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tv   Cuomo Prime Time  CNN  October 3, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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live weeknights or weekdays at 5:00 p.m. eastern time at cnn.com/fullcircle or you can watch it there later on demand anytime. all right. the news continues. i want to hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> you are a workhorse. feel better, my friend. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." once again there's news on our watch and the devil is in the developments. what do you say? let's get after it. this day started with a power play from potus, but the power shifted quickly in a flurry of reporting fueled by trump's own special envoy to ukraine, revealing just how many were troubled by his solicitation of political advantage from ukraine. the solicitation and how much damage control was going on. so let's get perspective on both sides and what the day's events mean. first, congresswoman mikie sherrill from new jersey is here. representative, welcome to "prime time." good to have you.
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>> thanks so much for having me, chris. >> all right. you've got a benefit and a burden. first the benefit. all this new information on how troubling the call was to people in key positions. reporting that multiple officials prepared a statement for the ukraine president announcing the investigations this president wanted, our president wanted, the implied deal, sign it or no meeting with trump. the concern from others that he was asking ukraine to interfere in an election. volker, the special envoy, and others trying to slow it down, trying to dissuade giuliani. the ambassador getting tossed for trying to do the same, reportedly. what matters to you and why? >> well, what matters to me is what's mattered to me from the start. the fact that we have a president of the united states who withheld critical security aid from an ally, shortly thereafter called that ally, the ukrainian president, to pressure him to investigate someone who is trying to run against him for
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the presidency. so in other words, you have a president of the united states that's not using his office to advance the goals of the united states of america but instead his own personal agenda. >> so let's walk through the analysis. i have a wall up here. i was going to stand in front of it and read the headlines and i realized it was too much information to relay to people and i just wanted to get talking straight to you. but for all the power of these headlines, all of the obvious wrongness of what the president did, do you say -- see anything in here that is illegal? >> well, certainly. you cannot use a foreign power to corruptly investigate somebody running against you. you can't pressure a foreign power. he's certainly going against our election law. you also just are undermining -- we have a president who's undermining our democratic elections and really going
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against the constitution of the united states. >> listen, i've been making the case all week, read your alexander hamilton, you know, that this has always been about abuses of public trust and political crimes. but do you think that when you look at impeachments past, what was the linchpin on clinton? he lied under oath. what was the linchpin on nixon? they had him in involvement in a felony. do you believe you need some type of tangible crime that people can understand in order for them to buy into the idea that this is bad enough to impeach? >> well, chris, i certainly think that we have that tangible crime. i think this is easily explainable to the american people. we all know that the president is trying to undermine our 2020 elections by having a foreign power investigate his rival. that's simply not acceptable. furthermore, to have a foreign
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power violate the civil rights of an american citizen is also egregious. if the president had concerns about what was going on in ukraine he should have gone to our fbi. i think you've seen numerous public servants, people who have served this country for their entire careers, who were very uncomfortable with all of what was going on. we've seen report after report after report today showing how unusual, how abnormal, how wrong what the president is doing is. >> do you think that what we saw today and what you know so far is already enough? >> well, we certainly have the evidence. but as a former federal prosecutor the best cases are made when you have as broad a picture as you can have. so i think we are doing the right thing by doing this investigation, continuing to put all of the pieces together as we've been doing, and that's what i think we'll continue to do right now. >> do you think that it is a
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mistake for the democrats to forget about everything that happened during mueller? because you know, the whole second part of that report had fueled -- not with you, by the way, and that group of seven that was waiting on things, you know, you wound up writing the editorial saying right now this ukraine thing, now this is something i understand that is truly problematic. but you know, so many in your party in positions of leadership have been saying, well, there's your crime, it's obstruction. and all these tortured analyses of all the different things the president did, now nobody's talking about that anymore. are you worried that the american people will read that as something that was really important isn't anymore, do we believe you now? >> well, chris, as you pointed out, i long said we had not made our case to the american people and that's why i did not want to go forward with this. however, this new evidence, this new conduct i think makes the case to the american people, i think it's very clear that the president has violated his office and what he should be doing for the american people
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using it for his personal gain. i think it's very clear he was trying to undermine free and fair elections in 2020. and i think it's very clear that he is trying to use a foreign power to do so. so i think the american people understand this on a very basic level. that's why too all of us came together as veterans and national security professionals to write that op-ed because to us it was very clear what the violation is right now. and that's what we're pursuing. >> so here are the president's most offered defenses by the better minds around him. one, we've got a treaty in place with ukraine to deal with corruption. that's all this was, was an exercise of a treaty. two, nothing ever happened. they didn't do anything to biden. so there's no completion of this crime, it was just a suggestion. and the third one is i care about corruption and that's what i'm doing. i'm asking an ally to look at something that should be a legitimate concern. and hell, i'll ask china too and i'll do it right on camera.
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are you swayed by any of that? >> no, none of those, if you dig into the evidence, make any sense. for example, just one of those, that he cares about corruption. well, the reason that this official was removed was because he would not investigate corruption. so none of these defenses hold wter. but i think what we really have to examine, and we really just have to focus on, is the fact that we have a president really putting our national security in jeopardy. we have a president withholding critical security aid from a security partner who's really trying to -- >> even though they ultimately got the aid? >> well, they ultimately got the aid, i think after congress started to look into it. i mean, this was -- this was not because the president had suddenly decided not to try to undermine our 2020 elections by trying to get a foreign power to
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pursue an investigation into his rival. >> congresswoman, thank you so much for offering your perspective at this point. we know we have a lot of wood to chop here, and i'd love to have you back to explain it to the american people all along the way. i can't think of anything that matters more. >> well, i really appreciate you having me tonight. thanks so much. >> absolutely, mikie. the people have to hear from the people in power about why this matters so much to the democrats and frankly why it doesn't matter at all to the republicans. and we'll balance out both sides. thank you very much. so as i was just suggesting to the congresswoman there, you know, republicans, not all -- we don't know where people are on this. this is new today. but? are looking at it and saying it's not enough to impeach. and by the way, these sources, i don't even know if they should be believed. let's test that with a crucial member of the house. next.
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we just heard from a democrat about why everything we learned today supports a case for impeachment. now let's hear the argument against. we have republican congressman from oklahoma markwayne mullin. good to have you on "prime time." >> hey, chris. thanks for having me. >> so to summarize what i'm sure you already know, congressman, but we had this former special envoy kurt volker come out today and basically express according to the reports that there were a number of people involved with the diplomatic efforts in ukraine concerned about what the president had done in that phone call and taking steps to try to tamp it down because they thought it was wrong. are you at all responsive to that? >> no. i read the transcript. there's nothing inside the transcript that's -- that was wrong. he simply said hey, there's some
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people, there's a lot of people in fact that want to know the truth. did biden interfere with your guys in an investigation? what happened with hunter bideen? i'm paraphrasing that. he didn't say hunter biden. but he said biden's son. there's nothing in the transcript, which i would encourage everybody to read. it will take you less than five minutes to read. there's nothing in there that's wrong. it was a conversation between two leaders and there's nothing impeachable. there's no high crime. there's no misdemeanor. it was just hey, let's get to the bottom of this and by the way, would you speak to our a.g. and rudy giuliani. >> so let's go through it a little bit, if you would. we don't know that it is a verbatim -- we know it's not a verbatim transcript. >> sure. >> it's about 2,000 words of a 30-minute call but it's the best we're going to get at this point. it wasn't recorded. so when you look at it, the idea of the president being asked for military assistance, following up the request by asking for a favor which includes working with his personal attorney to take a look at his political opponent -- >> that didn't happen during
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that transcript. >> how not? >> what we read, it did not say anything about the -- read the transcript. did it say anything in there that it was -- that even had the conversation about military aid? it was nowhere in that transcript. >> no, i'm sorry. i'm not being clear, congressman. you're talking about the 200 or 400 million. i'm not talking about that. when they said we want the javelins, we'd like to do more with the javelins, he, our president, followed by saying do me a favor and then went into the discussion about giuliani and the bidens. and simple logic suggests that that was a conditional. and in fact, we have reporting now and mr. volker reportedly testified today the ukrainians were confused about what it meant. and we know that there was a statement drafted by u.s. officials to codify that the ukraine president would do those investigations. >> when you read the transcript -- >> go ahead, sir.
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>> chris, when you read the transcript, once again -- when you read the transcript, it's very, very clear. the conversations were completely separate. and they went from congratulating each other to say hey, thank you for being a good friend, we appreciate it, hey, mr. president, we just follow your blueprint -- >> yes, that was the top of the call. >> i'd like you to do me a favor -- this is president trump. i would like -- yeah, i would like you to do me a favor. i hear your prosecutor's a good prosecutor but he wasn't allowed to do his job. can you look into something because it's important to a lot of people. >> right. now, the premise is flawed, right -- >> bragging that he held you guys off. >> the premise is flawed, right? because nobody said -- >> read the transcript for what it -- >> look, we disagree in our reading of the transcript. if the control room could pull it up -- if the control room could pull it up. i can't believe i didn't have it ready. that's on me. but after he asks for the javelin missiles -- >> and i can't see it -- >> i got you, congressman. if i get it i'll put it up and
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i'll read it to you. there's no tricks on this show. but after he asks for the javelins, the missiles, the next thing the president of the united states says in response to that request is to go into these investigations. the idea that the prosecutor wasn't allowed to do his job, as you know, is a flawed premise. he was actually removed for not doing his job of looking into corruption. that's why the united states and a number of other international entities including the ukraine parliament wanted the guy out. but even the simple suggestion that you should look at my political opponent as the president of the united states to the president of ukraine, how can you think that's okay? >> is this not -- chris, is this not something that the president -- that the vice president was going around and bragging at the time, is it not important to find out actually what happened? >> we know what happened. >> we used to follow the money to get to the truth. the truth is -- the truth is that hunter biden was paid $83,300 a month -- >> he was a private citizen. >> -- by ukraine and china
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according to some reports. >> he was a private citizen. ivanka trump got trademarks -- ivanka trump is working for us -- >> there is no conflict there. >> if you care about that kind of conflict -- and by the way, i'm open to the discussion. i think that hunter biden working for that company, i think hunter biden being involved with anything as a family member of a sitting vp creates ethical considerations. no question. but i don't understand how this president or you can claim to be bothered by that and not bothered by the fact that his daughter, who represents the united states of america, gets intellectual property grants from china at the same time she's representing the united states and sitting down with the chinese president. how can hunter biden borlther y and that doesn't? >> their business was well established before the president became president trump. >> how does that make it okay? she's doing business from the white house. >> joe biden didn't have -- but how is it okay that hunter biden
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was okay and his only connection was between his father and ukraine and he received $83,300 a month and he then -- vice president biden at the time goes around and brags -- >> the amounts don't shock me. biden never bragged -- as you well know, congressman, the vice president, former vice president, never bragged about getting rid of anything to help his son. he bragged about getting what the united states wanted to do -- >> how do we know about it, chris? >> what i'm saying is is it you care about both, you should care about both and disqualify them both. joe biden should not be allowed to run for president and this president should resign. >> if you do something illegal. >> illegal is the bar now? >> our president should resign -- >> i'm saying if you think -- >> tell me something he's done illegal -- >> xhoongs, if you think -- what you think joe biden -- >> how this conversation started, chris was -- yeah. >> keep your arguments straight. you're not saying that hunter biden did anything illegal. you have no proof he did
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anything illegal. there's been no suggestion he did anything illegal. >> no, i'm not saying he is. >> so it's not about illegal or not. it's about improper. so if what he did was improper then what ivanka is doing is improper, the president should resign, joe biden shouldn't run. get rid of all of it. >> it's funny -- it's funny that you're pivoting to ivanka when this whole conversation is did the president of the united states do something illegal by asking ukraine -- >> no, it's doing something wrong. >> -- to look into this. >> did he do something wrong to -- >> the answer is no. >> so you think it's okay -- you're up in 2020. >> he didn't say it was a political opponent. >> i don't care if he said it. joe biden is his political opponent. the only reason -- >> do you really think joe biden's going to win the primary election in the democrat party? >> i think the president does. >> no, he doesn't. >> then why did he go after him? >> it's about treating people fairly. if you look at his family you
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should look at everybody's family. >> but if this president is so worried about corruption -- >> the media has been -- >> hold on. congressman, i don't understand your logic. if the president's worried about biden because of corruption, why didn't he care about any of the corruption in his own administration? why didn't -- why didn't speaker -- why didn't the speaker in the gop go after carbiden when this happened? >> how chris, how you and everybody else on msnbc and cnn go out and say the president's corrupt, the president's corrupt, the president's corrupt -- >> i actually have never said that. >> -- but you never point to one single thichk corruption. >> asking the president of ukraine to look into your political opponent -- >> then why wouldn't he look into his own administration? >> i don't know. why doesn't this president look into his own administration? >> chris, you're putting words in the president's mouth. >> the president doesn't have to say look into my political opponent. >> if you guys could find something wrong -- >> hold on. >> -- you guys would have already done it. you've been trying to impeach the president since he got -- since he won the election. >> congressman, a couple of points. one, you're sitting here staring
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at my face right now, which is testament to the fairness on the show. two, i just had mikie sherrill on and i said do you think you can impeach? if you can't point to an actual crime that people can understand like they did with clinton, like you did with nixon. so i see the issues on both sides. on your side the issue is you don't have to call biden "my political opponent." there's no talismanic phrase necessarily. the only reason biden is relevant to a president who has ignored corruption everywhere -- >> words matter. >> -- is because he's running for president. otherwise, this president wouldn't mention biden. and you know it. >> joe biden doesn't have a chance to win the democratic -- >> that's irrelevant, though, congressman. >> you and i both know that. >> if you're so sure about that why did trump bring him up? >> two leaders of two countries -- chris, it was two leaders from two countries wanting to get to the bottom of it. guess what he also brought up that everybody forgets to talk about. where's the server? before he asked about joe biden -- >> but that's a conspiracy theory. there is no missing server.
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there is no missing server. >> no. that is absolutely -- that's actually not true. we have been briefed on it. they're not sure if they found everything with the server. >> were you told there's a missing server? >> the democrat on the other side of the aisle -- >> i've never heard that from a democrat or anybody involved with the investigation, that there's a missing dnc server. >> because no one wants to talk about it. here's the deal. everybody wants to point at everything but themselves. here's the fact of the matter. give me one thing of one piece of evidence that we have that says the president has committed any crime. it doesn't exist. let's talk about andrew johnson. andrew johnson tried to remove the secretary of war under tenure act. >> he did. >> that was illegal. >> nixon tried to use the intelligence service to gain political advantage. that was illegal. clinton -- >> lied under oath. >> -- clinton lied to a grand jury. that was illegal. >> yes. >> all three had committed crimes before an impeachment
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inquiry took place. this inquiry is about looking for a criminal act. because they hate the president and they're wanting to do anything they can possibly do to impeach him just like they said since he's won the election. >> well, he made it very easy for them by having this phone call because it is clear proof of abuse of power. whether it rises to the level of impeachment, i don't know. that's for the democrats to make the case. but i like very much having both sides -- >> it's not illegal, chris. >> i don't know that -- an abuse of power can be illegal. the standard for impeachment is something that is open to political debate. as president ford said, an impeachable offense is anything that congress says it is. and we'll see what kind of case the democrats can make. but part of the calculus is hearing from the other side. that's why i had you on. >> politically motivated. >> it's always politically motivated. it's a political process. >> i agree with that. but -- well, i guess you can say
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that. but the other three incidents it wasn't. >> oh, come on. going after -- going after clinton for an affair? come on. nixon, he committed -- he was part of a felony with that burglary -- >> he lied under oath. >> andrew johnson, they went after him because they didn't like him. >> he lied under oath. that's a crime. >> clinton they went after him because they didn't like him. that's why a town full of people who were running around went after somebody who was running around. yeah, he lied under oath when they were chasing him for it -- >> he committed a crime. period. >> which is why this president was smart enough not to testify under oath. no question he did. >> it's against the law. >> no question -- >> clinton broke the law. >> and the democrats have to make that case that this abuse of power is against the law as well. congressman mullin, thank you for making your argument. >> what about the whistle-blower account? >> what about it? we don't need it. we have the transcript of the call. >> thank you for having me on. >> we've got volker. i don't need him. >> but the whistle-blower account was a big deal. it was a big deal because they were saying that it was a big
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issue because the whistle-blower's going to blow but yet there was not one single firsthand piece of knowledge. 37 times -- >> i haven't seen it. i haven't seen it, but i tell you what. you've got volker. he's got all the firsthand knowledge we need. there was clear concern by a number of people. there was an ambassador who was removed. there was a statement that was drafted to get this done. they believed there was a -- >> the ambassador was an obama appointee. >> that doesn't matter. you're allowed to fire them for a bad reason? i appreciate you making the case. you're welcome back. >> tell me -- tell me how many obama -- bush appointees stayed in place as an ambassador underneath obama. >> i don't know. i don't know that it's relevant. but i thank you for making the case. i do. and you're welcome back again. congressman mullin, thank you. so volker i believe vitiateviti takes care of the need for a whistle-blower. but you have the guy who was the special envoy who was there and the reports are coming out and hopefully we'll get the documents. sought question becomes how much did he mean today from an
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you've heard both sides. you've digested this stuff. you make the case this is a problem and i'm going o'give the counters. the main counter is there was no quid pro quo, this was a president of the united states, you may not like his style but it is not a crime for him to ask another president to look into something he believes is corrupt, even if it's an american. >> okay. so the answer that i have to that is first it's not absolutely necessary to prove a crime to pursue an impeachment inquiry. that's first. second, and having reviewed many, many transcripts of telephone calls and conversations between co-conspirators over the years, i can tell you that very rarely do you ever hear an explicitly laid out quid pro quo. one party brings up one thing and the next party says yeah, sure, but before we do that i'm asking asking you to do this. that's exactly what happened -- >> what's the line for you? what do you need to see? >> you need to see a relationship between those two ideas. when someone is asking for
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something or proposing something and the next person comes back with okay, yes, but, before we start talking about that or thinking about that, there's something i would like you to look into. >> my defense to that is i never withheld anything from ukraine, they got the aid money, and they never did anything for me, they never looked at biden. >> well, to keep it on criminal law terms, the fact that you're not successful in committing the crime that you tried to commit is not a defense. and secondly, he was actually retaining and holding back that defense money at the time of this call. i don't think there's any way that the president and his supporters can effectively walk away from the negative implications of that call. >> not after today. because volker hurt them there. and they made the mistake of not trash-talking volker before he got on the stand. it's the only person i've ever heard leave in a situation like this where he was left completely clean. they still haven't said anything about him. in fact, even the congressman
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tonight, the republican, he didn't trash volker, and volker makes a very clear case. people were worried about, this they thought it was wrong, they said it was wrong, they tried to stop ukraine from following the road, we tried to stop rudy. >> right. >> they draft aid statemeed a s furtherance of what the president wanted. >> and he's got documents, text messages between the president and himself who were aware of this thing. that is essential corroboration to prove intent, what people were actually thinking. what did they intend with these otherwise vague and -- >> you are no politician but -- >> no. >> -- i'm sure you had times when you were investigating something and before you were the boss when you would go to the boss and say here's what we've got, i've got this and this and these are crimes, and you were told not big enough. i get it, i think it's there, but i don't think it's worth this prosecution. the bar here for the democrats, i think you're right in terms of your history study and the conflation here of law and politics. they don't have to show a major felony. >> that's right. >> but it is persuasive to show. with clinton they had him lying
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under oath. with nixon they had the burglary. even with andrew johnson they had him breaking that law that they only passed to catch him. >> sure. >> here what will they show? abuse of power? >> that's essentially what this comes down to -- >> is it enough? >> is it enough? we'll see. we'll see how convincing a case they put on. if they have a parade of witnesses like volker and documents those witnesses bring to the table, that could make a very convincing case. if all they can talk about at the end of the day are nebulous conversations that they could never pin down, that's going to be a tough hill for them to get over. >> andrew mccabe, you can't beat the perspective of someone who's made the cases. thank you very much. appreciate it. all right. like i've said, and as andrew just said much more eloquently and probably accurately, it doesn't have to be about illegality to impeach. but what does our court see? are there crimes? how comparing -- how competitive is it -- how compelling? let's bring it into session.
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the president's defenders say the democrats are wrong to see that ukraine call as wrong. well, we now know reportedly a number of people around this president shared those feelings strongly. but is it enough to impeach or not? cuomo's court is in session. asha rangappa and jenna ellis. i am in the role not of judge but of skeptical american citizen. asha rangappa, i get it, the people around him didn't like, it they thought it was wrong, they didn't like how he it, but enough to impeach? why should it be enough to nullify my vote? >> when we come to impeachment and particularly for this kind of behavior, chris, we have to look at something that you've already noted, an abuse of
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power, but also a violation of a position of public trust. we need to remember that people in these positions, especially the president, has a fiduciary duty. this was an idea that was actually embodied by the framers. it's in the oath to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to faithfully uphold the constitution of the united states, that you are using your powers and authority for the benefit of the united states as a whole. and that means that when you use that authority to coniffer a private benefit to yourself you -- >> i got no benefit. what benefit did he get? i didn't see a benefit. what benefit? >> well, he was looking for a benefit. i think as andrew mccabe just said, you don't have to actually complete the transaction. you have to be using the authority and the leverage and the power that your office holds in order to be inducing someone. we have this in the law. the attempt, the solicitation,
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the -- basically asking someone for a private, you know, reciprocal favor in return for doing something out of the official duties of your office. >> so jenna -- >> it violates the bottom line of the constitution. >> let me bounce to jenna. you look at the transcript. the most jaundiced reading. he asked for those javelins and the president did start talking about giuliani and biden and the people around him were nervous and it seems like this was the wrong thing to do. what is the best defense against impeachment? >> well, so everything that asha just said i actually agree with, but you need to actually put that on biden. he was the one that was looking for a benefit to himself and to his son and was violating his public trust as the then vice president. and so for president trump on behalf of the american people and the united states of america to ask ukraine to ask china, to ask these other countries to look into the corruption of a
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former vice president is absolutely working in the fiduciary interest of the united states of america. there was no crime here for president trump to do that. and to say that this was somehow a campaign-related activity is simply trying to pass the buck and is trying to put the burden of proof back on the president to defend his actions when really this is the burden of proof that's on the democrats that show that this is actually legally and constitutionally substantive and not something's that just merely a political partisan attack. and what i'm wondering, chris, is why aren't the democrats concerned about the fiduciary responsibility to the united states of america of joe biden? >> well, asha, what are you going to do with that? it's all about biden. the president did nothing. >> well, i think it's already been established that biden was representing an official foreign policy of the united states. and what we've learned from kurt volker's deposition today is
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that trump was not representing the official position. there was actually quite a lot of debate within the state department itself. his own officials. on whether he was abusing his authority and undermining what was effectively the decision of the congress to give this aid to ukraine. i mean, he was holding that back. i think there's also a separation of powers, you know, issue here that he was couldn't rah contravening the intention of congress for his private benefit. this is very different from whatever you want to say about biden. i'll also add that we have official channels. if biden was doing something that was so illegal, we have channels like a criminal referral to the fbi. we typically don't ask other countries, authoritarian countries like china, to investigate our own citizens. that's really weird. for a president to do that when he's actually entrusted with protecting the united states. we have a first-class law enforcement agency who could do that if there were any basis to do so.
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>> i think that outside the base i don't think the biden thing is going to be too helpful to this president because i think at the end of the day jenna you wind up with them at worst in the exact same position. if you want to argue that what biden did is wrong i think you get caught almost with the same stick. but i think that the bigger concerns in terms of what you'll see as a defense for this president, i want your take on this, is okay, now i care about corruption. that's what the president is telling us. what you'll have to defend is why have you never done anything about corruption before? well, this is about what the guy did with his son. i don't like it. then why do you let ivanka trump do business while she's in the white house? if these things bother you -- i'm not saying ivanka trump commit aid crime. i'm saying if this bothers you why doesn't it bother you when it happens in your own family? why doesn't it bother you when it happens in your own administration? >> i would put that back on the democrats and say why aren't you concerned about joe biden's corruption? so there's absolutely no evidence that there's corruption or any sort of criminal activity going on within the -- >> but nobody ever suggested
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that biden did anything wrong, jenna. you had republicans ask for the removal of the prosecutor also. >> and so -- but you have here joe biden when he's acting as the vice president, he is trying to confer a benefit on his son and he is removing -- >> but how is it a benefit to get rid of a prosecutor who isn't looking at the son for one who will look at the son? >> well, no, that's not actually the facts. the facts are he wanted this prosecutor to be removed so that no one would look into his son. >> but hold on a second. that goes against the facts. because u.s. lawmakers called out this particular investigation as something that demanded attention and when the new guy came in he said and i'm going to look at this particular case and he did look at it and then closed it and only reopened it for a hot minute. you know when? after he met with rudy giuliani. >> but this is where, again, we have to look at the context here and we have to look at the full scope of what's going on. because when president trump -- and i would push back on asha to
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say president trump did task bill barr with this. he is tasking the resources of the official capacity of the united states of america -- >> bill barr says nobody ever told him to do it. >> well, but that's -- again, bill barr was tasked with that. and rudy giuliani as a private attorney to mount a full-throated vigorous defense for his client, which is donald j. trump, not the president of the united states -- >> he wasn't acting as a private attorney, though. he was working with the state department. >> exactly. he's acting in a private capacity -- >> but he's acting as a private -- he's acting as a private defense attorney. you can have a representation of a private attorney while you are a federal office holder. you don't give up your rights to legal defense just because you are a federal officer -- >> but what legal defense? >> so that was during the context of the mueller probe. >> chris, can i get back -- >> no, i'm out of time. i'm out of time. i like the arguments. i appreciate the arguments. as we get more facts and we see the cases being made, then we'll come. >> context matters. >> i got you.
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i'm happy to hear it out. happy to have you back on the show. asha, as always -- >> chris, can i just say one -- >> go ahead. >> so back here on earth, back here on earth, biden is not the one that's being impeached. you're off in lala land -- >> that's your opinion p we can have a -- >> all right, no insults. just make your point, asha. you get to close. go ahead. >> thanks, chris. >> we are looking at whether there is a basis for impeachment of this sitting president, of whether he has abused his power for private gain. and the facts, what he admitted himself today on -- in front of the press, only corroborates the fact that he has been doing this in a pattern of behavior repeatedly and that is an impeachable offense. >> all right. look, i have to go. yet the task remains the same for democrats. you have to show that it's not just wrong, it's not just bad, we just don't not like it, it's got to be that it rises to a level that is worthy of impeachment. we'll see if they can make that case. asha, thank you. jenna, thank you.
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the only rule is you can't insult each other. you can always insult me. everybody seems to like doing that. all right. the president is playing to advantage again. and i'm going to make an argument that you must not be played for a sucker. don't fall from one of the political standby arguments that are made about why you should believe what this president is selling. take a look at the facts. take a look at what we know. and then take a look at what he's saying. that's the argument. next. newest signal reaches farther than ever before. with more engineers. more towers. more coverage! it's a network that gives you ♪freedom from big cities, to small towns, we're with you. because life can take you almost anywhere, t-mobile is with you. no signal goes farther or is more reliable in keeping you connected. why do wrinkles happen at the worst times? showing up here...
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otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. the president has a real problem, and it's one entirely of his own making and his effort to make it better today i argue turned out worse. >> china should start an investigation into the bidens. because what happened to china is just about as bad as what happened with -- with ukraine. >> let's just get rid of the noise. the play was here to show that it's okay to ask a foreign power to do it because the bidens are bad and this president hates
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corruption. it's laughable two times over. one, any ethical questions raised by biden's son pale in comparison to the questions about this president's own kids and his own personal profiting while in office. and two, just the silence of this president to all the corruption in his own administration makes it curious that he cares about biden all of the sudden. he's using the same little bit of fact and a lot of fantasy to play you for a sucker again. birtherism. that's an odd birth ficertifica. i guess obama's from africa. he gets audited for being a strong christian. you remember this? >> do you think you're being audited for being a strong christian? >> you see what's happened. you have many religious groups that are complaining about that. they've been complaining about it for a long time. >> today he even offered that he's under the impeachment inquiry because the drug companies don't like him for doing so much to hurt them. look, these are all gambits. they got upstaged today by the antidote to conspiracies. facts and good reporting.
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officials and diplomats around this president knew what he did around that call was wrong. starting with the "new york times" reporting that it was no mere suggestion. u.s. officials actually drafted a statement for the ukraine president saying they would launch the investigations this president wanted. it never came to be. now we may know why. volker. the special envoy to ukraine made his witness today. remember, before this day no trumper, including the president, said a bad word about him. let's see what happens in response to what reportedly he said today. he told us that ukraine after the call needed to be told by him don't mess with american politics, don't do that, that ukraine was confused about why the aid was being held up. that he had no good answer for that. that they didn't get why the meeting that trump had promised in the call never happened. that volker had concerns about rudy. warned him that the sources he
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was using for dirt on biden could not be trusted. he said the ambassador to ukraine had similar concerns that drew rudy's ire, led to her ouster. that taylor, the lead player for the u.s. on ukraine, sent a text to the u.s. ambassador to the e.u., just happens to be a trump pal and a huge donor, ha it's "crazy to withhold security assistance." made it obvious that he thought this was about a campaign. it's right there. trump's body denied it, said "i spoke to the president. let's take this conversation offline." wonder why. and of course volker's strongest testimony may have been his immediate resignation after the whistle-blower's letter came out so he could testify today without the burden of executive privilege. and even today after the president postured about china china reportedly followed up with a trump ally about whether he was serious. you see, when a president asks you to do something it's not a mere suggestion and it's certainly not just a favor. there's no question this
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president used leverage, used government assets, made a power play with an ally in an arguable abuse of power. we know it was wrong. the only question is whether or not it warrants articles of impeachment. that's for the democrats to make the case. we already know this situation is a hell of a lot more than this president bargained for. all right. that's the argument. another important story we also have to watch closely, i know it's not getting attention, but it should. that makes it a bolo, be on the lookout. vaping. next. announcer: time magazine reports: "the new american
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addiction. how juul hooked kids and ignited a public health crisis." other news outlets report- juul took $12.8 billion from big tobacco. markets e-cigarettes with kid friendly flavors and uses nicotine to addict them. 5 million kids use e-cigarettes. juul is "following big tobacco's playbook." and now, juul is pushing prop c to overturn e-cigarette protections. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c.
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all right. bolo, be on the lookout. we have new details in the vaping health story. the cdc today reported two new deaths linked to e-cigarettes. that takes us to 19 in the states you see on your screen. we also learned today that the number of vaping-related injuries is now at over 1,000. the new jersey governor said today he's going to work to ban the sale of flavored vaping devices and products. ohio's governor also made that vow this week. that follows action in san francisco, massachusetts and michigan. in new york a vban on flavored vaping products is set to begin tomorrow, but that is on hold. a vaping industry group got a restraining order calling the ban an overreach. the same grun is suing in massachusetts as well. you have to be on the lookout for these legal battles. we've been through this before. and by the way, they're interesting policy arguments on
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both sides. and more importantly, there has to be a race to figure out what is the danger in vaping specifically, why does this keep happening? thank you for watching tonight. "cnn tonight" with d-lemon starts right now. >> i don't know how to feel about the vaping thing because i know that it has helped a lot of people get off cigarettes, right? which we know are deadly. >> no question. and cigarettes -- >> they haven't been around a long time. >> -- aren't banned. so why should vaping be banned? the other side of it is the idea of saying -- not you but the argument that it is safer than smoking, no. it is less bad perhaps but -- >> perhaps. because they haven't been around -- my thing is they haven't been around long enough. i don't know if some of these symptoms are from -- are residual effects from people who were actually smokers, right? or if it started before they were vaping. i don't know. listen, you have to ask dr. gupta

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