obviously, as you've seen evolved over the course of the last 24 to 48 hours, initially at the time, according to administration officials the reason that money was with held is because they wanted to make sure there wasn't any wasteful spending being delivered to an ally in advance of the g7 summit. from the president we initially heard him saying that he wanted to make sure that there was proper vetting of ukrainian bureaucratic corruption and then 24 hours later just yesterday we heard from the president effectively saying that they sat on that money because he wanted to make sure that other european allies were doing their fair. for the record, the european union had spent more than $15 billion in aid to ukraine since 2014. why that money was ultimately given out on september 11th, two days after the whistle-blower complaint was revealed to lawmakers, at least the white house hasn't given a clear
explanation of this, but lawmakers had been pressuring them even before they were aware of the whistle blower complaint to go forward with that payment. there was also a looming deadline in effect for that congressionally mandated money to be paid out. katy? >> politico is reporting the white house is nervous. what are you hearing from your sources within the white house? >> reporter: well, obviously you've played what we're hearing from the president today, right? he is dismissing this, brushing it off basically saying there was no pressure whatsoever. saying that this was a nothing call, but privately in conversations that i've had with some of the president's allies, frankly they feel like this transcript or these notes as part of this memo are potentially damaging. they recognize this is going to create a new fire storm that they were hoping it would exteng wish. the bottom line, however, is evidenced by a series of tweets or retweets by the president over the course of the day, the white house and the president's allies are trying to get all of their forces in a row here. the president retweeting the
comments of support from republican lawmakers both members of the senate and members of the house on his behalf. it's notable that earlier today when the white house sent out its talking points on this issue, it was accidentally sent out to both republican and democratic offices before a white house staffer sent out a followup email asking if you could -- that person could recall that email. >> we do have those talking points. we can put them on the screen. and pete williams, i'll ask you this, in the talking points, the president is giving republicans and by accident democrats, all the ways that the white house thinks they can push back on this reporting or on this news about the call. what they don't mention in these talking points is any defense of all the times the president invokes attorney general barr's name in that call and says he'll have attorney general barr contact president zel enski. >> well what the justice department says is that none of that happened. they say the attorney general was unaware of this call for
several weeks after it took place, didn't know anything about it until the justice department began investigating whether the call amounted to a violation of federal campaign finance laws against soliciting a foreign contribution or foreign help in a campaign. they say that the attorney general was never told about the call, never talked to the president about it, never talked to rudy giuliani about it, never talked to the ukrainians about it, about biden or any other matter in ukraine. they do say that at his request the person that the attorney general barr is asked to look into the roots of the mueller investigation, the investigation of the trump campaign did involve some contact with officials in ukraine but they say that had nothing to do with the subject of this call. but what the justice department says the president said happened didn't happen. >> dus the justice department -- are they concerned about their credibility after the mueller report was released, pete, it
showed that the four-page summary that was handed out by bill barr was not quite accurate and that's being generous. are they worried they don't have credibility on this issue after what happened the last time bill barr came out and characterized something? >> in fact what i'm told is that the justice department actually encouraged the white house to put out this call. i suspect for a couple of reasons. one is to show that there wasn't an explicit quid pro quo, and secondly to show there wasn't any justice department involvement in this. the justice department also gave a long explanation today for why the office of legal counsel concluded by the complaint of the whistle-blower did not fit the terms of a law that requires the intelligence community to report these whistle-blower complaints to congress. what justice says is that this person who brought this complaint heard about it secondhand from white house officials, that this person in the intel community heard about
this from folks at the white house and then said, hey, this might be a problem, this might be soliciting a foreign contribution, but that because it didn't involve an intelligence activity or anybody in the intelligence community's actions it didn't fit that. nonetheless justice said it should have been referred to for criminal investigation which is what they said happened. so actually i think from doj's perspective they think they handled this right. >> what do you think, neil? >> i think there were two revelations, not one. they're focussing on this call readout which says the ukrainian president says, hey, i want to have these missiles and the president says i need a favor first, though. that everyone is focussed on destroys what the president said last week, oh, i did nothing wrong. everyone was listening in on the call and so on. it's damning evidence. the second thing that people haven't focussed on is the revelation today that the justice department, the trump justice department, investigated the president and tried to hide it from the american people. we didn't know about it until
this whistle-blower came forward and really until today that there was a criminal investigation and even bill barr launched that investigation and then as he is want to do with his minions there, they concluded that, well, there's not a campaign finance violation on a technical ground, but the point is, there's a criminal investigation going on on the president we're only finding out about it now. >> would that be a campaign finance violations asking a foreign government to investigate a political rival, bringing up your political rival's name in a conversation, saying we should look into their son, invoking their attorney general saying my attorney general is going to contact you regardless of whether or not that happened, having his personal attorney over there looking into it, is that -- is that what at issue a campaign finance violation or is it something much bigger than that? >> yes, but there's more. yes, it's a campaign finance violation. it is a thing of value, the barr opinion basically says, oh, getting help from a foreign
government over your political opponent is not a thing of value. that's ridiculous. i mean, if you donate $3,000 to a campaign over the limit, you know, that is a violation but not getting help from a foreign power? no way. that's not a plausible interpretation. number one. number two, for purposes of this we're talking about impeachment. we're not talking about did the president commit some technical crime. our founders going back said impeachment is broader than crime. so, for example, you know, it's -- if the president said i'm going to pardon every police officer who shot someone, that wouldn't be a crime, but it would be abuse of judgment, abuse of the public trust and quintessentially impeachable. >> what it sounded like to me and my team was not the president telling reporters on camera during the campaign, russia, if you're listening, find hillary clinton's emails. this is the president on a private phone call with a foreign leader saying, president zelensky, can you do me a favor. >> total. the big difference is he was a
private citizen then as russia are you listening. now he is. such ke nettic energy, this is very different. this is abuse of presidential powers as president. >> you talk about ke nettic energy, geoff, the number of democrats who support some action on impeachment went up 64 in just the last day alone. it's at 113 right now. correct me if i'm wrong and somebody else has come out for it -- i'm sorry, 213. where does the democratic caucus stand in there was some talk by some members that there will be a vote on the floor on impeachment no matter what, that that is inevitable. >> there is a sense of inevitability, katy. i think the sense broadly held among the rank and file is that nancy pelosi never would have made this leap to embrace this formal impeachment inquiry of president trump if she didn't assume that at some point they would recommend articles of
impeachment to the full house. interestingly enough though she never really articulate what had they might bring impeachment articles on. i'm told that that was by design. so is it going to be abuse of power? perceived to be abuses of power? will it be corruption? will it be obstruction of congress? will it be emule yumts the president is enriching himself and using the powers of the presidency and the office of the presidency to do it? that we don't know. that's why the house speaker yesterday made the point that she's going to allow the work of the six different respective committees to continue and that at the end of the it they'll make some determination. now this can't go on forever. the idea, and this was expressed by the chairman of the house judiciary committee is they wanted to wrap this up by the end of the year. really there are less than 30 legislative days to do that. the general idea is that they want to get this done certainly before the iowa caucuses, katy. >> not in the house but in the senate there's some movement in getting more information, geoff, bipartisan demand for the president to hand over the
whistle-blower complaint. >> reporter: that's right. interestingly enough when we put the question to the majority leader mitch mcconnell yesterday and we asked him, look, if the house forces the question of whether or not to impeach president trump on to the senate, what will be the answer? and he didn't reject the question out of hand. instead he said, look, the whistle-blower issue has been -- is basically going to be handled by the senate intelligence committee. that committee will hear from the acting director of national intelligence. we'll also hear from the whistle-blower. we'll hear from them separately on the house side, in public tomorrow first after that they'll go to the senate side. but he said the senate intelligence committee should do their work and then we will make some judgments. now, only two presidents previously have been impeached by the house the senate obviously didn't convict. democrats know in order for the senate to convict a president you have to two thirds super majority 67 of 100 senators. right now there's not a single republican senator who is publicly in support of impeaching president trump. democrats know that. the political issue for them is
once they build the public case against president trump and they bring the public along, that's their hope, they will then force those republican senators, many of whom are up for re-election to include mitch mcconnell and cory gardener, sue collins of maine will then force them to get on the record about where they stand and they have to defend. what democrats say is corrupt behavior by president trump. >> and little bit of news since you've been talking, geoff, another democrat now says they support action on impeachment, that is terry sul of alabama. that number now stands at 214. again, 218 needed for an impeachment vote. thank you guys very much. joining me texas republican congressman will herd, one of several texas gop congressmen who announced their retirement this year in a wave that has been dubbed textados. >> welcome back and congratulations. >> thank you.
>> where do you stand on this move? >> well, first, i don't think what i've seen so far reaches the -- to the level of impeachment. i'm still wanting to figure out what happened with all this whistle-blower. i want to make sure that we get the whistle-blower complaint. i want to understand how the dni made the decision not to forward this on to the committees because i want to ensure that members of the intelligence community have the ability to connect with the intelligence committees in both the house and the senate to, if they think there is some kind of wrong doing. we know there's been a number of whistle-blowers and even when the -- i see the intelligence community inspector general believes it's not a credible threat, they still forward that information on to congress. so i want to make sure we preserve that. i want to make sure we get this information sooner rather than later. we're going to have the dni tomorrow. hopefully we're going to be able to talk to the whistle blower as well so we can make sure that
we -- that the intelligence community have this level of activity. the other thing that's a little concerning to me, i think, you know, this transcript that we got, you know, there is some revealing stuff on what the president of ukraine said. his comments on the french president, his comments on the german president as well. does this erode the trust of other foreign leaders to engage in -- with the u.s. w the u.s. leadership? that could be problematic. so i also want to see -- have we sold to ukrainians. they're still dealing with russia. russia invaded that country. what are we doing in order to help the ukrainians deal with that threat and get the russians out of the country. there's a lot of questions going on here. i also think we should be making sure we're going thoughtful because talking about impeachment is pretty serious stuff. >> sir, what is your red line? >> my red line? >> yeah. for the president, his conduct.
the conversations he has. for suppressing a whistle-blower complaint. what point will you say this is going too far? >> well, katy, i'm one of the few republicans that have disagreed with the president on a number of issues, whether it's immigration, the muslim ban, charlottesville, all these issues. i've always -- i either agree when i agree, i disagree when i disagree. if there is a violation of a crime, we just went through the mueller investigation, three years, $25 million, 19 u.s. attorneys, 40 fbi agents, a number of tasks and i said let's turn over every rock, let's investigate every lead to see where this went. >> so what is your red line? >> i think it's a violation of a law. and we -- i think one of your earlier guests was talking about a doj's opinion on whether this was a fec -- campaign violation.
what is the fec's opinion on this? >> i want to take -- because impeachment is not a legal proceeding. impeachment -- >> it's political. >> it's political. and the line is different. your democratic colleagues are extraordinarily concerned and worried about this phone call. they don't see it as being inknock ewes you. they believe he was twisting the arm of a foreign power to investigate his political rival's son for his personal political gain. they see that very clearly. the president of ukraine says, we need those javelins. donald trump says well we need a favor from you, though. you have to look into hillary clinton's emails. you have to look into vice president biden's son. i mean the fact that he's bringing up the president -- the
vice president's son in that phone call when the vice president is his chief political rival, are you not uncomfortable with that? does that seem proper to you? >> what i have approached those conversations that way? absolutely not. >> should the president of the united states be doing that? >> i would not have advised him to handle those decisions that way. >> but he did do it. >> and he did. and so the question is, right, and with my democratic colleagues rushing to impeachment, let's have some hearings on this. how did the ukrainian president feel about this? the ukrainian president had already spoken out that they didn't feel like they were pressured at all. so the other side and their opinion on this matters. >> i'm sorry, congressman the president of ukraine are speaking. if you can hang around, we would love to go back to you. >> thank you. good to see you. >> all sorts of corruption and some of the problems they've had over the years. i think it's one of the primary reasons he got elected.
his reputation absolutely sterling. it's an honor to be with you. we spoke a couple times, as you probably remember. the would like to hear every single word and we have given them every single word. well what about today? i think the press would like to stay in the meeting. but we have lots of witnesses if you would like to have it. but the country of -- our countries doing economically well. we have the best economy we've ever had. we have the best employment numbers that we've ever had. we have now almost 160 million people working, which is more than we've ever had. so we're doing very well in every respect. i have a feeling that your country is going to do fantastically well. and whatever we can do. >> thank you very much, mr. president. thank you very much. it's a great pleasure to know be here. it's better to be on tv than by phone. >> yeah. >> and mr. president, thank you
very much. i'm not the first time to stay in new york, but i know that you've never been in ukraine. >> that's right. >> and your predecessor also how to say it in english didn't find time. so, can you give me your word that you will come to our great country. >> well, i'm going to try. i know a lot of people -- i will say this, i know a lot of people from ukraine. they're great people. and i own something called the miss universe pageant years ago and sold it to img. when i ran for president, i thought maybe it wouldn't be the greatest thing to own the miss universe and miss usa pageants but it's a great thing. we had a winner from ukraine. we have really had -- we got to know the country very well in a lot of different ways. but it's a country i think with tremendous potential. >> yes. i know it because i'm from that country. >> right.
>> and i am one to thank you for invitation to washington. >> right. >> you invited me. but i think i'm sorry but i think you forgot to tell me the date. but i think in the future. >> they'll tell you the date. >> yes, they know before us. >> and i want to thank you to thank you specially, mr. president, to usa, to your government. like i said, that i know many people, many faces like a second family after my ukrainian family, we know each other. thank you for your support. especially now when we have two really two wars in ukraine. the first one is with corruption, you know, but we'll fight -- no, we'll be winner in this fight i'm sure. and the priority, my priority, to stop the war and to get back
our territories crimea. thank you for your support in this case. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, mr. president. and if you remember, you lost crimea during a different administration, not during the trump administration. >> yeah, so you have chance to help us. >> that's right, i do. but that was during the obama administration that you lost crimea. and i don't think it was something that you should have, but that was done a long time ago. i think it was handled poorly. but it's just one of those things. one of the elements that we discussed is the united states helps ukraine, but i think that other countries should help ukraine much more than they're doing, germany, france, the european union nations. they really should help you a lot more. and i think maybe together we'll work on that. they have to feel a little bit guilty about it because they don't do what they should be doing. you're very important to the european union. you're a very important, strategically very important and i think they should stand a lot
more in helping ukraine, and they know that also. and they actually tell me that, but they don't seem to produce. so i'm sure you'll talk to them and i'll certainly be talking to them. >> thank you very much, mr. president. and you know, now we need -- i want to tell you that we now we don't need help. we need support. real support. we thank -- thanks, everybody. thanks all of the european countries which help us. but we also want to have more, more. so only together america and eu only together we can stop the war. we are ready. we just want to tell them we remember that we are the biggest country in europe but we want to be the richest one.
it's true. it's in my heart. >> you know, you have great people in ukraine. you have very talented people. >> very smart. >> manufacturing in terms of some of the things they do. and we'll be doing -- we're doing trading already but we should be doing a lot more trading with ukraine. but you're very talented people. they make great things. >> yes. >> they're at the top of the line really. so that's very important. the other thing i heard you actually have over the last fairly short period of time you've really made some progress with russia. i hear a lot of progress has been made. and just keep it going. be nice to end that whole disaster. >> first of all i want to tell you before that relationship with russia i will prolong. i want to know that now we have a new team, a new parliament, the new government. >> right.
>> so now we want about 74 new laws which help for our new reforms, land reform, law about concessions debt. general security. and we launched the service secretary. service secretary? and anti-corruption court. as we came, we did -- we launched the anti-corruption court. it began to work on the 5th of september. >> right. >> it was, you know, after five days we had the new government. so we are ready. we want to show that we just come. and if somebody -- if you -- if you want to help us, just let's do business cases. >> right.
>> we have many cases. we're ready. >> and stop corruption in ukraine because that will really make you great. that will make you great personally and it will also be so tremendous for your nation in terms of what you want to do and where you want to take it. thank you very much. it's a great honor. >> thank you very much, mr. president. >> have you felt any pressure from president trump to investigate joe biden and hunter biden? >> i think you read everything. so i think you read texts. i'm sorry. but i don't want to be involved to democratic elections of usa. no. we had, i think, good phone call. it was normal. we spoke about many things. so i think and you read it that
nobody pushed me. yes. >> in other words, no pressure. >> president trump -- >> because you know what, there was no pressure and you by the way, you know there was no pressure. all you have to do is see it what went on on the call, but you know that but you can ask the questions and i appreciate the answer. go ahead. >> mr. president, would you like president zelensky to do more on joe biden and the investigation? >> no, i want him to do whatever he can. this was not his fault. he wasn't there. he's just been here recently. but whatever he can do in terms of corruption because the corruption is massive. now, when biden's son walks away with millions of dollars from ukraine, he knows nothing and they're paying him millions of dollars, that's corruption. when biden's son walks out of china with $1.5 billion in a fund and the biggest funds in the world can't get money out of china and he's there for one quick meeting and he flies in on air force two, i think that's a horrible thing. i think it's a horrible thing.
but i'm going far beyond that. i know the president -- and i've read a lot about ukraine, i've read a lot about a lot of countries he wants to stop corruption. he was elected, i think, number one on the basis of stopping corruption, which unfortunately has plagued ukraine. and if he could do that, he's doing really the whole world a big favor and i think he's going to be successful. >> mr. president, rudy giuliani, why do you think it's important for your personal attorney to get involved? >> you have to ask rudy. i will tell you this that rudy is looking to also find out where the phony witch hunt started, how it started. we had a russian witch hunt that turned out to be two and a half years of phony nonsense and rudy giuliani is a great lawyer. he was a great mayor. he's highly respected. i've watched the passion he's had on television over the last few days. i think it's incredible the way he's done. he wants to find out where did this russian witch hunt that you
people really helped perpetrate, where did it start? how come it started? it was all nonsense. it was a hoax. it was a total hoax. it was a media hoax and a democrat hoax. where did it start? and rudy's got every right to go and find out where that started and other people are looking at that, too. where did it start? the enablers. where did it come from? it was out of thin air. he's a good lawyer. he knows exactly what he's doing. and it's very important. >> mr. president. >> mr. president, do you remember that the emails from hillary clinton, do you believe that they are in ukraine? do you think this whole thing -- >> i think they could be, you mean the 30,000 that she deleted? >> yes. >> yeah, i think -- boy, that was a nice question. i like that question. because frankly i think that one of the great crimes committed is hillary clinton deleting 33,000 emails after congress sends her a subpoena. think of that. you can't even do that in a civil case. you can't get rid of evidence like that.
she deleted 33,000 emails after, not before, after receiving the subpoena from the u.s. congress. i mean, i have never heard -- now, she's done far worse than that, although i don't know how much worse it can be, but there were many other things she did that were wrong. but that's so obvious. she gets a subpoena from the united states congress and she deletes them. then she said, as i remember it, oh, they had to do with the wedding and yoga. she does a lot of yoga, right? so they had 33,000 emails about the wedding of her daughter and yoga. i don't think so. how she got away with that one is just -- but it's one of many. and it's corrupt government because we have corruption also, mr. president. we have a lot of corruption in our government. and when you see what happened with hillary clinton, when you see what happened with comey and mccabe and all of these people, we have a lot of things going on here, too. hopefully it's going to be found out very soon, but i think that a lot of progress has been made. a lot of progress has been made.
>> military aid continue, can you ensure that it will continue in the future? >> well, we're working with ukraine and we want other countries to work with ukraine. when i say work i'm referring to money. they should put up a lot of money. i gave you anti-tank busters. a lot of people didn't want to do that. i did it. i really hope that russia, because i really believe that president putin would like to do something. i really hope that you and president putin get together and can solve your problem. that would be a tremendous achievement. and i know you're trying to do that. >> did you ask the house speaker -- >> you said that you would look into joe biden, you would ask your prosecutor to look into the matter. have you had that conversation? >> no, i haven't. but i think that -- i think this, i think that somebody, if you look at what he did, it's so bad. his son, he goes to china, walks
away with a billion hand a half dollars. he goes to ukraine and walks away with $50,000 a month and a lot of money in addition to that. and the whole thing with the prosecutor in ukraine. and he's on tape. this isn't like maybe he did it. maybe he didn't. he's on tape doing this. i saw this a while ago. i looked at it and i said, that's incredible. i've never seen anything like that. now either he's dumb or he thought he was in a room full of really good friends, or maybe it's a combination of both in his case. >> i heard your question. thank you very much. don't cry. we have independent country and independent general security. i can't push anyone, you know. that's it. that's the question. that is the answer. so i didn't call somebody or the new general security. i didn't ask him. i didn't push him. >> dobligated to fulfill your promises to president trump.
>> i want to underscore that ukraine is an independent country. we have a new prosecutor general in ukraine, highly professional man with a western education in history to investigate any case he considers and deems appropriate. while we have many more issues to care about and tackle. we have corruption cases as president trump rightly mentioned about that, so we know what to do and we know where to go and what to tackle. >> the attorney general be involved in this matter? >> mr. president -- >> did you ask house speaker nancy pelosi to find a way out of impeachment yesterday? >> not at all no. look, she's lost her way. she's been taken over by the radical left. she may be radical left herself,
but she really has lost her way. i spoke to her about guns yesterday. she didn't know what i was talking about. she's not interested in guns. i'll tell you what, nancy pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety. all she's thinking about is this. she's been taken over by the radical left, the whole democrat party. and you take a look at what's happening in the media today, the whole party is taken over by the left. and thank you very much. my poll numbers have gone up. but i don't want it to go up for this reason. when they look and when you see what's happening, people are really angry at democrats. they're really angry at the democrat party. and things like, as an example, drug pricing, getting drugs down, things like gun safety, infrastructure, the democrats can't talk about that because they have been taken over by a radical group of people and nancy pelosi, as far as i'm concerned, unfortunately she's no longer the speaker of the house. thank you very much, everybody.
>> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> nancy pelosi is the speaker of the house. there has not been an election so she remains the speaker of the house. that is not for donald trump to decide. in talking about joe biden and his son and corruption, it is important to underscore once again that the president has offered absolutely no proof for any of his allegations. what there is proof of and what there is a paper trail of because the white house just released it is a summary or notes of a conversation that the president had with the man that was sitting to his right, the president of ukraine. where he said, will you do me a favor and investigate vice president biden's son. will you do me a favor and get involved in the 2020 election, vice president biden is my chief political opponent. at that point he was leading
donald trump quite a lot in the polls at the time that that phone call was made. guys, i've got joel ruben here, josh letterman here, evelyn farkus with me as well. i feel like i'm bill murray in "ground hog day" and every time he brings up hillary clinton's emails, it's like i wake up and hit the alarm clock and the day starts all over again. >> well, where is your tinfoil hat as well because right now it was the greatest hits of conspiracy theories right there. and bigger level what we just watched, was in realtime the destruction of a bilateral relationship between the united states and ukraine. it's horrifying to witness. so, wrapped together all these conspiracies, the president willing to sacrifice this relationship for his own personal political gain and really the way forward is becoming clear and clearer by the day. and members of congress who are concerned about national security and the honesty and integrity of our elections, they watch that and they have a sense
of what the defense will be in the senate and it's not good. >> so the allegation he's making that joe biden as he was vice president was doing something shady while his son was working in ukraine by wanting to get rid of a prosecutor, which by the way the international coalition wanted to get rid of. they believed he was corrupt. joe biden was not working on his own. in the meantime he's trying to do that and shift focus away from himself, the president of the united states in his capacity as president of the united states, asking the president of ukraine to look into his political rival while at the same time with holding millions of dollars in military aid. >> that's right. it's a surprise to no one that there's been corruption in ukraine for a long time. it's been a huge problem the u.s. has been working to address for years, but the president didn't go to the ewe yan yan leader and say i really want you to focus on corruption broadly wherever you find it. he had a very specific target in mind and that specific target just so happened to be the person that was likely to be his biggest rival in the 2020 race.
>> it sounds like when he talks about corruption it's shorthand for joe biden or hillary clinton's emails. >> yeah, certainly. it's certainly a focus for him when it's somebody that has a potential downside to that level of scrutiny. >> let me mention rudy giuliani and william barr both will get in touch with you and your team. rudy giuliani did. bill barr is denying it. here is rudy giuliani talking about who told him to do that on fox news. >> you know who i did it at the request of, the state department. i never talked to an ukrainian official until the state department called me and asked me to do it and then i reported every conversation back to them. lawyer rarks i'm a pretty good lawyer. just a country lawyer, but it's all here. right here. >> did you read the transcript? >> it was read to me. >> it was read to you, the whole thing? >> i hope. >> just by the way the transcript he's talking about
the phone call and apparently it was read to him before it was given to congress. so there's questions about why a president citizen the president's person attorney is getting a transcript of the call before the united states congress is. we'll leave that aside from a moment. josh, what is he talking about when it comes to the state department? >> right. and i just spoke with the senior official who says this notion that the state department was looking for rudy giuliani to get involved in u.s./ukraine affairs is incorrect. we know the state department is acknowledging that curt vul kerr the u.s. envoy for ukraine did put giuliani in touch with zelensky's aide. i don't know if that was done at the request of the white house, but certainly this is causing a lot of issues and has for several months to have, you know, we have an ambassador, we had one until trump yanked that person out of a job in may. we have an envoy dealing with this issue and then to have someone else brought in who not only is outside of the
government but also happens to be the president's personal lawyer creates all kinds of complications. on the one hand, the trump administration from the state department, from other agencies has their agenda for ukraine. then the ewe yan yans have to decide are we going to listen to that person or the president's lawyer who is saying if you want to score points you need to focus on joe biden. >> we're not seeing the whistle-blower complaint. we have not seen that yet. we don't know if this phone call was at the heart of the whistle-blower's complaint. we don't know if it's many other things. there was reporting out there that it wasn't just one thing. it was a variety of issues all coming together that caused this whistle-blower concern. evelyn farkus, when you take in everything that's happened just today, what is your reaction? >> i mean, my reaction is none of this helps anyone except for vladimir putin because, you know, now we have a transcript out there of an embarrassing conversation where our president is trying to extort, put pressure on a foreign government to interfere in our elections
again. that president said some things about the europeans which weren't flattering in order to flatter our president, but again all that does, though, is cause tension potentially between the ukrainian president and the europeans. the eukrainians are fighting a hot war right now. they need this like a hole in the head. it's disturbing to me. what president zelensky did in new york was very good. he did what he should do is very comedic, he's a comedian and used humor say you invited me over or didn't give me the date or the directions or the address. >> he did say can you help me with crimea. he said i hope you and putin get together and work out your problems. >> yeah. >> that's the president saying i'm not going to get involved with crimea. >> exactly. exactly. so unfortunately it wasn't a show of unity that you would have imagined, that you would have gotten certainly with president obama or any other
traditional, shall i say, president looking out for u.s. interests and transatlantic interests. this president, our president, sort of was quiet and avoided giving a full throated endorsement to ukraine's territorial and political sovereignty. >> let's bring in one other voice from ukraine, from kiev specifically, aaron mclaughlin. just give us what the take on the ground out there. >> reporter: well, katy, people here in kiev are absolutely stunned at the events unfolding there in the united states. it's worth keeping in mind that president zelensky is a political novice at this point. this is his first time holding public office. he's an extremely popular president garnering some 70% of the vote, but he's a new president. and he's new to the global stage. he had been pushing for this
meeting with president trump, this bilateral meeting we just saw unfold there for months because he knows that he needs president trump's support to fulfill as he was saying his campaign pledges, what brought him into office here in ukraine which is to end the war in the east and to fight corruption. he needs president trump's support to be able to do that, but he also needs the democrat's support to be able to do that. he needs to keep ukraine in the bipartisan space. and i think that is very clearly what he was trying to do there in that meeting, saying that he needs u.s. support. he doesn't need u.s. help. he needs u.s. support, the support of both the united states and the europeans. and also re-enforcing the fact that he does not want to be involved in the democratic process unfolding in the u.s. he doesn't want to be involved in the next election because to do that would jeopardize his relationship with the democrats.
so, i think, what we saw unfold there was him walking the tight ropes to end all tight ropes. again, remember, he is a political novice at this point. >> joel, wrap it up for us. >> yeah, right now again the president is making arguments all over the place. why did rudy giuliani even get involved to begin with we do need to ask these questions. the house foreign affairs committee will be looking at the policy, the politics, the behind the scenes, off the books activity. this is just the beginning. >> joel ruben, josh letterman, evelyn farkas and erin mclaughlin, welcome to the network. joining us is congressman. thank you for being here. it took you a while to get on board with this. it was after nancy pelosi announced it. why? >> no, that's not true, katy. first of all, let me say thank you for having me. >> correct the timeline. i must have misunderstood. >> i will. i've always supported doing our
job under article 1, section 18, clause 18, section 8 of basically doing the investigation necessary in order to base our decision to impeach a sitting president. i've always said and supported the seven committees that were doing investigations into this presidency. you can call it what you want, impeachment inquiry. i call it investigations. that's what they were doing. that's what i supported and i said that all along and been consistent. as a former prosecutor, i know how important it is to have the evidence to make that decision. i never just stood up in court and said someone is guilty and sat back down. you proved your case with evidence, and i think that's exactly what we're doing at this point. we're gathering the evidence upon which to make a serious decision like impeaching a sitting president. >> what do you think is different about this moment from the mueller investigation? >> well, look, i think you're dealing with another set of circumstances. you're dealing with a five-page transcript that i have right in front of me that actually is the president's voice, not his
underlings doing something, but actually the president talking about basically personal issues dealing with his election and sacrificing our national security. >> did that scene right there with the president next to the ukrainian president change your mind any way? >> the answer to the ukrainian president about whether or not he felt pressure was read the transcript. let me tell you when you read the transcript, you see discussions about not just professional but personal ask. and you see that. and actually on page 2, page 3 zelensky, the president of ukraine actually says basically i want your nations to get closer, but i would also like and hope to see us to have personal relationships. and that's when he talks about discussions with giuliani. literally the next thing trump says to him is -- i ask a favor about looking into crowd strike and that server that's based in
ukraine. then trump goes on to talk about continuing to talk about giuliani continuing to have giuliani and attorney general barr talk to you about hunter biden and biden's dealings with the ukraine. and so what you're seeing is, you know, the president zelensky talk about his defense needs and the javelins, basically right out of the chute. and then having trump understand that and then go into his personal requests about his elections. >> your father, former defense secretary leon panetta and cia director was on with andrea mitchell a little bit earlier today. and he was asked whether or not he thinks this is an impeachable offense. and he was pretty blunt. let's listen to him. you know what, i'm going to read it to you because we don't have it ready unfortunately. i think -- you know what, i think we do have it now. let's see. >> i think there is a very
serious allegation here that the president of the united states violated his oath of office. and the transcript basically confirms that this that this pr used that phone call in order to get a political favor from the leader of another country, which in and of itself is the violation of the law. >> he is calling it the violation of the law just from the phone call, the white notes. again, this is not a complete transcript. it's the white house notes of it. so we don't know if there were other things on that call that are not on this -- these notes that were given to us by the white house. we also don't know what the whistle-blower report says. but as it stands right now, do you think it would be proper to vote on impeachment of this president? a lot of your colleagues are saying that's the road this is going. >> look, i think we have to develop this, we have to garner a little more evidence. but this is pretty simple. it's pretty straightforward.
this is a comprehensible issue. and the fact that you have the ukrainian president, who is brand-new as you just heard and see from the press conference. he is very young. he has a country that is vulnerable to russian aggression. thereby he is vulnerable to our president for demanding and asking for certain things so zelensky can get the aid to support his country. i think this is a pretty tight case right here. i've got to tell you, i think this is something we should put forward sooner rather than later. justice delayed is justice denied on this. >> what do you think some. >> we need to make sure we have the articles of impeachment brought to the judiciary as soon as they can. i know we're going to a two-week break. but i would recommend the judiciary do their job as soon as possible to get the evidence they need, which isn't much based on this transcript in
order to have an articles of impeachment vote to send it to house floor and the senate republicans can step up and do their job. >> do you want to see this before the end of the year? >> oh, you bet i do. yes, i do. i think based on the evidence that i believe we are going to develop over the next couple of weeks, i think that type of vote needs to happen -- >> do you think any republican colleagues will sign on? do you think the senate's mind will be changed if the democrats vote on it along party lines? >> i can't speak for them. but they will have to face their constituents in light of this transcript, in light of the president's own words sacrificing our national security for personal and political purposes. that's what they are going to have to contend with. not just now when they come to vote on this issue with imtaoefplt but in 2020 in november. >> we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> congress could soon hear from the whistle-blower into president trump. joining me now is national security analyst for the
government accountability project, irvin mcculloch. he represented whistle-blowers from the military and community. it is great to have you with us. can you give us background, context to what you do when you have a whistle-blower complaint. why is there a law in place to protect them and give them a process? >> well, thanks so much for having me. i really appreciate it. when we have a whistle-blower we first see whether or not they're an intelligence community committee. in this case it looks like it is an intelligence community employee. we see whether or not to send it to the inspector general, the watch dog of the intelligence community, or one of the agencies inspectors general if it's relevant. in this case the attorneys and the whistle-blower did just that. the whistle-blower sent a disclosures to the inspector general, the only person vested by law to evaluate the credibility of that kind of
disclosure. the icig evaluated the disclosure, preliminary review, and said it was credible. he said it was urgent. according to the law, the next step is that complaint has to be transmitted to the congressional intelligence committees where the dni put the process to a halt. >> did the dni commit a crime but not handing it over to congress? >> they certainly didn't follow the letter of the law. it says they shall submit it to the intelligence committees. it doesn't say he may. in good faith, i believe the dni did consult with the doj because there could have been executive privilege concerns. but the dni was put in between a rock and a hard place >> when a whistle-blower says they have an urgent concern, what is the bar for urgent? >> the bar is fairly high. i have seen many whistle-blowers lose at this preliminary level. inspectors general do not have a
great track record in substantiating whistle-blower complaints. that's%ly why. the fact that this inspector general for the intelligence community substantiated the complaint, that's why this is so serious and important. >> have you heard of a skaeus where the ig is overruled by the dni? >> this is extremely, extremely rare. the fact that the dni can overrule the ig is a body blow to their independence. if any whistle-blower is watching this play out or any potential whistle-blower is watching this play out, they will be very chilled when considering going to the inspector general. about us if they take a disclosure that can be overruled by a lawyer with the stroke of a pen, then they have no faith whatsoever in the system. what happens -- yes? >> i wonder what sort of pressure the dni was facing? the "washington post" reported and we confirmed that the acting director of national intelligence, dni, threatened to resign if he could not speak freely before congress. >> he must be under immense pressure from the white house and the doj.
he really is stuck between a rock and a hard place here. there is very little he can do but give the congressional intelligence committees the disclosure. that would be proper in my opinion. >> so it seems like the dni was getting pressure from the doj, from the white house. there was talk this had to go to the white house because this person, the complaint was about somebody outside the intelligence community. the complaint was about the president of the united states. does that hold water to you? to have to go to the source, to say to the source, this complaint is about you. do you think it's proper for us to let congress see it? >> that's not proper whatsoever. this is the fox in the hen house. essentially they are saying the white house has the authority to investigate itself, which it does not. the person with the authority to investigate this disclosure is the inspector general and congressional intelligence committees. the inspector general is an independent entity. he said it is credible, urgent.
his determination stands despite whatever any attorney at doj says or tkaoeupb says. >> joseph maguire had threatened to resign if he could not speak freely before congress. it might attempt to force him to stonewall when he provides testimony on thursday. that is tomorrow. we will find out if he will be able to speak freely tomorrow or what might happen. ken delaney matched this reporting by the "washington post". ken, does this mean joseph maguire will be allowed to speak freely? is that happening now? >> the last time i was able to check with his office, katie, that was plan, that he intends to appear tomorrow before congress. what we are learning more there is more to this decision than him deciding to do it. there was some tension and
turmoil and apparently an attempt to prevent him, and he threatened to resign if he wasn't allowed to speak freely. and in the back drop, maguire has felt caught in the middle of this. he inherited this whistle-blower complaint coming in in an acting capacity in this role, never wanting this job. he was director of the national counterterrorism system, a navy s.e.a.l. with a long history to this country and was agnostic about whether it had to be turned over to congress. it obviously named the president, and he thought it was sensitive. he was told in no uncertain terms, that was not a need and they did not need to hand it over to congress. >> why consult the justice department? is that normal procedure? >> well, not -- typically, these kinds of complaints are about
something far lower down the totem pole than the president of the united states. having talked to a few people and one surmised that it was such a sensitive matter, such a hot potato involving the president he felt like it was the right thing to do to consult others. now, of course democrats in congress are arguing that the law does not provide for that. it says flatly he doesn't have discretion. once the inspector general determined that was urgent concern, it should have gone right to congress for the prescribed period. there is a disagreement. we see the olc opinion today. the justice department said, no, none of that applies because this wasn't a matter of the intelligence community. bottom line, maguire feels he owes congress and the american people an explanation of his actions in this matter. . >> ken, thank you for rushing to us with that reporting. we will find out what happens tomorrow. that will do it for us in this hour. ali velshi, today was a nutty
hour. >> lots developing. that particular story is one we are following. we are watching the count of the democrats who have in some fashion or other called -- >> still at 214. >> 218 if they were all interested in voting for the articles of impeachment, there is certainly momentum toward it. we will continue to cover it thank you, my friend. >> thank you, ali. what adam schiff had to say after the white house released notes describing a july phone call between president trump and ukraine's president zelensky. the release came on the same day as the two leaders met on the shraoeups of the general assembly here in new york. here's what the two had to say during their phone call in that meeting. >> it is better to be on tv than back home i think. we had i think