tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC September 24, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
and check out the modern ruhles podcast. >> third episode drops today. we're talking feminism. right now, our dear friend, katy tur. >> i'm here. you know i have a bernie sanders campaign manager and i'm going to talk to them about how they feel about the surge. she's peeling away the voters. >> i'm going to guess they're not that into it. >> we'll see. we'll see. they are, they're proposing bigger and broader and deeper plans compared to what the other democrats are doing on everything from the wealth tax to the climates. housing. is that the way they're going to make a difference. thank you very much. good afternoon. i'm katy tur. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in the east and today, the dam is breaking on impeachment. at 2:30, joe biden will make his strongest statement yet on the trump ukraine controversy.
he'll tell reporters if the president doesn't comply with investigatio investigations, congress has no choice but to impeach. at 4:00 p.m., nancy pelosi is leading a mee meeting with her entire caucus. look for that in a couple of minutes, frankly, she'll sit down with with the atlantic's jeffrey bold berg and be asked about impeachment. has she changed her mind? she just told alex moe she'll make an announcement after she meets with her chairman, leadership and caucus. seven national security democrats are now supporting impeachment. in a "washington post" op-ed, they write they are not career politicians, they are veterans of the military and intelligence agencies and quote, these allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the potential corruption they represent. and they matter because they are precisely the kind of vulnerable representatives that handed the democrats their majority. the exact kind of democrat nancy pelosi said she was try iing to
protect. right now, the number of house democrats calling for some form of impeachment stands at 167. and members of both chambers are making their frustration very clear. >> i believe, i truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceeding against this president has come. >> i think we've crossed a line where if congress does not take action, the president will receive a message that he can act with impunity. >> there's a growing clamber across the country to deal with this most reckless and lawless president. >> our big question today is how fast will that number rise? also on substance, what do democrats gain from an impeachment inquiry? joining us now, jake, ashley, they're both msnbc contributors. also with me, editor and chief and msnbc legal analyst, ben.
so, jake, we're getting more and more democratic representatives coming out for impeachment today. we were i think in the 150s this morning and now we've shot up. what does it look like over there on capitol hill? what are you hearing? >> it's no longer a question of if but when and how. thate reality at this point. the house is almost certainly going to move toward in some way, shape or form, an impeachment proceeding. now the question of will the judiciary handle this, a special committee, we don't know that. there are benefits and detractions to both, but it's very clear we're entering a much more serious phase here where impeachment is going to be center stage and almost nothing else. this afternoon, in about an hour, nancy pelosi is meeting with her chairman. shortly after, she'll meet with her leadership and democratic caucus at 4:00 p.m. then make this statement where she'll lay out her plan. now it's important to keep in mipd, congress is in session
this week but out the next two weeks, so this week will be frantic. there will be a lot of action. a vote to rebuke the president tomorrow on the house floor is likely. but after that, the it will likely quiet down for two weeks. so again, impeachment is looking like a near certainty at this point. how it will play out, we don't yet know. >> how is she being affected by someone like jon lewis coming out and standing in the house and calling for impeachment? what about ha chemojeffrey, a member of leadership now saying he supports impeachment? >> now these people i don't think would ever go toward impeachment without nancy pelosi's explit is or implicit permission. these are close pelosi allies and we've seen that over the last 24 to 36 hours. we've seen people like debbie dingle, rosa delora, two democratic congresswomen close to the speaker, voice their support for impeachment. so what we saw in the last 24 hours is really that. her allies come out publicly and say they are for impeachment and
we saw these vulnerable democrats who took seats from republicans in the 2018 midterms. these were the people nancy pelosi said she was protecting from an impeachment vote. she might have not said that directly. they came out in favor of the impeachment process, so really the walls are caving in here and we're getting to a point where anything short of impeachment, any half measure because the house had been operating with half measures for a while now, anything short of impeachment would not be enough for the 167. that's a way above the majority of democrats impeach. >> ashley, i want to figure out the facts on the story. we haven't seen the transcript of the call the whistleblower was concerned about, but we saw rudy giuliani on sean hannity last night explaining his involvement in this controversy. here he is. >> did our state department ask you to go on a mission for them? >> they did.
>> and you went. >> the state department called me and said would i take a call from mr. yearmack, number two or three to the president. now the president. i was put together with him. i talked to him. he gave me enormously important facts. i conveyed them state department. fake news. i wasn't operating on my own. >> so we asked the state department about that and they said ambassador volcker has confirmed that as presidential adviser's request, he put volcker in contact with mr. giuliani. they say giuliani is a private citizen, acts in his own personal capacity as lawyer for president trump. he does not speak on behalf of the u.s. government. what do we know right now? i mean it would seem to me from an outsider perspective that it would be a bigger deal if it is true that the state department requested giuliani to make these
inquiries. >> right now, we know both a lot and a little. they're shifting stories. so we do know what the president has said. in some ways, the president has given us a good window of not what the whistleblower complaint will say, but into potentially what the transcript will say. which is that the president has said that yes, he pressured ukraine or asked them to look into joe biden. so he seems to confirm that, which has been confirmed by newspapers, then he's offered for instance shifting explanations. he said at one point, he did it because of corruption. he didn't want to give aid to a country if the country was still rampant with corruption. then just in a different moment, he said reason he withheld the aid was in fact because he wanted to make sure that europeans were paying their part. so there's sort of mixed messaging but at the core is the
fact this is something that was a directive from the president to try to hold up the aid for ukraine rather and simultaneously get the country to look into corruption he alleges by one of his political rivals. >> and this phone call between the president and the president of ukraine happened a day after mueller's testimony? >> yes. it did. and that's another thing that timing of course is striking. you see his critics and some of this seem to be and jake knows this better, but the sense we're getting from democrats on capitol hill, which is this is a president who feels invincible and feels uncheck and he faced no ramifications in their view for the russia investigation and for mueller's report and so there's a sense that he's going to continue to act this way. to break norms. some people would allege break laws, none of that has been determined, but unless someone stands up and stops him and so you sort of get that sense from
democrats that it's no longer about if this is good politics and what does it mean for 2020, but some view this as this is sort of a moral stance they need to take to prevent a presidency from running amuck in their view. >> nancy pelosi will make a statement at 5:00 p.m. her staff confirming. if they officially open an impeachment inquiry or use the power of inherent contempt. how does that change their ability to get information, documentation or call witnesses before various committees? >> it doesn't change it that much. in the sense that you know, congress can issue subpoenas now. it can call witnesses now and the executive branch can defy them. there is some you know, additional ability if you decide to use the inherent contempt power to try to do something quickly. but by and large, congress' powers are what they are.
and we're in, we're watching a sort of protracted fight over the parameters of those as they try to investigate the president and that does not change if you call it an impeach. inquiry. what does change if you call it an impeachment inquiry is what you're talking about. so you know, up until now, when the judiciary committee holds these hearings, they claim they're doing oversight, they're not talking about what they would put in an impeachment article. they're not talking about voting to remove the president. once you call it an impeachment inquiry, then you are talk iing about what you are going to impeach the president for. and whether you have the votes and who will support x allegation or y allegation. so the context of the, the sub tans of the con vversation chans a great deal. i don't think the, the particular powers that are available to them change all
that much. though they may try to use the inherent contempt power more aggressively than they have so far. >> and jake, just really quick ly. i keep talking to republicans and democrats and they keep saying to me that it does really seem like the president could shoot someone on 5th avenue. that's now invincible he feels and that's how strong his support is. are you hearing anything differently from republican lawmakers on the hill? is there any chance that there might be a break away amongst any of them over this current behavior? >> well, very quickly two points. house republicans are lining up in lock step behind him and saying the president was try in to root out corruption. what's wrong with that? that's what they believe. again, as ashley said, we don't know the details. two, the president would be right in feeling that theoretically because the congress has not punished anybody in the trump administration for what democrats themselves have termed to cover up. so democrats have accused the
democrats of a cover up and have not done anything on the other end. it gives trump an inflated sense that he can get away with things. maybe it's not inflated. maybe that's the reality, but this i believe seems to be entering a few phase over the next couple of months and we'll get more serious whether it impacts trump or not, we dent know, but we'll find out. >> everyone, thank you very much and joining me, california democratic congressman, he's one of the seven freshmen democrats behind the "washington post" op-ed. thank you for joining us. imt to dive right into it. the word on capitol hill before now was always that nancy pelosi was trying to protect democratic lawmakers just like yourself. ones that term turned the house blue from red districts. the marichcginal democratic fro line lawmakers as they call you. why did you feel that now was the time to come out with this op-ed and are you worried about
blowback from your constituents? >> thanks for having me, katy. i took an oath to support and defend the constitution for the first time out of high school. i took it again nine months ago, becoming a member of congress. we're in a different situation now. this is dealing with national security. you know the president has allegedly been accused of withholing funding from an ally in order to, an ally that we support and that we, congress, that allocated funds for, against an adversary, russia, that hurts our national security and for the president to do this for his own personal game so this he could gain both personally and politically to try and get information from a foreign government against a potential presidential candidate, that's wrong and not the way he should be doing his office of the presidency.
>> is it -- >> it was time for us to speak up and really go out there and say we need to get to the bottom of this. the american people need to know the truth of what happened happened why he withheld these funds. >> is it just this one issue? this one phone call or is this phone call the straw that broke the camel's back? is it a bunch of things that have led up to this moment? >> for myself, it really is this h issue of national security of the president using his office of really trying to benefit personally and politically. to withhold this funding which now we're hearing it's upwards of 400 milli$400 million. we have one week left in the fiscal year in order to get them that and it may not be enough time to do that. for him to keep that money and not give it to our ally who is in war and still engaged in battle with an adversary, our
russian adversaries, is a threat to our national security. and it's just another benefit he's giving to putin and russia. >> the president just tweeted, i'm currently at the united nations representing our country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with the president of ukraine. will you trust that transcript? sorry, the president goes on. he says you will see it was a friendly and totally appropriate call. no pressure and unlike joe biden and his son, no quid pro quo. this is nothing more than a continuation of the greatest witch hunt. will you trust that transcript? >> i don't know how many conversations he may have had with the ukrainian president. this may have been one of many. the american people deserve to know the truth and we need to get thom bottom of this. >> sounds like a no. >> it needs to be more than just releasing these transcripts. we need the information for the
whistleblower. what is the whistleblower talking about? congress has a right and it's law u that congress needs to know this information and he needs to turn that over. the main point is we need to get to the bottom of this. we need to find the truth. the american people deserve to know the truth this president is putting our national security in jeopardy for his own personal gain and that's what we need to find out and that's what congress needs to do and why we need to take action on this. >> did you speak to nancy pelosi before you came out with this? >> i came out with the decision to make this decision on my own. >> did anybody on the byline speak to nancy pelosi bf they did this? >> we all kind of worked together on h op-ed and before we released it, we came up, informed the speaker of what we were doing. >> sorry, don't mean to interrupt, but nancy pelosi is talking. we appreciate your time. >> must repair and we must heal
and for me -- it is about the rs. i always believe that the arts would bring us together. when we can come together, listen, be inspired, laugh, cry. just enjoy and put our differences aside. that's a very positive thing. and when we hear the battle hymn of the republic, it arouses such emotion in all of us that we are united so i thank atlantic for what used to be called the atlantic monthly when i was in high school so i call it the atlantic monthly. the atlantic for recognizing roles of music and arts play in our lives and i do believe that that is a path that can unify us. one way. the you asked about what? the -- let me just say that last tuesday, last tuesday, september
17th, was institution day. was the anniversary of that day when benjamin franklin came out of independence hall and people said dr. franklin, what do we have? a monarchy or republic. he said republic if we can keep it. a republic if we can keep it. on that very day last week, that tuesday, erupted this iraqable set of facts on institution day. and it was about the ige inspector general. at the office of the director of national intelligence saying that there was a whistleblower complaint. then we learned it was going to be blocked from being presented and that the dni was not going to allow it to come forward. let me say this. i am more experience in intelligence than anybody had, at least 25 years.
i was a member of the committee. i was the top democrat. i was the adam schiff. the majority. ranking member. but that made me a member of the gang of four years ago then exit this show as leader and as speaker. so i have been there for the writing of the laws whistle blowers and further protections for them along the way. i was there for part of writing the bill to establish the aus of national intelligence. that's only since 2004. we didn't have it since then. and that office has its own inspector general. this inspector general is appointed by president bush, president trump, important difference. his own appointee. they're greatly respected for their independence, objectivity and rest. and by law, when a complaint comes from a whistleblower, the inspector general has 14 days to
investigate then the drirector f national intelligence has seven days to report it to the intelligence committees of the commerce. that is the law. it says shell. it doesn't say nay, should. it says shall. that's a very fraught with mean ing word in legislation. but this administration is block ing the dni from conveying that to the intelligence committees. the dni is at the present time, breaking the law. at the direction of the administration. it's really unfortunate. so to the substance of the, we don't know. -- >> well we sort of do. the president has in so many words said that he's raised these questions with the ukrainians. and admitted he intervened on
the quote unquote biden issue. >> if that is the case that the president of the united states would ask a foreign government to assist him in a political way, that would be wrong. >> would it be impeachable? >> let me just say that everything we've been doing up until now is about preserving that republic. that benjamin franklin said republic if we can keep it. and he, that means it's not a monarchy, a system of checks and balances in our constitution. a check on each other. and that, that is our republic. is a dhoksy. it's not a monarchy. the president has said article ii says i can do whatever i want. that is in violation of the
spirit of the institution. now our founders wanted to provide for shall we say some activities that they might not engage in and they put up guardrails but could never suspect that the president of the united states would jump over those. >> i want to widen out the anture and talk about the whole of this presidency, but let me just stay on this for a minute. if what we're describing is accurate and if it's not impeachable, if you're not willing to say it is, what is impeopleable to you? >> i'll be making an announcement at 5:00 today. not here, not now. >> you're more than welcome right now. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's really sad to think that our president wouldn't -- perform an impeachable offense.
it's hard. it's hard to say we've gotten to that place. but the, what would be impeachable offense would be that which is proven in an investigation. >> right. >> the calling for convening a select committee on an impeachment is a process. the beginning of a discovery process, not the end, so you don't have to have enough proof to convict at the outset of the process. and my question i guess is -- >> you said is it impeachable offense and that isn't a verdict. >> given what we know and give p what the president has said, the analogy here is crude, but we seem to be in a situation at the moment in which richard nixon after the watergate break in, said something akin to yeah, i broke into the watergate. i needed to see what the dnc knew. donald trump says out loud what most people say to themselves.
i mean -- and so i'm not going to belabor this forever. >> i think you are. >> no. >> let me just say, in terms of the nixon analogy. the president is making lawlessness a virtue. in our country. and that call, he sort of is trying to export so understand that. so we have several concerns about the president in terms of our differences in policy and i'd love to tell you about all the legislation we have passed we are hope iing the senate wil take up. starting with gun violence. we have a big, wear black tomorrow, gun violence activities on capitol hill and beyond. and around the country. so we have some differences in terms of policy. you might want to know the president called me this morning about gun violence and said that
we were getting close to a solution. >> open parenthetical. what is that call like on a day like today? >> somebody said to me last night, they said give us a surreal moment with about the president. conversations with him. i said it's more like it's always surreal. >> was this a relatively normal call? >> yeah, well, he called to talk about gun violence then segwayed into other things. >> can you give us an indication of what those other things are? >> not right now. but i was concerned just in terms of being global, that the president said i have to get off the phone now because i'm going to go speak at the united nations. it's great. everything's great here. it's great. so i didn't have a chance to listen to his speech. i was too busy so that i could have time to come here, but he said that he called upon the
countries to reject globalism and embrace nationalism. really? really? so again, we have some serious policy differences and in terms of multilateralism and who we are as a country. when i was a girl, young girl, i was a student and went to president kennedy's inauguration. it was freezing cold. much smaller on the east side of the capitol. not the west side. i was a student at the time. and everybody in the world and all of you are too youmg, but read it in the history books, knows that kennedy said to the citizens of america, ask not for what america can do for you, but what you can do for your country. the very next sentence in the speech is what struck me. student of political science and international relations.
the very next sentence he said to the sentences of the world ask not what america can do for you, but what we can do working together for the freedom of mankind. freedom. freedom. but the part this really stuck with me was the working together. no con desession. that multilateralism has been a source of our strength so when i see him embracing nationalism, when i see him questioning our involvement in article five of nato and the rest and i see his actions with afghanistan, we went in multilaterally, but he's coming out unilaterally. then you see why there's pause for questioning among our allies.
they're -- >> beforehand, she said she wants the cello, so this is a victory. but there is according to what quoo we're getting on the screen, a breaking tweet from the president who says that tomorrow they will release a transcript of the call. so if you see that transcript and it is more benign than we've been led b to believe, will you, do you think your caucus might stand down or do you think that the caucus is at a boil? >> no, it's not about that. this is about the institution of the united states and we have many other shall we say candidates from itch peachable offense. but this one is the most understandable by the b public. it's really important to know this. there is no requirement there be a quid pro quo in the conversation. that the president brings up and
wants them to investigation something, that's of his political opponent. that is self-evident that it is not right. don't ask foreign governments to help us in our election. that's what we tried to stop in our election. t wrong. so it's not only about how to make decisions about our foreign policy and global security, it's about undermining the integrity of our election. a, b. i don't know, i don't think there's a grasp on the part of this information that the quid pro quo is not essential to an impeachable offense, but if you have sequence like a couple of days before the president withdrew the bipartisan support for ukraine. bipartisan enthusiastic support for ukraine.
a few days earlier, he withdraws it then makes a statement. president's words weigh tons. weigh tons. and just bringing up the election is bad enough. that there would be a quid pro quo isn't necessarily in the conversation. but in the sequencing. this is not a good thing for a democracy. for the leader of the free world to be talking like that. and i don't know if there are any schools 1r068d. that's why they think lawlessness is a virtue and now they want to export it to another country. >> if i may, it sounds as if you believe this is a very, very serious offense. >> now, let's just put it this way. i ak cemented this invitation a while back. >> just noting as an observer of this conversation. >> i come every year.
>> more or less. >> when i'm invited. because since i was in high school, i read the atlantic monthly. and they taught us if you want to know how to write, you have to read good writing. let's hear it for the atlantic. >> you're incredibly manipulative. >> some people say that. so, so -- so therefore, what would you be asking me if it were today? let's go back when we were happily observing the anniversary of our constitution last tuesday morning. >> yes, but the issue is that i live in the time space continuum and we are, we are here on a crucial day in all seriousness in american history. we could lift up beyond this the question of impeachment if you want by talking about lawlessness for a moment and we were talking about this a little
bit backstage. do you think the president understands right from wrong? no, it's a very serious question. do you think he has the capacity to understand that he might? this phone call happened as we think, just using the phone call as an example, it happened the day after mueller testified. there's some object lessons in the whole mueller case for a president about talking to foreign powers about intervention and elections. do you think that and you probably have a dozen or two dozen other examples where not sure if the president's moral compass is true north. do you think based on your now significant two and a half year plus exposure to him that he understands right from wrong in the way that -- >> two years and nine months. it's 13 and a half months until you know. let me say that the president is
responsible for his actions. whether he has any scruples or understands right from wrong. certainly has made some decisions that we call that into question. here we are. our found eers wanted to proteca republic that did not want a monarchy and again, they established a constitution that would prevent that from happening. guardrails. they didn't suspect that everyone would be exemplary so they had carvings and they could not have expected people would leave nor when they were write ing the bills on the director of national intelligence responsibility shell do we ever think that the director of national intelligence would break the law?
would break the law? so it is a -- legal or not legal. and in some cases, right from wrong. i think we should start our healing process. because it's going to take a while. let's be thinking in a positive way as we go forward. 13 and a half months, now it's like a third. 13 and a third months, because it's going to take some positive repair. in addition to national healing for us to get to a place and it's absolutely, absolutely essential that the president be held accountable. no one is above the law and separate from the issues, concerns we're talking about here, that on the policy that we have a clear discussion about whose vision for america is the one we want to go down and that's absolutely essential he
not be re-elected president of the united states. you are folked like a laser on this 13 and a half month. you're focused on that. you are a very smart political player and very adept at strategy and tactics. the question is do you understand putting issues of institutionalty and law breaking aside, do you see peril in going down the path that now two-thirds of your caucus wants to go down? is that what we're talking about? a political calculation that impeachment will turn, impeachment process will turn president trump into a mart ir and activate his base even more? >> nancy pelosi didn't say
directly she will be calling for the impeachment process, the inquiry into president trump, she said a lot. she said it's not necessarily about this particular transcript that the president said, which the president said he will release. she said it's a body of anchors that they have been considering and that the president needs to understand on this transcript it's not just about a quid pro quo. we're also getting news from adam schiff from the whistleblower has asked to appear before his committee, the intelligence committee. he's just needing to or the whistleblower needs to go to the acting dni to fig figure out how to do so. we are going to watch for that. in the meantime, gill, dragt lawmaker from california is still with us. one of f the cosigners of f that "washington post" op sed calling for the president's impeachment. >> i think she's right.
the president is making lawlessness a virtue. she's also right in that this is really coming down to protecting our elections. all our agencies confirmed that russia meddled in our 2016 presidential election and now we have the president using his office in order to entice a foreign government to investigate one of his political opponents in the 2020 presidential election. we can't allow that to happen. we cannot take this anymore from the president. and i hope this whistleblower, i hope the dni allows this whistleblower to come forward and testify in front of the intelligence committee. it's not just about one act. him releasing one transcript from one conversation is not going to solve this issue and make it go away. the american people deserve to know the truth that's what we need to do. we need to find the truth of what the president was doing.
>> it certainly sounds like she's going to be calling for an inquiry. said it's not about the quid pro q quo. is that what she's saying now? >> i'm not going to predict what the speaker is going to do. i'm going to go to the meeting at 4:00 and hear what she has to say and speak up for what i believe in and what needs to be done, but i will not guess or try to predict what the speaker is going to ask. say. >> are you concerned it's having with none of your republican colleagues? >> it would be nice if the republican colleagues would kind of join us. hopefully they would see this as well. this as a threat the to our national security. hopefully we'll keep urging and simply speaking with them and hopefully they will see the light of day on this issue. but we're going to do what we need to do to find out the truth. thank you very much for joining us and for sticking around. we appreciate it. joining me now is kristen
welker, white house correspondent for nbc news. you are here because the united nations is in session. seems like the president's mind isn't on the united nations right now. >> it's not. it was remarkable to see that tweet. he had been signalling he was leaning toward releasing the transcript of his call with the president of ukraineful now he's made that official. we're trying to figure out how that's going to take place, but i think you hit the nail on the head at the top which is that nancy pelosi was just asked is this enough, is this going to be enough to essentially quell some democrats who are calling for impeachment and you heard her say no. the bottom line is they want to see the complaint. they are saying that look, the transcript is one thing. but by all accounts, this complaint goes far beyond just this phone call. so they want to know what is specifically in this complaint. adam shift wants to hear from the whistleblower. >> says he'll go in front of the committee. i'm saying he as a crutch.
the whistle blow e, the person, i don't know if it's a he, is is requesting guidance from the acting dni and schiff says they could get the testimony as soon as this week. >> and that is also remarkable because there's been so much discussion about this. >> will the white house try to block that? >> the white house has tried to block frankly a whole range of people from testifying on capitol hill. they're blocking the complaint from being turned over to congress, so presumably, they would try to block the whistleblower before going to congress as well. they have taken a con fron tagal stance as it relates to these investigations and it's almost pushing house democrats in the direction of impeachment because privately, white house officials say the only way we're turning over these documents is if in fact there's an impeachment inquiry. >> the conventional wisdom is that the president wants this fight. is that true? >> i think, i think he probably has mixed feelings about it. on the one hand, i think politically speaking, he has people who are surrounding him saying things like if you're
impeach ed, then you're going t be re-elected. but i think he doesn't want his name linked to the i word. and so i think -- >> he's a man complaining about not getting a noble prize at the u.n. >> so yes, there's a potential political benefit here, but he's concern ed about what it would mean for him in the husry books. and as you know, donald trump is someone who cares about this. >> will they use all their power to not allow democrats to get a hold of what they need? will they continue to tell aides, will they continue to tell private citizens not to testify in front of congress? are they prepared to that i can this fight to court? >> by all accounts, that's exactly what's going to happen. you have adam schiff, chuck schumer, other democratic leaders essentially saying we are willing to subpoena these documents. these witnesses, because we need them in order to get a full picture and so they're prepared to go to court. there's fo independeno indicati
white house is backing down, but everything changes if there's an inquiry. >> when it comes to contempt or any other issue that might go to the ag, do they believe that ag barr will be on their side no matter what? does the president have in ag barr what he did not in sessions and what he said he wanted, which was a protector? >> well we have seen instances in which this attorney general seems to be protecting the president and this is a case in point. because he's effectively made the decision to protect. the complaint. will that continue though? i'm not sure because there are going to be tests every day as it relates to this i think. democrats kobt to push for more information despite the fact they're going to get the transcript tomorrow. so it will be a real question to see whether the attorney general continues down that path. >> i wonder if in ten years, we'll back and say did this really happen? did we really live through this? >> and how did we all survive given how little sleep we get.
>> thank you. and joining me now is democratic presidential candidate tom steyer who made impeaching president trump his number one issue. tom, it's wonderful to see you. do you think nancy pelosi, do you think that the writing is on wall for her? that she'll announce an inquiry tonight? >> well, i don't know for sure, but we can see in fact is the rush of democratic congress people to come out publicly for impeachment over the last week. i mean it has gone up by over 25 people today. so we can see in fact that this new revelation about the ukraine has really changed the tenor of this whole conversation and in fact, the democratic members of the house are you barrelling towards impeachment and how the speaker reacts is up to her but i listen to her, too, and i was reading the tea leaves. sounds like she's going that way. >> you're smiling. >> well listen, as you know,
katy, i started the need to impeach movement two years ago on the thesis that this is the most corrupt president in american history and we knew it two years ago. more than 8 million people signed that petition asking congress to hold this president to account. so to me, this is actually the grass roots of the united states, the people of the united states, getting a win, which is their voice being heard and it will have public televised hearings so that we all can hear what's been going on so we all can judge this administration and this president's behavior so yes, when i see the people of the united states win and when i see the country stand up for what's right, yeah, i get a big smile on my face. that's what i live for. >> do you think it helps your campaign? >> i don't know. look, my thesis of my campaign is that this government has failed. the corporations have bought the government and we need to take
it back for the people. that we need to get back to the government of by and for the people and if we do that, we're going to get all policies that americans in both parties want. so when i see a grass roots win, when i see the people of the united states come together and push for what's right and have the people inside washington, d.c. listen to them, you know i think that's a win for the people of the united states. that's really what i root for and yeah, i do have a big smile on my face today. >> when you're out on the road and you're talking to democratic vote ers, are they all democrat voters? are you taking to vind voters? do you hear from republican voters out there who have voted for trump in the past but are now a little tired of it? and curious about you? what have you heard from them on impeachment? >> our research over the last two years says the same thing whether people supported mr. trump, opposed mr. trump or which party they're in. they always say the same things when presented with the
evidence. i didn't know that. he's a liar and a cheat. if i did that, i'd go to jail. so in fact, i put my trust in the american people. in the wisdom and compassion and courage of the american people. put together, we're the smartest one person in the world and that's why i work at the grass roots. that's why i push for the government of, by and for the people and that's why i said televised hearings. let the american people see what's been going on then all of the lawmakers in washington, d.c. will respond to us. >> do you think the transcript is enough? just the transcript that the white house says they will release? >> no, look. that's why we have hearings. i was absolutely committed to the impeachment and removal of this lawless president long before i heard of his relationship with the ukraine.
speaker pelosi was talking about need for something that's been proven by an investigation and that's what an impeachment hearing is, but goodness gracious, bob mueller did an investigation and proved this president obstructed justice. michael cohen is going to jail for something he did at the behest of mr. trump. we've had investigations. this is not first one. >> i don't want to interrupt, but i have a little bit of news from nbc news. we can report now that later today, house speaker nancy pelosi will announce a formal impeachment inqueuery according to two democratic sources close to her. it's not clear right now about any decisions being made on a select committee. but she again will endorse the idea publicly of an impeachment inquiry into the president of the united states. that is a mo mentous move. she said she would not support it unless she believed it was a
bipartisan affair and so far, this does not look like a bipartisan affair. are you concerned about what it might mean for 2020 politics or do you believe this is more important than that? >> katy, i think in the big questions in life and in this question in particular, what's important to do is try and do the right thing. none of us can predict the future. it's uncertain. the only thing we can do when faced the biggest questions like whether a president of the united states is a criminal who for the good of the country needs to be removed from office, we should look at ourselves and ask ourselves what is the right thing to do and do that. my experience in life, i've said this before. my father prosecuted the nazis at nuremberg. when you see something really wrong, you've got to fight it every day. that's what the speaker's doipg. i don't think it's a question of knowing the future or how that's going to turn out. what we can know is we're doing the right thing as hard as we can on behalf of american
people. >> sorry to step on that last part. thank you so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> joining me now from delaware where we're expegting to hear from joe biden soon is mike memoli. mike, the guidance that the biden campaign was putting out earlier had him walking up to the line of impeachment. but not crossing it. will that calculus change now that the reporting is out that nancy pelosi will open an impeachment inquiry? >> it's always been interesting how the former vice president approaches this question of impeachment. on saturday, a number of us asked him if simply the reporting that was out at the time represented enough in his mind to bring him to that step, say he would also call for impeachment. what he said then was that the house should be able to continue to investigate it and base ed o what they were able to find, they may have to go ahead with impeachment, but said i'm not
make iing that judgment now. these developments are happening so quickly now u that even the guidance that biden advisers were giving us a few hours ago took him up to the line saying it may be inevitable if the white house was not cooperating with the house investigation. ht just on ukraine but array of investigations they are conducting in the judiciary committee. i think at this point he may join pelosi in that call. he looks at this, similar to how pelosi looks at it. tom steyer was quick to call for impeachment. sin i can could say they were doing that to appeal to leftwing of the party, to the democratic base. biden always wants to approach from the view of somebody that may be leading the democratic ticket, doesn't want vulnerable members in swing districts in a position of disagreeing with the standard bearer of the party on that. i think we're seeing a ground swell, seeing the speaker perhaps herself join that ground swell. it makes it easier for the former vice president to join as well.
>> what would it mean for the vice president to join, what would it mean for the moderate wing of the democratic presidential field? >> reporter: i think what you're seeing here is the fact that he knows members, the front line members, 40 members that won in republican districts in the house last cycle in 2018, a lot of them joe biden kpacampaignedr in midterms, we're in a political position, something now the former vice president can do. katie, the conversation is more complicated by the fact it is now very much personal involving the former vice president himself. consider the fact that if we get to the point where articles of impeachment are drafted, democrats may either explicit or or implicitly include the vice president in the remarks. the fact that the president of the united states may have been using the powers of his office to try to hurt a political opponent in the vice president, i think that also complicates the way the vice president approaches him. he doesn't want members in position of having to defend
him. this is larger for the vice president. this is about what he has consistently called abuse of power. in the past he was reluctant to call for impeachment in part because he knows he has a different role to play as a candidate for office himself. his view of impeachment is electing joe biden as president. but i think we often hear signals of where the vice president is thinking when he speaks at fund-raisers, which the press is often invited to, every event. a few days ago, last night in philadelphia, he said listen, i'm not going to take a punch, not deliver a punch back. that's what we may hear when he speaks in the next 10, 15 minutes. >> thank you very much. we will be watching for that. joining me, campaign manager for bernie sanders. it has been a packed day, full of important people. you are one of them, sir. bernie sanders says he called for impeachment three months ago. what is the campaign's reaction today? >> most corrupt president in our modern lifetime, showing again another instance how he corrupts
our government. i think it leads us to more serious conversations about impeachment inquiry. i urge fellow democrats to think about what articles of impeachment should say, write it in language so you can more effectively sell it to the american public, so people understand what the case is and quite frankly as you build that case against donald trump, all cards should be on the table. you're looking at a president engaged in a massive self dealing, used the presidency to enrich himself, in violation of the emoluments clause. should that be on the table? i think so. as you make this case, know you're trying to move the public and i think he can effectively do so. >> are you using this on the campaign trail? the 2020 democrats beyond tom steyer haven't been talking too much about impeachment. there were calls for it as news has arisen, but day to day they talk about policy. do you expect to be talking about this more or less going forward? >> i think that you have to be able to chew gum and walk at the
same time, senator sanders believes if we shifted the focus on impeachment, didn't make the case on donald trump how he betrayed the working class of the country, we will not effectively be doing our job defeating him. you have to make that argument convincingly. that he sold a pack of lies to the working class, that he would stand up to corporate special interests. that is, in fact, what he sold his whole campaign on, that he would drain the swamp, couldn't be bought by special interest. if you can't make that argument effectively and all we do is focus on impeachment, yeah. i think we're going to end up regretting it. >> the president has tweeted about this. he says the democrats are so focused on hurting the republican party and the president that they're unable to get anything done because of it, including legislation on gun safety, lowering of prescription drug prices, infrastructure, et cetera. i don't read that to willy-nilly read whatever the president is tweeting. i don't think there's news value in every one of his tweets. >> katie, that's the arsonist
laughing at the fire there. he is standing in the way of all of this, he is like ha ha, look, you can't get it done. if you wanted to get that stuff done, he can point the finger at himself. >> it is an insight into how he is going to play this, what he is going to say to voters. >> he is a master of distraction. at any moment saying look over there, don't look at me and my lies and look at the argument how i mislead the american public, how i have not faithfully executed office of president, the oath he took. yeah, he is the master of distraction for sure. >> seems to be one issue the democrats are completely united on, almost at least, almost all democrats. we'll see what joe biden has to say coming up. faiz, i want you to come back, talk about the wealth tax and what it means for the campaign. come back on a day we're not swamped with impeachment news. we appreciate it. >> thank you, katie. appreciate it. joining me, heidi press bell
a. what reporting do you have. >> reporter: we have two sources close to the speaker, later today after the all caucus meeting she will announce a normal impeachment inquiry of president trump. now, we do not know whether this will take the form of what is called a select committee where the speaker would hand pick various committee members who would draw up a report that would then be preferrrooefrd re judiciary committee. that's something she wants to leave up to the discussion of caucus members. it appears according to reporting she believes in her conversations with members that her conference, her caucus is ready now to take this next formal step. so at a minimum, what will this do? it will allow the committees to have expedited legal proceedings, to obtain documents potentially more easy. what we know is that we have this issue here of the ukraine
pressure campaign, katie, that broke the damn, but there are multiple inquiries under way on capitol hill that the speaker and committee chairs want to see to fruition. so there will be robust debate now how exactly to materialize this going forward, but this just into nbc news that the speaker does intend to take that next step towards a formal impeachment inquiry. >> the speaker said previously she was not going to pursue impeachment unless it was a bipartisan affair. she left herself some wiggle room on that, but this clearly looks like it will not be bipartisan. haven't heard from a single republican supporting this idea. justin amash switched parties to support the idea, is no longer a republican. how does she feel about this potentially being an investigation and then a vote maybe down the line, strictly on party lines, only to go off and die in the senate. >> this is where it is important for the public to understand the
difference between an impeachment inquiry and actual articles of impeachment. just because the speaker is announcing that they're opening a formal probe does not say anything or predestine what articles would be or information that would come out in the doris of the investigation. these committees have been stymied in a very extraordinary way in terms of getting witnesses and documents. we have the president's tax returns which are still pending reviewed by congress, there's a lot of information that could still come to light. and i would imagine that the speaker is expecting that that could have impact on republicans as well. >> thank you very much. thank you for bringing us your reporting. kristin welker is still here. kristin, just to repeat, nancy pelosi will make an announcement at 5:00 p.m., meeting with
democratic leaders and democratic caucus at 4:00 p.m. nbc news is reporting as heidi said she will open an impeachment inquiry. what is the white house saying? >> white house just responded, we had a fiery tweet from president trump. i got this tweet. the democrats continue to weaponize politics when they should be working on behalf of constituents which is nothing new. president trump is working hard on behalf of our country here in new york city while they continue to scream the word impeachment. nothing new here. >> is this a good or bad day for the president politically speaking? >> remains to be seen. some believe this will guarantee his re-election. the president himself is more torn. he will now have the i word attached to him. i think that's not something that he wants. i think it will make it very difficult to legislate. i think that it is mixed. but it is a remarkable turn of events, look how we got here.
nancy pelosi was in cysistent. it gives you a sense how many democrats want it and the bow has been broken. >> good or bad politically doesn't equal the same as good or bad morally or good or bad for this country. kristin, thank you very much. there will be a lot of folks out there, ali velshi will argue with the democrats going forward, drawing a line, regardless what it does politically in 2020, drawing a clear line to say this is what we will not accept from a president in terms of that person's behavior, >> irrespective of outcome. the fortunes of the country don't rest on what's good for a political party, it rests on whether or not people are looking at the constitution and protecting it. so it is definitely an interesting development. the