tv Deadline White House MSNBC September 25, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
2020 candidate. we expect president trump will address the impeachment inquiry and the memo of his july phone call with the president of ukraine. thank you for watching. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york where we are moments away from the first presidential press conference since house speaker nancy pelosi's announcement that she would begin impeachment proceedings into donald trump. and, donald trump, if you're listening, everything you say may be used against you in the court of public opinion. donald trump manifesting his own destiny in terms of the impeachment proceedings now underway in congress by attempting to run a political hit job operation on joe biden and his son by asking a foreign leader to investigate them. the white house revealing in notes today from the president's call with the president of ukraine that trump pushed the leader of a foreign country to work with his personal attorney
rudy giuliani and his a.g. william barr to investigate the bidens. it's that extraordinary act, one that donald trump does not deny that's at the center of both the impeachment proceedings and the whistleblower complaint that we've just learned is being made available to members of the house intel committee as we speak. that whistle-blower complaint also behind mounting tensions between the acting director of national intelligence and the white house. "washington post" reporting in the last couple hours that, quote, the acting director of national intelligence threatened to resign over concerns that the white house might attempt to force him to stonewall congress when he testifies thursday about an explosive whistleblower complaint about the president. that's according to current and former u.s. officials. the revelation reflects the extraordinary tensions between the white house and the nation's highest ranking intel official over a matter that has triggered impeachment proceedings against president trump. now moments ago maguire denied
that he threatened to quit saying, quote, i've never quit anything in my life, and i'm not going to start now. but the reporting raises the stakes for his testimony tore up on capitol hill where he may be asked to testify under oath about any clashes he's had with the white house. that breaking news coming in the wake of a cascade of bombass from the president himself today. donald trump's communication strategy amounts to whatever the opposite of surgical is. he came in like a wrecking ball this afternoon sitting alongside the foreign leader in question ukrainian president zelensky. railing against hillary clinton and her emails and seeking to relitigate the origins of the russia investigation. the breaking news around the president and ukraine is where we start today with some of our favorite reporters and friends. with us from "washington post," which is on fire, national political reporter robert costa and white house reporter ashley parker. former assistant director for
counter intelligence at the fbi frank figliuzzi. with us at the table nbc news correspondent cara lee. former aid to the george w. bush white house and state department elise jordan. plus the former chief spokesman for the justice department matt miller. let me start with "the washington post" reporters who join us, ashley parker and robert costa to both of you. take us through what you and your colleagues are reporting this hour about that whistleblower complaint at the center, really the origins of the impeachment, if you will, being transmitted as we speak to at least one of the intelligence committees. robert, we'll start with you. >> nicole, i'm here outside of the house of representatives just a few steps away. and they're reviewing this whistle-blower complaint starting at 4:00 p.m. today. and this all comes ahead of the acting dni coming to capitol hill on thursday. and there is much concern in both democrat and republican camps about whether he will be candid, what he will reveal about the extent of this whistleblower complaint. and "the washington post" my
colleagues reveal in their report in significant tensions inside of this administration about how to proceed. there are attentions about whether to release that transcript or not earlier today. whether to release the whistle-blower complaint to the committees. this is a fight at almost every level. >> bob costa, what are you hearing about the strategy behind releasing the white house version of notes from the call with zelensky that doesn't amount to anything close to an exoneration of the conduct in question. if anything, it's back to the mueller report where donald trump and rudy giuliani believe that by constantly hurling mud into the media landscape by appearing on fox news they can muddy things up. that doesn't seem to be working as well with the ukraine scandal. >> here's what happened. the white house officials there weren't eager to release these transcript notes at all. but they were under pressure from some senate republican
who's said, look, privately they said to the white house we need to see these notes, they need to see this transcript. other republicans were telling the white house don't move on this. you're going to set a precedent for the office of the presidency that's unhelpful for not only you but future presidents. and the so there was another fight yesterday after the lunch, this is the right thing to do and they wanted to try to get ahead of it in their own view even if it did not fully exonerate president trump in any way even in the view of most republicans. >> so ashley parker, donald trump read the mueller report and we're pretty sure he didn't here where i sit and thought it totally exonerated him. tell he how this transcript does anything resembling that. this is president zelensky the leader of ukraine who donald trump asked to investigate joe biden and his son. he says
to the president, i would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. we are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps, specifically we're almost ready
to buy more javelins from the u.s. for defense purposes. the
president, i would like you to do us a favor, though. i'm going to stop there because what are we talking about? donald trump there in the transcript released by this white house, not exactly a crackerjack communications operation if i had may say so myself tying military aid to a favor. there it is. >> what you just out lined gets to one of the central debates that has been roiling the white house until a decision was made yesterday to release the transcript. you had a president who on the whole he wasn't happy about the whistle-blower complaint. but he believed that releasing the transcript would exonerate him, would be exculpatory. and there are a number of aides in the white house after they had seen the complaint. but frankly -- or not the complaint, rather, the transcript. frankly before they had seen the transcript who sort of didn't believe the president's telling that the call was, quote,
unquote, perfect and totally appropriate. they worried that putting it out would be problematic for the president it. >> wouldn't be as good for him as he expected. as bob said, would set a very dangerous precedent. you had a real internal debate. you had secretaries mnuchin and pompeo arguing against it privately and also publicly. they went on the sunday shows and said it would be inappropriate to release private conversations between world leaders. hinting that he would release the transcript, confirming details of the private conversation in the media and the one thing that aides have expressed is that you can sort of view this week almost as a harbinger for the impeachment fight that the white house is now looking at, which is a white house that is reactive, that is scrambling to respond to a president that does not have a particular clear strategy, keep in mind this is a white house who this morning blasted out their talking point to basically all democratic lawmakers on the
hill. and -- >> it's that crackerjack talk i'm talking about. >> and tried to recall them. the president was basically daring democrats to impeach him. but he never actually thought they would follow through on that dare. so what happened yesterday changes everything. and the white house is still trying to figure out what it means and what their path forward. >> so, frank figliuzzi, i think ashley and bob have the perfect reporting behind how we got here. but let's stand still for a second before the president takes to the podium and says god knows what. let me just sort of isolate two more things that were in this transcript. the president says to the leader of a foreign
country. the other thing there's a lot of talk about biden's son that biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecutions, if you could look into it.
sounds horrible to me. the united states has been very good to ukraine. i wouldn't say it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good, but the united states has been very good to ukraine. and then zelensky says the next prosecutor general to look into this situation specifically to the company, trump says i'll have mr. giuliani give you a call, and i am also going to have attorney general barr
call. we will get to the bottom of it. i am sure you will figure it out. what else do we need to know? donald trump asking a new foreign leader to open an investigation that based on "wall street journal" reporting, our reporting, has been opened and closed with nothing damaging, discovered, or uncovered about the bidens? donald trump asking the leader of a foreign country to talk to rudy. i'm not even sure that he practices law in any place other than fox news. donald trump making very clear that he would be much happier with the ukraine if they did his
political bidding. >> yeah. this is just, as you say, one more disturbing piece to just jump out at us from the summary of the call. no matter what attorney general barr thought he was signing up for when he raised his hand and vod to be trump's a.g., i don't think he ever thought that he'd be uttered in the same breath as rudy giuliani as just another henchman for the president. essentially a.g. barr because we need to know what in god's name the president may have asked him to do with this. and don't forget it was the department of justice under a.g. barr that weighed in and told the acting dni, hey, you don't need to report that whistle-blower complaint to congress. so do we have a situation where the attorney general is now involved in some kind of criminal conspiracy a quid pro quo type offer promise it a
foreign government, and then in the evening is making a decision about that very whistle-blower complaint not going to congress. a big problem for this attorney general who seems not to care about his true role as head of the justice department. >> well, let's unpack those separately because i think his role in keeping the whistle-blower complaint from being transmitted to congress seems to have been litigated. it would appear that the whistle-blower complaint is going to congress. but are you saying that we should understand on what grounds? and the other question i would have for you, frank, is it's in some of the reporting today that the i.c., i.g., the intelligence community's inspector general who was in receipt of this complaint referred the entire matter to the justice department for investigation. and the justice department said, nah, nothing here. nothing explain to me how hillary clinton's emails were referred by the same person, the i.c./i.g. to the justice department which launched a pretty in-depth investigation.
and this, the president notes in the white house's possession that they put out to all the media doesn't justify an investigation or so says the doj? >> yeah. so, look, the bottom line is i can't explain it to you because that's how troubling all of this is. there is a real conflict of interest that's developed at the attorney general level and with this department of justice. and it's part of the continuing erosion of our institutions, our critical institutions. it's also a reflection, nicole thartion we've lost the concept of shame in this government. this is a period we are going to look back on and tell our grand kids about and we're going to say, you know, there was a time in america when people were shamed for disgraceful conduct. we had a president one time that resigned in disgrace because he knew he had brought that imon his office. we've got a government right now where shame simply doesn't exist. you can dig into the law, the corruption statues, the federal election laws and we can debate
whether this conversation that we're hearing about this has violated that or not. but one thing is crystal clear. the president of the united states has brought shame on his office because he's admitted he asked a foreign government to intervene against his adversary in one of our elections and the concept of shame has gone out the door. this attorney general is now wrapped up in that for whatever reason that may be. >> so, matt miller, we've had a lot of conversations, all of us have, around this table about why barr does what he does. but what he does he's done in full view. we've seen plenty of it. and we've all reached a pretty early conclusion, even before i think some of his former justice department colleagues, people who had worked with him in the past that he has clearly for whatever reason as frank said, drank the kool-aid or whatever you want to use for it. and when he talked about the trump campaign being spied on, when he pre-spun the mueller report. when he wrote a summary without letting the summaries that the mueller team had created speak for themselves.
those actions have consequences, and the consequences donald trump says to a world leader about you this. i will have mr. giuliani give you a call and i am also going to have attorney general barr call. we will get to the bottom of it. i'm sure you will figure it out. so, put barr aside. i don't know what he did here. we know that he gave maguire some pause about transmitting the whistle-blower complaint to congress, its rightful recipient. and we know that, at least based on "the washington post" reporting was part of the resistance to him testifying in a fulsome way. but what do you think there is left to know about barr's role for this president that donald trump wanted zelensky to have barr call him? what do you think donald trump wanted barr to do with zelensky? >> i'll tell you what donald trump thinks. that's always what he wanted. >> did he want to sit there and share intel? what do you think -- >> i suspect that donald trump
either directly or through an intermediary at the white house has asked the justice department to conduct its own investigation into joe biden and hunter biden and that he'll do the same. and in his mind he has rudy giuliani out as his unofficial investigator and his unofficial emissary to a foreign government asking them, pressuring them, coercing and extorting them to investigate joe biden. he wanted the justice department to do the same thing and he thought they could all get together in cahoots and share it back with him. smear a domestic political opponent. i think what it goes to is how far the justice department has fallen under bill barr where you see an a.g. in the middle who has his name invoked in this matter by the president who refuse when did asked by kamala harris in a senate judiciary hearing early this year refuse to answer the question whether the white house had asked him to investigate anyone who hasn't recused himself from this, who blocked the whistle-blower complaint from being transmitted
to congress and who squelched this inquiry -- this referral for criminal investigation without interviewing anyone in the white house other than the people that took the notes to find out if they were accurate, didn't consider a special counsel, didn't do anything that might've led to a full investigation, just squelched it entirely. >> where do you think we are, carol, in terms of what we don't know? we only know about this because of great reporting that you've done, extraordinary reporting from bob and ably and their colleagues and a whistle-blower, one person who went to the intelligence community, inspector general, because he didn't like what he was seeing. but donald trump talks to an alarming number of foreign leaders. donald trump is obsessed, we heard it in the sound today that we spared you because we are going to dip into that press conference, obsessed with hillary clinton's emails, the origins of the russia investigation. he's obsessed with relit gagt an
investigation by his own description exonerated him. so what do we think we don't know? what are you looking for? what are you seeking? >> one of the biggest questions is what else is in the whistle-blower's complaint. what other elements are there to it? does it involve other calls with other leaders? does it involve other actions that were taken either by the president or by rudy giuliani or anybody else? interestingly, one of the things that somebody, a former white house official who is still close to the white house said to me is this the first time they heard the president talk on a phone call like this? because this is just kind of how he talks. and this is the way that -- and so it makes you wonder, you know, what else when you look at it as we got to see today, has the same sorts of overtones to it. the other thing that trump folks are all putting forward an aggressive face. there's some real concern about rudy giuliani and the
vulnerabilities there, specifically because there is no other way to spin him other than a political ally of the president and a personal fixer, lawyer, whatever, and that that among more than anything in the transcript or the notes of the call has raised concerns, and there is a lot of worry about where that's headed, how much, what was he doing, he is trying to cloak himself in the state department saying he was, you know, he was doing it at their behest and how true is that. and so there is that's something that also is -- >> that was an incredible moment. let me play that for everybody. i also want to ask ashley and bob about some of their reporting. but let me play that moment you talk about. >> do you know who i did it at the request of it? the state department. i never talked to a ukrainian official until the state department called me and asked me to do it. and then i reported every conversation back to them. and i'm a pretty good lawyer, just a country lawyer, but it's all here, right here.
the first call from the state department. >> so laura borrowed that face from sean hannity who wore that face when rudy sat there and said michael cohen reimbursed all the money to the porn stars and through the law firm. and sean was like oh. i mean, so laura borrowed that face. that's the -- what are you getting ahead of rudy face. >> and there are people i'm sure bob and ashley have talked to them too around the president who are just like stop talking. there is just the more that he says, it's just it creates more problems and they don't need any more problems right now. >> the state department's about to be in receipt, i would assume, bob costa, of a subpoena. i mean, if rudy giuliani is saying that the united states state department sent him to the ukraine to dig up dirt on joe biden, i imagine that something that the congress is going to want to know all about. didn't rudy just expose them to
congressional subpoenas, bob? >> there is concern within the state department and some unhappiness according to associates of secretary pompeo about whether giuliani has put a real problem in the state department's lap about were they involved in directing this at all. and you hear democrats asking giuliani to perhaps being called to testify. republicans aren't rallying to that point at all. the real challenge here is that rudy giuliani so often is hiding in plain sight about his own strategy, as a reporter who talks to him often, he tells me all the time when i ask him do you have the president's blessing for everything you're doing? he says i wouldn't use the term blessing, but he says i don't do anything without talking to my client first. so it's president trump's personal lawyer who is in this personal and political gray zone. is it for the president of the united states just mr. donald j. trump? where do those lines get blurred. and if you're in the state department and other agencies,
these have real consequences because the president may argue, well, he's just arguing on my behalf. but others see him maybe doing state craft which is outside of the line. >> this would be exactly where impeachment is going to be a lot more dangerous for donald trump than the mueller probe. the dualer probe took place behind closed doors. witnesses were rushed in through delivery entrances. no one knew who was coming and going. and impeachment proceeding takes place on roadblock television coverage with witnesses like rudy giuliani who will have to answer questions. when you scream, yeah, i called the code red, but pompeo knew about it, those could have devastating consequences in terms of maybe even turning some of the few republicans who are still in congress who still have a memory chip about what their jobs used to be pre-trump that this is not how it's supposed to work. >> well, you're right. all the constraints and parameters of a methodical, criminal, you know, independent special counsel investigation. those are out the door. i would pay for tickets to watch
rudy giuliani get questioned on the hill on this because it can't go well for the president. if he's throwing state department officials under the bus and some of them are career officials, rest assured, they will defend themselves against rudy. in fact, even in an earlier statement on another network, rudy had said something much less significant than the switch was, hey, someone at state told me that a ukrainian official was trying to get a hold of me, and could they give him my contact info? that's not serving as an emissary for the state department. that state department is saying, hey, some guy wants to talk to you. do you want to talk to him, very different. i'd love for him to try to cover his tracks on that and state department officials defend themselves and then see barr called for what, if anything he did on the whistleblower and ukraine. >> far less friendly to donald trump.
i mean, sort of the wrap on mueller was that even in coming down and explaining and writing a confusing report that he'd obstructed justice, but because he couldn't defend himself from a criminal indictment, they couldn't write a criminal indictment. i mean, no one could really boil that down to a maga hat. this one impeachment on capitol hill, it is as claire mccaskill and others say over and over again, at its core, a political exercise where the bottom line, the bumper sticker is donald trump tried to get a foreign government to bury biden. full stop. here's the evidence. he just released it today. >> i think they have two problems. one, this is so easy to understand. you look at this transcript and in this transcript alone it is an impeachable act. you don't need to have the quid pro quo, but the quid pro quo is there in this transcript, and it's there in the reporting we've seen from "the washington post" and others. >> and it's not a transcript. these are notes from a call released by the white house. this is the best of the call. >> that's the best of the call. and what i was going to say the
other problem is he has is the witnesses in this case are not just the people who are close to him. there are people all over the bureaucracy. if you look at the reporting at the state department. rudy giuliani's calls went deep into the state department. he was talking to two different ambassadors. the whistleblowers apparently someone who was at the nsc. there are people who are concerned about what they say inside the government who aren't necessarily loyal to donald trump. when these scandals blow up from a minor controversy into a full down scandal that can take down the leader of any institution, it's because people inside the institution stop feeling the loyalty to the person and they start worrying about their own reputation and their own future and they start to talk that. may be where we are here. >> ashley parker, i want to ask you something about the white house was involved in trying to get this whistleblower complaint to congress. is there some recognition that stonewalling isn't a blanket strategy? or were they still trying to sort of fend off nancy pelosi? take me inside who and what the
white house thinks at this point it can still manipulate in terms of leverage. >> well, stonewalling for them has been an effective strategy up to this point. but with the whistleblower complaint and the ukrainian issue as we were discussing, it's a lot less nebulous than some of what mueller was trying to uncover. it is a call between president trump and the president of the ukraine. and so as sort of the news emerged, there was a difference -- and, again, republicans didn't criticize the president publicly but privately they were very much communicating to the white house this week earlier this week in the run-up to today's decision, today's release, that your position is untenable. you have to show something, you have to release something. you have to find some way to explain some of this away. so you have that kind of rare private -- you know, it is private but that rare private pressure from republicans that the white house often doesn't feel as strongly. you had a president who kind of
wanted this out because he believed perhaps incorrectly that it made him look good. >> in what say some like, how did he look good? >> i think he thought there was not a direct quid pro quo. >> wouldn't he google, like, impeachment must have a quid pro quo? where did that come from? this is literally like going online to find out where your rash came from. you don't need a quid pro quo to be impeached. why is that a thing for trump? >> well, and i will say, so he thought that was good for him. he also thought that some of the attention that this whole issue would focus on joe biden and his son was a positive. that was an issue. he and obviously rudy giuliani have been trying to get in the public consciousness. it's worth noting that giuliani apparently today has been saying to allies on the hill we just need to get through today, and then we can start pushing the biden/hunter ukraine line again.
there is also a sense, but it is mixed that we've heard this before, but the impeachment by the democrats is good for the president because they will overreach politically. but i do need to say that in the white house and in the president's orbit, this is tempered by a sense of not just talk of impeachment. this is real. that means there's a process that, means this is a lot harder for the white house to push back on. it means more things may be revealed. at the very least regardless of how the senate decides to handle what the house ultimately does, it means that it will take up all of the oxygen of the remaining year. people have said the first victim will be usmca. the president is going to get no legislation done. finally there is the concern from people who know him that like the mueller report, getting impeached or even just this process is the sort of thing that drives the president crazy makes him behave erratically and begets further fires they have to put out. >> i just want to remind our viewers this picture on the left side of your screen is donald
trump's any moment now press conference. >> it was supposed to start at 4:00. it's not the first time we will see him today. it's the first time any of you will see him in this hour in a very, very long time. we are bringing it to you because these are the first comments from donald j. trump since nancy pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against him would begin around this hour yesterday. donald trump probably won't be revealing
in his answers as ashley just said. we expect him to try to turn this back into an attack on the bidens. here he is. >> thank you very much. well, thank you all for being here. we've had a tremendous three days in new york at the united nations. i want to thank the secretary general. it's been really incredible what's been taking place.
and he's been a fantastic host to a lot of countries. the meetings i had were pretty staggering. i think we set a new record, but you'll have to check that out. the -- we met very, very -- for pretty extended periods of time either two and two, one on one or just about at that level with pakistan, poland, new zealand, singapore, egypt, south korea, united kingdom, india, iraq, argentina, germany, brazil, france, japan, ukraine, honduras, el salvador, saudi arabia, jordan, bahrain, kuwait,
qatar, oman, uae, chili, ecuador, and peru. other than that we weren't too busy over the last three days. and unfortunately the press doesn't even cover it, you know. we've made some fantastic deals like with japan for farmers. we have a tremendous trade deal with japan. and that doesn't get covered because you waez your time on nonsense. the pmi manufacturers index has gone substantially up which was an incredible -- larry kudlow just gave me these numbers, and existing new home sales are through the roof. just came out. oil prices have gone down ever since the saudi arabia incident, and they've gone down very substantially. so we have plenty of oil. but those numbers were surprising to you, larry, and the extent of the increases.
is that a correct statement? so thank you, larry kudlow. >> as the president reads through his schedule and gives that media critique, the senate intelligence committee is now also in possession of that whistle-blower complaint at the center of the growing scandal with donald trump and the leader of ukraine, the one that commenced impeachment proceedings and now may see to this whistle-blower's complaint, and maybe the whistle-blower himself before being before congress. go back to the president. >> leader kevin mccarthy and the republicans many of them. and we were going to do this any way, but i've informed them all of the house members that i fully support transparency on the so-called whistle-blower information, even though it was supposedly second-hand information, which is sort of interesting. and other things have come out about the whistle-blower that
also may be even more interesting. but also insist on transparency from joe biden and his son hunter on the millions of dollars that have been quickly and easily taken out of ukraine and china. millions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars taking out very rapidly while he was vice president. and i think they should have transparency for that. i've informed the leader about that. and additionally i demand transparency from dmaemocrats w went to ukraine and attempted to force the new president who i met and is an outstanding person that i met just a while ago. some of you were there. i think is going to be outstanding. he got elected on the basis of corruption. he wants to end corruption in ukraine. i think that's great. but they went there and they wanted to force the new president to do things that they wanted under the form of political threat. they threatened him if he didn't
do things. now that's what they're accusing me of, but i didn't do it. i didn't threaten anybody. in fact, the press was asking questions of the president of ukraine and he said no pressure. i used the word pressure. i think he said push, but i think he meant pressure, same thing. it's all a hoax, folks. it's all a big hoax. and the sad thing about this hoax is that we work so hard with all of these countries, and, i mean, really hard. i've been up from early in the morning till late in the evening. and meeting with different countries all for the good of our country. and the press doesn't even cover all of this. and it's really disappointing also to those countries that are with us and spend so much time with us. so we want transparency. we've informed kevin mccarthy about transparency. we said vote for it.
so i think you have close to 100% of the republican votes, i hope. and they got almost no attention. but in may cnn reported that senators robert menendez, richard durbin and patrick lahey wrote a letter to the prosecutor general for foreign investigations they said were critical. in the letter they implied that their support for u.s. assistance to ukraine was at stake. and that if they didn't do the right thing they wouldn't get any assistance. see, doesn't that sound familiar? doesn't that sound familiar? and chris murphy who i've been dealing with on guns, so nice. he's always, no, we want to work it out, we want to work it out. but they're too busy wasting their time on the witch hunt. so senator chris murphy, literally threatened the
president of ukraine that if he doesn't do things right, they won't have democrat support in congress. so you can look all of this up. one other thing, i'm just going off certain notes and elements of what we've been doing over the last three days. but this just came up a few minutes ago. >> we hate to do this really. but the president isn't telling the truth. these allegations against joe biden and hunter biden that he's repeating have been investigated by the ukrainians, none other than the "wall street journal" included in their report on friday that the ukrainians view this issue as having been investigated and adjudicated. what's amazing is that what trump appears to be trying to do is to turn his own impeachment into a big deflection. >> yeah. he's trying to change the story. first of all the question on the table here is not about joe biden. it's not about chris murphy or any other senators he's talking about. it's not about the whistle-blower.
it's about his conduct and whether his conduct as president is impeachable or not. but as it relates to joe biden, it's important to note that this story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved. joe biden's son served on the board of that ukrainian company. that ukrainian company that investigated by the ukrainian attorney general that. investigation was closed. and the reason joe biden asked for the attorney general to be fired, he wasn't speaking on behalf of himself or his son. he wasn't even speaking on behalf of the obama administration. he was speaking on behalf of the west at large, the imf wanted him gone. other western governments wanted him gone because this attorney general was known to be corrupt. that's why joe biden pushed for him to be outed. it had nothing to do with his son and everyone that has looked at it has confirmed that. >> and, frank figliuzzi, the president is now rapidly responding to t"the washington post" reporting is reporting the post stands by. donald trump making it sound
like he was somehow involved or at least aware of what would be a denial from dni maguire. does that make somehow his testimony before congress even more high stakes than it already was? >> yeah. this is a moment of truth for maguire. and he's been thrust into the national spotlight. he's got to do the right thing or he's going to find himself on the wrong side of history. you know, we're talking about somebody who was a navy seal, says he's never quit anything in his life. he's going to do the right thing. but the question is, is it going to happen tomorrow? is he going to have to do the right thing because of pressure? and by the way, nicole. i want to address this issue of pressure and the president we just heard him say there was no pressure, there was no pushing. i want to just have viewers think about this. this is all all about a quarter of a billion dollars of military aid that literally would make the difference between ukraine's
ability to defend itself as a nation and continue to exist in the event that russia rolled in with tanks. so to imply that somehow there's no pressure when in fact it's about an existential threat to the existence of your nation, i think is ridiculous. of course there's pressure if you're trying to save your country. >> we are monitoring this. when journalists start asking questions and if the president starts answering them, we will dip back into them. but a former senior intelligence official said this to me about the situation the president finds himself in specifically with maguire. trump does not understand the fidelity that the military and intelligence officers have to the constitution and the law. >> he's always looked at this since before he even came into office the intelligence community in particular as an adversary, as something that was out to get him, as something that should be shaped. one of the first arguments that he and dan coates got into was
because he wanted him who was then the dni to go out and say that the intelligence community was against him and go find evidence that barack obama wire-tapped him. he sees these as sort of tools for the things he wants out there, whether it's a narrative or to accomplish something else. the other thing i want to say about what the president's doing, we are all talking about ukraine now. and he is trying to shift the conversation to move into china as well. and he keeps mentioning it, don jr. keeps talking about it on twitter and other platforms. that's kind of -- so if you want to look where they want to take this, it's not just ukraine. they want to broaden it out. and it's also going to include china, and they're mounting what they hope is a broad campaign and a broadside. >> elise, some of this would seem to be a moment of truth for the press. i keep coming back to beto o'rourke's comment. >> it was in the context of something entirely unrelated,
but stop asking questions you know the answers to. there should be no two sides. the hunter/biden thing is a shiny -- it's not even shiny, it's a muddy dirty lowlight. they've sort of gone from with mueller they wanted uranium 1 investigated, donald trump today was about the origins of the investigation railing on about hillary's emails. we're still staring at trees ask missing the forest. >> well, i also think we need to just stop for a moment and recognize just how absolute just crazy town what rudy giuliani was attempting to find in ukraine. what do they think it was going to be some like pot of gold that was suddenly going to just absolutely destroy joe biden and his son? it makes no sense. and donald trump is so obsessive. if he has a theme and he wants to get to the bottom of it, and
this seemingly was a pretty strong summer obsession. i had blown it off as just, oh, they've given rudy -- >> crazy rudy. >> some whacky mission in ukraine. but actually probably giuliani was the only person who took donald trump seriously at all. so you've got -- it's like the pizza gate of foreign policy. it's not even to the watergate level. that's what a republican operative i was texting with today said this isn't watergate, it's pizza gate because it's so stupid and conspiratorial. you get that the two men, they are just so delusional about what actually would defeat joe biden in 2020. >> i mean, the conduct is watergate-like. and i think someone said to me today remember what the russians look for. they don't need you to pick up the phone and call them. we don't know that trump didn't. but they are looking for signaling. what trump has signaled by releasing this call is to the
russian bots and troll farms. and i think robert mueller indicted a slough of them to spread this information about hunter biden. >> they don't actually have to find anything for it to be successful. they just want to raise questions. they just want to get the ukrainians to investigate so they can get a friendly senate chairman. >> they don't even need the ukrainians to investigate. they just need to put it out there that they thought they should. >> and back to your original point of what the press. the press is so eager to say the president's actions may be inappropriate but this does raise questions or joe biden. or if they don't go that far, they will say what are the political ramifications of joe biden when what the press ought to do is there's no there there. and that is really one of the lessons to learn from 2016 if you look back then. there has to be some proportionality. >> i watched the president
sitting next to zelensky earlier today ten minutes of my life i'll never get back. but one thing he did say and it caught my ear and i wonder if it caught yours was he urged zelensky to work things out with putin to make it right with him to work together with putin. how much are we once again watching our president, america's president, do the bidding of vladimir putin? >> yeah. we talk about rudy being a possible emissary for the state department. i think it looks like trump is acting as some kind of go-between between putin and ukraine and wants to try to, quote, work this out. there is a whole counter intelligence underside to this that just people need to understand. the whole world listens to each other. there is this secret side of intercepts and intelligence work. and so i keep reminding people it wasn't just the president of ukraine and the president of the united states on this call. rest assured that vladimir putin
is intercepting any call out of the president of ukraine's office. so russia has that call with trump. they know what happened. they understand the pressure that ukraine is being put under. they don't want ukraine to get the military aid to defend against russia. and all of this is going to come out. and here's what i predict we're going to have happen tomorrow with maguire. because of this classified underside, because this is going to involve intercepts, because i believe -- and, look, i want to be very careful here. i don't have solid information on this, but i've asked myself when would i become a whistle-blower in this scenario, ruin my career, invoke the wrath of the president, the republican senate and an entire news network coming down on my head for this. it would be if i had it nailed. what would nailed look like for me? it would look like sigent. it would look like i had a ton of signal intercepts that showed the ukrainian reaction to this
conversation, maybe even the russia reaction to this conversation. here's the problem tomorrow with maguire. all of that, if i'm even half right, top secret, classified. that's going to be the challenge. >> but let's explain to our viewers what that is. sigent is really central intelligence. a lot of people view it as the best because it's the intercepted phone call. if you take the low-tech version it's picking up the phone and listening to a conversation between your mom and your principal. it's listening in. it's indisputable, right, frank? >> that's exactly right. that's what i would need to bring down the wrath of half the united states on my head. i would need to have this dead and that means si genk nt. my theory is that maguire, we are going to hear him tomorrow saying, look, i got to talk about this in closed session. i'll answer that question in closed session. i can't talk about this publicly. this is classified. it's going to have to get
declassified. and it's going to create tremendous challenges. but pay attention tomorrow to every time you hear maguire say classified or closed session. >> all right. we are going to go back to the question. >> phone conversation. you can have it any time you need it. and also mike pence's conversations which were i think one or two of them. they were all perfect. it's very sad what the democrats are doing to this country. they are dividing. they are belittling. they are demeaning our country. so many leaders came up to me today and they said, sir, what you've gone through, no other president has gone through. it's so bad for your country. people look at the stupidity of what they've asked for. here we could do asylum. we could do all of these different things so easily. we could do asylum quickly. we could do loopholes, get rid of them. instead we actually make deals with mexico and with guatemala,
el salvador, honduras. and we are doing it with them instead of with our congress. but we're doing it. we get it done. the wall is being built by the way it. >> got little coverage. i went to the border. it's gone going up in new mexico. it's going up in arizona. it's going up in california. they really wanted that wall in california and san diego. as soon as it was completed they said we don't want a wall. they were begging me for a wall. i should take it out and move it to another location. we were with the governor spoke to them a lot, but the lieutenant governor of texas, the senators of texas, cornyn and ted cruz. and we're building an incredible wall that's going to -- number one, it's going to look great. it's going to be virtually impossible to cross unless you're one hell of a mountain
climber. it's very tough. it's going to be very tough to get people and drugs over those walls because they're the real deal. i went to the secretary of homeland security. and he got all those people together. i said give me four walls, your optimum every single thing included. they gave me 20% less, 20% less and 20% less, meaning less cost. they came back. they said this is the wall, sir. this would be the best. we have the panels on top, which are anti-climb panels. i don't know if you noticed the steel on top. we have a different design for a different area. but it's very tough. we had people going out and, real climbers telling us which is the toughest to climb. but these are anti-climb panels. very tough to get across. and the wall is going up many miles a week. and we hope to have over 400, but maybe as much as 500 miles
which will pretty much do it because you have a lot of natural barriers. you have mountains, you have really rough rivers. you have some really rough land that you can't cross very easily. so they serve as their natural walls. but we'll have -- we think over 400, but we could even have 500 miles to combat the corruption of both the venezuelan and iranian dictatorships. today i issued proclamations suspending the entry into the united states of senior regime officials and their families. and further to promote american values. on monday i was proud to be the first president in history to host a meeting at the united nations. i am so surprised, first president for this. i can't believe that i'm the first. i spoke to frank lindgram about that. i can't believe it. at the united nations on protecting religious freedom and liberty for people around the world.
while some partisans and unelected bureaucrats in washington may choose to fight every day against the interests and believes of the american people, my administration is standing up for the american people like no administration has in many, many years. you forgot the american people. you totally forgot the american people. this week every -- every week i really can say of my presidency we're standing up for american prosperity, american security and the american way of life. and together with our friends and partners we're building a more peaceful, prosperous and promising future. we have a tremendous relationship now with a lot of nations that are very happy with what's going on. and that includes in south america where they've been so helpful. where nobody thought this would be possible. the relationship with mexico as an example or el salvador or
honduras or guatemala. nobody even knew about it, yet we sent them hundreds of millions of dollars, and all we got back was caravans of people pouring in. we had tremendous -- we had tremendous -- it was terrible. and we've got that stopped and the countries are now helping us, and we stopped those payments, by the way. we don't pay those countries that money anymore. but i will tell you, if they're as good as they seem to be, they're really doing a job on crime and stopping the wrong people from leaving and coming to the united states, we'll be helping them a lot with economic development projects and other things. so with that we had a tremendous three days. it was beautiful to see. made a lot of new friends. i read you a list of all the countries i saw. pretty much one-on-one. and it's been very busy but it's been very, very fruitful. so we could take a couple of
questions. i'd love some questions on some of the things that we accomplished at unga instead of the witch hunt, the phony witch hunt questions, i know that's what you want to ask because it's probably better for you but it's not better for the country. so maybe we'll take a few questions. please. >> thank you, mr. president. you've suggested that you didn't do anything wrong in the course of your conversations with the ukrainian president. but can you explain to the american people why it is appropriate for an american president to ask a foreign leader for information about a political rival and what you would have said if you had discovered that barack obama, perhaps, had asked a foreign leader for information about you before your campaign for the presidency? >> well, that's what he did, isn't it really? when you think about it, the whole witch hunt was started and hopefully that will all come out. there have been fantastic books written that just came out. whether you look at greg jarrett
or mccarthy's book that just came out recently. and so many other books. a lot of books are coming out. when you start reading those books you see what they did to us. what they've done to this country is a disgrace. they've hurt this country very badly and no other president should have to go through what i've gone through. the president -- the new president of ukraine is looking to stop corruption. there's a lot of corruption going on and there was corruption -- i just told you about senators that threatened him with votes and no money coming in to ukraine. if they do things. that's really what people are trying to say that i did, but the only difference is i didn't do it. you take a look at that call, it was perfect. i didn't do it. there was no quid pro quo. but there was with biden and there was with these senators. and they threatened, they said you do this, you do that, we're not going to give you votes. that's -- that's the real deal. so we have an honest group of people that have been maligned
and, you know, it's -- a lot of people say i'll do -- i'll do even better. i'm very happy. yesterday i guess we had a 53 poll and a lot of people say add ten points to anything -- anybody voting for trump, any time you get a poll you can add ten points or seven points or six points, take it any way you want, but i don't know if i consider that to be a compliment, but in one way it is a compliment and i guess that's what happened in the last election. far more people came to vote than any thought possible. >> why should the american people be comfortable with an american president asking a foreign leader for information about an american citizen? >> well, i think you can look at your senators and you can look at biden and you can look ougatl these other people. what we're looking for is corruption. an investigation started called the russian witch hunt, affectionately, and it was a total phony scam. it was set up by people within the government to try and stop somebody from getting elected,
and after that -- after that person, namely me, won and convincingly won at 306 to 223 in the electoral college. which, by the way, when you run a race if you're running electoral, you know, if you go by the college, electoral college, that's a much different race than running popular vote. and it's like the 100-yard dash or the mile. you train differently. and i can't help it that my opponent didn't go to wisconsin and should have gone much more to michigan and pennsylvania and other places, but that's the way it is. we won an lexicelection convinc. convincingly. you have the text message, well, if she doesn't win, we've got an insurance policy. how bad is that? the insurance policy taking place over the last number of years. no. there are a lot of very dishonest people. we're the ones that played it straight.
you know what? the members of people out there that are looking at what's going on, those people understand it. they see it and they think it's disgusting. and our people are being hurt and our country is being hurt when a nancy pelosi allows her position to be taken over by radical far-left socialists or worse. that's pretty bad. that's pretty bad. especially when the senators and all of these other people have actually done what they're accusing me of doing, which i didn't do. i'm going to have mike pompeo say a couple of words. i'm going to have steve mnuchin say a couple of words and then we'll do a couple more questions. >> mr. president, i thought i'd start by talking about iran. we had a productive week. we saw the europeans take a position with respect to the attacks that took place in saudi arabia. making clear this was iran. >> we're going to monitor secretary mike pompeo's comments on iran.
obviously donald trump's impeachment blotting out a lot of the other foreign policy news that may have come from this week, but, really, i think anybody watching issues take this as a marker that trump just laid down that he will never engage on the facts. whatever is coming out of the white house is not coming from the president because what he's disseminating or lies, attacks and deflections. elise? >> we saw it today. we saw more lies. he wanted to compare his victory in the electoral college to running a mile versus running a 100. and winning the popular vote. and what is supposed to be a serious discussion of how he is managing american foreign policy after a week at the u.n. general assembly. much less even responding in a coherent manner to the allegations that he manipulated americans' foreign policy and military aid for his own personal political gain. it's really just jaw dropping. i know we shouldn't be surprised anymore, but you can't help but
to be. >> well, i think what's surprising, frank figliuzzi, we were all watching this today, myself included, but there does have to be a trigger or a switch flipped. first of all, on donald trump's performance there, we called it the acoustic version of a maga rally. it was like someone sucked all the trump out of trump and his body was just standing there. this performance was just that. it was an empty performance. it was an effort to smear joe biden and his son hunter biden without any facts. there is the never let me present the facts part of any of his political attacks. there is a shallowness that is becoming abundantly clear, frank. >> what we saw here essentially was the preparation of sound bites for fox news tonight. that's who he's playing to. it's all going to play out tonight on fox in the form of sound bites. but i have to tell you, the media plays a role here and he simply did not answer reporters' questions. you know, look, i was an fbi agent for 25 years. if somebody wants to talk to me
-- >> yet they're veteran investing heavily in infrastructure -- >> not anymore maybe. and maybe they just say that -- >> you didn't answer my question and that's what the media needs to do. >> i think we're trying to listen to him answer our question now. let's dip back in. >> do you have something specific? >> he's back to china. frank, i'm sorry if we cut you off at all, frank figliuzzi. your point being that maybe an innocent person answers questions. >> yeah, well, first of all, an innocent person is eager to answer questions with the truth, but what i'd love to see more about -- more from the media, nichole, when he does this, when he's preparing a sound bite for fox news. the question, remember, was why should the american people entertain a president who asks a foreign leader for help getting re-elected? he just went off on the witch hunt of the russia investigation. the reporters have got to start saying, sir, with all due respect, you're not answering the question, and they just need to keep peppering him like that. >> all right. i'm going to thank frank, elise,
carol and matt. my colleague chuck todd's going to pick up our coverage of the president's press conference. >> -- the beef and all of the different things, pork, very big on pork. but if you look and you see, i actually think they put out a statement. they're starting to buy very heavily our ag again. they want to make a deal. the question is do we want to make a deal? >> if smc doesn't pass through congress, is that the end of nafta? >> i don't want to answer that question but you know how i feel about nafta. i think nafta is the worst trade deal ever made. i also think the world trade organization was not one of the greats. not one of the greats. that was the creation of china which went like a rocket ship from the day they signed. it was terrible. no, we're going to find out. that's going to be a very interesting question. with nancy