tv S.E. Cupp Unfiltered CNN March 2, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
welcome to unfiltered. here's tonight's headlines. to impeach or not to impeach. that is the question for democrats. after a rocky week of congressional hearings in which the president's one time body man accused him of multiple criminal offenses, trump was getting some much needed love at the annual conservative conference cpac where he spoke for more than two hours. but he didn't seem too worried about the storm of investigations around him. listen. >> we're awaiting for a report and find out whether or not and who we're dealing with. we're waiting for a report by people who weren't elected. now we have people that lost and, unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn't be there and all of a sudden they are trying to take you out
with bull shirt, okay. [ cheers and applause ] >> the president complained about how adam schiff targeting his finances. he made several rhymes for no collusion. they were your standard fake news reports but all the laugh lines and applause will not stop the coming parade of hearings and investigations he's about to endure from house democrats. the one thing he may not face, however, is impeachment. democrats are divided on whether or not to go down that very precarious road now or at all. some democrats guiding mantra seems to be waiting for mueller and their own investigations and hearings to play out and on that end they plan to trout out trump tower months cause x factor, cfo wi allen weisselberg. other democrats are far more open to impeachment.
al green, alexandria occasio-cortez, they've all waded into that territory. there's support for it among the far left base. here's the deal. democrats are in a tough spot on this one and they know it. as much as the resistance is l salivating for it, americans don't like impeachment. 50% of americans are gerns it. only 43% in favor. support for impeachment was in fact down from september when it was at 47%. that's no mandate. unless democrats can get a majority of voters on board it will likely backfire. then, of course, there's the election. do the 125 democrats running for president want to do it with impeachment proceedings as the constant backdrop? the preamble to every question the only lens through which their election will be viewed? on the other hand, how long can they resist the resistance?
demanding that democrats use the power they have now to take trump out? joining me to talk about all the democrats issues, the road map ahead is democratic congressman from california jimmy gomez. congressman, let's start with the next steps from oversight committee. after michael cohen's testimony, i know he's coming back, who else do you want to hear from? >> i think we want to hear from a variety of people but allen weisselberg is the main person we want to hear. all our questions go back to his finances and to his taxes. and allen is the lynch pin. if we've seen anything in history especially when it comes to this country, powerful people are not usually brought down by the crimes they commit, they are usually brought down by the taxes that they failed to file. >> so do you think that trump family members like jared and ivanka, don jr. they should testify as well? >> i think they are definitely on the table.
i think that elijah cummings who is a great chairman he'll take a hard look. if he thinks we'll get something from them he'll call them in but he'll focus on allen weisselberg first. >> congressman, where are you on impeachment? do you think that should be on the table pending the mueller investigation? >> you know, first i was one of the first 58 to start the debate on having impeachment when al green brought up his articles of impeachment. at the same time i'm also a political realist. there was not enough votes to follow through on impeachment. not enough votes in the senate. so what should we focus on? we should focus on having the hearings we did. we bring in trump associates to answer questions. and when you ask the right questions, that will lead to you the logical conclusion. doe it mean it's automatic impeachment, not necessarily. but it will answer a lot of questions that the american people have in their minds.
>> i heard a number of democrats say to impeach, you want voters behind you in that effort but also republicans as well. do you really expect any republicans to come and back that effort? >> first, i think you're moving too far ahead. what we need to do is ask the questions. one of the things i'm surprised is why are republicans curious? they don't have any curiosity to a president who failed to release his taxes. first republican or democrat in the past 40 years. why is that? why haven't they asked the question? why aren't they curious about it? did he cheat on his taxes? is he in bed with people he shouldn't be in bed with? what's really motivating donald trump? i think that's where the republicans have to start asking those questions because the logical -- the answers to those questions will lead to the next step. >> congressman i'm smiling that's the point i'm going to make in the very next segment. i couldn't agree more.
where is the curiosity. thank you for joining me. i want to bring in democratic strategist. i laid out the land mines for impeachment. you can say you're getting ahead of yourselves for sure. let's see what shakes out. how should democrats approach that as a lever? >> you know i think jimmy gomez has it right which is the thing that we can do best right now with our power in controlling the house is basically ask questions that president trump and his allies don't want to answer. >> he never had to until now. >> never had to answer until now. there's a lot of unsavory stuff. democrats are putting too much credibility in what we'll get from the mueller report. collusion, if there's no collusion in the mueller report he's off scot free. i think that's a mistake for us to buy into that.
let's wait for mueller to see if there's collusion. i don't believe enough people in the trump campaign were smart enough to think about how to juice russia. i think russia used the trump campaign i don't think it was the other way around. i feel like there's so many character flaw, so many moral failing, so many essentially illicit if not illegal things that we're learning now that we have the majority. but let's focus on that. >> mike, what about republicans? safe to say republicans would welcome an impeachment fight? >> i think so. i've been talking with a couple of pollsters who look at some of the historical data on this as well. we saw what happened in 1998 when democrats actually gained some seats in those mid-term elections. >> clinton's approval went up. >> as republicans pushed forward impeachment. there's this effect that some republican pollsters are finding that all of this focus on all of
these scandals with donald trump and the people around him solidifies republican support not just those people who were cheering for donald trump at cpac, but even those republican leaning voters who might have voted for a democrat in 2018 in their house race, if they feel that the democrats are pushing too far, impeachment as congressman gomez said would be politically too far. >> i think we're making a mistake in comparing what's happening now too much to 1998. i mean the country knew that bill clinton lied to federal officials about having an affair with an intern. right? it was unpleasant. his wife had forgiven him. the country basically had forgiven him and didn't want this unsavory conversation out there. if where we end up with donald trump he did cheat on his taxes, he broke federal laws, he's showing corruption and
conspiracy to defraud people will treat that differently. i don't think it's as easy to say this is a political exercise. >> no. i hear that. there's different conversations for sure and i think with a lot more at stake but still the country, voters find that painful. and they find the ripping apart of american institutions whoever is doing it painful. i'm just not sure especially during an election i'm not sure there's an appetite for it. on the other hand, if let's say trump wins his re-election, don't you think you're going to have a lot of voters who think democrats didn't go far enough and do everything they could before he was re-elected? >> that's a feeling a lot of democratic members of congress, not just obviously the freshmen but some of the veterans talking to one yesterday who expressed this, said if we don't dig in as far as we can right now, this is
what the voters sent us to do, to offer that counter balance to what elijah cummings said earlier in the week in which he said for two years no republicans did any investigation into the trump administration. so the democrats definitely feel that this is what they were sent to washington to do, and that feeling is sort of knocking at the door constantly from a lot of those younger members who are much more aggressive i think. >> it's corrective. >> yes. i think a lot of democrats this is where the rub is. a lot of democrats felt they were sent to washington to reverse a tax cut that went exclusively to the wealthy, to come up with job creation, to fix the affordable care act and finally get health care for all. i do think that's the rub. i think you're exactly right to look at this as a timeline issue which is if 2020 is really a referendum on whether this country is going to support donald trump as president, maybe
getting voters as much information as possible about donald trump and the alternatives to donald trump is really where we should be, if that doesn't work, maybe it's -- >> i heard one democrat in congress express some concern that putting family members like ivanka and don on the stand as it were would backfire. any merit to that, do you think? >> i don't know. it could engender sympathy. it could look not just an attack on people who work for the president or people in the administration but his family as well. >> but they work in the administration. >> just this week we saw "new york times" well reported story about, you know, they are both lying about what happens inside the white house. you know, that's a perfect example. the president has the power to give his son-in-law security clearance. just admit that's what did you. why lie about it. they create problem upon problem just by lying. and that's what makes people so
suspicious legitimately. >> it puts a lot on the democrats plate. thank you so much. republicans in congress circled the wagons for trump this week. will that change? >> bernie sanders kicks off his campaign. now that other democratic candidates adopted all of his ideas will 2020 voters still feel the bern? (vo) we're carvana,
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if you're like me you watched the michael cohen hearing this week and were conflicted. on one hand cohen is a proven liar convicted, in fact, for lying to that very body. on the other the assertions he made corroborate what journalists and legal experts have been suggesting that president trump may be a criminal multiple times over. the republicans in that hearing didn't seem phased by any of these revelations. not one bit. in fact they predictably spent their time tearing cohen apart. at some point you have to wonder where is the curiosity in the gop? i expect republicans to be skeptical on claims against the president. i expect them to be suspicious
of cohen. the fact that democrats in congress don't seem the least about it curious about whether russia interfered in our elections, whether the sitting president broke campaign finance laws, about whether he colluded with a foreign country to get elected, not even a little curious it's appalling. yet -- >> from what i've seen and we've investigated don't give me any pause whatsoever about this president. >> really? i mean do you really believe that? seven guilty pleas. one conviction. four people sentenced. 37 people and entities charged. crimes ranging from making false statements to money laundering to conspiracy against the united states. there's a check signed by sitting president donald trump reimbursing cohen for a hush money pay out. there's multiple contradictions about the trump to your moscow meetings. you have no pause?
none whatsoever. you're riding this horse all the way to 2024? even nixon lost his own party eventually when republicans decided i just couldn't back the president any longer. but these republican lawmakers have decided to put one man, donald trump, before everything else. trump before country. trump before the office of the president. trump before their own party's integrity. but when trump is long gone what will they be left with? in shielding donald trump what are they costing themselves? believe it or not michael cohen may have said it best this week. >> i'm responsible for your silliness because i did the same thing that you're doing now for ten years. i protected mr. trump for ten years. >> joining me to talk about all this is former weekly standard editor bill krystol. bill, look, i wasn't born yesterday. i get partisanship.
i know parties protect their president. at what point do republicans say this might be a bridge too far for us? >> i think some of us said it a long time ago. some of us hope more republicans will say it. i think events in the real world whether the mueller report or economy or foreign policy could finally break republicans off. you put it well. they are not curious or doubtful or uncertain. they know what trump has done. they know he's a liar. they know a million things. why bother going through the list. look at the jared kushner story from this week. why was the fbi so reluctant to give the president's son-in-law a clearance? i was a white house staff. the way the fbi does their investigation they try to make sure you don't have any debts you didn't talk about. anything you can be blackmailed for. of course they give you a clearance. 98% of white house senior staff. as president's son-in-law they tried to get him clearance.
they couldn't do it. career fbi people couldn't bring themselves to sign off on it. john kelly career military man couldn't bring himself to say it's okay and white house counsel also may have written a people mon memo to the file. what did they see that got them worried. that's what a normal congressman would like to know about. none of the republicans want to know why. if they know they might have to do something a little difficult, a little courageous to stand up against donald trump and they don't want to know. >> if trump broke the law, if it turns out that's the case, do you think republicans will have a credibility problem going forward as a party? >> i mean i think trump will destroy the republican party because the base will be there, i guess, to some degree. the base is there a lot now because the economy is good and there's been no foreign policy disaster. the base will erode some as the business cycle changes and trump's mistakes they start to pay a price for them, i think.
president trump is already behind for 2020. a lot of the base will stay i guess for quite a while. he's the party's base is shrinking. young people are not, there god knows. they are not going to be there for trump. so they've signed on to a losing, you know, proposition but hanging on for dear life. that's for sure. >> let's talk about cpac. you and i know it well. >> you weren't there this year >> no. my invitation was lost in the mail, i'm sure. it's always been a little fringy, even a little nerdy. i left cpac years ago. what i've seen over the past few days was just mean-spirited. showcasing the worst of the movement not the best of the movement. do you think cpac has lost its importance and relevance or have you and i? >> well, what i was about to say is how much of the movement has become mean-spirited and
intolerant and ridiculous in its adulation as a result for trump. it's not a conservative movement. not interested in discussing conservative policy. i just came from an event a young man where he tweeted about ten days ago. let's get-together real conservative, moderates who care about ideas let's have a beer and have kind of a mini counter cpac. in a week over 1,000 people signed up and have come to these little get-togethers buying their own beers in many cities across the country. that gives me hope. i've been on a couple of college campuses and given talks. and there's a lot of fine young people who don't want the conservatives and the cpac and donald trump but they believe in free markets and believe in american leadership, many pro life. they would like to have a party that stands for them. i'm hopeful we can have such a party and such a movement again. when you look at cpac you think, oh, my gosh. >> well, real quick, sorry.
i wrote not long ago about your father irving krystol and that moment in time for the movement. i mean it shook it, it re-oriented conservatism for the better, i think. one could say this is a moment that's shaking and re-orienteding conservatism under trump. how would you compare the two times? >> the one good thing about american conservatism over the decades it had its fringy characters and less appealing aspects but at the end of the day leaders repudiated it. when ronald reagan became president he repudiated that tradition and embraced immigration. it's generally been true of republican leaders and conservative leaders and it's not true today. that's really a bad thing for the country. we want to have a healthy
republican party and a healthy conservative movement. we want a healthy democratic party and healthy liberalism and i'm worried about both. for us conservatives the responsibility on us is to save the republican party in the conservative movement. >> thank you. coming up bernie sanders drew a stark contrast between himself and the president at his kick-off rally. can he do that with the other 700 presidential contenders. with many of those same democratic presidential contenders to out left each other is there room for a guy that compliments republicans? at country inn & suites by radisson, we're on the way to wherever you're going. reach her health goals! i'm in! but first... shelfie! the great-tasting nutrition of ensure.
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says it's okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country. until application here, of course, is pro israel groups are pushing allegiance to a foreign country feeding into ugly stereotypes about the influence of jews in this country. omar's spokesman said it was about the influence of lobbyists and comparing them to nra. on friday the chairman of the foreign affairs committee called on her to apologize saying it's unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow american citizens because of their political views including support for the u.s.-israel relationship. fool me once, fool me twice we're way beyond that with omar. are we going to keep blamie ini naivete for her anti-semitic
t-mobile is always happy to see you. when you join t-mobile you get two lines of unlimited with two of the latest phones included for just one hundred bucks a month. joe biden is used to gaffes but not used to getting heat from his own side. during a speech on thursday the former vice president highlighted the trump administration by highlighting the silence mike pence got last month. but biden committed a cardinal sin, complimenting him. >> the guy is a decent guy. our vice president who stood before this group of allies and leaders and said i'm here on behalf of president trump. and there was dead silence.
>> cue the outrage. cynthia nixon joe biden you just called america's most anti-lgbtq elected leader a decent guy. how does this fall on the ears of our community. others called his comments disqualifying. biden was quick to cave, i mean respond. he said your right, i was making a point in a foreign policy context that under normal circumstances a vice president wouldn't be given a silent reaction on the world stage but there's nothing decent about being anti-lgbtq rights and that includes the vice president. so, as biden considers a 2020 run will voters have an appetite for someone whose inclination is to reach across the aisle but then apologizes for it when under pressure. joining me now is congressman from pennsylvania, charlie lie dent. charlie, you're the perfect person to have this conversation with because you like to work
across the aisle. you have many democrat friends in congress. you know joe biden and mike pence. they've worked together for decades and no one for a second believes joe biden who was further out on gay rights than obama and hillary was voicing support for pence's policies. can't a guy give another guy a compliment? >> well, he should be able to pay that kind of a compliment. i don't think that joe biden should be walking those comments back. look anybody can figure out that joe biden and mike pence disagree vehemently on so many issues. they disagree. can they at least have a civil, friendly personal relationship? of course. now, if joe biden is going start apologizing or walking these comments back he has to go on an apology tour.
he said many nice things about republicans. john mccain funeral. fred upton, he said he was one of the most decent guys he ever met. fred upton is a wonderful guy. he said that because he and congressman upton worked closely together on the cures act which dealt with medical research for life-saving therapies. it's in that context. again, if joe biden runs as a moderate, then he should own his comments and explain them like he did. if he's going to run as a hard left progressive he needs an apology tour. >> reaction to biden's comments is why we need biden so much. i don't support most of his politics. some. we need a healer, not a divider. that's what the left keep saying. they pounce on him for whatnot being as divisive as trump? >> oh, hey many elements of the democratic base, they are angry.
they want somebody to -- they want their candidate to go out there and fight donald trump. they don't want somebody to go out there and say nice things about his republican buddies. that's a challenge for the vice president. i agree. he should continue to try to work across the aisle. that's a very good general election strategy. you have to get through this primary. these democrats want the next generation of leadership. they want somebody -- they want a new face and they might want to set to page. so if you're older it might be rough. >> seems a bad strategy to make the new purity test in the democratic party like how mean you can be about people you might have known for years and years. but i'm sure this is not the last time we will visit this topic former congressman charlie dent. thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you. great too be with you as always. >> bernie sander launched his 2020 campaign taking aim directly at donald trump.
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he put more focus on i had personal background and took a hard swipe at donald trump. >> i want to thank all of you for being part of a campaign which is not only going to win the democratic nomination, which is not only going to defeat donald trump, who is the most dangerous president in modern american history, but with your help we are going to transform this country. >> sanders arguably has the highest name recognition among the announced candidates and raised $10 million in the first week. with multiple other democratic candidates running on his same message will voters feel the bern at the voting box.
joining me is virginia delegate who was a delegate for bernie in 2016. joining me democratic strategist and cnn political commentator david jacobson who worked for hillary clinton's 2008 campaign. dave, bernie's contrast to hillary clinton was fairly clear. how does he distinguish himself this time around? >> right. last cycle it was a binary choice. it was the establishment versus the outsider running this political resolution campaign. the challenge that bernie sanders has going into this cycle is that he's very much defined the narrative of the 2020 campaign at least among the progressive wing of many of the candidates who are running. running on medicare for all, free tuition, free college, lowering the cost of r-drugs. so the challenge is he's going to have to really define himself in a very authentic way. but i think he can because these are the issues he brought to the forefront of the narrative going
into 2016. precisely. so the challenge is if you're one of the other candidates how do you stand out running on medicare for all. if you're elizabeth warren, like how do you make a different case than bernie sanders did in 2016 and then bernie sanders is doing this go around? >> so, michael, we have new polling from new hampshire where the first presidential primary will be in 11 months. bernie is leading the pack at 26% with joe biden close behind at 22%. poppy harlow is the only other candidate with double digits. that should worry other candidates especially elizabeth warren. don't you think? >> absolutely. to be clear we know chat senator sanders was the front-runner jumping out. what's different here in this election is with us, with the 20 so odd people who are potentially going to come out and run for president in this 2020 election, the thing that jumps out is no one really has a base yet. they have a small percentage of people but they don't really have a base.
senator sanders is the first to actually have that. when you think about those who are cutting in the thing about it is they are trying to make a copy of the original blueprint. it's going to be tough for them to be able to take that away from senator sanders. the question is what is the base they are going to be able to own even though his message is spread out across, his message is established with a majority of the people who have kind of bought into this program and this process. >> michael, let me stick with you for a second. the last time bernie had some problems demographically, those problems have not gone away. he still needs to shore up african-american voters. do you think he's better positioned to do that or will that still be his challenge? >> well, that's going to be very interesting for us to find out overall. that's not just a bernie sanders issue. that's a democratic party issue right now. understand i was elected here in the commonwealth of virginia and the things that we have going on
discussing race and discussing the base with black voters, i think what you're going to see in this election is no longer can people get away with just the basic talk of showing up-and-coming to churches. right now what has to happen we need to see real plans that are established. we need to be able to see measurables that are addressed. the question is who will build a staff that can address those issues. while he does have a great opportunity to be able to allow people to see who he is, when it comes to the issues that impact the black community, the question is what is he going to do and what is the staff he's going to put together to get that job done. >> he's going to selma tomorrow to commemorate the 54th anniversary of the bloody sun march for civil rights. dave, i think bernie actually has a good shot at the democratic nomination but when it comes to the general i think he's got some challenges. one that he had the first time, he wasn't all that willing to
take on either hillary or trump frontally last go around. he wanted to talk about ideas. didn't want to get dirty. is he ready for a trump fight should he win the nomination? >> one would hope. look, i think you're right. he could potentially be formidable in a general election. quinnipiac put out a poll where bernie sanders is behind trump by two points. i think the fact that bernie sanders simultaneously has this ground swell of grassroots support. he was able to raise $6 million from a quarter million people in a mere 24 hours is fascinating. that could propel a well funded campaign. the challenge is he has to go negative. as someone who runs campaigns for a living we do negative campaigning because it works. period. like you don't want to go negative unless you have to. you do it because it's a
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have just officially announced annual large-scale military exercises will be replaced by smaller versions. this after the president tried again and failed to get north korean dictator kim jong-un to move on nuclear disarmament at a summit in hanoi. he cut it short but not before trashing the memory of an
american citizen who was tortured by kim jong-un's regime. he has since walked back his comments that he believes his good friend kim didn't know anything about it. the summit was unsuccessful and trump's lavish praise for kim was a national embarrassment, but at the same time a few thousand miles away another conflict has world leaders very, very concerned. india and pakistan are engaged in escalating tensions over the dispute territory of cakash mer. pakistan and india have traditionally turned to the u.s. to de-escalate these decades long tensions. in fact, the president even addressed the situation at a press conference at the conclusion of the failed hanoi summit acknowledging the two countries had, quote, been going at it. our foreign policy is not exactly what it was in years past where you can now rely on
the u.s. to warmly welcome dictators, you can't expect us to assist our allies when they need us most. joining me now to discuss all of this is retired navy rear admiral and former state department spokesman under president obama, john kirby. he's just returned from hanoi. so let me start there, admiral. hanoi was a bust but it could have gone worse, right? >> oh yeah, absolutely, s.e. i was worried as many people were that trump was so thirsty to get a deal that he might make major consensus, or to the contrary, the other thing that worried me was maybe we'll come out of this like singapore with just vague language. absolutely, it could have been a lot worse going forward. what's the plan to get these talks back on track? the clock is not on our side. it's more on kim's because he knows he might be seeing a different american president in two years. number two, i want to make sure
that we have uniformity inside the united states government but i don't think we did going into this. the north koreans had a proposal, flawed though it may have been but it doesn't look like we had a counter proposal. i'm not sure that the special envoy and bolton are on the same page. and how do the north koreans react. so far they've been restrained, their comments after the summit were pretty positive. we'll have to see how they react going forward. >> talk about the scale back joint exercises. was that a concession? are we getting anything in return for that? >> what we're hearing from the pentagon is that these scale back exercises were actually in the works for quite some time, well before the summit, in fact, before the summit was even planned, so i'm not so sure it's a linkage to there. i'm not bothered by the fact that exercises change in scope and size in keeping with the diplomatic path because you don't want to escalate the
tensions. that said, these are not war games as the president describes them. they are real exercises, required for our readiness and to keep alliance, solidarity and competency high. as they scale them back i'm going to look to see what they look like going forward because we have to keep readiness. we have cancelled or curtailed nine exercises since singapore and there's into question that's going to erode military capability. >> let's talk about cash mooer. this is made more complicated by india. neither india nor pakistan has a mechanism in place to de-escalate these military maneuvers. how worrisome is what's happening there now? >> deeply worrisome. you hit it on the head when you said there's no mechanism. for years they've tried to get the united states to come in as a mediator. under the obama administration we kept urging the two sides to
work this out and we kept working through the u.n. and i think that's the answer here. it is very tense right now. in the introduction you rightly talked about some of the cross-border fire that just happened today. even while they got the pilot back, the tensions are still high. i think we, the united states, can play a role in two ways, one, putting pressure on the international community to try to put pressure on india and pakistan to do the right thing and i'm speaking specifically of china here. every time we've tried to get a u.n. resolution to putting the terrorist group that was responsible for this in the first place, put them on the global terrorist list, the chinese have blocked it. so we need to work inside the u.n. to try to get international pressure to keep the tensions down. number two, we have to remember that at least in recent weeks this has all started with the terrorist safe havens that pakistan permits. >> admiral kirby, thank you so much for breaking that down. that's it for me. stick around for presidential candidate, senator elizabeth warren who joins cnn's david
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pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. tonight on "the axe files," one-on-one with presidential hopeful senator elizabeth warren. >> who actually is going to have the power in washington, and that's what i believe the election of 2020 is going to be all about. >> her plans to take on trump, stand out in a crowded field, and respond to lingering controversy. >> was that a mistake to put that video out? >> and how personal struggles and political successes continue to shape her policies. >> that's corruption, that's capture