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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 26, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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not relevant. the fact that it was credible is what was relevant, which is what the intelligence inspector general found to be the case. credible and urgent. thanks to both of you, geoff bennett and garrett haake on capitol hill. that wraps up the hour for me. i'll be right back here tomorrow. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" starts right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. a single individual has accomplished what the dozens of prosecutors and investigators who worked on robert mueller's 23 monthlong investigation never managed to do. focus the attention of congress and the public on allegations of gross misconduct on the part of donald trump in carrying out the nation's foreign policy, including an attempt by the president to get a foreign government to provide dirt on a political rival. today we saw for the very first time the whistle-blower's complaint, stunning in detail and devastating in substance. from that whistle-blower complaint made public early this morning, quote, in the course of my official duties, i have
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received information from multiple u.s. government officials that the president of the united states is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election. on that call between trump and ukraine's president, the one at the center of the scandal, the whistle-blower writes this. quote, in the days following the phone call i learned from multiple u.s. officials that senior white house officials had intervened to, quote, lock down all the records of the phone call, especially the official word for word transcript. white house officials told me that they were, quote, directed by white house lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored. instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. one white house official described this act as an abuse
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of the electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from the national security perspective. in testimony before the house intel committee today, acting dni joseph maguire vouched for the good faith in which the whistle-blower is conducting himself or herself and the extraordinary nature of what the complaint describes. >> i think he followed the law every step of the way. i believe that the whistle-blower complied with the law and did everything that they thought he or she thought was responsible under the intelligence community whistle-blower protection act. i believe that as i said before, mr. chairman, i believe that the whistle-blower is operating in good faith. i am not familiar with any prior instances where a whistle-blower complaint touched on such complicated and sensitive issues including executive privilege. i believe at this matter is unprecedented. >> but the very moment that maguire was testifying to the
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good faith in which the whistle-blower sounded the alarm, donald trump made an allegation of his own attacking the whistle-blower in his or her sources at a private event morning in new york using language that is hard to consider anything but threatening. we have that brand-new audio just released from the "los angeles times." >> basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, heard something and decided that he or she -- i want to know who's the person who gave the whistle-blower, who's the person who gave the whistle-blower the information? because that's close to a spy. you know what we use to do in the old days with spies and treason. we used to handle it a little differently than we do now. >> to underscore, he made those comments at the united states' mission to the u.n., basically an embassy, career civil servants and just a handful of
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political appointees. that apparent threat against a whistle-blower is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us at the table former deputy national security adviser to president obama, ben rhodes. former democratic senator claire mccaskill. associated editor, a.b. stoddard and rick stengel, former managing editor for time magazine and a veteran of president obama's state department. plus the intrepid reporter who broke that story, eric stokel. >> this morning someone in the room passed along a clip of the president's full remarks and we listened to it. and it starts off sort of like a rally or any press availability the president gives, you know, whether it's a private event or whether he's got a bunch of cameras in front of him. it's the same kind of stream of consciousness stuff. he's telling you almost immediately what's on his mind. wasn't 30 seconds or a minute into the remarks when he brought
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up the whistle-blower and started talking about how bothered he is by this and, you know, you heard the audio. he's basically saying that the whistle-blower is almost a spy and that the people in his own administration who spoke to this person, that they are basically almost spies themselves. then he goes on to this riff casually talking about, you know, how in the old days spies and traitors were dealt with more harshly. and you can read into that what you will. the tone seemed casually menacing if you want to describe the way he was. you know, he leaves himself enough wiggle room where if this gets out, he can say, oh, i was just joking, don't take it so seriously. but the president even in this private meeting of diplomats, a meeting that happens every year after the is over, and people who go to it have been nonpartisan, kind of just a thank you event before the
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president leaves town, it turned incredibly political. you heard some laughs after the president made that comment about, you know, what we used to do to spies and traitors. but most of the people in that room, it was clear were not laughing. >> eli, what do we know about the president's efforts to target this whistle-blower? he called him, called him a spy there. we know that attorney general william barr really broke with his predecessor jeff sessions and even matt whitaker when he testified before congress that he believed donald trump had been spied upon. donald trump sitting next to ukrainian president zelensky yesterday got right back to the origins of the russia investigation. we know that's on his mind. this paranoia which was really a hallmark of richard nixon's final days and months in office seems to be unavoidbly obvious in donald trump. >> reporter: it is. it's always in plain sight with this president. the conspiracy theory pushing,
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he's doing that in plain sight at every opportunity when it comes to the allegations about former vice president biden and his son's business in the ukraine pushing that at every opportunity trying to deflect here. and, you know, you heard the dni maguire today testify, and he would not impune the credibility of the whistle-blower. you already talked about how he said the whistle-blower did everything right. so he's not participating in the president and republican efforts to smear this whistle-blower as a partisan, something that the president republicans have already put forward on social media and in other interviews. but he did get sort of caught short when he was asked by chairman schiff if he'd spoken with the president, you know, about the whistle-blower and revealed to the president the identity perhaps or the nature of some of the things that were in this report, this complaint. and he would not answer that question. he wouldn't say that he had not spoken with the president. and he tried not to let schiff basically insinuate that maybe you've spoken with him but he
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just would not answer the question. and so there's still so much that we don't know about the president's knowledge about the complaint, the investigation, and his efforts possibly to put the brakes on it. >> claire, it's a stunning, unyoorks sort of transgression in plain sight. but there is an ignorance betrayed in that. the whistle-blower's allegations were investigated by a trump-appointed inspector general who works for a trump-appointed acting dni. both of them have found this whistle-blower's allegations to be credible enough to sort of go around the extraordinary and unprecedented hurdles that this whistle-blower has to simply transmit to congress its appropriate recipient, his complaint. >> yeah. let's drill down on this i.g.'s resume. not only was he appointed by donald trump. but he spent over 15 years at the department of justice as a prosecutor. this isn't somebody who had been an auditor. this isn't somebody who came through the ranks of being an i.g. this is a prosecutor who
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understands how you investigate, understands how you corroborate, understands the rules of evidence including hearsay and its exceptions and is the same i.g. who said this is credible and sent the investigation over to doj for the criminal division to review it. so if he looked at it. then they said, no, nothing here, nothing of value which is outrageous. and this guy knows the elements of the crime were there because he is a doj prosecutor for most of his -- the last 20 years of his life. so that's why when the witness today said when the acting dni director said i did this in consultation with the inspector general about taking it over to justice. i'm sure the inspector general was thinking of the old justice department where there was a bright line between politics and the rule of law.
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well, that line's gone in this administration. the president sees doj as his own fix-it law firm with barr and rudy, you know, being his go-to guys, as evidenced by what was in the phone call. >> the whistle-blower complaint, everything that the white house has sort of permitted to become public and be transmitted to congress is so devastating politically and substantively for this white house. it would appear that the strategy if it was to try to exonerate trump or normalize the misconduct is a terrible miscalculation on their part. >> yeah. i mean, it's all right there laid out. you don't actually need much more than what's already known for impeachment. you see trump pressuring a foreign government to investigate his political opponents. you see him leveraging hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money. this is our money being used for trump's campaign. he views it as leverage to get
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them to investigate the bidens. you see them in this whistle-blower complaint holding out. a meeting with trump or vice president pence going to the ukrainian inauguration. so they are using american foreign policy as a tool to help his campaign. their only strategy now, nicole, seems to be this ominous gangster-like language that we see trump using. i think what that's about is now there is going to be an investigation from the congress. he is sending a message to everybody in his government that i am going to come after you if you tell the truth in that investigation. that's how i hear what he's saying. the president of the united states is saying we're going to treat you like spies if you share the truth. >> but he's also -- he's a crappy gangster, if i could just cut right to it. i don't know, do we use that word on tv? sorry, guys. because if you were going to intimidate the whistle-blower, the truth-teller, i think we've had more than a dozen calls from inside the house.
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people sounding the alarm who were inside the national security circle. he might've thought to do it. >> i'm just trying to think like a gangster. maybe you do it before your inspector general and your dni vouch for the whistle-blower. >> well, i think those are the people he's upset about, not the whistle-blower. he knows that the calls are coming from inside the house. but i'm going to go out on a limb here. this president does not comply with oversight. he does not respect the separation of powers from co-equal branch of government. he has formed a universal blockade making up forms of universal privilege that do not exist in complete delighted defiance from day one. i believe and i haven't been able to run it down, although i've tried because republican senators are busy and they haven't read the complaint. >> it's like three pages long. >> that this is really all the work of mitch mcconnell. quiet the other day when we were seeing on tv that pelosi had
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launched a formal impeachment proceeding. what happened is schumer had put up this resolution to transmit the complaint to congress with unanimous consent and no objection mitch mcconnell let it go through. these are republicans telling the white house we cannot stand up and defend the blocking of this complaint. we cannot defend the hiding of this transcript. we cannot defend you blocking the acting dni from testifying. when that reporting comes out, maybe i'll be wrong, but that's what i believe that this is not a white house decide -- it was a new keen strategy to be transparent. this is republicans saying we were once the party of national security and we cannot defend these processes. no one has ever done this with a whistle-blower complaint before that was urgent and credible. it's never been blocked from the congress and they could not make it through the week defending it. >> how about on the substance. richard burr is going to defend donald trump saying to the president of ukraine, hey, can you dig up some dirt on joe
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biden? i mean, he's making a laughing stock out of all the republicans who carried his water during the 23 months of the mueller probe. >> i think one of the reasons this has legs is because it's a constitutional issue. and even the republicans feel like their rights are being infringed upon. i was looking at the actual statute. and it begins by saying congress as a co-equal branch of government is empowered by the constitution to serve as a check on the executive branch. and that capacity has a need to know of allegations of wrongdoing within the executive bra. this is an actual constitutional separation of powers issue. that alienates republicans as well as democrats. and i think trump, as you were saying, senator, has no observation of the separation of powers. the only power he knows and cares about is his own power. he's like a toddler who thinks he can do everything. so this is i think having some purchase on republicans because they're thinking, look, this is a fundamental core constitutional issue.
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and impeachment ultimately is a kind of constitutional issue between executive branch and congress. people are exercise birthday that now. >> eli, one of the remarkable things about this whistle-blower complaint is in normal presidential scandals, the questions from the press, and i'm more accustomed to being on the receiving end of those questions were how high up did knowledge of the impending scandal go. did it reach the president, did it reach the national security adviser. in this case the transgression was on the part of donald trump. donald trump on the phone with president zelensky says i want you to investigate joe biden and his son even though the ukrainian government has investigated, has looked into that and considers it adjudicated. and in this case the scandal's about how deep down into the, you know, did he contaminate the nsc. did he contaminate the cia. did he contaminate the note-takers. how far did the contamination go. and it would seem like the contagion, as the whistle-blower
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describes is quite sprawling. >> in the whistle-blower's report it says that there are around 12 people or so who were aware of this phone call. so that's 12 other people who were not concerned or who knew this was wrong because some of those people decided to take this conversation, the transcript and try to hide it on another computer server so there's unawareness. >> can we just stop? how banana town is that? that's like the keystone cop meets the craziest. who does that? >> it's full banana town. but it's also after two and a half years of this, this is sort of the norm inside the white house. there's so much reverse-engineering that takes place and so much action of staff are done after the president acts, says does something, has a conversation where people either need to hide the evidence of it or they need to reverse-engineer some policy after the president makes some claim that something is about to come out. this is how it has always been. i think just to get back to that idea and the information that's in the whistle-blower report, if
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a dozen people were aware of this call and none of them came forward and if some of them put the transcript and tried to hide it on another server, that tells you that they knew that this was wrong, that there was something wrong with it. and that they believed that their loyalty was to the president and not to the country itself. and that is exactly the kind of loyalty the president, as you heard in that audio clip demands and believes he is owed. when he says, you know, america first, he believes that he's america. he believes that his interests are the country's interests. and that's what he's saying when he says that people who are disloyal should be, you know, something tough should be done to them because they're committing treason. as the dni said, the whistle-blower followed the law, followed the right process. but in the president's view, they are being disloyal to him. he sees no difference between disloyalty to him and disloyalty to the country. >> well, the white house staff appears to have been disloyal to
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somebody. here's what they were engaged in. according to the whistle-blower complaint, according to multiple white house officials i spoke with, the transcript of the president's call with president zelensky was placed into a computer system managed directly by national security council for intelligence programs. i'm sure you're familiar. this is a stand-alone computer system reserved for code word level intelligence information such as covert action. tell everybody what code word level intelligence information is. >> so everybody who works at the nsc has top-secret clearance. but then there are certain kinds of sensitive intelligence programs like potentially covert operations or intelligence that is collected from very sensitive sources. >> human sources. >> perhaps human sources. >> intercepts. >> that has to be handled differently. normally i used to get the transcripts of all these television phones when i was deputy national security adviser and a very, very small percentage of them would be moved into a separate system where it wouldn't be widely disseminated to everybody who
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needs to know about it. so a call like this would go to everybody who works in europe and everybody who works in russia at the nsc. these people said, no, we're going to pull this back and restrict access. from reading the transcript there is no sensitive information. there is no covert information. the only reason to hide that is to hide the president's corruption. so what they are essentially doing is using the power of national security classification not to protect the nation's secrets but to protect the president's corruption. that is a stunning window into the -- >> and let's be specific. because the white house told us what was in the notes from the call. we don't have a transcript from the call, but we have notes from the call. what the white house showed us what we have to assume is the best of, right? because it came from the white house. is that the president said i need a favor though. none other than chris christie who was on the air saying trump's going to be fine.
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as long as he didn't do anything stupid like i need a favor. >> right when discussing aid. so this new ukrainian president is discussing the assistance that is a life line to him. his country is under invasion. >> why? from who? >> they have been invaded by vladimir putin, right? >> it's never yugoslavia. it's never -- it's literally always russia. >> it's always putin. they annexed crimea. they are killing ukrainians. and that's what the president of ukraine is discussing and trump saying, well, i need a favor, i need you to investigate my political opponents to benefit my campaign before i could take a step like meeting with you or providing you this assistance. keep in mind too what the whistle-blower shows us, it's not just one call. there was over many months rudy giuliani having meetings in europe. he's not even a u.s. official. and he's somehow empowered to be a part of this? he mentions bill barr, the attorney general of the united states like he's his personal attorney. work with bill barr to
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investigate joe biden. so bill barr, the very same man who held up this whistle-blower complaint going to congress as it should've gone under the law, he was a subject in this scheme that trump was concocting in this call. >> you know, claire, i keep thinking about i worked for a president who -- again, very polarizing foreign policy record. let me just put that out there. hang a lantern around that legacy. but one of his animating purposes was democracy. and these seem like the most undemocratic practices corrupting the nation's classification system, targeting a whistle-blower which we view is essential to good government. i think it's one of the standards for judging whether other young democracies are making prosecuting res toward democratic norms, whether they have protections for whistle-blowers. these are the most undemocratic practices. how do republican senators like richard burr, like rob portman, ron johnson, how do they stay silent and apologize for this?
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>> his foreign policy in general. he has made best friends with the most despotic, evil, horrible anti-democracy dictators in the world while he's been giving the back of his hand to our allies. he did it again in this call, you know, dissing europe. and, you know, at the same time we all know that he basically even yesterday at the u.n. told this president just work it out with putin. it's like so naive. you know, i've got to though talk about rudy because -- >> we've got a whole block on rudy. but go ahead. make your point. >> here's the deal about rudy. he is not acting as a personal lawyer. he's not working on the president's divorce or drawing up a will. he's not -- >> yet. [ laughter ] >> he's not doing a trust for his children. he is doing one of two things. he is acting on part of the government, which he's claiming now that the state department
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sent him. or he's acting on behalf of the president's political interests. he can't do those things for free. those are both illegal. you can't give free work to the government, not allowed. you have to charge government rates. and you certainly can't give free services to a political campaign. so he keeps saying personal lawyer. he's doing nothing for him personally. it's all political. and now he's trying to pretend he is working for the state. and the fact that the acting director of dni couldn't even answer whether or not he has security clearance, really? this guy is playing footsie with major leaders around the globe and we don't even know if he has a security clearance. if he does, we have to think about that because that's a problem. >> he could never get a security clearance. there's no title in the constitution that i know. that is the role. >> there you go. all right, eli, we have to
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single you out for praise for intrepid journalism for bring us that audio. it had some echos of what might become for this president when you hear him in his own voice talking about things like that. truly transformational. thank you for spending some time with us. after the break the whistle-blower draws a picture of the sprawling cover-up. we will bring you the details of all the president's men named in his complaint. also ahead, claire's favorite story. today watt acting director of national intel's 42nd day on the job. we'll show you what he had to say about rudy giuliani. and we'll show you nancy pelosi's reaction to the whistle-blower complaint. stay with us. st with usi need y you see, one out of six vehicles have been recalled because of dangerous takata airbags. one of them could be yours. defective airbag parts can explode causing serious injury, even death. go to
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buried in that explosive whistle-blower complaint released this morning details that suggest there are more witnesses than we knew to the alarming conduct that's now at the center of impeachment proceedings against donald trump. the complaint describes a handful of official who's knew about the july 25th phone call between donald trump and the president of ukraine from the report, quote, based on my understanding there were approximately a dozen white house officials who listened to the call. in addition to the white house personnel, i was told that a state department official also listened on the call. the complaint also named at least six other u.s. officials beyond the president who may have been involved in some of the conduct. those officials include rudy giuliani, aforementioned, attorney general william barr, vice president mike pence, as well as two u.s. diplomats, and
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a u.s. attorney. joining our conversation former u.s. attorney joyce vance. i've wanted to talk to you all day long. this whistle-blower came out when claire and i were on live tv, the nation saw the tops of our heads and our eyeglasses as we pored over it. what do you make of all of it and specifically this sprawling what looks like i hate to use this word because i know it's legally significant, but it sure looks like a conspiracy to me. >> i think that that word is legally significant, nicole. i've been watching you all today really happy that i was not on the air with you when this dropped. and y'all did a remarkable job, i thought, of getting to the most important points very quickly. and it is i think something that we did not expect to learn how broad the number of people whose conduct will now come into question is. this is folks in government, people in the white house who somebody came up with this notion that the president's conduct was so horrible that
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they had to conceal it and that they would do that by abusing the classification system. so there are now a number of questions that have to be addressed. i think it's very likely that the attorney general needs to recuse and some of these questions will be to be revisited at doj. we learned yesterday that doj had assigned pretty quickly after receiving this transcript that they wouldn't open a case. now i think though they need to go back and look because there are people involved beyond the president. they may have to examine conduct by a number of people. and obviously they need to be looking at more crimes in addition to the campaign finance violation. because the heart of a conspiracy is an agreement to do an illegal act. it looks like a number of people here may, we don't know for certain, but certainly enough to warrant investigation, may have been involved in concealing what they believed was actionable conduct by the president. it could even be obstruction of justice. the facts are very unclear right now. so it's difficult i think to
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make any sort of a final judgment. but there is a lot to look at here. and that's before you even get to congress's separate responsibility to consider whether this is an abuse of trust that warrants impeachment. >> so i asked this question yesterday. and i didn't understand the answer. i'm going to ask it again today. and you know how to explain legal shenanigans for dummies. let me ask you this. the acting dmi today testified under oath that he had transmitted the whistle-blower complaint. he had referred it to doj. a criminal investigation or a national security investigation. the inspector general from the intelligence community has a track record of doing exactly that. that was the office, the officials that referred hillary clinton's email case to the department of justice, whereas we all know, it was investigated and investigated and investigated. who made the decision at doj that with all this evidence with
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donald trump saying, with what was in the record, just in the record that donald trump was holding up military aid to ukraine, with donald trump's own notes from the call, the white house version that was released say i need a favor from you though, need you to investigate joe biden and his son. how was that not at least worthy of investigation? >> so, i'm torn on this one, and i'll tell you why. the reporting that we have is the career people at doj, not political people, made the decision not to open a case. i think it's likely that they would have given it a good look. i'm sort of biased and would tend to trust the career people. but the reporting also says that they only looked at campaign finance violations. if that reporting is in fact accurate and they didn't look at anything else, then they need to go back and revisit the decision. >> but on the campaign finance violation, how is it not a thing of value to get dirt on your
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opponent? >> it looks to me like a classic campaign finance violation, nicole. i think it's difficult sometimes to second-guess people who have more facts than you. but i almost wonder here if maybe they had less facts than we do. maybe they didn't have all of this, didn't see the significance. and the kicker here is this. the inspector general for the intelligence community came out of the district of columbia u.s. attorney's office where he was a leader in that office's public corruption and fraud unit during the obama administration under a democratic u.s. attorney. he had a record for prosecuting democrats for public corruption. this is someone who's hard-charging, who's fair. for him to make the decision that this was something that was credible that needed to be dealt with urgently. then for doj to say nothing here to look at, that contradiction is surprising. it raises i think a lot of eyebrows at a bare minimum career professionals in doj need to revisit this issue.
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and the attorney general needs to be firmly out of the loop on that. >> well, and the attorney general, it would seem, compromised by donald trump who said to a foreign leader, hey, let's violate campaign finance laws here in the u.s. together, and you can get in bed with rudy and bill to help you. i mean, that is what he said. he said call bill barr and call rudy. but here's what the ukrainians heard. i don't know if you were to open an investigation, maybe you would hop over to the ukraine and ask them about this. multiple u.s. officials told male that the ukrainian leadership was led to believe that the meeting or phone call between president trump and president zelensky would depend on whether zelensky showed willingness to, quote, play ball on the issues that had been publicly aired by mr. lutsenko and mr. giuliani. >> yes. that's a classic way diplomacy works. and ben would know this better than i, that at a lower level, you are having all of these
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conversations about zelensky wants to have a white house visit, and trump -- >> yeah, but usually it's like he wants to go at a state dinner or he wants -- full or partial lunch or dinner. it's not like dig up dirt on biden. >> it's usually incremental things, we need you to show a little more leg on this or that. in this case it's about basically violating the constitution and violating law. and then we'll have the conversation with you. i mean, if this goes back to something ben was talking about earlier. ukraine, it's tragic because it's blood pressure a hbeen a h bed of corruption and all of the reporting shows that when you have these prosecutors the way they operated was i'm going to prosecute you, but if you give me a bunch of dough i'm not going to do it. and again as ben knows from the beginning we are over there in ukraine saying you've got to end this prosecution because our goal was ukraine as a free and democratic country in the heart of europe.
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and corruption intercedes, gets in the way of democracy. that's why this charge against biden seems so silly because biden was there saying clean it up or else you're not going to be a democracy. >> and what do you make of all of the what would appear to be accomplices? >> well, what it tells me, nicole, is that this is how business is conducted in this white house that this didn't seem that unusual that you could have the vice president and people from the state department involved in this as well. there is another very important piece that came out in the reporting. we have talked about how this call was placed into a separate system. well, the reporting suggests that there are other calls that have been similarly kept from the normal channels of dissemination, other calls that have been hidden behind this firewall of false classification. so it tells me that the corruption is deeper than even just this one call or even this one episode and this is kind of how things operate there. and as rick says, normally it'd
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be something like we would like you to clean up corruption in your country as a part of the moving towards a state visit, not we would like you to engage in corruption as a means of getting this state visit. so what i see with all these people involved and the reporting of the other calls like this that corruption in our entire foreign policy kind of as claire said earlier, goes beyond just this one episode. and what you see is a president of the united states not acting as the leader of the free world. he's acting like vladimir putin. this is how putin would operate with other countries. this is how putin would operate within his own system. if you do my bidding or else you will be punished. >> and this is how putin's attorney general would operate. what do you make of barr's reel? >> riddle me this, batman. [ laughter ] can you imagine what trump does if barr recuses had implementation? >> i am told by a senior doj official he never will. the. >> it seems to me that the ethics honchos at doj.
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>> who i am sure have been sent on sabbatical. the. >> they need to be answering this question with this information now in the public space. and if in fact this file goes back over for reconsideration, which it should, and barr is told by the ethics folks, hey, you can't be on this one. i mean, trump will lose it because that's his whole thing. he wants a guy to fix it for him. and he's got his inside guy barr and his outside guy rudy. dumb, dumb, dumber, three. >> what could go wrong? >> so the thing is, is it's alarming bill barr has proven himself. he's shown us who he is in the mueller episode, all of that. but this is not going to get any traction with republicans. so what democrats want to do to keep this narrowly focused in an impeachment investigation is try to push this national security funny bone among republicans and
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these constitutional questions. they have just had money for military installation, some of which have asbestos coming out of the ceiling, unsafe schools that have been battered by hurricanes the president promised the money was coming. he has dwertd them to a wall in the states of vulnerable republican senators who are up next year for election. all of these constitutional separation of powers issues. and those are the ones they are never going to wink an eye at what went on with turning down a criminal investigation into campaign finance violation. what they are going to be upset about is the many people who put country before party and sounded the alarm with the whistle-blower on what they saw going to a separate computer system. that's why you saw senator johnson come out about that. and those are the issues democrats are going to have to keep the pressure on. >> all right, joyce vance, ben rhodes, thank you both. after the break in three and a half hours of testimony, the acting dni, the person in charge
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of the nation's secrets, could not unlock the mystery of what the heck is wrong with rudy giuliani. that story's next. that story's next. have to get . and i didn't have to call your wife to meet you at the doctor. because you didn't have another dvt. not today. we discussed how having one blood clot puts you at risk of having another,... we chose xarelto®, to help keep you protected. xarelto®, is proven to treat and reduce the risk of dvt or pe blood clots from happening again. in clinical trials, almost 98% of people did not have another dvt or pe. don't stop taking xarelto® without talking to your doctor, as this may increase your risk of blood clots. while taking, a spinal injection increases the risk of blood clots, which may cause paralysis- the inability to move. you may bruise more easily or take longer for bleeding to stop. xarelto® can cause serious, and in rare cases, fatal bleeding. it may increase your risk of bleeding if you take certain medicines. get help right away for unexpected bleeding or unusual bruising. do not take xarelto® if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding.
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don't wait. get your info kit now! obviously mr. giuliani is playing this role. to your knowledge, does he have security clearance? >> i don't know. i am neither aware of unaware whether or not mr. giuliani has a security clearance. >> before this all happened, were you aware of his role or understanding what his role was doing what you do? >> congressman quigley, my only knowledge of what mr. giuliani does, i have to be honest with you, i get from tv and from the news media. i am not aware of what he does, in fact, for the president. >> that should scare everybody. the nation's top, like, the guy at the top of our country's intelligence agency, has no idea if the president's personal
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attorney rudy giuliani ran around the country colluding here and there, if he has a security clearance or not. it's a claim matched in the whistle-blower's complaint. whistle-blower writes this. starting in mid-may i heard from multiple u.s. officials that they were deeply concerned about his decision making processes to engage with ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between kiev and the president. the officials also told me that state department officials including ambassadors volker and sondland had spoken with mr. giuliani in an attempt to contain. giuliani spoke with nbc news and denied the whistle-blower's account. you can probably find it somewhere else later tonight if you care. here's the deal though. jason johnson's here. we needed him. this is the breakdown. and to take it away from just the asinine, which is all things
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rudy, to the national security threat that nobody can -- and this is like a who's on first, like who's doing our foreign policy bidding with ukraine, you know, by the way there's a military aid package in the wings and rudy's running around with the new, you know, clinton cash book trying to get the ukrainians to investigate joe biden. who's in charge of that? i don't know. >> it's amazing to me how many people maguire doesn't know what they're doing or doesn't know who they're a part of or doesn't know what they're responsible for. he says that the president is not part of american intelligence which amazes me how the president is not part of american intelligence. >> that might be a good thing. >> he doesn't really reflect it a lot even though he's commander in chief. he doesn't know where rudy giuliani is. and to the degree we have foreign policy being handled but also people like jared kushner with all sorts of security clearances going around. and they're not just doing donald trump's bidding. they are exchanging information, the likes of what we what all ts
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that they are offering on behalf of the president to get this all done. what disturbed me most about this hearing is that maguire is sitting -- he should be terrified. this is pants on fire hair on fire kinds of situations. and instead he is sitting there sort of dancing back and forth with vocabulary. and that is the greatest danger out of all of this. i also have to say this. we were talking before about the changing poll numbers. i talked about this hearing this morning to a group of college kids who don't know much about it. this is the thing that finally breaks through. this is so simple that even a group of 19 and 20-year-olds who i talked to this morning understand it. maybe russia is complicated, maybe emoluments is complicated. but everybody understands a scam in quid pro quo. that is why democrats are finally moving on the ukraine. >> well, and i think everyone, and i give 19-year-olds credit for having a longer attention span than -- >> members of congress. [ laughter ] >> yeah. i was trying to put that more diplomatically. leave it to you to cut to the bone. but what is it about this story
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that break it's for them? >> they were like dr. johnson, it's obvious it's corrupt because they understand what it is to try and get somebody to get dirt on you. kids understand drama. kids understand gossip. kids understand an exchange. when the president, it's just like what michael cohen says. when he said can you really help me one way or another. it's not just what the president was asking for that people understood. but when i talked about the fact that the new ukrainian mentioned that, hey, i stayed in one of your hotels. the whole thing was this sort of footsie flirting interplay. is it even footsie though? i mean, what's broken through to world leaders, what's also been revealed in all this is that they've got trump's number. i mean, we'll be really lucky if we sort of at a global level survive this with anything really bad happening. i mean, what's revealed here is that a country that really needs our help, really needs our military aid was -- if they wanted to, they could have blackmailed donald trump.
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he'd have them to investigate joe biden. and this was why sally yates said that mike flynn had to go because he could be a target for blackmail. you got to get rid of this guy. the president's national security adviser could be blackmailed. the ukrainians, little country under great threat from russia, they could have blackmailed donald trump if they wanted to. >> and you know that this is going on all over the world. i mean, that's why i want to see the other conversations that had been put into this code-access secret server. if there have been other memos of conversations that have been put in there that don't have national security around them. because you know he is saying these things and doing these things with other people besides the president of ukraine. >> right. >> now in all of this we're talking about barr and we're talking about rudy and we're talking about all the players. you know the one guy we haven't talked about too much today and that's bolton. bolton was there on all this.
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bolton knows how wrong it was. bolton was treated terribly on his way out the door. he was -- >> he also was an advocate for the military for ukraine. >> and against putin. i mean, he was a big iran hawk but also a big, you know, don't trust putin, quit trying to be friends with putin. so it'll be really interesting to see what bolton will bring to this whole dilemma that the country faces right now. he could be a key person in history if he steps up and tells the truth about what he witnessed in the white house. >> all right. well, when we come back, nancy pelosi on charges of the white house cover-up. house cover-up
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so what's next for congress as it prepares to investigate a potentially explosive political scandal? well, right now nancy pelosi is facing pressure to cancel a two-week recess set to begin
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after votes tomorrow so that congress can go all in on the impeachme impeachment inquiry. democrats have decided to narrow the current focus of their impeachment inquiry just to the allegations laid out by the whistle-blower and the house judiciary would be the panel that handles any articles of impeachment but she was also rather forceful in describing how she viewed the conduct of the white house. >> the complaint reports a, quote, repeated abuse of an electronic record system designed to store sensitive national security information which the white house used to hide information of a political nature. this is a cover-up. this is a cover-up. >> so, you know, if we have not seen the complaint they would probably cancel the recess to try to keep the pressure up. you can see why they'll stay on it. the cover-up part of the
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complaint i think people were not expecting. when republicans were clinging today to mr. maguire's use of the word hearsay, clinging to a fox news report that said that the whistle-blower had indeed which turned up in the complaint never actually heard the conversation with zelensky, all of it was panned out in the transcript anyway and then as deeply compounded by the fact it was loaded into secret servers and there are more than six people helping the whistle-blower account for this now credible and urgent story so this is the part as i said before that senator ron johnson felt he thought that the transcript of the call by the way was just fine because that's the way trump talks but he's having a problem with the loaded on to the separate other computers. >> you know, i think she was trying to call up the ghost of watergate by saying cover-up. remember we all said at the time it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. this is the crime. it's not the cover-up. cover-up is bad. this is a crime that everybody sees. the parallel with watergate is the transcripts. remember, watergate didn't go
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full speed until the tapes were released and then people could personalize it. like you were saying about your students, they see the transcript, they can personalize it. they know what's going on. >> i think at the end i'm not thrilled about the idea of only focusing on ukraine. i mean we did have this whole mueller report thing but if this is the part that breaks through go for it. the last two years of investigation have sort of prepared the public to understand that you're dealing with a corrupt president so bravo, i haven't ever said this, bravo to nancy pelosi for going through with it and i hope we get a vote sometime this spring. >> i think you might get a vote sooner than that. it would not surprise me if there are articles of impeachment drafted and on the floor and voted on before thanksgiving. >> wow. you heard it here first. we are going to sneak in our very last break. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back. as soon as the homeowners arrive, we'll inform them that liberty mutual customizes home insurance, so they'll only pay for what they need.
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we never have time for last word but do today. i want to give it to you. the velocity of this story, this exploded about eight days ago. does that help or hurt democrats with our impeachment process. >> i think it helps. people want to see an answer now. they don't want to wait too late. for the first time you actually have unity with the 200 candidates. everybody else is -- everybody from joe biden to kamala harris to beto o'rourke, everyone is unified. the first time for once that the democrats are not afraid and donald trump is. this is a perfect opportunity for them to strike while the iron is hot. let people mull over this. if you're correct let people mull over it over thanksgiving and bake into the american consciousness right before the 2020 primaries and democrats will be in a fantastic position
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and everybody who makes this vote will feel confident. doomsday clock of 2018 is set. >> does it help or hurt with gets republicans on board? >> i think that a bipartisan investigation in the senate intelligence committee which the chairman has launched will force some real truth telling soon. >> can't wait. my thanks to jason, claire, amy and rick and to you for watching. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. ♪ welcome to thursday. "meet the press dale elizabeth warren. i'm chuck todd in washington. now that we've seen the whistle-blower complaint, it may very well turn into the democratic -- house


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