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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  November 18, 2019 8:00pm-9:00pm PST

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he knows how much money they make. they could go in the private sector and do better. he can't understand them. >> if you're not reading elizabeth drew, you're not understanding it as well as you can. she gets tonight's last word. an honor to have you with us tonight. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, lawrence. >> the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. tonight we're now just hours away from the latest round of marathon impeachment hearings just as tonight new transcripts are out from closed door witness interviews. more administration figures describing a shadow foreign policy while the president labels them never trumpers. tonight what's on the line going into tomorrow and what to watch for and why congress is looking back on the president's written answers to mueller knowing what they know now. also this evening, the president makes an unscheduled trip to the hospital on a saturday raising a number of questions.
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all of it as the 11th hour gets underway on a monday night. >> well, good evening once again from our nbc news quarters here in new york. day 1,033 in the trump administration as another week is underway, another dangerous week for this presidency courtesy of the house democrats running the impeachment inquiry. the next round of live, televised hearings set to start just hours from now. there are nine more witnesses scheduled to appear just this coming week. late tonight, two more witness transcripts were released. more on that in a moment. tomorrow the hearings resume with two officials who were listening in on the july 25 call with the new president of ukraine. pence adviser jennifer williams and national security staffer lieutenant alexander vindman.
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we get a preview of williams testimony over the weekend when a transcript of her november 7th deposition was released. she told investigators she took notes of the call and that, quote, the mention of those specific investigations seemed unusual. she also said trump's requests seemed to be about his personal political agenda as opposed to a broader foreign policy objective of the united states. she then added when i went back to check my notes i had written that president trump has raised barisma. she told investigators she did not know why it was not in the call summary that we all got to see, the one released to the public. tomorrow afternoon we'll see lawmakers question former special envoy to ukraine kurt volker and tim morrison. "the new york times" reporting tonight that volker will tell
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lawmakers he was out of the loop in trump's effort to pressure ukraine. peter baker is standing by to join us in a moment. tim morrison worked for former national security adviser john bolton. over the weekend, his deposition was released. he testified that bolton had met privately with trump in august to try to persuade the boss to release $400 million in aid to ukraine and that ambassador bolton simply said he wasn't ready to do it. he told investigators about gordon sondland's involvement. quote, ambassador sondland believed and at least related to me that the president was giving him instruction. he is scheduled to testify wednesday morning. it is likely to be an eventful day. remember, he has already amended his first closed door deposition revealing that he told a top
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ukrainian official the country probably would have to give in to trump's demands and announce investigations into his political rivals, the bidens, if they wanted to unlock the military aid. "the wall street journal" says it has seen e-mails sondland sent to several white house officials keeping them in the loop, up-to-date on efforts to get ukraine to launch those investigations in the weeks leading up to that now critical july 25 call. the number two house republican, one of trump's more vocal defenders, was asked over the weekend about what sondland might say on wednesday. >> congressman, if gordon sondland testifies on wednesday, yep, the president said to me we're not releasing the aid until they announce they're going to investigate the bidens and barisma, doesn't that blow a
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hole in the president's defense? >> well, the president's defense is that those things didn't happen. >> are you going to say that he's wrong, that he's lying? >> look, i know you have been asking and other have asked hypothetical questions. let's talk in reality. >> are you willing to abide by whatever gordon sondland says whap what happened? >> i abide by what the president did and what president zelensky actually testified. >> as we mentioned there are new transcripts tonight from two upcoming witnesses. one is from foreign officer david holmes. he's the one who gave closed door testimony friday. he is to testify pubically this coming thursday. he is the person who said he overheard sondland tell trump that ukraine would move forward with the investigation that trump asked for in that july 25th call. in his closed door deposition, holmes told lawmakers he clearly recalls the conversation because
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it was, quote, an extremely distinctive experience in my foreign service career. i have never seen anything like this, someone calling the president from a mobile phone at a restaurant and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language. there is just so much about the call that was so remarkable that i remember it vividly. he went on to say it was assumed that american electronic communications were being monitored in ukraine. all of that brings us to our lead-off discussion on a monday night, the aforementioned peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," co-author of the new book "impeachment," attorney and foreign staffer for the house intel and armed services committees. and the justice department reporter for "the new york times." good evening and welcome counselor, i would like to begin with you here in new york. what is this week likely to
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yield? how further down the road are we likely to be sitting here friday night? >> so what we saw last week was the action happening in ukraine, what our officials in ukraine understood were the president's instructions and why it was so important they're investigating corruption. this week the action moves to washington inside the white house. we are going to hear from people who are hearing directly from the president what he wanted in terms of this exchange with ukrainians, foreign investigation, exchanging white house visit for investigation of his rival and republicans will have a very hard time arguing that these are people who are not in direct communication with the president. >> so their fall backs are falling away with each increasing witness? >> that's true. every time they have come forward with a defense of the president, what they have found is that defense is later undercut by the facts, that the president didn't say this directly, that the president didn't know. every time we get a subsequent witness that said actually i heard the president say this. i heard the president say that
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on a call to gordon sondland. >> peter, considering volker was special envoy to ukraine, if he indeed tries to argue he was out of the loop, a phrase we all first learned in the lexicon from the era of bush 41, how is that likely to go over? >> well, he's got some explaining to do in his testimony because he was the first one called in for closed door deposition. and some of the things he said in that deposition were later in conflict with testimony given by some of the other witnesses. for instance, he gives a blander description of the july 10th meeting at the white house that we have later learned included john bolton abruptly ending it and fiona hill confronting gordon sondland and saying i'm not going to be part of any drug deal. he has to explain that -- why he didn't know that gordon sondland had told the ukrainians that the security aid release was tied to whether they did announce
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investigations or not. now, what he's going to say in his testimony, we're told, is that he hadn't been told about gordon sondland's investigation and he hadn't been told that president zelensky was being pressured to go on cnn and make a statement and that july 10th meeting he didn't hear the things other people have reported. he's not challenging their accounts but says it is possible he was talking with somebody else at the time and didn't happen to hear the particular words that were exchanged. so that's going to be interesting because he's one of the witnesses the republicans wanted to call because he thought they offered them some testimony that was useful to them. he said in his first go-around that he didn't know of any quid pro quo attached to the security aid. now, of course, we have testimony of the contrary from other witnesses. >> katie, the president has no shortage of loyal cabinet officers. the guy you covered, the attorney general, among the most loyal to this president. talk to us about the case attorney general barr made this
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weekend about the president's conduct. >> sure. without ever saying the word impeachment, attorney general barr said the president has extraordinary power, so much power it can't be hemmed in by congress. he sees the impeachment procedure as an attempt to un-dow a duly elected president and he sees what he sees the resistance, he sees that as a way of undermining democracy, going against the constitution and basically trying to say that elections don't have consequences. what is interesting about this is it almost lays out a road map for the argument that the senate may very well make. so should the senate be impeached? should this go to trial in the senate? a lot of arguments made by republicans have been batted down as witness after witness comes forward. so they may very well echo this argument, which is the president had the power to do this and, thus, it was not wrong. >> that butts up against the classic argument that the president or any one of us is
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above the laws of this land. >> right. so, you know, as president and while president, he has executive power. that executive power is to make decisions in his lane. his lane happens to be extremely broad. it covers the defense president. it covers the justice department. it covers the state department. and if this is what he wants to do, then this is okay. >> oh, boy. it is hard to know where to go from here. jennifer williams writes the word barisma down in our contemporaneous notes of listening to the president of the united states on the phone. barisma, the word, the proper noun, the proper noun, yes, that's right, appears nowhere in the summary we all receive, which the president erroneously keeps calling the transcript, read the transcript. we would love to read a transcript of the call. what does that omission tell you? or is it insignificant? >> it's actually very significant. one of the reasons it is
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significant is because barisma and biden were linked in the mind of the president's attorney, rudy giuliani, that he saw those things as a way of investigating the bidens in a way that would politically benefit the president. there is some question about whether the president links those two things because barisma itself had some questions about its own corruption, but does it occur in the context of that. it occurs in the context of biden. if that's conveyed to zelensky as this is the investigate you need to start, it is clear that the president is trying to get zelensky to basically engage in the planting of evidence against a rival of his. now, one of the challenges on that is there are limits on the president's behavior in the constitution. it is not unfettered power as bar is asserting in his defense of the president. the constitution says the president can be removed for treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. what you see here in the
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president saying to zelensky, i'll give you the aid if you start this investigation is the president trying to bribe zelensky into a corrupt act. the investigation into his rival, by giving him asking that is an official act from trump, that trump is trying to then withhold. >> and, indeed, when the speaker came out and used the b word, bribery, that's the point they're trying to hammer at. >> that's exactly right. part of the reason they're focussed on this question is the explicit thing to say the president can't engage in bribery, which they understood as using the powers of the office for your own personal benefit. >> and katie, is there any peril to the president continuing to take shots at witnesses in real-time, which he did during the mueller investigation, let's not forget. >> absolutely. and every time he does that he puts himself in more peril. so we saw with the ambassador to ukraine, he tweeted about her and he said things that she felt were threatening and adam schiff said we take witness
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intimidation very seriously, almost as if the president was writing yet another impeachment clause -- writing another article of impeachment clause for himself right there. he can't help himself. so the heat is turned up. it will be interesting to see whether or not he continues to overstep his boundaries in a way that the house could use against him. >> we have to talk about the president's health because it is an issue, because he did something over the weekend highly unusual. we have all become accustomed of learning today as the president's annual physical at walter reed. well, saturday, without any prior notice, a motorcade was assembled and the president was hustled out to walter reed. it led to all kinds of reporting. the president had to deny it was anything untoward. said it was routine. indeed tonight, the doctor, the president's physician, has tried to settle the matter.
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they have put out this memo he wr wrote to the press secretary saying it was a planned interim check-up, part of primary preventative care. the president has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for natuany urgent o acute issues. he did not undergo cardiac or neurologic issues. those denials there are denials of the rumors that we chased down and reported on and kept hearing all day long. what are we to take of this at the end of the day? >> that's very interesting. you don't see a statement like this at 10:00 with the white house and you don't see a trip to the hospital like we saw on saturday, to be honest with you. he did just go through a regular annual physical just in february. it is only nine months later. you don't normally do this without announcing it in advance, as he had in the past.
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now, they said, look, this is just an opportunity to get in some partial tests. in other words, partial toward this annual physical. they will continue it after the new year, the doctor said. but it raises suspicion. with the long history of lots of white houses and lots of presidents not telling us the truth of their health concerns about their presidents, so there is obviously a lot of suspicious. they're trying to douse that with a statement by the doctor, not just by the white house press secretary but by a navy commander who you presume is more committed to making sure that his reports are accurate, precise and honest. and they're hoping, i think, to put an end to the speculation. but it does still leave a lot of questions. why did they do it on saturday? what else is going on here? one good thing for the president, according to the exam results the doctor released was his cholesterol is down. he's back into a healthier range. that's a good thing for his
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health. but they didn't release the weight or any other lists of exams he had taken. >> we're much obliged to our big three tonight. never can tell which topics are going to come up at this hour. our thanks for helping us out. and coming up, the new congressional investigation goes back in time to what the president told mueller in his written answers and whether or not he was being truthful. we'll ask a former u.s. attorney about that. and later, we have an exclusive on some new data showing the ways that russia is already honing its message and picking favorites in the 2020 election as "the 11th howevur" just getting started kicking off this new week. your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need.
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we are reduced to saying things like make of this what you will, but today the president said he would strongly consider testifying in the impeachment inquiry. this comes as charlie savage of the new york times talks about the last time trump submitted written answers to an investigation against him. they are exploring whether president trump lied in his written answers to robert mueller's investigation. raising the prospect of an additional basis for an article of impeachment. the acknowledgment refocussed attention on a quiet debate on whether any impeachment of mr. trump should go beyond the
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affair and accuse him of obstructing the russia investigation. back with us tonight is chuck rosenberg, former senior official at the fbi. also happens to host our podcast called "the oath." all right, chuck, what specific portion of the written testimony already submitted is raising flags now after the fact. ? subset question: is this a makable case? >> the portion we should focus on is president trump's denials ta that he knew about the connections with wikileaks, really that he had any knowledge that wikileaks had played a role in sort of exposing stolen e-mails to the public. and what should we -- and is it a makable case? gosh, brian, that's a much more difficult question. perjury is a hard charge to bring and normally what you need to make a successful perjury
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case is a rather precise question and a rather emphatic answer. i have watched a lot of congressional hearings, but i haven't seen a lot of precise questions. and, so, is it makable? yes. is it easy? no. and also the president couched so many of his answers in the following way: to the best of my recollection or i don't really recall but. and when you have those types of answers, it becomes even more difficult to make a perjury case. >> let's take the president at his word. he says he's strongly considering testifying. isn't -- if he insists on written answers again, why isn't that a waste of everyone's time all over again? >> it's a waste of everyone's time all over again. as a prosecutor, i never took written answers. i would never want a written answer. they are virtually useless. sometimes you will see this in civil litigation, but not in criminal. now, i know an impeachment inquiry isn't quite a criminal
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case, but it is an analog to one. here is the problem with it, brian. those questions, despite what mr. trump said were not prepared by him. they were prepared by his lawyers and carefully so. and, so, so many, again -- so many of the questions were, you know, rather precise from the mueller team. some of the answers were incredibly vague. if i were adam schiff, if i were the democrats, i don't want that. it is a waste of my time. it doesn't get me anywhere and it doesn't permit me to gauge someone's tone or demeanor or to follow up with more pointed questions if i don't think they're telling me the truth. i think it is a waste of time. >> chuck, late last week we saw a rare bit of emotion from you on the subject of our secretary of state. i surmised on the air friday night that it was exactly because you had taken an oath more than once to serve your country, and here is a guy, our secretary of state, famously graduated number one in his west point class, 1986, and has been
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in his career an army officer. why, the question is. why hasn't he been supporting, offering air cover for his people, his employees, among them veteran foreign service officers? the subject came up at the state department today. we'll show you mike pompeo and talk about it on the other side. >> greatest diplomatic court in the history of the world. >> you talk about ukraine policy, so i'm curious if you think he has been effective on policy and if he will remain in his job? >> yes. the state department is doing a fantastic job. i think we have delivered in a way that the obama administration has not delivered in ukraine. >> thanks, everybody. have a fantastic day. >> so, counselor, you heard him there. he was given a direct chance to offer support, a direct chance to talk about his employees by name. >> he's an accomplished man, brian, and he's an intelligent
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man, but he's a coward. i said that last week and i derived absolutely no pleasure from saying it. but i standby it, every word that i uttered. look, leadership means taking care of your people. and when they're being attacked by the president of the united states, that imperative does not change. he has failed his people. he has failed as a leader and it is deeply disappointing. and, so, he had a chance just now. you showed it on camera to emphatically state he stood by ambassador taylor and the men and women of the state department. and he gave us nothing but platitudes when asked a specific question he walked away. there is his answer, brian. >> i know you well enough to know there is no joy in your answer. chuck rosenberg, thank you as always for coming on the broadcast here with us tonight. >> yes, sir. >> coming up, donald trump was their candidate of choice in 2016. putin said so publically. but which candidates are russian state media rooting for, rooting
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did you want president trump to win the election? and did you direct any of your
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officials to help you do that? >> yes, i did. yes, i did. because he talked about bringing the u.s.-russian relationship back to normal. >> so we know who russia favored in 2016 and now a new analysis of russian-backed news coverage is shedding light on which candidates the kremlin may be focussed on heading into 2020. you may come across their stories when changing the channel or surfing the internet. but it's important to remember when you see those rt or sputnik news logos, you are getting information from russian state-sponsored news outlets. the foreign policy research institute has analyzed over 1,700 news articles this year from rt and sputnik news. it found the following: joe biden was mentioned more than 300 times and led the way in terms of negative coverage with a 53% rating. on the flip side, the analysis
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found that hawaii democratic congresswoman tulse gabbert was the overwhelming favorite with 61 mentions and 46% favorable coverage. our next guest worked on the analysis, and he writes this, quote, for russia thus far, biden is to 2020 what hillary clinton was to 2016. here for his exclusive report the aforementioned clint watts, author of "messing with the enemy," surviving in a social media world of hackers, russians and fake news. thank you for rolling this out here tonight. thanks for coming on. why focus on these news outlets and not the traditional twitter addresses, the bots and the trolls that drove so much of it in 2016? >> if you look back four years ago compared to now, russia led the way in disinformation and
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use of social media. we know a lot about this from the mueller report. fast forward to now. there is so much disinformation out on social media platforms. it is very difficult to parse out what would be russia, iran or china. two other countries we'll look at in this product or any domestic activity. when you look at this going back to the last election and as you put very appropriately in the opening here, vladimir putin doesn't hide who they like or who they don't like. if you read who the russian news outlets are putting out, they'll actually signal. they will point such that you can then go look in social media and try to find where that inauthentic activity is, where those bots might be pushing, where that these might be leading someone in a direction that might not be the truth. >> because we're all news consumers, i always ask you when you come on for a consumer guide what does this messaging look like? what do these stories look like?
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what is the tone? what do they say about biden that is so good and bagabbert i that is good. >> one, you can just overtly state bias inside the articles, right? you can take a positive slant or a negative slant. or it is selection bias, which is you just select stories which then leads to a framing of the candidate as being positive or negative. what russia does is they are much like any u.s. news outlet out there, but they are good as pushing the corners. i always look at 70% of messages will be neutral. that would be consistent with any u.s. news outlet. but i look at the fringes. when you go towards the negative or towards the positive, you see that middle number of neutral move in one direction or another, that's where that slight push left or right, positive or negative is going for those candidates. so with biden it is fascinating. not only does he show up the most overwhelming compared to the rest of the field, probably a lot more percentage-wise than
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you'd see in the united states and focuses generally on a couple of issues. one his age and his health, similar to what we saw to hillary clinton back four years ago. and the other part is ukraine, hunter biden, that sort of conspiracy is already there and it echoed a lot of what the president is talking about in the united states. this time around, they don't really -- russia doesn't need to make fake news or manipulate troops. america is doing plenty of that for them. you see them recycling narratives, in this case against the president and pushing it against biden itself. >> how do they talk up tulse gabbert. >> they're actually pushing her and pushing her content, talking about her more than you would see typically in the u.s. audience base. for russia, what she says is perfect for what they want americans to hear. she is pushing against the established democratic party. she's been over to iraq.
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she is saying that the u.s. should withdraw from foreign battlefields. she eluded that president trump was backing al-qaeda in syria, which is pretty crazy statement to make. so all of these things, her position on syria, visiting assad, these are things russia wants and supports. >> we are not done. in fact, we are just starting this conversation with you because we've got a long year ahead. please promise to come back and continue talking to us. >> i will. and ron is up next. we'll do a very similar analysis and we'll talk about president trump and the republican candidates using the same exact metrics as well. >> fantastic. not fantastic, but you know what i mean. thank you so much for coming on. ahead of this week's public hearings, a smear campaign continues, aimed directly at those witnesses seated at the table. more on that when we come back. k there's my career... my cause... and creating my dream home. i'm a work in progress.
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who mary yovanovitch the target of a smear campaign. >> i don't know her. but if you look at the transcripts, the president of ukraine was not a fan of hers either. i mean, he did not exactly say glowing things. >> he's a never trumper. his lawyer is the head of the never trumper. they're a dying breed, but they're still there. >> nobody had -- with all of those people, very few people i know came forward, and they only came forward when you asked. and some of them are never trumpers. >> what evidence do you have that cornell vindman is a never trumper. >> he continues to respond. that include an aid to his own vice president, let's not forget. he calls jennifer williams a never trumper and suggested she read the summaries he released of two calls with the president of ukraine. that was his advice to her.
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williams, who works in the white house, was actually on the july call, so she can do one better. she's one of nine witnesses scheduled for this week's public hearings. with us tonight to talk about all of is, the chief public affairs officer from move on and an alum of the obama campaign and the obama white house. also happens to be the author of the new book "moving forward: a story of hope, hard work and the promise of america." and rick wilson, soon to be following up on his work with his new work "running against the devil." good evening and welcome to you both. given that lead-in, i'm reminded that senator ron johnson, republican of wisconsin, called vindman a burrow cat trying to sabotage the president. are the republicans positions changing on the fly? if you are a vulnerable republican senator and one of
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your colleagues is talking that way, it can't be good for you. >> no. you have to wonder how far they can push this fairly bogus argument that they are members of this secret never trump ka ball. this is a guy who has honorable and courageous service in the military. he is a serious person. and it reflects terribly on guys like ron johnson to try to attack their integrity and attack their history and ascribe for them. i missed him at the never trump meetings. but this is a guy who has seen something and as have many, many other witnesses now. and it requires the structure that says every single one of these people is a liar and only donald trump tells the truth. that's the structure that it puts them at risk politically down the line. >> a lot of democrats, a lot of folks remember what happened during the brett kavanaugh hearings. we remember, almost burned into
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your mind the concerned faces of the flakes of the world, of the collins of the world. we know how they all voted in the end. what are the chances that this could end in a similar way? >> so i think the difference here, brian, is that the longer that you see -- the public sees donald trump's criminality out in the public, up in the public as a top story, the worse it is for republicans and the better it is for democrats. there were stories upon stories about how impeachment would hurt democrats. but under nancy pelosi's leadership, she has kept to the message, made it about the facts, not about politics, that impeachment is a political act. you don't even see that. the case that democrats have is so strong. and what republicans are saying, their message is, okay, yes, he did it, but it is not impeepable. but you don't see that in the polling. the polling is moving more and more, the public opinion, towards democrats.
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the impeachment supporting the impeachment inquiry. even where they support impeachment and a removal. this is where we are. let's not forget about kentucky and louisiana. that has changed this whole game as well. donald trump put impeachment on the platform in kentucky, in louisiana. kentucky, they had ads, the governor there, republican governor, had ads on impeachment. so the politics on this is changing very, very quickly. >> you are so right to bring that up, the re-election of john bell edwards just this weekend. rick, is bolton testimony a potential game changer to you if we see him raise his right hand. >> i think it is important for two big reasons. the first is john bolton has a particular space in the political terment. he spans back as a national security republican. he has never been venal or out trying to monetize anything. he's never had an agenda except
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for his belief in scurry. you can disagree with it or not, but that's what john bolton is. the second thing that's highly relevant is he is the national security adviser to the president of the united states, who is going to have direct first person knowledge of the conversation. he is out there saying this is a drug deal. he's going to the counsel trying to short-circuit this crazy giuliani scheme that trump and sondlandis r is running. if he testifies about them, it puts the president very much directly in the center. we have motive. we have action. we have donald trump as the impetus for this program. it raises the stakes significantly for the president. >> both of our guests have agreed to stay with us over the break. when we come back, the senate majority leader predicting the impeachment debate will now stretch into the new year, 2020. more on a likely collision of priorities in congress.
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well, all i can tell you at this particular point is it looks to me like the house is going to be on this until christmas. then it comes over to the senate. it displaces all over business. the chief justice of the united states is in the chair. senators are not allowed to speak. they have to sit there and listen. and i'm not sure how long it will go on. >> i don't know how much longer. i guess it depends on how many more witnesses they have. >> you expect that to be wrapped up before the end of the year? >> i have no idea. >> no timetable for that? >> no. >> will anyone notice if it displaces all other senate business, we haasen to ask. house and senate leadership seem to agree on one thing. it is unlikely to be over by the
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end of this year. could still be well underway into the 2020 primary season. here is how the calendar is shaping up, by the way. there are 43 days until the end of 2019. three days until government funding runs out. that's expected to get an extension. see kicking the can down the road. and the thanksgiving recess starts three days after that. it's 27 days until the end of year recess when the house and senate go home until after the new year. and 77 days from now the iowa caucuses. back with us, what should we make what should we make of this? and this is where i ask you if democrats can walk and chew gum. there are a number of democrats in this race with seats in one of these houses. >> yeah. i think democrats can walk and chew gum. i think that's why public opinion is moving towards the
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democrats' argument. they're putting together a strong case as i stated before. it's funny to hear mitch mcconnell talk about the senate business. he calls his senate the graveyard. democrats have passed more than 300 pieces of legislation and a lot of it is sitting on the desk of mitch mcconnell. so, mitch mcconnell is playing with a weak hand, and his hand only getting weaker, brian. one of the things that republicans and trump want mitch mcconnell to do is they want him to do one of these show trials for two days and be done with it. but he can't do that because he knows that he's not going to get the vote, and he has those vulnerable senators that know that the charges that are being accused or, you know, being accuse o accused of donald trump are serious and a show trial would hurt them. i think democrats have the strong hand on this. it's interesting to see how weak, for the first time you see mcconnell is in this space.
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>> rick wilson, make the case i know you can make about mcconnell and those vulnerable republican senators. >> sure. brian, i think what's the number one factor of whether donald trump lives or dies politically speaking is mitch mcconnell waking up one morning and looking at the polling in maine and colorado and arizona and other places and saying we're going to lose the majority. if he thinks he's going to lose the majority, this will flip over in a hot minute. the only thing mitch mcconnell cares about is preserving his majority in the senate. donald trump could be set on fire and mitch mcconnell would stand there and oh, keeping my majority, good deal. >> what would flipping over look like? would he give a signal that a vote to remove is okay? >> he would allow some of these people that he's kept in check and they're in that category of republicans you would think would be right on this issue because they are people who have some integrity who he has kept them very strongly in line saying our base will destroy us if we don't do this, if we don't
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defend him at every turn. these are guys -- and i don't want to even name them in part because we can name mitt romney obviously. but there are guys you would look at ordinarily and say these are people with integrity. look at rob portman, for example. you've got folks like that who ordinarily would be people that would reject this kind of criminal behavior outright and call him out on it are not going to be in a position if mitch mcconnell lets the brakes off where they feel as restrained as they do. if the public numbers have moved where the republicans are going to lose the majority, game's over. >> carine you have me thinking about your mention of both kentucky and louisiana. >> yeah. >> of course you're in the turn out business really -- >> yes. >> -- and do you think this will empower democrats? you heard a lot of self-criticism after the last election that their ground game was weak, that they weren't going state and local.
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they were looking at races, feeling intimidated, and deciding not to play. do you think this will build upon itself? >> absolutely. if you look at the political results, electoral results in 2017 and 2018 and now 2019, there is a turning point here. you have the suburban areas. you have turnout. it was a coalition if you think about it, the suburban and black voters in kentucky and louisiana coming out. if i'm the republicans, i'm very worried about losing in these two very deep, deep red states. and i think that there is a reason for democrats to be encouraged. i think you have voters out there, voters who voted for trump in 2016 now turning around in off-year elections saying enough is enough. we are done here. and now 2020 is right around the corner. >> rick wilson, in the 30 seconds we have left, explain to people that being a louisiana
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democrat would get you membership in the republican party in most other states. >> pretty much, louisiana was a red state, trending more red afri after katrina. this is the place where flying in to do the rally on paper should have been a good idea. if it would have been president jeb bush or president ted cruz, it probably would have worked, but donald trump has a negative action potential. if i were the democrats, i would pay the gas bill to air force ones and say go do rallies because it is not working out like they think it does. >> our thanks to carine and john. thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, are living in the moment and taking ibrance. ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor is for postmenopausal women
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before we go tonight, some reminders for you. our special korchl of tuesday's impeachment hearings begins just about exactly nine hours from now, 9:00 a.m. sharp tomorrow morning eastern time. wednesday a more consequential day than normal, starting with sondland in the morning. then we turn to mitchell, mad doe, parker, and meadow out of atlanta. and then coverage post-debate right here, we'll be here with you for the entire day. for now, that is our broadcast
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for this monday night as we start off a new week. thank you for being here with us. good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. >> happy to have you here. so what we are learning in this time in american history is that not everybody gets a soft landing. some people do. some people don't. but you can't necessarily predict it in advance. it really depends on the circumstances. if you are going to get caught up in one of these trump administration scandals, woe be unto you if you think you can see from the beginning how it's going to end for you once you get caught. take, for example, what happened on friday when the president's longest term political adviser roger stone was convicted on seven felony counts. now under statutory guidelines that means stone could be facing literally decades in prison. he is not that young a man.


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