tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN July 25, 2019 6:00am-7:00am PDT
all right, good morning, everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. >> and i'm jim sciutto. after the hearing democrats plodded set to unleash legal battles in the aftermath of robert mueller's testimony. at the same time the party is grappling with egrowing internal pressure even division over the question, the crucial one of impeaching the president. >> that's right. and the house speaker nancy pelosi is telling her caucus now
is still not the time to impeach and to let the investigations play out in the courts. let's go to our lauren fox. she joins us on capitol hill this morning. look, i mean pelosi saying now is not the time still. there's reporting about nadler and her having a big rift on that, a big divide yesterday. i guess the fundamental question is where does the party go from here? >> reporter: at this point, more than 90 house democrats support opening an imetch poomt herequiry. after robert mueller testified yesterday a lot of democrats argued there wasn't necessarily a seminole moment. there wasn't this big reveal that would boost the confidence into moving forward with impeachment at this point. there are more than 200 instances in which he deferred to answer a question or didn't answer the question at all. i think right now democrats are sort of at a loss for what exactly the momentum would be. but behind closed doors yesterday you're right, nancy pelosi met with her caucus to
discuss what the future would look like. and she tried to get them to focus on upcoming court battles, focus on investigations they already have into the president's tax returns, obstruction of justice and the u.s. census. so that's where her focus is at at this point, that's where she wants her caucus to be. she said, look, if some of you have to go home and talk about your impeachment inquiry, you can be talking about that but she wants her caucus to have the strongest possible case for impeachment if that's where they're going to go. is she said publicly yesterday, quote, the stronger our case, the worst the sen will look for just letting the president off the hook. that gives you a sense where the speaker is at this point despite the fact there are plent ein her caucus who want to move forward on impeachment inquiry. >> let's talk about it. jeffrey, if i could begin with you. there's been a lot of focus on how he said it, bob mueller.
let's focus on what he said, though, and here's just some key facts from what came out of his testimony. he said trump welcomed russian interference and lied about it. he said generally trump's written questions to the special counsel were untruthful. he said trump encouraging of wikileaks was problematic. in fact he said that word was an understatement, trump was nonexonerated. and he also contradict said the president. can what bob mueller said break through in the way in which he delivered those comments? >> it could but it doesn't look like it has. mueller promised going into this testimony he was going to keep to the four corners of his report. he basically kept that promise. i mean virtually everything, all the news in his testimony was
already in the report. and the report itself has generated a substantial amount of interest and impeachment on behalf of democrats but not anywhere near a majority of members even in the house. i mean 93 is a lot of members. it's less than half of all the democrats so nancy pelosi is not fighting an uphill battle to keep impeachment out of the news. she is actually with most of her conference in the house of representatives. >> so molly, you have the great time cover piece on this and the party in general heading towards 2020 the headline for the party, the democratic debate will shape america's future. and you talk about in it the insistence of pull losy and democratic leadership that 2020 is the best way to get trump out of office. but you've got most democrats furious and half of them
petrified, and that is quite a stark divide. so what's your reporting on where they go from here? >> well, this is debate the democrats are having. they're having it in the congress and they're having it in the presidential campaign, and it's a debate about policy. it's a debate about tactics, whether you're talking about impeachment or other types of electoral tactics, what is the party's theory of the case how they're going to beat trump. but at the end of the day it's about what does the party stand for and what are they going to offer to voters, the voters they're going to ask to rezwrekt trump, assuming trump is still in office in 2020, voters are going to want to hear from the democratic party, if not trump, then what? and that's still very much an open question for the democratic party. the visions being offered by even the front running candidates in the presidential field are quite different. and so as you said there is a real divide among democrats about how to approach the
impeachment question and there's a real divide about the political stratsagy and what the presidential candidate is going to take as a message to the american people. >> no one deeper into this issue than chairman schiff. he was on our broadcast this morning on "new day" have a listen to what he said. i want to get your reaction. >> 2020 is unquestionably the only way in which he gets removed from office. we can never lose sight of that. i have tried to put the political question out of my head. that is does an impeachment help us in o2020 or hurt us. but we do need to be realistic and that is the only way he's leaving office at least at this point is by being voted out. >> some pretty powerful voices saying, listen, you've got to wait until 2020, forget impeachment. nancy pelosi, adam schiff there. who wins out? >> i think they do. i think there was a logic error in assuming mueller would
dramatically change the move on impeachment. the share of americans who thought he violated the law or did something wrong the support has always been higher on ilpeachment. it may be rooted more on practical concerns. it's late in his term. as adam schiff talks about the sent is not going to convict and i think there are a lot of americans going to look at that and say why go through this grueling process? having said that, i think mueller made a big mistake yesterday. he refused to accept any civic responsibility beyond his legal responsibilities. i know jeffrey can talk about the mind-set of a prosecutor, but he was the person who had the best overview about what russia did, how trump responded and how trump responded to the inquiries in points one and two. he could have given the american
people a. more comprehensible big picture of what happened. he chose deliberately not to. in some ways that undermined even the message he wanted to send about the ongoing threat of russia. he did not bring that issue to people at all. >> i just think ron illustrates one of the big problems with mueller's testimony which was he was determined not because he had to. i don't think he was legally compelled to say as little as he did. it's part of his temperament, part of his personality, part of the tradition he dame out in the justice department that prosecutors talk in the courtroom and nowhere else. that is not a legal obligation. he could have within even the rules he established talked more especially about the issues of russian involvement in the 2016 election. he chose not to. he chose simply to refer people
to his report. that didn't really change anything politically or substantively. if he wanted to call attention to how big the threat is of foreign powers in our election he could have done so. he chose not to. >> let me ask you a question. was mueller the man for the time? because this is an unusual challenge. it's an unusual presidency, it's a challenge from russia. it's a president who has questioned that challenge and that threat and has lied about it repeatedly and fought this in the public sphere and not based on facts. in light of the point you just made that mueller had the freedom within the law to paint a bigger picture here, did he show that he wasn't quite the man for this? >> you know, i'm going to say the three words you're not allowed to say on cable news, which are i don't know. it's very hard to sort of put
yourself in the history of and say a different person could have done it. ron brownstein maybe knows the answer to this and molly. >> i'd say real quick, mostly no. certainly in the investigation exemplary service to the country and untangling an incredibly complex story. as i said he had a failure of imagination of his civic responsibility. in this day and age a fractured media and polarized lec polariz. i did a story this week talking to corporate leaders and educational institutions, nonprofits who all said telling someone to go back where they came from in their own institution unquestionably will lead to discipline or firing and
yet almost none of them are willing to say so publicly. our leaders are failing i think to step up to up holding these kinds of norms at a moment when we have a president this determined to shatter. >> guys, thank you so much. a lot of post gaming today. up next the democratic member of the house judiciary committee who questioned mueller yesterday on where that moved her. plus he's out. after days of massive pressure puerto rico's governor is resigning amid scandal. and no more mr. polite guy. former vice president joe biden says he's going to get tougher at the next presidential debate. are we seeing a preview with his latest public attack on two of his democratic rivals? can't see what it is yet. what is that? that's a blazer? that's a chevy blazer? aww, this is dope. this thing is beautiful. i love the lights. oh man, it's got a mean face on it. it looks like a piece of candy. look at the interior. this is nice. this is my sexy mom car.
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hill. house judiciary chairman jerry nadler says they'll go to court today or tomorrow to get access to grand jury material. and try subpoena don mcgahn, of course he's the one who talked to mueller for 30 hours of interviews. texas democratic congresswoman sophia garcia, let's begin with what nadler made very clear i think yesterday is incredibly important to you guys. he was emphatic saying we need to be able to compel don mcgahn to come before this committee and answer our questions. if you're successful in that what is the single most important question you have for him? >> well, first of all, thank you, poppy, for having me this morning. and cruagree wii ulagree witagro need to hear from mcgahn. obviously we read in the report the president called him and
asked him to fire sessions so hearing from him that it did happen, hearing from him explaining why he didn't do it and why he decided to resign and the conflicts, i think would be very important not only for the committee to hear but for the american people because while the report prenlts a lot of facts there's nothing like a live witness, direct testimony bringing the words to the american people. >> we'll see, and clearly that's what democrats were banking on yesterday from mueller to really move the needle on public sentiment which is not there. you don't have the majority of american people believing that impeachment proceedings could begin. i'm not sure that mueller moved that needle a whole lot yesterday, but let's play part of one of your exchanges as you were questioning the special counsel yesterday about what would happen if you made false statements to investigators. here's that. >> what if i had made a false statement to an investigator on your team, would i go to jail
for up to five years? >> yes. >> you elicited i think the only laugh line of the day yesterday. but let's combine that with what he told a congresswoman later in the day. >> director mueller is it fair to say the president's answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions but where he did his answers showed he wasn't always being truthful? >> i would say generally. >> generally. >> so adam schiff, the chair of the house intel committee just said on cnn less than an hour ago the only way to get the president out is through the 2020 election. is he right? meaning what do democrats do with all of what you heard yesterday? do you still favor moving to impeach as you have? >> well, actually, i've not
properly called for an inquiry or impeachment. i think i'm one of a nandful now of democrats on the judiciary that did not. >> correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't you vote to table the impeachment push last week by al green? >> that's correct, but it was a procedural move to try and get a vote on the actual resolution. and our hope had been for the resolution to go to judiciary. so for me i consider it a procedural vote and not a substantive vote but i don't want to get into the semantics of that. yes, i got the laugh line but it really was about underscoring the point that even if i had lied to congress i would have been held accountable and i could have faced the jail time for five years. and the other quote that you had from representative demings underscored the point that he did lie. and remember they worked over a
year to try to get him to testify and to come in and talk, and he just refused. and then half the questions that he answered were all i do not recall, i don't remember. so we really gleaned nothing from it. so representative schiff may be right, the chairman may be right. the only time that we know for sure we'll have a way to remove him from office will be the power of the vote, and that will be in the hands of the people. >> and is it a mistake for those 90 plus democrats who are calling to move forward on impeachment, is a it a mistake tactically, politically and are they hurting their chances in 2020 if american sentiment doesn't change a lot? >> i don't know if the needle will or will not be moved by the hearings yesterday. quite frankly i think it's still a little too early to make that call. we'll see how that response we get, i know i'm looking forward to the summer recess to hear more from my district.
but everyone needs to do that, and i think that as we hear more and as the public, you know, lets this hearings from yesterday sink in and we digest it, i think it will move some people because let's face it, not everyone's read the mueller report. and none of us really do expect everyone to read it. so the more we tell the story, the better off we are. >> i'm fascinated to hear what all of you hear when you come back from this six week recess, from your constituents, what they say to you. before you go, mueller's the headline but something really important for all american people is happening today. the house is going to vote on this two-year budget deal. as you know it raises spending by $320 billion over existing caps. the nonpartisan committee for a responsible federal budget, congresswoman, says this will raise the federal deficit by $1.7 trillion over the next
decade. this is not even including the interest payments on the debt that has accumulated, the compounding effect of that increased debt. i'm just wondering do you and your fellow members of congress, democrats and republicaness just sort of no longer care what this means for our children? >> no, i think we do care, and i think what's important is that we maintain a level of spending that meet the needs of not only domestic but foreign issues that face our country. and we need to do that prudently and wisely, and this maintains a level that's achievable. and we're going to have to really take a hard look and set a plan for reducing the deficit. >> but when? honestly, congresswoman, it's not just democrats. it's republicans now too. when? when do you actually make that very difficult decision about
what you're actually going to cut when your staring at a national debt of over 22 federal debt $22 trillion? >> i know i'm looking at it. i'm a new member. i certainly have not -- i don't see it on any committees of jurisdiction, but i'm willing to sit down and work with anybody who can come up with a plan to do this. so i plan to put my arms around it as best i can from my vantage point, listen to my district and do what i can to reduce it. >> but you are voting yes for this, right? >> yes, ma'am. >> okay, well congresswoman sylvia garcia come back after the recess. >> thank you so much for having me. just days after the u.s. and south korea said they will hold a new round of joint military exercises north korea test fires a new type of missile. more missile tests from north korea. and we're just moments away from the opening bell on wall street. the dow set to rise this morning a little bit as investor groups will be watching for any news on
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all right, breaking news. a source tells cnn that accused sex trafficker and disgraced financier jeffrey epstein has been found injured in his cell. >> epstein is accused of abusing dozens of young girls in new york and florida. cnn's jean casarez is following the story. do we know what caused the injuries? >> i think that's a big issue and i think authorities are trying to determine if this was self-inflicted or if in fact someone else did it to him which would be an alleged assault and if so what was the motive in all of that? this stems from it was just a week ago today that his attorney had presented a bail package because he is charged with sex crimes against minor girls right here in new york. and the judge determined that the bail package which was presented by his defense attorney, very unique saying home confinement at his mansion then upper east side of new
york, armed guards and also a trustee to live with him just wasn't sufficient, that he was such a danger to the community because of the alleged victims and other victims that have not come forward yet. and the judge also said that because of his excessive wealth and a private plane and his associations that there was just a risk of flight. and prosecutors brought out that when he was arrest said in july, when they executed a search of his apartment they found pictures of young girls. and poppy, the big question here is he wanted that bail package, he wanted to be able to be at home. he wasn't. which gives motive for self-infliction, right? but also things do happen when you're incarcerated. now he is by himself solitary confinement for his own protection. >> and is that how you believe they will keep him if history is an indicator until the trial? >> no question because of the
high profile nature. >> great reporting. thank you so much on that. meantime north korea is test firing two short range missiles. this happened overnight. the first missile test since the president set foot into north korea. jim, when you were there at the dmz last month. >> that's right. and it's not the first time they've tested missiles. south korean officials say the new type of short range missile poses a military threat and risks undermining the peace process on the korean peninsula. cnn international correspondent ana coren following this there. ana, of course the president has cited a suspension of missile tests as one of the gains from these ongoing nuclear negotiations with north korea and his personal friendship with kim. what are we learning about these tests? >> well, it certainly undermines the stalled peace process to denuclearize north korea, that certainly jim two short range ballistic missiles, a new system of missiles was fired very early
thursday morning. the first one traveling 265 miles, the second one flew further at 428 miles. both fired from a mobile launch vehicle. they landed in the east sea, known as the sea of japan between north korea and japan. this comes less than a month from when kim jong-un met with donald trump at the dmz where they came out of a more than hour meeting vowing to restart these talks. well, really the only tangible thing that came out of those talks was an invite to kim jong-un to visit the white house. other than that, nothing else concrete and certainly no date was set to continue these staff level talks. but, you know, experts we've spoken to said this is north korea responding to plans by the united states and south korea to hold joint military exercises
next month. and we've heard from north korea's foreign ministry that said this is rehearsal of war. experts we've spoken to said north korea is just going to continue to fire more missiles in the coming weeks and months ahead. >> of course the question is how the president reacts as well. does he continue to defend these missiles as not being. puerto rico's governor announces he's resigning. governor ricardo rosello out effective next friday. >> protesters have been calling on him to resign after hundreds of offensive messages he sent with his inner circle all became public. they were leaked. i have to say i didn't know which way it was going to go after monday and that huge
protest but cleary he thought he could not withstand the pressure. >> yeah, that's right, poppy and jim. and it took a little too long for had some of the people that we talked to for governor rosello to finally resign, but it happened. and when it happened it was just amazing to be able to witness the celebration, just the loud cheers we saw people banging on pots, dancing, singing and celebrating, a moment they had been waiting for and they protested every single day for 12 days here at the governor's mansion. to them ever since it was disclosed that the governor had participated in a private chat where comments had been made that were deeply offensive, racist and homophobic, there was no turning back. they have lost, they told us, their confidence in their governor and that it was about
for him to resign. now it's only the beginning of the healing process, poppy and jim because a new government has to be created. presumably the secretary of justice wanlda vasquez is supposed to be sworn in as the next governor but again the resignation is not immediate. it's going to happy on august 2nd on 5:00 in the afternoon. back to you. >> thank you so much for being there. it's really important what happens. all right, so we're learning more about joe biden's tactics on the debate stage. he's not pulling any punches. and right now he's firing back at two of his 2020 rivals just days before he'll be sandwiched between them on cnn's presidential debate stage. much more on that next. most people think a button is just a button. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination.
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all right, this morning it could get awkward, jim, right arb at the national urban league conference in indianapolis. that is where several 2020 democratic candidates are making their case to voters. senator cory booker spoke just moments ago. and former vice president joe biden set to speak in just a few minutes. zblaz aioknow biden and booker have been trading jabs in public over each others criminal justice record. biden also criticized senator kamala harris saying he won't be so polite at next week's presidential debates here at cnn. one of biden's big claims to the nomination is his electability, that he's the candidate most able to beat donald trump. i imagine other candidates are taking issue with that. >> reporter: that's right, jim, and we heard just a short while ago from cory booker here at the
national urban league as they're having these 2020 democratic candidates come to try and court black voters. and one thing cory booker talked about is he was challenging that idea, the conversation around electability, saying it often does not focus the black base of voters of the democratic party. take a listen to what they had to say. >> most of the time when somebody's asking about electability, they're not asking about the african-american voters who make up the most reliable constituency of the democratic party, and that's a problem because the truth is we need to understand that we cannot beat donald trump unless we have a large, vibrant turn out in the black community. >> reporter: now, this comes as you're seeing this escalation in the feud between cory booker and joe biden yesterday. cory booker calling biden the artect of mass incarceration and biden pushing back highlighting
police practices in the city of newark while booker has been mayor. and you see biden sharpening his attack. i'm told he's the one who's decided to become more assertive heading into that next debate. and last night he vowed at a fund-raiser he's not going to be so polite the next time around. >> something tells me this time around bideson not going to say my time is up. he's not going to give up his time, that's for sure. we'll see what happens in just a few minutes. the cnn presidential debate just a few days away. ten candidates each night next tuesday and wednesday live from detroit only right here. >> you're going to want to watch it. the campaign is heating up. meanwhile the new normal. robert mueller issuing a sobering warning about russian interference in the u.s. election. plus we'll match your miles at the end of your first year. you'll match my miles? yeah! mile for mile!
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don't miss these words from yesterday. they're doing it as we sit here. former special counsel robert mueller warning the house intelligence committee that russia is still today actively interfering in u.s. elections including of course 2020. i want to discuss this more with phil mudd. let's replay bob mueller's warnings yesterday and i want to get your reaction. >> they're doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign. >> i hope this is not the new normal, but i fear it is. >> the new normal specifically he was talking about there was u.s. campaigns accepting russian
help. everyone believes russia is going to meddle in the 2020 election and it's already started. is the u.s. doing enough to prevent it? >> no, i'm i'm going to tell you this is really heavy lift. think about when you're sitting with the counsel and the president the first question you have are all the agencies coordinated for defense to protect people like you and me from getting bad stuff? let me give you another heavy lift are agencies coordinated on whether we want to go and how we want to go on the offense when the russians accelerate? do we want to do more with the cia and nsa, what happens when they start complaining to the office and the oval office? you've got to talk to the american people both about what they should expect and how we should expect the government to cooperate with silicon valley to stop this. this a really a tough job. >> on the same day robert mueller issued that warning the
gop blocked a vote on a measure that would have required by law campaigns to inform the fbi of offers of foreign help. of course as you know the president has said publicly he might accept foreign help. i wonder, you've covered russia for some time, does russia look at that as an invitation to interfere in this next election? to offer help to candidates that it wants to help? >> well, they have to. if you look at this from an intelligence perspective this is what we call classically covert action. that's what the head of russia said in helsinki and the implications for them are the president of the united states says this isn't really a big deal at least initially saying this didn't happen. so if you're in russia and an intelligence officer you're saying what's the cost and the benefit is huge. >> are you concerned the president would welcome such help? >> you know, that's a fascinating question. i initially thought until a couple of weeks ago that the issue here like everybody else thought, the issue here was the president was embarrassed.
he wanted to say i had an electoral victory, he didn't want to talk about the popular vote. i came to think with his comments maybe i'll be around in eight years, 20 years, he might perceive this as an legitimate interference for a candidate himself who has every as you know, i've been deep in this issue for a number of years. i wrote a book called the "shadow war", and how it's a broader attack on the democracy and its interests around the world. the fact is russia was interfering before 2016, there were signs that it was ramping up its interference. it had a broad-based attack on the state department email system going back to 2014. why haven't we solved this problem yet. >> number one, there's a free speech issue. everybody gets what they want to get on facebook.
i'm not sure they want the government saying this is how -- we're going to edit what you see on facebook. one of the pieces is the relationship between the congress and the government and the people who own the information. silicon valley is adversarial. we're in chapter one and we've got to say we want to support u.s. companies that are getting attacked instead of getting mark zuckerberg on the hill and saying why can't you fix this. >> we're already seeing signs, intelligence, russia is interfering in 2020. that probing attacks not just on candidates, but also perhaps election systems. you have to report that from the ic to the president. this is a president who apparently doesn't want to hear it. nick mulvaney instructed the homeland security secretary don't bring it up with the president. what do you do? >> i've thought about that. you sit in the chair after 9/11 and think about how do you bring difficulty messages in. there's a sign outside of the
cia that says the truth shall set you free. i don't think you can speak the truth to the president, not that you don't want to hold back, but you can't have a productive conversation. the conversation goes to who has influence, the national security adviser, vice president. who has influence so you can speak to them and get them to filter. because a face-to-face conversation with the president is they're coming after us again and they're going to favor you, i don't think would go too well. >> sobering words, i don't think you could speak the truth to the president on a clear and present danger to u.s. elections. >> i was also glad that will herd asked about that yesterday, but he was the only one to ask about russia's continuing influence in seven hours. >> and he's a former cia guy himself. >> coming up for us, an american rapper is set to stand trial in sweden after prosecutors say he and two others attacked a man with a glass bottle. it's all included for the whole family. like unlimited with netflix on us.
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beaten with a glass bottle. >> so the defense, rocky's lawyers are saying that he was defending himself after he was assaulted first. we've had a lot of big name celebrities, even the president vouching for rocky. our correspondent is in stockholm with the latest. the president said he reached out to the prime minister but the prime minister said this is how ou justice system works and he will stand trial. >> the presidential plea came to nothing, since disappointing news for the rapper today, the prosecution decided that he and two members of they will have trial and may have to spend some time in jail until a verdict is reached. you showed a moment ago the pictures, the tmz footage that has been so widely shared on social media. but the prosecution said as he delivered the announcement of those charges today at the end of a three-week investigation is that he hadn't simply based it
on those. he said there was a lot of other footage. they've got some stills that were released today as part of 552 pages of court documents. lots of other evidence, he said. we spoke to him a short while ago. there was testimony from eyewitnesses who happened to be around when the street fight broke out. what the prosecutor says is the version of events described by the eyewitness reports corresponds to the version of events described by the other party, the 19-year-old swedish resident, afghan national who claims that he was a victim in all of this. the investigation into him was discontinued on monday. the prosecution decided that he didn't have a case to answer. and instead decided that a$ap rocky was to blame. earlier on we spoke to a$ap rocky's lawyer. he claims that his client is innocent, that he was just trying to defend himself. we asked him specifically about what he had made of donald trump's support. here's what the lawyer had to say. >> we have put in a lot of time
explaining the situation and the swedish laws for our client, so he was not surprised or disappointed -- i mean, he was disappointed last friday when the court, in spite of all the evidence and good arguments, let him stay in his cell. >> reporter: the lawyer says he's trying to stay in good spirits. he's answering the many letters he's been receiving while he's in jail. but he's going to be in detention for a little while longer and could face up to two years in jail. >> wow. okay. important. melissa bell, keep us posted as the trial kicks off on tuesday. we appreciate it. a very good morning to you. i'm jim scutto in washington. >> and i'm poppy harlow in new york. post-mueller pressure, some democrats think the clock is ticking. the speaker, nancy pelosi says now is still not the right